I guess it’s safe to say that this year has been a wild rollercoaster ride for the prosumer video camera market. In fact, 2018 saw many different manufacturers hopping on the mirrorless camera bandwagon. From front-runners like Sony and Panasonic to underdogs like Fujifilm, Canon and even Nikon who have also joined the party in the recent months, it has become extremely difficult for filmmakers to choose their next budget camera for shooting video.
There’s one particular device, however, that still provides excellent value for the money even though it’s almost two years old. Here are six reasons why filmmaker Cameron Gallagher thinks that the Panasonic GH5 trumps all other mirrorless cameras including the newly released and hype-fueled BMPCC 4K.
The biggest reason why the GH5 is still one of the best options for budget filmmakers according to Gallagher is the camera’s price. On sale, you can find a brand new GH5 for as low as $1,500. Even if you have to pair it with a couple of lenses, the camera still provides a better price-to-performance ratio than most other rivals, mainly due to the plethora of professional video features packed on board.
For starters, the camera features powerful codecs including 4K UHD 10-bit internal recording, a 400Mbps All-Intra recording option, superb 5-axis sensor stabilization, in-camera LUT support as well as a dedicated anamorphic shooting mode. Some of these features can’t even be found on professional camcorders and cinema cameras costing 10x or more.
In addition, the GH5 offers multiple frame rate options including 60fps in 4K UHD and up to 180fps in 1080p. This functionality is perfect for action videographers, or for content creators who want to delve into temporal manipulation to spruce up some exciting b-roll footage whenever they need it.
Another feature that makes the GH5 one of the best camera to use even in 2019 is its flexibility when it comes to mounting options and choice of lenses. Although the camera has a Micro 4/3 sensor, you can pair it with a Speedbooster adapter, that not only gives you an extra stop of light and shallower depth of field but it also allows you to use a wide variety of non-native lenses.
In fact, the GH5’s micro four-thirds lens mount is one of the most adaptable mounting systems available out there. Thanks to the flange distance between the lens and the sensor itself, you can adapt various Canon EF, Nikon F, and even PL-style lenses with ease. This allows you to take advantage of the highest quality glass despite the fact that you are filming with a cheap mirrorless camera.
Beyond that, Panasonic has included a decent number of I/O with the GH5 as well. With a full-sized HDMI port, you don’t have to spend money on Micro or Mini HDMI adapters, allowing you to utilize whatever HDMI cable you have for easy external video monitoring. Furthermore, Panasonic provides a dedicated audio interface tailor-made for the GH5, giving you pre-amps and XLR inputs for capturing high-quality audio on the fly.
Panasonic GH5 Highlights
20.3MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
Venus Engine Image Processor
4K Video with No Crop
Internal 4:2:2 10-Bit 4K Video at 24/30p
5-Axis Sensor Stabilization; Dual I.S. 2
0.76x 3.68m-Dot OLED Viewfinder
3.2″ 1.62m-Dot Free-Angle Touchscreen
Advanced DFD AF System; 6K & 4K PHOTO
ISO 25600 and 12 fps Continuous Shooting
Dual UHS-II SD Slots; Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
Of course, every camera works best in different use cases. In the case of the Panasonic GH5, the unit contains robust features not seen in many mirrorless cameras such as internal 10-bit 4K recording, 5-axis sensor stabilization, variable frame rate options, an easily adaptable lens mounting system, long-lasting battery, and the list goes on. So, if you’re hoping to buy a new camera for 2019, you shouldn’t exclude the GH5 from your new year’s wish list yet.