Panasonic NZ kindly loaned me the new GH5 with the even newer Panasonic Leica 8-18 lens for a week so I could give it a whirl specifically for shooting real estate interior style videos. Here’s my thoughts

I did a video not too long ago for my Youtube channel on shooting video with the new Panasonic GH5…and really enjoyed it. I shoot a lot of Real Estate video style of jobs so was keen to try the GH5 again with a wide lens and to see how it went putting it side by side with my trusty old Canon 80D and Tokina 11-16 lens for this style of shooting.

What I was specifically after was to test the

  • Picture quality…
  • Wide angle distortion if any
  • and the handling of the lens for shooting video

A few caveats about my thoughts thou, the supplied demo model of the GH5 unfortunately doesn’t have the Panasonic V-Log picture profile which you have to buy a seperate license for. I would have loved to see how that performed as I recently had the chance to use the Sony Slog format on the A7s.

The new Panasonic Leica lens has a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 16-36mm which is is a nice range, the sweet spot I find for shooting interior video is 18-20mm.

The lens has a aperture value of f2.8 on the wide end to f4 zoomed in.  Its not a deal breaker but I much prefer constant aperture lens for shooting video so that the exposure doesn’t change when you adjust zoom and shot size.

Just as an aside I often find stills photographers reviews of lenses will give you a good starting point as to a lens performance as I am no expert in pixel peeping and this lens has been getting pretty good reviews so far.

The way I find best to test gear is to compare it side by side with equipment I know and use a lot such as my Canon 80D and the Tokina 11-16 f2.8 lens. I also did the side by side comparisons in 1080p video format so I was comparing apples with apples.

Picture Quality
I compared in the video some side by side shots of the GH5 and Leica lens and the Canon 80D and the Tokina lens.  Its quite difficult to see fine differences here on Youtube but the GH5 and Leica lens looked good as I expected it too. There wasn’t a whole lot of difference I could see between the two. I also did some 4k shots in 422 10 bit codec and down-sized it to my 1080 timeline. They looked good but not significantly better mainly because i’m down sizing them.

Also of note there was a noticeable jump in file sizes when shooting in 10 bit 422 mode as too be expected but if you are heavily into colour grading you will definitely be liking having the ability to shoot 10 bit 422 video.

Wide angle distortion 
It was really hard to pick the difference between the Panasonic and Tokina lenses here in the tests I did.  This distortion is most apparent on wide lens when you are not shooting horizontally to the ground when you tilt the camera up or down and starting getting the bendy vertical lines! Both lenses looked very similar to me but you can judge for yourself in these shots. Overall the quality of the Panasonic Leica lens looked great.

Handling 
The Panasonic lens feels nice and is well built but I’m not a big fan of these infinity focus rings and prefer a fixed start and end to the focus ring like on the Tokina lens. Also having a usable zoom range on the Panasonic lens from 16 -36 is quite nice if you are trying to get a more zoomed in look as opposed to the Tokina which can only zoom in to 25mm equivalent which is not that useful.

It was also such a nice autumn day here that I went a did a few more general scenic style shots with the lens and you can see these in the video.

The current price for the lens is US $1097.99 where as the Tokina is US $429 for the Canon mount.

To conclude this setup is a more than capable package for shooting real estate and the zoom range of this lens is great for real estate interior style of video shooting.

If you need 4k recording, high frame rates and log formats then the GH5 and 8-18 lens is definitely a package to consider… Every time I get to use the GH5 I enjoy it more and more.

Thanks for watching, see you in the next video.