The new Panasonic LUMIX GH5: A 4K and 6K mirrorless camera like few others
Stephan Jukic – September 19, 2016
At Photokina 2016, very recently Panasonic announced the development of its new LUMIX GH5 Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera, the sequel to the extremely decked out and well-reviewed LUMIX GH4 from 2014. While the GH4 was something of a Panasonic groundbreaker for being the company’s first 4K UHD compact camera offering capable of recording the resolution at 30 frames per second, the GH5 takes things to a whole new level that we definitely find impressive.
In the current 4K mirrorless and DSLR camera market, the vast majority of otherwise superb mirrorless shooters can manage only 4K video at a maximum fps of 25 to 30 and for those that do pull this resolution off, it’s certainly something that happens at the limit of their abilities. Until now, if you wanted more than 30fps with 4K resolution, you’d have to scale up to a camcorder or a more professional digital cinematic camera.
Well no more. With the LUMIX GH5, not only can 4K UHD video be shot a cinematic smooth 60 frames per second, the camera is also capable of pulling out 6K video footage still shots from said 4K video (based on what we know about its specs so far), and this is something we definitely haven’t yet seen in a prosumer mirrorless camera model to-date. What makes this all the more impressive for people interested in shooting high-speed action is that those 6K photo stills, with their roughly 16 megapixels, can be chosen from the 4K stills captured at 60fps in the GH5. Those are specs for some truly detailed still photography of action sequences and other high-speed activity.
The DMC GH4 was considered robustly impressive at the time of its arrival because of its ability to shoot 4K video and snatch 8.29 megapixel still images from the resulting digital footage (4K video resolution amounts to just over 8 megapixels in terms of photo resolution). However, despite these specs, the main focus of the GH4 was photography at high resolutions and shooting full HD video.
In the case of the GH5, Full HD recording may also turn out to be its best-selling and most likely to be used spec but we’re starting to think that this particular model will be used for more regularized 4K video recording as an advance from 1080 by serious users. With the capacity to capture 4K at 60fps, the GH5 takes the resolution to the level of practical usability for a wide range of recording needs, which is something that cameras with [email protected] specs can’t quite manage among more professional-minded consumers.
As for the 6K stills that can be extracted from said native 4K footage in the GH5, those are more of a gimmick for now since the vast majority of workflow around such a video resolution is still far from ready for the consumer market, even if we’re talking about mere still shots from a piece of compressed 4K video.
For a bit of reference 6K video resolution means nearly 8 times the pixel count of regular 1080p video and that’s a lot for even modern memory storage devices to handle effectively in video form.
Other specs on the LUMIX GH5 are still not forthcoming and we also don’t yet have a price for this shooter, but we do hope it won’t be too much more expensive than the superb 16 megapixel GH4 which currently sells for roughly $ $1,100 on sites like Amazon.com. Panasonic continues to show the new mirrorless camera off at Photokina 2016 and the company has tentatively claimed that the camera will be available for purchase as of “early 2017”.
Story by 4k.com