News & New Prod­ucts

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Our test of the Lumix GH5-de­rived G9 is in this is­sue, but now Pana­sonic has an­nounced an even more power-packed ver­sion of its hy­brid flag­ship, the GH5S. It’s been a busy time for lenses – Le­ica launches a new line of high-per­for­mance primes for the mirrorless SL, Nikon un­veils its 180-400mm tele­zoom with a built-in ex­ten­der, Samyang’s first AF lens in the Canon EF mount is here, and Sony’s new 18-135mm zoom is its 46th E mount model. For the lat­est news from the imag­ing in­dus­try visit www.propho­

Pana­sonic is cov­er­ing all its bases at the top of its Lumix G mirrorless cam­era range, adding a third model to join the hy­brid GH5 and more stills-ori­en­tated G9. This is a sim­i­lar model strat­egy to Sony and its A7 line-up, with Pana­sonic’s new Lumix GH5S de­signed to com­pete di­rectly with the A7S II (the model suf­fix has prob­a­bly been de­lib­er­ately cho­sen).

Ex­ter­nally, the GH5 and GH5S are vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal, but on the in­side there have been a few sig­nif­i­cant changes, start­ing with the adop­tion of a lower res­o­lu­tion sen­sor – 11.93 megapix­els (10.2 MP ef­fec­tive) ver­sus 21.77 megapix­els – which al­lows for big­ger pix­els and hence an in­creased dy­namic range and bet­ter low-light sen­si­tiv­ity. The new sen­sor also em­ploys Pana­sonic’s ‘Dual Na­tive ISO’ tech­nol­ogy, which was orig­i­nal de­vel­oped for the Vari­cam broad­cast cam­eras and em­ploys two sep­a­rate read-out cir­cuits to han­dle the low-range (up to ISO 800) and high-range sen­si­tiv­i­ties, thereby op­ti­mis­ing dy­namic range via more tai­lored noise re­duc­tion. The sen­sor also has a ‘Multi As­pect Ra­tio’ de­sign – be­cause it’s ac­tu­ally larger than the M43 imag­ing cir­cle – which gives the same an­gle-of-view in the 4:3, 16:9 and 3:2 as­pect ra­tios. This also ap­plies to video record­ing in the Cin­ema 4K, 4K UHD and Anamor­phic 4:3 for­mats. The sen­sor also en­ables RAW stills cap­ture with 14-bit RGB colour. The sen­si­tiv­ity range is equiv­a­lent to ISO 160 to 51,200 with ex­ten­sions to ISO 80 and 204,800.

The GH5S now al­lows for 4K video record­ing in the Cin­ema 4K res­o­lu­tion (4096x2160 pix­els) at 50 fps (PAL) or 60 fps (NTSC) and is ca­pa­ble of in­ter­nal 10-bit 4:2:2 video record­ing up to Cin­ema 4K at 30 or 25 fps and in­ter­nal 8-bit 4:2:0 record­ing of Cin­ema 4K at 50 or 60 fps. The GH5S also records 10-bit 4:2:2 (with a bit rate of 400 Mbps) All-In­tra in 4K at 30, 25 or 24 fps and All-In­tra in Full HD (with a bit rate of 200 Mbps). There is no time limit for ei­ther Full HD or 4K video record­ing. The choice of vari­able frame rates has been in­creased to up to 240 fps in Full HD (i.e. 10x slower) and the GH5S also records over­cranked/un­der­cranked (i.e. time-lapse and slow-mo­tion) video in C4K/4K (2.5x slower at 60 fps).

The V-Log L pro­file and Rec.709 LUT (Look Up Ta­ble) are now pre-in­stalled in the cam­era (rather than be­ing pur­chased up­grades) so users can im­me­di­ately play videos recorded in V-Log L. Four ad­di­tional LUTs can be in­stalled us­ing the Pana­sonic Vari­cam (.VLT) file for­mat. Ad­di­tion­ally, the GH5S can now in­ter­face with other broad­cast cam­eras via its com­pat­i­bil­ity with Time Code In/Out. This is easy to set-up us­ing the cam­era’s flash sync ter­minal and a sup­plied BNC con­verter ca­ble.

The 225-points ‘Ad­vanced DFD’ aut­o­fo­cus­ing gains in­creased low-light sen­si­tiv­ity (now down to -5.0 EV) while the mag­ni­fied im­age for as­sist­ing with man­ual fo­cus­ing can now be di­alled up to 20x (com­pared to 10x pre­vi­ously). Both these up­grades are de­signed to en­hance the GH5S’s suit­abil­ity for as­tropho­tog­ra­phy ap­pli­ca­tions. It also has the ‘Night Mode’ func­tion which was in­tro­duced on the G9 and is de­signed to aid night vi­sion by putting a red cast over the viewfinder and/or the mon­i­tor dis­plays. With con­tin­u­ous AF ad­just­ment, the stills shoot­ing speed is 8.0 fps which in­creases to 12 fps with the AF and AE locked to the first frame.

Deleted on the ‘S’ model is sen­sor-shift im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion, mainly be­cause it’s not re­quired by most pro-level videog­ra­phers who are us­ing some other form of sta­biliser (such as a gim­bal).

Fea­tures shared with the GH5 in­clude a fully weather-proofed mag­ne­sium al­loy bodyshell, dual SD mem­ory card slots (with UHS-II speed sup­port), high-res OLED-type EVF (but now with a 120 fps re­fresh rate), vari­able-an­gle 8.1 cm LCD mon­i­tor screen with touch con­trols, full-size Type A HDMI ter­minal, ‘4K Photo’ high-speed cap­ture modes for stills at 30 or 60 fps (but no 6K), WiFi and Blue­tooth (BLE) con­nec­tiv­ity, and com­pat­i­bil­ity with the op­tional DMW-BGGH5E bat­tery grip.

The Pana­sonic Lumix GH5S is priced at $3499 body only.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.pana­

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