After much rumour and a pre-announcement late last year, Panasonic has officially announced the GH5. The new camera will be available in March for an official price of $1999.
Like the rest of the GH series, the GH5 is primarily geared towards video shooting, and has a wide range of features geared at professional video shooters. It also shoots 4K up to 60p and has a variety of other frame rates and modes. There are a few things about this release that in my opinion are a bit controversial:
V-Log is extra
This seems a bit cheeky to me. Panasonic intends to charge an extra $100 to get the v-log colour profile on the camera. Considering that this is essentially unlocking a feature already on the camera, I really think this is a stupid move. I’m sure people will pay for it, but considering Sony features s-log on many of its much cheaper cameras for free, this really doesn’t seem fair to customers.
Feature Roll Out via Firmware Updates.
Panasonic are spinning this as future improvements via firmware updates, but to me this comes across as slowly rolling out the features of the camera across the next year rather than giving you what you pay for now. I know that Fuji has gotten Kudos for adding new features later via firmware updates, but to lay out a roadmap in advance seems more like releasing a a half baked camera now, and adding the full functionality at a later date. I’m sure many would disagree with my interpretation of this, and think that this is a good thing, but to me this seems really cheeky. It’s like the hardware equivalent of a software subscription.
Anyway, these issues aside, it looks like it’s going to be an impressive camera, and if you’ve already invested in the Micro 4/3 lineup and want a pro level video camera, this will be a great option.
For more details, DP Review have a good hands on article.
Full Press Release:
LAS VEGAS, NV (JANUARY 4, 2017) – Panasonic has today announced the LUMIX GH5, the latest flagship model of LUMIX G DSLM cameras based on the Micro Four Thirds system standard. The new camera delivers a high-end, hybrid performance to photo enthusiasts and professional videographers looking to capture moments in 4K 60p/50p video and 6K PHOTO.
Defying all the general concepts of what a mirrorless camera can do, the LUMIX GH Series has reached a number of milestones with this introduction. Packing a host of innovative advancements in picture quality, response and performance into an unimaginably small-sized body, the new LUMIX GH5 opens the door to a new stage of photographic and cinematographic culture.
Unprecedented Picture Quality in the History of LUMIX Cameras
The LUMIX GH5 is able to achieve high-quality images with real-life details through excellent resolution, image rendering and color reproduction. Its new Digital LIVE MOS Sensor increases the pixel count by 25% compared to the GH4, from 16.05 to 20.3 megapixels, while also removing the low-pass filter.
The camera also comes with a new image processor Venus Engine, which achieves improvement especially in natural texture expression. The engine’s Multi-pixel Luminance Generation renders clear, sharp images by referring to a 9x larger area of pixel information during the de-mosaic process for precise detail reproduction. With Intelligent Detail Processing, the characteristic of every single pixel is analyzed to detect whether the pixel is located at a flat, detail or edge part of the picture. Optimum processing according to the characteristic of each pixel is then applied. This results in high-precision yet natural images with stunning detail suppressing false colors at its edges.
Also, Three Dimensional Color Control detects not only hue and saturation, but also brightness, and applies optimum control according to the value of each factor. This achieves rich color reproduction from shadows to highlights of the image. The conventional Multi Process NR (Noise Reduction) is upgraded to High Precision Multi Process NR. It boasts 4x the noise identification accuracy compared to the previous engine and preserves details even after the noise reduction process. As a result, photos can be clearly shot even at high sensitivity ISO values of up to 25,600.
The LUMIX GH5 also incorporates the 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) 23, which suppresses blurring in more powerful and advanced ways for both photo and video recording, including 4K
video. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and B.I.S. (Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), it compensates for larger movements which were conventionally uncontrollable. The LUMIX GH5’s high-precision gyro sensor controls both the O.I.S. and B.I.S. compensation by studying the focal length and shooting conditions, making it possible to use a max. 5-stop slower shutter speed4. This is highly beneficial not only for wide-angle and telephoto shots, but also in adverse situations, such as at night-time or when shooting with one hand.
The world’s first DSLM camera that meets professional quality standards
The LUMIX GH Series created an epoch-making industry sensation by achieving outstanding video recording performance with advanced features that meet the needs of professional quality levels and standards.
With the LUMIX GH5, the signal readout speed has been accelerated by max 1.7x in the new Digital Live MOS Sensor, and the new Venus Engine processes signals at max 1.3x higher speed. This synergy realizes 4K 60p/50p ultra high-definition, smooth, video recording for the first time in a DSLM camera. It is also capable of internal 4:2:2 / 10-bit video recording, which is the color subsampling commonly used for film production, for even more faithful color reproduction5.
The high-sensitivity MOS Sensor and Venus Engine effectively suppress rolling shutter distortion and realize high-speed readout of full digital signals. This ensures an outstandingly high image quality for every single frame. In addition, the focal length in video recording is kept the same as that in photo shooting (no cropping).
Users can freely choose between MOV, MP4, AVCHD Progressive and AVCHD formats at a variety of frame rates, and there is no recording time limit for both FHD and 4K video. Professional users working globally can set the system frequency to 59.94Hz, 50.00Hz or 24.00Hz.
While ‘Cinelike D’ and ‘Cinelike V’, which have similar gamma setting characteristics for film production, are available in Photo Style for video recording, the LUMIX GH5 also provides ‘Like 709’ for compatibility with HDTV. A paid software upgrade to support V-LogL video recording is also available.
