September 19, 2016

Panasonic GH5 Gives Us What We Want: 4K, 60p, 10bit, 4:2:2

Panasonic Gh5
Panasonic refreshes the popular GH line of cameras with the GH5, introducing features sure to make filmmakers happy.

Panasonic has long made it clear that they spend a lot of time talking to real world users of their cameras. They have consistently integrated cinematographer and filmmaker feedback into, not just their video cameras, but their GH line of mirrorless micro 4/3 cameras as well. After the disappointment felt by many with the 5D Mark IV a few weeks ago, it's exciting and refreshing to see the early announcements for the GH5, which brings filmmaker-friendly features.

"The GH5 currently appears to be built with a body very similar to the GH4, and you should expect most of your accessories, rigs, and batteries to work in the new body."

The GH4 allowed you to capture 4:2:2 10bit images, only with the use of an external recorder, which is a common but not universal accessory. If you were recording to the internal SD cards, you were limited to 8bit 4:2:0. With the GH5, Panasonic has added the ability to capture 10bit 4:2:2 video up to 4K 30fps internally to the SD card, which is a big deal for filmmakers. 10bit and 4:2:2 are most obviously going to help when cutting a green screen key (though the 8bit GH4 was no slouch there), but the improvements of higher bitrate and less subsampled codecs are beneficial throughout the post pipeline, especially when it comes to color grading.

This is in addition to the improvement of 4K slow motion capture up to 60fps internal, albeit not 10bit. There are also some reports of 6K 30fps recording, but we haven't seen this fully confirmed yet, and it's not in Panasonic's press release. The official word from Panasonic did refer to a 6K Photo mode capable of pulling a 6K photo from captured video, but it's possible that this is using sequential image information from the video to recreate a 6K image. We will update if 6K video capture is officially confirmed or denied.  However, even 4K 60fps is pretty exciting, and seeing 10bit 4:22 available internally in a camera where the body will be around $1000, especially one that can easily be adapted to mount just about any lens you like, is a major upgrade. 

The GH5 currently appears to be built with a body very similar to the GH4, and if the upgrade from GH3 to GH4 is any guide, you should expect most of your accessories, rigs, and batteries to work in the new body.  Along with the GH5, Panasonic will be launching a new line of Micro 4/3 zoom lenses, the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0, in 12-60mm, 8-18mm and 50-200mm focal lengths. The camera and lenses will be available in the first half of 2017.

Here are the only tech specs they've released so far: 

  • 4K 60p/50p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 4K (up to 30fps)
  • 6K PHOTO, 18 megapixel still extracted from 4K video

Your Comment

45 Comments

It's also likely to have all the stabilization of the newer GX85 & G85 cameras. I'm hoping for some noise/low light improvement as well but this is sounding like an instant upgrade either way.

September 19, 2016 at 12:23PM

0
Reply
avatar
Gordon Byrd
Owner, Byrd Pictures
293

That would be cool, but my understanding of why Panasonic won't put stabilization in camera, is because when the image sensor detaches from the body to stabilize, it's ability to dissipate heat stops. For smaller consumer cameras, the stabilization is a viable trade off for a noise boost, but for a pro body, noise reduction is more of a priority, so stabilization will be in lenses only.

November 27, 2016 at 4:15PM

0
Reply

I adore my GH4 and have been looking to get a second camera. 4K60p and 10bit 4:2:2 is awfully tempting right now...

September 19, 2016 at 1:01PM

0
Reply
Daniel King
Videographer, Editor
175

amazing time to be a filmmaker. The specs on this look good. Cant wait to see what the image looks like and how much it cost.

September 19, 2016 at 1:11PM

0
Reply
avatar
Walter Wallace
Spokesperson/Entrepreneur
714

Hopefully faster sensor read speeds and less JelloCam.

I wish Rolling Shutter performance was a metric as common in promotional materials as "K" numbers.

September 19, 2016 at 1:18PM, Edited September 19, 1:22PM

8
Reply
avatar
Daniel Reed
Hat Collector & Shi no kōshō-sha
1292

People who talk about rolling shutter all the time usually make really cruddy films...

September 19, 2016 at 5:57PM

2
Reply

Exactly, I've never even noticed rolling shutter.

