January 5, 2017
EXCLUSIVE

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.      

Your Comment

61 Comments

whos luke neumann?

January 5, 2017 at 10:30AM

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Jsfilmz
16

I am

January 5, 2017 at 11:33AM, Edited January 5, 11:33AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

Next question! :)

Seriously though, I've been following Luke on Facebook for a while. Smart guy, good chops, generous with his knowledge, time, and assets.

Not that anyone knows who the heck *I* am, but just tossing in my two cents from here in the Peanut Gallery...

January 5, 2017 at 11:43AM

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Bryan Howell
Screenwriter, Editor, and Other-stuffer
284

how do you get your videos to play this clean? I've followed quite a few tutorials and my footage's look half as good as your in 1080? Is it a separate program to compress for the web?
Thanks!

January 6, 2017 at 1:36AM

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Vincent Gortho
none
734

Delete me.

January 5, 2017 at 12:47PM, Edited January 5, 12:48PM

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Ryan Sauve
@sauvedp
126

He's all sorts of awesome.

January 5, 2017 at 12:52PM, Edited January 5, 12:52PM

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Ryan Sauve
@sauvedp
126

elementary tactic and poorly executed.

January 5, 2017 at 12:59PM

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Who's jsfilmz?

January 5, 2017 at 3:30PM

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All i need is for DJI to make a gimbal for this and i'll stick it on my s1000! I'd much rather fly this then an ALEXA MINI or a RED.

January 5, 2017 at 11:09AM

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They do have a gimbal for it. Luke shot with the Ronin MX on the DJI Matrice 600.

January 5, 2017 at 1:04PM

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Levi Allen
Adventure Filmmaker
83

What lenses were used for Beyond the Grid? Was it shot in v-log?

What denoise software was used for the low light tests?

January 5, 2017 at 11:18AM, Edited January 5, 11:18AM

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Mostly Lumix 12-35 f 2.8 and 35-100 f 2.8 IS

Yup, shot in VLog, but for all I know, not a profile that had been optimized for 10bit yet?

Neat video.

January 5, 2017 at 11:34AM, Edited January 5, 11:34AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

Thanks for the response!

How did you feel that the Lumix lenses held up on the gh5, versus using Nikon primes on the gh4?

January 5, 2017 at 12:32PM

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The only thing we shot with Nikon primes was the macros of the phone. I should throw those on and see how it looks.

January 5, 2017 at 3:19PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

Were the lenses you used the first or second generation lenses? The mark I's or mark II's?

January 5, 2017 at 12:38PM

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K W
191

Mark I I believe

January 5, 2017 at 3:19PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

Just to be clear - those two lenses work with IBIS? I think it's true that not all Lumix lenses will work together with IBIS, only the newer ones, so it would be good to know. Thanks!

January 6, 2017 at 8:13AM, Edited January 6, 8:13AM

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I had the Dual IS logo/icon up on my screen with those lenses attached and not others and they SEEMED more stable but...I guess I can't be sure.

January 6, 2017 at 12:11PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

This is a pretty perfect upgrade from my GH4...stoked to have both come March.

January 5, 2017 at 11:53AM

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Christopher Evans
Video Artist
189

Does it have Slo-Mo capabilities in 1080p beyond 60p? Any 2K recording modes available? Thanks

January 5, 2017 at 12:51PM

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Ulises Bravo
Filmmaker, DP
215

There is a 1080p 180fps mode.

January 5, 2017 at 1:05PM

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Levi Allen
Adventure Filmmaker
83

@Luke-Great job showcasing Oregon's beauty-the place is majestic!

How is battery life on the GH5? GH4 is a champ and I'm curious if the 10 bit or 4K 60p require more power...

