The Hardware of the Panasonic GH5 – An Interview with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu

January 4th, 2017

With the expected shipping date for the Panasonic GH5 just over the horizon (here’s our detailed feature GH5 hands-on post from earlier today), we thought it would be a good time to catch up with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu to chat about some of the more technical aspects of the next member of the popular GH line of mirrorless cameras. Check out our interview at cinema5D HQ… shot, of course, on the Panasonic GH5.

Panasonic GH5

We all know how much of a cut-throat business the camera world is, with manufacturers constantly trying to one-up one another in a constant and quick succession of new camera releases. As the first big camera release of 2017, the Panasonic GH5 aims to come out swinging, promising to bring a host of truly nice features for indie filmmakers. And about time, too, as after almost 3 years, the popular GH4 was slowly starting to lag behind next to the competition.

But before diving into the great features that the GH5 will bring in a couple of months, we first wanted to know why Panasonic didn’t decide to go all out with some much-requested bells and whistles, especially given its popularity among filmmakers both amateur and professional. So, Panasonic, why didn’t you include internal ND filters and RAW recording?

Panasonic GH5

Panasonic’s M. Uematsu. Interview shot on the new Panasonic GH5.

With an RRP of $2,000, Panasonic has continued their history of keeping their popular line of Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless at a rather affordable price. M. Uematsu also goes into some details about just how they have managed to do so.

Our interview with M. Uematsu is also packed with information regarding the camera’s hardware, such as the new dual SD card slot implementation, the technical measures taken to avoid overheating problems now that the camera can handle 4K at 50/60p, the limitations of the new in-body 5-axis image stabilisation system, sensor performance and the the new DMW-XLR1 Microphone Adapter.

You can find all this and more at the following time marks:

00:13 – Why doesn’t the Panasonic GH5 offer internal RAW recording?

00:59 – Why wasn’t an internal ND filter implemented?

01:50 – How did Panasonic manage to keep such an affordable price for the camera?

02:30 – Is the sensor inside the new GH5 made exclusively for or by Panasonic, or can it be found in other devices in the market?

03:02 – How good is the Dynamic Range in the new GH5? 

04:05 – In high ISO settings, an automatic noise reduction function will kick in. Can this be prevented and switched off?

05:18 – Why is the new 5-axis stabilisation system limited to work with Panasonic Lumix lenses only?

06:09 – The GH5 incorporates 2 SD card slots. In video mode, can you record to both simultaneously?

07:10 – How did Panasonic solve potential overheating problems, especially when the camera has no recording time limitations?

08:35 – Will the new DMW-XLR1 Microphone Adapter work only with the GH5 or across the new Lumix line?

If you’re looking to purchase a GH5, or are remotely interested in the camera, then I’m sure this interview will serve to quench your curiosity during the next few weeks. In the meantime, do let us know what you think about the new GH5 features in the comments section below!

Interview shot on a Panasonic GH5 using CineLike V, edited in Premiere Pro and graded using a FilmConvert preset for the GH4. 

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 Pedro Guedes
Member
February 15th, 2017

Why panasonic never released a cine like lens for their line of gh cameras like sony´s 18 105 pz lens? I think that they have market for that since they sell most of their cameras to videographers.

 Ryan Mariotti
Member
February 2nd, 2017

I am utterly confused at his answer regarding Raw recording capabilities. SD cards not fast enough? The Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera could record Raw Cinema DNG to Extreme Pro SD cards rated at 95MB/s. I had nothing but success with that. That’s before the new line of SD UHS III cards came out that could push 200MB/S. Even when the GH5’s 400Mb/s firmware gets released later this year, that bitrate is well below the 95MB/s threshold for write speed. (400Mb/s divided by 8bits per byte is 50MB/s) Unless I’m missing something inherently obvious, SD card speed should not be a the limiting factor for raw recording.

 Arvīds Barānovs
Member
February 1st, 2017

I hope Sony is listening. We really need that 10bit and 4K60 in the next A7x series. Can live without other improvements.

 Ryan Mariotti
Member
February 2nd, 2017

How about battery life? It’s really quite poor on the A7s II. One of the main reasons I haven’t switched to that line. I travel so much, and I know that I can go half day comfortably in 4k with the GH4 on one battery. With the A7S I’m lucky to get an hour. That means a lot of extra batteries. Just something else to worry about.

