Video stills comparison

Our studio scene is useful for evaluating resolution and image artefacts, though keep in mind that it doesn't give us information about things like motion blur, rolling shutter, or how well the footage stands up to color grading, all of which are best evaluated by watching real world footage and working with sample videos.

Panasonic told us that they benchmarked the GH5 against the Sony a6500 and Sony a7R II for video, so we'll start our comparison with those cameras, along with the GH4 for reference. Thanks to full-sensor oversampling, the GH5 clearly extracts more detail at the center target than the GH4, which uses a native (one capture pixel for each output pixel) 4K crop at the center of the sensor. The Sony a7S II produces similar results to the GH4, unsurprising given that it also uses a native 4K crop (albeit, using the full width of its full frame sensor).

In contrast, the Sony a6500, which also employs oversampling in 4K mode, extracts a bit more detail than the GH5, though with more noticeable aliasing. We can look around the scene and see other places where it extracts extra detail as well, and it consistently looks a bit sharper. It's possible this is due to the a6500's slightly higher resolution sensor (24MP vs 20MP) or to a more sophisticated downsampling algorithm, and certainly helped by much higher sharpening levels.

What's particularly interesting to look at is how the different cameras approach highly detailed areas. The GH5 appears to resolve up to about 2000 lines per picture height (close to the maximum theoretically possible when vertical resolution is 2160 pixels), beyond which it seems to filter anything above this, rather than misrepresent it. The result is very little aliasing, or moiré. In contrast, the Sonys aren't making any attempt to suppress higher frequencies, meaning it resolves slight more detail, but shows noticeable aliasing. This can be seen on the Siemens stars as well.

This has real world implications when you're shooting something that involves very fine, repeating patterns, such as fabrics used in clothing. Due to differing approaches, the GH5 would likely produce less moiré at the expense of some very fine detail, while the a6500 might extract a bit more detail at the risk of introducing moiré.

We all love 4K, but a lot of work still gets done at 1080p. Here we can see the legendary quality of the a7S II, thanks to it’s very precise 2x oversampling, however the GH5 can squeeze out as much, if not more, detail in places. It also outperforms its predecessor, the GH4. The a6500 is almost embarrassing at times, considering how much detail its sensor is capable of capturing.

Compared to rival Micro Four Thirds and APS-C cameras, the GH5 maintains a solid performance, though the D500 and X-T2 (which also oversamples) can hold up very well against it in places. But not everywhere, particularly the Nikon, which uses fairly aggressive sharpening. As we've noted previously, the E-M1 II looks a bit soft in 4K, but when switched from UHD to DCI 4K its resolving power improves significantly. It's the one case where the E-M1 II slightly outperforms the GH5.

The only situation in which the GH5 gives up a bit of detail is when shooting 1080p using the Variable Frame Rate mode, which allows it to capture very high frame rates (up to 180fps). It appears that the camera gives up some some quality in the name of speed. The tradeoff is that you get the option to shoot at 180fps.

The take home message here is that the GH5 is impressively good. It’s not necessarily the top performer in every single situation, but it's consistently at or near the top anywhere we look. As a video tool, this counts for a lot, since you can depend on the camera to deliver the goods no matter what type of footage you need or what you point the camera at.

GH5 sample videos

Our first sample video was shot during a visit by the Panasonic team to our offices in Seattle. To have some fun, we toured a local distillery and took along a couple GH5s to document our experience. It's a good opportunity to see how the camera handles some low light, high ISO scenes.

Video by Dale Baskin, Richard Butler, and Carey Rose
Our second sample was shot at Seattle's Pike Place Market. To handle the high dynamic range in some scenes we recorded in VLog to which we applied a LUT in post processing. We performed fairly minimal color grading in order to show what the camera gives you to work with. (Undoubtedly, one could add some extra contrast and saturation.)
We also wanted to test the camera's auto white balance to see how it would handle a variety of lighting situations, including mixed indoor/outdoor lighting, and we haven't made any white balance corrections in this footage. Finally, the music in this video was recorded using the GH5's built-in microphones.
Video by Dale Baskin