Panasonic Lumix GH5S hands-on: A small, lightweight, video-focused mirrorless
Panasonic’s top-end GH-series models have been a hit with videographers in recent years, and the manufacturer has finally put and end to rumours of a new model arriving by announcing the new Lumix GH5S at CES 2018.
Rather than attempting to satisfy two audiences with one camera,with the Lumix GH5S Panasonic has focused on creating the ultimate video camera for videographers. Its specification has been carefully tailored towards the cinema and broadcast market, where there’s demand for the best movie quality from a small, portable body. Those after a capable Micro Four Thirds stills camera are of course well catered for by the recently released Panasonic Lumix G9.
The new GH5S will sit alongside the GH5 and G9 at the top end of Panasonic’s G-series, with the GH5 remaining in production for the foreseeable future. The Lumix GH5 will continue to be sold at £1699 (body only), with the price for the Lumix GH5S fetching £2199 (body only) when it goes on sale in mid January. Unlike the Lumix GH5, which can be purchased with a lens as part of a bundle, the Lumix GH5S will be available to buy body-only.
Panasonic Lumix GH5S – Features
Instead of adopting the GH5’s 20.3-megapixel Four Thirds sensor, Panasonic has fitted the GH5S with a lower resolution 10.2-megapixel Four Thirds chip. Although this pixel count may seem low by today’s standards, it isn’t a dissimilar approach to what we’ve seen from the likes of Sony and its video-focused Alpha 7S and Alpha 7S II models.
The advantage the GH5S has over the GH5, as well as other cameras with a higher pixel density, is that each photosite (or pixel) on the chip is larger. This should equate to superior light-gathering capabilities and an impressive low-light performance. This is reflected in the Lumix GH5S’s ISO range, which spans from ISO 160-51,200 (extendable to ISO 80-204,800). By way of comparison, the GH5’s sensitivity range runs from ISO 200-25,600 (extendable to ISO 100).
Much like the Panasonic’s professional VariCam 35 camera, the GH5S also boasts Dual Native ISO technology. The idea behind is that it allows videographers to create high frame rate capture in low ambient light environments, while focusing on capturing the perfect shot, without having to worry about background noise.
In an interesting move, Panasonic has opted to omit in-body image stabilisation following feedback from its professional GH5 customers. By having a sensor that’s permanently fixed, Panasonic expects the camera to perform better in situations where the camera might be subject to vibration – when it’s mounted to rigs and other supports, for example.
The GH2 offers touchscreen controls to accompany more-traditional knobs and buttons, and those signature controls are all the more engaging in a camera equipped with a large detector, a high-quality lens, a quick autofocus, and high-end picture quality. The outcome is a exceptional camera whose touch-to-focus controls allow you to pull off complex focusing tricks with ease.Beyond the touchscreen, the GH2 is the most DSLR-like compact interchangeable-lens camera we’ve tested, because of its bigger size and design. The Lumix GH2’s video performance is quite impressive, but its still-image characteristic is a notch below that of a real DSLR: Colors and exposure quality tend to seem muted unless you dive into the camera’s range of manual controls, which is somewhat disappointing for a camera of the GH2’s size and cost. Having said that, the kit lens we tested it with was optimized for video and zoom range, therefore still-image quality is likely to improve considerably once you use the Lumix GH2 with a glowing, prime lens.We analyzed the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 as a kit with its video-optimized 14-140mm, f/4-5.8 optically stabilized lens. It costs $1500 as a kit in that configuration, $1000 as a kit with a 14-42mm stabilized lens, and $900 for your system only. The camera has a focal length multiplier of 2X for any lens attached.Though that the GH2’s 16-megapixel CMOS sensor is exactly the identical size as its predecessor’s, the Lumix DMC-GH1, the detector currently outputs higher-resolution pictures, and a brand new three-core Venus VI FHD engine handles the processing.
Another feature the GH5S omits is 6K-photo mode. This previously featured on the GH5 and allowed users to create 18-megapixel images direct from 30p video capture. Panasonic hasn’t completely done away with the idea of creating stills from video, and 4K-photo mode remains. This provides users with the opportunity to extract 8-megapixel still images from 4K footage recorded at 60fps.
As to be expected from a class-leading video camera, all imaginable frame rates are available, with the option to record 4K video at up to 60fps for an unlimited length of time. There’s 4:2:2 10-bit colour available in C4K and 4K at 30p/25p/24p for rich tonal gradations. Monitor output options include 4:2:2 10-bit output and internal recording (C4K/4K 60p/50p is output only), with 4:2:0 8-bit output and internal recording (C4K/4K 60p/50p) also available.