Thanks! George

January 5, 2017 at 12:55PM

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George Mihaly
Director, Cinematographer, Editor at storyfirm.com
78

Wow! I remember when I snuck into the ASC clubhouse 2 months ago dressed as a waiter. I kept a low profile overhearing cool conversations. Then I saw him... Roger Deakins! He asked for a water and I wanted to get him comfortable so I poured him a glass of Everclear. He quickly drank the water saying he had a cold and couldn't smell a thing. He collapsed almost instantly. I really messed up this time. People began to notice. Claudio Miranda asked "Is he gonna be alright?" I yelled "Shut up!" It didn't seem like he was breathing. I opened his shirt carefully and pulled out my swiss army knife... I needed to get air in his lungs. I felt along his ribcage, I could do this. Right before I plunged the knife a hand grabbed me! It was Deakins! He quickly vomited everywhere. I was horrified. He pulled me close and said something I'll never forget... "Cameras... It's all about the sensor size..." Since then I make sure the sensor size is close to 35mm... it's what Deakins would have wanted...

January 5, 2017 at 1:18PM

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Julian Terry
Writer/Director
311

?

January 5, 2017 at 3:21PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

Nope. He actually said it's all about the glass. Great glass never goes out of fashion.

January 6, 2017 at 3:49PM

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Luke killed it with this one.... Very dope!

January 5, 2017 at 1:53PM, Edited January 5, 1:53PM

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Walter Wallace
Spokesperson/Entrepreneur
682

Thank you!

January 5, 2017 at 3:21PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

Thanks Luke for your review. I've been a subscriber of your Youtube channel for a long time and appreciate all the tips you pass on.

January 5, 2017 at 2:05PM

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Thanks Casey

January 5, 2017 at 3:20PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

In the ZIP file, the 60p files are fine, but the 30p and 24p say they are damaged. Thanks for making these available. I really like the piece and you and your wife's work Luke. Though I own a Red, I wonder if, for the stuff I do, this camera may be more than sufficient. Leaving the world of RAW makes me nervous...

January 5, 2017 at 4:29PM

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Andy Roberts
Cinematographer / Photographer
14

I hear you. We use RED too. I don't know if it could replace but it could certainly complement.

January 5, 2017 at 4:53PM, Edited January 5, 4:53PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

I am having the same issue, as soon as I try and drag in to my timeline Premiere crashes straight away. 60P seems fine here btw.

January 5, 2017 at 7:19PM

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the colors look GREAT! downloading the sample footage now. will be picking up one or two GH5s for sure

January 5, 2017 at 4:45PM

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Is the ISO test using some sort of on-camera 'denoise'? Or was this done in post?

January 5, 2017 at 5:47PM, Edited January 5, 5:47PM

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NeatVideo he said.

January 5, 2017 at 6:04PM, Edited January 5, 6:04PM

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Andy Roberts
Cinematographer / Photographer
14

I downloaded the footage and took it for a spin. I was wondering if it would be okay to post my results on YouTube? I mean, since it's not my footage, I don't want to step on any toes. However I thought it might be interesting to share.

January 5, 2017 at 6:17PM, Edited January 5, 6:17PM

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Jimmy Keegan
Director
1

Absolutely, we just ask that people give credit in the description or something.

January 5, 2017 at 7:35PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

Awesome. Thanks.

January 5, 2017 at 8:08PM, Edited January 5, 8:08PM

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Jimmy Keegan
Director
1

This was my quick test color grading and working with the footage. I explain what I did in the video description. Thanks so much for sharing the footage. :)

https://youtu.be/f5AK2SSZq4I

January 5, 2017 at 8:19PM

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Jimmy Keegan
Director
1

Nice, now I know that all of that terrible over-sharpening from the sample video was done in post.

January 11, 2017 at 9:24AM

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Kyle Sanders
Editor
238

No post sharpening added. Could be because that one was uploaded in 1080p and ours was 4K with (likely) a higher data rate.

January 17, 2017 at 8:57AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

This is my version. It is the first time I grade V-log:
https://youtu.be/jsbccF8ebG0

January 6, 2017 at 6:53PM

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Hi Luke,

Great stuff and thanks for doing this.

