Panasonic GH5 vs GH5s

Panasonic GH5 vs GH5s – Which is Better?

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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 has proven to be an exceptionally reliable workhorse, exceeding expectations from everyone and proving, even in 2020, to still be a match with the latest releases.

Next, in 2018, the Panasonic GH5S was released, fine-tuning some of the things the original Panasonic GH5 was perhaps lacking in.

So, which is better? Read on below to find out our verdict on the GH5 vs GH5S.

GH5 & GH5s Specs

Panasonic Lumix rear screen settings

Firstly, let’s compare at a glance. Below, you can see the specs for the GH5 vs GH5S.

Panasonic GH5Panasonic GH5S
4K video (4096 x 2160)24p60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
4K video (3840 x 2160)60p/50p/30p/25p/24p60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
4:2:2 10bit recording (Cinema 4K – 4096 x 2160)24p30p/25p/24p
4:2:2 10bit recording (4K – 3840 x 2160)30p/25p/24p30p/25p/24p
4:2:2 10bit recording (FHD)60p/50p/30p/25p/24p60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
Recording time limitUnlimitedUnlimited
Sensor size20.3 Megapixel Sensor10.28 Megapixel Sensor
In-body Image StabilisationYESNO
Variable Frame Rates (4K)Up to 60FPSUp to 60FPS
Variable Frame Rates (FHD)Up to 180FPSUp to 240FPS
Dual Native ISONOYES
V-Log LOptional extraComes pre-installed
Dual card slotYESYES
Weight725g660g

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.

Sensors

GH5S sensor closeup

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 on 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

Panasonic Lumix ISO night scene

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 analogue 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 on the data through a gain amplifier. As a result, high sensitivity noise is reduced. Very nice.

Frame Rates & Resolutions

GH5 resolution settings

Whilst we may pitch this as the GH5 vs GH5S, the two cameras are brothers in arms. Even in 2020, they are the only two compact mirrorless cameras with an 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.

V-Log L

V-Log L ungraded footage Panansonic GH5

Additionally, you’ve also got V-Log L pre-installed on the Panasonic GH5S. Given the impressive specs and colour-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 – Which One Should I Choose?

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 it’s 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.

Cinematography, Gear, Video Production

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