Color reproduction in the GH5 was
consistently excellent if a bit on the over-saturated side for still images. The camera
did have a tendency to over-saturate blues
in particular. When we knocked down the
exposure in an over-exposed image, our sky
quickly went to a dark, slightly unnatural
aqua. Skin tones, however, were flawless.
For the GH5, Panasonic has updated
its 4K Photo mode—which isolates an
8-megapixel still image from a short 4K
video recording—to a 6K Photo mode.
Here, you’ll be shooting a short clip of
H.265 video and can pluck an 18-megapixel
still image from the file. The 6K mode uses
a faster shutter speed than what you’d set
for video, but we still had difficulty finding
frames that were sharply in focus with no
motion blur—at least indoors.
Patiño used the GH5 as a b-camera on a
music video, blending footage with Sony’s
a7R II and a Canon 5D Mark III. He says at
4K/60p, the footage looked more camcorder-esque than cinematic, but was also better at
handling higher ISOs (in this case ISO 1600)
than the Sony. Patiño says even after white
balancing all the cameras on the shoot, the
GH5 footage was warmer than the rest. On
balance, he said the video quality of the GH5
was excellent and blended well with footage
from his other cameras.
The GH5 can focus on objects in low light
down to -4EV and in still photo mode does
a nice job in lower-light environments.
The camera does have several AF tweaks,
including the ability to adjust AF sensitivity,
AF Area Switching sensitivity and moving
object prediction. AF performance shooting
video, however, wasn’t as consistent as on
the still side. When it was set to continuous
AF, we’d occasionally lose subjects and
experience some hunting. The performance
lagged the smoother, more accurate focus
changes in Canon cameras with Dual Pixel
The camera can hit 9 fps with AF engaged
and was admirably consistent in delivering
in-focus frames, including when tracking
moving objects. It’s not the fastest camera
in its class—that honor goes to the Olympus
E-M1 Mark II—but it’s zippy enough.
Image stabilization was also excellent.
We were able to shoot handheld down to
1/20 and even 1/15 sec. with crisp results.
The GH5 offers a CIPA-rated battery
life of 410 shots per charge, a bit behind the
E-M1 Mark II but ahead of the X-T2’s 340
frames. For video, Patiño said the GH5 easily
outlasted his Sony a7R IIs, which required
one battery change during his shoot while the
GH5 was able to endure without requiring a
For hybrid shooters who switch between
stills and video, the GH5 offers a compelling
promise. You can internally record footage
that other cameras in this price range
require an external recorder for. While the
20-megapixel cropped image sensor may give
still photographers pause, the lack of a low-pass filter and the GH5’s image processing
does deliver first rate image quality.
PROS: Weather-sealed; excellent video
quality; dual SD card slots; consistent
still photo autofocusing; customizable
exterior, USB-C connection.
CONS: Heavy for a mirrorless camera;
EVF can be difficult to see during
continuous shooting; some AF
inconsistency during video recording.
For all the latest news and reviews on cameras, lenses
and filmmaking equipment, visit pdnonline.com/gear
NOTES FROM THE TIPA TEST BENCH:
SHARPNESS & DYNAMIC RANGE
PDN is a member of the Technical Image Press Association, which has
contracted with the testing lab BetterNet for camera evaluations.
Below is an excerpt of their lab test with the GH5.
The GH5 uses a new sensor without low-pass filtering to enhance sharpness and detail reproduction.
The test chart was reproduced with 3414 of 3888 lines per picture height. All images got a very
crisp look, because the camera uses an intense filtering system to enhance the image sharpness.
This gets visible especially on hard contrast lines, as the black-and-white lines on the test chart.
This effect is also visible in real life images, but still on a very acceptable level.
The camera achieved a maximum of 11. 6 f-stops of dynamic range, which is excellent.
Dynamic range drops drastically at ISO 12,800 and 25,000 to less than 9 f-stops, but the
overall result is very good.
At the heart of the Inspire 2 is a new
image processing system that can record
CinemaDNG and ProRes video at up to
5.2K resolution from the Zenmuse X5S
camera. It delivers bit rates as high as
100Mbps when recording in either the
H.264 or H.265 codec. It also supports
burst modes up to 20 fps and 3D LUTs.
The drone can be outfitted with either
the fixed lens X4S or the interchangeable
lens X5S cameras—however the X4S won’t
support RAW or ProRes recording.
We tested the higher-quality X5S
camera which features a 20-megapixel
Micro Four Thirds sensor and lens mount.
The camera can’t fly with every MFT lens
on the market, but does work with eight
models from DJI, Olympus and Panasonic.
For our test, the camera was outfitted with
the DJI 15mm/1.7 ASPH lens.
The X5S can record 4K video at 4096
x 2160/60p in H.264 and H.265. It can
record 5.2K (5280 x 2972) at 30p in either
Cinema DNG or ProRes. To record in
DJI INSPIRE ;
If the Phantoms are the “
point-and-shoot” models of the drone world, the
Inspire class are the DSLRs. It’s here
you’ll find interchangeable lenses;
larger, more robust aircraft; speed and
maneuverability that’s just not possible
with the smaller Phantoms.
All that comes at a considerable
step up in price, however. Where you’ll
pay $1,499 for a Phantom 4 Pro, the
Inspire 2 can run from $2,999 to $6,198
for a premium combo that includes
an interchangeable lens camera and
CinemaDNG/ProRes recording support.
We turned the Inspire 2 over to N.J.
photographer and director David Patiño
( www.davidpatino.com) to see if the
extra dollars made sense.
ABOVE: The Inspire 2 can be outfitted
with the X4S (pictured) or X5S cameras.