Panasonic GH5S Video Hands-On – Highlights of the New Camera

January 8th, 2018 icon / message-square 46

The wait is over. Panasonic just announced their new flagship video-orientated mirrorless photo camera, the GH5S. Watch our GH5S Video Hands-on above! (And the Mini Documentary I’ve shot with that new camera) Promising to perform (much) better than its predecessor in low-light, the new camera was also designed to compete with Sony’s a7S series. Is it up to the task? In our opinion: YES! 

Before we get started:
Stay tuned to our continuous coverage of the new Panasonic GH5S. A short review and original footage is coming up today too. Tomorrow, please look out for Nino’s lowlight test/review video and on top, our exclusive interview with Yamane-san – head of Panasonic imaging division – where we ask the questions that deserve answers. Only on cinema5D.com!  

GH5S – Why another version of the GH5?

No doubt that the original GH5 is a good, versatile hybrid camera, but Panasonic decided to take a step forward and treat us – the video enthusiastic crowd – by introducing a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. The GH5S was actually designed from the ground up as a proper video camera housed in a GH5 body. The results are mostly impressive.

New and improved: New functions of GH5S compared to GH5:

You might think this is a bit noisy, but this is where you literally couldn’t see anything with your bare eyes – this is a video still from the GH5S in low light – at 25,600 ISO (Cinelike-D). See the low light comparison of GH5 vs. GH5S tomorrow right here!

New Sensor and much improved lowlight performance:

  • The new 10.2 mega pixel sensor is capable of doing a great job in delivering absolutely usable video footage in high ISO values. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s review video, where my partner Nino will present his lowlight camera test – a side-by-side comparison between the GH5S and GH5 low-light performance.
  • The downside of the lower-resolution sensor (apart from lower resolutions in photo mode, of course – the GH5 has over 20 megapixels for that): no more 6K anamorphic mode. There is now only a 4K anamorphic mode in the GH5S. This is something to consider if you plan on shooting a lot with anamorphic lenses.

Dual Native ISO:

  • A valuable function borrowed from Panasonic’s professional line. The dual native ISO feature will surely be welcomed by users, as shooting in both ISO 400 or 2500 will bring the best possible low noise results. By the way, this function is achieved by providing two dedicated circuits to each pixel. As the sensitivity is set prior to the gain amplifier the high sensitivity noise is being reduced.

C4K 50p/60p:

  • Broadcasters, smooth and fluid movement lovers, and modest slow-motion shooters, rejoice. The Panasonic GH5S adds new DCI 4K frame rates. Shooting in 25p, 30p, 50p and 60 frames per second is now possible.

V-Log Pre-Installed:

  • On the GH5, one had to separately buy and install the V-Log flat picture profile function – this time with the GH5S, it’s included and pre-installed on the new camera. When bought separately on the GH5, this add-on cost $97. Now, as the GH5S is going to be $500 more expensive than the GH5, consider it “only” $400 more expensive, in case you were about to get that update on your GH5 anyway.

V-Log preinstalled

Timecode IN/OUT is now supported:

  • Timecode in/out connectivity is now fully supported via the dedicated Flash sync terminal and bundled BNC conversion cable. This allows timecode synchronisation for shooting with multiple cameras. Once all cameras are synchronised, the resulting footage can be brought into the editing platform and the editing software will detect the timecode and sync it on the timeline automatically.

 

New added higher frame rates:

  • Panasonic added a bunch of new frame rates in different resolutions to the already capable GH5. The highest figure now stands for 240 frames per second in Full HD mode. Mind you that the image is cropped and the results leave space for improvement.

 

Multi aspect ratio function for photo and video:

  • Multi aspect ratio is back. (If I’m not mistaken, it could be found in the GH1 & GH2). In practice, it will allow for an image that is slightly less cropped and has a wider field of view, with the same lens installed compared to the GH5. Also, as the sensor is a multi-aspect type it has a sufficient margin for recording the same angle of view at the same focal length in C4K, 4K, Anamorphic and 4:3.

