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Panasonic Lumix GH5 Expert Review - Performance

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Panasonic Lumix GH5 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response 0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.15secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response  0.15secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.0secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.4secs
Shot to Shot with Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
10.5fps (238 shots, Fine), 8fps C-AF
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - RAW 10.5fps (70 shots)

Focus and shutter response is extremely fast. We were able to shoot at up to 10.5fps when shooting JPEG Fine images, and up to 238 shots. With continuous focus active, we were able to shoot at 8fps. We have requested comment from Panasonic regarding the speed of continuous shooting, as it does not reach the 12fps specification. Tested with a Lexar 2000x UHS:II U:3 32GB card, and Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens.


Panasonic Lumix GH5 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The Panasonic Lumix GH5 gives some of the best colour results we've seen from Panasonic cameras, giving warm results without as much of a yellow cast as previous Panasonic cameras. Images have plenty of detail, but aren't over sharpened. Face and eye detection focus can help get excellent portrait photos with every shot correctly focused on the subjects eyes. On occasion images were a little under-exposed, but could easily be corrected later in software from the JPEG images, or on the camera, using the built-in raw processing, without any issues. 


Panasonic Lumix GH5 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Image stabilisation works well, letting us get sharp shots at 1/5th of a second (at 12mm) - and on occasion 1/2 a second - unfortunately the success rate is not as successful as the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, which managed the same or similar photo at 1/2 second (at 12mm) with a higher success rate.

Built-in lens correction is automatically applied to Micro Four Thirds lenses, and this means that distortion is very well controlled, as well as purple fringing and chromatic aberrations. There are further options in the camera to correct for vignetting (shading compensation), as well as diffraction when using smaller apertures. Available with the Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens, image quality is very good, and the lens is capable of focusing on close-up subjects, giving good macro performance for a "kit" lens, with good background blur. Focus is extremely reliable with a good success rate, with the focus failure likely to be due to accidentally setting the wrong focus point with the touch-screen.

4K Photo at 60fps produces 8mp images, and 6K Photo at 30fps produces 18mp images. Focus stacking can be used to produce an 18 megapixel image with all focus points in focus in one image, alternatively you can save an image with just one area in focus, as well as browse the different focus points on the camera screen. 


Panasonic Lumix GH5 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise performance is very good from ISO100 up to and including ISO1600. Detail drops off at ISO3200, however ISO3200 provides usable images, with ISO6400 potentially offering good results, depending on your intended use. There is quite strong noise reduction, and the results do not quite match the Canon EOS M5, nor the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.

Using the AWB Cool setting gives better colour, and this shows most dramatically when you compare these images to those taken by the Panasonic Lumix GX8, however noise performance at ISO3200/6400 and above is very similar to the GX8. You can adjust the noise reduction from -5 to +5, and these shots were taken on default settings.


Panasonic Lumix GH5 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto white balance (AWB) gives a warm result under tungsten light, and there is now an "AWB: Cool" setting that delivers an excellent and accurate result, giving whiter whites (like Daz), which will be highly appreciated by anyone who takes product shots. The tungsten preset gives a slightly warm result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, and there is no fluorescent preset available (most give a colour cast on other cameras due to variation of fluorescent lighting). The AWB Cool setting gives accurate results under fluorescent lighting, but isn't needed as the standard AWB setting gives good results anyway. The AWB Cool setting will be useful when there is a mixture of tungsten and fluorescent lighting.


Panasonic Lumix GH5 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are numerous Creative Filter Effects available, and these can be applied to photos or video. You can save the original, unedited raw files, so that if you don't like the effect you can have an image without the effect applied. The camera doesn't feature an automatic panoramic mode. There are a couple of scene modes available in the iAuto mode, including iHDR and iHandheld Night Shot. 


Video - The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is designed to be the ultimate professional video camera available in a compact interchangeable lens camera (ILC) design, without having to go up to a professional broadcast camera, and the camera offers unlimited video recording. 