Quick question, if shot in GH5 Log, do you think this could be color matched to my Epic-W or FS7 (Shot in S-Log)? I have decent grading skills.

I'm looking for a small DSLR that I can possibly use as a B-Cam when traveling, on a Glidecam and / or for stealth. I love Canon colors but they're too far behind in specs, never liked the A7S look; so hoping this might be the ticket when mixed with Speed Booster.

January 5, 2017 at 7:00PM, Edited January 5, 7:04PM

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Gene Sung
DP / Director
415

Yeah man, just color match in resolve, with 10bit it should get pretty close!

January 5, 2017 at 7:35PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

Hey Luke, thank you very much for the review and the clips too. I have managed to open the 24p as well as the 30p files using VLC and hands down the 30p dolly shot is my favourite.I could not edit it though, Premiere crashes and I am wondering if it is to do with the H265 codec? Anyway, thanks for sharing and I am thinking about having this camera as my first 4K camera and to team up with my Canon C100 mk ii. Any thoughts? Cheers and happy new year from another bleak city, London/UK.

January 5, 2017 at 7:24PM, Edited January 5, 7:27PM

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Those files crash in Resolve too.

January 6, 2017 at 6:18AM

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Luke, any observations about rolling shutter? It's a big drawback with the A7s.

January 5, 2017 at 7:33PM, Edited January 5, 7:34PM

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It seems rolling shutter is really small according to other videos. Probably Luke has a better opinion.

January 6, 2017 at 6:20AM

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I'm Over here like ; i want that camera and i want it now!

January 5, 2017 at 9:12PM

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Wentworth Kelly
Director/DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2200

Great job.

January 6, 2017 at 12:42PM

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Ramon Boutviseth
Director / Cinematographer / Editor
1

Am I right in thinking that the article and all the videos are just one big paid advertisement for the GH5?

Should that not be mentioned in the title, or anywhere else? Its nice content but I think it should say somewhere that it is sponsored content. Just a small line about the agreement between Panasonic and the film maker and that it in no way contributed to the opinions expressed in the videos.

Not hating on the content btw, videos were very nice and it does seem like a good use of Panasonics marketing budget. :)

January 6, 2017 at 2:04PM, Edited January 6, 2:30PM

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Claire McHardy
Cinematographer
364

I would bet Luke's video was paid for (maybe not though), but I doubt this post was paid for. People just want to see the footage from a new camera. NFS just reposts video content.

January 11, 2017 at 9:26AM

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Kyle Sanders
Editor
238

Free V-Log to US pre-order customers but not for the same in the UK. V-Log will be a chargeable extra. What a rip off. Was fully intending to buy a GH5 but now will be sticking to my Sony A6300.

January 6, 2017 at 3:35PM

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Because of 99$? Haha.

January 6, 2017 at 5:56PM

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"Yes, we probably shot 20% of our video in 4K/60p. It looks good, not 10bit good, but GH4 8bit good."

In what sense?

For the most part, nobody can tell a difference between a 8-bit and 10-bit file by simply looking at it. When you evaluate an image, even more a faster framerate one, you usually look for image details and some other things, maybe compression artifacts, nobody says this looks "8-bit" or "10-bit".

What does "not 10-bit good, but GH4 8bit good" means? In terms of color grading? In terms of color grading, an 8-bit 420 4K60p grading similarly to the GH4 makes sense, but otherwise it doesn't make much sense to me or maybe just a poor choice of words.

January 6, 2017 at 9:38PM, Edited January 6, 9:41PM

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It means...if you have tried to push a grade and have smooth color transitions/gradients in 8bit GH4 footage, you know what to expect with 4K/60 8bit. Good...not great. I agree, most can't tell a difference. I did, but I'm looking for it.

January 7, 2017 at 3:56AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

I have a GH4 with the 12-40 2.8 Olympus, but I still struggle to get that flat look. Is this possible without the V-Log? I tried to set my shooting settings based on some youtube videos, but no success to get the same look. Any tips on this?
Thanks.

