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Old April 13th, 2018, 02:11 AM   #1
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GH5 Grip

Finally upgraded to the GH5!

I believe I'm right in understanding that the GH4 battery grip will not fit the GH5.

I'm curious to know whether any of the third party Chinese GH5 grips are any good. They seem to have identical features and while I am sure the build quality is unlikely to be as good as the Panasonic original, at around 40 (compared with 250+) I wouldn't care if I had to replace it annually! I'm being flippant, of course, but having two original Panasonic grips which I use on a GH3 and a GH4 I'm not convinced there's that much technology to go wrong in them. Am I being foolish to think that?

Anyone have any experience with these clones?

Cheers.
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Old April 13th, 2018, 03:37 AM   #2
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Re: GH5 Grip

I ordered a "Mcoplus DMW-BGGH5 Replacement Vertical Battery Grip for Panasonic Lumix Gh5" through Ebay from a Chinese supplier and it took nearly 2 months to get here, I got it yesterday and it looks just as well build as the original batterygrip I got for free when I got my panasonic g80. Back then the grip was a part of a promotion when the g80 came out, that grip is also 300euro where I live.
I paid just under 50euro for the grip delivered to my house from China while the original one is 300.

I tested it yesterday and let the camera run until two 64gb cards in camera where full and started with the battery in the grip (you can select which battery you want the camera to start with) and it seamlessly switched to the camera battery when the battery in the grip was "empty".

The battery in the grip still had some 15 minutes worth of recording time left though when I put it in the camera afterwards so the camera did not deplete the battery completely but all that counts for me is that I can shoot brideprep, legal part in townhall, ceremony, photoshoot and reception without having to worry about batterylife or switch out batteries.

One thing you need to beware off, you can put in a new battery in the grip while the camera is recording BUT the camera needs to be drawing power from it's internal battery. If you pull the battery from the grip while the camera is recording and pulling power from that battery the camera will shut down for a second, start up again and switch to the internal battery. The file you are recording to however will be corrupt.

You could basically let the camera run through 3 batteries without interruption; start with the battery grip, let it switch to the internal battery and then switch the battery in the grip and the camera will switch from internal grip to batterygrip again.

I also have seen someone commenting that his grip (a original one) got loose while walking around with it all day, the screw to attach the grip to the camera seems to loosen slowly and if it loosens to much the grip can loose connection with the camera, if that happens and if the camera is drawing power from the grip while recording you also will end up with a corrupt file. This is something I particularly will be watching over at the next wedding I shoot.

Will know for sure how it functions in the field because I have a wedding tomorrow and will see how it holds up.
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Old April 13th, 2018, 06:33 AM   #3
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Re: GH5 Grip

Thanks Noa, that was very useful. It looks to me like all the Chinese suppliers are offering exactly the same item and it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that they are all made by the same manufacturer! Quite possibly the same manufacturer that makes them for Panasonic :-)

Last edited by Ian Stark; April 13th, 2018 at 06:34 AM. Reason: Spelt Noa's name wrong - sorry!
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Old April 13th, 2018, 06:50 AM   #4
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Re: GH5 Grip

That's my impression as well, it doesn't look like a cheap knock off, I also forgot to say that the gh4 grip doens't fit the gh5 so you definetely have to get the right one. I"ll report back on how the grip did at the wedding tomorrow.
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Old April 13th, 2018, 07:03 AM   #5
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Re: GH5 Grip

I would be interested in how it all worked to Noa. This approach may be even more convenient for me on a tripod using external battery as then the dummy battery will be in this unit rather than keep going in and out of the main door of the GH5 in setup and takedown as I am sure in time the little cable plug will break off.
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Old April 13th, 2018, 09:19 AM   #6
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Re: GH5 Grip

Hey Ian,

Depending on your intended purpose adding the grip might not be good/necessary. I purchased a "real" Panny grip for my GH5 last year and returned it after a month.

