The Hardware of the Panasonic GH5 – An Interview with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu

With the expected shipping date for the Panasonic GH5 just over the horizon (here’s our detailed feature GH5 hands-on post from earlier today), we thought it would be a good time to catch up with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu to chat about some of the more technical aspects of the next member of the popular GH line of mirrorless cameras. Check out our interview at cinema5D HQ… shot, of course, on the Panasonic GH5.

Panasonic GH5

We all know how much of a cut-throat business the camera world is, with manufacturers constantly trying to one-up one another in a constant and quick succession of new camera releases. As the first big camera release of 2017, the Panasonic GH5 aims to come out swinging, promising to bring a host of truly nice features for indie filmmakers. And about time, too, as after almost 3 years, the popular GH4 was slowly starting to lag behind next to the competition.

But before diving into the great features that the GH5 will bring in a couple of months, we first wanted to know why Panasonic didn’t decide to go all out with some much-requested bells and whistles, especially given its popularity among filmmakers both amateur and professional. So, Panasonic, why didn’t you include internal ND filters and RAW recording?

Panasonic GH5

Panasonic’s M. Uematsu. Interview shot on the new Panasonic GH5.

With an RRP of $2,000, Panasonic has continued their history of keeping their popular line of Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless at a rather affordable price. M. Uematsu also goes into some details about just how they have managed to do so.

Our interview with M. Uematsu is also packed with information regarding the camera’s hardware, such as the new dual SD card slot implementation, the technical measures taken to avoid overheating problems now that the camera can handle 4K at 50/60p, the limitations of the new in-body 5-axis image stabilisation system, sensor performance and the the new DMW-XLR1 Microphone Adapter.

You can find all this and more at the following time marks:

00:13 – Why doesn’t the Panasonic GH5 offer internal RAW recording?

00:59 – Why wasn’t an internal ND filter implemented?

01:50 – How did Panasonic manage to keep such an affordable price for the camera?

02:30 – Is the sensor inside the new GH5 made exclusively for or by Panasonic, or can it be found in other devices in the market?

03:02 – How good is the Dynamic Range in the new GH5

04:05 – In high ISO settings, an automatic noise reduction function will kick in. Can this be prevented and switched off?

05:18 – Why is the new 5-axis stabilisation system limited to work with Panasonic Lumix lenses only?

06:09 – The GH5 incorporates 2 SD card slots. In video mode, can you record to both simultaneously?

07:10 – How did Panasonic solve potential overheating problems, especially when the camera has no recording time limitations?

08:35 – Will the new DMW-XLR1 Microphone Adapter work only with the GH5 or across the new Lumix line?

If you’re looking to purchase a GH5, or are remotely interested in the camera, then I’m sure this interview will serve to quench your curiosity during the next few weeks. In the meantime, do let us know what you think about the new GH5 features in the comments section below!

Interview shot on a Panasonic GH5 using CineLike V, edited in Premiere Pro and graded using a FilmConvert preset for the GH4

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Hicham Meftah
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Did he say H265??

Nino Leitner
Guest

Yes.

Tom Truong
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I think the H.265 is only limited to 6K Photo mode.

Nino Leitner
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Tom Truong No I think the anamorphic 6K if I’m not mistaken

Tom Truong
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No Nino Leitner, H.265 is in 6K PHOTO MODE.

Hicham Meftah
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Tom Truong dont get it “6K photo MP4 H265” we can take 6K video ?

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[…] An interesting interview with Panasonic’s M. Uematsu-san (by cinema5d) […]

 Chris Maldonado
Member
Chris Maldonado

Wow, this was a great interview thank you! It’s wild that there are almost no limitations with this camera it’s incredible. I will say however two things I really don’t like, the high iso auto noise reduction and the limitation on the BIS body image stabilizer. So let me get this perfectly clear, are you saying you cannot have ANY in body stabilization when using lenses other than MFT/Lumix glass? Or you can, but it’s limited to 3-axis like the Sony A6500?

 Kenneth Chan
Member

If it’s like the Dual IS in the GX85, then it means that it needs a compatible Dual IS lens (with updated firmware) to utilize both in body AND lens IS together.

With any other lens you are only using in body IS, or if you have a lens that has its own IS, you can use that but the in body IS is off.

 the SUBVERSIVE
Member
the SUBVERSIVE

Cinema5D kind of screw up with the question and this will confuse people, I’m pretty sure.

They are actually talking about the the DUAL IS 2, that only works with Lumix lenses and just a few of them. The 12-35 f/2.8 and 35-100 f/2.8 zoom lenses, for instance, they were updated so they can work with DUAL IS.

As for non Lumix lenses you should be able to choose and for non-OIS lenses, you can simply use the 5-axis IBIS. So if you are using adapters or legacy lenses, you can still have IBIS working with it.

That’s why having the GH5, a focal reducer and a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 is such a powerful combo since the Sigma doesn’t have OIS but now you can use it WITH stabilization.

 Roy Sherfan
Member

In regards to the auto noise reduction, as long as it is very mild noise reduction I believe it is a good thing specifically for one reason and one reason alone:

Compression codec budget.

If we were able to store RAW image data from the sensor (after debayering)- apart from being dreadfully large in storage requirements, I’d want the untouched unfettered image data to perform high quality noise reduction in post. No questions there, that is the best way to go.

But, since we must compress the image data into something like a 100-200mbit stream of h.264 (even if using ProRes on external recorder) we run into the issue of noise taking up valuable bits in the encoding of the image data.

If I can reduce the number of bits wasted encoding useless noise, that means more of those bits can be used to encode useful image data.

This is the same issue with image sharpening but in reverse. We don’t want image sharpening in-camera because it emphasizes noise and sharpens edges, thus making the encoder work harder and waste more bits on noise and edges that would otherwise go towards better describing the actual image. Since the sharpening of that image can be derived from non-sharpened image data, there is no benefit in making the camera sharpen the image. Too much extra noise and harder edges for the encoder.

With high ISO noise, it’s the same situation. Too much extra noise means the encoder is going to be less and less efficient at trying to describe the image with the noise.

My hope is that the noise reduction is subtle enough that it doesn’t foul the detail we need like the weave of cloth or the splashing of rain or any other situation where you can get macroblocking artefacts – yet GOOD enough to reduce the noisy areas to the extent that a significant amount of our bit budget is freed to concentrate on encoding the actual image, even if it is slightly degraded by the noise reduction filter.

I hope this makes sense.

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