News & New Products
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.prophotomagazine.com.au
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.panasonic.com.au