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Andrew Reid

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

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For those complaining about a lack of IBIS, a point to remember that the sensor moves around *in* the image circle

Possibly (I don't know, just a theory) the multi aspect ratio nature of the sensor is already pushing it to the limits of some Panasonic MFT lenses, limiting the spare space for the IBIS to work in?!?!

Personally I somewhat doubt it, but it is a possible other explanation.

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49 minutes ago, horshack said:

Again, the laws of physics can't be repealed. The A7s's sensor was already at/near the maximum light-gathering efficiency and low read noise potential of bayer sensors. The only way around these limits is a new sensor paradigm

Exactly.  That's the story here!  The A7RII and A7SII are the end of the tech line for light sensitivity in full-frame sensors, now the GH5S is the maximum a MFT sensor can do.  One can read between the lines in how important Panasonic believes light-sensitivity when they take out IBIS to accommodate more data channels for split pixels gains--though that assumption might be wrong.  Or it might be as IronFilm just said, the size of the sensor.  Either way,  the manufacturers seem to be up against many limits to the technology.  Sony made the right bet a few years ago (in going large pixels).  Panasonic may be too little, too late here.  Sony A6300s can be had in good shape for near $600.  

 

 

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Better auto focus too:

 

"After spending lots of time comparing all the videos from both camera, I feel very comfortable to say the GH5S has noticeably better video tracking performance when compared to the GH5. (GH5S running pre-production firmware 0.2 GH5 running firmware 2.2)

 

GH5S’s focus tracking just seems to be more responsive, it pick up changes a lot quicker. And the most important thing is the consistency seems to be much better than the GH5. With the GH5, when it detects and tracks the subject, frankly I think it works not too bad. The problem is that every now and then, the camera would just take a nap and stop or take a long time to follow the subject. Now with the GH5S, while it is still not perfect, but the consistency is just so much better. The GH5S almost always can detect any changes in focus and adjust reasonably quickly and correctly afterwards. I also notice a lot less overshoot when it’s adjusting focus as well when compare to the GH5."

 

If the GH5S is already that good with pre-production firmware, how much better is it going to be once polished up and shipped? :-D

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLNQmaEdBUQ

 

http://www.photobyrichard.com/reviewbyrichard/panasonic-lumix-gh5s-review/

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So lets asume the answer for lack of IBIS is the size of the multiaspect sensor. How much worse of a GH5s would have been if the sensor was the same aspect ration as in the GH5. Naturally if this is not pannys designed sensor .. they may not have had anough control over its size.

Second point im pondering about.  Remains to be seem how clean / good the 240fps is. I dont own GH5. I just own GH4 and the GH4 slowmo 96fps is quite poor in image quality. I have this understanding that GH5 180fps is much better in quality.  So can GH5s be used at 180fps as well and get GH5 quality .. asuming GH5 180fps is better images than 240fps out of GH5s?

Andrew those slow mo aspects would be important tests for your review! What is quality and which camera has the cleanest slomo image at 180fps or over.

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The gents over at Extrashot seemed to really like the 1080p overall. Probably because it might downsample better than the GH5. The 240fps slowmo looked really good. You would get moiré if you'd shoot that way with a brick wall in the background however.

They've also tested C-AF btw, and it's still a bit half-assed. And it will remain that way until they change up their approach and incorporate new tech in that area I'm afraid.

47 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

For those complaining about a lack of IBIS, a point to remember that the sensor moves around *in* the image circle

Possibly (I don't know, just a theory) the multi aspect ratio nature of the sensor is already pushing it to the limits of some Panasonic MFT lenses, limiting the spare space for the IBIS to work in?!?!

Personally I somewhat doubt it, but it is a possible other explanation.

Yeah, I remember people were afraid for this in combination with anamorphic lenses. Where you wouldn't want the sensor to 'roll' on you, because it would skew the anamorphic effect. Also, if you have a lens with noticable vignetting, you'd see it shift. Then there's all the other reasons people have mentioned. Partly operating noise that can be picked up by mics. Issues with heat dissipation. Sensor access for effective data pulling and what the industry pro's were saying is that with shaky cars, explosion shockwaves, etc, the free floating sensor would pick up vibration without being able to cancel it out, which wasn't the case when they'd cram a GH4 in tight or risky spots. It's also been stuck in the old GH5 body, so there wasn't really a way to incorporate it. And even if they would be able to with a GH6... some industry pros apparently simply wouldn't want it period.

