The GH5 features a 20-megapixel sensor
with no low-pass filter. Like all recent
Panasonic models, the GH5 offers a dual
image stabilization that combines in-body
stabilization with lens stabilization on select
Panasonic lenses to deliver improved shake
reduction. You can enjoy up to 5 stops of
correction when the GH5 is paired with
The focusing system has been upgraded
from the GH4 as well. Panasonic’s depth
from defocus technology—which creates a
depth map of the scene—has been bumped
from 220 fps to 440 fps, enabling faster and
more precise depth mapping and thus better
autofocusing. There are 225 contrast detect
AF points and you can assign them to either
the touch screen or the joystick that sits near
The GH5 represents a new high-water mark
for video quality in a mirrorless camera. It can
record 4K video (4096 x 2160) at 60p internally
(8-bit, 4:2:0) or 4K video at 30p at 10-bit (4:2: 2)
quality. Full HD can be recorded at up to 180
fps. There are dozens of other resolution and
frame rate options—far too many to list here.
What’s more, this 10-bit footage can be saved to
SD cards, not the more expensive CFast cards
used by high-end DSLRs and cinema cameras.
Beyond the video quality options, the
GH5 packs a host of cinema-friendly tools
like a vectorscope display, time code, color
bars, adjustable luminance levels and picture
profiles such as CineD, CineV and (with an
$99 software license) VLog.
Ergonomically, the GH5 is more of a kindred
spirit to a DSLR. “It doesn’t feel like a mirrorless
camera,” Patiño tells us. Its pronounced hand
grip is comfortable but with the Leica 12-60mm
f/2.8 lens attached you’ll have more heft than
with rivals like the Olympus E-M1 Mark II or
Fuji XT2. The body of the GH5 alone weighs
in at 1. 6 pounds, whereas the E-M1 Mark II
weighs in at 1. 3 pounds and Fuji’s X-T2 is a
lean 1. 1 pounds. If you’ve been turned off by
mirrorless cameras that lack a firm grip or a bit
of weight to them, the GH5 won’t disappoint.
Patiño liked that the GH5 offers a full-size
HDMI output. “This way you have more
cables to work with,” he says. The camera also
deserves props for using a future-proof USB
Type C ( 3. 1) connection for faster data transfers
to PCs. The pair of SD card slots is also nice.
We are big fans of joysticks (thanks, Atari)
and the joystick-driven AF selection on the
GH5 is excellent. We wish more camera
makers would embrace this design touch.
The camera has five programmable function
buttons on the exterior and two custom slots
on the mode dial, making it easy to tailor the
camera’s exterior controls to your liking.
In the February 2016 issue of PDN, we documented how some filmmakers are being lured
away from DSLRs and mirrorless cameras into lower-cost cinema cameras from the likes
of Blackmagic, Canon, Sony and Panasonic.
This migration hasn’t stopped some of the leading mirrorless vendors from continuing
to add sophisticated video features to their cameras with an eye toward pleasing the
hybrid shooter who bounces between still and video projects. Panasonic’s GH5 is the apex
of this effort—a camera that packs about as many video features as still features.
We teamed with N.J. photographer and director David Patiño ( www.davidpatino.com)
to see how this jack-of-all-trades fared in the real world.
GEAR & TECHNIQUES PRODUCT REVIEWS
Hands-on with Panasonic’s heavyweight hybrid, the GH5;
taking flight with DJI’s Inspire 2 and taking stock of Canon’s
latest mirrorless push. BY GREG SCOBLETE
ABOVE: This test image, provided by TIPA, was taken in
Auto/P mode. It is a little under exposed (-1/3 to -2/3
EV stop). Colors are highly saturated, especially the
dark blue. Detail reproduction is very good.
ABOVE: The GH5 feels and handles more like a DSLR than
a tiny mirrorless. Upside: It’s robustly weather sealed.