Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Review

Panasonic GH5 (Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5)

With a size of 139 x 98 x 87 millimetres and an operational weight (without lens) of over 720 grams, the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 is by far the largest and heaviest Micro Four Thirds camera. The 4/3″ sensor looks almost lost small in it. Even the mirrorless full format cameras Alpha 7 and Alpha 9 are smaller and lighter. “Micro” is the GH5 really not. But it has a lot to offer in terms of technology. The detailed test reveals exactly what is required in terms of practical suitability and image quality.

Short evaluation


  • Excellent housing processing
  • Extensive video equipment including unlimited 4K recording and professional functions
  • Very good image quality up to ISO 3,200
  • Ultrafast autofocus


  • Video AF sometimes somewhat indecisive
  • For a Micro-Four-Thirds camera very large and heavy housing
  • Very restrained JPEG image processing leads to a meagre resolution
  • Release delay (without AF) for a DSLM relatively long

Lumix DC-GH5? Correctly read, the cameras at Panasonic are no longer called “Lumix DMC-“, but “Lumix DC-” (this only applies to all new models). The reason for this is said to lie in the model designations that are allegedly too long for the SAP software before Panasonic moved to SAP HANA in 2020 what allowed them to have longer material numbers in their master data configuration , after all Panasonic also adds letter codes for the region, the color and the kit, which “inflate” the model designations. But enough of this curiosity and back to the new Lumix flagship.


The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 has a robust magnesium housing with 20 programmable function keys and is protected against splash water and dust. [Photo: Panasonic]

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 features a new, faster image processor with five cores for even finer image processing and faster autofocus.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 now has a joystick for controlling the 225 autofocus fields. Its 3.7 million pixel OLED viewfinder is particularly impressive. [Photo: Panasonic]

The heart of the Lumix DC-GH5 is the 20 megapixel Four-Thirds sensor (17.3 x 13 millimetres). For the first time in the GH series, it is movably mounted for image stabilization and, thanks to a new gyro sensor, compensates for camera shake for up to five f-stops longer exposure times on five axes. The combination with the optical 2-axis image stabilizer of Panasonic lenses even increases the image stabilizer’s effectiveness, especially in the telephoto range. The image sensor doesn’t have a resolution-reducing low-pass filter, and image processing has been further improved by Panasonic’s Venus Engine 10, which has now become even more powerful with five calculation cores. This is reflected in an even more differentiated noise reduction, a better processing of the finest details and a more nuanced colour reproduction. Compared to the GH4, the noise is much finer and lower, even in videos, while the pictures and videos look even more detailed. We were already able to verify this with a prototype and the first comparative photos and videos that Panasonic presented to us.

Panasonic has also significantly improved the DFD autofocus. For a more precise focusing, it now has 225 measuring fields instead of the previous 49. Measurement field groups can also be defined. Thanks to the new joystick, the focus point or focus point group can be precisely defined not only via the touchscreen. The autofocus already works from -4 LW. A peaking function can be switched over to manual focusing. In addition, the new Venus engine and the faster image sensor ensure even faster focusing. Instead of analysing 240 images per second as before, 480 images per second are now being analysed, which corresponds to a doubling. The DFD-AF not only calculates the focus distance between two images in order to predict the correct focus point, but also the type and movement of the subject. The speed for measuring the distance is supposed to increase sixfold, the focus tracking was at least accelerated by a factor of two. The GH5 should only need 0.05 seconds to focus according to the CIPA measuring method. With AF-C, nine frames per second are now possible, with an AF-C that is twice as precise, mind you. In addition, the AF-C’s mode of operation can be adapted, for example in terms of sensitivity, area switching or moving object prediction. With AF-S, even twelve frames per second are possible.

It gets really fast with the 4K photo function, which now works with 60 instead of 30 frames per second and of course also offers operating modes such as post-focus and focus stacking. If the 8.3 megapixels are not enough for you, you can now use a 6K photo function that resolves 18 megapixels per frame. However, this is not “real” 6K, the horizontal sensor resolution of 5,184 pixels is not sufficient. However, 18 megapixels correspond to the resolution of a 6K video, only that the 6K photo function works with an aspect ratio of 4:3 or 3:2 and thus without 6,000 pixels horizontally comes to a corresponding total resolution. By the way, a new algorithm suppresses the rolling shutter effect quite effectively, as Panasonic impressively demonstrated to the trade press at an information event.

The 4/3″ sensor of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 has a resolution of 20 megapixels and, for the first time in the GH series, is movably mounted for image stabilisation. [Photo: Panasonic]

The 4K video function of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 achieves up to 60 frames per second and now works without crop. The 6K photo function offers 30 frames per second at a resolution of 18 megapixels.

