‘The Lumix GH5s is a very complete little package’, says professional film maker Jim Marks, who has been trying out a pre-production body before the official launch. ‘It’s ability to work in low light makes my life very much easier and means I can spend more time thinking about composition and story-telling rather than worrying what the camera is up to. The dual native ISO allows me to film almost anywhere and to work in very low light conditions without the penalty of excessive noise.’
Jim says that one of the great things about using the camera is that he doesn’t have to carry a lot of lighting around to illuminate the subject. ‘With the upper dual native ISO setting producing nice clean footage I can rely on ambient and natural light a lot more with the GH5s instead of using loads of lights. This is obviously more convenient as I can turn up to jobs with just a camera and a lens, but it also produces a more natural look to the project because whatever you are shooting will be lit in the way that the viewer is used to and expects.’
Auto ISO comes into its own
‘Panasonic’s auto ISO feature is very useful in movie mode, and with the GH5s you can really make the most of it. I set the camera to Creative Movie mode and select a 180° shutter, and then switch the exposure mode in Creative Movie to Aperture Priority. This way the camera keeps the right shutter speed all the time, and as I alter the aperture to control the effect of the depth-of-field the ISO seamlessly slides up and down the scale, constantly producing the right exposure. With the dual native ISO in the GH5s I know that footage recorded at ISO 400 will look the same as that recorded at ISO 2500, and that makes editing very much more straight-forward. I’m really very happy with the quality of the video at up to ISO 3200 and beyond – which is amazing for a camera like this.’
‘We have a bit more dynamic range as well now, so shadows can be lifted if needed without incurring lots of extra noise, and generally there is more detail in the darker areas of the frame.
It’s great that V-LogL comes included in the package, but actually with the 400Mbps data rate, the dynamic range and the high resolution video capture if you are down-sampling to FHD the GH5s has plenty of information in its normal Photo Styles. You might use Portrait or Natural and knock the sharpness down a bit and tailor the contrast and find you have footage that doesn’t need very much grading at all. If you take one of the built-in Photo Styles and tweak the adjustable characteristics you can get yourself 95% of the way to the finished colour and contrast.’
‘The slow motion features are also really exciting. It’s no mean feat to have C4K at 60p in a small camera, and the 240fps FHD mode will also get a lot of people interested. While the top frame rate is impressive, what’s more important is that the 180fps mode will be really good quality.’
You can see more of Jim’s work on his website marks.co.uk