The GH5 is the first mirrorless camera to record 4K 10bit 4:2:2 30/25p video internally to SD card, as well as the first to record 4K at 60fps (60/50p 10bit video externally, 8bit internally). 10-bit gives over a billion colours and improved tonality, providing more editing flexibility, almost like shooting raw video compared to JPEG video. The camera uses the full sensor area, giving improved detail in 4K and 1080p video.

4K Cine resolution (4096x2160) video can be recorded at 24fps (at 150mbps*), at 10bit, 4:2:2, as MOV or MP4 files. *A firmware update will upgrade this to 400mbps in 2017. 4K UHD (3840x2160) video can also be recorded at up to 60/50fps. FullHD 1080p video can be recorded at up to 180fps.

For those with professional broadcast needs, the camera has SMPTE / EBU / ARIB colour bars with a 1kHz test tone. There is also Cinelike D / Cinelike V / Like709* / and V-LogL*/** photo styles available for video. *When Creative Video Mode is selected. More video features available include: Knee control, Luminance level (8-bit and 10bit), Wave form monitor / Vectorscope, Time code, Synchro scan, SS/Gain operation, plus LUT (Look Up Table) display**. **Upgrade Software Key DMW-SFU1 (sold separately) is required. 

The ISO range available for video recording is ISO100 to ISO12800, which is an improvement over the GH4. There are custom AF settings available for the video mode as well, which lets you adjust the AF speed (from -5 to +5), and AF sensitivity (from -3 Locked On to +3 Responsive). 

The camera has built-in stereo microphones, with Wind Noise Canceller options of: OFF / Low / Standard / High / AUTO. There are microphone and headphone sockets. High-res audio recording is also available with the optional DMW-XLR1 (sold separately).

We've recorded video indoors, in mixed light, as well as in low-light conditions, and have been very impressed by the results. You can view additional Panasonic Lumix GH5 videos on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.

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Photographs taken using the Panasonic Lumix GH5

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ChrisV 15 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2017 2:25PM
What I do find a little bit opaque is the 5 stops of stablisation with dual IS. Most of the Panasonic lenses OiS are [off the top of my head - correct me if I'm wrong] quoted as having 3-4 stops of IS. Does that mean that the 5 axis IBIS is only offering an additional 1-2 stops? Would that be similar with a non-stabilised lens or is it just the fact that you don't get much more than a smaller incremental gain by using an optical + sensor based combination? Olympus' 5 axis system gives up to 5 stops just by itself [It is almost uncanny].

At the moment overall this Panasonic looks like a better camera than the EM1 II [and not quite so jaw-droppingly expensive - and I have to wonder if Panasonic actually pushed it up a bit after seeing the launch price of their Olympus rival]. But the devil's in the detail. Each of these cameras has strengths and weaknesses and it would be nice to accurately gauge how each stacks up.

I don't shoot a lot of fast action, so the speed of the GH5 would be more than enough for me [and perhaps as good as is usefully practical], but the critical thing in that respect might be how effectively each tracks subject movement - I'd love to see a proper head to head on that amongst other things.

I'm more of a stills shooter, but even ignoring the Panny's film-making chops, its ergonomics, EVF and joystick control make it seem like the more usable system; and for some of us that's perhaps the most important thing.
Niknut Plus
12 3.3k 82 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2017 11:34AM
1700 ????????????......unbelievable !!SadSad
maaggy 6
18 Feb 2017 6:47PM
Panasonic looks like a better camera than the EM1 II - AGREE
Milva 9
18 Feb 2017 9:09PM
I agree. The GH5 is bigger but it is far better value with what it has than the E-M1 II. It is clearly more suitable for the usual needs for most people have, unless you shoot a lot of fast actions. Getting 18MP photos from video at 30 fps is more than I ever need, and I also get the video. Nice.
EspenB 5
18 Mar 2017 7:51PM
Panasonic lens is is not 3-4 stops. And certainly not 5-axis. Trying a lens only IS for handheld video is a quick way to confirm that.

Furthermore 5 stop of stabilization is the practical limitation of todays technology due to the earths rotation.

The stabilization in the GH5 kicks ass and if Lens IS + 5-axis IBIS is not enought you can add a third layer of electronix stabilization on top of it during video recording for rock solid results. Basically its the same as using a Steadicam.

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