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How to get the most out of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5

Panasonic dmc gh5 mirrorless micro four 1283257

How to get the most out of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5 is a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera. This means that the sensor is smaller than the full-frame sensor (for example) in the mirrorless competitor Sony (like the A7s). MFT sensors don't have the same shallow depth of field that full-frame or even APS-C sized sensors produce, and they don't handle low light as well, because less light hits the smaller sensor. But don't let this fool you: the GH5 is a stellar camera with its own tricks up his sleeve. Since the MFT sensor has a 4:3 aspect, the GH5 gives you the option of shooting anamorphic, at a whopping 6k. Making it one of the highest resolution 6K anamorphic cameras out there, but at a fraction of the cost.

Here are some general tips when shooting with the GH5.



1. You can open your aperture more

Since your sensor is less sensitive to light, you'll want to opt for lenses that have wider apertures, such as prime lenses. The trick is to let as much light as possible to hit the sensor without blowing the ISO to a level where your footage gets too noisy. Of course, the more you open your iris, the shallower your depth of field will be. Though nice and cinematic, on a full-frame camera a f-stop of 1.8 can be somewhat overkill dof-wise. Not mentioning that focusing tends to become hard as hell.
With MFT camera's this will be less of a problem, since they already have bigger dof. So, you can get away with opening your aperture more and still have a comfortable area for focusing.


2. Use a Metabones Speedbooster

Since the sensor is smaller, the light entering your lens will fall on a greater area than just the sensor alone. This means that your footage will be cropped. Compared to a full-frame sensor, MFT has a 2x cropping factor. This means that you can essentially multiply the focal ranges of your lenses by two. A 50mm lens will act like a 100mm lens, and an extreme wide-angle lens of 12mm will act like a 24mm. A way to bypass this cropping factor (though not completely) is to use a Metabones Speedbooster. These adapters not only have a negative cropping factor, they also add a stop of light to any lens you put on there.


3. You can shoot anamorphic! And it's at 6K!

One of the great cinematic benefits the GH5 brings to its users, is that it gives the option to shoot 4K anamorphic at 10 bit 4:2:2. To top that of, Panasonic launched a Firmware update that makes this small tank a 6K anamorphic camera! To shoot anamorphic, you'll need an anamorphic lens. In the top menu of the camera, select the Anamorphic (4:3) option. Since anamorphic means that the footage is horizontally squeezed, your image will look the same on the LCD screen. To change this, turn on 'Anamorphic Desqueeze' in the menu.


4. Go manual

When shooting video, conditions often change: your subject moves around, light changes, colour temperature shifts. You don't want any of these settings to change while you are shooting. So, in order to get the best out of your shots, set everything to auto. Go into the menu and set 'Exposure Mode' to M (manual), take the camera of Auto ISO by adjusting the wheel on the top right.


5. The GH5 has the monitoring options of a high-end cinema camera, use them!

Focus peaking, audio levels, zebras, waveform monitors, focus magnification. All these options help you monitor your footage and are used by professional users every day. Use them to your advantage.

Learn more about Panasonic GH5