The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 is a hybrid for both stills and video, even though it’s likely to appeal to videographers. Its 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor can catch 4K video at up to 60p, and the camera supports pro-level video specs such as 4:2:2 chroma sub-sampling and 10-bit colour.
The GH5 is big for a Micro Four Thirds camera, but provides excellent ergonomics in a weather-sealed body created for professional use. There are double SD memory card slots which support the new V60 card standard necessary for high bit rate video.
Autofocus is offered by Panasonic’s Depth from Defocus system, which interprets the out-of-focus features of Panasonic lenses to minimize focus searching. AF is very fast and dependable when shooting stills, and AF parameters could be adjusted based on use case. Video AF, while capable, still leaves room for improvement because of occasional attention hunting, and is not as great as most phase detect AF systems.
The GH5’s headline feature is movie, as a result of specifications typically found on pro-level video equipment. The camera uses the complete region of its detector for video capture, down-sampling in camera to provide extremely sharp 4K footage at frame rates up to 60p. Moreover, the GH5 can capture 4:2:2 10-bit color, capturing twice as much colour data, and 64 times as much colour depth, as cameras shooting 4:2:0 8-bit video.
Equally important are tools which enable an individual to leverage those advanced video features, such as video waveforms and vectorscopes, a complex image stabilization system, and also the choice to add Panasonic’s VLog-L gamma profile using in-camera LUT screen (a $99 upgrade).
Raw files are extremely comprehensive, and the camera’s excellent sensor makes it feasible to extract quite a lot of detail from shadow regions. There is also a ‘6K Photo’ style that, as its name suggests, lets you catch an 18MP picture from a movie clip.
The GH5 excels when it comes to video, and if you are primarily a movie shooter it should probably be on your short list. As a stills camera it can provide excellent results, though if you are purely a stills shooter you will find competitive alternatives worth considering. For people who have to shoot both video and photos, the GH5 provides a hybrid experience that is difficult to match.