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Andrew Reid

Panasonic GH5S brings massive low light improvement - exclusive interview and hands-on

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This thread has gotten so long I forget how far back I read a post that Panasonic has to be careful...other companies are nipping at it's heels....really!...which companies???...though I whine about the EF mount on the EVA, because most of my legacy glass is in Nikon or FD mount, I find the image drool worthy...as a cinema camera at that price and size...who's chasing Panasonic...and the GH5 & now the GH5s...and the G9....I'd say Panasonic is very nicely positioned now, and by the time another company gets even close, Panny will be miles ahead with yet some new innovation...I love the image out of BMD cameras too, but find the Panny's so great to shoot with...no real competition I can see anyway!

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
2 hours ago, ade towell said:

That DP Review chart is comparing photos, this is a video centric forum - when you compare the video of GH5s and the A7s from what I've seen up to iso 12800 maybe even 25000 the GH5s is a cleaner image and the colour doesn't fall apart in the same way the Sony does. From 25000 iso and above the Sony clearly takes over but how many people shoot at those crazy high isos? The Gh5s is better at iso levels where 99% of users will be using it  

The stills performance yields what the sensor's true capabilities are in terms of noise. Video is that same stills noise performance, at least for full-sampled sensors like the GH5/A7s, plus any downsampling for the lower-res modes like HD (which still matches still performance just ideally downsampled, as one would do in PS). The only way video can outperform its equivalent stills performance on a given sensor is with noise reduction, which comes at the expense of detail, and which can be achieved in post-processing from any sensor, just slower because even a GPU can't match the performance of a specialized image processing ASIC in cameras. I suspect Panasonic is doing temporal NR, which is why the locked-down shots without motion look so good.

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This DPReview database tool really does allow us to strip away the processing and get under the hood of the GH5-S and "really" see what this sensor is taking in. For days we have seen this sensor compared to an A7S-II chip with pixel wells (photo sites) TWICE the size of the GH5-S. For days we have been thinking "how is this possible...I feel like Im seeing heavy ammounts of noise reduction"

So yeah,...that is the answer. After inpecting the raw sensor output, its very easy to see the A7S-II's actual signal to noise ratio significantly beats the GH5-S at every ISO/gain level. Even at a low 200 ISO.

Mystery solved. Its very hard to beat the laws of  "physics". I do give the GH5-S all the credit in the world though. I think Panasonic and Sony really did something very nice together on this camera. This in-camera processing is also pretty intense and is very well executed.

CT

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17 minutes ago, Cliff Totten said:

Mystery solved. Its very hard to beat the laws of  "physics". I do give the GH5-S all the credit in the world though. I think Panasonic and Sony really did something very nice together on this camera. This in-camera processing is also pretty intense and is very well executed.

Sony? What the hell Sony is related to their sensor? Haven't you followed the thread? It is time to end the myth that's a Sony sensor, I guess :-)

4 minutes ago, jonpais said:

@Cliff Totten So we’re sure this is a Sony sensor now then?

LOL At same time, Jon... We... who??

His "mystery solved" remark is all about the performance of the new sensor and not else, I believe.

 

PS: BTW, it's only 400 bucks: VLog L comes included ;-)

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We know for a fact that the GH5 IS a Sony IMX272. Although, it not verified, we have every indication this S model is an IMX294. Even the 14bit is another give away.

Im certain that when Tech Insights (Chip Works) gets this into their lab, de-solders it, X-Rays it, inspects it under their electron microscope and blue prints the entire sensors schematics, they will say its another Sony IMX sensor. (IMX294 or variant)

I could be wrong but i wasnt wrong on the GH5 either... :-)  (although I must admit that I was tipped off about it by a Sony engineer at the Sony NAB booth last year abour that GH5 sensor)

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17 minutes ago, Emanuel said:

Sony? What the hell Sony is related to their sensor? Haven't you followed the thread? It is time to end the myth that's a Sony sensor, I guess :-)

LOL At same time, Jon... We... who??

His "mystery solved" remark is all about the performance of the new sensor and not else, I believe.

 

PS: BTW, it's only 400 bucks: VLog L comes included ;-)

That ‘s an expression of uncertainty, not an affirmation, E.

