Final 12 months, Panasonic added the Lumix GH5 to its roster of digital cameras focused at skilled photographers and videographers, and at this 12 months’s CES, the corporate unveiled a brand new video-centric version of the digicam known as the Lumix GH5S.
Consider this as Panasonic’s reply to Sony’s A7S II mirrorless digicam, which is a model of its mirrorless A7 collection, additionally primarily optimised for video. The Panasonic Lumix GH5S is designed particularly for low-light taking pictures and helps various skilled recording codecs, in addition to the connectors that one would ideally count on. Priced at Rs. 1,84,990 for simply the physique, is the efficiency that Panasonic claims actually definitely worth the hype? We discover out.
Panasonic Lumix GH5S design and construct
The Lumix GH5S isn’t too completely different from the GH5 when it comes to design. The structure of the buttons is just about the identical as on final 12 months’s mannequin. There’s a wholesome choice of six programmable Fn buttons throughout the digicam, plus you may assign shortcuts to the management dial on the again, and even add some extra to the fitting facet of the the on-screen menu. The physique doesn’t really feel too heavy by itself, however snap on a lens, and it does get cumbersome. We actually just like the grip that the GH5S provides. The hand grip is sort of thick with ample rubber cladding, so even these with massive palms will discover it snug to carry.
The shutter button traces up effectively along with your index finger, and has reassuring half- and full-press suggestions. There are dials on the highest and the again of the digicam (apart from the primary management dial) for altering settings when taking pictures. The GH5S additionally has a joystick for flipping via images in playback mode or adjusting the main target space. All of the buttons have good tactile suggestions, count on for perhaps the management dial on the again, which feels a bit of flimsy if you rotate it. The video recording button is now vivid purple and there’s a purple ring across the drive mode dial, to tell apart the brand new mannequin from the older one.
On the highest of the digicam, now we have chunky dials for the drive mode and taking pictures mode. The latter may be locked into place so that you don’t by accident flip it when taking pictures. The association of the drive modes is similar as on the GH5, but it surely must be famous that the GH5S provides 4K burst taking pictures versus 6K on the GH5, attributable to its lower-resolution sensor. There’s no built-in flash however there’s a scorching shoe for attaching an exterior one.
You get an OLED digital viewfinder (EVF), which delivers a 100 p.c subject of view. A sensor enables you to mechanically swap between the LCD display screen and the EVF by bringing the digicam to your eye. The EVF’s three.6 million-dot decision produces actually crisp photos, and you’ll go for a 120fps refresh fee fairly than the default 60fps, for extra fluid movement.
You get a decently massive three.2-inch touchscreen which may be articulated absolutely and has a 1.6 million-dot decision. Viewing angles are respectable and the show doesn’t wash out too badly underneath daylight. Contact response is sweet, and you’ll rapidly zoom in to your photos when viewing them, in addition to change settings or lock focus.
Coming to the bodily connectors, now we have sockets for a microphone and headphones, an HDMI output, and a USB Kind-C (USB three.1 Gen1) port on the left of the digicam. There’s a flash synchro socket on the entrance, which can be utilized for timecode synchronisation with a multi-camera setup. Panasonic consists of the mandatory cable for this within the Lumix GH5S’s field. There’s a devoted distant socket on the fitting, adopted by twin SD card slots just under that (SDHC/ SDXC playing cards are supported at upto UHS-II speeds). The GH5S is weather-sealed, and is constructed to face up to temperatures right down to -10 levels Celsius. It is also splash- and dust-resistant. Within the field, you get a battery, charger, Kind-C cable, BNC conversion cable, shoulder strap, and cable holder.
Panasonic GH5S Lumix specs and options
The Lumix GH5S makes use of a 10.2-megapixel micro four-thirds sensor in a mirrorless physique, which is round half the decision of the usual GH5. This enables for bigger pixels, which ought to assist the Lumix GH5S in low gentle, and is what this digicam was primarily designed for. The Lumix GH5S additionally boasts of what Panasonic calls “Twin Native ISO 400, 2500”, which is usually a little complicated as these aren’t the precise ‘native’ ISO values.
The GH5S primarily has twin acquire circuits for ISO, so the primary one is used between ISO 160-800 (Low), whereas the second kicks in at ISO 800-51,200 (Excessive). You’ll be able to broaden the ISO vary to 80 on the low finish and the higher restrict can go all the best way to 2,04,800. Within the settings, you may manually set this to Low or Excessive, or depart it at Auto.
The digicam solely makes use of distinction detection autofocus (AF) with 225 factors, as a substitute of section detection. As a consequence of this, steady autofocus isn’t very fast and you’ll’t pull off focus transitions very successfully. The GH5S does allow you to manually set as much as three focus factors and carry out a spotlight pull between them, however you’ll have to have a hard and fast body, and the method is sort of cumbersome. The digicam additionally has a multi-aspect sensor, which suggests it makes use of the whole width of the sensor with none cropping even in the event you swap between Four:three, three:2 and 16:9.
