Few companies have done as much as Panasonic to blur the lines between those cameras designed for still images and those designed for video. At the forefront of this ‘hybrid’ movement is Panasonic’s longstanding GH range. Indeed, its original GH1 model in 2009 was the first mirrorless camera to offer 1080p Full HD recording, while 2014’s GH4 was the first to support 4K capture.
These days, of course, the competition has caught up and there are now plenty of 4K-capable cameras on the market. Panasonic’s response has been to up the ante with the release of the GH5. This is the first (and currently only) interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera to provide broadcast-standard 10-bit 10:2:2 4K recording at 30fps, along with high-quality 4K capture at 50/60p. While such high settings might seem like total overkill for more casual video users, for enthusiasts and professionals it puts the GH5 firmly back in front of its rivals. For now at least.
In terms of size and weight, the GH5 is comparable to an enthusiast-grade or even semi-pro DSLR. That said, it actually sits very comfortably in the hand thanks to its deep ergonomic handgrip. The weather-sealed magnesium alloy die-cast outer construction offers excellent protection against everyday knocks, and also gives the camera a robust and reassuringly weighty feel in the hand. Buttons are plentiful and integrate seamlessly with the GH5’s rear touchscreen to provide a highly tactile and intuitive user experience. The 3.2-inch rear touchscreen is incredibly sharp, and even optical purists cannot fail to be impressed by the electronic viewfinder, which is currently one of the sharpest on the market.
There’s a lot to recommend about the GH5’s image quality too: still image quality impresses hugely, while video footage at its highest settings is about as good as it currently gets. Overall, the GH5 is the undisputed leader of the pack when it comes to hybrid video/still image cameras.
Price: £1,699 (body only)