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Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Review

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Review

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Review

This hybrid line released by Panasonic has this as its fifth proponent and it comes with a 20MP Four Thirds sensor as well as a a large set of features for videos that pushes it forward much more than the previous GH4 managed to come.

The predecessor is now a lower-cost option for the fans of the series and it might be sufficient for those who are satisfied with its features but the GH5 does stand out with things such as the in-body stabilization or the 4K video which will definitely prove to be worth the upgrade if you are into filming.

General Features

We already mentioned the 20MP Four Thirds sensor which doesn’t have OLPF, the image stabilization system is in five axis and comes with ‘Dual IS 2’ support and the 4K footage is taken with the use of the sensor’s full width, meaning that it is oversampled from 5.1K footage.

Here are some of the other general features:

– Internal 4K/30p 10-bit 4:2:2 video capture
– 4K/59.94p and 50p shooting with 10-bit 4:2:2 output or 8-bit, 4:2:0 internal recording
– 1080 video at up to 180p, enabling 7.5x slow-motion
– 9 fps shooting with continuous autofocus
– Advanced DFD autofocus
– Dual UHS II card slots (V60 ready)
– Autofocus point joystick
– 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
– Pre-configurable rack focus mode
– Waveform and vectorscope monitors
– Paid upgrade to enable V-LogL video capture with LUT-based preview display

Other Features

Panasonic has also improved the camera performance and behavior aside from the added features so even if you don’t plan on using the 4K video or the other stuff too soon, it might still be a good idea to upgrade.

There are two slots for SD cards which support higher speed cards and you also have a full size HDMI Port that comes with extra support included. The shutter mechanism is quieter and has much less rolling and the LCD Panel is very sharp with a great touchscreen. The menu is also improved and the controls are very intuitive so it will be easy to adjust the focus point.

Two firmware updates have already been announced, one released in April 2017 and the other during the summer. The first one wants to bring 10-bit 4:2:2 1080p capture, while the second one comes with DCI/UHD 4K 4:2:2 10-bit recording at 400Mbps as well as 1080/60p 4:2:2 10-bit recording at 200Mbps. Both of these will use All-Intra compression and anamorphic 4K capture will also be supported then.

4K Video at 60p

This is probably the most attractive feature of the GH5 as you can now shoot 4K footage at up to 59.94p and 48p or 50p if you are shooting for PAL. The full sensor readout means that the footage is oversampled from 5.1K and thus the entire size of the sensor is being used for a sharper result. The internal recording is limited to eight bit 4:2:0 IPB encoding with up to 150Mbps but if you add an external recorder then this quality can become higher.

The 4K shooting doesn’t pose any time restrictions so it is highly versatile, making it a good choice for many occasions. Also, compared to the GH4, this camera can capture 10-bit 4:2:2 footage internally and this quality was only available before with the addition of an external recorder so you don’t need so much extra hardware for great results.

Advanced Depth From Defocus

The DFD system was introduced before by Panasonic but with the GH5 we have the latest version of it. This system uses pairs of images and a deep knowledge of the out-of-focus rendering of lenses to create a depth map of the scene that aims to make the focusing process quicker. With more processing power, the GH5 can sample the scenes at a higher frequency and thus the depth map can have a higher resolution that will lead to better focus.

The interpretation of the movement in the scene now features a more advanced algorithm with the GH5 and this reduces the risk that the camera gets defocused while building the depth map. The AF configuration options are now also more diverse and this helps you set the camera to understand subject movement better and thus respond more accurately to it.

Still Image Processing

The two main purposes for which the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 was designed are to take still pictures and video footage. As it has more processing power than its predecessor, this permits a wider area of the image to be taken into consideration when calculating the color values each pixel has and this provides a hreater JPEG resolution from the captured image.

The additional processing power also means that the sharpening is more advanced compared to the previous models and thus the over-shoot will be reduced so you will have less halos or edges with high contrasts that will give the image an unnatural feel.

Advanced Video-Derived Shooting Modes and 6K Photo

The stills have features like the 4K Photo, the Post Focus and the Focus Stacking meaning that the GH5 provides higher resolution versions of them and the pixel count sensor is better here. The processor can add what Panasonic calls the ‘6K Photo’ mode which gets up to 30fps and we also have the aforementioned 4K Photo at 60 frames per second. The mode can be triggered in several modes so that you can extract the moment you want to capture with a lot of precision. We have put the 6K mode in quotes as it doesn’t exactly mean that the images will come from an area of the sensor that is 6000 pixels across. It is capturing the images at a resolution that is similar to that of a 6000 x 3000 video and thus it is somewhat misleading to call it 6K.

Overall this camera is going to be really amazing in the hands of a professional as it comes with many features that other cameras don’t but it might seem like too much for a beginner.

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Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Review