Budding 4K dream
Panasonic LUMIX GH5
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.