Will this camera be the nail in the coffin for traditional, flapping mirrored DSLRs? Well, maybe not this camera alone but a combination of cameras like this and the Olympus EM1.2, along with better and better cellphone cameras. Why? Because cameras like the GH5 offer a much, much better value proposition at a competitive price.
What!? Well, we can start with professional video capabilities. The GH5 blows away anything consumer Nikon and Canon cameras bring to the table, along with usability features to make shooting video comfortable and convenient. Seems that Panasonic followed a trend pioneered by Samsung in that they are speeding up image processing with faster, state of the art microprocessors that make tossing around the imaging information quicker and more detailed. It's almost like Panasonic dropped a 500 HP, turbo-charged motor into a Civic body (with better suspension) while companies like Canon and Nikon (especially) are dropping Fiat motors into one ton pick-up trucks.
With their latest product introduction Panasonic's new camera goes toe-to-toe with Nikon's D500 in terms of focusing speed, lock-on and frame rates but doesn't then drop the ball by making the 4K video lame and under spec'd. They do it all with good battery life and a convenient size and weight.
If you look back at all the good photography and video work people have done with the GH4 and then look at the specs for the new GH5 you'll see that it's the current, ultimate hybrid imaging camera of the moment.
There's a lot to like about the GH5. It's a robust camera body combined with video features that few cameras at any budget can match. I'm looking forward to the first firmware update which is rumored to allow 4K imaging at 60 fps in 10 bit, 4:2:2.
Will I run from Sony to embrace the Panasonic wundercam? Naw. Not till I've watched my friends work with the ones they are sure to buy. Truth is that I'm enamored of the Sonys because I now feel that I totally understand them. How to use them. How to process the files and what to feed the imaging chain in order to get the results I crave. Part of my investment is my investment in the learning curve of mastery. That has to be a consideration now in any upgrade.
But that doesn't obviate or negate my contention that faster processors, mirrorless designs, and EVFs are fast eroding the market for traditional cameras in the hands and minds of enthusiast and pros. Kodak showed us that having huge, dominant marketshare is not defense against a sudden disruption in the marketplace. 2010 represented the bleeding edge for the trend of moving to mirrorless but we are quickly coming to the fat spot in the curve. Hold on to your hats because we're about to accelerate the transition.
Could this be the year that both Nikon and Canon capitulate and start killing their own products in order to make their transition to products that people will really want?
The GH5 is a well thought out camera. It's not a consumer photography camera. It's a professional visual content creator camera that is first a competent video camera and secondly a competent still camera. It will sell because thats where the market is moving.