Back in January, Panasonic introduced the Lumix DC-GH5S mirrorless camera, the successor to the original and ubiquitous GH5. The latest model sports new features targeted at filmmakers including much-improved low-light performance and a few minor enhancements regarding the audio recording capabilities of the camera that you still may not know about.
In the video below, Curtis Judd will walk us through these particular features that in his opinion have made the GH5S easier to work with from an audio standpoint and more efficient overall.
Timecode syncing has been a long-requested feature by professionals as its use allows filmmakers to quickly sync up audio and video clips in post-production. This is especially useful for productions that encompass many different people who may not always be on set or in the editing suite all at the same time.
With the sync port located in the front of the camera – which was initially used for syncing up flash – the camera now supports timecode syncing. It is compatible with any timecode system that uses a DNC port as an adapter from the sync port to DNC is already included with the GH5S.
While having this timecode functionality appears to be quite convenient, it does have one limitation: it only syncs the timecode at the beginning of the take, rather than recording the timecode continuously. This means that at around 30 to 40 minutes, according to Judd, the timecode may go out of sync which may require manual resynchronization. Despite the minor setback, having an onboard timecode sync feature still could save a considerable amount of time in post.
Another newly added functionality long-awaited by many users can be found in the camera’s 3.5mm input jack. Rather than merely accepting microphone inputs, the interface in conjunction with the camera internals now can read the line levels from external audio devices. In other words, if you have an external audio unit that has its own audio meters, the levels from the external unit can match the in-camera audio levels.
In addition, the 3.5mm input jack provides the option to disable the power output from the input jack for microphones that don’t necessarily require power from the camera. A great example of this situation would be when using the Rode VideoMic Pro, which supplies its own power from 9V batteries. Having the ability to toggle the power output from the 3.5mm port helps extend the battery life of your GH5S.
While these new audio features may not seem significant to some shooters, the inclusion of timecode syncing and line level monitoring goes a long way for more professional creatives who rely on the camera for multiple projects, whether it be on-location interviews, documentaries, ENG-style productions or even feature films.