Nostalgia and the GH5 Naysayers

A small but vocal minority in the video forums, which has been going on about the decided shortage of decent videos online shot with the Lumix GH5, is now pining for the good ole days of the GH2, when apparently everybody and their grandmother were shooting masterpieces with Panasonic’s groundbreaking camera. Others are joining in, either saying they’ll never part with their beloved GH2 (sob, sob!), or, if they don’t already own one, that they fully intend to search on eBay. wtf?

All of this is merely misplaced nostalgia. I could argue that there were more legendary conductors in the recording studio in the heyday of the gramophone than nowadays, but I wouldn’t prefer Edison’s cylinders to today’s CD or MP3 players. And using recording methods in vogue in the early 1900s isn’t going to yield superior results to those obtained employing modern technology. In other words, you can go ahead and purchase a GH2, but your films won’t be any better – any more than your films will suddenly be Oscar-worthy by switching over to a GH5 from a GH4.

Whether we’re talking image quality or convenience, there is little to no reason to prefer the GH2 over the GH5 or, if cost is a factor, even the G85 or GX85 for that matter. The GH3 was already a marked improvement in just about every category when compared to the GH2 except for physical size. No reason to stop there either – practically any other camera released last year by Sony, Fuji, Olympus, or whomever would be a better investment than the GH2. In fact, it was Andrew Reid’s review over at EOSHD that convinced me to purchase a GH3 over the GH2 when I moved on from a camcorder to mirrorless. A very incomplete list of the advantages of the GH5 over the GH2 (and this does not even include dramatically improved color science, higher bit rates and on and on): the GH5 has focus peaking (oh, how I regretted the lack of focus peaking on my GH3!) a tilt-swivel screen, IBIS (impossible to shoot my GH3 handheld without some sort of rig; I can only imagine the same goes for the GH2), 4K, touchscreen (much easier to navigate menus, tap to focus), built-in wifi, better color depth, higher effective ISO, greater dynamic range, build quality, longer battery life, external mic jack, higher res screen, no AA filter, dual SD card slots, full sized HDMI, and on and on.

If people aren’t creating YouTube masterpieces with the GH5, shame on them! Perhaps these complaints aren’t entirely unfounded – maybe there were more cool short films being made from 2011- 2012 than today – I’ve got no way of verifying that – but there very well may have been historical reasons for it. To desire a GH2 today because rad films were made with it nearly a decade ago is like wanting a word processor instead of a computer (apologies for the poor analogy!)

I’m not sure where all this blind hatred for the GH5 is coming from, especially from those who’ve never even handled one – I usually refrain from meddling in Blackmagic, Canon, Sony or Olympus forums – for the simple reason that I’ve never shot with them! For sure, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but not all opinions are equally valid. And when I say valid, I mean having the facts to back up those opinions. One type of opinion I dismiss outright is the one that goes Panasonic will never be any good unless they employ a full frame sensor (fwiw, the 4/3″ sensor is supposed to be ideal for anamorphic afaik). As for the rest, no body of work to show, little credibility, as far as I’m concerned.

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