Written by Robert Bouchardt
Most of us Panasonic GH5 shooters out there bought our GH5 knowing that the camera can be slow when it comes to autofocus. However - on February the 4th 2018 the world changed! Youtube content creator YodaYeo published a video on his channel claiming to have found a very simple fix for the Panasonic GH5’s less than stellar video auto focusing. If you’re like me you would be very skeptical. I have lost count of the amount of videos I’ve clicked on from creators claiming to have a fix for this problem, so was interested to watch YodaYeo's video online.
After watching Yodayeo’s video I was, let's say, intrigued... but still a bit skeptical. Having a GH5 handy inour Arthur Street showroom at Newstead, I went straight to testing the claimed fix.
Spoilers.. It works! (Well, it works in 25p and 50p only.)
Step 1 - We first have to switch the camera into video mode to have access to the video settings.
Step 2 - Open settings menu. Go into the first page in the settings for manual video settings and we need to change the ss/gain operation options.
Step 3 - You want to change that option to angle/ISO.
Step 4 - After that you’ll want to turn it onto “synchro scan” and you’re nearly ready to go!
Step 5 - Now when you return to the shooting screen you will see 180d instead of where the shutter speed used to be. Set the shutter angle to 179d and bang! Now you have much faster autofocus!
Here is a quick test I have done in store to show the difference that 1 degree of shutter angle makes. This was shot on the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 prime lens and with single point zone AF. Autofocus sensitivity was on +2 and speed on +5.
You can play around with these settings to dial in the look you want to get for what you’re shooting requires.
Now you have this fast autofocus you’re probably left with a lot of questions like: Why does this work? How does it work?
Long story short, by reducing the camera's shutter angle below 180d you give the camera more time to run a complete second autofocus scan of the image that the camera is seeing and therefore speeding up the autofocus.
For a full explanation see Yodayeo’s video here.
I was shocked when I found out that changing that tiny little setting in the camera improved my GH5’s autofocus to the point where I could actually start using it for vlogging - It really has blown me away!
Is it perfect yet? The short answer is no.
Due to the depth by de-focus system the GH5 has you will still run into a changing exposure when the camera focuses. If you’re wanting to use the GH5 on a gimbal with autofocus on for a professional job, I would say to keep an eye on the focus to check it's working how you want it to. However, for vlogging, Youtube hobbyist videos and even behind the scenes shooting, this will still be a useful feature to start using.
So we have an awesome performance bump on our GH5... The only question I still have is, why are we just finding out about this now?
Come in store to get a demo of this new autofocus fix in action on our Panasonic GH5, and test it out for yourself.
Do you have a GH5? If you do, and you've tried this - let us know in the comments! We're keen to hear what you think.