First Impressions: Panasonic GH5

For CES 2017, Panasonic is reannouncing the Panasonic GH5 camera–the company’s flagship that has been mostly targeted at the videographer for many years now. With their newest addition to the lineup, the company is trying to make an even bigger splash. The GH5 is being pumped filled with all sorts of awesome features. Let’s take a look!

Tech Specs

  • 20.3MP Live MOS sensor with no low pass filter
  • New VENUS engine 10
  • Dual IS, 5 axis,
  • 5 stops of IS out to 280mm
  • 4k video at 60p with suppressed rolling shutter
  • No cropping of the video, full sensor readout
  • Splash, dust and freeze proof. Operation temperature down to -10 Fahrenheit.
  • Bluetooth, Wifi
  • Magnesium Alloy body
  • 12 fps single shooting at full resolution
  • 3,680 dot Live Viewfinder
  • 3.2 inch 1,620K dot LCD RGB W screen
  • Faster DFD autofocus technology
  • The way that camera focuses with the new dfd produces more heat but it can handle it according to Panasonic. It samples 480 fps and it analyzes every single one of them for autofocus tracking
  • 6K photo feature at 30 fps while 4k photo is at 60 fps
  • USB-C output. XLR mic adapter is also available
  • Continuous AF at 9fps. Increased RAW buffer just to keep up
  • Battery is the same as the previous GH4
  • No pop-up flash
  • A new 3D color system that is designed to give off more natural skin tones and blues.
  • Shipping in March and April
  • Built in microphone cancels out noise made by camera or lens
  • 225 af points
  • Completely redesigned the menu system
  • There is a new joystick for af point control!!!!

Ergonomics

If you look at the Panasonic GH5 at the front, you’ll see what looks like a big, beefy camera. Indeed, it really is. There are few controls here with the exception of the lens release. But you can spot things like a PC Sync port and one of the exposure dials.

With a lens attached, the camera starts to overall look much more serious.

One of the bigger changes about the Panasonic GH5 from the GH4 is the ergonomics on the grip. This grip is really nice and despite the fact that I typically hate SLR style cameras, this is one that I probably wouldn’t mind warming up to partially because of this grip. It just feels good in the hand.

Turn to the top, and you’ll find a lot of the important bits. Here you’ll spot the mode dial, a drive dial, record button, exposure controls, shutter release, hot shoe, etc. Indeed, this camera has no pop-up flash.

Turn to the back and what you’ll spot are even more controls. Panasonic keeps it pretty simple here though and allows the users to customize some of that control via the large touch screen.

One thing I really like: that joystick to make choosing autofocus points easier.

Build Quality

Panasonic claims that this camera can survive down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit. If that’s true, I’d be amazed. I’m very aware that they’re very capable cameras and again, it feels very solid in the hand.

Ease of Use

Panasonic says that they’ve revamped the menu system. Their menus were a mix of difficulty and simplicity for years. Everything had its own designation followed by pages and pages of customization. I didn’t get the chance to dig through due to time constraints with the camera unfortunately.

Autofocus

Testing the camera out at Panasonic’s New Jersey offices doesn’t really allow one to have a full test. But from what I was able to observe, the camera can focus very quickly. To be fair, Micro Four Thirds hasn’t has major autofocus issues since before 2011. They always have been the fastest in the world.

Image Quality

Because this is a pre-producton model, we weren’t allowed to bring back our own image samples. I know you folks hate that, but it’s a standard in the industry.

Conclusions

Here are my thoughts on the Panasonic GH5.