Product Snap Verdict
As well as stills the GH5 is designed to shoot 4K video and it has an extensive range of features to give it appeal to professional videographers. Aspects such as the variable frame rates and 10-bit recording will be of particular interest along with the ability to add V-LogL recording via an optional software key.
Panasonic has used a new 20Mp sensor and processing engine for the GH5 and it’s capable of producing impressive stills and outstanding video.
For Panasonic GH5
- Extensive video specification
- High-quality stills and video
- High-quality EVF and vari-angle touch-screen
Against Panasonic GH5
- AF system not up to shooting sport
- V-Log modes are an extra expense
- Badly positioned Display button
What is the Panasonic GH5?
The GH5 is Panasonic’s flagship compact system or mirrorless camera and it has a mini-DSLR design, featuring a high-quality electronic viewfinder and vari-angle touch-screen. As a Micro Four Thirds camera it’s compatible with an extensive collection of Micro Four Thirds mount lenses from Panasonic and Olympus as well as third-party manufacturers.
Inside the GH5 is a 20Mp Four Thirds type CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter to allow it to record more detail. This is paired with a new Lumix processing engine which enables a native sensitivity range of ISO 200-25,600. This can be expanded to a low setting of ISO 100 – that’s the same as the GH4.
The processor also enables a maximum continuous shooting rate of 12fps (frames per second) in single AF mode, or 9fps with continuous autofocusing.
Crucially, the GH5’s sensor can move to enable Panasonic’s 5-axis Dual IS II system and work in harmony with stabilised lenses to extend the safe hand-holding shutter speed and smooth out wobbles during video recording.
Videographers will be pleased to learn that there’s unlimited 4K video recording – most cameras can only record in bursts of up to 29minutes and 59 seconds. There’s also a choice between MOV, MP4, AVCHD Progressive and AVCHD formats at a variety of frame rates, the system frequency can be set to 59.94Hz, 50.00Hz or 24.00Hz.
In addition, there’s a Waveform Monitor and Vector Scope to meet the needs of professional videographers. This embeds SMPTE-compliant Time Code with Rec Run or Free Run counting to aid with multiple device synchronisation.
It’s possible to shoot 4096 x 2160 4K at 24p (or 3840 x 2160 4K at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p with no cropping), 4:2:2 10-bit Full HD (1080p) recording and 4K 4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra MP4/MOV (apart from at 60/50p) and Full HD 4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra recording. The step-up from 8-bit to 10-bit recording vastly increases the range of colours that can be recorded.
A firmware update has also added high-resolution Anamorphic Video Mode and Hybrid Log Gamma for 4K HDR Video (for playback on HDR compatible televisions).
It’s also possible to add V-LogL recording via an optional software key (DMW-SFU1), with LUT (Look Up Table) and V-LogL View Assist to help experienced videographers get the colour and contrast they want.
Further good news for video shooters is that the GH5 can output live to an external recorder and simultaneous internal (there are dual SD card ports) and external recording is possible. Plus there’s an optional adaptor (DMW-XLR1) to allow an XLR microphone to be used for sound recording.
4K Photo Mode and 6K Photo Mode
Panasonic’s 4K Photo Mode harnesses video technology to capture 8Mp stills at 30fps (frames per second). The GH5 can also shoot in 4K Photo mode at 60fps. In addition, it has 6K Photo Mode (with Rolling Shutter Distortion Correction) which allows 18Mp images to be shot at 30fps. This makes a much more attractive proposition as the drop in pixel count is much reduced.
Following Nikon’s lead with SnapBridge, the GH5 has Bluetooth technology in addition to Wi-Fi connectivity for to enable an ‘always on’ wireless connection and automatic image transfer.
Panasonic GH5 Autofocus
As we have seen with the Fuji X-T2, Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and Sony A6500, autofocus performance is one of the key targets for improvement with mirrorless system cameras. Panasonic has stuck with contrast detection (with Depth From Defocus Technology), spurning a hybrid system that adds phase detection, but it has also put considerable effort into developing the GH5’s AF system. Its sensor read-out is twice the speed of the GH4’s this helps bring a claimed response time of 0.0.5sec.
In addition, the number of AF points has been boosted from 49 to 225 and there’s a new customisation option that provides control over aspects such as AF sensitivity, AF area switching sensitivity and movement predictability that should be of use to those shooting action.
In video mode, the autofocus can be set to adjust with constant speed, for smoother, more professional looking adjustments. In addition, you can select two points within the scene and the focus will adjust from one to the other.
|Camera Name||Panasonic Lumix GH5|
|Date announced:||4th Jan 2017|
|Price at launch:||£1,699 body only, £1,899 with 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, £2,199 with Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens|
|Sensor size:||Four Thirds type (17.3 x 13mm)|
|Effective pixel count:||20.3 million|
|Lens/Mount:||Micro Four Thirds|
|Processor:||Venus Engine 10|
|Sensitivity range:||Still image: 200-25600 (expandable to 100-25,600) Video Mode: 200-12800 (expandable to 100-25,600)|
|AF System:||225-point Contrast detection|
|Max shooting rate:||12fps with AF-S, 9fps with AF-C|
|Max video resolution:||4K (4096 x 2160) at 24p, 4K (3840 x 2160) at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p with no cropping|
|Storage:||2x SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II|
|Viewfinder:||21mm electronic with 3,680,000 dots OLED|
|Screen:||Touch-sensitive vari-angle 3.2-inch RGBW LCD with 1,620,000 dots|
|Dimensions:||138.5 x 98.1 x 87.4 mm / 5.45 x 3.86 x 3.44 inch (excluding protrusions)|
|Weight:||645g / 1.42 lb (Body only, 725g / 1.60 lb (SD card, Battery, Body), ), 935g / 2.06 lb (SD card x 1, Battery, H-FS12060 lens included), 1030g / 2.27 lb (SD card x 1, Battery, H-HSA12035 lens included), 1045g / 2.30 lb (SD card x 1, Battery, H-ES12060 lens included)|