Panasonic Lumix GH5 Mirrorless Camera Review (2020 Update)

Gear Aug 11, 2020

Panasonic Lumix GH5 is one of the most advanced Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras available out there. It stands out with its features to match the creativity of the advanced to enthusiast photographers and filmmakers. Let’s explore it further, together!

Below you can read more about:

  • Outstanding GH5 Features (and not so great ones)
  • GH5 vs. GH5s
  • Reviews
  • Update: Is it still a good idea to purchase a Panasonic GH5 in 2020?
  • Overview of Specs
  • FAQs

Outstanding GH5 Features (and not so great ones)

Panasonic Lumix GH5 is a high-sensitivity 20.3-megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor without a low-pass filter. GH5 is combined with the new Venus Engine that allows you to achieve the highest picture quality in colour, reproduction, and resolution.

Thanks to the improved JPEG processing engine, GH5 does a better job with saturation, contrast, hue accuracy, and high ISO noise reduction.

Performance

AF performance is very brisk and agile – paired with the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Leica lens the GH5 quickly and silently locks onto subjects under a range of lighting conditions - even very dim light. The Lumix GH5 focuses at 0.05 secs, which is an improvement from the previous model where GH4 focused at 0.07 seconds with the Venus Engine now processing information at 480fps.

GH5 includes an anti-shake system with an in-body image stabilisation system with sensor-based 5-axis image stabilisation, combined with the lens' optical image stabilisation, which gives benefits for both stills photography and video recording.

Using 5-axis Dual IS II and a large ISO sensitivity with a range of ISO 100-25600, which has been slightly improved from the previous model – the lower level expanded from 200 to 100, which helps in very bright conditions with avoiding overly-exposed photos. The GH5 is an outstanding camera to shoot in all lighting states. As well as to keep the camera stable while shooting with using zoom lenses.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 camera with white apartment background

Image Quality

The GH5 features the 10th generation Venus Engine, designed to produce high-quality images with natural colours and fine detailing. The camera is capable of tracking fast-moving subjects, buffering full-resolution images at a striking 12fps with single AF and 9fps with continuous AF.

The addition of 6K Photo allows you to capture 18-megapixel and 8-megapixel JPEG images at 30fps and 60fps respectively, meaning that there won’t be any moments missed.

The Panasonic GH5 can deliver professional-quality, ultra-high-definition, smooth videos up to 4K 60p/50p internally. Moreover, the GH5 is capable of 4:2:2 10-bit 4K 30p/25p internal video recordings, as well as producing even more accurate colour reproduction for the first time as a digital interchangeable lens camera.

Slow-motion quality has been improved too from the GH4, where it mostly looked blurry or soft. The frame rate has almost doubled up to 180fps with full HD and 4k with 60 fps.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 camera behind wood in the grass in nature

Connectivity

The GH5 has Bluetooth, NFC, and Wi-Fi connectivity, which offers a more flexible shooting experience and instant sharing with easy operations. Bluetooth 4.2 allows constant connection with a smartphone/tablet with its minimum power consumption.

Design and Hardware

Overall, the camera is user-friendly, excels in the design area, has a massive, slightly bigger build with fine grip design, and weighs 660g. GH5 offers high-quality hardware including a durable “outside” and large and bright EVF with a touchscreen interface. There are 6 customisable buttons on this camera.

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 has a large Live View Finder (LVF) with a magnification ratio of approximately 1.52x / 0.76x (35mm camera equivalent). A high-speed OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display features 3,680K-dot resolution and 100% field of view.

This camera is waterproof, fully weather-secured, and freeze-proof up to -10 degrees Celsius. Able to handle splashes and dust, made from a magnesium alloy full cast front, the GH5 is a camera that can be used with full confidence even in challenging circumstances.

It is rated for a lifetime of 200,000 shutter releases, with a battery life of at least 400 shots. 4k video is unlimited as long as your memory is not full, and the battery is not dead. In 4k, it could last up to 2 hours of video recording. Most impressive is that dual recording has very little to no effect on the battery life.

The camera includes external headphone and microphone jacks too. GH5 is mainly a video camera but manages to create nice stills too, supporting video formats like MOV, MP4, AVCHD, AVCHD Progressive.

The GH5 is supplied with a double SD Memory Card slot, compatible with the high-speed, high-capacity UHS-II. The HDMI Type A terminal is included.

There is still room for improvement though.

GH5 has no high-res composite mode or built-in flash. Buffer clearing is still a bit slow and menus can be challenging to figure out. On ISO, GH5 still loses to popular cameras as Nikon D500 and Sony Alpha A7S II.

