Meet Panasonic’s Mirrorless Movie-Maker, the GH5

January 4, 2017

By Greg Scoblete

Following its Photokina tease, Panasonic has officially pulled the curtain back on the long-awaited GH5.

The Micro Four Thirds camera boasts a 20-megapixel Live MOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter and a top ISO of 25,600.

On the video front, the camera can record 4K video (4:2:2, 1o-bit) internally at up to 60p. It will offer Cinelike D and Cinelike V color profiles alongside a Like 709 profile to create an HDTV-friendly file. If you want V-Log, however, you’ll have to spring for a paid software upgrade.

The AF system has been revamped from the GH4 to provide a 6x speed improvement when calculating subject distance and a 2x speed improvement while factoring the distance into in-plane or in-depth, according to Panasonic. You’ll be able to hit 9 fps in burst mode with continuous AF engaged or up to 12 fps in AF-S. There are a total of 225 AF points, up from the G4’s 49, and they’re selectable via a new joystick control.

While older Panasonic cameras can isolate 8-megapixel still images from 4K video in a feature dubbed 4K Photo, the GH5 will offer a 6K Photo mode that extracts 18-megapixel images from 30fps 6K video.  A 4K Photo mode is also available if you want faster frame rates (60 fps).

Additional features of the GH5 include:

  • Dual Image Stabilizer, which pairs with select Panasonic lenses to enable up to 5 stops of image stabilization.
  • OLED viewfinder with 3,860K-dot resolution
  • 3.2-inch free angle display
  • Waveform and vector scope monitoring
  • Supports embedded time code (Rec Run or Free Run)
  • Selectable luminance levels between 64-1023 / 64-940 / 0-1023 (10-bit)
  • Post Focus mode and Focus Stacking
  • Weather-sealed build
  • Dual SD card slot with support for UHS-II cards
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • 1/8000 sec. mechanical shutter


According to Panasonic, the Venus Engine image processor has been revamped and now refers to more pixel information during the de-mosaicing process to better render details. Noise reduction is also significantly better, with Panasonic claiming a 4x improvement in noise identification accuracy in its new Venus Engine.

While the camera is due in late March, it will get a series of firmware update scheduled for April and the later in the second half of 2017 that adds even more functionality. Among the promised upgrades coming in April are Full HD 4:2:2 10-bit video recording. Later in 2017, the GH5 will be updated to support 400Mbps 4:2:2 10-bit 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 for 4K HDR video recording and USB tethering.

The GH5 ships in March for $2,000.