Can the Panasonic GH5 See In The Dark?

Panasonic’s latest flagship Micro Four Thirds camera, the GH5, has been highly anticipated with curiosity over what improvements this new cinematography-centric camera brings. Nick Driftwood, who has worked with Panasonic on the development of the GH5, has posted a sample of an extreme low light video recording on his Youtube Channel.

The low light video sample provided a clear preview of the GH5’s improved high ISO handling when it comes to video recording. Based on the video descriptions, the footage was recorded hand-held with the new Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f2.8-4 lens.

Here is some additional technical information on the footage: recording was internal at 4:2:0, 8-bit, 60p mode (59.94fps) in 4K UHD, H.264 Level High 5.2, 158 Mbps. The ISO tests ranged from ISO200 to ISO12800, recording a scene which was almost completely pitch dark outside of the lamp post illumination. At ISO 3200 the video looks useful with minimal noise present, and at ISO 6400, it is still serviceable with a little noise clean-up work in post-production. Nick further commented that based on his observation, there was an estimated two thirds of a stop improvement in dynamic range over the GH4. It is also worth taking note that the firmware on the GH5 during the video test was not final, and the video quality can get better.

Having video recording capability that works well in less than favorable lighting condition surely opens up a whole lot of shooting opportunities for filmmakers, especially those shooting at locations that deal mostly with available light. We cannot wait to get our hands on the new GH5 and do our own tests and review the camera here.