Panasonic GH5 Touts 6K Anamorphic Video Recording in New Firmware Update

Close up of the GH5 showing the LUMIX GH5 branding


What's the Problem

artsmith's picture

I have shot exclusively in Widescreen formats since the mid 1970's, when an 'anamorphic' was an auxiliary lens, not just another piece of throw-away terminology. I am also, of around a week's duration, the owner of a Panasonic GH-5, of which, in view of the level of expenditure for a retiree, I heavily researched, before splashing-out. I have yet to avail myself of any firmware updates, but they will be installed as and when they become available. For years I shot widescreen using a small Sony camcorder which used DV-tape and offered 'widescreen' as an option. That was shot using the full width of the sensor, and processed/compressed within the camcorder to fit the normal 4:3 aspect ratio. I have no doubt that many other camcorder users will have done the same. The 'squished-in' pixels made no difference to the outcomes as far as could be seen in the 720 x 576 'standard' format, and editing was no more complicated in 'Video Pro-X', than setting the raster at 16:9 instead of 4:3. So, could someone please point out to me what exactly is the problem. Is it not the results which count?

I had also been so keen to get on with it that I had shot in a 4:3 aspect ratio a day trip to a prime scenic spot on the South Otago (New Zealand) coastline. I had not worked out at that time how to set the 16:9 option on a new camcorder before shooting. I loathed the results (in 4:3), of such a prime opportunity wasted, and so cropped my shots to 16:9 top and bottom and using 'Virtualdub', re-sized the results to 16:9 aspect ratio. Again no problem. Plus, there was little deterioration in quality and the shots fitted in well with material I had taken after working out how to invoke the 16:9 aspect ratio in the camera. It may be that here in 'The Boonies' we have to be a lot more self sufficient and prepared to do things for ourselves. The 'anamorphic' feature in the GH-5 is something I will likely never use, but I will appreciate it's being there as an 'option'. So forgive me, if I fail to see what the problem is.

Just as an indication of how much 'flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants', the conversion process 4:3 to 16:9 had been. At a nearby fishing-spot, someone had launched a boat from a trailer towed by a farm tractor. A dead 'side-on' shot of the large tractor-tyres, as it had passed me, had provided all the references I needed to get the appearance of my ersatz 'widescreen' into the right shape. I simply, experimentally adjusted the shot widths in 'Virtualdub' until the tractor tyres, taken at mid-distance were perfectly 'round', then used the settings I had arrived at to adjust all the other shots likewise. Worked like a charm.