For video specialists the DC-GH5 also has a lot to offer. The video resolution remains at 4K as with the previous model, but the frame rate has been doubled to a maximum of 60 frames per second. In Full HD resolution, even 180 frames per second are possible, leaving plenty of room for slow motion. There’s no need for a special version of the camera like the GH4R, because the GH5 doesn’t have a video length limit of 30 minutes anymore. Also new is the 4:2:2 10 bit recording on the SD memory card. However, there are still some restrictions here. The function will only be activated with a firmware update planned for April 2017 (the GH5’s market launch is a month earlier) and will initially be limited to Full HD resolution. For the second half of 2017, Panasonic is planning a further firmware update, which will release 4:2:2 10 bit for 4K, at least in up to 30 fps. This is even supposed to be an all-in-one recording with 400 Mbit/s. Other features of this firmware update will include Full HD video recording in anamorphic mode, hybrid log gamma in photo style mode for 4K HDR video recording, and USB tethering.

But let’s return to the video functions that the GH5 has already mastered since delivery: the camera now works in video mode without crop, which still provided the GH4 with a clear, not always desirable detail magnification. The mechanical 5-axis image stabilizer is also active during video recording. The recording formats can be freely selected between MOV, MP4 and AVCHD in different frame rates and bit rates. Of course, the video mode also benefits from the improved suppression of the rolling shutter effect. Gamma settings include “Cinelike D” and “Cinelike V” as well as “Like 709” for HDTV compatibility. For the VLogL video recording, however, a firmware update with costs is necessary. In addition, the GH5 now offers waveform and vectorscope displays. It also records the SMPTE-compatible time code in either Rec-Run or Free-Run Count Up mode. This should simplify the synchronization of video and audio material in post-production. In addition, the luminance values can be selected between 64-1023, 64-940 and 0-1023. In addition, the Synchro Scan mode suppresses flickering, color bars are also available. In contrast to the GH4, Panasonic no longer offers an additional handle with XLR connectors for the GH5, but now realizes this with a significantly more compact flash shoe attachment (DMW-XLR1).

The Lumix DC-GH5 has a double SD card slot which is compatible with SDHC, SDXC and UHS II (both slots!) to be able to store the large amounts of data quickly. The other camera data are also very impressive or are sometimes spectacular and/or market leaders in their segment. The robust magnesium housing is protected against splash water and dust and frost-proof down to -10 degrees Celsius. The shutter is designed for 200,000 releases and offers a fastest shutter speed of 1/8,000 second. In addition, up to 1/2,000 second short exposure times, an electronic first shutter curtain can be used to completely eliminate the shutter-shock effect (blurring due to shutter vibrations), which has already been reduced to 1/6. The purely electronic shutter even allows shutter speeds as short as 1/16,000 second.

The rear 8-centimer touch screen has an aspect ratio of 3:2 and can be rotated and swivelled, it resolves fine 1.6 million pixels with RGBW matrix. The OLED display of the electronic viewfinder, on the other hand, displays an impressive 3.7 million pixels at 60 frames per second. Despite 0.76x magnification, practically no pixels can be seen here compared to a 35mm image. The exit pupil is also not too small at 21 millimetres. Screen and viewfinder naturally cover 100 percent of the image field.

The GH5 offers 20 customizable function keys and a revised menu with eight instead of five lines for fewer menu pages. To simplify operation, it should also be possible to display the reason for greying out a menu item. Also noteworthy is the new “My Menu”, in which up to 23 preferred menu items can be saved for faster access. In addition to WLAN, which now also operates at 5 GHz, the GH5 also offers Bluetooth 4.2 LE for an energy-saving connection to a smartphone in order to exchange data in the background (e.g. the geocoordinates determined by the smartphone) and to be able to set up the WLAN connection for data transmission or camera remote control even more easily. In addition, the GH5 has an auto backup function in the home WLAN. The USB port is a Type C socket that supports USB 3.1 for fast data transfer.


With the DMW-BGGH5 battery access, the already not exactly small Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 becomes even more voluminous. [Photo: Panasonic]

With the Panasonic XLR adapter plugged into the hot shoe, the Lumix DC-GH5 can be expanded with XLR audio connectors and high-res audio recording function. [Photo: Panasonic]

The Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 battery grip not only doubles the battery life of the GH5 from 410 to 820 shots, but also gives it a portrait shutter release. [Photo: Panasonic]

As an accessory, Panasonic is again offering a battery grip (DMW-BGGH5) to double the battery capacity and improve handling in portrait format.

Ergonomics and workmanship

The bulky case of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 could well be that of a DSLR. The large handle offers a lot of grip surface, but should be better contoured in the transition to the case, because when carried by hand, you have to grip it firmly with counterpressure and must not let it loose under any circumstances, otherwise it will slip out of your hands. People with dainty paws will find the grip too big, but photographers with big hands will be happy to finally have something “right” in their hands. Because one or the other advantage of the Micro-Four-Thirds standard remains despite the large case: Such as the relatively small and light lenses, if one compares them with full format competitors with the same image angle. Or the greater depth of field, which some see as an advantage (you don’t have to dazzle so far), others as a disadvantage (you can do less well). These are certainly questions of taste, but in any case there is “finally” a big, handy Micro-Four-Thirds camera.

