Review: Panasonic Lumix GH5
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Panasonic got into the race for 4K video capture last year with the Lumix GH4 (Rs1,88,990), at a time when the likes of Canon and Nikon were still going slow on making 4K available in their consumer cameras. In terms of the optical hardware, this year’s flagship camera, the Lumix GH5, gets a 20.3-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, compared to a 16.05-megapixel sensor in the Lumix GH4. The other big change with the GH5 is that it does 3,840 x 2,160 resolution 4K videos up to 60p frame rates and has Dual I.S. 2 feature for image and video stabilization. The new autofocus system is faster too. Panasonic has used Venus Engine 10 image processing, which includes Multi-pixel Luminance Generation and Intelligent Detail Processing, and is expected to result in sharper and better detailed visuals in most scenarios. Colour accuracy remains pristine.
The Lumix GH5 gets a 225-point focus system—more is better, and this means that focus points are spread right across the frame for better clarity. It is faster too, because an object will move from one focus point to another, rather than the camera having to refocus. The variant that we reviewed comes with the excellent Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens. The photography performance is nothing short of spectacular, and you get such generous amounts of detailing that even cropped photographs remain crisp. Colours are well reproduced, and Panasonic has resisted colour boosting to make the shades look richer. Low-light performance is quite neat as well, because image stabilization and robust noise reduction work well together—though there will be certain limitations with the 11.16 square micrometer sensor pixel area, which is almost 50% less than in a larger DSLR. The 4K video, this camera’s party piece, looks nothing short of stunning—and offers rich detail, smooth frames and accurate colours too.
Measuring 138.5x98.1x87.4mm and tipping the scales at 645g (body only), this is marginally larger and heavier than the Lumix G4. The design offers a large grip—the fingers wrap around it nicely—and the chassis is a mix of rubber and high-quality plastic, all of which ensure excellent grip.
The Lumix GH5 offers good build quality, an easy control layout, fast autofocus, fantastic image quality and 4K video. The only aspect where it could fall short occasionally is with low-light performance, owing to smaller sensor size.
Cutting-edge features hardly come cheap, and the Lumix GH5 is no different.