Budding 4K dream

Pana­sonic LUMIX GH5

HWM (Malaysia) - - APERTURE - by Ian Chee

With 4K videos be­com­ing main­stream, more and more videog­ra­phers are look­ing for cam­eras that not only shoot 4K videos, but do them well. And with our re­view sub­ject, the Pana­sonic LUMIX GH5, this may be the tool that videog­ra­phers are look­ing for.

But what makes the LUMIX GH5, equipped with a 20.3MP Mi­cro Four Thirds sen­sor, such a beast when it comes to videos? The abil­ity to shoot 4K 60p/50p is a point to con­sider. An­other is the fact that it al­lows you to shoot video clips that are as long as its bat­tery can sus­tain, so long you have an SDXC card with enough space for con­tin­u­ous record­ing. It’s also ca­pa­ble of 4:2:2 10-bit 4K cap­ture, giv­ing you videos with bet­ter color tonal­ity and gra­da­tion.

Other tools at your dis­posal in­clude 5-axis Dual Im­age Sta­bi­liza­tion for five-stop IS com­pen­sa­tion when the LUMIX GH5 is paired with com­pat­i­ble lenses. The GH5 also uses Pana­sonic’s DFD con­trast de­tec­tion aut­o­fo­cus. As you’d ex­pect from a LUMIX cam­era, there are many but­tons avail­able, in­clud­ing a few on-screen ones, that you’re free to pro­gram to the func­tions you seek. We have stuck to the de­faults, as we found them plenty in­tu­itive to ac­cess.

Af­ter putting its video record­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties to the test, we con­clude that it in­deed per­forms as ad­ver­tised – the 4:2:2 color sub­sam­pling ra­tio led to bet­ter de­tail preser­va­tion when pro­cess­ing the footage. Hav­ing the LE­ICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens also lets us make use of Dual IS, which also works won­ders in re­duc­ing jit­ters when you need to walk around while record­ing.

The lat­ter is also a ma­jor bonus when it comes to photography. With it, you can af­ford to take shots with slightly longer ex­po­sure time, while keep­ing your shots sharp. Aut­o­fo­cus­ing speed is also equally amaz­ing, re­sult­ing in photos that are rich in de­tail. Push­ing the ISO fur­ther re­sulted in in­evita- ble noise, but we were very im­pressed with the amount of de­tail pre­served, even at ISO 12,800. That said, noise lev­els still meant that you’d want to keep it un­der ISO 3,200 if you in­tend to have your shots printed, as al­ways.

Of course, a cam­era like this comes with a hefty price tag. One that reads RM8,999, in fact, and that’s just for the cam­era body. But if you make a liv­ing shoot­ing 4K videos and ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­tra de­tails that 4:2:2 color sub­sam­pling can grant you, then per­haps it’s a fair price to pay.

CON­CLU­SION The LUMIX GH5 is bril­liant, and does a few things that no oth­ers can.

The many but­tons are in­tu­itive enough as they are, but most of them are free for you to remap and re­pro­gram.

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