It's definitely tilted towards the needs of the professional user over the casual enthusiast I would say. Features like DR Boost, ProRes internal, and compulsory 4-channel audio (you can't take a stereo track into post as far as I can see), potentially make life better for the dedicated pro, but probably more fiddly for the enthusiastic amateur.
Full V-log curve seems to be a bit of a gimmick as you're not able to stretch the DR past what V Log L would have allowed from what I can calculate (admittedly not my area of expertise). V Log highlight clipping occurs around 88 IRE (compared to 82 for V Log L, and 109 for full V Log range).
That said, as previously mentioned, DR Boost is definitely worthwhile, and gives the crucial little bit of DR I've been crying out for with this series. It doesn't turn the camera into a dreamy DR monster, but it does take the edge off of that burnt-out DSLR look, and seems to help both highlights and shadows. I don't want to oversell it, because it really just adds a touch of latitude rather than a major transformation, but its a very useful addition in my book.
What is also fantastic is full V-Log gamut, which seems to be providing much richer, more natural and accurate colours. I'm really enjoying shooting with it.
I think that if you're not going to be using V Log you've got some problems though. DR looks much reduced, and from looking at online tests it looks like it may be even worse than the GH5! That's not good news really. Is there any point in using Linear DR+ mode when V Log (with DR+ Off) offers greater dynamic range?
I'm really pleased with my camera so far. It's familiar enough that I'm getting some muscle-memory imbedded straight away, but progressive enough that its challenging me in some interesting new ways.
As well as the obvious headline features, one thing that really strikes me is that Panasonic have really sat down and thought about how to make this camera better from top to bottom. Some innovations I really like are:
Improved Custom Modes. You can now save 13 Custom Modes (and crucially give them names that come up on the screen when you turn the dial). That's up from 5 (un-nameable) on the GH5 if memory serves correctly.
Same topic, but you can now choose how the custom modes respond to shutdown/sleep, etc., even to the point of excluding certain values. This is massive because the previous CM system was practically unusable due to the way it kept resetting exposure values 😖.
There's a lock switch, and again, you can dial in exactly what you want it to lock and not to lock. I'm using it just to protect my shutter angle dial. Hallelujah!
You can use 4-channel recording in conjunction with the (separate accessory) XLR input and the minijack socket. You can now (I think) use this setup to patch a safety channel from the XLR, which you annoyingly couldn't do before (despite the availability of the stereo channels).
The exposure tools are improved. There's a nice luminance spot-meter which works well (though they want you to switch your thinking from IRE values to stop values when shooting log, which I'm finding a bit of an adjustment).
The waveform is now bigger and actually useable (though it has no value scale).
The camera is palpably heavier, which is helping me to get steadier footage when going handheld (along with the excellent IBIS of course), but I appreciate this will be a negative factor for some.
You can get a surprising amount of functionality with the old GH5/GH4 batteries. I can't remember the exact limitations, but basically you just can't record in the super-duper modes (5.7K, 800Mbps and above, ProRes, etc.), but everything else works fine. I expected the limitation to be much more than that. I can see certain people just sticking with their existing batteries to be honest. The restrictions are similar (possibly identical) to those between V60 and V90 card recommendations from what I recall.
The battery lock tab (inside the battery enclosure) is now white instead of black so you can easily locate it in the dark. Admittedly this is not a significant feature in any way, shape or form, but I'm really happy to see it because it tells me that somebody has been going over every inch of this camera series and trying to find incremental ways to improve it.
Some things I'm not so keen on -
The whole 2000 ISO or bust thing. It seems to me that if you are going to buy this camera, the top end DR improvement is one of the biggest draws. You will have to develop a new ND strategy to use it freely. To be honest it hasn't been the nightmare I was anticipating. I love the DR Boost mode image output, so I might just adjust my thinking and continue to operate at ISO 2000. It's nice for low-light in any case.
Battery life, which used to be the strength of this series (GH4 💪) is now distinctly meh. But I guess that's just the price you pay for IBIS, Dual Gain sensor, fan, etc.
I've only just started to get to know this camera. I haven't tested any of the high speed modes (look fantastic online!) or photo features (ditto). Overall , I'm really pleased with it. Coming from the GH5S, the improved image quality (I was already happy with the GH5S to be honest) and addition of IBIS is an absolute killer already. It doesn't lag too far behind the GH5S for low-light either, seeming totally useable up to 4000 ISO (VL DR+), which is more than enough for me.