Panasonic Lumix GH5: A Filmmaker Reveals Whether it Lives Up to the Hype
Want to know how the brand new Panasonic GH5 handles? Hear from a filmmaker who has taken it on the road.
At a press conference yesterday afternoon, Panasonic finally unveiled a full list of specs, price, and time frame for release of their new Lumix GH5. After months of waiting, we finally got to see what was under the hood of one of the most highly anticipated, budget-friendly, mirrorless micro 4/3 cameras on the market.
But seeing what the GH5 looks like on paper only leaves us wanting more, like test footage and reviews. Well, filmmaker Luke Neumann got to put the GH5 through its paces to create one of four official launch videos for the new camera. He not only took the time to chat with us about his experience with it, but he also gave us some goodies to share with all of you, including making some of his GH5 footage downloadable for anyone who's interested in taking it for a spin in post.
"The ability to record 4:2:2/10bit internally is something most of us have been pining for since 2010."
NFS: What's your opinion of the GH5 overall?
Luke Neumann: We were really impressed. The ability to record 4:2:2/10bit internally is something most of us have been pining for since 2010.
NFS: How does the GH5 build upon the GH4?
Neumann: Quite a few ways, actually. 4K/60p is the sexy marketing tech spec, but 4:2:2/10bit is probably what most of us are excited about. On top of that, Image Stabilization on the sensor is one of those features that, once you use it, you won't want to go back. Then a bunch of little things: REC709 preview for VLog, full size HDMI, and better low light.
"We probably shot 20% of our video in 4K/60p. It looks good, not 10bit good, but GH4 8bit good."
NFS: What are some pros and cons of the GH5?
Neumann: Pros: IBIS, 4K/60p, 4:2:2 10bit internally, etc. Cons: No 10bit for 4:3 Anamorphic modes or 4K/60p. Those are still 8 bit. It makes me wonder if that will come via external recorder?
NFS: The GH4 required shooters to use an external recorder to capture 4:2:2 10bit images. Does the GH5 follow suit?
Neumann: Nope, the GH5 managed to get 4:2:2 10bit in camera. Big addition for colorists.
NFS: Did you get to experiment with shooting slow motion (at 60p) in 4K with the camera? How did it look?
Neumann: Yes, we probably shot 20% of our video in 4K/60p. It looks good, not 10bit good, but GH4 8bit good. So, if you're familiar with the GH4/8bit codec, you know what you're getting with 4K/60p.
NFS: How does the GH5 fare in terms of image quality?
Neumann: Personally, I would prefer it over anything else on the market at that price. You might lose a little in low light, you might lose a little DR, but in the end, it now has enough features to be considered the best all around camera for its price. In my opinion, at least. I would only consider something like the A7s if you really had a specialized shoot or look in mind.
NFS: In your opinion, which aspects of the camera are low-budget filmmakers going to like the most?
Neumann: IBIS. I honestly wasn't that excited about it because I had never used it before. Now? I don't want to go back to a camera that doesn't have it. Sometimes we just left our tripod in the car and that is a decision I would love to make more often.
In the behind-the-scenes video above, Neumann talks a little bit about what it was like shooting with the GH5. Below is a low-light test that he performed on the GH5, which has a max ISO of 25600:
Last but not least, as promised, Neumann is making some of his GH5 footage available for download for anyone who's interested in taking it for a spin in post. (The files download automatically if you click this link.)
As of yesterday, Panasonic now has a YouTube channel dedicated to Lumix cameras called—you guessed it—LUMIX Cameras. You can see more of the official GH5 launch videos there, as well as some other sweet content.