If you’re a filmmaker that’s been frustrated and somewhat let down by the recent Canon announcements, today was probably like a breath of fresh air.
When Panasonic announced that the Lumix GH5 will have 10bit 4:2:2 and 4k at 60fps, you can’t say that you weren’t excited.
If you’re a professional videographer but you’re not using camcorder style bodies, you’re most likely pretty accustomed to the idea of having to adapt photo style bodies for your workflow. Luckily, these past couple of years have shown that hopefully that mentality is a thing of the past.
With Panasonic releasing the GH4 and Sony’s success with the Alpha Mirrorless line, we’re seeing that there’s a substantial amount of enthusiasm and a sizable market behind these types of bodies. The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is exactly (almost, exactly) what filmmakers have wanted – a body and a line made just for them.
Related Article: Panasonic GH5 “Development” Announced But… ** UPDATED
The largest critique at this point is honestly, just a lack of information about the Lumix GH5 in general. However, if they can deliver on their base promises of 10 bit, 4:2:2 and 4k at 60 frames a second, they can make a lot of wrong decisions and still end up with a very forward thinking filmmaking tool.
Here’s what I feel are perfectly reasonable expectations from the Lumix GH5:
- It will be a Micro-Four Thirds camera. Any speculation otherwise is just a fantasy. Considering Panasonic’s nigh constant affirmation that the GH line will be purely a Micro-Four Thirds line, we should be able to lay this APS-C speculation to bed.
- The GH5 will be sub $2,500. Plenty of people might imagine that Panasonic will hike the price of the GH5 because they can compete on a straight, “spec sheet” comparison, but experienced shooters, andPanasonic themselves know that it’s best to not try to price in competition with the Full-Frame Market.
- The Panasonic GH5 will be a camera that’s focused on improvements in the resolution and bit rate department. By this I mean that it would be a quite a stretch to assume that the GH5 will make vast improvements to the ergonomics of the GH4. In fact, I’d say the only improvements will gravitate around avoiding overheating issues and a new card slot.
- The Panasonic GH5 will have an updated card slot. I have absolutely no clue how they’ll be able to record 10 bit 4:2:2 to SD cards, so I’m assuming they’ll adopt the XQD Memory Card system from Sony. I find it doubtful they’d go the CF or CFast card route, so this seems most likely considering the form factor.
Do I have doubts about the Panasonic Lumix GH5? Of course I do! The whole concept of recording these unbelievable specs internally must create all sorts of design headaches, and unless the engineers at Panasonic are even more ingenious than I think, we’ll be inheriting at least some downside of this design. Also, it's still going to be a Micro-Four Thirds body, and I will only ever purchase Full-Frame Mirrorless or Super 35 Camcorder bodies.
Does it make me any less enthusiastic about this announcement? Absolutely not!
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is a signifier that the market will continue to gravitate more and more towards filmmakers and if you’re a filmmaker how could you not be excited?
Read planet5D's article about the Panasonic GH4 Announcement: Panasonic GH5 “Development” Announced But… ** UPDATED
(cover photo credit: snap from Dpreview article at photokina)