There wasn't anything wrong with the grip but for me the design didn't make any sense. With my years shooting Nikon/Canon film and D-SLR's I'd just assumed that the grip would hold two batteries itself, not leave the body-battery in-place and only add one extra battery in the grip itself. So the issue being that you're forced to take off the grip to replace the exhausted body-batt. This makes zero sense to me. Most especially if the camera is mounted in a cage to be connected to all the devices/FF rig etc.

The N/C solution is totally elegant: The battery grip has a slide-in connector in place of the body-batt and both batteries live in the grip itself, allowing fast side-access to replace both simultaneously.

The Chinese stuff is most certainly cost-effective but doesn't solve the remove-to-replace-batt scenario.

If the point is to have long-life battery power you're far better off with the various external-batt options using the Panny external-power connector module which can give you literally all-day power without fussing over changing batteries.

But if you're using it for photography and want the convenience and better ergonomics of the vertical grip there's no other option.

Hope this helps sussing out viability.
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Old April 13th, 2018, 10:16 AM   #7
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Re: GH5 Grip

I have an Atomos Power Station https://www.atomos.com/power-station and this https://www.amazon.ca/MonkeyJack-Ext...=gh5+batteries. Both use Sony L series batteries and last a long time. However both use the dummy battery in the camera this means the little cable plug in the battery compartment needs to bend out every time you insert and remove this dummy battery. The simple Chinese grip would allow me to use this external battery compartment to insert the dummy battery and save a little time in setup and takedown too. For a short show I could just put in another battery too. I might try this as they do not seem expensive to try. https://www.amazon.ca/DSTE-Wireless-...ZZF2GJZS2PMG9J
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Old April 13th, 2018, 11:09 AM   #8
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Re: GH5 Grip

Robert, thanks for the suggestions. Actually I have two original Panasonic grips for the GH4 and an old GH3 and I primarily only use them for stills (where they excel with the easy access to WB, ISO etc). I have also, like Ron mentions, used them to house a dummy battery for continuous power and that works quite elegantly. I would never usually consider using one on a video shoot though, as it won't fit in my Smallrig cage. It also wasn't usable on my old Ronin-M.

I agree it would have been nice to be able to fit two batteries in the grip. Seems like there is sufficient room.
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Old April 13th, 2018, 12:22 PM   #9
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Re: GH5 Grip

Incase you need a rig, Smallrig has a cage designed for the gh5 + grip which allows you to take the camera off the grip while the grip remains attached to the cage: http://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-adv...-gh5-2024.html
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Old April 13th, 2018, 12:48 PM   #10
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Re: GH5 Grip

Never noticed that because I wasn't thinking about a battery grip. It would be a better solution for than the Smallrig cage I have now that is a problem for the external battery dummy plugs. Combination of that and a cheap grip would work fine I think for my uses. Thanks Noa.
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Old April 13th, 2018, 01:31 PM   #11
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Re: GH5 Grip

Probably wouldn't use the grip if I was using the rig but useful to know. Cheers.

My current gripe is that the upgrade to V-LOG licence is OUT OF STOCK! Available within 28 days, I'm told. Unbelievable that a licence number can be out of stock. Really poor on Panasonic's part. Actually, it's mind boggling why it's not available as a download in the first place! Oops . . . seem to have hijacked my own thread!
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Old April 13th, 2018, 02:59 PM   #12
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Re: GH5 Grip

Ian,

I'm going to post this in a standalone thread but...

You don't need - and shouldn't get VLOG from Panny. Save the money. This guy has nailed getting amazing color out of the GH5 with a custom LUT and camera settings. No need for VLOG:


I've been using this setup for months now; 100% recommended over VLOG. And costs less.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 05:30 AM   #13
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Re: GH5 Grip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I"ll report back on how the grip did at the wedding tomorrow.
My impression after using it on one wedding is that it functions as it's supposed to, the screw that is used to attach it to the camera didn't come loose so I have nothing negative to say about this cheap copy so far.
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Old April 17th, 2018, 05:36 AM   #14
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Re: GH5 Grip

Thanks for the update Noa.
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