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Panasonic Lumix GH5S Expert Review - Verdict

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Panasonic Lumix GH5S (16)

Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix GH5S will be available for £2199 body only, from the end of January 2018. This may seem expensive, compared to other Micro Four Thirds cameras, however, there are still a fairly limited number of cameras that record CINE (or DCI) 4K video at 60fps, and many others cost more than this. There's also a limited number of cameras that can record unlimited video, and at 10-bits (1.07 billion colours vs 8-bit which is 16.7 million colours), or with HLG (High Dynamic Range). Here are some that offer CINE 4K resolution recording:

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, 20mp MFT, CINE 4K at 24fps (8-bit), £1849 body only.
Panasonic Lumix GH5, 20mp MFT, CINE 4K at 24fps (10-bit), HDR/HLG (with firmware 2.0+), £1599 body only.
Panasonic Lumix GH5S, 10mp MFT, CINE 4K at 60fps (8-bit internal / 10-bit external), 30fps (10-bit), HDR/HLG, ISO80 to ISO204800, £2199 body only.
Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, 20mp FF, CINE 4K at 60fps (8-bit), ISO100 to ISO204800, £4799 body only.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 30mp FF, CINE 4K at 30fps (8-bit), ISO100 to ISO102400, £3299 body only.
Sony Alpha A7R III, 42mp FF, 4K UHD video at 30fps (8-bit), with HDR/HLG, ISO100 to ISO32000, £3199 body only.
Sony Alpha A7S II, 12mp FF, 4K UHD video at 30fps (8-bit), up to ISO409600, £2499 body only.

You'll also need to buy a high-speed memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.


Panasonic Lumix GH5S Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix GH5S is designed to be the ultimate video camera, and with improved video recording, as well as Dual Native ISO, the GH5S certainly delivers.

The difference between the two Dual Native ISO modes (Low and High) allows the camera to give a better low-light performance, and a wider usable ISO range, for both stills photography and video. However, it's likely that the area where users of this camera are going to find the most benefit is when recording video. You'll also find this has additional video modes and options when compared to the GH5, with VLog 2 built-in, without the need to purchase an additional license, and high-speed 240fps FullHD video. There is no built-in image stabilisation, which is preferable for some professional video producers, for example when recording with the camera mounted inside or on a vehicle. The Panasonic Lumix GH5S (and GH5) remain some of the only ILC cameras to offer internal 10-bit recording, and the GH5S offers a wider ISO range than most. 

For anyone wanting a GH5 that can record higher quality video, including CINE 4K at 60fps, as well as record in low-light conditions, then the GH5S is the ideal solution, and compared to other cameras, particularly good value for money. The GH5S delivers impressively clean video up to and including ISO25600, which is impressive, considering the highest ISO speed available was ISO12800 on the GH5. The camera is ready to record HLG / HDR video straight out of the box.

If you want a stills camera, have a range of Micro Four Thirds lenses, and what to take photos in low-light conditions, then the GH5S is also worth looking at if you think you can manage with 10mp images. Compared to the majority of other cameras, this is quite a low resolution for images, so may not be the best solution for stills photography, particularly as the camera doesn't feature built-in image stabilisation.


Panasonic Lumic GH5S Pros

  • Dual Native ISO has obvious benefits for video
  • Impressive low-light video recording
  • Slightly improved battery life over GH5
  • Weather sealed body
  • Compatible with GH5 accessories
  • High-speed video up to 240fps
  • Unlimited CINE 4K video recording
  • Built-in Bluetooth for image transfer

Panasonic Lumix GH5S Cons

  • 10mp may not be enough for most photographers
  • Lack of in-camera IS will be an issue for some video work
  • Doesn't feature USB power/charging

Overall Verdict

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banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4233 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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