The automatic focus system is a massive attraction with this machine.It provides an array of modes and contains face-detection, monitoring, 49-area, custom multi area and my favourite pinpoint.The latter lets you zoom in before you take the shot at 100 percent scale for precision focus.The 30x zoom in particular is most impressive,particularly in daylight.I move to a lot of gigs and enjoy having a pocket camera with an adequate zoom.However, in lowlight conditions at full zoom that the outcomes have been noticeably lower in grade than with the zoom only half way or 2 thirds of their way extended.For video catch in the maximum 3840 x 2160 resolution, you can shoot at decent quality 30/25fps. In full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution you’ll be able to shoot 60/50fps. Together with the superb 4K video capture, the TZ90 has Panasonics 4K Photo feature.This captures a burst of 4K footage in 30 frames-per-second so that you are able to extract 8MP still images straight from the camera.Another great attribute is Post Focus mode which enables you to concentrate in a photo after shooting it.It’s great fun but best used with a tripod for steadying the frame while the camera captures a movie file at multiple focal depths.On the whole I’d highly recommend this versatile shooter as an easy-to-use innovative camera with a few fantastic features.This is for all of you who have wifi-enabled Panasonic cameras. I’m using a TS5.Is there some way to expand the range of the wifi from the camera into the app (I assume the matter is exactly the very same using Android and iOS)?
The program itself is practical rather than trendy. Its not the most superbly designed app youll ever come across but it gets the job done.One caveat: that the heart only supports the 2.4GHz band, so if you’re hoping to use it with a 5GHz device, youre out of luck. And it goes without saying that youll have to maintain your wifi hub and also the Panasonic hub switched on to access the machine, no matter where you’re. The app doesnt give you some warning if the heart is turned off; it simply wont let you access any of the options in the app, or show you some information regarding your connected devices.The significant thing about the camera, though, is its quality. The video quality is fair its VGA is 640×480 and, in low light, it switches into a night mode. The quality of the video may be adjusted between low and high, depending on what your network can handle, and if it wont rival the HD cameras, so it’ll do enough to help you keep an eye on your kid. Theres a talkback function, too, letting you speak to your baby without needing to enter the space. Whenever you have a child who snore several times a night, that function is more beneficial than you realise.Unlike with some baby monitors, you cant customise the lullabies out there. D-Link, for instance, permits you to place your own music on the infant monitors playlist through a microSD card.You may use a microSD card on the Panasonic monitor, but it’s for saving photos and videos which you catch on the camera.Theres that a 4GB card included in the box also.
The GH5S gives professional users the opportunity to record footage to an SD card inserted in the camera and to an external device at the same time via its HDMI Live Output. There’s also the option to shoot super-slow motion at up to 240fps when recording movie footage at Full HD quality. The fastest variable frame rate in Full HD quality on the GH5 is 180fps.
Unlike the GH5, the GH5S provides pre-installed V-Log L (digital negative) recording, as well as the V-Log L view assist function without the need to purchase the DMW-SFU1 upgrade software key that costs £80. Those who want exceptional flexibility as well as wider dynamic range for colour grading during the post-production process will welcome this with open arms.
The GH2 offers touchscreen controls to accompany more-traditional knobs and buttons, and those touch controls are all the more participating in a camera equipped with a large detector, a high quality lens, a quick autofocus, and high-end picture quality. The outcome is a unique camera whose touch-to-focus controls enable you to pull off complex focusing tricks with ease.Beyond the camera, the GH2 is the most DSLR-like compact interchangeable-lens camera we’ve tested, due to its larger size and design. The Lumix GH2’s video performance is very impressive, but its own still-image quality is a notch below that of a real DSLR: Colors and exposure quality have a tendency to seem muted unless you dive to the camera’s range of manual controls, which is somewhat disappointing for a camera of this GH2’s dimensions and cost. That said, the kit lens we analyzed it with has been optimized for video and zoom range, so still-image quality is very likely to improve considerably once you utilize the Lumix GH2 using a glowing, prime lens.We analyzed the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 for a kit using its video-optimized 14-140mm, f/4-5.8 optically stabilized lens. It costs $1500 as a kit in that configuration, $1000 as a kit using a 14-42mm stabilized lens, and $900 for the body only. The camera has a focal length multiplier of 2X for virtually any lens attached.Though that the GH2’s 16-megapixel CMOS sensor is exactly the same dimensions as its predecessor’s, the Lumix DMC-GH1, the sensor now outputs higher-resolution images, along with a new three-core Venus VI FHD engine manages the processing.
