Yesterday’s announcement of the new Panasonic GH5 certainly had the internet in a frenzy. I haven’t had a chance to look at it in depth quite yet, but it certainly looks like a promising replacement for my personal DSLR (I’m still rocking a 7D baby). When I look at DSLR’s I’m primarily looking at still quality first, followed by video. (I’ll save my rant about people trying to use DSLRs on set for another time) BUT…the video features of the GH5 bump it up a few notches as something I can take with me on trips to get some photos and some quick footage but at a quality I’ve never been able to acquire with previous DSLRs.
And at just under $2000 it is a hell of a bargain!
In a body weighing about two pounds Panasonic has put a 20MP four-thirds sensor into a weather sealed body. (a must for any photographer who will be traveling) This is a max resolution of 5,184 x 3,888. The sensor has no low pass filter in front of it, with the objective of capturing the sharpest image possible. Which leaves me to wonder if there will possibly be some moire problems but we’ll have to wait and see.
But the video is really the focus for most of the community. And Panasonic knows this when you see the feature set. It will capture 4K 60fps, with 4:2:0 8-bit (read: garbage color sampling) and 4K @ 30fps at 4:2:2 10-bit internally onto SD cards. So the 60fps mode is basically a ‘bonus’ because 4:2:0 is so dated now that I wouldn’t touch it on a commercial shoot. The GH5 also has a full size HDMI on the body for sending video out.
It is very much worth noting that Panasonic has not enabled all promised features at launch. It will ship with video capabilities of 4096×2160 up to 60fps at 150Mbps. Future features will be enabled via firmware upgrade schedule which is as follows:
GH5 Firmware Upgrades (Tentative):
- 4:2:2 10bit – Available April, 2017
- 6K/24p Anamorphic Video Mode (4:3) – Available Summer, 2017
- (200 Mbps) FHD 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available Summer, 2017
- (400Mbps) 4K 4:2:2 10bit ALL-Intra – Available, Summer 2017
- V-Log Color Profile – Available at launch, Cost: $100
And as the trend continues (thankfully), it also ships with 5-axis image stabilization. This will be a staple feature of all future DSLRs worth their weight.
Getting Technical on the Panasonic GH5:
- Internal 4:2:2 – 10bit – Available April, 2017
- 6K Anamorphic Video Mode (4:3) – Available Summer, 2017
- Variable Frame Rates: Max of 180fps/23.98 in FHD
- Improved Auto Focus (0.05 sec AF, 9 FPS AF Burst)
- TypeA HDMI port
- 3.2″ Free Angle Monitor
- 4K Hybrid Log Gamma (4K HDR Video) – Available Summer, 2017
- SD Card Slot x2: UHS-II U3
- Waveform Display
- MOV, MP4 (AAC, LPCM) AVCHD Progressive
- H265 encoding 60/50p
- Weather Sealed Body, Freeze Proof down to -10C
The GH5 Ships in March and will be available for $1,997.99. Although I think I will be waiting until the firmware releases are available, might even be able to buy a used one for a few bucks less by then.