Updated: Mar 14, 2019
We all know GH5 is a stellar video camera, but how good is it for stills? Is it good enough for professional use? I been using the camera for almost a year now and here are my thoughts.
Coming from a full frame system, the m4/3 eco system seems like a downgrade in terms of image quality, especially because I am so used to the 42 mega pixel images from my Sony a7r ii, which is by far the best image quality I ever seen on a camera.
So I started using the GH5 together with my canon 5d Mark iv and sony A7R ii during my travels last year and immediatley it found its place on my kit. The built in intravelometer is a life saver, it’s so simple to set up a timelapse. I have made a timelapse film entirely shot on GH5. I will link that below.
But it was not until last autumn,I had the courage to take only the GH5 with few lenses on a multi day hiking trip, that was the first I am relying on just a m4/3 camera for an entire trip. I knew this was the right thing to do as, there is noway I am hiking with a full frame dslr with few full frame Lenses.
The main advantage of choosing a m4/3 system for travelling is the small form factor, not just the body the lenses too. I use a laowa 7.5 mm f2, Panasonic 12-35 f2.8, Panasonic 20 mm f1.7 and a 45-200 mm lens with a GH5 and the total weight is less than 3 pounds that’s less than a 70-200 f2.8 lens for full frame dslr and mirrorless.
These are some features that makes Panasonic GH5 a tough contenter against this saturated full frame market. Starting with an amazing in body stabilisation, this is one of those feature that’s truly groundbreaking. It opens up a lot of possibilities, like using a slower shutter speed and getting away without getting a blurry photo. I have used the gh5 with the laowa 7.5 f2 lens to take some long explore shots of the waterfall to get that silky smooth look of the waterfall without using a tripod. Before that, these kind of shots where attained only with the help of a tripod.
Another feature that stands out for me is the silent shooting mode. While travelling there are few situations where you have to be discreet, for eg if you are shooting a ceremony or wildlife or even when doing peoples photography. If that shutter makes any noice chances are the subject will be aware that we are talking pictures of them, hence loosing the authentic moments. This feature paired with the articulating screen on the gh5 helps me shoot my subjects from hip level which helps me stay on a low key white shooting. Taking about the screen, Gh5 got a fully functional touchscreen interface which helps me to touch to focus is certain situations where using a joystick to choose the focus point is simply not possible.
In the photography industry everyone talk about How good the dual pixel autofocus is of canon, and it’s true,it is a stellar autofocus system, I was very impressed while using my canon 5d4. But I think the GH5‘s dpd autofocus system is underrated, especially when it comes to taking photos, from my experience it’s snappy and good enough to do any kind of photography including sports. They even have a face tracking options which Is very helpful while taking portraits of people, but keep in mind it’s not as good as the sony‘s and Fuji‘s eye autofocus system, but it’s really close. Combining the autofocus with the silent shooting with an articulating screen with a burst rate of 11 FPS in mechanical shutter and upto 30 fps in 6k mode with unlimited buffer offers a wide range of possibilities.
These days more and more people are trying out astrophotography while travelling. So naturally you will be wondering how does the GH5 performs in low light. Micro four third system is generally not recommended for low light photography due to its tiny sensor compared to a APSC or Full frames sensor. But from my tests it did do well but you can’t really compare with an image coming out from a full frame camera. But the question you need to ask yourself is, do you need the highest quality? what is your ultimate use? Hopefully these questions are self explanatory regariding which system to go for.
Do have a look at some of the images I took of the night sky with GH5 and my laowa 7.5 f2 lens.
I hope you have enough reason to love the GH5 for photography now, if you are a GH5 shooter, I would love to see some of your images. If you are wondering If GH5 is a good enough hybrid camera, look no further. I hope you found this article useful, If you do have questions you can always drop me a DM on my instagram.