Panasonic Aims At The Prosumer Market With The LUMIX GH5: 4K Videos At 60 FPS, 6K Photos


After unveiling three new cameras at this year's Photokina in Cologne, Germany, Panasonic pulled down another set of drapes, this time teasing the much-awaited successor to the Panasonic Lumix GH4, aptly named the Panasonic Lumix GH5.

Currently in its development stages, Panasonic touts the GH5 as the first mirrorless camera able to record 4K video in 60/50 frames per second, twice the frame rate of its predecessor. It also records in 10-bit (4:2:2).

The list of features suggest Panasonic is further strengthening its focus on video. The GH5 unveiling bolsters Panasonic's intent to innovate the video capabilities of its flagship camera, which is unsurprising. Folks who dabble in filmmaking and cinematography have a fervent kinship with the 2-year-old GH4, and it's likely they will feel the same toward the GH5, if not stronger.

The GH5 has an 18-megapixel sensor that supports the "4K PHOTO" functionality from the GH4. This feature grabs stills from high-quality 4K video at 30 fps. Panasonic bumped this feature up for the GH5, bringing a 6K PHOTO burst mode at 30 fps.

If you want something faster, there's also a 60 fps burst mode. There is a drawback, though: you only get 4K stills at 8 megapixels.

Notably, the GH5's 6K feature does not mean you can record 6K videos. It functions the same as 4K PHOTO, which culls 18-megapixel still images at 6K, nearly nine times the resolution of Full HD.

As previously mentioned, the GH5 sensor packs a 10-bit color sub-sampling capability, an unprecedented innovation for a digital single lens mirrorless camera, able to record up to 68 billion colors. Color grading and correction experts will have a field day with this enhancement.

The GH5 isn't due for official release until early 2017. As for its price point, expect this to be more expensive than GH4's $1,499 price tag, but likely not by a long stretch.

Apart from the GH5 and three new cameras Panasonic unveiled, it also announced a new line of Micro Four Thirds lenses called the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit f2.8-4.0 Series. The lineup includes a standard zoom lens (12 to 60mm), a wide zoom lens (8 to 18mm) and a telephoto zoom lens (50 to 200mm).

The GH5, if it delivers on its promised specifications, will be a perfect fit for still photographers or filmmakers who might not have the liberty to shell out steep price points for their projects. Like with the GH4, prosumers looking to capture rich, vivid and high-quality work will flock to the GH5.

Details still remain scant around the GH5, but expect to see more coverage as it draws nearer its proposed release date.

The GH5 and the new lenses go on show at the Photokina event until Sept. 25.

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