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10 minutes ago, Cliff Totten said:

We know for a fact that the GH5 IS a Sony IMX272. Although, it not verified, we have every indication this S model is an IMX294. Even the 14bit is another give away.

Im certain that when Tech Insights (Chip Works) gets this into their lab, de-solders it, X-Rays it, inspects it under their electron microscope and blue prints the entire sensors schematics, they will say its another Sony IMX sensor. (IMX294 ir variant)

I could be wrong but i wasnt wrong on the GH5 either... :-)

Until then, we should take in consideration the GH5S father's word, no?

BTW, still on GH5S vs a7SII consideration... a 10-bit higher bitrate code + Dual Native ISO with the whole DR at disposal on both 400 and 2500 ISO values make the whole difference as far as color rendition concerns at least. This is not too little and the comparative tests so far just prove it. DPreview tool is absolutely weak to show anything else beyond that you mention.

2 minutes ago, jonpais said:

That ‘s an expression of doubt, not an affirmation, E.

I got it, Jon, not addressed to you :-)

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LOL On the spot, pal! I had just quoted him so pretty affirmative... As much as you I think, I give all my best going after doubts rather than certainty based on presumptions spread by, in and on the web : )

And charts. To reduce real shooting conditions.

I already had my part on that thread related to GH5 NR @ high ISOs despite its success. Fortunately there's a new hope now :-D

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25 minutes ago, Emanuel said:

Until then, we should take in consideration the GH5S father's word, no?

BTW, still on GH5S vs a7SII consideration... a 10-bit higher bitrate code + Dual Native ISO with the whole DR at disposal on both 400 and 2500 ISO values make the whole difference as far as color rendition concerns at least. This is not too little and the comparative tests so far just prove it. DPreview tool is absolutely weak to show anything else beyond that you mention.

I got it, Jon, not addressed to you :-)

Yeah....Panasonic specifically denied at NAB that they were purchasing a Sony sensor. Again, Chip Works let the genie out if the bottle on Panny. 

Its impossible for electronics companies to hide from Chip Works. They reverse engineer with extrordinary microscopic detail. They map the entire foundry of sensitive chips like image sensors and sell all that data to competitors for a heavy price.

Anyway....all Panasonic can do is hope Chip Works (aka Tech Insites) doesnt target the GH5-S this time arround. They already made a liar out of Panny on the GH5. 

We will see. I will also poke arround Sony at NAB again this year. They were the ones that let the cat out of the bag first.

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1 minute ago, Cliff Totten said:

Yeah....Panasonic specifically denied at NAB that they were purchasing a Sony sensor. Again, Chip Works let the genie out if the bottle on Panny. 

Its impossible for electronics companies to hide from Chip Works. They reverse engineer with extrordinary detail. They map the entire foundry of sensitive chips like image sensors and sell all that data to competitors for a heavy price.

Anyway....all Panasonic can do is hope Chip Works (aka Tech Insites) doesnt target the GH5-S this time arround. They already made a liar out of Panny on the GH5. 

We will see. I will also poke arround Sony at NAB again this year. They were the ones that let the cat out of the bag first.

I hope you may come then to inform us, the_people. BTW, what's the story with the GH5 I have no clue about?

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12 hours ago, Emanuel said:

But please, give us a break when someone pops up with the everlasting R&D argument. When the Panasonic man comes to honestly tell us both models were developed at same time.


Just because they were both developed at the same time, doesn't mean the R&D costs for the GH5S was "free".

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3 hours ago, Cliff Totten said:

Yeah....Panasonic specifically denied at NAB that they were purchasing a Sony sensor. Again, Chip Works let the genie out if the bottle on Panny. 

Its impossible for electronics companies to hide from Chip Works. They reverse engineer with extrordinary microscopic detail. They map the entire foundry of sensitive chips like image sensors and sell all that data to competitors for a heavy price.

Anyway....all Panasonic can do is hope Chip Works (aka Tech Insites) doesnt target the GH5-S this time arround. They already made a liar out of Panny on the GH5. 

We will see. I will also poke arround Sony at NAB again this year. They were the ones that let the cat out of the bag first.