Another feature that will entice serious videographers is the GH5S’s Timecode In/Out compatibility, which is easy to set using the flash sync terminal and bundled coaxial cable for a BNC terminal. The camera can be used as a Timecode generator for other GH5S models and professional camcorders, and the functionality makes multi-camera productions pain-free by instantly synchronising recordings to other cameras or audio devices.
At the side of the camera there are two SD card slots, both of which are UHS-II compatible to handle the high data rates required. The GH5S also inherits all the original Lumix focusing features, including Face/Eye detection AF, 1-Area AF, Pinpoint AF and Full Area AF, in addition to MF assist (up to 20x magnification) and Focus Peaking.
Elsewhere, the GH5S inherits the new night mode from the Lumix G9 to suppress the stimulation of eyes that are accustomed to shooting in darkness. There’s a new graphical user interface that’s been developed on feedback from videographers, and the battery life sees a marginal improvement, accepting the DMW-BLF19E as previously used in the GH5.
Panasonic Lumix GH5S – Body and design
Some cameras have two-way communication, which is quite helpful when you’re using it to keep a watch out for children (“Place my very best wine glasses DOWN, Jeremy!”) Or the elderly. Or even pets, even if they’re remarkably obedient.It’s worth bearing in mind that such cameras will not be all that helpful in terms of summoning help (given the current state of UK police funding) or perhaps necessarily as proof in court. If the camera remains inside, there also will not be a deterrent effect, and when it’s outside, legally speaking, you need to alert passers by to the truth that they’re on camera.However, then you may feel using a smart camera, even without the high monthly cost of a proper anti-intrusion system, provides you peace of mind for not much cash.If you want a cam solely for lifestyle purposes to keep your eye on pets or children or babysitters that a 900-decibel alarm probably is not necessary, but two-way sound and trendy design are at least discreet and non-hideous design.Many cameras now have Wi-Fi capacities and here in ePHOTOzine, we have reviewed quite a rather larger amount of them. Cameras with Wi-Fi built in are not just helpful for instantly sharing photos but they may also be remotely controlled by smart apparatus which is a handy feature and in addition, it saves you having to buy a distant release.Also, gone are the days when it was just compact cameras which mostly had this feature as now DSLRs as well as CSC cameras are Wi-Fi enabled making choosing what camera’s right for you more rapid than ever to help you out, we have a rundown of the best Wi-Fi cameras now available on the market today that we have reviewed to date.
The GH5S’s body is built around the same magnesium alloy chassis as the GH5, and feels identical in the hand. The chunky grip accommodates large hands extremely well, and all the key controls are readily accessible as they are on the GH5. The GH5S also offers users reassurance when the going gets tough, with freeze-proofing (to -10°C) and splash/dust-resistance.
The only obvious differences you’ll notice between the GH5 and GH5S are the newly added flashes of red around the body. At the front, the letter S stands out in red beneath the model name, with the new red ring around the drive dial highlighting its premium status in Panasonic’s G-series – much like the Lumix G9.
Up on the top plate, just to the right of the Fn1 button, the movie-rec button has been made more obvious. It’s finished in red, with its white REC lettering clearly standing out against it.
In all other respects of body and design the GH5S is identical to the GH5. The EVF employs a stunningly detailed 3.68-mdot OLED panel and provides a 0.76x magnification. Meanwhile, the fully articulated 1.62-mdot 3.2in screen is touch-sensitive and uses WhiteMagic technology for increased brightness.
Rather than replacing the Lumix GH5 outright, the GH5S positions itself alongside its sister model and the Lumix G9 in the company’s premium product lineup. The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is more of a hybrid model, in the way it offers 4K broadcast-standard video specification with an attractive array of photo features, combined with a 20-megapixel output for stills photographers. The Lumix GH5S, however, is more a niche product in the way it’s been made as good as possible for certain types of video user.
During our brief hands-on session, Panasonic showed several side-by-side comparison clips to illustrate how well the camera performs in low light compared to the Lumix GH5. High ISO video clips taken on the Lumix GH5S at ISO 6400, ISO 12,800 and ISO 25,600 displayed noticeably less noise, with higher contrast and more vibrant colour.
Shortly afterwards, Panasonic compared the rolling shutter effect of the Lumix GH5S with the Sony A7S II. Comparisons of the same scene revealed noticeably less rolling effect on the Lumix GH5S than the Sony A7S II.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5S is clearly a specialist videographers tool, and therefore is unlikely to find its way into the hands of many stills photographers when there are so many more viable alternatives available for less money.
