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Panasonic Lumix GH5S Expert Review - Performance

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Panasonic Lumix GH5S Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings. We will be adding more sample photos, and sample videos, as we take them.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.125secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response  0.125secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 0.7secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.3secs
Shot to Shot with Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
10fps (~600 shots) S-AF / C-AF
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A
Continuous Shooting - RAW 8fps (112 shots, 12-bit)

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 lens used, Power OIS on. Panasonic UHS-II U:3 V90 card used.


Panasonic Lumix GH5S Other sample images

Sample Photos - The Panasonic Lumix GH5S uses the same colour processing as the Lumix G9, and as a result, colour reproduction is very pleasing. Detail is good, and despite the images being only 10 megapixels, the level of detail captured is good. If you want to crop into images, then you are going to have a noticeably smaller resolution image, however, the multi-aspect sensor helps a little bit here. You can use 4K photo to video a subject and then select (and save) the best photos later. This can be particularly useful for moving subjects, such as kids or animals, and from this, you get an 8.3mp image, with a 4:3 aspect ratio.


Panasonic Lumix GH5S Sample Photos

Lens Performance - There are options to correct a number of potential lens issues, including: Shading compensation which corrects for any vignetting. Diffraction compensation corrects or improves sharpness lost when using smaller apertures. Chromatic aberration and purple fringing are automatically corrected in camera when using Panasonic lenses. Electronic stabilisation is available for video only (and not stills), so you'll need to use a lens with optical image stabilisation if you want image stabilisation for stills. You can choose between an electronic and mechanical shutter. We used the GH5S with the 12-35mm f/2.8, which gives a 24-70mm equivalent, and the 42.5mm f/1.2, which gives an 85mm equivalent, in 35mm terms. Focus is reliable, and the camera gives good results even in low-light, thanks to good noise performance. However, with the lack of in-camera image stabilisation, there were times when we noticed camera shake in our shots.


Panasonic Lumix GH5S ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - There are three options for "Dual Native ISO", Auto, Low and High. If you select Auto, and the camera will automatically switch between Low native ISO, and High native ISO when needed. The Low ISO option limits the ISO range to ISO80 up to ISO800, and the High ISO option limits the ISO range to ISO800 up to ISO204800 (with extended ISO switched on). Noise reduction can be set from -5 to +5, and we took these shots on default settings.

Comparing the GH5S to the GH5, there are better results at ISO25600, even when resizing the GH5 images down to 10mp, the results from the GH5S are better, with lower noise and better colour saturation. There is roughly 1 to 1.5 stops advantage for stills photography, with it being possible to shoot at ISO12800 and possibly ISO25600 whilst still getting usable results straight from the camera.

The results don't quite match the Nikon D500, at ISO51200, with the D500 giving better slightly results, and 20mp images. The same can be said when comparing images to the Sony Alpha A7S Mark II, however, the results at ISO51200 are impressive for a Micro Four Thirds camera, and images are reasonable. You may actually be able to use these images for use on the web or re-sized. This is quite an impressive achievement, considering normally Micro Four Thirds cameras normally don't even have an ISO51200 setting.


Panasonic Lumix GH5S White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto white balance (AWB) gives a warm result under tungsten light, and the camera has an "AWB: Cool" setting that delivers a more accurate result, giving whiter whites, which will be highly appreciated by anyone who takes product shots. The tungsten preset gives a slightly warm result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, and there is no fluorescent preset available (most cameras give a colour cast when they have fluorescent presets due to variation of fluorescent lighting). The AWB Cool setting gives accurate results under fluorescent lighting but isn't needed as the standard AWB setting gives good results anyway. The AWB Cool setting will also be useful when there is a mixture of tungsten and fluorescent lighting.


Panasonic Lumix GH5S Digital filters

Digital Filters - As this camera is geared for video, more than stills, we've taken a number of shots showing the different colour profiles available. If you want to see the different creative filters available, you can view examples on the GH5 review.


Panasonic Lumix GH5S Video

The Panasonic Lumix GH5S is designed to be the ultimate video camera, and considering most people already considered the GH5 as the best video camera available (in this price range), then the GH5S shouldn't have to do much to reach the goals. With Dual Native ISO, Panasonic has succeeded in making a camera that's suitable for low-light video, far beyond what anyone thought was possible with Micro Four Thirds.

What's impressive about the "Dual Native ISO" feature is the quality of video possible, when using the higher ISO speeds, with clean video results up to ISO25600. Here we've shown the ISO range available when using the High ISO range, from ISO800 to ISO204800 in the video below. Another improvement made to video is the ability to record FullHD video at 240fps, which when played back at 24fps, gives you 10x slow-motion footage. When recording at 240fps, the image is cropped, however, it remains uncropped at 200fps.

Rolling shutter should also be reduced, as the sensor can give a quicker readout speed than the GH5, as shown by FullHD video being available at 240fps, compared to 180fps (an increase in 1.33x).

