Panasonic’s amazing new Lumix GH5 Super 16/Micro Four Thirds 4K 4:2:2 10-bit camera combines eagerly-anticipated autofocus functionality with what may be the best stabilization going right now, but videos clearly demonstrating both feature sets in action have descended into something of a fanboy slanging match.
It was a relief, then, to come across a short movie that does the job straight off the bat, effectively and without commenter conflicts or fanboyisms, showing off the benefits of the GH5’s autofocus and in-body image stabilization for video along with the optical beauty of the Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens.
Goodbye shakeycam, your time is done.
I am partial to the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lens range for documentary work, not least for the lenses’ matched colour rendering as well as their weather resistance, solid build and repeatable quarter-turn manual clutch focus.
Some cinematographers have dismissed Olympus M43 lenses for uncinematic colour rendering but the needs of documentary moviemaking can be very different to those of feature film production and different again to stills photography.
I have found Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses to be excellent for documentary photography and video, with the zooms exhibiting minimal optical curvature that can be corrected in raw processing software recognizing imported or EXIF-based lens profiles.
Curvature can be more of a problem in video if the scene contains parallel vertical or horizontal lines as in architecture, but the M.Zuiko Pro primes appear to be very well optically corrected.
Olympus seems to be on the path towards finally fully realizing a current pipe dream, a full-featured, colour-matched set of top-quality professional-standard prime and zoom lenses for video and stills production.
Panasonic, Olympus’ partner in the Micro Four Thirds System Standard Group, is following a different path with two parallel lines of lenses, its Leica and Lumix zooms and primes, neither of which contains as many focal length options as the M.Zuiko Pro collection.
Micro Four Thirds critics railed against the format for its small choice of lenses for years despite the large number of MFT lens makers amongst the MFT System group’s membership and outside it.
It is a sign of Micro Four Thirds’ acceptance and maturation that photographers and moviemakers now look for matched sets of lenses in a range of focal lengths like those now being produced by Olympus, Panasonic, Voigtlaender, Veydra and others.
Still needing more Panasonic Lumix GH5 exposure, as it were? One keenly anticipated aspect of the GH5 is its ability to record V-Log 10-bit 4:2:2 footage internally instead of only via an external monitor/recorder. Emmanuel Pampuri is kindly sharing some footage that can be downloaded in order to practice grading it with NLEs’ colour grading functionality or in colour grading software like BlackMagic’s DaVinci Resolve.
Mr Pampuri shot his footage with Veydra mini cinema prime lenses, “built for mirrorless cameras with Micro4/3 and S35 sensors” and with “multiple mounting options including Micro 4/3, Sony E-Mount, and C-Mount”.
Although I have yet to see Veydra lenses in the flesh, as it were, they sound like an excellent solution for making feature films and documentaries with Super 16 cameras like the GH5 and its M43 stablemates and competitors.
At time of writing, Mr Pampuri had mistakenly uploaded the footage as 8-bit 4:2:o but will be replacing that with 10-bit 4:2:2 footage soon.