GH5S Multi-Aspect Ratio

Autofocus:

  • According to Panasonic, autofocus was also adjusted in favour of delivering better results in video mode. We are currently testing the different autofocus modes and have yet to determine if the performance was improved compared to the one found in the GH5. Stay tuned!

14bit RAW burst shooting:

  • If your are into shooting time-lapse videos, the 14bit RAW burst mode might satisfy your needs. The new burst mode offers up to 11fps in AFS/MF settings.

 

Audio enhancements:

  • On the audio front, a “LINE” input option was added to the menu, so external audio devices requiring this option can be now connected to the camera (via the 3.5mm mic jack).

Another improvement is the addition of a dedicated microphone to monitor and cancel the noise caused by mechanical movements inside the camera and lens. According to Panasonic, the result is a reduction of mechanical noise by -10dB, achieving clear, high-quality sound recording.

 

 

Removal of the internal in-body stabilisation system:

  • On the downside, the camera body stabilisation system has been removed from the new GH5S. Panasonic hopes that by using stabilised lenses, tripods, or gimbals, one will stay satisfied with the results, but with all honesty, this is a true bummer. Especially if you are – like me – doing a lot of run-and-gun shooting.

In summary:

When it comes to video shooting, in my opinion, the new Panasonic GH5S is a superior product compared to the original GH5. Hence, the price difference is justified. (Please refer to the above enhancement list).

As a documentary filmmaker the improved lowlight performance is a great benefit, as more often than not, I find myself in poorly lit and unpredictable situations. I can only wish that in the next model the body IS will be brought back. Together with future camera enhancements, this will allow Panasonic to present an even more valuable option for the independent filmmaker.

The Panasonic GH5S will be available from the end of January priced at €2,500/$2,499

Music for the above video is taken from https://artlist.io/ Theme: Lupita by Conor Spicer

I’m very curious to find out if current owners of the original GH5 are planning to update and replace their capable camera with the newer model. Please share with us your thoughts in the comment section below. 

 

Find the full tech specs here:

  • 10.2MP multi-aspect ratio sensor, Dual Native ISO
  • Improved low light performance
  • Improved AF in low-light conditions
  • V-LOG pre-installed
  • No recording time limit (not limited by 29:59 – same as GH5!)
  • 400mbit/s ALL-I 10bit 4:2:2 4K codec
  • Additional codec options to GH5
  • Hybrid LOG Gamma for 4K HDR displays, and view assist
  • Weather & dust proof
  • Dual SD card slots – both of them are UHS-II (high speed)

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Member
January 9th, 2018

How many SD cards slots and able to do dual recording and/or dual codec?

Member
January 9th, 2018

Why is Panasonic pushing this “Photo Camera for Video Only Concept” Why not make a proper video camera wth the GH5 Insides? Too many GH5 Casings laying around the factory? This new Camera is OBVIOUSLY all video, the least they can do is designed it with a Handle to hold it like a video camera.

 Miklos Nemeth
Member
January 9th, 2018
Reply to  Vlad Box Rojas

Excellent point, Vlad! Interestingly, though, that a number of photographers use Sony A7S/A7SII just because of their extreme low light capabilities. I was so much surprised that for a number of photogs 12M full-frame quality image is ok. GH5 is “cheap” only in GH5 casing. In a proper video camera casing it would be at least double priced, I guess.

Ted Heil
Guest
January 9th, 2018

Onur Eren Raemy Abdelsalam

Raemy Abdelsalam
Guest
January 9th, 2018
Reply to  Ted Heil

Laten we met die competitie mee doen!

 Markus Magnon
Markus Magnon
Member
January 9th, 2018

It is really funny to see “filmmakers” complaining about Image stabilisation. I hate Image stabilisation. It allways looks fake and can cause weird artefakts. Most preofessional filmkameras don´t have IS. Get a shoulderig and wide lens and you don´t need IS. or get a gimbal. Or Tripod. Who need´s IS? Maybe if you are a vlogger on youtube riding on a skateboard.

