This week Panasonic announced an update to the increasingly popular GH5.  While some of the other camera manufacturers appear to be holding back on providing innovative video functions in the DSLR form factor, Panasonic are clearly going for it… and it shows.

Big news for video shooters is the addition of an ALL-Intra recording mode.  This gives us 4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra recording at 200Mbps in HD resolutions and 400 Mbps at UHD or 4K. You’ll need to use the new speed Class 90 SD cards to push it to the limits, but this seems a small price to pay for such potential quality.

There’s now a 4K HDR gamma curve compatible with BT.2100 which Panasonic are calling HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma).  You can choose HLG in the Photo Style menu when you want to enter the world of high dynamic range.  There’s also a low bit-rate 4K HEVC recording mode for playback on HEVC compatible monitors.

Also recorded in HEVC is the high resolution anamorphic mode which enables video recording using an effective pixel equivalent to 6K (18 megapixels) with a suitable 4:3 anamorphic lens. So for PAL areas we’ll have the option of 4992 x 3744 at 4:2:2 10-bit and 200 Mbps Long GOP.

When the GH5 was first launched, many people complained about the auto focus performance when shooting video. The good news is that it looks like Panasonic have listened and report improvements to auto focus tracking and usability in low contrast situations.  We’re looking forward to testing this soon.

With a new handshake correction mode in the body I.S. (image stabiliser), many improvements to still photo modes and the usual bug fixes, this looks like being an important upgrade for GH5 owners.  Panasonic say it’ll be available late September:

Until recently, I’ve been more than happy with my GH4.  It’s proved a fantastic ‘B’ camera for my F5 and very useful for broadcast spec use on gimbals, motorised track and even my drone.  But now, I’m actually starting to wonder if a GH5 could be the ‘A’ camera !!!  With 4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra recording at 4K and the DMW-XLR1 adaptor, why do we need big cameras any more ???

Paul Ream September 17



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