 Pablo Grok
Pablo Grok
Member
January 11th, 2017

It’s interesting how much he insists in the camera being targeted at consumers, not professionals. I don’t think many consumers will even understand most of the features in this camera…

I understand this is mostly a cinema site, hence no attention to autofocus, but I record events where autofocus is almost a must. While DFD looks promising, the idea of restricting myself to Panasonic-only lenses doesn’t make me very happy.

Member
January 9th, 2017

I would consider MFT+speedbooser if the dynamic range was really improved. But it’s not worth it. I stick with Sony and wait for the A7SIII which will probably shoot 4K 60P as well. Nice budget camera though, but not in replacement of my A7S2.

Johnnie Behiri
Admin
January 9th, 2017

Guys, as requested by some and in order to clear confusion in regards to which lenses are supported by the new GH5 when it comes to 5 axis stabilization, I’ve updated our “Panasonic GH5 hands on” article with a slide mentioning it all. (see at the end of the article). https://www.cined.com/panasonic-gh5-hands-on-6k-anamorphic-video-4k-60p-180fps-fhd/

Hope that helps. Thank you!

Johnnie

 dean mermell
dean mermell
Member
January 6th, 2017

Hi, were any of these shots, like the closeups and mediums, pushed in on in post to reframe, or was it all framed the way we see it here when it was shot?

Johnnie Behiri
Admin
January 9th, 2017
Reply to  dean mermell

Hi Dean.

What you see is what we had…Nothing was reframed.

Thank you.

Johnnie

Oscar M
Member
January 5th, 2017

100 bucks to unlock the LOG profile is bull….

Did I undertand it correct that the IBIS only works with LUMIX lenses attached?

 Nicola Verdi
Nicola Verdi
Member
January 6th, 2017
Reply to  Oscar M

Dual IBIS works only with LUMIX glass but what is with in-camera IBIS? Can I use it with canon or sigma glass?

Oscar M
Member
January 7th, 2017
Reply to  Nicola Verdi

yes

Kenny Lang
Guest
January 5th, 2017

Nices Teil! Und Chapeu fürs Untertiteln von dem Typen.

Member
January 5th, 2017

20 mp sensor on a MFT think about that…. Not even the a7sii has that. The image is going to be way over sharp and you will struggle to get good natural people shots especially with out a speed booster :( . Why are they chasing the megapixel count for a video camera!!! Low light will just be average if not less than average. It’s just a very limted format I think the Samsun Nexus 1 was a step in the right direction. 4k apsc with a better codec. Very hard to justify this over the a6500 not many gains especially for prosumers who mostly need a decent look right out of camera and don’t use 4k very much.

Oscar M
Member
January 5th, 2017
Reply to  Joseph Berg

4:2:2 /10 bit and 4K 60P is the answer

 Srg Egorkin
Member
January 5th, 2017

Holy smokes, their dual IS system works only with OIS mft lenses. That’s quite frustrating

 Konstantin Zettiness
Konstantin Zettiness
Member
January 6th, 2017
Reply to  Srg Egorkin

I am not sure it’s possible to coordinate IBIS and OIS in other way than having the right code in both firmware of the camera and the lens.

 Srg Egorkin
Member
January 6th, 2017

yeah, i derped and called regular 5 axis IS as “dual IS”. It has to be not just 5 axis IS,but something…more.. stable? O_o

 Georg Lembergh
Georg Lembergh
Member
January 5th, 2017

Hi Fabian, great Interview!

Which Lenses did you use on the GH5 in this Interview?

Regards

Georg

Johnnie Behiri
Admin
January 5th, 2017
Reply to  Georg Lembergh

Hi Georg.

We used The Panasonic/Leica 12-60mm.

Thank you.

