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Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan and Kenneth Merrill, back with another camera review. Today we have the new Panasonic GH5 in house. It’s the first mirrorless DSLR-style camera to have 10-bit 4:2:2 internal video capability. Let’s take a closer look at this micro Four Thirds camera.
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Video Features of the Panasonic GH5
Video really is the reason to buy this camera. As stated before, the GH5 has 10-bit 4:2:2 capability. The mirrorless factor means you get great autofocus, with tons of autofocus points. An electronic view finder is nice because you see what you’re getting. Another neat feature is the ability to zoom in when using that EFV. So you can punch in, manually focus, and take the shot.
V-log is available to purchase as a license. It’s a very flat log, similar to Sony’s S-log. There is no log internally. With the help of SLR magic or other adapters, the Panasonic Lumix GH5 is anamorphic, and we can’t wait to see the results. The camera shoots 60fps at 4k, which Kenneth’s Canon C300 can’t even do. The GH5 shoots that 60fps 4k internally, plus 60fps at 4k 10-bit externally. And our sources say that in the summer, Panasonic will release a firmware update that allows 400 megabits per second in 10-bit mode. That’s the same as Kenneth’s C300 ($12,000), on a camera that costs less that $2,000.
One thing we should mention (because we didn’t mention it with the Sony and got nailed for it) is 5 axis stabilization. The great thing about this is you can use vintage lens and still have stabilization. The 5 axis stabilization provides a smoother look and makes easier to use while handholding. It makes the GH5 easy to use without a rig.
A really interesting thing about this camera is the fact that it has no record limit. It has two SD slots and will automatically change to the empty card once the first is full. While it’s still recording you can open the slot door, and replace the full card. This is a vastly underrated feature of the GH5.
I enjoyed shooting with the Panasonic GH5. This camera does some amazing things. It has fast autofocus, with better tracking than a DSLR. The curve and tonality is beautiful, with very creamy results. We do seem to lose the crisp detail we’re used to seeing in the full frame Canon 5D Mark III. Part of that could just be the lens we used, but I have a feeling it’s also due to the smaller, 20 megapixel Four Thirds sensor.
I am very impressed with how the GH5 holds the highlights, even in direct sun. This camera has a great dynamic range. Everything from bright white to shadow is creamy and smooth.
For hobbyists who don’t need 40mp, this would be an incredible option.
The GH5 has 215 focus points. We had our model walk towards us to test autofocus and it held focus and had no buffer issue at all, even when shooting RAW and JPEG.
6K Video for Stills
Another thing we love about this camera is the ability to shoot short video in 6k, and pull 16 megabyte jpeg stills from that footage. This absolutely has a photo application, giving you the ability to capture objects in motion without having to use a trigger, and getting more shots per try. Later you can go into post and take different elements of the stills to composite one final image. You can change the shutter speed to get rid of issues with movement.
ISO Test- Stills
We were surprised by our stills ISO test. The lowest ISO on the GH5 is 200. Noise appears fairly quickly. At 800 we’re already seeing noise, and 1600 is probably the limit for acceptable noise. This camera isn’t a strong low light contender, but it is in an acceptable range.
We were really interested in the V-log for this camera, being that it’s 10-bit. Historically when trying to shoot S-log in Sony, or C-log in Canon, the cameras only have 8 bits of info, which is not a lot of info. Check out the video starting at 11:30 for sample footage. Vlog has tons of detail and pushes the entire exposure range down.
The autofocus with video on the GH5 didn’t perform as well as expected or hoped, as the model walked towards us. Within 4-12 feet it held, but otherwise struggled. We’re hoping that’s user error, so if you’ve had a different experience please let us know.
Stabilization and Rolling Shutter
We were blown away by the image stabilization and lack of rolling shutter on this camera. The footage Kenneth shot hand holding and walking along was steadier than a lot of footage shot on held on the shoulder or even some glidecams. Kenneth suggests the Panasonic GH5 as an alternate to the Sony a6500 as run and gun.
ISO Test- Video
See the footage at 16:12 for the video ISO test. This camera seems to do better than GH4. 400 is very clean. The footage is in standard profile, not V-log. Kenneth doesn’t recommend shooting a flat profile in low light. At 1600 it starts to dance. 3200 the grain is a lot more visible. Kenneth would feel comfortable shooting up to 1600, maybe 3200 depending on the application. .
The Panasonic GH5 is a great camera. It has application for stills, surely, with fabulous dynamic range and smooth, creamy tones. And it’s video capabilities give it an extremely strong place in the market. We think it’s one of the best options at this price point, and even above it.
Let us know if you’re excited about this camera and how you’ll be using it. Share your images from it. Reach out to us on our Facebook community page. You can check out more of the images I shot with it on my Instagram and Facebook page.
And remember, keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.