Panasonic GH5 firmware update brings major overhaul of video, IS, AF capabilities

Panasonic GH5: price, specs, release date confirmed
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Panasonic has released GH5 firmware version 2.0 that brings a significant upgrade in video capability, as well as AF and stabilisation improvements.

In fact, Panasonic says that GH5 firmware version 2.0 is so comprehensive that it’s more of an upgrade than an update… and on paper this certainly seems to be the case.

Chief among the new features added with GH5 firmware version 2.0 is the addition of a 4:2:2,10bit ALL-Intra video recording mode to the GH5’s 4K/FHD video recording.

What is All-Intra Video Recording?

All-Intra is a video compression that Panasonic has been using for a while now that compresses each frame of video footage individually rather than as a whole – so basically a series of compressed jpeg’s strung together.

The benefit of All-Intra Video Recording is higher quality for each frame, plus it’s easier to extract individual frames if needed. But this obviously means larger files sizes.

The Panasonic GH5 firmware update looks to increase the processing speed and compression quality.

New 4:2:2,10-bit ALL-Intra Recording Mode

VideoSystem FrequencySizeFrame RateBit RateYUV/bitImage Compression
C4K/ALL-I/400M/24p59.94Hz4096x216023.98p400 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
4K/ALL-I/400M/30p(NTSC)3840x216029.97p400 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
4K/ALL-I/400M/24p3840x216023.98p400 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
FHD/ALL-I/200M/60p1920x108059.94p200 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
FHD/ALL-I/200M/30p1920x108029.97p200 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
FHD/ALL-I/200M/24p1920x108023.98p200 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
4K/ALL-I/400M/25p50.00Hz3840x216025.00p400 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
FHD/ALL-I/200M/50p(PAL)1920x108050.00p200 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
FHD/ALL-I/200M/25p1920x108025.00p200 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
C4K/ALL-I/400M/24p24.00Hz4096x216024.00p400 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
4K/ALL-I/400M/24p(CINEMA)3840x216024.00p400 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
FHD/ALL-I/200M/24p1920x108024.00p200 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra

The GH5 firmware version 2.0 also adds a High-resolution Anamorphic mode, which enables video recording 18 mega effective pixels.

What is Anamorphic Video Recording?

Anamorphic video recording is traditionally a cinematic wide-screen format – or basically what we know as 16:9 these days.

However as most image sensors are not 16:9 – as is the case of the Micro Four Thirds (4:3) – the Panasonic GH5’s captured footage doesn’t make full use of the sensor. Because of this many videographers opt to use anamorphic lenses, which squeeze the footage optically onto the full sensor 18-mega effective pixels.

This means that the full sensor is being used, but you obviously need a special mode so the camera knows that this is what’s happening, otherwise it will still crop the footage.

This feature basically enables the GH5’s footage to be de-squeezed.

So anamorphic video recording modes enable you to make full use of the sensor rather than just a small part. Whether it’s possible with standard lenses as well as special anamorphic lenses, we’re not sure.

New High-Resolution Anamorphic Mode

VideoSystem FrequencySizeFrame RateBit RateYUV/bitImage Compression
6K/A/200M/30p59.94Hz4992x374429.97p200 Mbps4:2:0/10 bitLong GOP
6K/A/200M/24p(NTSC)4992x374423.98p200 Mbps4:2:0/10 bitLong GOP
4K/A/400M/30p3328x249623.98p400 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
4K/A/400M/24p3328x249623.98p400 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
6K/A/200M/25p50.00Hz4992x374425.00p200 Mbps4:2:0/10 bitLong GOP
4K/A/400M/25p(PAL)3328x249625.00p400 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra
6K/A/200M/24p24.00Hz4992x374424.00p200 Mbps4:2:0/10 bitLong GOP
4K/A/400M/24p(CINEMA)3328x249624.00p400 Mbps4:2:2/10 bitALL-Intra

Yet another video enhancement with Panasonic GH5 firmware version 2.0 is the addition of a 4K HDR video recording mode. With version 2.0 the GH5 can now record video with a designated gamma curve compatible with ITU-R BT.2100, and users can now choose Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) in their designated Photo Style.

Panasonic says a low bit-rate 4K HLG recording mode 4K HEVC for HLG has been added, which allows users to play back footage on AV equipment compatible with the HEVC compression format, such as Panasonic 4K HDR TVs.

Panasonic GH5 firmware version 2.0 AF improvements

Panasonic’s GH5 firmware version 2.0 also adds a number of enhancements to the camera’s autofocus system. In particular, the company says the GH5’s AF system can now better cope with low-contrast subjects in still image mode, while the firmware improves the AF tracking in video recording.

Other AF enhancements include:

  • The customised AF area can be continuously displayed in Multi AF and Custom Multi AF during live-view.
  • The AF area in Multi AF can be moved to the other edge (side, top or bottom) when it reaches one edge.
  • The start point of AF lock can be set on the live view screen in advance of AF Tracking.
  • The AF area can be moved while the shutter button is half-pressed or while recording in Burst Mode, 6K PHOTO and 4K PHOTO modes.

Body Image Stabilizer additions

Panasonic GH5 firmware version 2.0 adds IS Lock in video mode, which compensates for hand shake when the viewing angle is fixed.

What’s more, the GH5 firmware update adds a new hand shake correction mode that provides optimum correction when using 2.0x and 1.33x Anamorphic lenses.

Shooting tethered with the GH5

Panasonic GH5 firmware version 2.0 also allows users to now shoot tethered via USB with the company’s Lumix Tether PC software.

Using the GH5’s 6K PHOTO or 4K PHOTO users can start and stop video recording with the tethered shooting. It is also possible to choose the folder to save the image files to the PC.

Other improvements in Panasonic GH5 firmware update version 2.0 include shortening the waiting time by half to start the next shooting sequence in 6K Burst and 4K Burst modes, as well as adding Loop Recording in 6K Photo.

Panasonic says it has also improved the usability of Time Lapse Shot mode and Power Save LVF, as well as fixed a bug where the GH5’s Kelvin value was reset after adjusting the colour temperature with 2-axis white balance compensation.

Other improvements Panasonic says it’s added via GH5 firmware 2.0 include:

  • A rating function using a Fn button is available in Playback Zoom and Multi Playback.
  • The following functions can be assigned to Fn buttons – Constant Preview 6K/4K PHOTO Bulk Saving Min. Shtr Speed RAW Processing Rec/Playback Switch Destination Slot and Mic Level Adj..
  • The DISP.Button can be locked.
  • In Relay Rec, there were cases where the video file number was not able to be reset. This bug has been fixed.
  • In Relay Rec, there were cases where the video file number was reset after formatting the SD Memory Card. This bug has been fixed.
  • In Backup Rec, there were cases where the file number did not reset even after applying the resetting function. This bug has been fixed.
  • The image quality when applying the following settings has been improved: Extended low ISO, i.Dynamic (Intelligent D-range Control) and Highlight Shadow.
  • The Bluetooth Remote Control function can be used with Image App, which will also be updated at the same timing with the GH5 firmware release.
  • If the camera has not completed image transmission when it is turned off, it restarts transmission when it is turned on with the Auto Transfer function.

Panasonic says the impetus for GH5 firmware version 2.0 came from talking to prominent photographers and videographers around the world who have used the GH5 and asking their opinion on which functions needed improving.

panasonic says the new GH5 firmware version 2.0 release date will be at the end of September 2017. Visit Panasonic’s website for more information.