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newfoundmass

The GH5's auto focus is underrated

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Hear me out:

It's not GREAT. But I'm tired of hearing the same claims that Panasonic's auto focus (specifically the GH5) is "awful." Here is a two minute clip from a pro wrestling event I shot last night. I used the Panasonic 12-35mm with one area auto focus. Lighting is terrible in that venue, so please forgive that. I chose this to share because there's a lot of movement and action going on, and as you can see the auto focus does a pretty good job.

I just figured I would share this to show what the GH5 is capable of in a real world, practical situation.

 

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Thanks for the purpose notice : )

In a different note, these domestic shows where normal people go dressed with those funny clothes to perform that sorta anti-clown stuff seem to my Southern European background eyes something of a distinct world indeed... LOL : -)

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Well in my experience with GH5 its not Sony or Canon level of autofocus but! If u dont jump infront of lens like twat it should work perfect i hate seen people comparing Sony to Pana autofocus on youtube they dont talk about 8bit 100mb codec or lack anamorphic  features or waveform scopes or real Cinema 24p mode 

Sorry for rage comments people i truly got nothing against other brands.

This was shot with GH5 autofocus 10bit internal using waveform and one tiny lens 

 

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I was talking to a friend yesterday as I went through footage and he was so surprised that I shot with the GH5 using AF. "The auto focus is terrible though!" People at this point just repeat it because they've seen videos where people play peekaboo to show how "bad" it is. Would it be cool if Panasonic could match Canon or Sony? Of course! Is it awful though? Far from it! 

I just hope that maybe this post went a little ways in dispelling this myth, especially as the GH5 can be had both new and used for such little money. What a truly magnificent camera! :)

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10 hours ago, Emanuel said:

Thanks for the purpose notice : )

In a different note, these domestic shows where normal people go dressed with those funny clothes to perform that sorta anti-clown stuff seem to my Southern European background eyes something of a distinct world indeed... LOL : -)

If you're ever interested I know of places in Southern Europe where you can see this! Might be an interesting documentary subject!

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2 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

If you're ever interested I know of places in Southern Europe where you can see this! Might be an interesting documentary subject!

My guess goes to Czech Republic, Czechs are crazy people

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1 hour ago, Emanuel said:

Why not? Where are they? Are you somehow involved in the business?

Over there? Not directly, though my good friends have started up wrestling organizations in Italy and Portugal! They are building professional wrestling in those countries from the ground up! :)

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I would say the G9 and GH5S autofocus is even more competent. At 60p I think it competes with pre-eye tracking Sony hybrid AF. The A7iii shares some of the pulsing of DfD since it uses contrast AF for the “last millimeter” so to speak. So there is that jitter.

S1H has improved things a lot. In certain situations, if the light source is broad (like a window, doorway, bright street light) even the DfD pulsing effect is extremely well controlled on the S1H.

The bane of DfD of course is Christmas or fairy lights with all those tiny sources of light.

Maybe some hope for future DfD cameras.

In my experience GH5S/G9 autofocus is perfectly useable for gimbal/steadycam work where It’s pretty much essential.

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I just pulled it out and did some quick testing in my room an nope, not going to cut if for me.  It's just not smooth enough for my purposes.

It's not awful in the sense that it can autofocus, but for my usage it's basically unusable footage since it's a bit jerky and pulses.  If you're just doing vlogs and don't care, then it's fine, but I would hate to hand off anything to my client that has the classic AF stutter.  Can it focus, sure, can it do it smoothly, sure, just not most of the time...

Your shot was relatively wide, with what I'm assuming is an f2.8 lens, which translates to F4 at FF equiv, and no shallow depth of field, so not very challenging.  

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1 hour ago, scotchtape said:

I just pulled it out and did some quick testing in my room an nope, not going to cut if for me.  It's just not smooth enough for my purposes.

It's not awful in the sense that it can autofocus, but for my usage it's basically unusable footage since it's a bit jerky and pulses.  If you're just doing vlogs and don't care, then it's fine, but I would hate to hand off anything to my client that has the classic AF stutter.  Can it focus, sure, can it do it smoothly, sure, just not most of the time...

Your shot was relatively wide, with what I'm assuming is an f2.8 lens, which translates to F4 at FF equiv, and no shallow depth of field, so not very challenging.  

Wide or not, I zoomed in multiple times, focused on six different individuals at different points in the clip, in poor lighting and it handled it perfectly.

I've gotten virtually the same performance when using the 25mm f1.7 and the 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6.

 

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1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Yeah the part where it fails is usually longer lens shots where you have a shallow DOF or backlit low lit situations. 

Yes id like to see how it holds up with a longer lens shooting fast action sports. 

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2 hours ago, Mako Sports said:

Yes id like to see how it holds up with a longer lens shooting fast action sports. 

I had the GH5 after the firmware update and it wasn't doing it for me. Definitely not bad but the XT3 is definitely superior, though even that isn't where I'd like it to be.

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On 10/7/2019 at 11:26 AM, newfoundmass said:

It's not GREAT. But I'm tired of hearing the same claims that Panasonic's auto focus (specifically the GH5) is "awful." Here


I agree. The AF is very underrated
Probably because AF is the only minor area left to criticize about the GH5/GH5S! There is nothing else left?

 

On 10/7/2019 at 11:26 AM, newfoundmass said:

I just figured I would share this to show what the GH5 is capable of in a real world, practical situation.

Love the realism of the acting!
 

On 10/7/2019 at 7:15 PM, Vision said:

Well in my experience with GH5 its not Sony or Canon level of autofocus but! If u dont jump infront of lens like twat it should work perfect i hate seen people comparing Sony to Pana autofocus on youtube they dont talk about 8bit 100mb codec or lack anamorphic  features or waveform scopes or real Cinema 24p mode 


I agree, people go hard in acting Panasonic's AF but gives all the other brands a free pass it seems on the many features they miss out on vs GH5

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Another problem of DFD af is that it works only with specific lenses, there are even discussions on what lenses you should buy to use it more succesfully. All adapted lenses will never work to any passable degree. 

And yes, it is still not reliable, it misses shots, it doesnt focus when you need it and etc etc. Its bad, cos you can miss a shot. I dont want to fuck up my shot cos of bad af implementation. I really hope Pany does PDAF in GH6 finally. I dont see any reasons why they refused to do it all this time before. 

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The GH5 is not able to compete with Sony and Canon, especially when it comes to adapted lenses. But the narrative that it's awful or unusable just isn't true. Most of the tests you'll see are static shots on a tripod and don't play to the GH5's auto focus strengths.

For instance, the GH5's strongest auto focus setting for handheld video is single area. As you see in the beginning of the video, when I move to get the shot of the wrestlers on the outside, it focuses pretty quickly and nails focus. That's the result you can expect going with single area. 

For the G85, when on a tripod for non static shots, the ideal setting for wrestling is 49 area. Single area doesn't work as well because there is much more going on in the frame, so you don't want just that single area to be in focus. 

It's all about learning how the AF works and working with it's strong points. Unfortunately it's strong points isn't when it's on a tripod with people popping up in and out of frame.

I will look for footage I shot on the 14-140mm zoomed in and see if it's something I can share. I do know though that the results are comparable. 

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