Panasonic uses the large housing of the Lumix DC-GH5 for numerous knobs and one or the other dial.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 is by far the largest micro-four-thirds camera. It easily takes on the size of DSLRs.

The case is made all around of a robust magnesium alloy, which is generously covered with a non-slip, grained rubber coating in the grip area on the left and right. The housing is of course protected against dust and splash water. While at the front is the flash sync socket, the small screw cap of which should be tightened firmly in order not to lose it, on the left there are three interface flaps, all of which are made of rubber. The top one covers the stereo microphone connector, a 3.5 mm jack, and hangs only on a movable rubber. The two flaps below, on the other hand, have a hinge. Behind the upper flap is the headphone output, also a 3.5 mm stereo jack. Behind the lower flap there is a generous full-size HDMI socket (type A) as well as a USB-C port, which unfortunately is not suitable for charging the battery. In addition, two threaded sockets are hidden behind the interface flaps. The scope of delivery includes a simple plastic part that can be screwed in here. It provides strain relief and kink protection for the connected cables and thus protects the connections from breaking out. This is incredibly important for videographers, especially since the highest video qualities can only be recorded externally via HDMI recorders.

On the handle side there is another interface, also protected by a rubber plug, like the microphone connector. Here a cable remote release can be plugged into the 2.5 mm jack socket. The memory card compartment is also located on the handle side. This is a robust plastic flap with rubber seals and spring that presses the flap open after unlocking. Behind it there are two SD card slots which are compatible to SDHC, SDXC, UHS I and UHS II – both of them, mind you! On the underside there is another interface which is protected by a loose rubber plug. This is the electronic connection for the optional and also splash-proof battery portrait format handle. Instead, Panasonic offers an attachment for the flash shoe, which contains XLR sound connections along with controls.

The tripod thread on the underside of the camera is located in the optical axis, but is unusually far back, so that the camera with lens quickly becomes front-heavy. The battery compartment is far enough away from the tripod thread so that it can also be opened with a tripod exchange plate. The lithium-ion battery BLF-19E is the same as in the GH4 and offers a battery life of about 400 images according to CIPA standard, which can also be easily achieved in practice. Somewhat hidden in the handle recess is a removable cable outlet for the mains adapter, which is pushed into the battery compartment. It is logically the same as in the GH4.

Due to the large case it was no problem to distribute enough controls on it without making it look too crowded. In addition, the buttons are partially blindly palpable. On the upper side, for example, the exposure correction button is smooth, the ISO button is provided with two small pins, the Fn1 button is rounded and the white balance button is also, but it protrudes considerably further out of the housing. The program selector wheel can be secured against inadvertent adjustment and the switch is located directly underneath as an easy-to-operate lever. In addition, the GH5 offers three multifunction wheels, one in thumb position on the back, one behind the trigger on the top and a third combined with the four-way selector, whereby the wheel is large and handy enough not to accidentally press one of the four buttons. In addition to the four-way selector, there is a joystick that is responsible for selecting the autofocus points. Close to it is the AEL/AFL button, which is enclosed by the focus selector lever. Further function keys are distributed over the entire housing and preassigned with meaningful functions, some of which are printed on the housing.

The eight-centimetre screen has an extremely fine resolution of 1.62 million pixels. The swivel swivel joint is standard equipment at Panasonic, so that the screen can be viewed from all possible angles. As usual, it’s a touch screen that allows you to display additional function keys and can also be used to set the autofocus point, even if you have your eye on the viewfinder. If you like, you can also fold the screen upside down against the rear wall for protection.

Battery and memory cards can be removed separately from each other on the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5.

Unusual: The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 has a type A HDMI interface, i.e. with a full connector size. The USB-C socket is also modern, but does not allow the battery to be recharged.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 comes with a simple, screw-on cable guide to prevent the interfaces from breaking out.

The electronic viewfinder is a real feast for the eyes. It has a small-image equivalent 0.76x magnification, so it can take on a full-frame DSLR. However, this does not only apply to the size, as the resolution is also extremely fine with 3.68 million pixels, so that practically no single pixels can be recognized anymore. In purely mathematical terms, the display should have a resolution of 1,280 x 960 pixels (4:3), since each pixel consists of three pixels, this gives a resolution of 3,686,400 pixels. Thanks to the proximity sensor, the viewfinder switches on automatically as soon as you take it to your eye. A dioptric correction is also available and the eyecup is pleasantly large. People who wear glasses can see the viewfinder almost completely. There are no shadows on the sides, but in the corners there are. The viewfinder offers a smooth display without jerking and pulling, and even a jelly movie effect is virtually invisible. The colours and contrasts are strong and natural, so that you can judge the picture very well. The viewfinder is also very suitable for displaying images and menus, since sunlight is much less annoying than on the monitor, which in some situations reaches its (brightness) limits.


