Meet the Panasonic Lumix GH5: An HDR video Recording Monster for 4K at 60FPS
Stephan Jukic – January 4, 2016
The Panasonic GH4 was one absolutely superb flagship 4K mirrorless camera that still manages to deliver some high quality video and photo shooting chops, but now Panasonic has finally given the GH4 a successor that’s been three years in the making.
The Lumix GH5 is the latest flagship shooter from Panasonic and judging by its published specs, this is one powerhouse of a 4K HDR camera that has absolutely been designed to meet the needs of the latest in high dynamic range ultra HD video recording. It’s truly a 4K camera with a focus on offering cutting-edge HDR video shooting capabilities for both amateurs and professionals.
For starters, the GH5 is the first of all the GH cameras from Panasonic to come with a 20 megapixel photo sensor and due to the absence of an optical low-pass filter the 20 megapixel images from the GH5 look even sharper still. On top of this, a new Venus Engine 10 processor has been built into the GH5 to eliminate the “rolling shutter effect” that most CMOS cameras suffer from according to Panasonic.
Now, for the real meaty goodies in the new GH5 4K mirrorless, we get down to its video recording chops. These are stunning indeed and include support for the new broadcast HDR Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) video standard that’s being used with increasing frequency in 2017. In fact, the GH5 is the first camera released so far with the ability to shoot in-camera HLG video according to Panasonic. Moving beyond this, the GH5 can also manage 4K video recording at 60 frames per second while also delivering professional color calibration via 4:2:2 10-bit recording at 30fps in 4K resolution as well.
Then when it comes to the 1080p recording capacities of the GH5, we get the ability to shoot Full HD at 180fps for some truly powerful high resolution slow motion recording quality and to top this off, a firmware update will be emerging in April that promises the same 4:2:2 10-bit recording that’s available in 4K for the camera’s HD modes as well. There will also be a bit-rate increase to 400Mbps for 4K shooting at 30fps included with the firmware, though the camera can handle 4K at 150Mbps without the firmware update.
We should also note here that the GH5 doesn’t impose the usual time limits for recording either 4K or 1080p video and that it will be able to capture its footage in several different formats that consist of MOV, AVCHD Progressive, MP4 and AVCHD. On top of this, there will also be professional-grade features like time code embedding for footage syncing with other cameras.
Moving onto other robust internal specs, the GH5 reportedly transfers data from its giant sensor at twice the speed of the GH4 and Panasonic has also upped its autofocus speed for still photo shooting to a lightning-fast 0.05 seconds while also letting the camera grab 9 frames per second with its AF system adjusting focus to each of these shots or 12 frames per second if a fixed foxus is used to shoot. Another impressive photo shooting feature that we should mention here is the ability to grab 6K (18 megapixel) still shots right out of 30fps 4K video recordings. This alone is one fantastic spec to have if you’re into high-speed photography of objects, people and animals in motion. Then there’s also an internal five-axis gyroscopically controlled stabilization mechanism that can be paired with two-axis in-lens stabilizing mechanisms and the GH5 comes with an increase in the number of focus points to 225 from the measly 49 that were available in the GH4.
Externally, the new Panasonic mirrorless flagship has been toughened up considerably thanks to a magnesium body that’s sealed against dust, splashing water and harsh weather while also being designed to endure low subzero temperatures of 14 below (Fahrenheit). The GH5 also comes with both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
What we can also already tell you about the Panasonic Lumix GH5 is that the camera is coming out in March and will be selling for a remarkably reasonable body-only price of $2000, with plenty of Micro-Four Thirds lenses to choose from on the wider market.
Panasonic is also releasing two other compact and much more affordable mirrorless 4K camera models that go by the model numbers GX850 and FZ80. Both of these offer 4K video recording at 30fps, 16 and 18 megapixel photo sensor sizes respectively and will be released in February and March respectively, with the GX850 selling for $549 and the FZ80 going for just $399.
We will be covering these other two shooters in greater detail in an upcoming post.
Story by 4k.com