Video

Watch above to see Jordan Drake's take on the G95 for video, as seen on DPReview TV.

We know that Panasonic can make some impressive video/stills hybrid cameras, like the GH5 and G9, but we're less impressed with the DC-G95 due to its substantial 4K crop.

Key takeaways:

  • The G95 has a substantial 1.25x crop when capturing 4K video, so you'll need the system's widest lenses for wide-angle videography
  • The camera doesn't use the full sensor area for 4K, which will negatively impact video quality as light levels drop
  • Outright video quality is worse than the Fujifilm X-T30 and Sony a6400, but in bright conditions, it's still quite good.
  • The camera features the V-Log L profile, which captures more dynamic range, adding flexibility when color grading, but it's only 8-bit and with already noisy footage
  • The camera's DFD autofocus system tends to 'wobble' while focuses, which can be disconcerting

In-depth

On paper, the G95 has a impressive list of video-related features. First and foremost is 4K capture: UHD 4K at 30 or 24p (well come back to this in a moment). You've also got your fully articulating LCD for vlogging, mic and headphone sockets, V-Log L support (which adds more flexibility when color grading), and 5-axis image stabilization. Add in unlimited recording time, zebra patterns, audio level adjustment and the availability of exposure compensation when using full manual mode and Auto ISO, and the G95 sounds like a gem. But...

The blue box shows the area of the frame that the G95 is using to capture video, Cameras like the Sony a6400 use the entire width.

Unlike its peers, like the Fujifilm X-T30 and Sony a6400, which use the full width of their sensors for 4K video capture, the DC-G95 uses only a portion of it that's roughly equivalent to a 1" sensor.

The main downside to this is with regard to angle-of-view. The 1.25x crop limits your wide-angle options become. So that 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens that may have come with your G95 now has an equivalent focal length of 30-150mm. One of the widest Micro Four Thirds lenses available, the 7-14mm (Olympus and Panasonic both make variants, and neither are bargains) is equivalent to 17.5-35mm, so that's about the best you can get.

Since the camera isn't oversampling like the a6400 shown in the widget above, the G95 isn't able to capture as much detail. As you scroll around the scene, the difference is very clear. Video quality is noticeably better when you drop down to 1080/60p.

For both 4K and 1080 video, using the electronic IS system does not degrade video quality nor result in a further crop. The fact that the camera isn't using the full sensor area gives it plenty of flexibility to select what part of the sensor to use, allowing for effective image stabilization.

The high speed 1080/120p mode has better quality than the Sony a6400 but falls behind the Fujifilm X-T30.

The G95 will perform worse when light levels drop, since there's less surface area capturing light compared to cameras that use the full sensor width.

Believe it or not, there is one benefit to not reading out the full extent of the sensor, and that is rolling shutter: footage from the G95 has very little.

Video autofocus

As with stills, autofocus is good in most situations, with accurate face and eye detection, though you (again) cannot switch between multiple faces. At default settings, the camera is a bit slow to focus on a new subject, though that can be adjusted. The 'wobble' from the DFD autofocus system doesn't make for compelling footage either, and you can see for yourself in the DPReview TV clip at the top of the page.

Note that autofocus is not available in the camera's high frame rate modes.