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15 Conclusion & Samples
|The GH5 records beautiful video, including high quality Log video, that is very easy to color grade.
Frame from video by Dale Baskin
Review and conclusions based on use with Firmware v1.0. A list of the changes added in firmware v2.0 is included and we hope to test these features soon.
Let's stipulate up front that video is what's driving most of the interest in the GH5.It's packed with video features, several of which we've never seen on a stills camera before. But don't assume the GH5 is only about video. Panasonic has done a lot of work to improve it as a photography tool as well.
The GH5 hits some numbers which are important to serious videographers: 4:2:2 color and 10-bit video, recorded internally. This means the GH5 can capture twice as much color data, in 64 times as much color depth, as cameras shooting 4:2:0 8-bit video.
Equally important are tools for shooting video, such as VLog gamma, built-in LUT display, and waveform and vectorscope monitors. With the GH5, Panasonic has blurred the line between its pro video and still cameras to create a product that appropriately meets the needs of its users. As video becomes more important, we'd love to see more companies follow this path.
One issue that will be controversial is the $99 upgrade to enable VLog gamma. While Panasonic says this will limit its use to those who actually understand how to use it, we feel it's the wrong approach. The GH5 is not only the flagship in Panasonic's Lumix line, but a camera that will likely become a reference against which others are measured. Omitting a key video feature just isn't consistent with its keystone position in the market. We're not opposed to Panasonic having a deliberate process to enable the feature, but if there's any camera that should have Log video built into the price, the GH5 is it.
In terms of stills, the updated 20MP sensor in the GH5 offers higher resolution than the GH4 without significantly impacting noise levels, default JPEG output has been improved in some respects, and the new autofocus system makes it more capable for sports and action than you might expect.
But wait, there's more! Panasonic has already announced two firmware updates that will land in 2017, which will significantly improve the camera's video capabilities, adding 4:2:2 10-bit support for 1080p, and a 400Mbps All-Intra codec for 4K shooting. But make no mistake – this is a very capable camera today. The firmware updates will simply make it better.
The GH5 is the largest Micro Four Thirds camera we've seen to date. This may seem counterintuitive on a system for which compact size is a major selling point, but on the GH5 the size feels reasonable. When shooting video, ergonomics and easy access to buttons are important. The magnesium alloy body is splash proof, dust proof, and freeze proof (down to -10C, 14F), and it feels like a pro tool in your hand.
|The GH5 is large for a Micro Four Thirds camera, but on the GH5 the size feels reasonable, providing very good ergonomics for both still and video shooting.|
The camera has a sophisticated image stabilization system, which includes in-body stabilization, Panasonic's 'Dual IS 2' (which combines in-body with in-lens stabilization when used with its own lenses), and electronic stabilization in video mode. Electronic stabilization results in a 1.1x crop factor, but it doesn't seem to significantly affect image quality. Between all these systems, it's possible to take very stable, hand-held video and stills.
The big, bright, high-resolution electronic viewfinder is one of the best we've seen and is a joy to use under most circumstances. It's not field sequential, so there's no color tearing, and it's so high-resolution that individual pixels aren't noticeable. Unfortunately, if you enable the highest burst shooting rates, you'll notice the resolution drop so far as to make it impossible to see what's even in focus. But, if you're primarily shooting video, or use the lower burst rates or shoot single frames, you'll find the viewfinder is beyond reproach.
The GH5 gains a new 20MP Four Thirds-type sensor with no optical low-pass filter. This new sensor offers improved resolution without any noise penalty relative to the older 16MP chip (even showing some advantage at ISO 3200 and above), and offers good dynamic range performance for its size.
Panasonic has been hard at work tweaking its JPEG engine in the GH5. Overall, JPEG output shows more pleasingly saturated colors, and yellows in particular skew much less toward green than previous Panasonic cameras. JPEG sharpening has also been improved, but it's still lacking in sophistication compared to other systems, leaving behind occasional stair-stepping and sharpening artifacts.
To go along with 9fps burst shooting, Panasonic has revamped the autofocus system on the GH5, allowing for fine-tuning of AF-C behavior. Our testing under controlled circumstances showed these parameters have a fairly minor effect on our 'hit rate,' until you reach the extremes. However, the more discussion we had Panasonic, the less confident we became in our ability to configure the camera to any given shooting situation. We hope the camera descriptions, user manual or presets are updated at some point to make this easier.
|A revamped AF system and 9fps burst shooting make it the best GH camera yet for shooting action.
Photo by Carey Rose
The AF joystick is a great addition if you use zone focusing or single points to follow the action yourself. If you enable Tracking AF (which puts up overall good performance in both our controlled tests and 'real world' use), you can only initiate tracking from the center of your frame and the AF joystick only serves as a 'cancellation' for tracking; we wish this cancellation was automatically done upon release of the shutter button.
