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The Best Autofocus Settings on a Panasonic GH5 Explained

The Best GH5 Auto Focus Settings

The Best Autofocus Settings on a Panasonic GH5 Explained

The GH5 autofocus is a topic of great contention.  In this guide, I will show you the best way to get reliable results using the autofocus on the GH5 with firmware 2.4.  This tutorial will only focus on the autofocus mode for video.  Contrast-based autofocus works amazing for photography but for video it’s still not quite perfect.  I have shot hundreds of videos in autofocus mode and I believe this to be the best method for getting great results.

There might be a few scenarios where this isn’t ideal for a specific mode of shooting.  In my experience, this should work great both behind the camera and also if you’re a solo videographer.

Autofocus Setup Guide

In this guide I’ll show you how to use the same autofocus settings I use on a daily basis.

One you have the Panasonic GH5 camera on select AFS/AFF on the back of the unit.

AFF/AFC GH5 SETTINGS
AFF/AFC GH5 SETTINGS

Press the Fn3 key.  This will bring up the various autofocus modes

Fn3 Key GH5
Fn3 Key GH5

There are 6 modes to choose from

  1. Face/Eye Detection
  2. Tracking
  3. 225-Area
  4. Custom Multi
  5. 1-Area
  6. Pinpoint

The one you need to select is “1-Area“.  This is the most reliable by a mile.

1-Area Autofocus Mode
1-Area Autofocus Mode

As you can see 1-Area brings up a box on the screen.  You can adjust the position of the focus point by using your finger on the touch screen.  Another advantage to 1-Area mode is you can resize the autofocus box to be as big or small as you would like.  The advantage of this is you can set it up to the perfect size for your subject.

To resize the box you can use both of the scroll wheels on the camera to adjust the overall size. Once you have the size you want you can click “Set” on screen or use the “Menu/Set” hardware key on the right of the camera.

Scroll Wheels GH5
Scroll Wheels GH5

Things to Consider about the other tracking modes

I use this mode on 100% videos I made on my YouTube channels where I am in front of the camera and it works great.  I have not had the same positive experience as Face/Eye detection. Each time I have tried the Face detection mode I find it to pulse and sometimes shift focus when I don’t want it to.  Face detection mode is much better on the new firmware but it’s not perfect.

Tracking is a mode I will never use based on how poorly it actually changes focus in this mode.  225-Area mode is also handy for outdoor shooting such as landscapes.

Some people love the Pinpoint mode but I find it a bit fiddly if you’re a solo shooter based on its precision.  For me, the 1-Area is by far the best Autofocus mode on the Panasonic GH5.  I love the GH5 and if you haven’t read my full Panasonic GH5 review please check it out. I spent a year using it before wiring the article.  Check it out.