Could you please post links both to the denial by Panasonic at NAB (preferably with time stamp) and the findings of Chip Works that refute their claims? If Panasonic were to designate specs for a sensor, but have Sony manufacture it, would that still mean Panasonic was lying when they said they developed the sensor? Because developing is one thing, producing another. Just because the sensor didn't roll off a Panasonic assembly line doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong. Just sayin'...

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12 hours ago, Emanuel said:

LOL No more likes for today, I even had to remove a couple of them (sorry, Luke!)

We should get extra spare likes to spread around every time Panasonic releases a new camera.

 

12 hours ago, Don Kotlos said:

As for your concerns about IBIS, I can tell you with certainty that temperature affects the noise of the image, and placing a large heat sink on the sensor can give a much better image. For example, this is the heat sink that ursa mini is using:


Damn, look at the size of that thing!

 

10 hours ago, TheRenaissanceMan said:

GH5 is clearly a better hybrid, and has distinct advantages for hobbyists without support gear, but the S definitely gets me hotter under the collar. 


Maybe you need one of those URSA Mini heatsinks/fans to cool you down?

 

9 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

As Ironfilm pointed out, Panasonic is doing the smart thing by chasing the niche's that CaNikon ignore. IMO, if Panasonic would add a top notch hybrid AF system, they could really put a hurt on the C1/200. Though Olympus and Fuji can't come close to Sony levels of AF-c, much less Canon's with the DPAF - so maybe that's a tougher nut to crack. I can live without IBIS (though I prefer it), but I'm not a fan of DFD at all. That's why I'll wait for used copies of the GH5s so I can take one for an extended test drive without losing any cash in the process.


Agreed about "tougher nut to crack". Even if Panasonic just got par with Sony (which isn't really that far off?) then it would do wonders for them. 

But makes business sense for Panasonic to target the "low hanging fruit" that they can do to "get ahead" of the competition, such as 4K DCI 10bit or better lowlight

Agreed also about waiting for used copies of the GH5S, what is the rush? I am going to try hard not to buy any cameras this year! (although I am discussing with one person about buying a RED ONE.... oops!)

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8 hours ago, Danyyyel said:

From his explanation it is 16.6 stops with the 3-4 stop getting increasingly noisy, but 14 stops is usable. So depending on someone noise tolerance, it could be between 12.6 to 14 stop. The whole blog workflow is very interesting and very deep technically, so looks to be very credible.

Or even "seventeen stops" if someone is pedantic and totally ignoring noise levels!! :-P 

This is why it can be so tricky to trust stated DR numbers, unless you see them side by side. 

(for instance reduser fanboys are well known to overstate DR!)

 

6 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

There are a couple GH5's listed at $1600 on Fred Miranda's buy and sell boards - one comes with 5 extra batteries, a double charger and Vlog. 

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1525646/0?keyword=gh5#14317783

Not sure they're going to drop dramatically from there - 20% off in less than a year.


If only that GH5's in your sentence lacked the apostrophe! 

6 hours ago, Fritz Pierre said:

..though I whine about the EF mount on the EVA, because most of my legacy glass is in Nikon or FD mount, I find the image drool worthy...


That awesomeness of own Nikon lenses is you can very easily use them on any EF camera. 

 

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3 hours ago, Digitaliant said:

 

Regardless of specs and on paper numbers, it looks like a big improvement to me. 12800 ISO on the GH5S looks close to 1600 on the GH5. Yes it loses IBIS, so? There are clearly technical reasons for doing away with it. No IBIS I can deal with... poor low light performance is harder to deal with when you cannot control the lighting.

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8 minutes ago, jonpais said:

Not overly fond of bright night scenes that are more intense than direct sunlight. Maybe in small doses? I use lights - in fact, I love having control over lighting - so high sensitivity isn't a big deal to me. 

LOL I love the way you point out exactly on the other side of the coin :-)

1 hour ago, DBounce said:

Yes it loses IBIS, so? There are clearly technical reasons for doing away with it.

*coug cough*

1 hour ago, DBounce said:

No IBIS I can deal with... poor low light performance is harder to deal with when you cannot control the lighting.

Buy two body units and you'll have no need to deal with no IBIS in daylight or up to ISO1600 :-D

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