The GH5 uses the full width of its sensor to capture 4K video, resulting in oversampled footage that is extremely sharp and in the same league as other cameras using this technique, including the Sony a6300 and Fujifilm X-T2. 1080p footage is impressive as well and, in terms of resolution, gives the class leading Sony a7S II a run for its money.
Rolling shutter is very well behaved, and improved from the GH4. This is impressive given that the GH5 needs to scan the full width of the sensor to read each frame. Unless you're shooting extremely fast moving subjects or doing rapid pans, you're unlikely to notice it much in everyday shooting.
Panasonic has made significant advances in temporal noise reduction as well. Even at low ISO the camera exhibits noticeably less temporal noise than the GH4, at both 4K and 1080p resolutions.
Between full sensor capture and improved noise reduction, low light performance in 4K has been significantly improved. Even at ISO 6400, low light video still looks remarkably good, though the GH5's Micro Four Thirds sensor still won't be a match in low light compared to cameras with larger sensors, such as the a7S II.
About the only place where quality takes a hit is when using Variable Frame Rate mode to shoot high frame rates in 1080p (up to 180fps). The tradeoff is that you have the option to shoot 180fps.
One thing that fell outside the scope of this review is a detailed analysis of the camera's 8-bit vs. 10-bit video. Our anecdotal experience working on this review has shown us that 10-bit video looks beautiful and grades very well. We're planning a separate article to explore this subject in-depth.
Manual focus while shooting video is fairly easy thanks to the GH5's effective focus peaking. Unfortunately, although it's possible to magnify live view to assist with focusing, it's still not possible to do so once you start recording.
Despite improvements, autofocus in video is still hampered by reliance on a contrast detect autofocus system. There's less focus hunting than on the GH4, but it still exists, and is often visible as a fine wobble when the AF system tries to make minor adjustments. On the plus side, Tracking AF is very sticky and effective, and face detection works well, though it loses subjects more easily, and keeps less consistent focus, than a more sophisticated system such as the Canon 5D IV's dual pixel autofocus.
The new Focus Transition Function, which lets you specify focus distances in the manner of a focus puller, can be a very useful tool if you shoot blocked scenes, such as in narrative filmmaking or product videos.
Panasonic's GH cameras have consistently been at the vanguard of convergence between the still and video worlds, and the GH5 arguably represents the biggest single leap in the history of the series. It adds features typically associated with more expensive, pro video equipment, though Panasonic is quick to remind you that it's a still camera too.
The importance of internal 4:2:2 color and 10-bit video cannot be overstated, and has an impact on what you can do with footage in post processing. The addition of 4K/60p video also makes it possible to insert slow motion 4K into a project without sacrificing resolution.
Panasonic has also provided the tools needed to leverage the camera's advanced features, including waveform, vectorscope, Log gamma, and built-in LUT display. Log gamma is becoming more common on cameras, but less so the ability to apply a LUT in-camera. Uploading custom LUTs is unique to the GH5 in this class.
If you're primarily a stills shooter, the GH5 would make a fine choice if you're looking at the Four Thirds ecosystem, but there are arguably better options out there for the money. That said, the tweaks to the JPEG engine and the 9fps burst shooting with reliable autofocus make the GH5 an excellent all-around proposition for hybrid video and stills photographers.
If you're serious about video, it's hard to go wrong. This camera can probably deliver the goods unless you have very specialized needs, and if you're just learning, it's a camera you can grow with. But what if you're already a GH4 user? Think of it like this: the GH5 isn't just a camera that does everything your current camera can do, plus a bunch of other things. This is a camera that does everything your current camera can do, but better (often by a wide margin)… plus a bunch of other things. So yes, it's probably worth it.
Because of all that, the Panasonic GH5 wins our Gold Award. Let's make that a Gold Award with its subtle, sparkling tones described in 4:2:2 10-bit color.
Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5
Category: Semi-professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The Panasonic GH5 is a camera oriented at videographers, and includes features often found on more expensive pro video gear. It captures video at up to 4K/60p resolution, including 4:2:2 10-bit color up to 4K/30p, and has useful tools like waveforms and built in LUT display to assist with shooting. The body is very solid, includes several custom function buttons, and a very good EVF, though autofocus can hunt a bit in video. It shoots stills as well, producing very good images for a Micro Four Thirds camera.
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The long-awaited feature-boosting Firmware Update Version 2.0 for the Panasonic GH5 is officially live! If you own a GH5, you'll want to update ASAP.
The upcoming GH5 firmware update adds a number of unexpected improvements, such as more responsive autofocus, especially in 24p video shooting.
The Everyday Sling might just be the perfect pack for not carrying too much gear, combining comfort with Peak Design's signature modern style.
When the Fujifilm X-T2 arrived, it was more than just a modest upgrade to the already impressive X-T1. While the new X-T3 hasn't changed the overall design of the camera, this model is way more than an upgrade; rather, it's a quantum leap.
The Movie Maker is a compact, motorized slider designed for phones, action cams and small mirrorless cameras. We think it's a fun little kit and a good value proposition for the cost, provided you can work around a few of its weak points.
