Wanna know a secret? Your new favourite TV documentary was probably shot on a camera like Panasonic’s brand new Lumix GH5S. And your next favourite? It’s what this 4K video behemoth was made for.
Having gotten our hands-on the GH5S ahead of its launch at CES 2018 in Las Vegas today, it certainly looks to be the absolute business. With Ultra HD capabilities to suit the both latest TVs and cinema screens, it’s a clear leap forward from last year’s GH5 that’s focused purely on top tier video recording. If you’re an aspiring Scorsese, then it might well be the camera for you.
Here’s what we made of the Panasonic Lumix GH5S from our time with its monstrous charms.
Features: a 4k movie making monster
Whereas the Panasonic GH5 was made for both photos and video, the GH5S has only one thing on it’s mind: 4K footage. That’s why it’s got a 10.2MP sensor with pixels that are almost two times bigger than on the GH5. What does this mean? The GH5S can capture a huge amount of light and detail in its footage with a maximum ISO of 51,200, which of course makes all the difference when you’re shooting in a 4K resolution.
Speaking of Ultra HD video, Panasonic’s Lumix GH5S can shoot in pretty much every 4K format imaginable including Cinema 4K at 60 frames per second. Better yet, it’ll also handle Hybrid Log Gamma recording for HDR video and the 10-bit color spectrum. In other words, if you’ve got a fancy telly like an LG OLED or Samsung QLED then this camera can really get the best out of it.
In similarly futuristic fashion, the GH5S is one of the very first consumer cameras to support Dual-Native ISO, which is a new technology designed to help reduce noise when shooting in high sensitivity scenarios a.k.a. night time and indoors. Obviously, we’ll need to try the camera ourselves to see quite how much difference this makes, but we’ve seen some might impressive test footage in its favour with warmer colours and more true to life imagery.
Of course, there’s loads more technical stuff to delve into with a camera of this calibre but key for aspiring filmmakers will be the GH5S’ unlimited video recording - most rival cameras come with a 30-minute limit - and lack of body image stabilisation for more versatile shooting. Panasonic want this splash, dust & freeze proof machine to thrive in all manner of conditions. Be that strapped to the inside of a dune buggy or sitting out alone in the Arctic tundra. This thing has been built for more than your bog standard YouTube vlog.
Design: a GH5 identikit
As much as the GH5S is a very different beast to the GH5, both cameras share a near-on identical body. The big difference? A neat little red ring that wraps around the GH5S’ control dial and a red-embossed S on the cameras front. Otherwise you might really struggle to tell the cameras apart.
Both share a sturdy magnesium alloy frame that’s stacked to the max with a wealth of buttons and dials for tweaking the way you capture your video. Elsewhere, the GH5S has dual SD memory card slots, a 3.2in vari-angle touchscreen with a 3,680-dot resolution and an electronic viewfinder that operates at 120fps.
To almost all intents and purposes, the GH5S goes all out to help you capture the perfect footage. There’s even a new user interface that’s been designed especially for video-focused creators. The GH5S also felt a little lighter in our hands compared to the GH5, although not to a dramatic degree.
Panasonic Lumix GH5S Initial Verdict
Let’s make no bones about this, the Panasonic Lumix GH5S looks to be a supremely accomplished camera that takes into account a lot of the qualms serious filmmakers had with last year’s GH5. For a body-only price of £2199.99 (RM11,955) you’d expect nothing less really.
Luckily, we won’t have to wait long to see if the GH5S is up to scratch. It’s set for release on the 15th January 2018. Yup, that’s next week. So stay tuned for our imminent verdict on the Panasonic Lumix GH5S.