September 23, 2016 at 6:59PM

0
Reply

If you're interested, here's a list of rolling-shutter speeds for a range of cameras : https://goo.gl/SJgaRh

Note that RS speed is highly dependent on the shooting format you choose, where HD formats have much less RS than 4K formats.

September 20, 2016 at 6:24AM, Edited September 20, 6:24AM

0
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
28898

I don't want this to be perceived as a complaint, because I have a lot of respect for the quality products Panasonic keeps pushing at us, but I really hope they're able to make some improvements to the orange skin tones.

September 19, 2016 at 1:17PM

3
Reply
avatar
Sean Pettis
Filmmaker
193

Natural with everything at zero and -2 saturation looks great to me. https://vimeo.com/182189634

September 19, 2016 at 1:30PM

31
Reply

I just started shooting with some settings that I'm really liking: CinelikeV, sharpness/contrast/noiseR at zero, Master Pedestal +15.
Saw them on a blog and was skeptical but after trying them out I really like the look. Not too flat but still somewhat flexible for grading.

September 19, 2016 at 1:41PM

27
Reply
Daniel King
Videographer, Editor
175

Wow, your videos look amazing! Are the last 2 videos shot with the GH4?? :O
You really pushed all the juice out from that camera! What lenses do you normally use?
Congratulations on your work, I love it!

September 21, 2016 at 4:33AM

0
Reply
avatar
Andres Mata
Camera, Editor, Director of Photography
229

V Log has much better skin renditions. The only downside was that you needed to record external. I'm guessing they'll have V Log on the GH5 with internal 10 bit which is going to be amazing.

September 19, 2016 at 2:07PM, Edited September 19, 2:07PM

4
Reply

Hoping the same. That would be great!

September 19, 2016 at 3:42PM

2
Reply
avatar
Jaap Ruurd Feitsma
Director • Cinematographer • Photographer • VR creative
43

does anyone know what the dynamic range will be in video mode for this camera?

September 19, 2016 at 1:20PM

3
Reply
avatar
Howard L Hughes
Content Creator
180

No one will know this until the camera comes out and it's tested. Even if it had been stated in the press release (it hasn't to my knowledge) manufacturers often embellish this number.

September 19, 2016 at 1:35PM

0
Reply

Wondering about this myself. Worst case: it will be the same as the GH4, which, for such a low priced camera, which was pretty darn good at around 11/12 f stops. Hoping for at least 13 stops, which is old school cinema and more than enough for me :)

September 19, 2016 at 3:41PM

0
Reply
avatar
Jaap Ruurd Feitsma
Director • Cinematographer • Photographer • VR creative
43

Old school cinema? Most $20k+ cinema cameras don't even reach 13 stops if you don't want an image that's riddled with noise...

September 19, 2016 at 4:48PM

0
Reply
avatar
Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
378

would love to know the max fps. i assume at least 120 but hopefully 240

September 19, 2016 at 1:54PM

0
Reply

Does this mean 120 fps at 1080p?

September 19, 2016 at 1:55PM

1
Reply

any ideas about price?

September 19, 2016 at 2:01PM

0
Reply
emre
1

It will be closer to $1500 for the body only.

September 19, 2016 at 8:18PM

0
Reply

At $1000 for the GH5 body shouldn't we see a big price cut in the GH4? I think GH4 is around $900 - 1000 for a body currently.

September 19, 2016 at 2:23PM

0
Reply

I don't know where they got $1000 from. No price was announced. The GH4 came out at $1700 so I expect this around the same price.

September 19, 2016 at 5:56PM, Edited September 19, 5:57PM

0
Reply
avatar
Mike Tesh
Director of Photography
608

Looks fantastic, but I'm hoping they include something like the Dual-Pixel Auto Focus of the Canon 1DX Mk II and 5D Mk IV. Any camera I buy now needs to have that capability built in. It's just too darn useful.

September 19, 2016 at 2:25PM

0
Reply
avatar
Jaime Valles
Filmmaker
388

Dual Pixel Autofocus will be the exclusive property
of Canon for the next 14 years due to WORLD-WIDE
patents THEY own and DO NOT LICENCE AT ALL
to any other manufacturer.

So NO Sony, Panasonic, Fuji, BM, Red, etc will
EVER have dual pixel AF until about the year 2030.

