One stop forward, one step back? Panasonic launch the GH5s

I need to be clear I think the GH5 is a fantastic camera. Some people were annoyed that I didn’t award it my mirrorless camera of the year. The reason being is I have owned it since it came out back in March and I have not used it much. Whilst I love the video centric features and especially the 4K 50p/60p I still find the micro four thirds sensor too small for my taste and the low light ability too limiting. That being said I have still used it in conjunction with the SLR magic Anamorphic lenses and love it.

So today Panasonic announced the GH5s making the camera even more video centric with a halved megapixel count to improve the low light ability increasing the base sensitivity and giving it a dual native ISO sensor (400-2500), similar in concept to what their Varicam LT and EVA1 have. The megapixels are now 10.2 and the ISO range is 160-51200 which is one stop higher in max ISO over the GH5.

The camera’s 4K DCI 50p/60p is still 8 bit (up to 30p is 10 bit) but VLOG L now comes with the camera instead of being a paid upgrade which the GH5 has.

Here are the main features

  • 10.2 High-Sensitivity
  • Multi Aspect Ratio
  • Suppressed Rolling Shutter
  • Cinema 4K 60p/50p* with Unlimited Recording Time (8 bit over 30p)
  • 4:2:2 10bit* and 400Mbs All-Intra Recording (not 4k 50p/ 60p)
  • Pre-Installed V-LogL
  • 14bit RAW (a first for the Panasonic cameras)
  • -5EV AF
  • 0.76x 3,680k-dot OLED LVF
  • 3.2″ Free-Angle Touch Monitor
  • Splash-* / Dust- and Freeze-Proof Mg Body

The problem I see is the one key feature that was a massive draw to the GH5 and is so well implemented, that is IBIS, the 5 axis in built image stabilised sensor. It is so good on the GH5. Not as good as the Olympus system but much better than the Sony A7 series system.

I just can’t understand why they would do this. Yes, the new features are great but to lose IBIS means handheld shooting won’t be as good, you need to use native IS lenses to get the best results meaning using a Speedbooster to give it a S35 look you are going to struggle handheld unless you use an IS Canon lens. Likewise all those amazing fully manual MFT lenses from SLR Magic and Voigtlander are going to be not so great to use handheld as they have no IS.

I am still interested in trying it out but I just cannot see me upgrading my GH5 to a mirrorless camera with no IBIS. We have been moaning about how Canon have not got with the modern cameras and put it in a mirrorless cameras, now Panasonic remove it from their most expensive mirrorless camera. It just makes no senses to me. I have also heard the autofocus has not been improved and is the same as the GH5. I personally believe autofocus that works like the Canon dual pixel and the Sony A7RIII/ A6500 system is an essential too for modern cameras.

Now I haven’t used the camera so maybe it is amazing and you will forgive the loss of IBIS but it would have to be something extraordinary to justify this.

If you still are interested you can pre-order below. It’s $2500.

Don’t forget to check out my review of the excellent Panasonic EVA1 here. 


 


Whilst we are talking about the GH5 it gave me the perfect opportunity to show the new cage that Zacuto have made for it. I think this is the first time that they have made a camera specific cage and it is really nice, the side grip is excellent, the wooden handle can be useful although my hand tends to rest on the lens barrel. The riser and rods are perfect for the SLR Magic Anamorphics. It isn’t cheap though as it costs $495 without the riser. Fortunately it does still fit the GH5s as they haven’t changed the body. If you are interested you can order it from Zacuto here. 

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