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Gear & Apps

Entering Beast Mode | Panasonic Releases the Long-Awaited GH5

By Justin Heyes on January 5th 2017

Panasonic teased the photography world back in September with their follow-up to the beloved GH4, but the announcement was surprisingly lights on specs. Today however, at CES, the GH5 was officially released with a slew of upgraded for both the photo and video inclined.


In typical Panasonic fashion, the GH5 is not an incremental update of its predecessor. Almost everything about the GH4 has been upgraded, save the battery. The GH5’s OLED electronic viewfinder also gets a spec bump up from the GH4‘s 2.36 million dots with a 0.67 magnification to a 3.68 million dot and 0.76 magnification. The beefed up behemoth now has internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, 20.3MP Live MOS sensor, dual SD Card slots, Full Sided HDMI, 4K at 60p, in body 5-axis image stabilization, while retaining a size that is 13% bigger.

The GH5 isn’t all about video, for the still photographer there’s a buffer of 100 photos when shooting in RAW and thanks to the updated “Depth from Defocus AF” system, focus times as fast as 0.05 seconds, and up to 9fps burst with continuous AF. Also building on previous micro 4/3 systems that we’ve seen Panasonic and Olympus, the “4K Photo” mode has also been upgraded and now allows you to grab 18-megapixel stills (closer to 6K image).

One of the camera’s underrated new features is something that will appeal majorly to new the MacBook owners is a USB-C port with USB 3.1 gen 1 speeds, instead of the more common (and slower) USB 2.0 port. Add this with the GH5‘s eventual support of V60 SD cards, transfer speeds will be even faster than they otherwise would via built-in adapter.



  • 20.3 Megapixel sensor
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization system with DUAL IS image stabilization
  • All 4K footage taken using full width of sensor (better than the crop of the GH4 sensor in 4K mode)
  • Internal 4K/30p 10-bit 4:2:2
  • 4K/59.94p and 50p shooting with 10-bit 4:2:2 external output or 8-bit, 4:2:0 internal at 150Mbps I
  • 1080 video at up to 180p
  • 9 fps shooting with continuous autofocus
  • Advanced DFD autofocus
  • Dual SD card slots
  • USB-C 3.1
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
  • Waveform and vectorscope monitors
  • No record time limits

Panasonic says all of these features make the GH5 the “world’s first Digital Lens System Mirrorless that meets professional quality standards.” For those of you who are interested in getting your hands on one won’t have to wait too long. B&H has the camera up for pre-order with delivery expected in late March.

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. adam sanford

    It’s a lot of shiny tech, but if you don’t shoot video, it’s very very hard to sign up for this rig at $2k for just the body only. For stills shooters, that same money could buy a D750, A7 II or (refurb) 5D3!

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  2. Josh Leavitt

    It’s interesting to see the micro four thirds system manufacturers (Olympus & Panasonic) targeting the video enthusiast market segment of photography. The Oly OM-D E-M1 Mark II and the Panny GH5 look like they may even try to take a jab at professional sports, wildlife, and wedding photographers with their obscene continuous shooting capabilities and 5-axis image stabilization.

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  3. Wendell Weithers

    Beast Mode Indeed!

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