However, you can MIMIC DPAF by doing SOBEL edge detection
and then measuring the luminance fall-off ONLY along those
detected edges which allows you to detect the number of pixels
that are blurred outwards from the centre-point of a detected edge.

From there you can mathematically convert blur-width to focal range
which is then set or adjusted on the lens hardware. You need THREE
sequentual frames of video in order to compare the luminance falloff
of blurred edges in order to get an ACCURACY equivalent to Canon DPAF.

At 24 fps that would be about 126 milliseconds of delay to get perfect focus.

At 60 fps maybe as fast as 24 milliseconds of delay at the cost of needing
MUCH FASTER and HOTTER-running CPU chips in the cameras themselves
to be able to do real-time SOBEL edge detection and pixel comparisons!

A manufacturer such as Panasonic would need to put in a $1200
FPGA chip into a GH-series camera in order to get the speed
that's fast enough to MIMIC Canon's DPAF!

They ain't gonna EVER do that on a sub-2000 dollar camera!

So you are SOL on DPAF on ANYTHING
other than Canon until the year 2030!

September 20, 2016 at 5:30AM, Edited September 20, 5:33AM

4
Reply
Henry A. Eckstein
Director, Research and Development
117

I am curious as to what the bitrate and codec will be for the 4:2:2, 10 bit 4k image of the GH5. They didn't reveal that data and it is rather pertinent information. The Sony FS5 shoots 10 bit, 1080p at 4:2:2 but does so with a highly compressed codec at 50 mbps. That is the bitrate of the old C300 MK I's 8 bit image. So it should be interesting to see what the bitrate is of Panasonic's 4k 10 bit image, especially shooting 4k 60fps in such a small enclosure. I imagine it will be a highly compressed image.

September 19, 2016 at 4:10PM

1
Reply
avatar
Derek Doublin
Director, Cinematographer, Large Scale Artist
220

The GH4 shoots at 100mbps, so I suspect it'll be the same, as both of the new cameras they announced at Photokina today (GX85 and FZ2000) shoot 4K at 100mbps internally. But maybe the fact that they didn't announce bitrates today suggests they're still optimizing the processor and they could surprise us with a pleasant bump.

September 19, 2016 at 6:37PM

0
Reply

If it's still just 100mbps, that's pretty bad. That would mean that it's basically only shooting 1/2 the bitrate of the 10bit 4:2:2 1080p that the FS5 does, since UHD 4K has four times the resolution of 1080p. The GH4 can also do 200mbps all-I at 1080P, so hopefully they'll have much higher bitrate options on the GH5.

September 19, 2016 at 10:08PM

5
Reply
avatar
David West
Writer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor
786

Gh4 does 200mbs in 1080p, my guess would be at least that nitrate for 4K 10 bit 4:2:2.

September 20, 2016 at 3:58AM

0
Reply
avatar
Matthew Hoecker
Media Director
18

Very exciting though low light and af were always the gh4's shortcomings. As a one man band i hope they knock those out of the park too. Oh and 5 axis image stabilization:)

September 19, 2016 at 4:41PM

3
Reply
J Robbins
532

I got some of the f0.95 Voigtlander lenses for my GH2 and they are absolutely amazing and really help with the low light performance, but overall they made the image on the GH2 just so much better. Those lenses are seriously worth checking out, especially at around $1,000 a pop.

September 19, 2016 at 6:05PM

4
Reply
Julian Faras
Editor, Cinematographer, Director
487

"but it's possible that this is using sequential image information from the video to recreate a 6K image" ... with what? sorcery?

September 19, 2016 at 6:09PM

0
Reply
avatar
Alex Fagard
Filmmaker, Editor, Motion Graphics, Dabbles in VFX
88

The technique is to use left-right and up-down motion from previous and future frames
to ESTIMATE the pixel value at a given 2D-XY coordinate for a new frame. It's just basic
computer science and has been done for DECADES (i.e. since the mid-1980's!)

Motion-compensated de-interlacing was the forerunner of this technique to create
images of a higher spatial resolution than the original video. Apple and Adobe do it
with still photos on their image boundary extension modules/plug-ins!

With the more MODERN computational photography techniques pioneered
at places such as the University of Birtish Columbia (Vancouver, Canada)
computer science and imaging systems departments, pixels can be remapped
to any desired 2D-XY/3D-XYZ coordinate and to any luminance/chominance value
required to make up a synthetic image from multiple sequential video frames.

