September 27, 2015 at 3:16PM

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Panasonic GH5 - which features do you expect (or want) ?

The Panasonic GH4 was released in May 2014. So that's nearly 1.5 years ago. Now that Sony is releasing new 4K camera's like the A7S II and A7R II, Panasonic for sure, is working on the GH5, which should have at least a few features that are a significant leap forward, compared to the already impressive GH4. My question: what features would you want from, or do you expect in the new GH5. (I'm just curious and perhaps Panasonic will listen to us)

28 Comments

PS: one of my own ideas is that Panasonic could make a "video-only" version of this camera, like the A7S, so a new "GH5S" could have an image sensor which only shoots 4K (8 megapixels) and be much better in low-light, as the pixel density is lower. I wouldn't mind, as I practically only shoot video with my GH4. Agree?

September 27, 2015 at 3:22PM

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Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer
776

My guess is that the GH5 might have the following features...

10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording for 4K and 1080 HD ( something Sony won't do )
Better dynamic range ( 13+ stops when shooting LOG )
Better low-light performance ( 1+ F-stops better )
4K 60p recording
1080 120p recording
Go back to Mini HDMI socket ( Micro HDMI is a disaster )

I would buy it just for the 10-bit 4:2:2 alone, especially when shooting LOG formats.

September 27, 2015 at 7:57PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31560

Yes, but 10 bit 4:2:2 would increase the bitrate significantly, perhaps double it to 200 mbit/sec. Not sure how many SD cards can keep up with that speed. I do wonder about the 10 bit on the current GH4 though. People who have used the Shogun on the 4K 10 bit 4:2:2 output, saw very little difference with the in-camera recorded 4K (8 bit, 4:2:0) footage.

Have you seen any tests with 10 bit VLOG 4:2:2 out of the GH4, on an Atomos Shogun or Assassin? That would essentially be the very close to the quality the improved (and still imaginary) GH5 would produce.

September 28, 2015 at 3:41PM

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Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer
776

You're not going to notice too much of a visual difference between 10 bit and 8 bit...It's when you start pushing the image around in post that you will find that the 10 bit can be pushed around a lot more before it falls apart.. as the 8 bit will fall apart very quickly, especially with VLOG

September 29, 2015 at 5:31AM, Edited September 29, 5:31AM

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Alex Kaldeway
Director of Photography / Editor
143

Yes you can do this with a GH4 and external recorder, but it would be more convenient to be able to record 10-bit 4:2:2 internally. Especially when using the camera with a 3-axis gimbal, on an aerial drone, or when setting up a couple of b-roll cameras to compliment your main camera.

Sony looks like they are not going to adopt 10-bit internal recording ( or even external recording ) for their mirrorless cameras, so Panasonic could stand-out from their competition by doing this, just like they did with the GH4 when it was the only camera that could shoot internal 4K video, and the only camera that has no recording time limit. ( which I think is still the case )

September 29, 2015 at 11:07AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31560

You nailed it and I'm gonna stress low light/noise performance of the sensor. That's really the only thing holding the GH line back imo. Fix that, add some DR and 10 bit 4:2:2 and it's golden. The micro -> mini HDMI is a nice idea too. Nice catch.

September 29, 2015 at 8:42AM, Edited September 29, 8:45AM

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Jerald Roberts II
Filmmaker
321

I'm agree with you. Also 5 axis stabilization and 1440p 96 fps would be nice.

September 30, 2015 at 10:37AM

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I would pretty much say the same as Guy.

Higher frame-rates and better low-light performance would be great. I would imagine that a log colour profile would come as standard.

Will they give us 10-bit 4:2:2? Who knows. If they did (with all of the above) and it was a similar price to the GH4 when it was released, they'll be on to a winner.

On your point about a video-only version:

I have mostly used my GH4 for video, but have now started bringing it with me for photos (not professional, just 'walk-around' photos...) Paired with the 12-35, it is much more compact than my Canon 60D. It doesn't quite have the depth of field that the Canon has, but it really does produce a lovely image.

