Panasonic recently announced the Lumix GH5 Micro-Four-Thirds camera which I look forward to taking out for a spin. I’ve been shooting with its predecessor, the GH4, over the past year, and I really like the camera. The GH4 has made its mark as a popular camera among independent and documentary filmmakers. I like the fact that one camera can perform as both a still camera and a movie camera. I believe the GH5 will be as popular if not more than the GH4 as a small and versatile still and video camera.
The GH5 has been upgraded to be an even better 4K camera than the GH4 was with an improved 20-megapixel sensor without an optical low-pass filter in order to provide sharper images. Thanks to a new image processor the video should not exhibit any rolling shutter effect which has become a watermark of sorts of CMOS sensor cameras. The camera will be able to record 4K video in the Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) format in camera. 4K footage can be recorded up to 60 frames per second. 4:2:2 10-bit recording will be available in 4K up to 30fps, and this is probably the most significant improvement over the GH4 making it easier to color correct and grade video in post. Slow motion shooting will be available at up to 180fps in 1080p mode. The GH5 can capture video at 150Mbps and with a firmware update due shortly after the camera starts shipping, 4:2:2 10-bit at 400Mbps for 4K 30fps video.
Video is not the only thing that’s better in the GH5, The number of focus points has been increased from 49 in the GH4 to 225 in the GH5 and the auto focus speed for shooting stills has been brought down to 0.05 seconds. The camera will be able to shoot nine stills per second with the auto focus system active for every shot. The GH5 sports five-axis gyro-controlled stabilization for more stable shots.
Just like the GH4, the GH5 features a weather-sealed magnesium-alloy body that is splash- and dust-resistant. The camera is expected to start shipping in late March and will set you back $2,000. I’ve been recommending the GH4 as the best overall value when you need a compact yet full-featured camera for both stills and video, and I suspect as soon as I get my hands on the GH5 and take it for a spin I will upgrade my recommendation to the GH5. Panasonic has found a sweet spot with their GH series of Lumix Micro-Four-Thirds cameras when it comes to balancing price, size, weight, and performance.
- Format: Micro Four Thirds (2x Crop Factor)
- Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds
- Sensor: 17.3 x 13 mm CMOS, 20.3 MP, 5184 x 3888 pixels
- ISO Sensitivity: 200-25600
- Image Stabilization: 5-Way Sensor-Shift
- Still Aspect Ratios: 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9
- Still image formats: JPEG, RAW
- Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3 or 16:9
- Video formats: MOV (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC), MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC/AVCHD
- Audio formats: LPCM (2ch 48kHz/16-bit), Dolby 2ch (AVCHD)
- Video Recording: 4096 x 2160p up to 29.97 fps; 3840 x 2160p up to 59.94 fps; 1920 x 1080p up to 180fps.
- Audio Recording: Built-in Mic (Stereo) or external mic (3.5mm stereo jack)
- Audio Monitoring: 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
- Video Monitoring: Micro-HDMI jack
- Focus: Manual or Continuous-servo AF or Flexible (AFF) or Single-servo AF (S)
- Shutter: Electronic & Mechanical, 60-1/8000 second in still mode, 1/24-1/16000 second in Video Mode
- Continuous still shooting up to 12fps at 20.3 MP; up to 30 fps at 18 MP; up to 60 fps at 8 MP
- Memory Cards: SDHC or SDXC
- Dimensions: 5.5″W x 3.9″H x 3.4″D
- Weight: 1.60lb with battery and memory card