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The Panasonic GH5: Amazing 4K Video Capability in a Micro 4/3 Camera

By Lee Burghard April 2017

What's not to love about this camera? It's a video powerhouse in a small, affordable, mirrorless package. The GH5 offers an endless variety of benefits with loads of lens support, superior 4K video, variable frame rates, great image stabilization, accurate manual white balance, and all for under $2,000.

Have to see it to believe it? Take a look at the footage here captured by Hergen Spalink:

So what benefits does 4K offer? The GH5 offers 10 bit 4K recording at 30 FPS and 8 bit 4K recording at 60 FPS. This allows for greater latitude in post-processing for adjusting color or exposure with less loss of quality. This is critical when it comes to cinema-quality color grading.

Just as greater resolution in a still image provides more flexibility for cropping without noticeable degradation of quality, recording video at 4K allows you to crop a quarter of the frame and still maintain full HD (1920x1080P) resolution. This creates the potential for post-processing camera movements—zooming into a frame, panning, and stabilizing—all amazing tools for the underwater videographer!

The GH5 supports a variety of different resolution and frame rate combinations up to 60 fps, plus a special "Variable Frame Rate" (VFR) of up to 180FPS that allows for creative slow motion playback for a variety of underwater imaging scenarios. 

The 5 axis internal image stabilization is excellent, perhaps one of the best IS systems we've seen in a large sensor camera. Handheld camera movements underwater such as pan or tilts look very smooth, and capturing footage at 60 FPS and then slowing it down in post by 50% makes them even smoother.  There's often little to no need for image stabilization in post production in our experience.

The ability to manually white balance underwater is perhaps one of the most crucial abilities of a camera when shooting underwater video in order to obtain accurate color. The GH5 not only does this accurately, but also with ease. You can accomplish this in just 3 steps and in our experience without the use of a red filter, giving you the flexibility between shooting with both ambient sun light and video lights.

When you combine all of these features with a housing like Nauticam, you have an excellent tool for underwater imaging.  The ergonomic control layout, easy assembly, external monitor options, and wide arrangement of supported lenses for underwater video make this a great combo.  You can see a review of the housings features here along with some demonstrative footage:

Needless to say, we're very excited about the creative potential of the Panasonic GH5! With professional high-quality 4K in small and affordable package, The GH5 is a solid choice for any underwater video shooter to consider.