The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 is truly not a camera for beginners. Beginners get a 20 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor and 4K video for example in the much cheaper GX8 (and even that’s not really a beginner’s camera). Accordingly, the GH5 doesn’t offer motif programmes, but an intelligent automatic system that quickly adjusts everything automatically in the heat of battle – even including a suitable motif programme. Those who still like it playful will find a setting on the program selector wheel that offers a selection of 22 filter effects for photos. But a photographer gets really creative in the classic programs, especially the aperture priority, the aperture priority and the manual mode. The latter offers an ISO automatic if desired, the exposure correction also remains active and offers a wide setting range of +/- 5 EV. For videographers there is also a manual video mode, more about that later, but thanks to the video trigger it can also be filmed in any other program. In addition, there are three positions on the program dial that can be preset with individual settings in order to quickly prepare the camera for the favourite subject situations.

Although the GH5 does not offer a panorama function, you can use it to take HDR shots, which can be automatically aligned and calculated on request. In addition there are even some settings for the strength or an automatic. Manual exposure series with up to seven shots and an EV exposure distance also invite to HDR photography, then with calculation in the image processing program and of course best in raw data format. If you want, you can also take interval shots, the GH5 can be programmed accordingly and takes up to 9,999 shots. Thanks to the weather protection and the optional power supply, this is no problem.

Autofocus again uses Panasonic’s DFD technology, which has already proven its worth. Without phase AF sensors, this method is just as fast and reliable. The trick: The camera compares two photos taken at lightning speed with slightly different distance settings and uses the lens characteristics to calculate the almost exact point of focus, which can be jumped directly like a phase AF. The contrast autofocus ensures fine adjustment at lightning speed. According to our laboratory measurement, this entire process takes only 0.06 seconds, at least if you focus from infinity to two meters. This is even independent of the focal length and aperture of the lens. Panasonic promises that the GH5 can do this even at -4 EV low ambient light, i.e. at night in moonlight.

In view of this rapid autofocus, the pure shutter release delay of 0.07 to 0.08 seconds seems almost long. It really is, because that’s how long DSLRs normally take, which for example still have to fold up the mirror. Mirrorless system cameras like the GH5 should be twice as fast. So, it takes only 0.14 seconds from pressing the shutter release button until the image including focusing is in the box. With 225 autofocus points, the GH5 covers almost the entire field of view and automatically adjusts the focus to a moving subject if desired. Even the smallest insects can follow the autofocus in the image. The size of the focus can be changed, several focus fields can be controlled as a group, etc. The focus can also be adjusted to a different size. With manual focusing, the photographer is supported by a bar chart (but without concrete values or even a depth-of-field scale), a focus magnifier and focus peaking, which marks the high-contrast and thus sharp image area in color.


The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 has room for two SD cards in the memory card compartment. Both slots support UHS-II.

The housing of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 is made of a magnesium alloy and is protected against dust and splash water.

The fast autofocus is an excellent prerequisite for a high continuous shooting rate. In fact, the GH5 takes almost twelve continuous shots per second, in Raw 65 at a time, in JPEG even 277. However, neither the AF-C nor the live image display are active, the last photo taken is always shown. At 9 frames per second the AF-C can be activated, at 7 frames per second also the live image view is again part of the game. A fast memory card is crucial for long image series, as the buffer is emptied onto the memory card at up to 86 megabytes per second. This is not a record value and would also be possible with fast UHS-I cards, but with a slower card the number of possible serial images decreases of course, because the buffer runs too fast or cannot be emptied fast enough. The writing speed is sufficient for a continuous fire in Raw of 3.7 continuous frames per second, in JPEG for 7.8 continuous frames per second. In the test, we used the fastest UHS-II SD card SF-G32 from Sony currently available, which promises a writing speed of 299 megabytes per second, more than three times as fast as the camera.

A fast memory card is required not only for continuous shooting, but also for shooting 4K videos. Up to 60 frames per second are possible, which allows very smooth motion sequences. At a lower resolution, such as Full HD, where Full HD is actually also a high video resolution, 180 frames per second are possible, which leaves a lot of room for slow motion. By the way, the 4K video recording now takes place without a reduced image detail – apart from the fact that a 16:9 recording with a 4:3 image sensor always means some loss of the image angle. The GH5 offers four video formats for video recording: AVCHD, MP4, MP4 (LPCM) and MOV (each with H.264 compression). Only with the latter two video formats are the highest bit rates (i.e. lowest compression and thus highest quality) and 10-bit color depth with 4:2:2 sub-sampling for video recording possible. The camera warns that this requires a very powerful PC. That’s true so far, because decoding requires a lot of computing power, especially for video editing. The latter, however, can be solved with a simple trick that only requires a lot of free disk space: You first decode the videos into an uncompressed format. This is done by the computer alone and you can have a cup of coffee or, if you have more material, let the computer run overnight. The uncompressed data then no longer requires too much computing power to cut the image accurately, since no more computation-intensive decoding is necessary.