The other thing is 8bit vs. 10bit and 4k and slow motion and sensor size. Over and over again. The image of GH4, Gh5, Canon 5D Mark III or whatever just sucks. It still locks like Canon 5D Mark I. Only sharper and now in 4K.

But the Dynamic Range of those cameras are still at 10 Stops. No matter if it is 8 bit or 10 bit. And s-log or v-log or whatever is just a flat picture style. How gives a shit if it is slog 2 or slog 3 … and if it has a little less noise and 0.2 more dynamic range in slog 3.

With Magic Lantern and Blackmagic Cameras it is possible to get RAW and 13 stops dynamic range out of a camera that cost around 1000 Bucks. in 2K / 1080p. And 60 FPS. Raw 3:1 on a micro cinema camera.

But instead people still buy those “DSLR” Cameras and the conversation feels like it is a new iphone where the camera is just a little better, and the sensor is a tiny little bit better than the version before.

Most people here should go back to take photos instead of doing videos.

Witek Kameraman
Guest
January 9th, 2018

stil micro third something? I will pass this one

Brian Godsey
Guest
January 9th, 2018

I’d trade all of those bells and whistles for a larger sensor.

 Ken Martini
Ken Martini
Member
January 9th, 2018

I am very happy with my GH5’s. Love the skin tones, and internal IS, and 10 bit. I would have added a GH5S to my kit except I would miss the internal IS too much. I will wait until the next iteration hoping they include the IS.

 Andrej Grznár
Member
January 9th, 2018

So how about DUAL RECORDING and LOW RESOLUTION PROXIES ??? On GH5 they promised to have the possibility to record low resolution proxy files on the second card. But it was not possible at the final version (not even after updates).

 Andrej Grznár
Member
January 9th, 2018
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Thanks a lot Johnnie!

 Andrej Grznár
Member
January 23rd, 2018
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Hi Johnnie.

Any news about this dual recording?

 Stephane Shogun
Stephane Shogun
Member
February 19th, 2018
Reply to  Andrej Grznár

I’m looking for the same info…
At least, I hope we can use a external recorder to do this?

 Simon Bailey
Simon Bailey
Member
January 8th, 2018

Meh…

Conrad PIccirillo
Conrad PIccirillo
Member
January 8th, 2018

Poor decision to eliminate stabilization.

Soekarto Ade
Guest
January 8th, 2018

No 6K anamorphic just 4K anamorphic mode ?

Alben Osaki
Guest
January 8th, 2018

Mauna Burgess Brad Watanabe

Member
January 8th, 2018

Current GH5 user. Super happy that Panasonic have pushed the 4/3 sensor this way, but can’t imagine I’ll be getting it anytime soon. Lowlight performance has never been a big gripe for me, mostly shoot in controlled situations, I think it would take an increase in 4k frame rates (not gonna happen) or dynamic range (unlikely) for me to give up IBIS. If I didn’t own a GH5…hard choice. Perfect B cam for the GH5 though, or maybe A cam?

Conrad PIccirillo
Conrad PIccirillo
Member
January 8th, 2018
Reply to  Bon Hoy

totally agree with you. Even low budget films have reasonable lighting.
Now you have the added cost plus the expense of stabilizing.

Chris Cheek
Guest
January 8th, 2018

Removed IBIS, AF issue not fixed..Makes me glad I chose Sony:)

Adrian Outlaw
Guest
January 8th, 2018
Reply to  Chris Cheek

I was like damn they finally fixed the low light and than he said no IBIS SMH. I dont like the m43 cameras but I would still get the gh5 over this. IBIS > High ISO?

 Miklos Nemeth
Member
January 9th, 2018
Reply to  Chris Cheek

I agree, very disappointing; maybe Sony is not willing to make a sensor with phase detect AF to Panasonic? Actually Sony’s own A7S models have no on-sensor phase detect technology either. So, if you compare GH5S to A7SII as for video AF, they are the same unusable/unreliable/hunting/wiggling/you-name-it.

