The Panasonic GH5 is my dream camera. It's like having a pro level video camera in the palm of your hand. It's almost perfect, but there are just a few strange quirks about this camera that could and should be fixed by Panasonic in the next firmware update.
1. AF Should Work Before Recording in Variable Frame Rate
I understand that the camera may not have enough power to record audio at 180 fps while recording but it certainly should be able to autofocus before pressing record.
2. Show the ISO Number Even When the Camera Is in Auto ISO
Can you imagine setting your camera to P mode or A mode and the camera hiding the shutter speed from you? Even if I'm not choosing a setting manually, I want to know what the camera is choosing for me. The ISO number should be on the screen at all times no matter what mode I am in.
3. Custom Settings Should Be More Customizable
It's very frustrating for your cameras ISO, shutter speed, f-stop, and WB to change every time you turn a knob, change a battery, or turn the camera off. Give us a little more control over what changes and these custom settings will be far more usable.
4. Allow the Back Rotator Knob to Be Used for ISO
This was accidently cut from the video, but this is a big one. It would be super helpful to be able to use the bottom rotator knob on the back of the camera to quickly change ISO. This would allow instant access to shutter speed, f-stop, and ISO without having to hunt for the ISO button.
5. Record Audio in at Least Some Variable Frame Rates
While it may not be able to record audio while it's filming at 180 fps, we do know that the camera can record sound when it's recording 4K at 60 fps. If you go into VFR mode, though, even if your frame rate is lower than 60, the audio will stop recording. It would be extremely helpful to have that audio for at least some frame rates.
6. 48 fps at 4K
If we can't have audio while shooting in VFR mode, at the very least, we need 48 fps native so that we can record audio while shooting 48 fps. This is a very popular frame rate for shooters who export in 24 fps but may want the option to slow the footage down 50 percent.
7. Lower Bitrates
I certainly appreciate the higher bitrates and the incredible video quality with the GH5, but sometimes, when I'm shooting for hours at a time, I'd prefer to have smaller file sizes. If you're shooting stationary subjects, sometimes, high bit rates really aren't as necessary, and lower bit rates are way easier on your computer.
8. The Battery Grip Should Allow Hot Swapping of Batteries
This may be my biggest problem with the GH5 at this time. As it stands right now, if you pull the battery out of the grip (while another battery is in the camera) the camera will still shut off, and if you're recording, the entire clip will be corrupted. If the battery grip becomes loose (which it easily can) and the connection is lost for a split second, the camera will shut down and your footage will be lost. Every other battery grip we have ever used with this configuration allows hot swapping of batteries. Not only is this convenient, it's also a backup in case of power loss. If the battery in the grip dies before the camera thinks it will or if the grip becomes loose, the camera should be able to keep recording with the second internal battery. We lost a 1.5 hour clip last week, because Patrick pulled the grip battery out before it had switched over to the internal battery.
9. Both Battery Levels Should Be on the Screen at All Times
Right now, to figure out how much of a charge the battery in the camera has or if there is a battery in the camera at all, you have to pull the battery out of the grip. When you do this, the camera will shut down and your settings will be lost. And of course, if you do this while you're recording, your file will be corrupted and the entire clip will be lost.
10. Anamorphic Desqueeze Please
I don't have any experience in this field, but I've been told that Panasonic is already working on this fix for a future firmware update.
11. Fix the Stabilization "Sway"
The stabilization on the GH5 is incredible. We are hand-holding more than we ever have before and the footage looks like it's on a stabilizer or gimbal. If you walk forward, however, the footage "sways" from right to left. It's a small quirk that could probably be fixed with a software update.
12. Improve Continuous AF
I've never used AF while recording. I've never trusted a camera enough to have control of focus while I'm actually recording, but some cameras today are actually good enough to rely on. The Canon 80D has unbelievable accuracy when it comes to AF and mini solo filmmakers do rely on this feature. If Panasonic could improve this on the GH5, it would open up this camera to an even larger market.