Monday, 19 September 2016

Panasonic GH5 Gives Us What We Want: 4K, 60p, 10bit, 4:2:2


Panasonic Gh5


Panasonic refreshes the popular GH line of cameras with the GH5, introducing features sure to make filmmakers happy.
Panasonic has long made it clear that they spend a lot of time talking to real world users of their cameras. They have consistently integrated cinematographer and filmmaker feedback into, not just their video cameras, but their GH line of mirrorless micro 4/3 cameras as well. After the disappointment felt by many with the 5D Mark IV a few weeks ago, it's exciting and refreshing to see the early announcements for the GH5, which brings filmmaker-friendly features.
"The GH5 currently appears to be built with a body very similar to the GH4, and you should expect most of your accessories, rigs, and batteries to work in the new body."
The GH4 allowed you to capture 4:2:2 10bit images, only with the use of an external recorder, which is a common but not universal accessory. If you were recording to the internal SD cards, you were limited to 8bit 4:2:0. With the GH5, Panasonic has added the ability to capture 10bit 4:2:2 video up to 4K 30fps internally to the SD card, which is a big deal for filmmakers. 10bit and 4:2:2 are most obviously going to help when cutting a green screen key (though the 8bit GH4 was no slouch there), but the improvements of higher bitrate and less subsampled codecs are beneficial throughout the post pipeline, especially when it comes to color grading.
This is in addition to the improvement of 4K slow motion capture up to 60fps internal, albeit not 10bit. There are also some reports of 6K 30fps recording, but we haven't seen this fully confirmed yet, and it's not in Panasonic's press release. The official word from Panasonic did refer to a 6K Photo mode capable of pulling a 6K photo from captured video, but it's possible that this is using sequential image information from the video to recreate a 6K image. We will update if 6K video capture is officially confirmed or denied.  However, even 4K 60fps is pretty exciting, and seeing 10bit 4:22 available internally in a camera where the body will be around $1000, especially one that can easily be adapted to mount just about any lens you like, is a major upgrade. 
The GH5 currently appears to be built with a body very similar to the GH4, and if the upgrade from GH3 to GH4 is any guide, you should expect most of your accessories, rigs, and batteries to work in the new body.  Along with the GH5, Panasonic will be launching a new line of Micro 4/3 zoom lenses, the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0, in 12-60mm, 8-18mm and 50-200mm focal lengths. The camera and lenses will be available in the first half of 2017.

Here are the only tech specs they've released so far: 

  • 4K 60p/50p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 4K (up to 30fps)
  • 6K PHOTO, 18 megapixel still extracted from 4K video

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