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Is GH5 really worth it compared to the GH$


Max Moosbrugger
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I've been contemplating getting a micro 4/3 camera as my first "cinema" camera for a while, suffice it say I narrowed it down to the gh5 and completely over looked the extremely cheaper GH4. I don't care if I have the latest and greatest film equipment out there, I just want something that will last me a while as I progress as a filmmaker and is capable of rendering profesional video. The maximum i"m willing to spend on my initial camera setup is 2000 dollars, The cheapest GH5 with an adaptor i can find is over 900 dollars, while GH4s have been selling on ebay for around 400. I'm wondering What are the main advantages of the GH5, and if it's really worth it.

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After working with some GH5 footage... GH5 is kinda lame for the price. Get a Sony F3

The sensor is tiny and the skintone highlights are very video-ish, making a pretty unremarkable image.

Edited by Max Field
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The GH5 is a substantial improvement over the GH4 in just about every way, especially when it comes to video specs - 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording (which is essential for log encoding), oversampling for improved resolution, and increased dynamic range.  

I wouldn't listen to people who complain about the smaller sensor size - the 4/3 sensor isn't much smaller than 1.85 Academy-gate 35mm film, and plenty of "cinematic" films were shot in that format (and not to mention 16mm, which is smaller than 4/3).  The crowd that makes noise about sensor sizes tends to have a fairly narrow definition of "cinematic" anyway.  The GH5's smaller sensor size is actually beneficial in a couple ways:  it enables the in-body stabilization to work so well, and also improves the rolling shutter characteristics. 

For the price it is now, I'd say the GH5 is a compelling bargain for the features you get.  Make sure you get one that has the V-log upgrade, and get quality V60 or V90 rated memory cards so you can use the 400Mbit codec.

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Yes the GH5 is a better camera than the GH4 by a long shot. 

I personally don't like either camera. I have shot with both quite a bit and feel they're both very difficult to use both on set AND in post where the footage is always sub-par compared to the competition. I personally have no idea what Panasonic's problem is, why they can't seem to make a decent camera in that price range, but I've tried a lot of tricks to get the camera working well and I've given up. 

I know you're dead set on Panasonic, but the blackmagic pocket 4k is a far better cinema camera. Remember the GH series is a still camera first, video camera 2nd. 

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The GH5 is phenomenal. vLog behaves a lot like LogC in my experience and the 10 bit internal was revolutionary at it's release. It's a quality camera! I've shot two features on it and countless shorts.

Plus, it's a native 4:3 sensor, so it's perfect for anamorphic.

Focal reducers (aka speedboosters) give you the depth of field of larger sensors with the added bonus of an extra stop of light.

The batteries for the camera last for a long time; you'll only need 3.

In my opinion, the GH series of cameras have been fantastic. Upstream Color was shot on the GH2, long before 10 bit external recording was even an option at that price level. It's a beautiful film!

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If you've go the budget, the GH5s improves a lot on the GH5 with larger photosites and dual native ISO. It won't have the IBIS, but it makes up for it with better low light capabilities.

Edited by AJ Young
Forgot details about the GH5s
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11 hours ago, Max Moosbrugger said:

I've been contemplating getting a micro 4/3 camera as my first "cinema" camera for a while, suffice it say I narrowed it down to the gh5 and completely over looked the extremely cheaper GH4. I don't care if I have the latest and greatest film equipment out there, I just want something that will last me a while as I progress as a filmmaker and is capable of rendering profesional video.

The GH5 was a big leap forward over the GH4, at least as big a leap as the GH4 was over the GH3.

I'd take a Panasonic G85/G80 over a GH4! Heck, I miiiiiiiight maaaaaybe even choose a G7 over a GH4

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12 hours ago, Max Moosbrugger said:

Skin tone rendition is a big deal to me. After cutting my teeth on my schools hvc camcorders I’ve grown quite tired of bending over backwards in the color grade just to make the skin tones pleasing

Skin tones are phenomenal when you shoot in vLog on the GH5, so I wouldn't worry. 🙂

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Go with the GH5S if strictly for video. I have two and use them constantly. I also use them without batting eye along side my Red Gemini when a smaller camera is needed and with proper coloring or filmconvert couldn't even spot the difference unless you were really looking for it. Also if you get the Metabones T Speed Booster XL 0.64x combined with GH5S bigger sensor to the GH5 gets youre very close to the Red Gemini sensor size 1.149 crop factor in DCI 4k. Which is in between super 35 and full frame. Skintone and low light noise level is much better than the GH5 which I had for short period before it came out and did a doc with them as A and B cameras. Only draw back is lack of sensor stabilization. But if you get a gimbal that sensor in the GH5 moving around when IS turned off and when turned on fights the gimbal. Panasonic said thats why they took IS out because shows like Top Gear requested it where camera movement was to much and would fight the IS sensor. Also rolling shutter is amazing compared to all the other mirrorless and dlsr. Did a side by side test compared to my Red Gemini and fell behind slightly. Can't wait for a second version that can do 4k 60p 10bit 422 internal. Also my experience with black magic camera is they just die on shoots or defective. When I had the Ursa Mini 4.6k went through three one year. Black magic had to keep sending me a new one. Never had any luck with them. Also the Pocket 4k uses the exact same sensor as the GH5S that was developed by Sony. You will fall in love with 150mbps 4k 422 10bit for keeping files sizes down but still decent amount for coloring. Especially for documentaries or alot of content on low budget. 

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8 hours ago, Alexander Sutton Hough said:

GH5S bigger sensor to the GH5

Just want to make a slight correction, the GH5S and GH5 have identical sensor sizes (17.3 x 13 mm), but the GH5S has bigger photosites than the GH5.

I wholeheartedly agree, though, the GH5S has better image quality simply because of the larger photosites.

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32 minutes ago, AJ Young said:

Just want to make a slight correction, the GH5S and GH5 have identical sensor sizes (17.3 x 13 mm), but the GH5S has bigger photosites than the GH5.

I wholeheartedly agree, though, the GH5S has better image quality simply because of the larger photosites.

Need to make another correction to that misconception. The sensors sizes are the same for photo. But video capture area of the sensor are completely different sizes. This video explains the difference. The GH5S captures the full width of the sensor while GH5 crops into the sensors so for video mode smaller sensor area. 

 

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