Atlas Releases Affordable, Quality Orion 2x Anamorphic Prime Lenses, 40mm, 65mm and 100mm T2, in EF and PL Mounts

Atlas Lens Co. has released the first three lenses in its Orion Series of relatively affordable cinema quality anamorphic prime optics, comprising 40mm, 65mm and 100mm focal lengths, all at a maximum aperture of T2 and with a choice of Arri PL or Canon EF mount. 

The Orion 40mm T2 lens may well make an excellent first anamorphic lens for anyone wishing to explore or seriously shoot in the CinemaScope Anamorphic format on Panasonic Lumix cameras like the GH5 and GH4, whether renting or purchasing the lens.

The makers recommend adapters for those wishing to use the Orion Series lenses on cameras without EF or PL mounts:

An Interchangeable Mount System means you can use Orion Series Anamorphic lenses on any PL Mount camera one day, and any compatible EF,  E-mount, or Micro 4/3 camera with appropriate adapters for your next shoot or second unit.

One possibility may be to attach an Orion 40mm T2 to your GH5 or GH4 via a Metabones EF-to-M43 Speed Booster or Smart Adapter, thus obtaining different effective focal lengths from the one lens.

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  • Metabones Canon EF Lens to Micro Four Thirds Camera T CINE Speed Booster XL 0.64x (Fifth Generation)B&H
  • Metabones Canon EF Lens to Micro Four Thirds Camera T CINE Speed Booster ULTRA 0.71x (Fifth Generation)B&H
  • Metabones PL Lens to Micro Four Thirds Camera T Adapter (Black)B&H
  • Metabones T Smart Adapter for Canon EF or Canon EF-S Mount Lens to Select Micro Four Thirds-Mount CamerasB&H
  • Metabones T Speed Booster XL 0.64x Adapter for Full-Frame Canon EF-Mount Lens to Select Micro Four Thirds-Mount CamerasB&H
  • MTF Services Ltd PL to Micro 4/3 AdaptorB&H
  • Novoflex PL Lens to Micro Four Thirds Camera AdapterB&H
  • SLR Magic PL to MFT-Mount AdapterB&H
  • Vocas Micro Four Thirds to PL Lens Mount AdapterB&H
  • Wooden Camera MFT to PL Mount Pro for Panasonic GH3/GH4B&H

VARY-i Releases VARY-GRIP for Even More Grip and Stability with VARY-i Cage Combo for Panasonic Lumix GH5 or GH4

Accessories maker VARY-i (what do those capitalized initials actually stand for?) has released the VARY-GRIP (yet more mystery capitalized initials?) for its loupe-plus-cage combos for the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, adding extra points of contact and thus further security and stability when shooting on location. 

You can have any colour VARY-GRIP that you want as long it is red, white or black. Gimme two in black!

I think I shall go easy on the initialisms and simply refer to this intriguing new item as the Vary-Grip, otherwise it will look like I am shouting all the time.

Although I have yet to try any of the Vary-i products, they look like an effective combination for shooting outdoors in the sort of low-angle laser beam sunlight that is outside my window right now in high summer Sydney, Australia.

VARY-i VARY-GRIP with and without VARY-i Cage Combination GH5

Links

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  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H

Guerrilla G-Cup for Panasonic Lumix GH5 Released, Arrives for Tryout and Review

Miller & Schneider, makers of rubber eyecups for the Panasonic GH3, GH4, Sony α7 series, Sony α9, Canon C100 and the Canon Cinema EOS series cameras, has rebranded itself as Guerrilla and is about to release its Guerrilla G-Cup for the Panasonic Lumix GH5

Guerrilla has kindly sent over a sample of the GH5 G-Cup and we will be giving it a good workout when a GH5 review loaner arrives soon. 

Meanwhile here is a gallery of photographs comparing the GH5 G-Cup with the G-Cup for the GH4 and GH3, with the popular Bluestar Viewfinder Eyecushion attached to each.

G-Cup for the GH5 and G-Cup for the GH4, with Bluestar Viewfinder Eyecushion

I reviewed the GH4’s G-Cup several years ago when looking for third party solutions to block our Australian laser beam sunlight out of the side of my eyes while shooting video in the great outdoors.

I found it to be a much better option than relying on the GH4’s default rubber eyecup and it worked especially well when wearing contact lenses with and without a Bluestar Viewfinder Eyecushion attached to the G-Cup.

The GH4 G-Cup produced variable results when swapping contact lenses for my usual spectacles corrected for near-sight and astigmatism, depending on the shape and size of the spectacles’ frames.