September 28, 2015 at 7:42AM, Edited September 28, 7:46AM

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It may be another year or two before it is upgraded, especially now that V-Log is available. Cameras now shoot 4K with so many advanced features, so I don't expect upgrade cycles to continue at the same rate is as in the recent past. The same way we don't upgrade workstations at the feverish pace we did in the early 2000's, we will leapfrog less and less from old to to newly designed cameras and get a longer user life out of cameras that we are familiar with and that are paid for many times over. A 4K update of the AG-AF100 would be far more interesting intriguing than a GH5 at this point.

September 28, 2015 at 8:45AM, Edited September 28, 8:51AM

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Marc B
Shooter & Editor
954

My own guess is that Panasonic will release the GH5 in the spring of 2016. That's just based on the "rhythm" of releases in the past and the pressure from competition.

September 29, 2015 at 1:08AM

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Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer
776

Guy pretty much nailed it. I'd love better low-light capabilities, 10bit recording and the extra frame rates so I could film events at 4K, and have the option to crop in post. Vlog is a great addition and I still need to learn how to make the best use of that.

Asking for RAW might be over the top, anyways if you're going to go through the extra in the workflow might as well use a RAW recording camera!

September 29, 2015 at 1:43PM

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Sebastian Kammonen
Filmmaker
318

Very nice to hear your ideas and responses, I hope that Panasonic is listening!

September 29, 2015 at 3:51PM

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Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer
776

LOW LIGHT is a must, please Panasonic. I don't mind 8 bit internal and 10 bit external. But more bit rates and slo motion in 4k please!!!!

September 30, 2015 at 3:46AM

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Joaquim Barreto
Producer/Director
154

I'm looking for better low light performance in my next camera, and I'm afraid that means abandoning Panasonic and m4/3. I'm not sure how they can overcome the ISO limitations of that small sensor. I would love a GH5 to be a full-frame sensor camera. But, I don't see Panasonic going that route.

September 30, 2015 at 6:29AM

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I'm with you, Jim. I am in the process of abandoning everything M43 for that very reason, miserable low light performance. Plus, the GH3 (can't speak for the GH4) falls beyond ISO 800. The camera just does not work in low light situations.

September 30, 2015 at 6:33AM

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Gabe Reuben
Director of Photography
180

The Sony A7R II, A7S, and A7S II are the best cameras for low-light shooting, so if low-light is a big deal for you then these are the cameras to look at.

Most of what I shoot takes place in the day time and I'm usually matching window-light, so I bring daylight balanced LED lights to even out the lighting. Low-light is rarely an issue for me. When I work on Indie films I also bring a good lighting kit, as "found" lighting often looks terrible on camera, and again low-light is usually not an issue.

If I was shooting documentary or live event work at night, then low-light performance would be a no-brainer, and the Sony A7S would be the first camera I would pick to shoot with.

NOTE: Keep in mind that when you are shooting with a Full Frame camera you have to close down your lens IRIS by 2 F-stops to match the DOF of a Micro 4/3 camera. So if I'm shooting at f/1.4 with my GH4 camera, then I'm shooting at f/2.8 with a Sony AS7 camera. This extra DOF and fast lenses make the GH4 usable in low-light environments, but the AS7 is still a couple of F-stops better.

September 30, 2015 at 7:19AM, Edited September 30, 7:25AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31560

The problem with the Sony cameras is that they overheat and have limited continuous shooting time. I think the Sony cameras are great. Just don't work for the stuff I shoot.

September 30, 2015 at 11:25AM

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Right now it's only ONE Sony camera ( the A7R II ) that overheats when recording 4K for longer than an hour, so hopefully the new A7S II won't have the same problem. It's different sensor on the A7S II, so things could be very different when shooting 4K.

October 2, 2015 at 4:35PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31560

96 FPS is pretty much fine for me. 10 bit would be awesome! I think the main thing for me is improving the noise performance of the camera.
And so there is no confusion, I mean the noise specifically (the way it looks, reacts to things), not necessarily the low-light performance.
I don't need a 'low-light' camera in the things I like to shoot, but I must say, the GH4 seems very vulnerable to ugly artifacts compared to other cameras (noise on the Sony FS100 I had as well as the BlackMagic Pocket is very grainy, almost with an organic feel). GH4 tends to get macroblocking patterns and very colorful (not in a good way!) noise patterns.
Honestly if they just fixed that a bit, all the rest could even stay the same. It's such a beautiful, full-featured camera.

