Last week I took a look at how the GH5’s autofocus system copes with a moving subject in 6K Photo mode and this week I’ve been shooting with it in regular stills mode for our Panasonic GH5 Autofocus test.
It’s clear that the GH5 can focus quickly, but the autofocus mode that you choose has a significant impact, especially with moving subjects. For instance, Tracking AF mode can be extremely useful, enabling you to keep a moving subject in focus as it moves around the scene as well as away from or towards the camera. However, it struggles to cope with subjects that move quickly. I found it could keep a puppy in focus as it wandered around slowly, even when there’s quiet a complex background, but when he turns to run towards the camera, it fails to track him.
In 225-Area AF mode the camera is too easily distracted by other objects in the frame and it’s best to narrow down the target area. I found using Custom Multi Area AF or 1-Area AF mode the best option.
Panasonic GH5 Autofocus test: AF Custom Settings
In continuous autofocus mode (AFC on the GH5) there are four AF Custom Settings available. Switching from Set 1, the basic option for general photography, and Set 4 which is designed for use with subjects that make quick random movements, improved my hit rate when shooting a 10 week old puppy as he ran towards the camera.
A puppy may not be the fastest subject in the world, but at close proximity the relative change of subject distance is significant when he runs towards the camera. Keeping the active AF point over him, even when it’s quite large is quite tricky, but even when it is over him, the camera doesn’t always render him sharp.
Interestingly, checking some of the ‘near-miss images reveals that the focus is occasionally just ahead of the pup.
I’ve created a gallery of images from the testing. You can download and check full resolution images by visiting our Panasonic GH5 AF Test Album. All the images are direct from the camera, many would benefit from a crop to improve composition. They were shot in shutter priority mode with a fast shutter speed to freeze the movement. I’ll be adding more images over the next few days.