One other spotlight function of the GH5S is its potential to shoot native Cinema 4K (2160×4096) and common 4K (2160×3840) movies at 10-bit depth, with Four:2:2 chroma sub-sampling. Whereas recording, you may also have a simultaneous 4K feed despatched to an exterior monitor by way of the HDMI port. There are many recording codecs (MPEG-Four, H.264, H.265) and codecs (AVCHD, MP4, HEVC, LPCM, MOV) to select from, which implies that there’s good flexibility when taking pictures. 4K video tops out at 60fps at 150Mbps, or you may go for a better bit-rate of 400Mbps (for higher particulars), however solely at 24fps.
You’ll be able to file high-framerate (HFR) movies at 1080p, as much as 240fps. Movies shot on this mode look superb, with good slow-motion results. The digicam additionally has superior taking pictures modes reminiscent of V-Log L, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma for HDR) and Like709, which may be graded later in post-production utilizing LUTs (Look Up Tables) to realize the specified impact.
The GH5S helps burst taking pictures of as much as 12fps and may even do 14-bit RAW burst pictures at 7fps with AF-C or 11fps with AF-S. The 4K Photograph drive mode enables you to shoot bursts of 30fps or 60fps images (Eight-megapixel decision), that are saved as MP4 information. As soon as the recording is completed, you may flick through the person frames which might be captured and save the specified ones. We discovered this to be very helpful when taking pictures fast-moving objects or actions, and the top end result is excellent.
It’s also possible to swap to a 4K Burst (S/S) mode, which requires you to press the shutter button for a second time if you need to cease recording. 4K pre-burst saves buffered footage from one second earlier than and after you press the shutter. There’s additionally a spotlight stacking mode that permits you to shoot the identical burst of images because the 4K Photograph mode, however you may choose which a part of the body you need in focus afterward, earlier than saving your chosen stills.
Nevertheless, Panasonic has left one function out of the Lumix GH5S, which is an in-body picture stabilisation system. This may look like an enormous letdown for many who shall be taking pictures and not using a tripod, however the firm appears to be banking on the truth that most of this digicam’s target market would use it on a gimbal or a stabiliser rig of some type.
Different capabilities embody a most shutter pace of 1/8000 seconds; auto, aperture, focus, and white steadiness bracketing modes; artistic scene modes; built-in dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Four.2; and an anamorphic video mode to be used with anamorphic lenses. The Lumix GH5S may also be used with the Panasonic Picture app on Android and iOS to manage most of its settings and have photos mechanically transferred to your smartphone. The app is designed effectively and does not take lengthy to get used to.
Panasonic GH5S Lumix efficiency and battery life
For testing the Lumix GH5S, Panasonic despatched us a 42.5mm f/1.2 lens, which itself has a sticker worth of Rs. 1,01,990. It options toggle switches for optical picture stabilisation and Handbook/ Auto focus. There is a focus ring and an aperture ring, the latter of which has a pleasant ‘clicky’ movement. The lens produces some actually sharp photos and is nice for portraits, because of the super-wide f/1.2 aperture. Nevertheless, it provides fairly a little bit of heft to the digicam because it weighs 425g by itself. Additionally, road images was a bit inconvenient attributable to its 85mm (35mm equal) efficient focal size.
Panasonic Lumix GH5S ISO check
We start with our ISO check, the place noise is nearly non-existent until about ISO 3200. Leaping straight to ISO 6400, we see a little bit of noise within the shadow areas underneath the color pencils, however not a lot on the pencils themselves. At ISO 12800, sharpness begins to cut back and the small print get mildly blotchy, however noise remains to be very a lot in test. ISO 25600 introduces some grain on the pencils, and particulars are barely much less pronounced. Lastly, at ISO 51200, the sides of the pencils aren’t clearly outlined anymore and the picture is sort of grainy, however not utterly unusable, which is good. We will see that the dual-gain ISO implementation does make massive influence at greater ISO ranges.
The GH5S isn’t one of the best digicam for nonetheless images, primarily because of the low decision of its sensor, which doesn’t provide you with an excessive amount of artistic freedom. There’s not plenty of flexibility if you wish to crop pictures afterward, though having stated that, this digicam does handle to seize good particulars when taking pictures in daylight. We didn’t discover any of the same old points reminiscent of chromatic aberrations or barrel distortion. You’ll be able to allow HDR within the Settings menu, which mechanically combines three consecutive pictures with various exposures right into a single picture. In panorama pictures, the sensor manages good dynamic vary and white steadiness, and lightweight metering is dealt with effectively even underneath harsh daylight. The extent of element is sweet even with massive objects within the distance.
