New Panasonic GH5S and Atomos Ninja Inferno promise ideal combination for low light shooting

Panasonic released their new GH5S mirrorless camera with enhanced low light capabilities. Its full capability can be realised by combining it with the Atomos Ninja Inferno 4K monitor / recorder.
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Panasonic released their new GH5S mirrorless camera with enhanced low light capabilities. Its full capability can be realised by combining it with the Atomos Ninja Inferno 4K monitor / recorder - recording up to DCI 4Kp60 10-bit 4:2:2 over HDMI 2.0 directly into production-ready Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR on SSD drives.

The camera provides saturated colours and captures shots even when shooting in V-Log format in the dimmest conditions. Colours are rich and deep even in super low light with huge amounts of colour information retained with 10-bit. This technological advance removes the problems of shooting Log in low light with mirrorless cameras because of excess noise. The full benefits of a wider dynamic range and vibrant colours while staying in Panasonic’s V-Log, gives a greater ability to manipulate images in post-production.

This is all made possible with the 10-bit pipeline and data rates of up to 1880 Mbps when shooting in 4Kp60 and ProRes HQ, far in excess of the camera’s internal capabilities. This makes an incredible difference, especially at ISOs of 3200 and above.

The Panansonic/Atomos combination can also be used to shoot the HLG form of HDR at DCI 4Kp50 and 60. Additionally, it will add the correct metadata tags for display on YouTube and HDR screens. The unique AtomHDR mode on the Ninja Inferno allows for quick and easy setting of exposure when shooting Log or HLG images for HDR or regular Rec.709 shooting.

To showcase the pairing’s incredible abilities, Atomos released a video shot using a pre-production GH5S in just a few hours near one of London’s best-loved landmarks. The team started late at night, shooting in only available light – so little of it that no regular camera would have allowed them to film. The whole project was captured in Panasonic V-Log, with the London buses rendered a deep red, and detail invisible to the naked eye clearly seen on the famous statue of Admiral Nelson. In these historic surroundings, a young skateboarder practised into the early hours, in freezing conditions.

The crew shot in DCI 4Kp50 with the camera’s ISO set at either 3200 or 6400 ISO. Lenses were a Voigtlander 10.5mm f0.95, 25mm f0.95 and a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 zoom with a Metabones Speedbooster. These combinations allowed a shutter speed at 100th of a second to be achieved with good exposure at all times. AtomHDR mode was used on the monitor to assess the image and ensure that noise was suppressed, while retaining maximum levels of highlight detail.

The GH5S-Ninja Inferno pairing is easily used on a gimbal. For this shoot, the camera was mounted to the Letus Helix Junior brushless gimbal, which has the unique ability to balance the GH5S with Zacuto cage attached, and the Ninja Inferno mounted on top, giving the operator a compact shooting package with an unobstructed view of the monitor.

The 4Kp50 footage was slowed down to 25p in post and a basic grade applied using Filmconvert. An ungraded version of the film will be released shortly, so that you can judge the image quality for yourself and see what you can do with the results. We’re confident you’ll agree that this pairing is a midwinter night’s dream.

As with the older GH5, the combination of the GH5S and Ninja Inferno also has the following features:

  • 7” monitor with 1500 Nit high brightness
  • Calibration using dedicated XRite display calibrator for accurate colour even as time goes on.
  • Vlog with VGamut Monitoring with AtomHDR
  • Waveform monitor, vectorcope, false colour, peaking and image magnification for focus check
  • Dual XLR audio input with Phantom power
  • Affordable open standard SSD media
  • The ability to load custom LUTs and quickly toggle between different looks
  • Directly output to HDR televisions and displays using PQ HDR10 or HLG from your HLG or V-Log material
  • Instant review of shot material in the field on the Ninja Inferno display.

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