Johnnie

 thrower thrower
thrower thrower
Member
January 5th, 2017

OMG, They listen to the customers! There’re doomed ;-) While MFT is really a limitation in some cases for some users, Panasonic really pulled maximum from their system, it is new league in terms of bang for the buck. While I just don’t feel still for switching systems, temptation is very high though and GH5 will push whole market, definitely. Sony is still in comfort zone, but probably will be forced to add more features to (likely 2018) A7S/R III. And Fuji , while did a great job with X-T2 is squeezed very much from both sides, since they had so little time to get people to their system. And there’s Olympus also… Well, I expect 4k 10 bit (or better) to be present on more than 5 sub $3500 cameras before end 2018. And that is great!! I just wish something’d change at canon)) But they need to loose customers first. Lot more))

 Chris Maldonado
Chris Maldonado
Member
January 5th, 2017

Wow, this was a great interview thank you! It’s wild that there are almost no limitations with this camera it’s incredible. I will say however two things I really don’t like, the high iso auto noise reduction and the limitation on the BIS body image stabilizer. So let me get this perfectly clear, are you saying you cannot have ANY in body stabilization when using lenses other than MFT/Lumix glass? Or you can, but it’s limited to 3-axis like the Sony A6500?

Member
January 5th, 2017

If it’s like the Dual IS in the GX85, then it means that it needs a compatible Dual IS lens (with updated firmware) to utilize both in body AND lens IS together.

With any other lens you are only using in body IS, or if you have a lens that has its own IS, you can use that but the in body IS is off.

 the SUBVERSIVE
the SUBVERSIVE
Member
January 5th, 2017

Cinema5D kind of screw up with the question and this will confuse people, I’m pretty sure.

They are actually talking about the the DUAL IS 2, that only works with Lumix lenses and just a few of them. The 12-35 f/2.8 and 35-100 f/2.8 zoom lenses, for instance, they were updated so they can work with DUAL IS.

As for non Lumix lenses you should be able to choose and for non-OIS lenses, you can simply use the 5-axis IBIS. So if you are using adapters or legacy lenses, you can still have IBIS working with it.

That’s why having the GH5, a focal reducer and a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 is such a powerful combo since the Sigma doesn’t have OIS but now you can use it WITH stabilization.

 Roy Sherfan
Member
March 22nd, 2017

In regards to the auto noise reduction, as long as it is very mild noise reduction I believe it is a good thing specifically for one reason and one reason alone:

Compression codec budget.

If we were able to store RAW image data from the sensor (after debayering)- apart from being dreadfully large in storage requirements, I’d want the untouched unfettered image data to perform high quality noise reduction in post. No questions there, that is the best way to go.

But, since we must compress the image data into something like a 100-200mbit stream of h.264 (even if using ProRes on external recorder) we run into the issue of noise taking up valuable bits in the encoding of the image data.

If I can reduce the number of bits wasted encoding useless noise, that means more of those bits can be used to encode useful image data.

This is the same issue with image sharpening but in reverse. We don’t want image sharpening in-camera because it emphasizes noise and sharpens edges, thus making the encoder work harder and waste more bits on noise and edges that would otherwise go towards better describing the actual image. Since the sharpening of that image can be derived from non-sharpened image data, there is no benefit in making the camera sharpen the image. Too much extra noise and harder edges for the encoder.

With high ISO noise, it’s the same situation. Too much extra noise means the encoder is going to be less and less efficient at trying to describe the image with the noise.

My hope is that the noise reduction is subtle enough that it doesn’t foul the detail we need like the weave of cloth or the splashing of rain or any other situation where you can get macroblocking artefacts – yet GOOD enough to reduce the noisy areas to the extent that a significant amount of our bit budget is freed to concentrate on encoding the actual image, even if it is slightly degraded by the noise reduction filter.

I hope this makes sense.

Hicham Meftah
Guest
January 4th, 2017

Did he say H265??

Nino Leitner
Guest
January 5th, 2017
Reply to  Hicham Meftah

Yes.

Tom Truong
Guest
January 5th, 2017
Reply to  Hicham Meftah

I think the H.265 is only limited to 6K Photo mode.

Nino Leitner
Guest
January 5th, 2017
Reply to  Hicham Meftah

Tom Truong No I think the anamorphic 6K if I’m not mistaken

Tom Truong
Guest
January 5th, 2017
Reply to  Hicham Meftah

No Nino Leitner, H.265 is in 6K PHOTO MODE.

Hicham Meftah
Guest
January 5th, 2017
Reply to  Hicham Meftah

Tom Truong dont get it “6K photo MP4 H265” we can take 6K video ?

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