Macro pictures are additionally dealt with properly, and had been particularly enjoyable to shoot with such a lens. Colors are punchy with good ranges of saturation and edges round our topics had been usually sharp and exact. Greater than the usual burst mode, we wound up utilizing the 4K Photograph mode for burst taking pictures because it’s positively simpler in capturing fleeting moments and we managed to get some fairly good outcomes. The main target stacking drive mode additionally works effectively, as you may shift focus to any a part of the picture if you preview it on the digicam after which save that desired nonetheless. Steady AF is a bit gradual because of the distinction detection system however the digicam is pretty fast to lock focus in any other case. You get completely different focusing modes like face/ eye monitoring, monitoring focus, 225-area, customized space, and 1-area.
The GH5S boasts of with the ability to be concentrate on a topic even in -5EV lighting situations, and whereas you are able to do this, the focusing pace is slower. This digicam additionally manages to ship good dynamic vary even in low gentle. Particulars are pretty effectively preserved and the various colors of the road and visitors lights in our pattern image had been captured properly. Finer particulars are a bit of tougher to make out because of the comparatively low decision, even at a 100 p.c crop. Shut-up pictures additionally fared very effectively, and we managed sharp photos with well-defined edges. The latter may very well be right down to the lens however total, macros in low gentle had been fairly passable.
Apart from the PASM taking pictures modes, the GH5S additionally has an Auto mode and an Results mode. The latter enables you to cycle via various standard filters together with monochrome, tender focus, miniature, and so on, and when used appropriately, they yield some attention-grabbing outcomes. There are additionally three customized taking pictures modes (C1, C2, C3), which may be arrange for various taking pictures conditions.
The Inventive Video mode is the one you need to be in to reap the benefits of the superior taking pictures modes like HFR. The issue with taking pictures at a excessive framerate is that the focusing system defaults to guide focus, which is a bit of unusual. One option to get round that is to rapidly swap to a different mode, lock focus in your topic, after which leap again to Inventive Video mode and start taking pictures. The gradual movement impact may be very good however you may must ensure you have ample lighting. Video high quality in daylight is great. The extent of element is excellent, and colors have a impartial tone to them. Cinema 4K video shot at 60fps had rock-steady framerates.
The Lumix GH5S’s true potential is realised when you begin taking pictures in low gentle. With the ISO set to Auto, we managed to get glorious dynamic vary in our check footage. The reflections of the distant neon lights on the water are captured in nice element and as you may see in our check footage, there’s no actual seen noise. We shot the identical scene once more, however this time, manually bumped the ISO as much as see how far we may go earlier than noise turned insupportable. Impressively, the Lumix GH5S provides you very usable footage until about ISO 12800, after which chroma noise is seen and on the highest ISO and photographs suffers extra the darker it’s. We did discover a little bit of focus looking right here too, which may be a problem in case your topic strikes sporadically or in the event you’re panning lots.
The Settings menus are laid out effectively and are simple to navigate. The settings for nonetheless and video taking pictures are grouped individually, adopted by superior settings for publicity, focus, re-mapping the shortcut buttons, and wi-fi connectivity. There’s a ‘Night time Mode’ which provides a purple tone to the viewfinder and EVF to make it simpler to compose pictures at nighttime. The zoom stage of Handbook Focus Help is now 20x, so you may precisely concentrate on smaller distant objects too.
We discovered that this digicam’s battery held up effectively with common use. The rated battery life ranges between 440 and 1,300 pictures per cost, relying on how a lot you employ the LCD display screen and EVF, and the time-out set for sleep mode. We managed to empty the battery midway after about 200 pictures, which included stills, 4K movies and plenty of 4K Photograph bursts, which isn’t dangerous. With solely stills, we simply managed to cross 400 pictures on one cost.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5S is well among the best digital cameras for low-light images that we have come throughout, with spectacular high-ISO efficiency. It additionally helps loads of skilled video codecs and bodily connectivity choices, which might make it simple to combine with most professional setups. The digicam is geared toward videographers and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. If you happen to want high-quality video recording with in depth help for business video requirements, the GH5S might be definitely worth the funding.
Apart from taking pictures actually top quality 4K footage, the digicam additionally excels at burst pictures via the 4K Photograph mode, has an excellent EVF, is effectively constructed, and options loads of superior choices that can hold customers joyful. It’s not one of the best digicam for general-purpose stills although, because of the low-resolution sensor, and steady autofocus is a bit gradual, that are issues to remember.
Worth (MRP): Rs. 1,84,990 (physique solely)
- Climate-resistant physique
- Big selection options
- 4K video appears to be like nice
- Spectacular high-ISO efficiency
- Nifty burst taking pictures modes
- Good battery life
- Steady AF isn’t fast
- Lacks in-body stabilisation
- Low decision sensor limits cropping prospects
Rankings (Out of 5)
- Construct/Design: Four.5
- Picture high quality: Four
- Video high quality: Four.5
- Efficiency: Four
- Worth for cash: three.5
- Total: Four