Panasonic GH5 Performance

Timing and Performance

Good to excellent performance for a mirrorless ILC.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.0 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.7 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time was a little faster-than-average for a mirrorless camera, and switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was fairly quick.

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode

0.129 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Full Autofocus
Single-area AF mode
Flash enabled


Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. Auto Flash enabled. (No built-in or bundled flash.)

Manual Focus

0.069 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".


0.060 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Panasonic GH5's autofocus speed was quite good our tests, especially for a camera that uses contrast detection only, though a lot of mirrorless cameras test faster these days, especially those with hybrid AF (a combination of phase and contrast detection). In the lab, the GH5 produced a full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) of 0.129 second using 1-area (center) AF with the Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens. Interestingly, our standard lens for testing Micro Four Thirds camera timing, the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 M.Zuiko which is one of the faster m4/3 lenses we've tested in terms of autofocus confirmation, was considerably slower on the GH5 at 0.228 second. We also tested AF lag with a Panasonic Lumix G 30mm f/2.8 Macro lens to make sure it wasn't a brand compatibility issue given Panasonic's unique DFD focusing, however it was even slower with a full AF shutter lag of 0.270s. So it appears there is significant variation depending on the lens used, more than we're used to seeing.

When manually focused, the GH5's lag time dropped to 0.069 second, which is very good. The GH5's prefocused shutter lag time was 0.060 second, also quite fast. We noticed some variation depending on the lens used with these numbers as well, but not nearly as much as with full AF lag.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.

Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.33 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode

0.42 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depths in single-shot mode).

Early shutter


Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H
Large Fine JPEG

0.08 second
(11.89 fps);
600+ frames;
20 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 600+ frames (essentially limited only by card capacity).

Continuous H

0.08 second
(11.90 fps);
65 frames total;
15 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 65 frames, then slows to an average of 0.37s or 2.71 fps with a lot of variation.

Continuous H

0.08 second
(11.90 fps);
63 frames total;
28 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 63 frames, then slows to an average of about 0.42s or 2.37 fps with a lot of variation.

Flash Recycling


No built-in or bundled flash.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II SDXC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were quite fast at 0.33 second for best quality JPEGs and 0.42 second for RAW+JPEG. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG.)

The Continuous High Speed "H" mode burst rate was excellent at 11.9 frames per second no matter the file type, just shy of Panasonic's 12 fps spec. We did however notice the max frame rate appears to be very sensitive to the lens used, even when shooting at max aperture. The above results were obtained with the Panasonic Lumix G 30mm f/2.8 Macro, however when we tried the same tests with a Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7, the frame rate dropped to 8.1 fps and with the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 it dropped to only 6.2 fps. We have reached out to Panasonic to see if this is a known issue and if there is a workaround or fix in the works, but haven't heard back yet.

Full-resolution buffer depth was essentially limited only by card capacity when shooting Large/Fine JPEGs (Panasonic claims over 600 frames and we've confirmed that). When shooting RAW files, buffer depth was a very generous 65 frames, falling only slightly to 63 frames when shooting RAW+JPEG files.

Buffer clearing was a little slow with a very fast 2000x UHS-II card, ranging from 20 seconds after a long burst of JPEGs to 28 seconds after a 63-frame burst of RAW+JPEG files. You can however take additional photos and adjust settings while the buffer is clearing.

Bottom line, the Panasonic GH5's performance is generally quite good to excellent for its class. Startup and mode switching are reasonably fast, while autofocus speed and shutter lag are very good though not class-leading. Burst performance is excellent, as are buffer depths, however buffer clearing can be sluggish despite UHS-II card support.

Battery Life

Good battery life for a mirrorless ILC.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture, CIPA standard
(Monitor / EVF with H-FS12060 lens)
410 / 400 shots
Video Capture, CIPA standard
(Monitor / EVF with H-FS12060 lens)
205 / 200 mins

The Panasonic GH5 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and dedicated battery charger. The CIPA-rated 410 shots per charge when using the LCD monitor and 400 shots with the EVF are above average for a mirrorless ILC (but keep in mind there no built-in flash with is normally fired for 50% of shots for CIPA testing), however battery life is much lower than a typical DSLR when using an optical viewfinder. The GH5 does however have a Power Save LVF mode which can increase battery life to a whopping 1,000 shots. Still, we recommend getting a second battery for your GH5 if you plan any extended outings, and consider purchasing the optional DMW-BGGH5 battery grip which can double battery life with a second battery.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))


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