Panasonic GH5 Lumix Review


Before Panasonic GH5 Lumix when Panasonic Lumix GH4 hit the shelves in May 2014, it captured the attention of both photographers and video makers. Not only was it the world’s first prosumer 4K video camera, but it was also the most advanced mirror fewer cameras ever built. In late 2015, a tweaked version – the Panasonic Lumix GH4R – was released, which added improved video functionality.

Panasonic GH5 Lumix Body
Panasonic GH5 Lumix Body

Now, Panasonic’s top-of-the-line offering has been refreshed and redesigned again, with a myriad of new features. Of these, perhaps the most eye-catching is its 6K video and photo again a world first but there are plenty of other goodies to get excited about that make this a seriously impressive release.

Panasonic GH5 Lumix Features

The camera sports a new 20.3MP Digital Live MOS sensor similar to the one found on the GX8. This improves image resolution by 25% when compared with the 16MP Panasonic Lumix GH3, GH4, GH4R, and most other mirrorless Lumix models.

The sensor doesn’t have an optical low-pass filter, which for those who work regularly in low light, the camera sports an ISO range of 200-51,200, which is 1 stop greater than its predecessor.

There’s also a new in-body 5-axis Dual IS II stabilization system that allows you to shoot handheld up to 5 stops slower without camera shake.

The Panasonic GH5 Lumix 225-area AF system is extremely fast, finding focus in less than 0.05sec, compared with the Panasonic Lumix GH4’s 0.07sec. We tested the camera in a low light environment, and it never once struggled to immediately lock onto its subject.

When photographing very fast-moving objects, this speedy AF system allows an improved burst rate of 9fps with continuous focusing (where the camera refocuses between each shot), or 12fps with AF-S or manual focusing. With a fast enough card, the GH5 can maintain this shooting speed for at least 100 consecutive images.

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With the Panasonic GH5 Lumix 4K and 6K Photo modes, it’s actually possible to shoot at an even faster rate than 9/12fps. This is achieved by recording a length of regular 4K or 6K footage, then saving a single frame as a JPEG. This yields a shooting speed of up to 30fps for 18MP stills, or 60fps for 8MP stills. Although you can’t extract RAW files, it’s still really useful for blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments.

On the back of the camera is a large 3.2in 1620k-dot screen that flips out for easy composition, and it’s touch sensitive for fingertip navigation, focusing and shooting. This is considerably higher res than the screen on the GH4R.

The EVF has seen an upgrade too. It’s now 3680k-dot (up from 2360k) and has a  magnification of 0.76x. We found the EVF to be extremely impressive, and reminiscent of the one in the much-acclaimed Leica SL.

The camera boasts twin SD card slots, Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth, and a new quiet shutter that’s rated for 200,000. Video functionality is very impressive, with 6K and 4K shooting at up to 60fps and Full HD at up to 180fps. The camera can, usefully, save footage to card and external recorder simultaneously.

For the first time, 4K can be shot at 4:2:2 10-bit for an incredible range of colors. Unlike most DSLRs and CSCs, the video isn’t limited to 29m 59s and is now unlimited. Both a headphone and mic port are built in, as is automatic autofocus transition for perfectly smooth focus pulls.

Panasonic GH5 Lumix Verdict

If you’re a skilled amateur photographer or pro moviemaker looking for a compact, feature-heavy camera, the Panasonic GH5 Lumix will tick lots of boxes. It’s not cheap at $2266 body-only, but with its awesome EVF, 5-axis IS, 9fps shooting and 6K photo and video, you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck. That said, some photographers will still be put off by the one spec that has so far been a constant on Panasonic Lumix mirrorless cameras – the Four Thirds sensor – which is much smaller than APS-C and full-frame sensors.

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Panasonic GH5 Lumix Specification

Model NamePanasonic GH5 Lumix
Resolution20.33 Megapixels
Sensor Size17.3 x 13.0 mm (In 4:3 Aspect Ratio)
Kit LensN/A
ViewfinderOptical / LCD
Native ISO100 - 25,600
Extended ISO100 - 25,600
Shutter1/8000 - 30 Seconds
Dimensions138.5 x 98.1 x 87.4 mm / 5.45 x 3.86 x 3.44 Inch
Weight1.60 lb (725 gm) includes batteries

Panasonic GH5 Lumix Video Review