Nikon's Z7 is the first camera to use the all-new Z-mount, the company's first new full-frame mount since 1959. We've put together our first impressions based on quality shooting time with a pre-production camera - check out what we've found.
What's the best camera for a parent? The best cameras for shooting kids and family must have fast autofocus, good low-light image quality and great video. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for parents, and recommended the best.
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|Abstract bokeh by Minas_Eye|
from Your City - Bokeh in the City (Rerun)
|Green Tree Frog by BruceRH|
|Custom Red Roadster by Mitchmeister|
from Car Shows 2018
At Sony's press conference at Photokina the company announced that 12 more E-mount lenses will be arriving over the next two years. In addition, the company is working to utilize artificial intelligence in its technologies, with one application being Eye AF trained to detect animal eyes.
Sigma has said it will create a full-frame Foveon camera and will adopt the Leica L mount for its system. It will be able to adapt or convert SA mount lenses to the L mount, for existing users.
Hasselblad is expanding their X System with their announcement of three new lenses: the XCD 80mm F1.9, XCD 65mm F2.8 and XCD 135mm F2.8, along with a teleconverter. The 80mm F1.9 is the fastest in the system. Get all the details and check out Hasselblad's official sample images here.
Sigma has announced give new lenses at Photokina, including a 'Sport' series 70-200mm F2.8 and a 56mm F1.4 for Micro Four Thirds and Sony E mounts.
Sigma has announced the 28mm F1.4 Art, 40mm F1.4 Art, 70-200mm F2.8 Sport and 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 Sport lenses for several full frame lens mounts, including Canon, Nikon and, in the first two instances, Sony E.
ON1 has announced the impending launch of ON1 Photo RAW 2019. The new version, due out in November, brings a handful of new tools and features in a revamped interface.
Fujifilm has said it is developing a 100MP GFX medium format camera that will include both phase detection autofocus and in-body image stabilization. The 4K-capable camera will sell for around $10,000.
Leica has announced the S3 medium-format camera – an S2 successor with a 64MP sensor capable of 4K video.
The GFX 50R is a 50MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera. It borrows heavily from the existing 50S model but in a smaller body and at a lower price. How does it differ?
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In this episode of DPReview TV, we get our hands on Fujifilm's GFX 50R which hides a medium-format sensor in a new, more compact body. Watch to get Chris and Jordan's first impressions on image quality, video and more.
Fujifilm is adding a trio of new medium-format lenses to its G-mount roadmap. GFX owners will soon be able to get their hands on 100-200mm F5.6, 45-100mm F4 and compact 50mm F3.5 lenses. Pricing and availability have not been announced.
Micro Four Thirds users will soon get a super fast, constant aperture wide angle zoom.
Panasonic has announced it is developing two full frame mirrorless cameras: the 47MP S1R and the 24MP S1. We've been shown fairly advanced-looking but non-functional prototype cameras, and have been able to squeeze a few details from Panasonic.
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Leica, Panasonic and Sigma are teaming up. Expect L-mount cameras from Panasonic as well as L-mount glass from Sigma.
Ricoh has announced the development of the GR III enthusiast compact, due to ship in early 2019. The camera gains sensor-shift image stabilization and an updated 24MP sensor with phase-detection. The 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens has also been redesigned and a touchscreen added.
The 'I'm Back' is now available for a range of old film-SLRs, such as Nikon's F-Series, the Olympus OM10 or the Canon AE-1.
IRIX has announced its latest lens, the 150mm F2.8 Macro 1:1. IRIX claims the lens features 'close to zero' distortion and stands out with its 150mm telephoto focal length.
The RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM is one of four lenses to launch with Canon's new full-frame mirrorless system, and it boasts the longest reach of the range. Take a look at some of the samples we've gathered thus far as our EOS R testing continues.
Nikon's Sendai factory in the Tōhoku region North of Japan has been churning out cameras and lenses since 1971. We had the opportunity recently to visit Sendai during events to mark the launch of Nikon's new Z mount.
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A new report from The Verge claims Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to re-share posts to their own account feeds.
GoPro has announced its HERO7 camera lineup. The updated action cameras feature new HyperSmooth and TimeWarp modes, as well as improved video and photo specs.
The latest Samsung midrange smartphone offers a super-wide-angle lens in its triple-camera setup.
The Sony 24mm F1.4 is the latest lens to join the company's premium G Master lineup. We've been shooting with one for a couple of days - here's what you need to know.
Apple released iOS 12 a few days ago and some iPhone X users are less than happy with how the new operating system has made their phones look.
Camera bag manufacturer Lowepro has introduced mark II backpacks for its ProTactic AW range with models that are said to feature an improved handling experience as well as a collection of accessories that can be attached to the outside.
Canon has announced its latest superzoom camera, the PowerShot SX70 HS. Compared to the SX60 that came before it, the SX70 has the same lens but offers a higher resolution EVF, 4K video capture and support for Canon's new CR3 Raw format.
Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.