Battery Trouble

There is one more disappointment when it comes to GH5. Battery can be inserted only in one way. If you are in a hurry or not really paying attention to what you’re doing and insert it backward there is a little metal notch on the opposite side of the connector, that will get it stuck. If you manage to get it out, it bends the connector inside the camera and when you push the connector back, it breaks, which costs around $140 just to get it fixed.

However, Panasonic definitely listens to its customers and in general, this product is worth the money, even compared to pro-level cameras in the same price range.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 camera close shot

GH5 vs. GH5s

GH5 wins with 20.3 Megapixels in comparison to only 10.2 Megapixels of the GH5s. Even though the same lens would be used, GH5 is cropping images so much more than GH5S and it is noticeably different. When it comes to stabilisation, you should definitely go for GH5 since GH5s doesn’t have the IBIS.

GH5s holds more onto the natural colours and noise is a lot grittier. Dynamic range is roughly the same though. At 3200 ISO, with GH5 the noise starts to be noticeable. With higher ISO, GH5 tries to clean up the noise and the image gets a lot softer and starts to look very unnatural.

In conclusion, if you are very keen on image stabilisation, GH5 is the right choice but GH5s might be a cheaper choice, which produces more contrast and less noise with a more natural feel. You can read more about GH5S in our review.

Reviews of Panasonic GH5

Update: Is it still a good idea to purchase a Panasonic GH5 in 2020?

Many people say it is still their favourite camera of all time. Why is that?

GH5 was released 2 years ago, but the in-body image stabilisation truly is still one of the best. The camera has been tried out in many difficult conditions, especially when it was used during a helicopter ride. You really don’t need a gimbal which can save you up some needed space while traveling. This sets the camera apart far from other products.

The camera is durable and rock-solid which withstands extreme conditions, handles low light well, and all the environments as subway, streets, or moving vehicles. It still has one of the sharpest and crispiest 4k there is. It is suitable for YouTube videos, vlogging, and live streaming, which, let’s be honest, is a must for many people in 2020.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 camera on the black table

The camera supports anamorphic lenses and there is no chance of overheating either. The camera includes a dual SD card slot which is not always the case, has a quiet shutter, and a flippy screen which can be turned in any way.

And who doesn’t like flexibility, right?

Opinions on the colour palette that comes out of the camera vary with taste, but most still believe GH5 does extremely well in this area. There are also very few competitors that offer 4k at 60fps, especially not at the price of GH5. Even with the new updates GH5S still cannot offer this.

You can utilise and control your camera wirelessly with the connection to the wi-fi app without interruption. With the updates, autofocus has improved drastically in the past 2 years too. You can set multiple focus pulls and create a transition during a video recording. With a bright light, there will be no problems, however, users can struggle with more difficult lighting conditions.

Very easily, you can get through a whole day with just one battery. With energy saver turned on you can manage to shoot up to a thousand images.

This camera already came out in 2017. At that time, Panasonic charged $1999 only for the body of the camera, without the lens. Nowadays you can easily find a new one for $1400 and used one for around $1300.

Spoiler alert!

Today, GH5 is the best camera you can find in this price point, or even close to the price point with the number of specs and features it has.

Overview of Specs

Sensor: 20.3MP Micro Four Thirds CMOS

Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds

Screen: 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,620,000 dots

Colour Filter Type: RGBG

Burst shooting: 12fps

Autofocus: 225-area AF

Video: 4K

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth

Battery life: 410 shots

Sensor stabilisation: Yes

Waterproof: Yes

FAQs

For how long will the battery last when shooting video with the Panasonic GH5?
The DMW-BLF19 battery for the GH5 camera lasts for approximately 120 minutes when shooting in AVCHD format for video.

How 10-bit on the GH5 will make a difference for videographers compare to 8-bit?
The 10-bit will provide improved color fidelity and details with fewer artefacts, by that making it better suited to grading and other post-production.

What is the time limit for recording video on the Panasonic GH5?
There are no time limits for recording a video in either Full HD or 4K. Recording is continuous and is limited only by the memory card or recorder.

What is the difference between the Panasonic GH5 and GH5s?
The GH5s is a more video-oriented camera (and arguably the GH5 is too) whereas the GH5 is more of a hybrid camera for both stills and video.

Places for you to purchase and rent the Panasonic GH5

If you are considering getting started shooting with the Panasonic GH5, you can rent daily, weekly or monthly from Wedio (Available in Denmark, Berlin, Amsterdam, and London), a camera-sharing community, or buy from your local retailer.