Rounder and smaller worked better, allowing better access to the view through the G-Cup than my more rectangular spectacle frames.

I would have loved to use the GH5 G-Cup when producing my initial review of the GH5 which arrived minus its own default eyecup, and am glad that Guerrilla is about to put its GH5 G-Cup on sale shortly.

Links

  • Color by LookLabsDigital Film Stock – excellent set of 19 3D LUTs for log and Rec. 709 linear profile video, created from scans of actual Fuji and Kodak movie film stocks.
  • Guerrilla – G-Cup (Panasonic GH5) – not yet released but coming soon.
  • SkylumAurora 2018 – award Best App of 2017 by Apple.
  • SkylumLuminar 2018

Image Credits

Product photographs made with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 camera with Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens and DMW-EC3 Eyecup as 3-bracket HDR images processed in Aurora HDR 2018 then Luminar 2018 using the Color by LookLabs Digital Film Stock Fuji Reala 500D 3D looks LUT.

Images lit with one Rotolight Neo LED Light with Neo barndoors and Chimera soft box for Neo, from a Rotolight Neo 3 Light Kit with barndoors and foam handle.

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  • Bluestar Round Extra Small Microfiber EyecushionB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-EC3 Eyecup for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH. LensB&H
  • Rotolight NEO 2 LED LightB&H
  • Rotolight NEO 2 LED 3-Light KitB&H
  • Rotolight Aluminum Barndoors for NEOB&H
  • Chimera TECH Lightbank Softbox for Rotolight NEO LEDB&H

Panasonic Lumix GH5 Firmware Update Version 2.2, Yet Another Great Reason to Choose Olympus M.Zuiko Pro Lenses?

Panasonic has released version 2.2 of its firmware for the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 hybrid Micro Four Thirds/Super 16 stills and video camera, and it contains one item that appears especially useful for users of the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro professional-quality prime and zoom lenses. 

The GH5 may well now recognize the Lens Fn button on M.Zuiko Pro lenses as well as Panasonic’s own Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 Power OIS telephoto thus enabling your choice from a set of nine lens-related functions that can be allocated to it.  

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Super 16 Micro Four Thirds camera with Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II Aspheric Power OIS standard zoom lens.

As I do not currently have a GH5 I cannot put version 2.2 of the firmware to the test, but am expecting a review loaner to arrive in the very near future and will try it out with M.Zuiko Pro lenses then report back here.

The Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 Power OIS lens, showing the Fn button on the lens barrel.

Update contents for DC-GH5

  1. Function can be assigned to the Fn button of the interchangeable lens including H-ES200.
  2. Video recording stability in VFR (Variable Frame Rate) mode is improved

Those optional Fn button settings include:

  • Focus Stop
  • AF/AE Lock
  • AF-On
  • Stabilizer
  • Focus Area Set
  • AF-Mode/MF – I have this set as my L-Fn function for magnifying the view through the lens while manually focussing.
  • Preview
  • Off
  • Restore to Default

I have often looked at the L-Fn buttons on M.Zuiko Pro lenses and wondered whether Panasonic would ever add the ability to choose useful lens-related settings to it when using these lenses on Panasonic Lumix cameras.

I hope that the addition of this functionality to the GH5 heralds more such firmware updates for current and recently-released Lumix cameras such as the GX8, GH4 and others.

One can never have access to too many customizable function buttons, I have found.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Pro professional-quality prime and zoom lens family as of November 2017. Note the L-Fn function buttons on the lens barrels.

The addition of lens function button settings on the GH5 and hopefully other Lumix cameras such as the coming G9 makes the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lens family even more attractive.

Three current top-end Panasonic Lumix cameras with Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses attached, each lens having a function button on the barrel. Panasonic, thank you for enabling the L-Fn button in version 2.2 of the GH5’s firmware but please add the same functionality in all future, current and recent Lumix cameras. Image created at Compact Camera Meter at CameraSize.com..

The most attractive feature of the M.Zuiko Pro lenses, besides their remarkable optical and mechanical qualities, is their manual clutch focus mechanism that allows for repeatable focussing in a way that is not permitted by the nonlinear focus-by-wire of other lenses.

