Panasonic GH5S camcorder/camera proves that less (pixels) is more

With ±50% less pixels, the GH5S still shoots 4K and is much better in low light!

At CES 2018, Panasonic just announced the new GH5S to accompany the original GH5 camcorder/camera. In a way, the new Panasonic GH5S is like light beer, but instead of having 50% less calories, it has ±50% fewer pixels. The GH5S uses the same Micro Four Thirds sensor size, while still having more than enough resolution for both types of 4K (4K DCI and 4K UHD). This light pixel count means that each pixel is approximately twice as large in size and therefore captures more light, which makes the camera much more sensitive. How much more sensitive, you ask? According to Panasonic, the new GH5S is sensitive to -5 EV luminance for working in extreme low-light conditions, and offers a range from ISO 160-51200, which can be extended to ISO 80-204800. There are other improvements to the GH5S, as you’ll see ahead.

Other improvements in the GH5S (B&H link) over the original GH5:

  • An updated Venus Engine, which —combined with the new “light” sensor and processor also enables faster readout speeds along with 1.3x less rolling shutter distortion compared to previous GH-series cameras.
  • The sensor’s extended sensitivity range has also been used to promote working with V-Log L and Hybrid Log Gamma HDR modes for effectively increasing your dynamic range and affording more flexibility when color grading during post-production.
  • Physical controls have been enhanced for easier tactile control.

The new GH5S is also compatible with the Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR interface (see my article from April 2017).

Curtis Judd has recently confirmed that using the DMW-XLR1 is the only way to allow the GH5 record audio with 24-bit resolution.

See also my Is the GH5 the best camera under US$10k? Jordan Drake believes it is. Learn why. (illustrated above).

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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is a bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting…

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3 Comments on "Panasonic GH5S camcorder/camera proves that less (pixels) is more"

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Mark Spencer

The big downside is lack of IBIS that was so well implemented in the Gh5. Other than that (which is a deal-killer for many run & gun shooters), the low light performance looks great.

Mark Spencer

How do folks feel about the lack of IBIS? Seems to me a major missing feature.