The Panasonic GH5

Lens close-up

The trouble with filming and photography is that it’s a never-ending money-pit of epic proportions.  There’s always a better lens you can get, a better camera you can buy, and then after you get that, Apple decide to release a better computer which you do, of course, need immediately.

So when the GH5 came out, I felt a sense of relief.  It finally looked like the camera I wanted forever, the camera that had everything.  4K filming in ridiculously high bit rate, built-in stabilisation, super-slow-mo filming – it had all the specs I had been waiting for.  It was goodbye to my trusty Canon EOS 5D mkiii, and onwards to a world of Lumix.

But did it live up to the hype?


Filmed by Rupert Chesman for Media 971


I’d say yes.  I filmed this video in the Cook Islands completely handheld, with only the GH5 and a Mavic Air drone to my name, and all entirely in 4K using natural light.  Travelling to film isn’t happening much at the moment, but one of the main things to deal with is weight – but this all happily fit in hand luggage and I don’t think I was even trying to fake being underweight.

One thing to do if you get a GH5 is to make sure you learn how the thing actually works, and how to set the customisable buttons and things.  I didn’t for a long time, and going into high frame rate filming used to be a pain until I figured out I could make it one flick of the switch away.  4K files are by their nature huge so make sure you have a solid high-speed memory card in your camera like my 256gb ones I have now.

I’m actually trying to find a way to criticise it to bring some balance to life, but I’m not sure I can find anything to critique in the GH5.  Any failures in filming I’d have to say were behind the camera, not the camera itself, and I look forward to one day heading out again with just a backpack and a prayer, and a video to make.