Links

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  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital MC-14 1.4x TeleconverterB&H
  • Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 POWER O.I.S. Lens (H-ES200)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H

Lumix G Experience: Get a grip – close up look at the G9’s battery grip – COMMENTARY

https://www.lumixgexperience.panasonic.co.uk/learn/expert-advice/get-a-grip-close-up-look-at-the-g9s-battery-grip/

“I thought you might like a closer look at the battery grip for the Lumix G9. It’s called DMW-BGG9 (catchy!) and is designed specifically for the camera – it doesn’t fit any others. If you pre-order the G9 before 14th January in the UK this grip comes free (see the Panasonic site for details), but even after the offer is over it is an accessory worth considering especially if you shoot a lot of upright compositions….”

Commentary

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 with Panasonic DMW-BGG9 battery grip attached.

Many photographers and cinematographers of my acquaintance who rely on Micro Four Thirds cameras for their work seem to be unaware of the usefulness of battery grips.

I certainly was until I had a little spare cash sitting around after buying my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 and wondered what accessories might improve my experience of the camera.

Now I cannot conceive of buying a new camera for moviemaking or photography without including a battery grip in its purchase, if one is offered by the camera’s manufacturer.

My GH4’s DMW-BGGH3 battery grip is attached almost all the time and only comes off when I need to place the GH4 in a cage for moviemaking.

The grip is lightweight when loaded with a battery, does not add much size or weight to the camera, and allow me to carry camera-plus-battery grip in the same shoulder bags and backpacks that easily hold my gripless GH4.

Battery grips are especially useful for better balance and handling safety and comfort when attaching long, heavy lenses to the camera.

They also make it easier to hold and operate the camera and its controls when shooting in portrait or vertical format.

I note that some camera cage makers are now producing cages to hold gripped cameras, such as SmallRig’s Professional Half-cage Kit for Panasonic Lumix GH5 with Battery Grip 2025.

When I add further cameras to my production kit like the GH5, GH5s or G9, I will most certainly be purchasing their battery grips at the same time.

Damien Demolder’s article about the G9’s battery grip reveals that Panasonic has improved the ergonomics and their grip design beyond that of the GH4’s battery grip, substituting an on/off toggle switch for the GH4’s on/off slider and moving it to a more sensible location, and adding a joystick.

Links

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Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Panasonic DMW-BGG9 Battery GripB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH3 Battery Grip for Lumix GH3 and GH4 Digital CamerasB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery GripB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera  – B&H

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic GH5 and Other Panasonic Cameras Now at Version 501, Supports HLG, V-Log L and Cinelike D

NOTE: Since this article was written some time ago, Leeming LUT One has been updated and improved again with version 502 and is to be followed soon with version 601.

You may wish to read this more recent article here:

Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has released version 501 of his groundbreaking Leeming LUT One camera profile 3D LUT for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Super 16/Micro Four Thirds camera in three flavours based on which picture profile your footage is shot with – Cinelike D, HLG or V-Log L. 

Still frame of Paul Leeming, shot on Panasonic Lumix GH5 in HLG HDR mode then processed in Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Studio 14.

Mr Leeming chose the GH5 as his benchmark camera and will be updating other Leeming LUT One camera profile 3D LUTs soon, enabling cinematographers using a range of cameras to start “with a common, colour-matched baseline, meaning much less time trying to match cameras in post before starting your creative grading”.

Users of previous versions of Leeming LUT One may notice a change in the behaviour of version 501 when applying it to old footage, resulting in a darker rendition:

The new philosophy is zero brightness shift in the LUT itself, so the only shift is to the colour values. At first this may seem like the LUT is not doing anything, but watch skin tones in particular when you apply it and you’ll see the difference. Of course the other colours are fixed too, but skin is where you’ll see it most easily as it’s a pretty obvious shift from yellow to skin tone.

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic Lumix GH5 and X-Rite Color Checkers

Leeming LUT Quickies, a set of free looks LUTs, will also be updated to work better with Leeming LUT One version 501 but in the meantime Mr Leeming advises using the current version at “40% intensity (or gain)”.

Given the colour science characteristics shared by current top end Panasonic Lumix cameras such as the GH5, GH4 and GX8, it appears possible to apply Leeming LUT One to all three cameras to obtain similar colour grading starting points.

I will be putting Leeming LUT One 501 for the GH5 to the test on GH4 and GX8 Cinelike D (aka Cine-D) footage over the coming days, but my early tests using a late beta of 501 showed marked improvements over previous full versions of Leeming LUT One.

Leeming LUT One for Panasonic Lumix GH5, HLG, Before and After

The GH5’s HLG (hybrid log-gamma) picture profile is intriguing given it is an HDR (high dynamic range) standard developed by the BBC and NHK for future program creation and broadcast in 4K and higher resolutions.

