A review loaner of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 arrived yesterday afternoon and it immediately found its way into Seercam’s Cube GH5 camera cage with Extension Kit for Cube GH5. Then I attached a Manfrotto Pixi Table Tripod-cum-handle to the Extension Kit’s coldshoe mount, ready for action should it occur. First thing the next day, I was pleasantly surprised by a visit from Petra, one of the three young female brush turkeys whom we raised almost from the time they leaped out of their eggs on the mound next door. I grabbed the GH5 plus Seercam cage, hoped that the Griffin Hammond GH5 camera settings file I had installed late the night before would be up to the task, and jumped out the door.
We helped Petra recuperate from attacks by dogs who had stripped her of tail and wing feathers twice over the past six months, and she has grown up into a beautiful, confident young adult who now, it seems, has formed her own little tribe of three young brush turkeys whom she was leading about.
Still frames from my first GH5 video shoot of Petra and her friends
The footage reveals that I will need to reinforce the way we have attached the spare GH4 eye cup to the GH5 as critical focus was missed on several crucial shots due to relying solely on the monitor with focus peaking while shooting in semi-darkness.
I will be trying the GH5 out on some stills photographs next and then will load up Paul Leeming’s Leeming LUT One settings for Cinelike D and V-Log L on the GH5 for further video shoots over the two-week loan period.
I will be editing and grading GH5 footage in DaVinci Resolve Studio 14 and Final Cut Pro X and processing stills in a number of image editors, LUTs and color grading plug-ins, and raw processors. I will be relying on Lesspain Software’s excellent Kyno media management and productivity software throughout.
Snapshots from my second day with the GH5
It usually takes me a few days to start to understand and get the best out of a new camera and even longer to understand a new lens, and the GH5 and its Panasonic Leica 12-60mm kit zoom is no exception. Another factor is that it can take a while for software companies to fully support new cameras and at the moment none of them appears to perfectly support this specific lens and camera combination.
At the moment I am defaulting to Adobe Camera Raw with VSCO presets and Photoshop, but once I know enough about what the GH5 and this lens can do then I will explore how other raw processing and image editing software interprets images from them. So far, though, the images look impressive.
My current Seercam Cube GH5 cage configuration for stills and video
I often go into situations where I may need to shoot stills and video, and so a minimal rig is most useful, allowing me the flexibility to make photographs while holding the camera in vertical/portrait or horizontal/landscape mode, or quickly switch over to video without having to add extra items.
I often use my GH4 and GX8 in minimalist rigging like here, in the GH4’s case in a Motion9/Seercam CubeMix GH4/3 cage and for the GX8 a SmallRig cage. I also like going even more minimal with my GH4 and attach just a battery grip and a microphone.
A GH5 is definitely high on my wishlist, reinforced by my experience so far with the camera, and I will be adding a battery grip, XLR audio adapter and, when Seercam comes out with its special battery pack that mounts in the GH5’s rod riser, will add one of those too.
A number of GH5 users report that the camera rips through batteries especially when shooting 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 video and using stabilization. I have experienced that myself already. I will need to at least double my collection of batteries for the GH5 and look at other power options too.
Some GH5 owners have stated that they have bypassed all other brands of cages for the GH5 and have opted for the minimalist SmallRig cage due to it being one of the first to have strap-mounting holes on the camera right side. It is easy to attach straps to any cage by screwing strap-mounting into your cage’s 1/4-20 tapped holes.
Right now I am using Peak Design Pro Drive Screws as they are the only ones I found in a local camera store but other moviemakers tell me they use other, smaller screws in preference. I am sure that camera accessories makers could come up with much better optional strap-mounting drives.
On another note, I have been using a spare eye cup from my GH4 to temporarily replace the one missing from the review loaner GH5. I have tried gaffer tape, Blue-Tack and UHU Yellow Tack – proper name Sticky Tack or Poster Putty – but found that the UHU Yellow Tack works best, though the eye-cup has fallen off a few times anyway.
- Apple – Final Cut Pro X
- Blackmagic Design – DaVinci Resolve 14
- Griffin Hammond – How to Set Up Your Panasonic GH5 for Filmmaking
- Leeming LUT One
- Lesspain Software – Kyno
- Seercam – Cube GH5
- Seercam – Extension Kit for Cube GH5
- Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris. Product shots made on Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 with Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens, lit with Rotolight Neo with barndoors, processed in ON1 Photo Raw 2017 using Fujifilm Velvia 50 preset.