V-LogL profile is said to give 12 stops of dynamic range and increases the base ISO speed to ISO800 or ISO5000 in "high" mode. V-LogL View assist function: LUT display lets you setup a profile so that you can playback on the camera. Timecode in / out uses the Flash Sync Terminal, and a BNC conversion cable is included in the box.

Video luminance level options are: 0-1023, 64-940, and 64-1023. (Luminance levels are for 10-bit, and also available for 8-bit). Mic options are: Mic (power), Mic (no power), Line in.

In playback there are options to divide video, create time-lapse videos, and stop-motion videos, as well as the option to set up anamorphic desqueeze display, HLG view assist, and LUT monitor display. Wave Form Monitor - to see if the brightness complies with broadcast regulations. Vectorscope - if the colour phase and saturation comply with broadcast regulations.


Upgrades to video, compared to the GH5:

CINE 4K (4096x2160) at 60,50,30,25,24p CINE 4K at 24p
CINE 4K 4:2:2 10-bit at 30, 25, 24p CINE 4K 4:2:2 10-bit at 24p
Multi-aspect 10mp sensor (maintains focal length when using 4:3, 3:2, 16:9) 20mp 4:3 sensor
Anamorphic 4K, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p High-resolution Anamorphic (v2) 30,25,24p, Anamorphic 4K, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
Variable Frame Rate FullHD up to 240fps Variable Frame Rate FullHD up to 180fps
V-LogL pre-installed Optional (DMW-SFU1)
TC In/Out terminal (BNC conversion cable included) -
3.5mm mic socket with LINE input 3.5mm mic socket
ISO160-51200 (Ex 80-204800) ISO200-12800 (Ex 100)
- In-camera sensor 5-axis IS
Dual Native ISO -
S/N Ratio +1.5
+9.7dB stops


You can view additional videos on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.

Video quality is excellent, and there are low levels of noise, even when recording in low-light, up to ISO25600. We had to move the camera very quickly before we noticed the effects of rolling shutter. There are numerous options, far more than the average photographer will need, however, for video use, there should be enough options and settings to suit even advanced users. With the use of a tripod, you can get stable video.



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banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4229 Canada
8 Jan 2018 7:26PM
These are getting to look an awful lot like DSLR bodies. At 660G its only 100G lighter than a Canon 6D mk2 with its battery installed.
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
8 Jan 2018 11:56PM
Criminal to take away the IBIS, the reason people buy the Sony A7S II instead of the A7S I is because of the IBIS (which can be turned off if you wish). Serious video makers have been buying Panasonic's GH4 and lately GH5 due to the gorgeous video at high bitrates, way ahead of Olympus and other MFT offerings and not far behind Sony's full frame beauts but the removal of IBIS is a backward step for the GH5 S
ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
9 Jan 2018 11:46AM
But turning off IBIS would not remove the heavy magnets in the body which apparently can interfere with a gimble mechanism. Presumably a fixed sensor is also inherently more stable. There's also the fact that Panasonic have gone for a vari-aspect sensor which uses some of the 'overlap' employed by the IBIS mechanism, giving a slightly oversized imaging area [in comparison to most current MfT cameras] resulting in a wider FoV.

Whether or not this is the right fit for their target audience remains to be seen, but this appears aimed very squarely at pro or very serious amateur video shooters. One would assume they've done their market research with this.
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
9 Jan 2018 12:39PM
Magnets won't interfere with your gimbal so long as you calibrate your gimbal after you mount your camera - which is what people do anyway when changing bodies and lenses. Talked about this in the past with Yanher Lin from Pilotfly. Some people fine tune the balance of their gimbals with strategically placed magnetic weights
ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
18 Jan 2018 2:37PM
It is strange that they've removed the IBIS then - the multi-aspect ratio of the sensor would mean there wasn't enough additional area for the IBIS motion, but I'd doubt that was enough by itself to decide to omit it. So what's the story? Is it possibly limited by the dual circuit ISO readout? Or is it simply a commercial decision to cut cost/act as a further differentiator from the GH5?

A bit of a puzzler.
petebfrance 9 3.0k France
18 Jan 2018 4:44PM
It's probably a great camera, but two (negative) things stood out in this review:
1. Distortion on the ISO comparison shots - looked very pronounced at the top of the colour chart. What lens produced that?
2. The video wobbled from side-to side almost all the way through and that was really off-putting - the camera seemed to be doing a really good job otherwise. How was the camera held?
As I'm not in the market with this (too expensive and at the moment I don't shoot video) I shouldn't really comment, I guess, but it looked so obvious that I couldn't help noticing.......
joshwa Plus
10 927 1 United Kingdom
19 Jan 2018 7:54AM
Hi Pete,

1) The lens used was the Panasonic 12-35mm:

2) There are additional videos on the YouTube channel. The camera was not mounted on a tripod for the video above, so the camera moved whenever the ISO speed was changed. If there is time, then we'll re-shoot this.

petebfrance 9 3.0k France
19 Jan 2018 2:39PM
Thanks for the response, Josh
Tbh, afterwards I felt a bit guilty after posting thatSad


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