The Best Reason to Buy the Panasonic GH5S Camera

There’s been a lot of disappointment surrounding Panasonic’s announcement of the GH5S. Some see the loss of built-in-stabilization to be too great. Caleb Pike explains why Panasonic made this camera and who it’s actually designed for.

The sweet, new low-light capabilities in the GH5S aren’t just due to less megapixels: the sensor in the GH5S is actually larger than the GH5. As a result, the sensor can’t be stabilized with magnets, because it would cause erratic vignetting along the corners. Unfortunately, Panasonic would need to abandon the MFT mount entirely in order to stabilize the new sensor.

As such, we can see that the GH5S is pushing the capabilities of what Panasonic can deliver to the very limits. The benefits of that are clear from Pike’s demonstration. Nothing like some good old pen and paper to set the record straight, as it’s easy to understand the difference in his video. Not only is the lack of stabilization a good thing for filmmakers who want to stabilize the camera using a gimbal or Steadicam, but they’re getting more out of the camera by throwing out the IBIS.

I wouldn't blame you for saying the sensors were exactly the same when the product images are literally exactly the same. It seems that Panasonic didn't reshoot the GH5s but made a composite image using the original GH5 images.

It’s clear that the GH5S isn’t for photographers, with half the megapixel count of the GH5. Going further than that, Pike makes the argument that the GH5s isn’t even made for documentary and wedding videographers. I absolutely agree with him: the GH5Ss is not actually the sequel to the GH5, but instead, it’s an extension of the EVA1 inside a GH5-sized body. The best reason to buy the GH5S is the same reason Panasonic threw out the IBIS.
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6 Comments

Excellent video about the tools and their purpose.

This clearly explains why some film makers want some tools and why the features prized by lower end users are not wanted by pros in the field.

The guys from Camerastoretv sorta went into it when the camera was announced. This camera is meant for production work where a "real" video camera wont fit.

Adrian Pocea's picture

Actually I don't see why it wouldn't be for wedding videographers. I have yet to meet a wedding videographer that just shoots with a dslr type camera at his eye. Everyone uses either a shoulder rig, a monopod, a tripod, a gimbal, a slider. You cannot just go to a wedding to film it and float around like an amateur holding a camera at your eye. Usually you have there a microphone, a light, an external recorder maybe, stuff that needs a rig. Then, let's not forget that the lenses of micro four thirds have pretty good stabilization themselves. Then again, they did weddings with Canons, with Sony A6300(what a great sensor in what a terrible camera), with A6500(who's internal ibis is like almost worthless), with Fuji XT2, and we cannot do weddings with an amazing powerhouse of a camera, which does everything that a cinema camera does, for a quarter of the money?

Looking at the spec sheet of both Panasonics, where does it say that GH5S has a larger sensor than GH5? Am I missing something?

Stephen Kampff's picture

CameraLabs has a detailed article regarding the GH5s sensor tech here: https://www.cameralabs.com/panasonic-lumix-gh5s-review/

You'll see that it's only certain aspect ratios that will benefit, and that you can't use the full sensor. Pretty cool nonetheless!

I do a lot of run-and-gun work. I'm still considering GH5s because of the low-light benefits. What do we think about the advances there. I've found the terrible low-light capability of the other GH series very inhibiting. Thoughts?