Panasonic DC-GH5 Overview
Upgraded, redesigned, and filled with features, the Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera from Panasonic provides an outstanding imaging platform for shooters who demand some of the best video and still photography quality they can get in a single compact camera. At the heart of the camera is a 20.3MP Digital Live MOS sensor and a newly developed Venus Engine processor, which both offer dramatically improved processing times over its predecessor. This enables the ability to record 4K video at up to 60 fps, 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording with select settings, Full HD video at up to 180 fps, 12 fps continuous shooting, and sensitivities up to ISO 25600. Also, the camera features built-in 5-axis sensor stabilization, which can work with certain lenses to activate Dual I.S. 2 for highly effective shake correction that can compensate for up to 5 stops of shutter speed. Other improvements include a speedier and more accurate Advanced DFD autofocus system that can lock on in just 0.05 seconds, as well as 6K PHOTO at 30 fps and 4K PHOTO at up to 60 fps.
Along with all these internal improvements, the body received some significant upgrades as well. For viewing and composing images both the 0.76x OLED viewfinder and 3.2″ free-angle touchscreen received resolution bumps to 3.68m dots and 1.62 m dots, respectively. This will make shooting more comfortable and more accurate. The magnesium alloy body is now freezeproof to 14°F in addition to splash and dustproof. For fast image transfer and saving, there are now two UHS-II SD card slots. Additionally, for a completely wireless setup it offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for advanced functionality when paired with a mobile app.
20.3MP Digital Live MOS Sensor and Venus Engine
4K Video Recording
The GH5 is an exceptionally capable video camera in addition to its outstanding stills capabilities. The flagship feature is UHD 4K video at up to 60 fps, though another excellent spec is the ability to record 4:2:2 10-bit files at resolutions up to DCI and UHD 4K at 24/30 fps. A full-size HDMI port is present on the camera for high-quality output at 4:2:2 10-bit in all settings for use with external monitors and recorders. The camera also offers high bit-rate recording for highly detailed images free of compression artifacts.
For more advanced users, multiple picture styles are available to provide a more gradable image, such as CINELIKE V and CINELIKE D, as well as an in-camera LUT to make monitoring easier. Also, users will have access to overcranking and undercranking settings which provide speeds up to 2.5x slower in 4K (60 fps) and 7.5x slower in Full HD (180 fps). Also, a 4K Anamorphic mode is available, which will let you record in a proper 4:3 ratio for adjustment in post-production.
The GH5 is designed to be an expandable system, with multiple options available to help improve video recording capabilities. Examples of this are an optional V-Log L upgrade and separately available accessories such as the XLR Microphone Adapter that provides XLR inputs and physical controls through a hot shoe connection. Users can also use standard microphones and headphones via the 3.5mm input and output jacks.
6K and 4K PHOTO
Utilizing the GH5’s video recording capabilities, a trio of still shooting modes are available for recording continuous 8MP stills at a 60 or 30 fps shooting rate or 18MP stills at a 30 fps shooting rate:
- Burst: This mode will allow you to continuously record, making it ideal for instances where you need a fast frame rate in order to capture the best moment.
- Pre-Burst: This mode is ideal for times when you’re unsure of the critical moment to press the shutter button and will record images one second prior to and one second after pressing the shutter button in order to give you 60 frames to choose from.
- Burst (S/S): This mode most closely follows the video recording process, and allows you to playback your video, pause at the chosen moment, and use the shutter button to mark a chosen frame from the video and save it as a single 8 or 18 MP frame.
Dual I.S. 2
Body Design and Built-In Wi-Fi
- A large OLED Live View Finder has an impressive 3.86m-dot resolution and 0.76x magnification for eye-level composition.
- A larger means for image composition and playback, the 3.2″ 1.62m-dot rear RGBW LCD monitor has a free angle, tilt and swivel design to support viewing from a variety of angles. It is also a touchscreen, which permits intuitive menu navigation and settings control.
- Dual UHS-II SD card slots are present which provides settings such as Relay Recording to automatically switch cards when one is full; Backup Recording, which recording the same data to both cards simultaneously; and Allocation Recording, which lets you save certain files to each card for easier organization.
- Constructed from magnesium alloy with die-cast front and rear frames, the GH5 features a durable design that also incorporates extensive sealing at each joint, dial, and button to render it both splash- and dust-proof as well as freezeproof to 14°F.
- A joystick is available on the rear of the camera to make changing many settings easier and more intuitive, such as changing a focus point.
- The sleek flat-body profile incorporates both front and rear dials for intuitive control over aperture and shutter speed settings. Multiple assignable function buttons are also available, as well as a dedicated exposure compensation dial.
- Built-in 5 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC and Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy allows for wireless image sharing and remote camera control from linked smartphones and tablets. Bluetooth LE also enables a constant connection to your mobile device, allowing for functions such as geolocation and automatic image transfer.
225-Area Advanced Depth-From-Defocus AF System
For accelerated autofocus performance, and Advanced DFD (Depth-From-Defocus) technology is employed to quickly calculate the distance to subjects and adjust the focusing position in as little as 0.05 seconds, which enables continuous shooting up to 9 fps with continuous AF. This contrast-detection type focus method benefits both still and video recording modes, as well as subject tracking applications where subject color, size, and motion vectors are used to intelligently lock-onto the moving subjects and ensure precise focus. The sensitivity and speed can be adjusted to further improve performance with certain subjects. It also features 225 AF areas which provide excellent control over where the camera will focus. Additionally, supporting working in low-light conditions, a Starlight AF feature enables accurate AF performance down to -4 EV.
Benefitting manual focus operation, focus peaking is available that highlights bright edges of contrast with a colored outline for quickly recognizing your focus point, as well as Touch MF Assist for touch-to-focus operation.
Other Camera Features
- A mechanical focal plane shutter enables a fast maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 sec., as well as a top flash sync speed of 1/250 sec. An electronic shutter function also avails a top shutter speed of 1/16,000 sec. to better enable working in bright conditions and with wider aperture settings.
- Raw image files can be processed in-camera for a more streamlined post-production workflow.
- Depending on the lens in use, the included DMW-BLF19 battery provides approximately 400 shots per charge when using the rear monitor, or 380 with the electronic viewfinder.
- Photo Style modes: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, Portrait, Custom, Cinelike D, and Cinelike V.
- Creative Control modes: Expressive, Retro, Old Days, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Monochrome, Dynamic Monochrome, Rough Monochrome, Silky Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Toy Pop, Bleach Bypass, Miniature Effect, Soft Focus, Fantasy, Star Filter, One Point Color, and Sunshine.
Firmware Update Schedule
- Full HD 4:2:2 10-bit video recording.
- 400 Mbps 4:2:2 10-bit All-Intra video recording in 4K 30p, 25p, and 24p as well as Full HD.
- Higher resolution Anamorphic mode.
- Hybrid Log Gamma in Photo Style mode for 4K HDR video recording.
- USB tethering.