I have to repeat that I feel like the luckiest photographer in the world having such amazing photographic products handed to me to test and give you my take (in my simple way). If I test something I do not like,  even after giving it the learning curve time it takes from some products, you will not see it reviewed here. 

Well, what you see here is the Panasonic Lumix GH5.

Yes, I like this camera for so many reasons. It is so feature-loaded that in the 3 hours I had to use it, I was also accompanied by Panasonic’s Tech rep and great professional working photographer in his own right, Michael Richardson.

Imagine this:

Michael Richardson had two cases loaded with the most exceptional glass (which was quite overwhelming to me because of the time constraint).

So, here is what I chose to use over at the Farmers Market/The Grove near Samy’s Camera Fairfax:

  • The ultra wide 7-14mm F/4 Aspheric
  • Leica 15mm F/1.7 Aspheric
  • The exceptional Leica 42.5 F/1.2 Noticron
  • G LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR P 100-400MM
  • F4.0-6.3 ASPHeric
Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather

I was in photographer’s heaven. I just wished we had more time. I chose this location because of the close quarters and bright to low lighting conditions and great color.

Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather
Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather
Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather

One of the cameras I currently own is a Panasonic camera (FZ2500 for exceptional 4K and still quality with a 24mm – 480mm reach for stills). I also owned a GH2 a few years ago so, I am familiar with this very capable camera division of this company. 

The ergonomics are just right: small, easy to hold, and very lightweight, even with that amazing 100-400mm (200mm – 800mm) lens. I did not get into many of the features that are packed into this camera, especially the incredible video capability this camera is primarily known for. My job was to test the still quality that is equally as exceptional as the HD and 4K video. 20.3 megapixels and sharpness due to no low pass filter puts this camera in the same arena as the larger sensor big boys. Just add some beautiful glass to maximize it all.

Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather

I also got to test the 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 stabilizer which is a life saver for a professional photographer and photo enthusiast alike.

This camera offers it all to a working professional. Everything a pro would want is contained in such a small package. And, now with more advanced breakthroughs by Panasonic with their sensor and Venus Engine (who came up with that?  Makes me chuckle!) to process it all, pro and amateur alike can travel the world to make indie films or serious documentaries or classic street photography where one can be so invisible with such a small camera.

With my reviews it’s more about the images I get than the blah blah since you can get that in incredible, scientific detail on so many blogging sites out there.

Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather
Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather
Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather

From Panasonic:

LUMIX GH5 4K Mirrorless ILC Camera Body with 20.3 Megapixels, 4K 60p & 4:2:2 10-bit Internal, Dual Image Stabilization 2, & WiFi + Bluetooth

Features

  • Professional photo and 4K video performance in a durable magnesium alloy body.
  • 20.3MP Four Thirds sensor with no low pass filter.
  • 4K Video: Internal recording at 4K60/50p (4:2:0 8bit) & 4K30/25p/24p (4:2:2 10bit).
  • Variable Video Frame Rates 4K: Max. 60fps & FHD: Max. 180fps.
  • 5-Axis Photo/Video Dual I.S. 2.0 up to 5 stops with compatible LUMIX MFT lenses, plus in-body stabilization support for classic non-O.I.S lenses.
  • Fast and accurate focusing utilizing LUMIX 480 fps DFD focusing system and Venus Engine 10
  • Full size (Type A) HDMI terminal with cable lock included & twin SD Card slots (UHS-II U3 Compatible).
  • 3.5mm mic & headphone terminals – optional DMW-XLR1 microphone adaptor.
  • Eye viewfinder 3680k-dot OLED, 21mm, 0.76x.
  • V-LogL recording with (Optional) DMW-SFU1 paid upgrade

Splash/Dust/Freezeproof

Rugged Design

The LUMIX GH5 is built like a tank to withstand even heavy use out in the field. It is freezeproof down to -10-degrees in addition to splash / dustproof construction thanks to weather sealing on every joint, dial, and button. A magnesium alloy full die-cast armor frame makes the body lightweight yet durable while bringing ruggedness to the compact size. This camera can go everywhere you can.

The shutter unit is durable for approx. 200,000 times release*. Not only does it offer the highest shutter speed at max. 1/8000 to capture fast-moving ‘spur-of-the-moment’ shots but when used with fast aperture lenses – even outdoors – it gives impressive de-focus.