While HLG HDR 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 production and post-production are not fully supported by current hardware and software, the wisdom of future-proofing your work has been borne out many times in recent years starting with the move to 1080p and then 4K.

Mr Leeming and Leeming LUT One version 501 for GH5 users have reported anomalies in various non-linear editors and colour grading plug-ins when applying the LUT to HLG footage, and testing is currently under way to work out optimal software and workflows.

As with any radical advance in video production and postproduction, software needs to catch up with the capabilities of new hardware and this is no exception.

The advantages of HLG HDR may persuade movie and TV show makers to adopt it as their new default standard when it is fully supported.

Mr Leeming reports that:

My new favourite profile is Hybrid Log Gamma. It uses more of the 10 bit space than V-LogL, and has just as much dynamic range as far as I can see.

It also has slightly more accurate tonal density response (the relationship between colour and saturation/luma levels).

Best of all, it’s a free profile in camera, instead of a $100 activation code sent half way across the world….

Only down side is it’s not available in 8 bit, but for that, we can continue to use old faithful, Cine-D.

Roger Bolton of Final Cut Pro X plug-in maker CoreMelt has been sent Leeming LUT One to test it in his recent-released high-end colour grading and LUT application plug-in for FCPX, Chromatic, and I look forward to his report with interest.

Other such colour grading and LUT application software seems to be having problems with HLG footage.

Meanwhile Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio colour grading and non-linear editing software is reported to be handling the GH5’s 10-bit HLG HDR footage well and readers are encouraged to download the free version or invest in the paid version if they have not already done so.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera  – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera  – B&H
  • Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone AdapterB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H
  • Atomos Ninja Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
  • X-Rite ColorChecker Passport PhotoB&H
  • X-Rite ColorChecker Passport VideoB&H

Vary-i Cage Combination and Solo Loupe Released for Panasonic GH5, with Grip to Come Soon

Vary-i has released its Vary-i Solo for GH5 and Vary-i Cage Combination for GH5 to fit the ever-popular Panasonic Lumix GH5 Super 16/APS-C camera and reports that its righthand grip for the Combination Cage will be appearing soon. 

I first encountered Vary-i products online in a photograph of Lumix product ambassador Nick Driftwood shot during an educational event in Europe.

The Vary-i in both its forms, Solo or Combination, may help solve a persistent problem when shooting video or stills outdoors in bright sunlight or cloudy days when the whole sky turns into a glare-emitting lightbox.

The Vary-i appeared at a time when I was researching ways of shielding GH5 and GH4 cameras’ fully-articulated monitors whether by means of a hood attached via velcro, or a loupe attached directly to the monitor.

As neither solution seemed ideal, Vary-i’s approach stood out for the possibility of multiple viewing angles, relieving stress on the monitor’s hinges and increased stability by having one’s eye as an extra point of contact.

The grip, which I am told is being worked on right now and is coming soon, may well increase that stability further.

Vary-i Solo or Combination Cage products for GH5 or GH4

I will add photographs of the grip when it is released.

I asked the maker of Vary-i whether there was a substantial difference between the construction of the Combination Cages for GH5 and GH4 and he explained that the cage is identical in each but the nylon inserts are different, and that the inserts can be changed.

That sounds like a good solution if one is using GH5 and GH4 cameras, or if one currently has a GH4 and is planning to upgrade to a GH5 in future.

On the other hand, the Vary-i Solo for GH5 and GH4 are different and can only be used on the cameras for which they are designed.

Links

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Vary-I products are not stocked by B&H Photo Video, but here are some other loupes and cages that also fit the Panasonic Lumix GH5.

  • Cambo CS-28 Loupe Set for 3.2″ ScreenB&H
  • Cambo CS-29 Loupe Set for 3.2″ ScreenB&H
  • Hoodman HoodLoupe Outdoor LCD Viewfinder for 3.2″ ScreensB&H
  • Hoodman HoodLoupe Teardrop EyecupB&H
  • Movcam Cage Kit for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Movcam GH5 Cage Kit with Twist Handle and Riser RailB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Seercam GH5 CageB&H
  • Seercam Cage for GH5 with Classic HandleB&H
  • Seercam Extension Kit for CUBE GH5 CageB&H
  • Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 2.5x for 3.2″ ScreensB&H

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 & Some Notes Before Upgrade to GH5 Firmware Version 2.0 – UPDATED

I was lucky enough to try out the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 recently and quickly came to the conclusion that it really is the top-quality Super 16/Micro Four Thirds documentary video and stills photography camera that I have been hoping for.

