Panasonic Unveils Lumix GH5S Mirrorless Camera with Ultra-Sensitive Image Sensor for Low Light Shooting

Panasonic took the wraps off a new mirrorless camera at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas: the Lumix GH5S, which is designed for professional filmmakers and videographers along with photographers. The Panasonic GH5S, which follows on the heels of the popular GH5 mirrorless camera from last year, features a newly developed 10.2MP MOS imaging sensor, designed to be particularly sensitive while shooting in low light.

The new sensor allows the GH5S to shoot in at up to ISO 51,200 without having to use extended ISO features, allowing the camera to capture cleaner stills and video in near total darkness, Panasonic said. The Panasonic Lumix GH5S also has dual native ISO technology, which is designed to provide low range (400) and high range (2500) ISO shooting environments, along with a Venus Engine 10 image processor, which together are designed to “faithfully reproduce even dark parts of the image, allowing high ISO capture when the use of supplemental lighting may not be possible,” Panasonic said in a press announcement.

While the Panasonic Lumix GH5 from last year was the first mirrorless camera to shoot 4KUHD video at 60p, the just announced GH5S camera hits a “milestone” of its own, according to Panasonic. The GH5S realizes “the world’s first 4K 60p video recording in Cinema 4K (4096x2160), capable of internal 4:2:2 10-bit video recording up to Cinema 4K30p and internal 4:2:0 8-bit Cinema 4K60p.” This type of color subsampling is typically used in film production for more faithful color production in video footage.

The Panasonic Lumix GH5S will go on sale in February 2018 for $2499, body only.

Here are more details on the Panasonic GH5S’, from the press announcement.

“The GH5S’ sensor is a multi-aspect type with a sufficient margin for realizing the same angle of view in 4:3,17:9,16:9 and 3:2 aspect ratios. The sensor also enables photo shooting in 14-bit RAW format, providing higher flexibility for professional RAW stills development workflows. When shooting in dark environments, videographers can now focus on filming that perfect shot as they no longer need to worry about noise which often results from having to use higher ISOs.

The Dual Native ISO Technology suppresses noise to produce cleaner footage when taken in all light. Both videographers and photographers can now enjoy the same diagonal field of view across all aspect ratios with the True ‘Multi-Aspect Ratio’ Function. This feature means you can easily swap between difference aspect ratios giving you the accuracy you want from your lenses, and making the process easier while producing and editing in post-production.

The Panasonic Lumix is GH5S is compatible with Time Code IN and OUT, like the professional camcorders, which is easy to set using the flash sync terminal and bundled conversion cable for a standard BNC terminal. This is especially important for ‘lip synchronization’ when using multiple cameras.

The Lumix GH5S can be used as Time Code generator for other GH5S cameras and professional camcorders. The Time Code IN/OUT functionality makes a production teams job pain-free as it provides synchronization for both video and audio devices used on multi-cam productions.”

Continuing the LUMIX GH tradition, there is no time limit for both Full-HD and 4K video recording. The LUMIX GH5S complies with 4K HDR video with Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) mode in Photo Style. A low-bit-rate recording mode, 4K HEVC for HLG, is available. This enables playback on AV equipment compatible with the HLG Display format, such as Panasonic 4K HDR TVs.

The VFR (Variable Frame Rate) function lets users record overcranked (time-lapse) and undercranked (slo-mo) video in C4K/4K (60 fps, maximum 2.5x slower) and FHD (240 fps, maximum 10x slower). A V-LogL and Rec.709 LUT (Look Up Table) are pre-installed in the camera, so users can play videos recorded in V-LogL without having to separately purchase a Software Upgrade Key. Four additional LUTs can be installed using the Panasonic Varicam (.VLT) file format.

DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and ultra-high-speed digital signal processing achieve fast auto focusing of approximately 0.07 sec with 12 fps (AFS) / 8 fps (AFC) in 12- bit RAW and 10 (AFS) / 7 (AFC) fps in 14-bit RAW high-speed burst shooting. In addition to a total of 225 focus areas, The options for Face/Eye Recognition, Tracking AF, 1-area AF and Pinpoint AF are available for precise focusing. The 4K PHOTO enables 60 fps high-speed capture in approximately 8-megapixel equivalent resolution.

As a camera that excels in shooting in low light, the LUMIX GH5S boasts -5EV luminance detection performance with Low Light AF thanks to the higher sensitivity and optimized tuning of the sensor. Live Boost is another practical feature that makes it possible to check the composition even in total darkness, by boosting the sensitivity just for Live View. The magnification ratio in MF assist is increased from conventional 10x to 20x, which is convenient especially for astronomical photography. An AF Point Scope function, first introduced in the Lumix G9 and Night mode are also integrated.

In order to make the GH5S tough enough to withstand even heavy field use, it is composed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast front, rear and top frame that is not only splashproof7 and dustproof but also freezeproof down to -10 degrees Celsius. The GH5S is equipped with a double SD Memory Card slot, compatible with the high-speed, high-capacity UHS-II and Video Speed Class 90. Users can flexibly choose the recording method from Relay Recording, Backup Recording or Allocation Recording. The HDMI Type A terminal is provided, along with the USB-C Gen1 interface.

The GH5S has a large LVF (Live View Finder) with a stunningly high magnification ratio of approximately 1.52x/0.76x (35mm camera equivalent) providing smooth display at 120 fps. A high-precision, high-speed OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display features 3,680K-dot resolution and 100% field of view. In addition to dual dials, an omni-directional joystick enables more intuitive and flexible operation.

The GH5S includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone/tablet with minimum power consumption. For Wi-Fi, 5 GHz (IEEE802.11ac) can be selected in addition to the conventional 2.4 GHz (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) for an even more secure and stable connection.

For extended battery life and a more stable hold, the new Battery Grip DMW-BGGH5 (sold separately) is available. The XLR Microphone Adaptor DMW-XLR1 (sold separately) allows high-res sound recording with an external XLR microphone.”