The GH5s’s 10-megapixel resolution is rather low by today’s standards, and by choosing the excellent Lumix G9 instead, stills photographers will get a far more versatile camera that’s capable of resolving finer detail. The other bonus of choosing the Lumix G9 is that you’ll save £700, which could be better spent on an accompanying lens.
The manual shutter and aperture controls take over to the GH2’s high-definition movie mode, which makes it a very versatile hybrid apparatus for both stills and movie. The camera captures 1920-by-1080 AVCHD video at a max of 60i in 17 mbps, or at 24p in 24 mbps. As an alternative, you may lower the video resolution to 720p and capture 60p in 17 mbps.The most advanced video feature is your capability to produce smooth transitions between focus points by simply touching the LCD screen while filming, and that means you can achieve “rack focus” effects easily or maintain attention on static objects which aren’t in the middle of the framework. The results raise already-great-looking video to the level of professional-quality film, particularly if you record it in 24p. Here’s a good illustration of a quick-and-easy touchscreen-controlled focus change in a difficult backlit situation.On-the-fly focus changes react quickly and easily when you use the camera, but it works better when you keep at least a foot of distance between focus subjects–and sometimes you will want to tap the touchscreen over once to get the wanted effect to register. The touchscreen takes some getting used to at the “wow, this is new” sense; I frequently forgot that the camera’s touchscreen was busy, and wiping off the screen clean with my sleeve contributed to about 10 accidental touch-shutter-triggered shots of my toes.
With the Lumix GH5S being as niche as it is, the demand for it is unlikely to be as high as previous G-series models. Anyone who shoots stills more than they do movies is likely to give the GH5S a wide berth.
However, for serious and professional videographers having already invested in Micro Four Thirds lenses, not forgetting those who demand a relatively small, lightweight and very capable video camera, there’s very good reason to be excited by Panasonic’s latest G-series release.
Many cameras have two-way communicating, which is very helpful if you’re using it to keep an eye on children (“Place my very best wine glasses DOWN, Jeremy!”) Or the elderly. Or even pets, even if they are unusually obedient.It’s worth bearing in mind that such cameras will not be useful in terms of either summoning help (given the present state of UK police funding) or even necessarily as proof in court. If the camera remains inside, there also will not be a deterrent effect, and when it is outside, legally speaking, you have to alert passers by into the fact they’re on camera.However, then you may feel using a wise camera, even without the high monthly cost of a proper anti-intrusion system, gives you reassurance for not much cash.If you would like a camera solely for lifestyle functions to keep your eye on pets or children or babysitters a 900-decibel alarm probably isn’t mandatory, but two-way sound and stylish design are or at least discreet and non-hideous design.Many cameras now have Wi-Fi capacities and here at ePHOTOzine, we have reviewed quite a somewhat larger amount of them. Cameras with Wi-Fi built in are not just helpful for instantly sharing photos but they may also be remotely controlled by smart apparatus which is a handy feature and in addition, it saves you having to purchase a distant release.Also, gone are the days when it was just compact cameras which mostly had this attribute as now DSLRs also as CSC cameras have been Wi-Fi enabled making choosing what camera’s appropriate for you more rapid than but to aid you, we’ve got a rundown of the greatest Wi-Fi cameras now available in the marketplace today that we have reviewed thus far.
The automatic focus system is a huge attraction with this machine.It provides an array of modes and includes face-detection, tracking, 49-area, custom multi place and my favorite pinpoint.The latter lets you zoom in before you take the shot in 100 percent scale for precision focus.The 30x zoom in particular is striking,especially in daylight.I go to a lot of gigs and enjoy having a pocket camera with an adequate zoom.However, in lowlight conditions at full zoom that the results have been noticeably lower in grade than with the zoom only half way or two thirds of the way extended.For video capture in the utmost 3840 x 2160 resolution, you can shoot decent quality 30/25fps. In full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution you can shoot 60/50fps. Together with the excellent 4K movie capture, the TZ90 includes Panasonics 4K Photo feature.This captures a burst of 4K footage in 30 frames-per-second so you can extract 8MP still images straight from the camera.Another fantastic feature is Post Focus style which enables you to focus in a photo after taking it.It’s good fun but best used with a tripod for steadying the framework while the camera captures a picture file at multiple focal depths.On the whole I would highly suggest this versatile shot as an easy-to-use innovative camera with some great features.This is for all of you that have wifi-enabled Panasonic cameras. I’m using a TS5.Is there any way to expand the selection of the wifi in the camera into the program (I assume the matter is the same with Android and iOS)?