Looks like a previous reviewer forgot to re-attach the GH5’s rubber eyepiece.

As reported in a previous article, the GH5 loaner at right arrived in a stripped down state, minus its rubber eyepiece, HDMI port protector and the lens hood for the provided Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric kit zoom lens, so there were some minor challenges.

Sadly, the loan period expired before Panasonic released its feature-packed firmware version 2.0 so I have yet to experience all that the GH5 can do now, firsthand, so no HLG HDR or ALL-Intra for me for the time being.

Top of the wishlist

The GH5 and associated accessories have been living at the top of my video camera hardware wishlist for some time, but purchasing must be put off until our self-financing effort via land subdivision and sale is finally finished sometime early next year, after getting through the multiple gauntlets of high-priced consultants, three levels of bureaucracy, recalcitrant tradesmen and the inevitable cost overruns tying up all our savings until completion.

Seercam’s Cube GH5 cage with Classic Handle Plus and Extension Kit is terrific for bigger rigs on or off tripod or stripped down to cage alone for smaller and more mobile assignments. Seercam is currently working on a battery pack, seen at right behind and below the microphone. As a fan of Panasonic’s battery packs, I look forward to Seercam’s coming cage-savvy battery solution.

When I do get my own GH5, one thing is certain – I will be adding a battery grip and XLR adapter and I am hoping that Olympus will have released its M.Zuiko Pro 17mm ultra-fast prime lens by then along with the 42mm and perhaps a 12mm or 14mm focal length.

Although I do love my Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom lens for stills and video, I always feel safer supplementing it with a fast prime to account for available darkness situations and find a moderate wide-angle more versatile than a so-called normal focal length of 25mm in Micro Four Thirds.

I am hoping Olympus’ excellent pro-quality M.Zuiko Pro lens range will achieve a full complement of well-spaced fast primes and zooms by early to mid-2018.

Although I own and use several non-M.Zuiko Pro Olympus and Panasonic lenses and find their lack of manual clutch focus annoying, their focus-by-wire challenging but workable enough via back focus button, I am far more comfortable with lenses I can manually focus fast with repeatable and predictable results.

Stills made with the GH5

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is a fine stills camera made more so with the absence of an anti-aliasing filter to combat moiré.

I am adding photographs here as I reprocess them in the latest versions of some raw processors and image editors.

Most have been done in DxO Optics Pro Elite as that is the very first raw processor I ever used and remains my reference for all camera types other than Fujifilm.

DxO products are built on a codebase that supports only Bayer sensors, not non-Bayer sensors such as Fujifilm’s X-Trans.

Video still frames shot with V-Log L, processed with Leeming LUT One for V-Log L 501 rc2

Leeming LUT One is being updated to version 501 to get even better results from GH5 V-Log L footage at the moment and will be released soon along with LUTs for Cinelike D and HLG HDR.

In the meantime, here is a gallery of GH5 V-Log L video still frames minimally graded with Leeming LUT One version 501 RC 2 with the occasional addition of a second LUT from Paul Leeming’s free Leeming LUT Quickies 1 version2 set.

I found that the combination of V-Log L plus Leeming LUT One with the GH5’s in-body stabilization is a powerful one, granting me the confidence in knowing I am able to shoot almost anything anywhere.

As a result using the GH5 was, quite simply, fun.

Of course neither IBIS nor V-Log are the answers to every shooting situation and there are times when I will want to carry a monopod, a tripod or one of the new generation of gimbals like the Zhiyun Crane 2.

Video still frames shot on GX8 with Cinelike D, processed with Leeming LUT One for Cinelike D 501 rc2

I was so taken with the GH5’s V-Log capability that I quite forgot to shoot enough Cinelike D footage, but here is some footage from my GX8 by way of comparison.

According to professional documentary cinematographers like Rick Young of Movie Machine, the GX8’s sensor is not dissimilar to the one in the GH5 and produces similar results to the point where they use both cameras on the same projects.

I don’t think I am going to have any problems editing footage from the GH5 and GX8 together in the same project when using the appropriate Leeming LUT One for each.

GH5 first impressions

Straight out of the box and in its shopworn state, as it were, the GH5 impressed me with a solidity and ease of handling well beyond that of the GH4 and even the GX8.

The GH5 packs so much more processing power in than its GH4 predecessor and GX8 sibling, and that extra hardware has to go somewhere so a slightly bigger and heavier body it is.

The GH5’s hardware ergonomics has advanced beyond that of the GH4 and Panasonic has done so with great balance and a solid feel in the hand.