September 30, 2015 at 9:28AM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1363

>>> GH4 tends to get macroblocking patterns and very colorful (not in a good way!) noise patterns.

Shoot with Sharpness and Noise-Reduction set to -5, and also shoot with non-electronic lenses. I get incredibly clean footage from my GH4 by following these steps. Yes, it means you have to sharpen your footage in post if you want full detail in your image, and it will mean using noise-reduction software in post when shooting at higher ISO settings. ( I use NeatVideo to reduce the ambient noise in my higher ISO footage )

September 30, 2015 at 9:35AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31560

Yes, totally. That is what my settings were (sold mind, but thinking about repurchasing, especially now that there is V Log), and I forgot to mention...I didn't get those patterns ALL the time of course. For the most part, everything out of that camera was gorgeous. Those are good workarounds, though, thanks Guy!

September 30, 2015 at 9:49AM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1363

If I could ever afford it the camera I would like to upgrade to is the Canon C300 Mk2, which has the Canon color science, can record 2K 12-bit 4:4:4 or 4K RAW with an external recorder, has 15 F-stops of dynamic range that should hold up when shooting at high ISO ratings ( like the C300 Mk1 does ), low-light performance that is close to what the Sony A7S can do, is fairly compact, and can run all day on 3 camera batteries, and has state of the art professional autofocus that is controllable by the shooter.

At about half this price, the Sony FS7 looks like a great camera with many of the same features as the C300 Mk2.

Below this the JVC GL-300 4K Super35 camera potentially looks like the best thing going at $3,500, but I have to be convinced that it has enough dynamic range with it's new 10-bit 4:2:2 LOG internal recording formats. ( enough DR for me would be 12 F-stops )

September 30, 2015 at 11:09AM, Edited September 30, 11:14AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31560

Agreed - I've been very impressed with what I've seen out of the FS7. There is of course the URSA Mini but that could easily be a "better on paper" camera and turn out being a little difficult to work with.
Canon is always a wonderful option if you have loads of cash, haha. I wish they'd lower their prices! That Sony fs5 looks pretty interesting, as well.

September 30, 2015 at 1:05PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1363

>>>That Sony fs5 looks pretty interesting, as well.

But the price difference between the FS5 and FS7 seems very small, roughly about $1,000, so I can't imagine buying the FS5 unless I wanted a smaller camera and was willing to give up on 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording.

September 30, 2015 at 1:49PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31560

The fs5 is $1000 cheaper but when you consider the price XQD cards for the fs7, the difference is a little bit more because the fs5 records to SD cards and is therefore cheaper for a whole package. I honestly think the fs5 is going to set a new standard because it's an excellent balance between price and technology even though you give up 4k 4:2:2. Just something to consider.

October 2, 2015 at 7:42AM

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Jerald Roberts II
Filmmaker
321

Thanks. I didn't know that the FS5 uses SD cards, which is a big difference when trying to put together enough media to shoot all day.

October 2, 2015 at 4:38PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31560

All I want is a better codec, why not have it shoot ProRes ?
That's all I need, I usually bring my own lights.

October 2, 2015 at 8:14AM

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Higher Data rate + storage medium + heat buildup = potential problems?

October 2, 2015 at 4:50PM, Edited October 2, 4:50PM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
1128

Low light and the heavily compressed H.264 codecs are the GH4's main problems. The codecs limit the GH4 and adding RAW or at least ProRes to the H.264 codecs gives more options.

1. Better low light hopefully with the long awaited High Dynamic Range low noise Organic CMOS sensor.
2. Internal Recording with up to 4k 10bit 422 HQ 25fps ProRes plus 4k 10bit 422 60fps and up to 240fps 10bit 422 1080p in the new HEVC/H.265 codecs.
3. External Recording with up to 4k Lossless CinemaDNG Raw or 4k 12bit 444 24fps ProRes with SDI output or equivalent.
4. Dual Image Stabilization.
5. Better Flip screen resolution.

This would be a field leveling Monster, of which I would gladly buy.

February 3, 2016 at 1:57PM, Edited February 3, 1:57PM

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