The autofocus works quietly and mostly reliably in video mode. But sometimes it happens that he changes between foreground and background a bit indecisively, then you should for example “draw attention” to the decisive motif detail by touching the touch screen with your fingertip. Going into all the 4K video features of the GH5 would go beyond the scope of this review, but Panasonic has really thought of everything you need. These include sound recording options, timecode, HDMI output or unlimited video recording. However, if you want to use V-Log L, you can purchase this function from Panasonic and activate it.

Photographers also benefit from the high-resolution video function. As in many other cameras, 4K photos can be taken with the GH5, now even without magnification. 4K corresponds to a resolution of 8.3 megapixels, which are fully available in all aspect ratios (4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1), but depending on the aspect ratio of a 4:3 sensor, they naturally lead to a slight loss of image angle. In contrast to previous cameras, the 4K photo function is now twice as fast. Depending on the subject, you should not forget to activate the AF-C. Different modes offer the possibility to save 30 pictures before and 30 after the shutter release, or to record as long as the shutter-release button remains pressed or after the first press until the shutter-release button is pressed a second time. The result is always a video file from which a photo can be conveniently extracted frame-by-frame in the camera.

New in the GH5, however, is not only the higher shooting rate for 4K photos, but alternatively a 6K photo function at 30 frames per second (which is the only one to produce H.265-compressed videos). Here, the individual images do not have a resolution of 8.3, but 18.7 megapixels. However, only the aspect ratios 4:3 and 3:2 are available, for 16:9 the sensor does not offer enough horizontal resolution, for 1:1 not enough vertical resolution. While the 4K photo function is quite sufficient for A4 prints or monitor and television display, 6K offers higher resolution reserves. The image quality of real single photos recorded in JPEG or even raw, however, is not quite achieved, as they are video stills that show some more artifacts. With the 6K photo function, however, this is far less important due to the higher resolution, as you rarely have to zoom in up to 1:1.

The tripod thread of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 is located in the optical axis and far enough away from the battery compartment. The cover of the contact strip reveals that an additional handle can be connected here.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 offers numerous interfaces that are covered by several flaps. Among them a flash sync socket, a stereo jack microphone connection and a cable remote release connection.

In addition to continuous shooting, the 4K and 6K functions can also be used to take post-focus and focus-stacking shots. During shooting, the camera moves through the focus area of the subject, and you can select the focus afterwards or offset the images to a photo sharp from front to back – useful for static macro subjects. In addition, the GH5 also handles focus bracketing at full sensor resolution in photo mode. In this case, the photographer is responsible for billing the costs in the course of image processing on the computer – or for selecting the appropriate individual image. However, a tripod should always be used for this, as shooting is much slower than in 4K/6K photo mode. By the way, the 4K and 6K photo modes logically work with electronic shutter, which can also be activated for single photos. The mechanical shutter achieves up to 1/8,000 second short exposure times, the electronic shutter up to 1/16,000. A combination is also possible, the electronic first shutter curtain reduces shutter-related vibrations, the second shutter curtain then mechanically expires.

Speaking of “vibrations”, the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 has an image sensor with movable bearings for image stabilization. This means that not only optical image-stabilized lenses with image stabilizer can now be used, but all of them. In addition, the stabilizers in the camera and lens (Panasonic only) work together, which brings further advantages in terms of effectiveness. The image stabilizers work very well, but not quite as effectively as with the Micro Four Thirds partner Olympus (especially the direct competitor model OM-D E-M1 Mark II), which is especially noticeable in video recordings. Apart from the somewhat less effective stabilizer, however, the Panasonic is the more feature-rich “video camera”.

By the way, the GH5 doesn’t have a built-in flash, nor is there any attachable flash included. However, the system flash shoe with central contact and the flash sync socket allow the use of external flash units. A wireless flash control is also no problem if appropriate system flash units are used. After taking the picture, the GH5 offers some image processing functions, such as the development of raw photos if you need a JPEG quickly and don’t have a computer at hand. The camera also plays slide shows very beautifully, including music and crossfading effects. Thanks to WLAN, photos can be transferred to computers, televisions or smartphones. The corresponding smartphone app also allows remote control of the camera, and geotagging with the help of smartphone GPS is also possible. You can read more about this in our photo tip in the further links.

Picture quality

What use is the most extensive equipment if the picture quality is not right? Accordingly, we tested the GH5 with the Leica 12-60 mm 2.8-4 in our laboratory for image quality using DxO software.