Some reviewers have complained about its size and weight but, as always, I prefer small cameras to be a little weightier for better balance and achieve that by adding battery grips, cages and other accessories as appropriate.

Naked or mounted in Seercam’s excellent Cube GH5 cage with Classic Handle and Extension Kit, the GH5 felt just right and neither too heavy nor too light.

Other users may differ but I prefer a little extra weight due to permanent injuries received on the job some years ago as it helps with my own sense of balance and ability to move.

There were, as always, annoyances with the GH5 but they were minor and have now been accounted for in Panasonic’s GH5 version 2.0 firmware release.

Foremost was the positioning of the Display button in precisely the worst location possible, with one solution being adding a Sugru collar around it and the other, courtesy of firmware version 2.0, switching the button off via a menu item.

The other annoyances were so minor that they have escaped me now, sorry.

With the GH5’s stablemates

Panasonic Lumix GX8 with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro and Røde VideoMic Pro+ attached via no-brand 3.5mm-to-2.5mm adapter that I have since replaced with a Beachtek SC25 coiled adapter cable.

While the GH4 and GX8 retain their places in my heart for advancing the small camera moviemaking promise that Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II waggled so prominently about, the GH5 gives me the best of those two Lumix stablemates along with other fine qualities from more recent Panasonic releases, the G7 and the GX80/85.

I have not had the pleasure of trying either of those two latter cameras, but there are clear similarities between the GX8’s sensor and the GH5’s, something I deduced when applying Leeming LUT One for the GH5 to footage from the GX8.

The GH5 and its siblings show that the self-funded independent moviemaking road ahead belongs to mirrorless hybrid cameras, with an array of professional-quality features DSLR-users can only dream of and that may never come to DSLRs of either traditional major brand.

Pro-quality video features

Foremost of these features is the GH5’s ability to shoot 4K UHD and 4K DCI video in 10-bit 4:2:2 with the V-Log L flat logarithmic photo style, the closest thing to raw that can be achieved in a non-raw video camera.

The first thing I did when the GH5 review loaner arrived was to install indie documentary moviemaker Griffin Hammond’s GH5 camera settings file, but after comparing his Natural-based custom photo style with others offered by the GH5, it was clear that V-Log L was what I really wanted.

I had passed on V-Log L for the GH4 after downloading and trial-grading 8-bit 4:2:0 log footage that early purchasers were sharing.

Macro colour blocking and other strange behaviours indicated Panasonic was reaching too far with too little colour depth and that 10-bit 4:2:2 was the way to go.

Then there was the unfortunate still-current issue of the way in which Panasonic sells the V-Log L licence.

Sending a slip of paper in a cardboard box packed with synthetic filler around the planet so one can complete the transaction online before throwing box, filler and little bit of paper away – sheesh.

Sorry but time to wake up and smell the coffee of global environmental responsibility, Panasonic.

Getting the best out of non-log footage prior to the GH5

Paul Leeming’s GH5 rig in 8Sinn cage and Scorpio handle, rod riser, Shoot35 follow focus, and Manfrotto Xume magnetic filter attachment system on vintage Zeiss Contax prime lens.

Instead of Natural or any other Rec. 709 photo style, I chose a Leeming-customized Cinelike D photo style for my GH4 and GX8, and have been happy with the results even though they both only shoot in 8-bit 4:2:0.

Then and now, 4K 8-bit 4:2:0 flat footage shot at 400 ISO satisfies a fair percentage of my short movie shooting needs.

Paul Leeming’s Leeming LUT One for the GH4 brought the best tone and colour rendering I had achieved in small camera video by combining Mr Leeming’s custom Cinelike D settings with his Leeming LUT One for the GH4 applied to my footage in Final Cut Pro X, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve or, even, Adobe Photoshop’s Motion workspace for short video projects.

Paul Leeming testing Panasonic Lumix GX8, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, Samsung NX1 and Digital Bolex D16 cameras for versions of Leeming LUT One for each.

I have achieved good results on the GX8 with the GH4 and now more recently using the GH5 version of his Cinelike D LUT to the point where I am happily combining Cinelike D and V-Log L footage from all three cameras into the same movie project.

Mr Leeming tells me he will be updating some of his LUTs after having completed work on several feature film projects to approach the results he has obtained with the V-Log L photo style version of his LUT for the GH5.

Work is in progress right now on that and he will be releasing recommended camera settings for all Panasonic cameras along with two Leeming LUT One versions that will work for all off them, for Cinelike D and V-Log L.