It's pure mathematics and not sorcery!

September 20, 2016 at 5:14AM, Edited September 20, 5:16AM

4
Reply
Henry A. Eckstein
Director, Research and Development
117

4:2:2, 10 bit internal recording to an SD card makes the deal for me.

September 20, 2016 at 5:45AM

3
Reply
avatar
Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
867

Because of higher bit-rates I am expecting to have to buy high-speed SDXC cards for the GH5 when it ships. ( this might be the first camera to use the SD V60 cards )

September 20, 2016 at 6:35AM

1
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
28898

Still cheaper than Cfast cards.

September 20, 2016 at 8:25AM

2
Reply
avatar
Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
867

You say only a $1000....?

September 20, 2016 at 3:42PM

0
Reply

My guess is that the price will be somewhere near the GH4 price when it came out ( $1,700 ) all the way up to $2,000. It won't be cheap, but it won't cost as much as a Sony A7S II camera.

September 21, 2016 at 4:51AM, Edited September 21, 4:51AM

0
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
28898

LOWLIGHT is the greatest weakness.... I got the GH4, The ergonomy and features of this camera is the best of all the DSLRs, i mean it has a syncro scan! I would say Magic Lantern beats it in menu design and especially on screen info display. it is for me the best display after RED camera. No info on your image, excellent focus peaking, much better than most cameras! ...but back to the GH series. I love my GH4 except its lack of low light capability. I'm ok with the smaller sensor as i use a speedboster, focus is slow for photos, but all good for video... Its the low light performance that is just so poor compared to the competition, i don't see a stop improvement making me want to get the GH5. Too many times my images are too grainy and difficult to pull up when needed.

September 22, 2016 at 12:32PM

2
Reply
avatar
Jean-Marc Abela
Director, DoP, Editor
96

This just cought my eye, the 10bit has me put sony on hold and the price range too i hope there is a higher frame rate for in 1080

September 23, 2016 at 2:57AM

0
Reply
avatar
Prosper Kunyetu
Filmmaker,Editor,Vfx
188

Although I'm glad to see Panasonic continues to develop the MFT format and GH line, I seriously hope they improve their build quality. My GH3's scroll wheel no longer works. My GH4's touch screen stopped working and the micro hdmi connection is intermittent. I have always been gentle with my camera gear, and I can't justify the repair cost for cameras that hold up so poorly. Cameras at these prices should be closer to pro quality and not disposable consumer quality.

September 23, 2016 at 8:44AM

0
Reply
avatar
Dave Patterson
Preditor (producer/editor)
226

The GH5 needs a much better, more stable editable codec with true S Log 3 style LUT functionality, wider color gamut (at least P3 if not wider), some HDR video capture capabilities, and far less rolling shutter.

However, I doubt that will happen as Panasonic, like every other camera maker, won't want to cannibalize its pro-sumer and professional line of cameras that cost many thousands more.

It will take a heck of a lot to get me to not want to move to something like the Sony FS7 and drop these tiny mirrorless cameras that have to be greatly rigged up to make them professional gig ready. Might as well go for a better camera to begin with.

September 26, 2016 at 1:57AM, Edited September 26, 1:58AM

0
Reply

Totally. And even then, you're missing built in ND's built in XLR etc. In the production world of hurry up and wait (and hurry again) there' something to be said about cameras that you can just take out of the case and start shooting. These little guys are amazing but not up to that task.

November 15, 2016 at 4:04PM

0
Reply

I wondering what the low light capabilities is for the GH5? The GH4 is an amazing camera when you can control the ambient lighting but below average in low light. I'm anxious to hear what Panasonic has to say and heard nothing regarding this issue to date. Thanks for the post.

September 26, 2016 at 4:33PM, Edited September 26, 4:33PM

0
Reply
David Robillard
Photographer/Videographer
28

the codec stuff is great, but the gh4's biggest weakness is noisy low-light performance. come on panasonic! you can do it! you have to compete with low light monsters like the a7sii. good facial tracking auto-focus in video mode would be awesome, and push up those frame rates! and how about an xlr input while youre at it?

December 15, 2016 at 3:34PM

1
Reply
aubrey jackson
director of photography
8