A road trip with the LUMIX GH6
German filmmaker Sebastian Linda merges his own inspired ideas with brands in his commercial work. He’s into action sports, travelling and does commercial shootings. He recently had the opportunity to be one of the first to use the LUMIX GH6 camera for a film he made in South Africa. The result is not a typical road movie, because it also includes a lot of behind-the-scenes material, giving the viewer a real understanding of how this camera works.
His first films were about his childhood passion, skateboarding: ‘When I was six years old, I saw something that completely blew my mind: a skateboard kick flip. I knew immediately what I wanted to be: a skateboarder!’. After he’d mastered the skateboard, he also wanted to learn how to document his skateboarding adventures. Sebastian produced his first short movies at the age of 12, learning about cameras, audio and editing during the process. His first full-length movie ‘Born to Skate’, came out after he’d finished his media studies. ‘Skateboarding taught me to persist until I get it right. Failure is a major part of skateboarding, but that makes the reward so much bigger when you do succeed’.
From his first films he progressed into an all-round filmmaker. As a LUMIX user and creative he was one of the first to work with the brand-new LUMIX GH6, a mirrorless camera based on the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system. ‘Two friends and I went on a ten-day road trip around South Africa, filming and editing all the time. We wanted to make an inspirational travel film that also included different perspectives on ‘the making of’. So, first you see a shot of the landscape and then you see the camera setup that we used to take the image. In the next shot, you see the team sharing their joy at getting the right shot. And from there you switch over to the laptop, to see how the footage is edited.’
Working with the new camera was wonderful, and not having a manual was quite a challenge: ‘But we had great technical support from the LUMIX team. The new codecs, resolutions and frame rates work perfectly in the field! We loved being able to shoot 300 frames per second in Full HD. Most cameras with higher frame rates have poor image quality due to the compression. The LUMIX GH6 images look smooth, clean and amazing! We took different kinds of shots, including macro images and slow motion. We stood in a waterfall, photographing the cascading water in all its details. We also went to a bird sanctuary, where a bird flew close to the camera. We managed to get amazing macro shots of it opening and closing its eyes. The trip was about capturing authentic moments. South Africa really blew our minds.’ The same goes for the LUMIX GH6 camera. ‘I like to shoot in a run-and-gun style. Thanks to its size, you can easily pack this camera with three lenses and a laptop inside a backpack. I like it when I don’t have to learn and control all the technology in the camera but can just focus on the creative process. With this new GH6 camera, it felt more like creatively playing with professional results.’
There are enough options these days when it comes to cameras, for example, a Full Frame camera like the S1H, or a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) like the GH6. ‘I think both of them serve their purposes well. With Full Frame cameras, you get amazing images, but the shallow depths of field can be tricky. With the MFT you don’t have to worry about that, but you can still get a shallow depth of field using fast aperture lenses. With the LUMIX GH6 you can just capture the moment and get great images every time. The easiness of shooting makes it perfect for travelling, documentary work and run-and-gun video-style shooting.
The LUMIX GH6 delivers on all aspects; the image quality is great, the stabilisation is impressive, and there are plenty of professional codec options to choose from. Another example is when we tried filming different types of animals, including some special spiders.
That can be quite hard with a Full Frame camera combined with macro lenses, as it gives you a very limited scope, resulting in most of the image being out of focus.
Most of the time only about 1 mm of the frame is razor-sharp, so you really have to plan the shot, and that’s not easy with animals! However, the LUMIX GH6 truly opened up the macro world. With macro photography, you’re often shooting hand-held, and thanks to the in-body 5-axis stabilisation, it’s easy to get razor-sharp images.’
Sebastian and his team were extremely impressed with the 5.7K 60p/50p mode. ‘This camera offers higher resolution and higher bit rates than ever before, and delivers the latest in high-quality codecs, versatility, and the expressive ranges needed for film, TV, and all types of video productions.
The LUMIX GH6 camera can change the creative output we’re seeing from filmmakers. I’m really happy that there are no compromises with this camera. It ticks all the right boxes, from how easy it is to use to the image quality. You can use all the different formats and settings to your advantage. It’s a great hybrid camera as well. If you use the 5.7 or 5.8K, you don’t need to take individual photographs, you can just film and chose a still from the video later.’