Panasonic Lumix Officially Announces GH5
The Consumer and Electronics Trade show (CES) has come and gone, and as the dust settles, Panasonic’s newest flagship camera, the GH5, rises above it all. Below is a short video of my conversation with Sean Robinson about what this camera offers to those of us who are most interested in still photography. More about the details written below.
New 20 Megapixel Sensor
The GH5 has a new Digital LIVE MOS Sensor with an increased pixel count of 25% compared to the GH4, going from 16.05 on the GH4 to 20.3 megapixels on the new GH5. Additionally the new sensor is missing the low pass filter of the GH4.
New Venus Engine. Think Computing Power
We all know that our digital cameras today are all about the technology, and technology runs on micro processors. The GH5 has a huge update in computing horse power Panasonic has christened “Venus Engine.” The Venus Engine has been turbo charged and according to the press release includes “Multi-pixel Luminance Generation which renders clear, sharp images by referring to a 9x larger area of pixel information during the de-mosaic process for precise detail reproduction. With Intelligent Detail Processing, the characteristic of every single pixel is analyzed to detect whether the pixel is located at a flat, detail or edge part of the picture. Optimum processing according to the characteristic of each pixel is then applied. This results in high-precision yet natural images with stunning detail suppressing false colors at its edges.by referring to a 9x larger area of pixel information during the de-mosaic process for precise detail reproduction. With Intelligent Detail Processing, the characteristic of every single pixel is analyzed to detect whether the pixel is located at a flat, detail or edge part of the picture. Optimum processing according to the characteristic of each pixel is then applied. This results in high-precision yet natural images with stunning detail suppressing false colors at its edges. “
Better Color, Less Noise
Higher quality images with more accurate color and less noise are just a couple of specific improvements the press release also promises. “Three Dimensional Color Control detects not only hue and saturation, but also brightness, and applies optimum control according to the value of each factor. This achieves rich color reproduction from shadows to highlights of the image. The conventional Multi Process NR (Noise Reduction) is upgraded to High Precision Multi Process NR. It boasts 4x the noise identification accuracy compared to the previous engine and preserves details even after the noise reduction process. As a result, photos can be clearly shot even at high sensitivity ISO values of up to 25,600.”
5 Stops of Blur Resistant Image Stability
In-body 5-axis image stabilization combined with Panasonic’s lens IS provide us the what is now legendary IS capabilities known as Dual IS. This is just one more reason not to bring a tripod any longer. Some unique photo opportunities like Northern Lights, silky water, and long exposure via neutral density filters will still require a tripod, but general shooting with a tripod is dead.
Dual SDHC Card Slots (UHS-II)
Having a second SDHC card slot is a great addition to the GH5. Many photographers want that extra slot to make certain they never run out of space for capturing images. Both slots take the highest speed cards possible.
Improved AF With Even Better DFD Technology
Fast and accurate autofocus has been one technologies the Micro Four Thirds cameras have had a hard time replicating when compared to the traditional DSLR’s. But Panasonic’s DFD system proved they were making huge progress in getting up to speed with both Nikon and Canon AF systems. Once again the press release suggests the AF advances are going to be a very big deal. Here are the details based on Panasonic’s press release. “The speed of sensor drive during auto focusing in photo shooting mode has been increased to 480 fps, which is 2x faster than that of the GH4. Consequently, the LUMIX GH5 realizes ultra-high-speed AF of approximately 0.05 sec7 and 12 (AFS) / 9 (AFC) fps high-speed burst shooting using a mechanical shutter in full resolution. By analyzing every single frame precisely, it achieves a maximum 200% higher precision frame detection with minimum motion detection error for higher tracking tolerance against moving subjects.
For even more precise focusing, the number of focus areas has been increased from 49 to 225. Users can create a group of focus areas depending on the composition and can control it easily with a new joystick located on the thumb position, without taking your eyes off the subject. This is possible even when using the LVF or releasing the finger off the shutter button.”
4K Photo Mode Gets a Boost to 6K Photo Mode
With 4K Photo Mode we had the ability to pull 8 megapixel stills from a video clip shot in 4K. With the GH5 that 8 megapixel clip gets pushed up to 18 megapixels. One of the downsides in the GH4’s 4K Photo Mode was the AF did not work well when shooting in video. Panasonic has promised AF in video mode is vastly improved, possibly allowing us to shoot action in 6K Photo Mode.
Super Mobile, Extremely Durable
The GH5’s front and rear body is made of all magnesium alloy, full die-cast. Every button and dial is sealed from dust and moisture and rated to be freeze-proof down to -10 degrees Celsius.
Class Leading EVF
Getting a good, clear and crip view through an electronic viewfinder has never been a strong point for all mirrorless cameras, but I had a chance to take a look at the GH5’s new EVF and it’s superb. The press release gives the details as “The LUMIX GH5 has a large LVF (Live View Finder) with a stunningly high magnification ratio of approximately 1.52x / 0.76x (35mm camera equivalent). The high-precision, high-speed OLED display features 3,680K-dot high resolution and 100% field of view. Adopting a static-type touch control system, the 3.2-inch free-angle rear screen in 3:2 aspect with 1,620K-dot high resolution achieves approximately 100% field of view.”
Expandability, Optional Accessories, Other Features
- The LUMIX GH5 integrates Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi® 5GHz (IEEE 802.11ac) connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation.
- The LUMIX GH5 is compatible with the new Battery Grip DMW-BGGH5. By using two batteries, one in the camera and the other in the grip, the DMW-BGGH5 extends the battery life for longer time shooting.
- The optionally available microphone adaptor DMW-XLR1 is a plug-in type adaptor for XLR microphone to record high quality stereo sound.
- To save power, the camera automatically enters sleep mode after detecting the eye is off the LVF sensor. Various shutter systems are available with the LUMIX GH5: A mechanical shutter with maximum 1/8000 sec, an electronic-first curtain shutter with maximum 1/2000 sec which can be used with flash while suppressing the shutter shock, and an electronic shutter without shutter shock with maximum 1/6000 sec. Firmware updates will add: Full HD 4:2:2 10bit video recording capability (scheduled for April 2017); 400Mbps 4:2:2 10bit All-Intra video recording in 4K 30p/25p/24p; Full HD, high resolution video recording in Anamorphic mode; Hybrid Log Gamma in Photo Style mode which enables popular 4K HDR video recording and USB tethering (all scheduled for second half of 2017).
GH5 Takes Home Nine Awards at CES 2017
Reviewed.com CES Editor’s Choice
Best of CES 2017 – Top 10 Aving News Global Network Editor’s Choice
HD Guru – Top Pick CES 2017
The new GH5 is an exciting addition to our world of Micro Four Thirds cameras and I’m really excited to give it a try. It’s going to be interesting since I’m writing this at the airport, on my way home from a shoot at Bosque del Apache where I was using the new Lumix G85 as well as the new Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll. I plan on writing a review on both in the next two weeks but I can tell you now, the GH5 is going to have a very difficult time beating the new Olympus when it comes to still photography. I truly hope to be pleasantly surprised with the GH5. To say the Olympus surprised me would be an extreme understatement.
Updated lenses announced
Along with the GH5, Panasonic also announced updates to three of their current lenses. The lenses are the 12-35mm F/2.8, 35-100mm F/2.8 and the 100-300mm F/4-5.6. From what I’m told the optical design in all lenses will be the same. However, the cosmetics will change slightly on the 12-35 and the 35-100mm, both will have a solid black, metal housing and be Dual IS compatible right out of the box. The 100-300mm will also be Dual IS compatible, have improved, much faster AF capabilities and be upgraded with weather sealing.