Panasonic has released firmware update 2.4 for the Panasonic Lumix GH6 camera, which allows the DJI LiDAR module to be used for auto focusing. This feature will only work with the DJI RS3 Pro gimbal.
Similar opportunities for collaboration between companies appeared with DJI joining the L-mount alliance, which includes Panasonic, Leica and Sigma.
The system added by the new firmware works as follows: the DJI LiDAR module is attached to the hot shoe of the Panasonic Lumix GH6 camera and connected to the DJI RS3 Pro stabilizer via a USB-C cable, and the stabilizer itself is connected to the USB-C port on the camera. The camera must be switched to Tether mode to be controlled by the DJI RS3 Pro.
After all the settings, the operator is able to work with the camera without additional focusing drives – since the camera will power the internal lens drive (if it supports autofocus).
The DJI LiDAR module operates using a ranging method. It generates a spatial map and transmits distance values to devices (camera/follow focus drive). However, the system has its pros and cons:
Pros of the DJI LiDAR system :
- LiDAR can operate in very dark environments because it does not rely on light
- The system is quite simple and therefore has no failures and is quite reliable
Cons of the DJI LiDAR system :
The system is external, so various intelligent autofocus functions will not be available (face, eye, object detection, etc.).
Limited field of action – up to 14 meters due to the fact that the module uses its own light source. It works well at short to medium ranges, but not at long ranges.
At the moment, LiDAR is only possible with the RS3 PRO gimbal.
The company has published video instructions for working with the new firmware and the DJI LiDAR system:
DJI’s collaboration with L-mount has just begun. Other developments may be introduced in the future that will bring a number of advantages to the integrated systems. For example, DJI could potentially introduce an independent LiDAR module that could be installed on a hot shoe and communicate exclusively through it. Optics and camera manufacturers can combine the capabilities of similar modules and incorporate them into autofocus systems, which will improve overall performance.
At the same time, the next generation camera, the Panasonic Lumix GH7, will receive hybrid autofocus, which is already more efficient.
For the first time, Panasonic implemented such technology in a camera with a full-frame sensor – the Panasonic Lumix S5 II. Then similar capabilities appeared in a model with an M4/3 matrix – Panasonic Lumix GH9 II. The next one, which sounds quite logical, given that the GH series is the flagship in the line with M4/3 matrices, will be the Panasonic Lumix G7.