Jeff Kluge
Guest
January 8th, 2018

Why in Sam Heck would they remove IBIS for the superior for video model? What a shame. That’s the type of bad decision I expect from Canon when it comes to the dslr and mirrorless lineup, not Panasonic!

Patrick Gasior
Guest
January 8th, 2018
Reply to  Jeff Kluge

Get the ronin s for that

Jeff Kluge
Guest
January 8th, 2018
Reply to  Jeff Kluge

Don’t want to have to spend the extra cash on that though. I also already have a single-handed gimbal. It also makes you carry that extra piece of gear to any shoot when you want steady handheld. I want to have my cake and eat it too! ???

 Ross Fairgrieve
Ross Fairgrieve
Member
January 8th, 2018
Reply to  Jeff Kluge

I like to give Panasonic the benefit of the doubt and think that it’s a physical limitation (no space to move the bigger, multi-aspect sensor or some overheating issue with extra circuitry for dual ISO) rather than a Canon-esque crippling, but who knows!

Member
January 8th, 2018

Philip Bloom commented on an earlier FB thread indicating that from what he had heard it was indeed a physical limitation.

Mike Silverman
Guest
January 8th, 2018
Reply to  Jeff Kluge

Yeah this is a good point, it’s so frustrating when companies handicap their cameras. Why not just make it amazing so that you sell more of them?

Conrad PIccirillo
Conrad PIccirillo
Member
January 8th, 2018
Reply to  Jeff Kluge

Agree

Dennis L. Sørensen
Guest
January 9th, 2018
Reply to  Jeff Kluge

A gimbal and a IBIS does not acomplish the same thing.. Why would you ever say that??..

Conrad PIccirillo
Conrad PIccirillo
Member
January 9th, 2018

It accomplishes many of the same things, especially when you’re on a budget. There are certainly reasons for using a gimbal beyond the IBIS. There’s no argument and no one is arguing that point.

Lee Pendle
Guest
January 8th, 2018

Tom Cribbin Damm it, I should of waited :P

Tom Cribbin
Guest
January 8th, 2018
Reply to  Lee Pendle

Haha! No ibis lol

 Stephen Franchek
Stephen Franchek
Member
January 8th, 2018

Very happy that they addressed my 2nd biggest concern (timecode input)

Now we just have to see if they’ve addressed my biggest concern: weak dynamic range

Came very close to buying a GH5 as a grab and go video cam, but after reviewing user videos, I noticed that it always looked like the highlights were about to break apart

 Ross Fairgrieve
Ross Fairgrieve
Member
January 8th, 2018

I suspect that it will be possible to get better looking highlights in real-world use. On the GH5 the limiting factor was really the noise in the shadows. Most people tended to overexpose V-log to avoid this noise but doing so comes at the expense of pushing the highlights too far up. If the GH5s is much cleaner in the shadows (as appears to be the case), we should be able to lower the exposure so the highlights are where they should be, without worrying that the shadows will turn into a snow storm.

 Ross Fairgrieve
Ross Fairgrieve
Member
January 8th, 2018

I can’t help being a bit disappointed. Not because the camera looks bad – it looks great and what’s on offer at this price point is really impressive – but, for me at least, I’m just not sure that the new additions outweigh the loss of the massively useful IBIS in the GH5. If this had IBIS, even if it meant having a normal M4/3 sensor rather than multi-aspect, I’d definitely be buying. Now, I’m not sure.

Sunny Kiri
Guest
January 8th, 2018

It will be out April first.

Darius Januškevičius
Guest
January 8th, 2018

gh5s dont have in body stabilization like gh5

Randy Castillo
Guest
January 8th, 2018

bad decision, i think!

Mark Shirley
Guest
January 8th, 2018

I can’t find this anywhere – surely not that’s a major downturn

Josh Engel
Guest
January 8th, 2018

Possibly because of the new sensor?

Rafael Molina
Guest
January 8th, 2018

How much will it cost?

Darius Januškevičius
Guest
January 8th, 2018
Reply to  Rafael Molina

$2500

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