January 8, 2017 at 6:01AM

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Great stuff, thanks for sharing, Luke.

I have downloaded the files and taken a good look at them in Premiere, and the only thing that puts me off a bit is the sharpening. Can you dial it down in-camera, Luke?

January 8, 2017 at 3:34PM, Edited January 8, 3:40PM

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Álex Montoya
Writer/Director
452

It wasn't available in the firmware we had for filming, now it is though. Sharpening and noise reduction can be turned down to -5.

January 17, 2017 at 8:59AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1941

Looks promising... but I'll wait until user reviews come out before making a decision.

January 10, 2017 at 5:40AM, Edited January 10, 5:40AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
938

Dear Mr Newmann,

Lovely work! I particularly liked the way the score married with the Oregon footage: an inspiring blend of visual and audio landscape. It's such a joy when the two arts collide like this! Complements to the composer too! (I presume it was you! no ?)

I was going to pm you but thought that my posing my question here might have some affinity with others who are perhaps deliberating on B-roll camera choice to work well with the GH5 they may already have on order. …..

I am a pro singer-songwriter/composer and budding film maker about to start investing in 4k cameras mainly to shoot cinematic music videos for my own music but I am also busy completing a storyboard for a feature film I'll be shooting some initial sequences for in the spring. It's a humanistic tale featuring a lot of grand vistas from the French Alps and the Dolomites to the rich rolling lowlands of Tuscany, Umbria and Abruzzo. There are also extensive indoor scenes to be shot.

I don't have the full budget yet to splash out on the different types of cameras/drone and various peripheral equipment needed to cover all aspects of shooting the film; nor do I have the budget to hire professional camera men! However I am somebody who makes the most of the facilities and advice I do have available at the time sighting any potential problem with a film sequence as a likely weakness in the storyboard itself rather than the kit that is being used to shoot it. Hence I have jumped in with both feet into this project on my own at the moment but hope to attract some fellow creatives along the way to co-develop the film. As such I am looking to gradually acquiring the kit as the evolving project deems necessary. However I definitely want to shoot in 4K, have weather sealed bodies/lenses and fully articulating touch screens in whatever hand held cameras I use.

Hence for my own camera to start shooting some initial sequences with I am looking at the Panasonic G85 (with the12-60 kit lens) and the FZ300 fixed zoom cameras. I am very familiar with the specification of these two cameras, the glaring difference being the FZ300 has a much smaller sensor and lower megapixel count but on the plus side does have a versatile zoom lens with a useful constant f2.8 aperture. Obviously the G85 is potentially the more versatile choice being an interchangeable MFT lens camera with the same 5 axis stabilisation system found in the GH5. The FZ300 on the other hand can only harness it's stabilisation in 1080p: hence if I found I could not get away with hand-held technique I would probably have to invest in a 3 axis gimbal of some sorts for the FZ300 which would pretty much place both cameras at the same cost!

Whichever one of these cameras I acquire now, they are eventually going to be sidelined for B-roll duty as I plan to purchase a GH5 as my main shooter later on for the more demanding scenes. Moreover as I am the kind of creative individual who endeavours to work around whatever limiting features are available on a camera, harnessing extra lighting/props/post production techniques etc to compensate, crucially, would the FZ300's comparative technical weaknesses to the G85's stronger spec on paper indeed prove too prohibiting in reality to blend satisfactorily with the GH5's footage to achieve an overall consistent cinematic colour, and hence warrant me plumbing for the more expensive model at this time?

If one could get away with hand-held on the FZ300 and much smaller sensor/mp count, for the same outlay as a single G85, it would be handy of course to have two B-roll cameras to get started with!

Any advise much appreciated!

February 10, 2017 at 11:31PM, Edited February 10, 11:31PM

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Henry Frampton
Singer-songwriter-composer
11

(post above got sent twice by mistake!)

February 11, 2017 at 12:08AM, Edited February 11, 12:18AM

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Henry Frampton
Singer-songwriter-composer
11