If you were able to buy a 2017 motor car from a dealer right now - a car that had been introduced that year but was sitting - unused- on the dealer's floor today - would you do it? WHAT IF IT WAS A GREAT CAR?
That's not as foolish a question as I could ask ( Stick with me - I've got sillier ones. ), but it does come to mind looking at today's featured camera. Like it or not, a new model of the Panasonic Lumix GH5 - a Mark II
- is shortly due. It's been announced by CE management complete with the opportunity to pre-order. Which leaves the GH5 in an invidious position; who is it going to appeal to?
The same people to whom it appealed these last five years. All-round photographers.
I'm the last person to be writing for them - I'm not well-rounded. I slump to one side and veer off whenever they loosen the shackles. But I recognise that there are people who wish to be equally proficient with video work as with still shots, and who want to do it with the same camera. Who want to do it with a great deal of convenience. People who have gone through their digital adolescence and have arrived at a point in their shooting life when they know what they need to hand and what can be left alone. Not quite cynics, but tending that way...
Actually, they might just be perfect for the GH5 right now. If they can get it at a decent price they may not want to worry about the increased vlogging performance mooted with the Mark II model. If they are not the sort of person who worries about having the newest buggy whip on the block, they may do very well for themselves.
The camera is a small sensor model - micro 4/3. It has a mount that will accept any of dozens of suitable Panasonic and other lenses - I cannot imagine that there is not a focal length nor an aperture combination that is not available somewhere. I know from personal experience that the native Panasonic lenses and this sensor produce superb results.
The user will have a full hand full of controls under the RHS rule - including the invaluable joystick. The designers at Panasonic have put controls that need to be discrete in discrete positions with modest buttons - for the bigger functions the dials, buttons, and levers are robust. Thank goodness for that - there was a time when this basic ergonomic truth was denied by the people with the styling pencils. No names, no pack drill, but there were cameras that had railway signal levers to adjust the least important function and whisper-pads for the heavy stuff. There are cameras for sale today that are built for the sort of fingers you see on Roswell aliens.
Rejoice in the LCD articulation if you are taking self-videos. You'll see how you look, though chances are it won't be with the eye of philosophy. Vlogging tends to make stars of us in our own galaxy. And remember that nothing on the net ever truly disappears...you be aghast at how you looked for decades to come.
However, remember that you can take superb stills with this camera as well - particularly if you select an all-rounder lens like the G-Vario 12mm - 60 mm you see in the heading image. That's 24mm - 120mm in old money and plenty of reportage cameras have served for years never shifting from this one focal length range.
Look, wait a little while. See the new GH5 MarkII
when the shop shows it. Compare it and this GH5 for price, features, and your actual needs. But don't wait too long or you might miss out on a bargain.