Panasonic Lumix GH5S Snap Verdict
Thanks to its comparatively low pixel count (10.2Mp) and modern sensor design, which includes Dual Native ISO Technology and a Multi-Aspect Ratio design, the Panasonic Lumix GH5S seems to be high-quality, video-centric mirrorless camera with good low-light capability. We’ve some testing to do yet, but the images and video that we’ve shot and seen to date look very promising.
For Panasonic GH5S
- Impressive video specification
- Timecode IN/OUT
- V-Log L pre-installed
Against Panasonic GH5S
- Smaller still images
- Loss of in-camera stabilisation will be missed by some
- Badly positioned Display button
What is the Panasonic Lumix GH5S?
The Panasonic Lumix GH5S is a 10.2Mp Micro Four Thirds compact system or mirrorless system camera that’s designed with videographers in mind. Although it has the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens mount, its sensor is a little larger than is found in most MFT cameras because it’s a Multi Aspect Ratio unit that enables the same diagonal angle of view to be recorded whatever the aspect ratio of the image or video.
While it is a step-up from the GH5 with regards to its video capability, it is designed as an alert native option rather than a replacement.
First Look Video
While many videographers have hailed the Panasonic GH5 as the ultimate video camera, Panasonic is now calling it the ‘ultimate hybrid camera’ with the GH5S getting ‘ultimate video camera’ status.
Inside the GH5S is a new 10.2Mp High Sensitivity MOS sensor coupled with a Venus Engine. Together this combination enables a native sensitivity range of ISO 160-51200 with expansion settings of ISO 80, 102400 and 204800.
In a new move for a Panasonic G-series camera, each pixel on the GH5S sensor has two analogue circuits and this enables two base sensitivities (ISO 400 and ISO 2500). This Dual Native ISO Technology and the lower pixel count of the GH5S are designed to improve dynamic range and help keep noise in check even in very low light when sensitivity (ISO) is high.
As the GH5S’s sensor is a little larger than a standard Four Thirds type sensor and has a multi-aspect ratio design, it’s possible to maintain a constant diagonal field of view while video or image aspect ratio is changed from 4:3, 17:9, 16:9 and 3:2.
14-bit Raw files
While it’s primarily a video camera, the GH5S can shoot stills and can record 14-bit raw files for greater data capture and file flexibility.
Panasonic also claims that the combination of its DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and fast signal processing enable focus acquisition in approximately 0.07 sec. In addition, it’s possible to shoot at up to 12fps in Autofocus Single (AFS) mode or 8fps in Autofocus Continuous (AFC) mode when shooting 12-bit raw files. Meanwhile when 14-bit raw files are being recorded it possible to shoot at up to 11fps in AFS mode and 7fps in AFC mode.
Although 6K Photo mode isn’t present, 4K Photo mode is on hand and enables 8Mp images to be captured at 60fps.
Like the GH5, the GH5S can shoot Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) footage. However, whereas the GH5 is limited to 24p at this resolution, the GH5S can shoot at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p or 24p. Furthermore, if you opt for 30p, 25p or 24p, you can shoot that C4K footage in 4:2:2 10-bit for a greater range of colours and smoother tonal gradations.
If high bitrates are important, the GH5S can record 4:2:2 10-bit 400-Mbps All-Intra in 4K 30p, 25p or 24p and C4K 24p.
While C4K and 4K footage can be recorded at up to 60fps, Full-HD (1920 x 1080) footage can be recorded at up to 240fps, giving 10x slow motion playback.
Panasonic added 6K or High-resolution Anamorphic mode to the GH5 with a firmware upgrade. The GH5S doesn’t have this at launch, we’ll have to see whether it will be added at later date, but it has 4K Anamorphic mode. This mode allows more of the sensor to be used with anamorphic lenses so that even though the footage is letterbox-shaped after ‘desqueezing’, it’s shot using a 4:3 section of the sensor.
Panasonic made V-Log L available as an optional, paid-for download for the GH5, with the GH5S it comes pre-installed. In addition, there’s Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) mode available in the Photo Style options for 4K HDR video compliance.
Further good news is that video recording is only limited by the battery life and memory card capacity.
On the subject of memory cards, the GH5S has two SD-card slots that are UHS-II compliant.
The GH5S can be used as a Timecode generator to sync other cameras connected via cable (supplied in the box) that connects to the GH5S’s hot-shoe.
Timecode is widely used in video production where multi-camera systems are used to capture footage from a range of angles simultaneously. It ensures that the footage is synced from each camera so that it edits together without jumps in the action.
