At first glance, the GH5 looks a lot like the GH4, but this hides probably the biggest step forward the GH series has made since its introduction. Like the previous iterations, Panasonic has been speaking with a range of video users to make sure the features they need are incorporated and work the way they want.
There are a host of technology improvements that make the GH5 significantly more capable than its predecessor.
The camera starts off as very capable, right from launch, but some of its functions won't be available immediately. Panasonic has announced a series of features (including 10-bit 4:2:2 capture of 1080p video) that will arrive as part of a firmware update in April 2017. A second update in the summer will bring further capabilities, including 400Mbps All-Intra compression and higher-res capture of anamorphic video.
As we take a closer look at the camera here, we'll discuss the camera's eventual full capability, but will try to make clear when a feature not available at launch is being discussed.
On the video side of things, the GH5 gains UHD 4K shooting at up to 60p and DCI shooting as up to 48p. Significantly, all of the camera's 4K video modes are taken from the full width of the sensor and have no time limits imposed on them, so you can shoot without any horizontal crop for as long as your cards or battery will allow.
This will make it easier to shoot wide-angle scenes than with its predecessor and, though use of a larger sensor area, should improve video quality. And that's before we get to the camera's more advanced processing.
Dig a little deeper and the full extent of the improvements becomes apparent. The GH5 is the first in the series to gain image stabilization, with 5-axis image stabilization for both stills and video shooting (combined digital/sensor shift stabilization for video).
In addition, there's the all-important small-print when it comes to the video spec. The GH5 will capture 10-bit 4:2:2 video at up to 4K/30p internally. If you're willing to use an external recorder, you can get 10-bit 4:2:2 footage at up to 60p over the HDMI socket.
For full details of this, read our in-depth First Impressions Review, where we discuss the importance of adding waveforms and vectorscopes, and the camera's clever focus assist feature.
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