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2017.01.04

Towards the end of 2016, Panasonic teased that their next flagship mirrorless camera would capture 4K at 60 FPS and shooting continuously at 6K or around 18 megapixels. This morning at CES 2017, they completed the launch of this new mirrorless which is to be available in late March this year.

The new Panasonic Lumix GH5 was unveiled as the ultimate Panasonic mirrorless. Boasting a new 20 megapixels Four-Thirds sensor without anti-alias filter and ultra-fast read-out, the GH5 can shoot continuously full-resolution images at 12 FPS with a mechanical shutter for up to 600 JPEG images or 60 RAW files! Dropping slightly down to 18 MP, the speed jumps up to 30 FPS using an electronic shutter. Going further down to 8 MP, which is 4K, the speed doubles to an impressive 60 FPS.

Panasonic Lumix GH5

Continuing their trend of adding image-stabilization to bodies, Panasonic has squeezed a 5-axis image-stabilization system into the GH5. This system works in cooperation with lens-based stabilization to deliver up to 5 stops of improvement over hand-holding. Unfortunately, they did not disclose how much of that stabilization comes from the body and how much comes from the lens.

The new Panasonic Lumix GH5 boasts an unprecedented amount of video features, taking everything the GH4 could do and doubling its speed, up to 4K at 60 FPS. Cinema 4K though, still maxes out at 30 FPS though. In-body stabilization is also available during video-recording. Speaking of which, the GH5 does not limit recording time before the memory card fills up. The GH5 is also the first Panasonic to feature dual UHS-II SDXC memory card slots.

The Contrast-Detect AF system in the GH5 offers 225 autofocus points. Thanks to the faster sensor read-out, the camera samples focus distance and measures defocusing at 480 Hz to deliver ultra-fast focus-acquisition times. Panasonic claims it can be 0.005s now while keeping its class-leading sensitivity of -4 EV.

Ergonomically, the GH5 looks very similar to its predecessor which is known to handle extremely well. All three control-dials, the classic mode-dial and drive mode-dial are all in the same place as before. Some buttons have moved a little but the layout remains essentially the same. A welcome improvement is the addition of a Focus-Point joystick. The most significant change is a new huge EVF with 0.76X magnification and a class-leading resolution of 3.6 megapixels! This is almost 50% more resolution than any of its peers.

Underneath its outer shell, the Panasonic GH5 boasts improved sealing which makes it weatherproof and freezeproof down to -10C, a Panasonic mirrorless first. Recall that earlier today Panasonic announced their first 3 freezeproof lenses but Olympus also makes some.

There is just not that many things the GH5 cannot do. This is a mirrorless with an extremely rich feature set which competes with top-of-the-line DSLRs. Even Bulb exposures are possible up to an hour. Panasonic knows this and has given this new mirrorless a price to match. The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is expected to ship next month for a price of $2000 USD. Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders.

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