20.3MP Pixels

The LUMIX GH5 packs a real punch with its high performance 20.3MP Digital Live MOS sensor to achieve incredible picture. Together with the removal of the low-pass filter from the sensor, you can confidently capture sharp images with a high dynamic range and artefact free.

Venus Engine Processor

The marriage of an advanced Digital Live MOS sensor with the beautiful new Venus Engine 10 produces extraordinary color detail and natural texture expression. Multipixel Luminance Generation and Intelligent Detail Processing render intense brightness and contrast. The Three-Dimensional Color Control zings with rich colors from dark to bright shades and high-precision Multi Process NR makes your images pop even at high ISO sensitivity settings. Video users will be impressed with the improved performance in perceptual dynamic range at high ISO sensitivity settings.

Post Focus – Shoot now, Focus Later

This fantastic Post Focus function gives you the power to focus after you’ve taken the shot! Simply capture the scene, review the image and touch the part of the photo you’d like pin sharp. Set and save. It’s simple, stunning and all this advanced processing happens inside the camera.

Focus Stacking – Adjust The Focus Area After Shooting

The Focus Stacking function enables you to adjust the focus area after shooting by blending multiple images taken at different focus distances to create an amazing image depth of field. You can make your images with exactly the kind of de-focus you want or pan-focus the image by simply selecting the focus area after shooting. This is brilliantly useful when shooting with fast apertures, close ups or macro photography.

DFD Ultra Fast Motion

Detection & Focus

Panasonic’s innovative DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology is constantly evolving and its just got even better. DFD allows the LUMIX GH5 to calculate focal lens movement by comparing depth of field values of two images at incredibly high speed. By combining the AF drive with a maximum read speed of 480 fps, the LUMIX GH5 can achieve ultra-high-speed Auto Focus in up to 0.05 seconds* and 9 fps burst shooting with AFC (** 12 fps burst shooting with AFS). A newly adopted motion detector accurately tracks fast moving subjects, and enables smooth 4K PHOTO/VIDEO & 6K PHOTO recording.

225 FOCUS POINTS

A Joystick Controller on the back of the LUMIX GH5 is used to smoothly and intuitively select focus blocks inside the focusing area overlay.

225-Area AF

The focus detect area is massively increased from 49 (LUMIX GH4) to 225 points for more flexible composition.

Custom Multi AF

The Custom Multi AF mode allows you to freely select an array of blocks inside the 225 focusing area.

5-Axis Dual I.S. Eliminates Blur

5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabiliser) 2* intelligent compensation enables up to 5-stops of slower shutter speeds even through telephoto lenses. The LUMIX GH5 nearly eliminates shake in both body and lens from wide-angle to tele-end**. It also works in both photo and video recording, including 4K video. The astonishing power of the 5-axis Body I.S. corrects shake for all lenses, including classic lenses not equipped with O.I.S.

* 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 works when attaching the lens that are compatible with it. Firmware update of the lens is also required.
** Based on the CIPA standard [Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=50-140mm (35mm film camera equivalent f=100-280mm), when H-FS14140 is used.]

Dual SD Card Slots

Dual SD card slots increase recording capacity and file arrangement efficiency. The dual SD card slots allow you to record in relay, backup, and simultaneous modes. Relay allows you to swap a full card out for an empty card so you can record virtually endlessly. The backup mode allows you to record continuously on one card, while you start and stop recording on the other card. Simultaneous record duplicates your recording on both cards.

Large OLED LVF (3,680k-dot)

The high-resolution 3,680k-dot OLED Live View Finder matches up to exactly how you intended to see the image even under direct sunlight. A high 0.76x magnification (35mm camera equivalent) makes it easy to see image detail, your settings and icons, and, the long eye point distance of 21mm is excellent for people who wear glasses.

Bluetooth 4.2 & Wi-Fi® 5GHz

The Bluetooth 4.2 (Low Energy) enables full-time connection between camera and smartphone with low energy consumption. After shooting, it automatically switches to Wi-Fi connection, transferring data to your smartphone. The Wi-Fi 5GHz (IEEE802.11ac) is incredibly fast. You can use Panasonic’s Lumix Image App for Android / iOS to control shutter and other settings, plus, video record Start / Stop without physically touching the camera!

Check out the Panasonic Lumix GH5!