In response to requests from professional users, the LUMIX GH5 comes with a Waveform Monitor and Vector Scope. It also embeds SMPTE-compliant Time Code either in Rec Run or Free Run count-up methods, which makes it easy to synchronize multiple video footage or sound sources in the post production workflow. Luminance levels can be selected between 64- 1023 / 64-940 / 0-1023 (10-bit). Synchro Scan mode suppresses flicker and Color Bars (SMPTE / EBU / ARIB Standard) are also available.
New AF system with advanced DFD Technology never misses a once-in-a-lifetime moment
The LUMIX GH5 comes with a newly improved Depth from Defocus6 and Contrast AF technology, which not only calculates the distance to the subject by evaluating two images with different sharpness levels, but also analyzes the form, size and even motion of the subject comprehensively. Thanks to the new Venus Engine, the time for measuring the distance to the subject is 6x faster, while factoring the distance into in-plane or in-depth is 2x faster.
The speed of sensor drive during auto focusing in photo shooting mode has been increased to 480 fps, which is 2x faster than that of the GH4. Consequently, the LUMIX GH5 realizes ultra- high-speed AF of approximately 0.05 sec7 and 12 (AFS) / 9 (AFC) fps high-speed burst shooting using a mechanical shutter in full resolution. By analyzing every single frame precisely, it achieves a maximum 200% higher precision frame detection with minimum motion detection error for higher tracking tolerance against moving subjects.
For even more precise focusing, the number of focus areas has been increased from 49 to 225. Users can create a group of focus areas depending on the composition and can control it easily with a new joystick located on the thumb position, without taking your eyes off the subject. This is possible even when using the LVF or releasing the finger off the shutter button.
If focus is not exactly as the user intended when the shutter is pressed, the LUMIX GH5’s Post Focus function8 enables users to select the specific focus point even after shooting – particularly helpful in situations like macro shooting where severe focusing is required. In addition, the camera also features a Focus Stacking function. Taking a single macro photo with specific areas in focus can sometimes be difficult, Focus Stacking enables users to take multiple images of the same frame with different focus points. You can then combine them into one image with the defocus as you like.
The LUMIX GH5’s new 6K PHOTO9 function makes it possible to capture unmissable moments at 30 fps by extracting the frame with the best timing out of the 6K burst file (in 3:2 or 4:3 aspect) to save as an approximately 18-megapixel equivalent high resolution photo. 4K PHOTO has also been upgraded enabling 60 fps high speed capture in approximately 8-megapixel equivalent resolution. In 6K/4K PHOTO, three exclusive modes are available to choose from depending on the situation; 6K/4K Burst, 6K/4K Burst (Start/Stop) and 6K/4K Pre-burst.
By compensating the signal information between the frames, the Venus Engine makes it possible to apply Post Recording Refinement over the pictures to correct distortion and reduce noise when playing back or cutting images out of the 6K/4K burst file. As a result, the picture quality of 6K/4K PHOTO shot at high shutter speed in high sensitivity or those shot in panning are dramatically improved.
High mobility in rugged design for heavy field use
To be tough enough to withstand even heavy field use, the LUMIX GH5’s main structure is composed of a magnesium alloy, full die-cast front/rear frame. Secure construction and the sealing of every joint, dial, and button makes the camera not only splash/dust-proof, but also freeze-proof down to -10 degrees Celsius.
The LUMIX GH5 is equipped with a double SD Memory Card slot compatible with high-speed, high capacity UHS-II for the first time in the LUMIX digital cameras. Users can flexibly choose the recording method either in Relay Rec, Backup Rec or Allocation Rec.
The LUMIX GH5 has a large LVF (Live View Finder) with a stunningly high magnification ratio of approximately 1.52x / 0.76x (35mm camera equivalent). The high-precision, high-speed OLED display features 3,680K-dot high resolution and 100% field of view. Adopting a static-type touch control system, the 3.2-inch free-angle rear screen in 3:2 aspect with 1,620K-dot high resolution achieves approximately 100% field of view.
Finally, the shutter unit is durable for approximately 200,000 releases.
Expandability, optional accessories, other features
- The LUMIX GH5 integrates Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi® 5GHz (IEEE 802.11ac) connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation.
- The LUMIX GH5 is compatible with the new Battery Grip DMW-BGGH5. By using two batteries, one in the camera and the other in the grip, the DMW-BGGH5 extends the battery life for longer time shooting.
- The optionally available microphone adaptor DMW-XLR1 is a plug-in type adaptor for XLR microphone to record high quality stereo sound.
- To save power, the camera automatically enters sleep mode after detecting the eye is off the LVF sensor. Various shutter systems are available with the LUMIX GH5: A mechanical shutter with maximum 1/8000 sec, an electronic-first curtain shutter with maximum 1/2000 sec which can be used with flash while suppressing the shutter shock, and an electronic shutter without shutter shock with maximum 1/6000 sec. Firmware updates will add: Full HD 4:2:2 10bit video recording capability (scheduled for April 2017); 400Mbps 4:2:2 10bit All-Intra video recording in 4K 30p/25p/24p; Full HD, high resolution video recording in Anamorphic mode; Hybrid Log Gamma in Photo Style mode which enables popular 4K HDR video recording and USB tethering (all scheduled for second half of 2017).
1. The Lumix GH5 will be available (body only) in late March for $1999.99. For more information please visit LumixLounge.com. Panasonic is proud to share that the GH5 is a CES 2017 Innovation Award Honoree.