Panasonic has unveiled its first box-style cinema camera, the LUMIX BGH1 digital single lens mirrorless camera, offering a professional cinema camera in a small cube form factor. 

Supporting streaming and broadcast activity, the compact LUMIX BGH1 has multi-camera control of up to 12 units with versatile operation including shooting mounted on drones, IP remote control, direct live streaming and more.

Panasonic product marketing manager – imaging, James Choi explained: “This new box cinema camera boasts the class-leading video that Panasonic has built its reputation on with products like the flagship LUMIX GH5S. The BGH1 is ideal for filmmakers who require a compact body that they can easily deploy and control in an array of situations – capabilities that can’t always be met with traditional camera bodies.”

The BGH1 has a new heat dispersion structure for unlimited video recording. The lightweight body is composed of aluminium and magnesium alloy, and the camera weighs just 545 grams. It complies with Power over Ethernet (PoE+), which allows the camera to be operated and powered using a single Ethernet cable through compatible peripherals. 

Terminals include USB 3.1 Type-C; plus 3G-SDI and HDMI Type-A which can be used for simultaneous output. GenLock IN and Time Code IN/OUT functions enable multi-angle synchronised video recording and support a scalable system with third-party external monitors, rigs and gimbals –ideal for virtual reality video, bullet time and homography. The BGH1 is equipped with two SD Card slots for backup or relay recording.

The BGH1 integrates a 10.2-megapixel Live MOS Sensor with Dual Native ISO technology and Panasonic’s Venus Engine. The sensor can leverage a dual-base ISO setting, and when combined with the Venus Engine processor, delivers a maximum ISO of up to 51200.

The BGH1 enables 4:2:0 10-bit C4K/4K 60p / 50p internal video recording as well as C4K/4K 4:2:2 10-bit output over HDMI. The camera records video with a designated gamma curve compatible with ITU-R BT.2100, and Hybrid Log Gamma is available with a low-bit-rate recording mode C4K/4K
HEVC /H.265. The camera is pre-installed with V-Log L gamma profile, offering a wide dynamic range of 13 stops.

Variable Frame Rate lets users record overcranked/undercranked video in C4K/4K (60 frames per second, maximum 2.5x slower in 24p) and FHD (240 fps, maximum 10x slower in 24p). The minimum frame rate for quick motion video is 2 fps.

The camera also incorporates an improved Deep Learning autofocus algorithm for detecting specific subjects including human faces and fast-moving animals. In addition to the eye, face and body, the head is also separately recognised by real-time detection technology for more precise focusing. The camera keeps tracking subjects when they move quickly, turn away, tilt their head, or move far away.

The BGH1 is priced at $3,099 and will be available in late November 2020 from leading photographic specialists. An optional Panasonic AG-VBR59 battery, sold separately, is required to operate the camera when not using the supplied AC adaptor or optional compatible Ethernet cable.