Panasonic Lumix GH5 hands-on


A release date arrives for the much-anticipated GH5, and we get to take a first look

Lumix GH5
The magnesium alloy body is a sturdy exterior with a premium feel.

The GH4 was, and continues to be, a popular lightweight option for videographers, so its much-awaited bigger brother the GH5 comes with much expectation. Teased at Photokina, the GH5 now has a release date of 20th March 2016 with a body only price of £1699 (US price TBC) and we were able to get our hands on one recently.

Panasonic says the GH5 will not replace the GH4, as their specs offer different things for different needs. “The GH5 has many major upgrades when compared to the GH4 which we are really excited about,” says Barney Sykes, Panasonic’s Head of Imaging Marketing. “These upgrades have come through extensive research amongst the video community where we have been conducting lots of interviews to establish what they would like to see in the next GH camera.” The new release comes with a brand new 20.3MP sensor compared to the GH4’s 16.05MP one, and this time it comes without low pass filter for extra detail and sharpness. There’s a new Venus engine that Panasonic say is 1.3 times faster at processing, and it’s also been upgraded with 5-axis Dual IS 2 for up to 5-stops of correction.

Lumix GH5
Panasonic have tried to make this camera expandable with other pro video accessories, and it now comes with a HDMI Type A terminal and UHS-II U3 compatibility

It is capable of 4K60p, a world first for a mirrorless camera, and 4:2:2 10-bit at 4K30/25/24p. This recording is unlimited like with the GH4R and it has full pixel readout, as well as the option of MOV or MP4 files. It has 6K Photo, meaning you can extract 18MP stills at 30fps, or 4K Photo which gives you 8MP stills at 60fps. Also, for the first time in a Lumix camera it has Bluetooth, as well as Wi-Fi.

During our hands-on time with the GH5, it is clearly comfortable to hold, maintaining the GH4’s deep grip but this time it’s a little smaller and lighter. The splash, dust and freeze proof body feels robust and the new OLED viewfinder is bright and clear (it now has 3860K dots, an upgrade from the GH4’s 2,359K dots). The screen has also been increased to 3.2″ free-angle option and it has a Dual SD Card slot. Alongside those design improvements, it claims Panasonic’s fastest ever AF speed of 0.05sec and it certainly seemed super-quick to focus during our hands-on time. We are looking forward to putting the focusing, and its other features fully to the test on our upcoming review. Check back with us soon for the full report and check out Digital Photographer magazine for reviews of all the latest kit.

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