It’s a well-known conundrum in the filmmaking world – the GH5 vs GH5S.
If you’re finding it hard to pick, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Panasonic has really paved the way in recent years with its flagship Micro four-thirds DSLR.
Originally released in 2017, the Panasonic GH5 proved to be an exceptionally reliable workhorse, exceeding expectations from everyone.
Then, in 2018, the Panasonic GH5S was released, fine-tuning some of the things the original Panasonic GH5 was perhaps lacking.
So, which is better? Read on below to find out our verdict on the GH5 vs GH5S.
GH5 & GH5s Specs
Firstly, let’s compare at a glance. Below, you can see the specs for the GH5 vs GH5S.
|4K video (4096 x 2160)
|4K video (3840 x 2160)
|4:2:2 10bit recording (Cinema 4K – 4096 x 2160)
|4:2:2 10bit recording (4K – 3840 x 2160)
|4:2:2 10bit recording (FHD)
|Recording time limit
|20.3 Megapixel Sensor
|10.28 Megapixel Sensor
|In-body Image Stabilisation
|Variable Frame Rates (4K)
|Up to 60FPS
|Up to 60FPS
|Variable Frame Rates (FHD)
|Up to 180FPS
|Up to 240FPS
|Dual Native ISO
|Dual card slot
What you’ve probably concluded is that really, in all honesty, both are amazing cameras. Whether you buy the GH5 or the GH5S, you’re going to be happy with the results.
Therefore, it’s not necessarily a question of which is better, but which is right for you?
So, to find that out, let’s take a look at some of the key differences the GH5S has over the GH5. You’ll need to weigh these up and place it into context with when and where you’re most likely going to be shooting with these cameras. We’ll look at this in the conclusion.
Firstly, one of the main differences is in sensor size. The Panasonic GH5S has a sensor size of 10.28MP – getting near to half of the 20.3MP you’ll find on the Panasonic GH5. It’s a considerable drop in resolution and means that if you’re a photographer looking at the GH5 vs GH5S, you’re probably picking the Panasonic GH5 for the better stills.
However, there is a great reason for the drop in the GH5S.
The GH5S has dropped the incredible IBIS (In-body Image Stabilisation) found in the GH5. It has effectively sacrificed stability for better low-light capabilities. With more room, the megapixels are 1.96x larger. Consequently, they’re taking in much more light and there’s less need to bump up your ISO for exposure. As a result, the GH5S is 2.38x more sensitive than its bigger brother.
Furthermore, there’s 25% less noise in the GH5S and the decrease in megapixels means a faster readout from the sensor because it’s less data for the camera to process.
GH5 vs GH5s – Dual ISO
Additionally, as if that wasn’t enough, the Panasonic GH5S also boasts Dual Native ISO. This technology is a little complex but, in short, once the light is captured by the sensor’s pixels, it’s processed by two analog circuits, rather than just one as is the case on the Panasonic GH5.
The two circuits deal separately with the low ISO and noise before sending the data through a gain amplifier. As a result, high-sensitivity noise is reduced. Very nice.
Frame Rates & Resolutions
Whilst we may pitch this as the GH5 vs GH5S, the two cameras are brothers in arms. Even now, they are the only two compact mirrorless cameras with the ability to internally record 4K in 10bit 4:2:2. That’s impressive. Whilst the GH5 can record cinema 4K (4096×2160) at up to 24fps, the GH5s goes even further, allowing up to 30fps. Something to note.
Moreover, the GH5S has improved HD slow-motion capabilities, able to record full HD 1080p at an impressive 240fps! However, from 200fps upward there is a slight crop in so that the camera can cope with the data. Regardless, it’s really quite amazing for such a small MFT (Micro Four-Thirds) system.
Additionally, you’ve also got V-Log L pre-installed on the Panasonic GH5S. Given the impressive specs and color grading options, it’s nice to have this available and ready to go straight out of the box, rather than having to purchase it as an additional extra as you had to with the Panasonic GH5
Other Things To Note
Lastly, a few other differences worth noting include the slight difference in weight. At 660g, the Panasonic GH5S is 10% lighter than the Panasonic GH5 (this is negligible given how lightweight both cameras already are). In addition to this, it also boasts a slightly longer battery life, claiming 440 shots against the 410 of the GH5.
Panasonic GH5 vs GH5s – Wrapping Up
To sum up, what do we think when it comes to the GH5 vs GH5S? It really does all come down to how you’re going to use these cameras.
For example, the In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) on the Panasonic GH5 is really, really impressive and allows you to shoot handheld a lot of the time. So if you’re a handheld shooter who likes to travel light without a gimbal, bear this in mind. 😉
However, if you shoot a lot in low-light conditions then the GH5S, with its dual native ISO, is a real winner. 👍
So, whichever camera you do end up opting for, we know you’ll be more than happy. Panasonic has done an amazing job on this line and whilst the GH5 vs GH5S debate may well rage on, we expect to see both of them still performing well for the next 5 years.