GH5 for a stills shooter?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by SpecFoto, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    387
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    I like all types of photography and have carried both a Nikon D800 FF system and 2 OMD bodies for the last 4 years. My current OMD’s are the EM1 and Em5 MK II (backup), and are used mostly for my travel, portrait, non-action events, street and general shooting. I have the 3 Oly f2.8 Pro zooms lenses and 4 Oly Premium f1.8 primes in 12, 17, 25, 75mm plus the 60 macro. A few months ago I made the decision to buy the Nikon D500 as my action, air show, sports and BIF camera over the upcoming EMI MK II, (see this post if interested- New EM1 V2 or Nikon D500? ) Very, very happy with this choice. I mostly use the Nikon D800 for landscape shooting, though I do use the EM1 and the 7-14 f2.8 or 12-40 f2.8 Pro lenses too.


    The main use for the EM1 is for my portrait work. Having used the 42.5 f1.2 Nocticron lens for over 2 years now, it is just amazing and accounts for about ½ of all my M4/3 photos. Also use the Oly 75mm f1.8 quite a bit too when I have the room. I feel the Nocticron is best lens I have every owned, including over 30 past Nikkors and 4 portrait specific Nikon lenses in 85, 105 and 135mm sizes.


    I want to upgrade my EM1 body to a 20MP M4/3 camera with dual card slots. While the EMI MKII seems the obvious choice, my interest has been peaked with the new GH5. Yes it is a video-centric camera, and frankly I have almost no interest in video. Despite having a lot of gear, I am a simple shooter, I use the manual mode for almost all portrait work, the S mode for sports action and the A mode for everything else. I use the front/rear dials for aperture and ss changes. This simple style of shooting helps to equalizes out the layout and control differences of the different bodies. What I find is that dedicated buttons for ISO, WB and EC +/- , like both my Nikon bodies have, make shooting so much easier. The EMI, as does the new updated Mk II, has these buried in menus or Fnc buttons and means you have to stop shooting to find the way to make changes. So when I looked at the GH5 for the first time and saw all 3 of these buttons right by the shutter release I was flabbergasted! And the On/Off switch is also right there, meaning a one-hand operation, something else I do not like about the Oly layout and two hands needed to turn it On/Off. But the really important feature I have just learned about is that the GH5 will work with my Nocticron and give me Dual IS! The Noct is already a low light wonder and the added Dual IS could be a big benefit for me.


    Not having owned a Panasonic M4/3 camera before, I am not at all familiar with the Panasonic system, and would like to hear from others on what might be the plus/minuses of using the GH5 for a stills shooter like myself. I have the original version of the 100-300mm f4-5.6 Pany zoom and I believe that will not work in dual IS, but it still will work with the 5 axis body IS? With regards to future lenses, I am looking at the P/L 12mm f1.4 and the upcoming P/L 8-14mm f2.8-4 zoom, to replace my 7-14mm f2.8 Pro Oly. Don’t think either of these have OIS, but at least the aperture rings will work.
     
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  2. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The ergonomics on the GH4 and GH5 are no doubt superb, but I think you might be surprised at how easily accessible those options are on the E-M1 (and E-M1 II). I believe in most of the priority modes you can use one dial for Aperture or Shutter, the other dial for Exposure Compensation, and then you can simply flip the 2x2 switch and have immediate access to WB and ISO on those two dials. Then you can flip it back.

    It's not exactly the same workflow as the button-based approach used on most DSLRs, but it's functionally the same.
     
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  3. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    387
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    Yes, but as mentioned I find the button based approach much better, quicker and easier. The Oly only has 2 dials, so either aperture, ss or EC adjustment is left out of your solution. Regarding the lever, flipping it down does not activate the screen. You must rotate either the front or rear dial and in doing so you have made a change in either WB or ISO from where you were! It is not a well thought out design.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  4. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    FYI I do not use the 2x2 mode on my E-M1. ISO and WB are assigned to dedicated buttons, and the 2x2 switch is assigned to AF/MF toggle.
     
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  5. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    532
    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    The GH5's 6k C-AF performance would have to be on par with the E-M1 II for me to remotely consider it for stills usage.
     
  6. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I've used Panasonic m43 camera extensively, including having owned two GH4's. I now shoot with two E-M1's and an E-M5 II.

