The Panasonic GH4 is a powerful camera that can take 16 megapixel still shots and even record 4K video. However, it has recently been succeeded by the Panasonic GH5. We will compare the two models to find out what the main differences are. We will then let you known if we think that the GH5 is worth its greater price tag or is simply overhyped.

Throughout this article, we will compare each device across a range of categories. We award points for clear winners of each section. At the end will tally up these scores and let you know the overall winner. We will also discuss which camera is the best purchase depending on your budget.

Megapixels

The more megapixels available, the higher the image quality. The GH4 has a 16-megapixel sensor while the GH5 has a 20-megapixel sensor. This makes the GH5 the clear winner.

+1 for the GH5

ISO Range

ISO is a setting that determines light sensitivity. The higher the setting, the brighter the photo will turn out, and vice versa. If you’re shooting on a sunny day, then a low ISO setting is recommended. At night a higher setting is better.

Each camera has the same ISO range from 200-25,600, so no differences in this category.

Sensor Size

Both cameras have the same 17.3 x 13 mm CMOS sensor. This gives users of either camera the same level of control over an image’s depth of field.

Autofocusing

The more AF (autofocus) points that a camera has, the more effective it is at honing in on a subject. Now there is a major difference in each cameras’ autofocus performance. The GH4 has 49 AF points while the GH5 has 225 AF points. The GH5’s autofocus system also functions noticeably faster than the GH4’s.

Both cameras feature AF facial recognition.

+1 for the GH5

Burst Mode

If you’re going to be taking a lot of action and sports photography, then you may want a camera with a powerful burst mode. This setting will allow you to take many photos in rapid succession. Fortunately, both cameras excel in this category. They can both shoot up to 12 photos per second when operating in burst mode.

Lens Mount

Both cameras have the same Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lens mount. This mount has approximately 92 lenses available.

When purchasing additional lenses for either camera, you have two main options. You can get them included in a bundle deal on Amazon, or you can purchase them separately. We will discuss these options further in the price section.

Video Quality

The GH4 can record 4K footage at 30fps. The GH5 takes this a step further with the ability to record 4K at 50fps and 60fps.

The GH5 can also record 6K video. However, this is “limited” 6K. The resolution is in fact 4,992 x 3,774 pixels, which is more like 5K than 6K. Regardless it is still incredibly high-quality footage.

Remember, to play and edit this ultra-high definition footage you will need a powerful computer. You will also need a few spare hard drives for storage: 4K and 6K footage is incredibly large.

You should also be aware that both cameras can record slow-motion video.

+1 for the GH5

Viewfinder

The GH5 has a 55% higher resolution viewfinder that the GH4. This resolution is 3680k dots compared to 2359k dots.

+1 for the GH5

Screen

The GH4 has a 3” LCD screen with a resolution of 1.036k dots. The GH5 has a 3.2” LCD screen with a resolution of 1.620k dots.

Both cameras have articulating touchscreens. This articulation gives users greater flexibility when selecting their shooting position.

+1 for the GH5

Portability

The GH4 weighs in at 560g and has dimensions of 133 x 93 x 84 mm. The GH5 brings the scales to 725g and has dimensions of 139 x 98 x 87 mm. It is clear that the GH4 is lighter and smaller. If portability is an important factor for you, then it is the better option.

+1 for the GH4

Battery Life

The GH4 can take approximately 530 shots on a single charge while the GH5 can only take around 410. This is a difference of 120 shots.

+1 for the GH4

SD Card Slots

The GH4 only has a single SD card slot while the GH5 has two. Dual slots give the GH5 more storage flexibility.

+1 for the GH5

Bluetooth

The GH5 has built-in Bluetooth for pairing with a smartphone and other functions. The GH4 misses out on this feature.

+1 for the GH5

Image Stabilisation

The GH5 has image stabilization technology. This feature works with the camera’s Micro Four Thirds mount to help stabilize lenses and reduce image distortion. While the effects of image stabilization typically aren’t apparent at high shutter speeds, low shutter speeds can cause camera shake. If you do regularly take photos using low shutter speeds, then you will benefit from this technology.

Unfortunately, the GH4 does not incorporate image stabilization.

+1 for the GH5

Price

A new, standalone GH4 costs around $1,000 on Amazon. A bundle deal with a lens, filter kit, and other accessories costs around $1,200.

A new, standalone GH5 costs around $1,800 on Amazon. A bundle deal that includes two lenses, an SD card, a carry case, and other accessories costs around $2,500 on Amazon.

You can also buy lens individually for both cameras, from about $200 to $500 each.

It’s clear that the GH4 is the more affordable model.

+1 for the GH4

Further Common Strengths

There are more advantages that each camera has in common.

  • Both models incorporate focus This feature highlights objects that are in focus.
  • Both models have built-in Wi-Fi. This feature makes it easy to backup and share photos
  • Both models provide an external microphone jack, which makes it easy to record high-quality audio.
  • Both models provide a headphone jack for monitoring audio quality when recording
  • Both models provide bulb shutter for capturing extra-long exposures.
  • Both models feature HDMI-out so that photographers can view their footage on an external screen.

Further Common Weaknesses

Each camera also has some letdowns in common.

  • Neither model has built-in GPS.
  • Neither model allows users to take panoramic shots.

Total Scores

You can see the final scores below.

Panasonic GH4: 3

  • Battery Life
  • Portability
  • Price

Panasonic GH5: 8

  • Megapixels
  • Autofocusing
  • Video Quality
  • Viewfinder Resolution
  • Screen
  • Dual SD Card Slots
  • Bluetooth
  • Image Stabilization

The table below can also help you comprehensively compare each model.

Panasonic GH4Panasonic GH5
Photography:
Megapixels1620
ISO Range200-25,600200-25,600
Sensor Size17.3 x 13 mm17.3 x 13 mm
AF Points49225
Burst Mode12fps12fps
Focus PeakingYesYes
Panoramic ShotsNoNo
Lens MountPanasonic Micro Four ThirdsPanasonic Micro Four Thirds
Built-in FlashYesNo
Video:
Frame Rate4K at 30fps4K at 60fps (can also record 6K video)
Slow Motion VideoYesYes
Microphone JackYesYes
Headphone JackYesYes
Build:
Weight560g725g
Dimensions133 x 93 x 84mm139 x 98 x 87mm
Screen:
Size3”3.2”
ArticulatingYesYes
TouchscreenYesYes
Resolution1.036k dots1.620k dots
Other Features:
Wi-FiYesYes
HDMI OutYesYes
Blub ShutterYesYes
Image StabilizationNoNo
BluetoothNoYes
GPSNoNo
Dual SD Card SlotsNoYes
Approximate Amazon Price:
Standalone$1,000$1,800
Bundle Deal$1,200$2,500

Which Camera Should You Buy?

The Panasonic GH5 is the superior machine. It has more megapixels, better autofocus, a higher resolution screen, image stabilization, and a range other features. Most notably it can record 4K video at 60fps and can even record 6K. If you’re after the ultimate device for both snapping photos and recording video footage, it’s hard to beat the Panasonic GH5.

Of course, all these benefits don’t come cheap. The Panasonic GH5 costs around $800 more than its predecessor. Its hefty price tag reflects what the camera is: a powerful device for semi-professional and professional photographers. If you consider yourself a more casual camera user, then you may want to avoid this high cost.

You will need to consider your budget before making a decision. If you simply want a strong all-around camera for an affordable price, then you may want to get the Panasonic GH4 instead. You won’t be able to record the same level of video footage, and you will be missing out on a range of other features. However, the early model is still a powerful device.