In what felt like an eternity after Panasonic’s announcement, the new Lumix GH5 finally landed in my hands last month. The GH-series holds a special place in my heart, because the prior version, the Lumix GH4, was my first 4K-enabled camera.
With the GH5, many new features and improvements have been added to the mix. If you’re primarily into video, then the GH5’s deep feature set will surely appeal to you. Have a look as we briefly discuss 10 GH5 features that make this Micro Four Thirds camera worth considering.
The best wireless keyboard for the Mac?
If you own a MacBook Pro, then you’ll be happy to know that the GH5 includes a 5Gbps USB-C 3.0 port built right in. That means that you can easily connect the camera directly to the MacBook Pro without having to rely on a dongle.
Panasonic has replaced the Micro HDMI port found on previous models with a full-sized port for quickly connecting to external sources using a standard HDMI cable. Not only are full-sized cables more readily available, but they provide a more robust and secure connection.
Subscribe to 9to5Toys for more hands-on videos
Vibrant, fully articulating OLED touch screen
Like the GH4, the GH5 includes a fully articulating screen. That means that, unlike cameras from Sony, you can view the screen at almost every angle imaginable. The GH5’s screen is slightly bigger at 3.2-inches versus 3.0-inches, and features 1.6 million dots.
Dual SD Card slots
If you shoot a lot of 4K video, you know how quickly storage space can run out on even the largest of SD Cards. Thanks to the second SD Card slot built in to the GH5, you can keep right on shooting without missing a beat. The camera even supports writing to both cards at the same time for backup purposes, and funneling certain types of media to specific cards.
Dual Image Stabilization 2
Handheld shooters will enjoy the GH5’s five-axis in-body image stabilization. The camera can also leverage stabilized lenses, like the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8, and combine it with the in-body stabilization. Panasonic calls this feature Dual Image Stabilization 2, and I can attest that it’s pretty incredible. It can make handheld footage look like it was shot on a Glidecam.
Reuse your GH4 batteries
The GH4 was well-regarded for its excellent battery life, and while the GH5 isn’t quite as good, it uses the same batteries as the GH4. Thus, if you’re upgrading from the previous model, you likely already have a few spare batteries laying around.
Built-in focus pulling
The GH5’s Focus Transition feature allows you to pull focus between up to three different pre-configured areas in frame with the touch of an on-screen button. If you have an auto focus-enabled lens like the aforementioned Panasonic 12-35, this can be a great feature for pulling off cinematic moves.
4K @ 60p internal
I personally think that video shot at 60 frames per second looks strange, but there is a considerable swath of YouTube viewers who prefer videos shot at that frame rate. The great thing about the GH5 is that it can shoot 4K @ 60 fps internally, a feature that’s normally not associated with cameras in this price range.
MP4/MOV files work with iOS
One of the things that frustrated me about shooting video with the A7S2 was the lack of iOS compatibility with its highest quality resolution/format combination. To be fair, this isn’t entirely Sony’s fault, as Apple has seemingly refused to support the XAVC S format in its iOS devices. Shooting in Mp4 on the A7S2 works perfectly fine, but you lose 4K availability when opting for that format. With the GH5, I can shoot 4K @ 60p using MOV or MP4, and import and playback that file on my iPad Pro while retaining the file’s properties.
Panasonic Image App
With the GH5, Panasonic takes advantage of Bluetooth LE to secure a permanent connection with your smartphone. From there, Panasonic’s Image App can be used to automatically transfer photos to your smartphone, and control the camera’s basic functions over Wi-Fi. It can also work as a secondary monitor, which is especially helpful when using a larger device like an iPad.
The GH5, with its Micro Four Thirds sensor, is not the best camera for low light situations, and the auto-focus capabilities haven’t exactly lived up to expectations. Yet, it’s still a solid camera with a plethora of killer features, making it a worthy GH4 upgrade. Panasonic packs in a ton of value for the $1,997.99 price, keeping competitors like Sony on its toes.
The sheer amount of value offered by the GH5 has me seriously considering adding it to my repertoire. Its stabilization, 4K enhancements, and other niceties make it a compelling new choice for video shooters. You can find more details about the GH5 over at B&H.