While in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) is widely seen as a benefit, there are situations when it’s the opposite for professional videographers and broadcasters. If you want to shoot inside a moving vehicle, for example, and have the camera clamped firmly to the structure, it’s nigh-on impossible to get stable footage of the interior if the sensor has the capacity to move.
With this in mind, and with a wide variety of cages, rigs and gimbals being available, the GH5S doesn’t have stabilisation built-in.
|Date announced||8th January 2018|
|Price at launch||£2199.99/$ body only|
|Sensor||New 10.2Mp High Sensitivity MOS with Multi-Aspect|
|Sensitivity (ISO)||ISO 160-51200, Extended ISO 80/102400/204800, Dual Native ISO|
|Viewfinder||3,680,000-dot OLED, 21mm, 0.76x (35mm equivalent)|
|Monitor||3.2-inch 3:2 1,620,000-dot RGBW LCD, vari-angle, touch-screen|
|AF Speed||DFD, Approx 0.07sec|
|Shutter Speed||1/8000-60 sec, Bulb to 30min, X=1/250|
|Continuous Shooting||14 bit: AFS 11fps, AFC 7fps. 12 bit: AFS 12fps, AFC 8fps|
|6K Photo/4K Photo||4K Photo: 8Mp 60fps (H.264 recording)|
|Toughness||Magnesium alloy body, splash/dust/freezeproof -10C/14F|
|Video recording rates||C4K: 60p/50p (4:2:0 8bit), 30p/25p/24p (4:2:2 10 bit). 4K: 60p/50p (4:2:0 8bit), 30p/25p/24p (4:2:2 10bit)|
|Video variable frame rate||C4K/4K: Max 60fps, FHD: Max 240fps|
|Video monitor output||4:2:2 10bit output & internal recording (C4K/4K 60p/50p is output only), 4:2:0 8bit output & internal recording (C4K/4K 60p/50p)|
|Anamorphic Mode||Anamorphic 4K|
|SD Card Slot||2x UHS-II U3|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||802.11a/n/ac (5GHz) / Bluetooth4.2 (Low Energy) 5GHz, Wi-Fi is not available in some countries|
|Input/Output terminal||Time Code In/Out /Synchro Terminal, 3.5mm Mic Jack (Line Input), 3.5mm headphone jack, 2.5mm Remote socket, HDMI Type A Socket, USB3.1 Socket|
|Battery Life||440 pictures (using LCD)|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||138.5 x 98.1 x 84.4mm (excluding protrusions)|
|Weight||660g (including SD card, battery and body)|
|Accessory||Battery grip (BGGH5), Gun Mic (MS2), XLR mic adaptor (XLR!)|
Key Video Specifications
|4K video 4096 x2160||60p/50p/30p/25p/24p|
|4K video 3840 x 2160||60p/50p/30p/25p/24p|
|Recording Time Limit||Unlimited|
|4:2:2 10bit recording C4K||30p/25p/24p|
|4:2:2 10bit recording 4K||30p/25p/24p|
|4:2:2 10bit recording Full-HD||60p/50p/30p/25p/24p|
|ALL-Intra high bitrate video recording 4K||400Mbps (4:2:2 10bit)|
|ALL-Intra high bitrate video recording Full-HD||200Mbps (4:2:2 10bit)|
|System frequency is selectable (59.94Hz (23.98Hz) / 50.00Hz (24.00Hz))||Yes|
|Anamorphic (4:3) recording: High-resolution anamorphic mode||No|
|Anamorphic (4:3) recording: 4K (H.264)||60p/50p/30p/25p/24p|
|HDMI live output||4:2:2 10bit output & internal recording|
|Variable Frame Rate (VFR): C4K||Up to 60fps|
|VFR: 4K||Up to 60fps|
|VFR: Full-HD||Up to 240fps|
|Like709 gamma (ITU-R BT.709)||Yes with knee control|
|Hybrid Log gamma||Yes|
|Luminance level adjustment||64-1023 / 64-940 / 0-1023 (10bit)|
|Wave form monitor / Vectorscope display||Yes|
|Operation type (Shutter Duration/ISO, Angle/ISO, Shutter Duration/dB)||Yes|
|Time code (rec run / free run)||Yes|
|Time code In/Out terminal||Yes|
|SD Card slot||2x with relay rec & copy rec: UHS-II U3 (Video grade 60)|
|3.5mm mic socket||Yes (support for LINE input)|
|3.5 headphone socket||Yes|
|HDMI output terminal||Type A|
|XLR audio input||DMW-XLR1 mic adaptor (optional)|