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The GH5 Gets an Impressive Firmware Update This September

Lewis McGregor

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is set for a major V2.0 firmware update at the end of September 2017.

Top image via Panasonic.

The GH5 has been a controversial camera in the online filmmaking community. Half of the videos on YouTube are about why that user is returning the camera or why you shouldn’t buy it; the other half are filmmakers and photographers praising the camera’s capabilities for both photography and filmmaking. I fall in the latter.

The camera is a great filmmaking tool — it just needs tweaking here and there to become something truly unique. Users have anxiously been waiting for news on the upcoming firmware update, especially with the much-anticipated C4K 400mbps recording setting.

Well, earlier today Panasonic announced that the v2.0 firmware would be available by the end of September.

Photographer Jim Marks and Angela Nicholson of CameraJabber.com discuss the update in the Facebook live video above. But if you’re short on time, here’s a quick look at a few of the most exciting updates.

New 4:2:2, 10-bit ALL-Intra Recording Mode

4k, 400mbps, 4:2:2, 10-bit, ALL-I. GH5 users have been patiently waiting for this feature since Panasonic teased about recording in this format. Currently, the GH5 uses the Long GOP compression format, which includes some disadvantages since a bit of visual information gets thrown away. We’re not receiving all the possible data for each frame.

With ALL-Intra, each frame retains all of its information. This allows for higher quality footage but at the cost of storage space. Panasonic recommends the SD Memory Card with Video Speed Class 60 or greater.

ALL-I will be available across resolutions, and the highest frame rate available with ALL-I will be 59.94 at 1080p.

Improved Autofocus

The GH5 Gets an Impressive Firmware Update This September — Improved Autofocus

The autofocus is perhaps the most controversial feature of the GH5 (we covered the auto-focus problems and some fixes here), but thankfully, it looks like it will be getting an overhaul in v2.0. The team at DPreview.com got their hands on an early release version of the firmware, and had the following to say:

Panasonic has worked on the algorithm to make it faster to respond to a change of subject distance but claims to have done this without making it too jumpy, or prone to fluttering (the visually distracting attempts to re-confirm the current focus distance).

The response time of the AF has been one of the biggest issues with the feature. Hopefully, this update will quash these problems. The customizable AF area will also display continuously during live-view, which will help identify any problems if you see the subject in frame dropping out of focus.

We’ll also be getting an anamorphic video recording mode. This has a higher 4:3 resolution (approximately 6K horizontal and 3k vertical) for shooting with an anamorphic lens. There will also be a new color style to use HGL (Hybrid Log Gamma) for HDR-TV ready filming.

There are a lot of great features being added to this camera, and hopefully, come this time next year, there will be a lot more positive talk about the GH5.

For all new features included in v2.0, you can find the press release from Panasonic below:

1. Compatibility with “LUMIX Tether” PC software

This new firmware enables GH5 tethered shooting via USB, using “LUMIX Tether” PC software. Users can control the camera by connecting it to a PC via USB. It lets you view the image on a large PC screen while shooting, which is helpful in commercial photoshoots of portraits, products and so on, where continuous confirmation is required. You can use [6K PHOTO] [4K PHOTO] and start and stop video recording with the tethered shooting. It is also possible to choose the folder to save the image files in the PC.

2.Improved auto focus performance
-Auto focus performance for subjects with low contrast in photo shooting is improved.
-Tracking auto focus performance in video recording is improved.
-The customized AF area can be continuously displayed in [Multi AF] and [Custom Multi AF] during live-view.
-The AF area in [Multi AF] can be moved to the other edge (side, top or bottom) when it reaches one edge.
-The start point of AF lock can be set on the live view screen in advance in [AF Tracking].
-The AF area can be moved while the shutter button is half-pressed or while recording in [Burst Mode], [6K PHOTO] and [4K PHOTO].