Versatility and 15 photo styles options

I set the GH5 loaner up with Mr Leeming’s Cinelike D and V-Log L photo style customizations, but shot most of my video on V-Log L and have been very happy with the results and the one to two stops extra dynamic range that it bestows.

The GH5’s 10-bit 4:2:2 V-Log L and ISO range from a base of 400 up to 1600 or 3200 depending on how prepared one is to apply de-noising in post-production gives me the confidence to take on pretty much any subject or common lighting situation.

Panasonic has gone to town with photo styles on the GH5.

As well as four custom settings slots, eleven readymade customizable styles are available when shooting video and one has a choice of nine when shooting stills.

The Panasonic Lumix GH5’s 15 Photo Styles:

  • Standard
  • Vivid
  • Natural
  • Monochrome
  • L.Monochrome
  • Scenery
  • Portrait
  • Custom1
  • Custom2
  • Custom3
  • Custom4
  • Cinelike D
  • Cinelike V
  • Like709 – video-only
  • V-Log L – video-only

The new ability to shoot JPEGs in Cinelike D or Cinelike V is an interesting one. I bought my GX8 as a backup video camera as well as production stills camera, and the addition of both customizable options to the GH5’s stills photo styles list improves its usefulness as a production stills camera, alongside of its 6K and 4K Photo capabilities.

Shoot Cinelike D or Cinelike V JPEG stills for fast, easy integration into the video edit without raw processing or painstaking colour matching.

If the video has been shot in Cinelike D customized for Leeming LUT One, create a matching customized Cinelike D for your JPEGs, hand them over to the production company then archive your raw files for post-processing later.

For years I relied on two Leica M4-P rangefinder cameras and a set of Summicron lenses for documentary, magazine and newspaper photography assignments and personal projects, along with cameras in other formats.

Movie production stills photographers traditionally rely on DSLRs encased in blimps, an unwieldy and costly solution to the need for shooting silently when the cinema cameras are running.

However, the production stills photographers of my early acquaintance carried Leica M rangefinder cameras that they used in between takes, not while movie film was rolling.

Although I did not enter my colleagues’ esteemed ranks working on feature films, I took on the occasional small production stills assignment and relied on my Leicas, 120-format rangefinder cameras and 4”x5” sheet film cameras, all mirrorless and close to silent when shooting.

Now, I might choose from an array of mirrorless cameras each with the native ability to shoot silently via their electronic shutter options with my current personal preference being rangefinder and rangefinder-style cameras in Micro Four Thirds and APS-C sensor sizes.

Sensors, sizes and camera shapes

In the long lead up to the arrival of the GH5, some documentary moviemakers of my acquaintance added a GX8 to their tool kit and raved about how good its video is and speculated that the GH5’s sensor may have similar qualities.

Their guesses were close to the mark especially in both cameras’ megapixel ratings. 20MP has become the new mirrorless base standard, and picky clients have even fewer reasons to demand their photographers shoot only with so-called “full format” or “full frame” cameras.

Until I invest in a second Fujifilm X-Pro2 rangefinder camera or more likely the coming OVF-less X-E3 for second-camera duties on documentary stills projects, I carry my 20MP GX8 alongside my 24MP X-Pro2.

Despite its lack of an OVF, the GX8 handles in a similar way to the rangefinder camera especially in allowing me to shoot with both eyes wide open and brain displaying wider and narrower images side-by-side.

Better yet, the GX8’s unique tilting EVF allows me to shoot as if using a waist-level viewfinder camera like the sadly discontinued Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex cameras.

Full articulation and HDR bracketing

The GH5 and other DSLR-style cameras do not, or at least they do so with some difficulty.

I was not a dedicated SLR photographer during the analog era, preferring rangefinders and the sheet film cameras with which I learned photography in art school.

However, I find that DSLR-style cameras like the GH5 and GH4 are my best option for two forms of photography for which I once relied on sheet film and roll film technical cameras – architecture and product photography.

The key feature tipping me over into relying on both cameras for both types of subject of matter is their fully articulated monitor.

The one or two-way tilting monitors on Sony’s and Fujifilm’s cameras do not come close in utility value. If a monitor is to move at all, please, give me full and not partial articulation.

I often shoot HDR architectural exteriors in our famous Australian laser beam sunlight that makes squinting into an EVF a challenge.

A fully articulated monitor can be tilted and swung away from the camera body and shaded or shielded with a hood.

It allows me to hold the camera high or low without the old news photographer’s Hail Mary guess at what the camera is actually seeing.

