Which Camera would you choose? Panasonic GH5 good enough?

Hello everyone,

I’ve got this job coming up soon where there will be about 60 minutes of multiple talking heads to camera on green screen. Widest shot will be head to toe. The producer hasn’t got the budget for RED or ARRI and has suggested a Panasonic GH5. The Director wants to shoot it wide in 4k and push in later for the mid and closer shots. I think they at least need to shoot a mid as well.

I haven’t keyed anything from that level of camera before. I’ve mostly been given Sony F series, RED and Arri to deal with
I also don’t have a lot of time to put it together and there will be lots of graphics behind the talent into a virtual set so being able to pull keys quickly is essential.

As we all know we can make it work with whatever junk they throw at us but I don’t want to spend days on the keys.

Do you think the GH5 will be ok? Obviously it’s not just about the camera and the producer is aware of getting a DOP that has worked with green screen.

Thanks for reading

I would recommend ARRI (not a RED fan). You can shoot greater than 4k (GH5 maxes out at 4k) which may be helpful for the type of repos you need to do. The GH5 doesn’t shoot in a raw log format and it’s limited to 10-bit. Neither of those specs are going to help with keying. Even if you have the best camera in the world, the lighting will play a huge role in your ability to pull good keys. Also recommend getting plenty of throw between the talent and the screen to reduce spill. Could need a larger green screen if they are standing/walking around.

No, I wouldn’t recommend that camera for 60 minutes of green screen. That camera, and most cameras at 4k, do not push in well. Those shots that you do push in on will absolutely stand out and look soft.

The GH 5 is also 4:2:2, so, its only sampling every pixel for green but every other pixel for red and blue, meaning, shitty edges.

You will not be able to pull keys like you are accustomed to, and you will not be able to deliver results that you are proud of. If that’s the case, then, seriously, contact the guys at Hotspring and outsource all the roto.


If they insist on the GH5, at least get them to use an external recorder like a Ninja V. They also might be planning on using a speedbooster to use EF lenses, which isn’t necessarily bad but it is an extra layer of glass that can give you nasty flares if they’re not careful.

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Why is this relevant? Does the GH5 have a higher quality video out? 444??

It’s so you can bypass the h264 compression and go straight to prores

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At the very least, it will make media management a lot easier since everything will be recorded as ProRes files that can be easily copied and archived without having to be transcoded. I think you can bring in the regular GH5 files without re-encoding but personally I would feel a lot safer dealing with prores. Also, if there’s going to be an editor between you and the source files, they might end up transcoding the files themselves if they have to go straight from the cards and the camera original files might be lost. Quality-wise there probably isn’t a huge difference but I figure you need as much quality as you can get and it can’t hurt.

Never thought about speed booster causing possible problems like that. I have the original black magic camera and love the speed booster on it.

Speedboosters are cool. I just had a few shots from one (with the first BMCC coincidentally) that had double flares from the lens and the speedbooster. It probably escaped notice because they were looking at the log image.

“You’re either going to pay me to fix the footage or you’re going to rent a more expensive camera”

The camera is the singular point that all money flows through: all of prepro and production goes in, all of post comes out. Nothing else is remotely as important as the camera. If a camera under-performs everyone is fucked. I would imagine it’s not fun to call all the talent back for a reshoot because the push-ins are soft or the keys don’t key.

The GH5 (with the external recorder for prores) is probably okay. A little help from neat video to smooth out the 422 or other compression and your keys will likely be fine. The push-ins will probably be a tad soft, but at a certain point, people are going to spend what they’re going to spend. Charge them by the hour.


I believe if you go out to an external recorder like the Ninja, etc, then there is less processing in the camera.

Using the Ninja recorder on this camera can be summed up by this gif…




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Thank you everyone for your comments. With all of your help it looks like they will upgrade the camera. They are now looking at the Alexa LF.

If that’s going to be the camera should I suggest recording at Prores XQ? I’m also the offline editor on this but don’t want to transcode. I will be cutting it in Flame, maybe in proxy mode.

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4444 should be sufficient.


GH5 with Atomos is now able to shoot in ProResRAW.
Flame is unable to read that, but you can convert those Raws to your desired color space of your choice.

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Nice…but the ProRes RAW comes from a 4:2:2 sensor…

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@randy, What did the GH5 do to you? Did it steal your Big Green Egg?

Anyway, if the GH5 actually recorded ProRes Raw, it would bypass 4:2:2 color subsampling, that happens at the compression stage, which wouldn’t happen with raw video.

I’m pretty sure the GH5 isn’t a ProRes Raw compatible camera. I think Chris was probably thinking about the S series Lumix cameras.

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Wait…where is my Big Green Egg? It’s gone! Oh well, @hBomb42 would make better use of it anyway.

I have a real sore spot when it comes to productions trying to save money by cutting corners on cameras, especially for 60 minute long shows with 60 minutes of green screens. I’ve bid far too many projects over the past 6 months with incredibly smart people making incredibly stupid decisions to save $2,500 on set and then wondering why my bids are double or triple because of those.

It’s a fine camera. I’d love to own one someday. But not for 60 minutes of green screen where some poor Flame Artist sleeps under her desk for a week straight because the clients complain about shitty keys.

When has a client ever looked at a shitty comp and said…nah, that’s okay, it doesn’t look very good but we don’t have much of a budget right now so it’s approved.


Maybe you‘re right. Need to check the cam reports which Panasonic was in use for those PRRaws.

But it’s definitely supported from Atomos.

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