3. Improved performance in [6K PHOTO] and [4K PHOTO]
-The waiting time to start the next burst shooting sequence after [6K Burst] and [4K Burst] is shortened to less than half the time.
-[Loop Rec] is available in [6K PHOTO]
•Use of Panasonic SD Memory Card with Video Speed Class 90 is recommended for [Loop Rec] of [6K PHOTO].

4. An additional ALL-Intra Video Recording mode
-4:2:2,10-bit ALL-Intra video recording mode is added to 4K/FHD video recording.
•Use of SD Memory Card with Video Speed Class 60 or higher is recommended for 4K ALL-Intra video recording. Operation is confirmed with Panasonic SD Memory Card with Video Speed Class 90.

New 4:2:2,10-bit ALL-Intra Recording Mode

The GH5 Gets an Impressive Firmware Update This September — New 4:2:2,10-bit ALL-Intra Recording Mode

5. 4K HDR video recording
-[HLG] (Hybrid Log Gamma) is added to [Photo Style]. HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a mode to reproduce both bright part and dark part in an image, making it look just as human eyes see. The camera records video with a designated gamma curve compatible with ITU-R BT.2100, and you can now choose Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) in [Photo Style].
-A low-bit-rate recording mode 4K HEVC for HLG was added. This enables playback on AV equipment compatible with the HEVC compression format, such as Panasonic 4K HDR TVs.

6. Enhancement of the Anamorphic video recording mode
-High-Resolution Anamorphic mode, which enables video recording in 18-mega effective pixels, is added. *Recorded in HEVC

New High-Resolution Anamorphic Mode

*1 “High Resolution Anamorphic Mode” records motion picture with an aspect ratio suited for an anamorphic lens,4:3. The effective picture size
for this mode is equivalent to the number of pixels produced by 6K (approx. 6,000 (horizontal)k3,000 (vertical)) images (approx. 18 megapixels).

The GH5 Gets an Impressive Firmware Update This September — New High-Resolution Anamorphic Mode

*2 High resolution Anamorphic mode

-[Anamorphic Desqueeze Display] was added, which lets you view an enlarged image in Cinescope size while recording with 2.0x and 1.33x Anamorphic lens.
-[Video Guide Line] is added to display the image in a variety of aspects, such as Cinescope, 16:9 and 1:1 while recording video. This can be used not only in Anamorphic mode but also in other video recording mode.

7. Enhancement of Body I.S. (Image Stabilizer)
-[I.S. Lock(video)] is added. This powerfully compensates for handshake when the viewing angle is fixed.
-A new handshake correction mode is added, which provides optimum correction when using 2.0x and 1.33x Anamorphic lens.

8. Correction of white balance setting
-When the K (Kelvin) value was changed after adjusting the color temperature with 2-axis white balance compensation, the setting was reset. This bug has been fixed.

9. Improved usability of Time Lapse Shot
-The time to finish shooting and the number of recordable pictures are displayed on the stand-by screen.

10. Improved usability of Power Save LVF
-Power Save LVF can now be used during all stand-by display options.

11. Wireless functions
-The Bluetooth Remote Control function can be used with Image App, which will also be updated at the same timing with the GH5 firmware release.
-If the camera has not completed image transmission when it is turned off, it restarts transmission when it is turned on with the [Auto Transfer] function.

12. Other improvements
-A rating function using an Fn button is available in Playback Zoom and Multi Playback.
-The following functions can be assigned to Fn buttons – [Constant Preview] [6K/4K PHOTO Bulk Saving] [Min. Shtr Speed] [RAW Processing] [Rec/Playback Switch] [Destination Slot] and [Mic Level Adj.].
-The DISP.Button can be locked.
-In Relay Rec, there were cases where the video file number was not able to be reset. This bug has been fixed.
-In Relay Rec, there were cases where the video file number was reset after formatting the SD Memory Card. This bug has been fixed.
-In Backup Rec, there were cases where the file number was not reset even after applying resetting. This bug has been fixed.
-The image quality when applying the following settings is improved: Extended low ISO, [i.Dynamic] (Intelligent D-range Control) and Highlight Shadow.