Product photography in my cramped little kitchen-cum-studio is next to impossible without a fully articulated monitor allowing me to set up and make a shot while standing off at left or right of the camera and Panasonic has my eternal gratitude for this.

Much of my product photography is shot in HDR these days, a habit I took up when I discovered my GH4 allows up to 7 bracketed exposures.

I stayed away from High Dynamic Range photography for years when HDR appeared to be all about hyper-surrealism and the extreme exaggeration of colour and tones.

All that changed with Macphun’s Aurora HDR 2017 and now Aurora HDR 2018 used in combination with Macphun’s Luminar raw processor-cum-image editor, allowing me to produce architectural and product shots that look and feel more realistic than single-shot photography permits.

Recently I have found myself shooting 5 to 7 brackets at 2/3 to 1 stop apart, combining them in Aurora then exporting them to Luminar for export to JPEG after the most minimal of tweaks.

On lenses and the Leica kit lens

GH5 with Panasonic Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 kit zoom in its Seercam Cube GH5 cage with Røde VideoMic Pro and Peak Design Clutch and Cuff camera straps, making for a versatile, protective handheld rig. Breakthrough Photography ND filter attached via Breakthrough Photography brass step-up ring.

The loaner GH5 came with the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens, one of two kit zoom options with the other being the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/.8 II Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens.

The Leica zoom lens’ optical qualities are a pleasant reminder of my beloved Leica M-System prime lenses and its 12mm to 60mm is a more versatile improvement on its Lumix sister’s shorter 12mm to 35mm focal range.

The rationale for kit zooms is that they should provide enough focal lengths to cover most stills or video situations that one might encounter.

The Leica zoom is a promising solution for photography given the GH5’s ability to leverage the lens’ Optical Image Stabilization with the camera’s In-Body Image Stabilization via its Dual IS capability.

Its low effective maximum aperture of f/4.0 at the long end is more of a problem for documentary video where shooting in unpredictable lighting is common despite the increasing availability of small, portable LED lights.

While carrying the GH5 plus Leica zoom throughout the day within a range of lighting conditions, I often found myself yearning for a faster maximum aperture or a longer maximum focal length as well as a more usable manual focussing system than focus-by-wire.

I would love to see Panasonic’s optical engineers take a leaf out of the Olympus lens design book.

The manual clutch focus feature in Olympus’ ever-growing M.Zuiko Pro prime and zoom lens range tipped the balance for me in buying two Olympus zoom lenses and I have more on my wishlist.

Ditto the Olympus M.Zuiko Pro f/2.8 zoom lens maximum aperture and f/1.2 prime lens maximum aperture.

Many times even f/2.8 can be a stop or two too little and having one or two f/1.2 prime lenses in one’s video camera kit proves to be a wise investment.

If f/2.8 or f/1.2 and upper ISOs of 1600 or 3200 are not enough then time to consider carrying a Rotolight Neo 1 or Neo 2 to supplement that available darkness with some beautiful available light.

Enough for now?

I had intended this article to be much more in-depth when commencing writing, but being at the end of the review loaner queue tends to steal one’s thunder after so many brand ambassadors and early adopters have already published such excellent videos and articles.

What, I often wonder, would I have to add that is new and interesting to an already mature conversation?

I have removed the video still frames and photographs used to illustrate the first version of this article as software and LUT makers have now added or improved GH5 support to their products or that support will be be coming real soon now.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris. Product shots made as single shots or HDR brackets on Panasonic Lumix GX8 or GH4 with Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 Aspheric lens then processed with Macphun Aurora HDR 2018.

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Clicking on these affiliate links helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Atomos Ninja Inferno 7″ 4K HDMI Recording Monitor and accessoriesB&H
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  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 8-18mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone AdapterB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H
  • Seercam GH5 CageB&H
  • Seercam Cage for GH5 with Classic HandleB&H
  • Seercam Extension Kit for CUBE GH5 CageB&H
  • Seercam GH5 CAGE w/HANDLE PLUS & ROD RISERB&H
  • Seercam GH5 CAGE w/HANDLE PLUS/ROD RISER/EXTENB&H

4/3 Rumors: Panasonic officially released the GH5 firmware update!

http://www.43rumors.com/panasonic-officially-released-gh5-firmware-update/

“The Big GH5 firmware is now available for download at av.jpn.support.panasonic.com/support/global/cs/dsc/download/fts/index.html.

And the good news is that there is also a firmware update for the GH4, 30mm and 42,5mm lenses…”

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
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  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H