    Regarding the buttons for ISO, WB, and EC: Despite not having "dedicated" buttons, I've managed to map the functions to hard buttons on all of my Olympus cameras. A dedicated button for EC is pretty useless on every camera except those that allow the use of EC in manual mode, since in every other mode, one dial can be used to adjust EC.

    Regarding Dual IS, while a neat technology, you talk about using it with your Nocticron, which you said you use almost exclusively for portraiture. This begs the question, how slow of a shutter speed can you reasonably use, and still have your subject remain sharp? While achieving 1 or 2 second handheld exposure is a neat feat, it's pretty useless IMO for portraiture because your subject isn't going to be sharp.

    It sounds like you generally use M43 for portraits and casual snaps, using your D800 for landscape and D500 for sports. If that's truly the case, what good is switching cameras from what you currently have (E-M1 & E-M5 II) going to do for you? It sounds like it's purely for dedicated WB/ISO/EC buttons that are labeled, and the use of Dual IS in a situation that probably has no justification for it (since your subject will have motion blur).

    It's going to be a damn good camera, but I just don't see the benefit of it for someone who already has a D500, D800, E-M1, E-M5 II, and zero desire to shoot video. It just sounds like a gas attack really...
     
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  7. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    852
    Mar 9, 2016
    Jamaica
    if u're purely a stills shooter you might be interested in the G85 instead. Much cheaper than the GH5and it has dedicated ISO and WB buttons on the back:

    upload_2017-1-9_15-18-54.

    It also has the same DualIS 2 system that he GH5 will be coming with but at half the cost, $997 /w a 12-60mm 3.5-5.6 lens. $897 body-only.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Jun 15, 2016
    I would expect some handling issues because EM-1ii doesn´t have 3 Dials (S/A/ISO), but assigning ISO to one of many Fn buttons should be easy enough.
    EM1II has PSAF, 80MP High Res Mode, Higher frame rate, Capture pro mode and maaaaybe i would expect bigger buffer. Opposed to it GH5 offers 6K video, and some extensive capabilities relevant for pro videographers. I heard many reviewers saying that GH5 would eat EM1ii´s lunch, but in my eyes those two are looking like two absolutely different purpose cameras.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  9. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    387
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    Thanks for your reply.

    Does the EC button work in manual with the GH4? I shoot manual a lot.

    Dual IS and low light. I shoot outside mostly and in natural settings. Not having to power up my lighting gear by being able to shoot at 1/20 to maybe 1/4 second would be helpful with lots of the model shoots I do. Professional models have no problem holding a pose longer than kids or family.

    As I recently retired and will be spending 3 to 4 months every year in Thailand and SE Asia (my wife it Thai) I plan on only taking the M4/3 camera overseas due to all the travel weight restrictions. Most likely the (new) 8-18mm P/L f2.8-4 with screw on filters and 12mm f1.4, the 17mm f1.8, 25mm f1.8, the Noct and the 75mm f1.8. This is why I want a new M4/3 camera with dual card slots. Backup as the photo is taken, and not having to carry a 2nd body all the time, just in case. My EM1 is 3 years old and has over 70K clicks. The EM5 MK II I don't care for and has only about 1000 clicks, it will be sold.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  10. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    387
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim

    Thanks, but it's 16MP and single card slot, so no.
     
  11. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    I can't speak to the GH4/5, but I can speak to the G7 their little brother.

    For Stills I'm in aperture priority mode 99.9% of the time, and the ability to customize function buttons and the dials (including direction, I really love this) is incredibly helpful.

    This is how I have my G7 set, and I never Have to take my eye off the EVF.

    Buttons:
    • Fn1 - Set to toggle focus peaking for when I'm using manual focus
    • Fn2 - default (quick menu, for everyhting else you might need acess to)
    • Fn3 - Set to toggle the histogram
    • Fn4 - default (Delete/Cancel)
    • Fn5 - Set to toggle zebra stripping
    • Fn11 - Set to toggle Highlight & Shadow adjustment (the button in the center of the rear dial)
    • ISO - ISO
    • WB - WB
    • Focus mode - Focus mode
    Dials:
    1. Front - aperture
    2. Rear - SS
    3. Front alt. - Highlight adjustment
    4. Rear alt. - Shadow adjustment


    The only thing I believe the GH4/5 doesn't have is the Fn11 button that allows you to switch the dials to their alternate settings.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  12. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    852
    Mar 9, 2016
    Jamaica
    Ohhh , well if you specifically want dual card slots and 20Mb + dedicated iso/wb buttons then u have no choice in M43 except the GH5 or hopefully the upcoming, but still unannounced GX9.
     