The lens shows an easily visible edge darkening only at 12 mm and open aperture, when zooming and/or dipping it decreases clearly. The course is very gentle anyway and therefore does not have a disturbing effect. The distortion is also only relevant in wide-angle, but with 1.5 percent ton form it is not critical either. At medium and long focal lengths no distortion was found in the laboratory. Colour fringes in the form of chromatic aberrations are also uncritical. They are hardly noticeable even at the maximum with a good pixel width. At the resolution, which we measure at 50 percent contrast, the GH5 doesn’t necessarily stain itself with fame. It does not reach 50 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm) in 35mm equivalent. In addition, the lens must be stopped down by one f-stop at long focal lengths in order to exceed 40 lp/mm. The loss of resolution to the edge of the picture is also not exactly low, at over 30 percent.

The 17.3 x 13 mm Micro Four Thirds sensor looks almost lost in the bayonet of the giant Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5. [Photo: Panasonic]

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 can be upgraded with the DMW-BGGH5 battery handle. [Photo: Panasonic]

After all, the resolution is around twenty percent higher than that of the GH4, but a good five percent lower than that of the Lumix DMC-GX8, which is also equipped with a 20-megapixel sensor. The explanation for this lies in the extremely restrained image processing by Panasonic in JPEG, the file format in which the laboratory measurements are carried out. We are of the opinion that pictures in JPEG can be nice and crisp, for post processing there is the raw data format, but especially Panasonic sees it a bit differently. The higher the camera class, the more restrained is the sharpening, which increases the contrasts at the edges and thus the resolution, but also leads to more sharpness artifacts. The GH5 as flagship model is therefore content with a discreet sharpening, which only generates an artefact rate of a good five percent. The artefacts are practically invisible in practice. By comparison, the GX8 has up to 15 percent artifacts, three times as strong.

Despite the high nominal resolution of 20 megapixels for a Micro Four Thirds sensor, the signal-to-noise ratio is pleasingly good. Up to ISO 400, it is in the good range of 40-45 dB, the critical 35 dB mark is only undershot at ISO 3,200 (even if only just). The brightness noise is low up to ISO 1.600 and only slowly becomes visible above ISO 3.200, color noise only appears slightly above ISO 6.400. The noise remains very fine-grained up to and including ISO 6,400. The measurement of the texture sharpness shows that the noise reduction only starts to work more strongly above ISO 800. Interestingly, according to the measurement, there are even overshootings that did not occur in the MTF measurement. In any case, there is no noteworthy loss of detail up to and including ISO 3,200, at ISO 6,400 the images are already somewhat softer, above this it gets critical, too few details remain.

The input dynamics are in the relevant range from ISO 200 to 3,200 at eleven f-stops and thus at a high level. ISO 100 uses signal attenuation because the basic sensitivity of the image sensor is ISO 200, resulting in an almost one f-stop lower dynamic range. The tonal value curve is also somewhat flatter at ISO 100, but is crisp at all other sensitivities, which makes for a good visual impression. The output tonal range at ISO 100 almost reaches the maximum possible 256 gradations, up to ISO 400 the value is very good with over 224 gradations. At ISO 800, the gradation fineness drops to below 192 levels, but remains good up to ISO 3,200 with over 160 levels. Also good is the color fidelity, only a few colors deviate at all, which is mostly due to a stronger saturation for brighter purple, red and orange. The actual color depth is also very good with a good eight million colors at ISO 100 and remains at over four million colors up to and including ISO 3,200, which is also very good. Only above ISO 6.400 is there a significant downward bend to less than two million colors.

Bottom line

The sheer size and weight of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 certainly divide the spirits, but in terms of robustness and workmanship quality, it is nothing to be fooled. The GH5 is extremely well equipped, lacking at most functions that you wouldn’t expect from a flagship camera anyway, such as an integrated flash, scene modes or a panorama function. The overall speed of the camera is high, especially the autofocus is one of the best on the market. The GH5, however, has to leave some ground to be covered by the competition in terms of the continuous shooting function and memory speed, despite high levels. With the GH5, videographers get the currently best equipped video camera or photo-video hybrid, and the quality of the videos is also right. Only the AF-C should not be relied upon blindly. The image stabilizer works reliably, even if there is one from the Micro-Four-Thirds partner even more effective. The image quality of the GH5 is also good, apart from the somewhat reserved image processing and thus not too high effective resolution, but this is a matter of taste. The raw data images can be tuned crisply without any problems. The Panasonic GH5 delivers a very high image quality up to high ISO 3,200, but you shouldn’t push it further than ISO 6,400.

