On Wednesday 4th January 2017 at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Panasonic announced their brand new flagship Micro Four Thirds professional camera, the Lumix GH5 – a 4K video recording interchangeable lens camera shooting broadcast quality 4:2:2 10-bit footage alongside stunning 20MP stills, making full use of 5-axis in-camera image stabilisation.
We were fortunate enough to be able to get hands-on with this incredible new camera at Panasonic’s UK headquarters pre-launch and were blown away by the possibilities the GH5 opens up.
Anyone who’s used its predecessor, the GH4 will know that it was amazing for video – but the GH5 has just set a new benchmark. It’s able to shoot 4K at 60fps and will now record broadcast quality 4K footage at 30fps in 4:2:2 10-bit.
Filmmakers and videographers will love the GH5, which now has Dual SD card slots that will take UHS-II cards in both slots, as well as an unlimited recording time – which means it’s actually taxed as a camcorder.
There’s also full HDMI output for recording to an external device, but with the dual SD card you can swap cards while it’s shooting for virtually unlimited recording time. Additionally, Panasonic have assured us that they’ve resolved the overheating issues that have previously been common when recording 4K video footage – provided you’re not shooting 12 hours of footage in the Sahara desert.
6K PHOTO basically allows you to shoot 30fps for up to 150 frames (5 seconds) and save an 18megapixel still from the burst file that the GH5 delivers.
Handling & Usability
Alongside the broadcast quality 4:2:2 10-bit recording of 4K Video, the new 6K PHOTO feature, and the introduction of 5-axis in-camera image stabilisation (which means you can attach non-Panasonic lenses such as Lensbaby or cinematic anamorphic lenses to the GH5 and still benefit from the stabilisation), the Panasonic GH5 has been built with professional in mind.
Not only does it look like a professional camera – with a magnesium alloy body and sharp lines – it also has a really nice weight to it. The GH5 feels like a sturdy, trustworthy camera that’s not going to be blown away by a light breeze.
Handling wise, the front grip is really nice – it’s a good size, perfect for anyone with chunky hands – but not too big for those with smaller hands either, which makes it really easy to hold.
The buttons and dials have all been really nicely laid out, with the lesser-used function dial on the left of the camera with self timer modes, continuous shooting, 6K Photo etc.
On the top of the camera on the right is the main function dial with all the usual modes you’d expect from a fully manual interchangeable lens camera – this dial is particularly nice and chunky, we think you’d be find to use it with gloves – which is handy since the camera is now dust and splash proof and freeze-proof down to -10 degrees Celsius. On the same side, well within reach of your index trigger-finger is the selection scroll dial, as well as White Balance, ISO and exposure compensation buttons. There’s also the video record button within easy reach of your trigger finger – a nice and welcome feature for filmmakers and cinematographers.
By your thumb on the back of the camera is another scroll dial for all your regular changes while shooting. There’s also a number of other function buttons and a scroll dial – all the usual suspects.
What we really loved about the GH5 though is that there’s not too many buttons – there’s just enough for what you need and the buttons are customisable – and they’re all really nicely laid out – nothing felt like it was hard to reach or in an inconvenient place. Panasonic have really thought this one through.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is an outstanding camera – the specs and features have been improved across the board from the GH4 – with welcome additions like broadcast quality 4K footage, 5-axis in-camera image stabilisation, and 6K PHOTO.
It’s also a really nice camera to use – it’s got a great feel to it, a nice weight, and the buttons and dials are all well within reach – a massive bonus for professional users.
Panasonic are also keen to keep their camera’s up to date – so the GH5 will come with a 5 year warranty, and there are numerous firmware updates planned for 2017.
We love it and we think you will too – find out more about the Panasonic Lumix GH5 at Park Cameras and pre-order yours today.