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  13. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I think that the GH5 will be a fine stills camera. I have the G85 and have been using it a lot for stills, most with MF. I note that you use manual mode for your portrait work. The front right dial controls aperture and right rear dial controls shutter speed when in manual mode making it easy to change either without moving your hands . The pictures show the controls along with the dedicated ISO & WB buttons. Bildschirmfoto-2017-01-04-um-21.03.09. Bildschirmfoto-2017-01-04-um-21.02.48.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  14. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    387
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    I downloaded these same photos yesterday and that is when I noticed the dedicated buttons for WB-ISO-EC. Like I said, I never had or really paid attention to Pany bodies before. It is a nice top layout, much better than my EM1 for the way I shoot.
     
  15. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    The G85 has dedicated WB & ISO buttons on the back, it is great not having to dive into a menu to make those changes. I really like the way the controls are laid out on the GH5, I can't wait to use it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  16. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Ditto. Works very well.
     
  17. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    I really wish the GH5 had the fn11 button like the G7/80/85. If it did you would almost never need to use the lcd screen or menus.
     
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  18. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    The GH4's EC does NOT work in manual mode. To the best of my knowledge, the GH5 is the first Panasonic camera to have EC work WITH Auto ISO in M mode. So, that is definitely a plus.

    Regarding shutter speeds and portraiture work, with an 85mm eqv. FoV, you would want to be at atleast 1/125 with no IS. 1/30 is only 2 stops of stabilization, and 1/8 is 4 stops. With the 75mm, you could get down to 1/15 with 4 stops. The IBIS in recent Olympus m43 cameras has been excellent. I find that I routinely get 3 stops out of my E-M1, 4 stops out of my E-M5 II, and it's said that you can get 5 stops with the E-M1 II.

    The reason why I mention this is for a couple reasons:
    1. You mention weight while traveling. The GH5 is 725g, while the E-M1 II 574g, a savings of 150g.
    2. With an 85mm lens like the Nocticron, you should easily be able to shoot at 1/8 to 1/4 second with the E-M1, relying only on IBIS.
    3. A benefit of the E-M1 II is its improved hi-res mode. You mention using the D800 for landscapes, and while the E-M1 II may not deliver as well as the D800 every single time, it will certainly do better than the GH5, which is strictly limited to 20MP. I've successfully used the E-M5 II's hi-res mode in instances where I shouldn't have been able to and have been very happy with the results, and it's only the first generation of that technology (it's been vastly improved in the E-M1 II).
    4. With the E-M1 II, you can simply remap the Fn2 button to be ISO, and the Rec button to be WB, basically mimicking the dedicated buttons that you lust for on the GH5.
    5. Since you already own the 40-150 PRO, you may be able to get by in certain instances using the E-M1 II & 40-150 PRO compared to the D500 & 70-200. It's not going to be as good as the D500, in the same way that it won't be as good as the D800 at landscapes, but it's certainly better than original E-M1, and it's better than nothing if you're not going to have you Nikon gear with you due to weight restrictions while traveling.
    I'm not trying to tell you that the GH5 won't be a good camera for you. It's just based on your requirements (which are quite soft IMO), I'd suggest taking a look at the E-M1 II. It may be the perfect hybrid camera for your needs: A casual photography camera like your existing E-M1, a suitable partial replacement for your D800 thanks to the much improved Hi-Res mode, and a suitable partial replacement for your D500 thanks to the much improved PDAF and AF algorithm.

    I'd at least rent the E-M1 II for a week or so and see how you can get along with it, because if you purchase and use a GH5 for only stills, you're really barely scratching the surface of what the camera is capable of achieving, and the E-M1 II may end up being a more appropriate camera for your style and use.
     
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  19. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, if you shoot raw and use either A or M, I really can't see the point in either the WB or the exp comp buttons.
     
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  20. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    Do you never change your WB ever?