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Why IS Lock on the Panasonic GH5 Is so Important

If you don’t quite understand what’s going on under the hood of your Panasonic GH5, then you may miss out on the best situational uses of the built-in image stabilization.

The Panasonic G85’s stabilization was noticeably different than the GH5 when I first had them side by side. I was pretty confused. The G85 would try to keep the image as still as possible, while the GH5 would allow for smooth motion with movement too. What was happening could be changed in the settings, thanks to Panasonic’s 2.1 firmware update for the GH5. This ought to be common knowledge for anybody using the camera system, but just last week, I was explaining it to a friend.

With IS Lock enabled, it’s difficult to get a smooth pan. As you turn the camera, the IS will try to keep the sensor where it was. The result is pretty jarring and stuttered. So far as I can recall, previous iterations of this system would detect the pan eventually and stop the sensor from sticking.

What I’ve been doing, just like in this video, is mapping the IS Lock setting to a function button on the camera. This means that I can quickly switch between shooting styles and it works wonderfully with a small shoulder rig pressed against my chest. Considering how much difference this mode makes, I think it’s important to have quick access to turn it on and off.

I also tend to keep the E-Stabilizer turned off. Much like warp stabilization in post, the camera can get confused between a subject moving in your frame, and the field of view moving. That’s where a jello effect is introduced and it’s a real pain to try to counter it in post-production.

I hope this short video helps people understand how the IBIS system is working to keep your shot looking smooth. Perhaps it will show people familiar with this system how handy it is to keep it mapped to a function button.

Stephen Kampff's picture

Working in broadcasting and digital media, Stephen Kampff brings key advice to shoots and works hard to stay on top of what's going to be important to the industry.

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1 Comment

ROCK ON!!! Thanks for sharing this tip. The GH5 gets more amazing all the time.