Fact sheet

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Panasonic
Model Lumix DC-GH5
Sensor CMOS 4/3″ 17.3 x 13.0 mm (crop factor 2.0
)21.8 megapixels (physical)
20.3 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 3,3 µm
Resolution (max.) 5.184 x 3.888 (4:3)
Video (max.) 4.096 x 2.160 50p
Lens Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60 mm F2.8-4 Asph Power OIS (Zoom Lens)
Video viewfinder EVF, 100 % field coverage, 3,680,000 pixels resolution, 1.52x magnification (sensor-related), 0.76x magnification (KB equivalent), diopter compensation (-4.0 to 3.0 dpt), -4.0 to 3.0 dpt)
Monitor 3.2″ (8.0 cm)
Disbandment 1.620,000 pixels
rotatable yes
swivelling yes
Touchscreen yes
AV connector HDMI output (Type A)
Fully automatic yes
Automatic motif control yes
Program automation yes
Program shift yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
Manual yes
Bulb long time exposure yes
HDR function yes
Panorama function no
Exposure metering Matrix/multi-field measurement (1,728 fields), center-weighted integral measurement, spot measurement
fastest shutter speed 1/8.000 s
Lightning bolt
Synchronous time 1/250 s
Flash connection Flash shoe: Olympus/Panasonic (also Leica compact camera)
WLAN yes
GPS external, smartphone as GPS logger
Remote release yes, cable release, remote control via Smartphone/Tablet
Interval shooting yes
Storage medium
Slot 2
automatic ISO 100-25.600
manually ISO 100-25.600
White balance
automatic yes
manual measurement yes
Kelvin input yes
Fine correction yes
Autofocus yes
Number of measuring fields 225 Contrast sensors
Speed 0,14 s
AF auxiliary light LED
Dimensions (mm) 139 x 98 x 87 mm
Weight (ready for operation) 723 g (housing only
)1.046 g (with lens)
Tripod socket in optical axis
Zoom adjustment manual on lens
Battery life 410 images (according to CIPA standard)
– = “not applicable” or “not available”

Short evaluation


  • Excellent housing processing
  • Extensive video equipment including unlimited 4K recording and professional functions
  • Very good image quality up to ISO 3,200
  • Ultrafast autofocus


  • Video AF sometimes somewhat indecisive
  • For a Micro-Four-Thirds camera very large and heavy housing
  • Very restrained JPEG image processing leads to a meagre resolution
  • Release delay (without AF) for a DSLM relatively long

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Datasheet


Sensor CMOS sensor 4/3″ 17.3 x 13.0 mm (crop factor 2.0
)21.8 megapixels (physical) and 20.3 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 3,3 µm
Photo resolution
5.184 x 3.888 pixels (4:3)
5.184 x 3.456 pixels (3:2)
5.184 x 2.920 pixels (16:9)
4.992 x 3.744 pixels (4:3)
3.888 x 3.888 pixels (1:1)
3.840 x 2.160 pixels (16:9)
3.712 x 2.784 pixels (4:3)
3.712 x 2.480 pixels (3:2)
3.504 x 2.336 pixels (3:2)
3.328 x 2.496 pixels (4:3)
2.880 x 2.880 pixels (1:1)
2.784 x 2.784 pixels (1:1)
2.624 x 1.968 pixels (4:3)
2.624 x 1.968 pixels (4:3)
1.968 x 1.968 pixels (1:1)
1.920 x 1.080 Pixel (16:9)
Picture formats JPG, RAW
Colour depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel), 36 bits (12 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.31), DCF standard
Video resolution
4.096 x 2.160 (17:9) 50 p
4.096 x 2.160 (17:9) 25 p
4.096 x 2.160 (17:9) 24 p
4.096 x 2.160 (17:9) 24 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 60 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 50 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 30 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 25 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 25 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 24 p
3.840 x 2.160 (16:9) 24 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 60 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 50 i
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
Maximum recording time 150 min
Video format
MOV (Codec H.264)
MP4 (Codec H.264)
AVCHD (Codec H.264)


Lens mount
Micro Four Thirds


Autofocus mode Autofocus working range from -4 EV to 18 EV, contrast autofocus with 225 measuring fields
Autofocus Functions Single Auto Focus, Continuous Auto Focus, Area Auto Focus, Tracking Auto Focus, Manual, AFL Function, AF Assist Light (LED), Focus Peaking, Focus Magnifier (6x)
Focus control Depth of field control, dimming button, Live View

Viewfinder and Monitor

Monitor 3.2″ (8.0 cm) TFT LCD monitor with 1,620,000 pixels, anti-reflective, brightness adjustable, colour adjustable, swivels 180°, rotates 270°, with touch screen
Video viewfinder Video viewfinder (100 % field coverage) with 3,680,000 pixels, 1.52x magnification factor, diopter compensation (-4.0 to 3.0 dpt)


Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 1,728 fields, spot measurement, AF-AE coupling
Exposure times 1/8,000 to 60 sec (Auto
)1/8,000 to 60 sec (Manual)
1/16,000 to 1 sec (Electronic Shutter)
Bulb with maximum 1,800 sec Exposure Time
Exposure control Fully Automatic, Program Automatic (with Program Shift), Aperture Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual
Bracketing function Exposure bracketing function with maximum 7 shots, step size from 1/3 to 1 EV, HDR function
Exposure compensation -5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 100 to ISO 25.600 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 25.600 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, cable release, remote control via smartphone/tablet
, remote control from computer: certain functions
Picture effects Bleach Bypass, Cross Development, High Key, Landscape, Low Key, Miniature Effect, Monochrome, Portrait, Retro, Selective Color, Sepia, Toy Camera, Vivid, 16 more Image Effects
White balance Auto, Cloudy, Sun, White balance bracket, Fine-tune, Shadow, Flash, Incandescent, from 2,500 to 10,000 K, Manual 4 memories
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 12.0 fps at highest resolution and max. 60 stored photos, 9 frames per second with AF-C
Burst function Burst function with images/s, 18.0 megapixel resolution
Self-timer Self-timer 10 or 2 s apart, special features: Triple release
Timer Timer/interval recording with max. 9,999 recordings, start time adjustable
Shooting functions AEL function, AFL function, live histogram


Flash no built-in flash availableFlash shoe
: Olympus/Panasonic (also Leica compact camera)
Flash connection socket: F plug
Flash range Flash sync time 1/250 s
Flash functions Auto, Fill-in flash, Flash on, Flash off, High speed sync, Long time sync, Flash on second shutter curtain, Red-eye reduction, Flash exposure compensation from -3.0 EV to +3.0 EV


Image stabilizer Sensor shift (optical)
second memory card slot
GPS function GPS external (Smartphone as GPS-Logger)
Microphone Stereo
Power supply no power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Panasonic DMW-BLF19E410
images according to CIPA standard
Playback Functions Video editing, image cropping, image rotation, image protection, playback histogram, playback magnifier with 16.0x magnification, image index, slideshow function with music and fade effects, reduction
Face recognition Face recognition
Picture parameters Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation, Noise Reduction
Special functions Electronic spirit level, Grid can be displayed, Zebra function, Orientation sensor, Live View, User profiles with 3 user profiles
Ports Data interfaces: Bluetooth, USBUSB type
:USB 3.1 SuperSpeedPlusWLAN
: available (type: ac, B, G, N)
AV connectors AV output: HDMI output (Type A
)Audio input: yes (3.5 mm stereo microphone jack)
Audio output: yes (3.5 mm stereo jack, 3-pin))
Supported direct printing methods PictBridge
Tripod socket 1/4″ in optical axis
Case Splash-proof, frost-proof up to -10 °C
Features and Miscellaneous Ultrasonic Sensor Cleaning5-Axis Image Stabilizer6K-Photo4K-PhotoPost-Focus

FunctionSize-adjustable AF AF fieldsISO Video
100-12800Exposure Correction
Video +/-3White Balance setting
in Kelvin with four memory locationsAperture bracketing
(3 or 5 shots)
Focus stacking with max. 999 shotsOLED viewfinder20

Programmable function keysCinelike
V, Like709 and Photo-StylesV-LogL
with paid firmware updateTime-of-flight settings
from 2 to 180 fpsAnamorphic
recording mode (video)
Video Color modes 4:2:0 (8-bit), 4:2


LongGOP and ALL-IntraMaster
Pedestal Level 31 StepsLuminance Level
8-Bit: 0-255, 16-235 and 16-255Luminance Level
10-Bit: 0-1023, 64-940 and 64-1023Synchro

Test ToneHDMI Monitor Output
(4:2:2 8- and 10-Bit)
HiRes audio recording with optional DMW-XLR1 microphone adapter

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 139 x 98 x 87 mm
Weight 723 g (ready for operation)


included accessories Panasonic DMW-BLF19E Special batteryPanasonic
DMW-BTC10E Charger for special batteriesCase cover
, flash shoe cover, sync connector cover, contact cover for battery handle contacts, USB-C cable, shoulder strap
optional accessory Olympus FL-700WR Slip-on flash with swivel reflectorPanasonic
DMW-BGGH5 Battery handlePanasonic
DMW-XLR1 (microphone adapter)
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm 1.7 (H-X1025) Zoom lens

Firmware updates for the Panasonic S1, S1R, GH5, GH5S, G81/91/9, GX9: Function improvements and extensions

Panasonic announces the release of firmware updates for eight cameras of the Lumix-S and Lumix-G series. For example, the S-Series has an improved image stabilizer and autofocus, while the G-Series is compatible with the new 10-25mm lens. Affected are the cameras Panasonic Lumix S1, S1R, G81, G91, G9, GX9, GH5 and GH5S.

The GH5 will receive the firmware update 2.5, the GH5S, G9, G81, G91 and GX9 on the other hand the version 1.3. They all have new functions in common for better support of the new lens Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm F1.7 Asph. So after the update a stepless aperture adjustment is possible for video recordings, optionally also via the lens ring. The older models GH5, GH5S, G81 and G9 also have improved compatibility with the remote release DMW-RS2, where the video button of the remote release can be deactivated in the menu. The G91 and GX9 already master this. The G91 also has the option of configuring the Fn button on the optional DMW-BGG1 battery handle via the menu.

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