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After having some time to digest and looking at some footage…

I know it goes against the way they’re marketing it, but the GH5s seems more suited to events and weddings where you don’t have much light control, whereas the GH5 is for more fast paced commercial work where you do (and use manual glass where gimbal work is a nightmare). I see no image quality improvements outside of low light, and I see several downgrades in terms of versatility in what modern producers expect from a stills form factor cam. 

I honestly like that Panasonic have released it, but I think that it should cost a bit LESS than the GH5 if anything…even with the free v-log. 

And despite some hyperbolic comments here, there is no way either camera is comparable to the EVA. In a high end workflow, they are just two different types of b-cam.

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Not sure whether this has been posted before. Really like Bernard Bertrand's simple kit: Leica Nocticron, cage, Inferno, Bright Tangerine Titan Arm, light. V-Log, ISO 3200-6400. Handheld. The Titan is a bit on the expensive side, but worth every penny. 

 

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35 minutes ago, sfc said:

After having some time to digest and looking at some footage…

I know it goes against the way they’re marketing it, but the GH5s seems more suited to events and weddings where you don’t have much light control, whereas the GH5 is for more fast paced commercial work where you do. I see no image quality improvements outside of low light, and I see several downgrades in terms of versatility in what modern producers expect from a stills form factor cam. 

I honestly like that Panasonic have released it, but I think that it should cost a bit LESS than the GH5 if anything…even with the free v-log. 

And despite some hyperbolic comments here, there is no way either camera is comparable to the EVA. In a high end workflow, they are just two different types of b-cam.

For me... after years of shooting the GH2, the GH4, the GH5... there's finally a worthy upgrade. I kept on saying: 'the GH5 and E-M1 Mark II are trully remarkable cameras... I just wish they had an APS-C sensor inside for the one reason that the 4/3" sensor has always been tricky regarding dynamic range, lowlight high ISO performance and color' (although color has greatly been improved in cameras that came out after the GH4).

Back in the day I went with the GH2, one of the reasons was that it shot great video AND had dedicated compact lenses native to the sensor size, which made the overall system really compact. With that being a priority for me FF is out of the question. The two most interesting mirrorless APS-C systems are by Sony and Fujifilm. But Sony have showed no interest in releasing any more compact lenses native to the APS-C sensor size... and keeping the body itself compact I think is the wrong concession as it only leads to issues. I'd then be leaning more towards Fujifilm, but they've been rather traditional in the past and only have been making progress regarding innovation and video more recently. Still think the X-T2 is not quite there yet, but possibly a X-H1 that's rumored would. So, no FF and no mirrorless APS-C quite yet for me.

Another option would be getting a cinema or production camera that instead of thin brittle footage gives you thick pushable material to work with. Problem is, aside from the JVC GY-LS300 is that if you're invested in the MFT system, your lens collection is basically rendered useless. And once you add all the options, accessoires, powersupplies and storage needed to operate a true cinema or production camera, be it a EVA1, VariCam LT, Blackmagic URSA Mini, Sony FS, Canon Cinema EOS, Kinefinity Terra, RED, ARRI, etc, you're looking at spending a 5 figures amount! That's not a very friendly 'up' from the GH-range. Plus, again, it's a different ecosystem, so you'd also need to get a new lens line-up. And if you'll still be using MFT lenses for their compact size with MFT bodies for stills, you can't exactly switch out one lens for another, theferefor are spending even more!

Now, with the GH5S, I'm finally getting that performance I felt was lacking in the previous cameras. Not that you couldn't make it work, but it was just very restrictive and indeed some shots you just couldn't pull of perfectly because of it. You are getting that lowlight high ISO performance finally, and how! I'd never think I'd see that in a 4/3" sensor anytime soon (atleast not until the implementation of the now still early stage organic sensor tech with rich colors, high sensitivity low noise performance, loads of dynamic range and global shutter implementation). I think dynamic range went somewhat into the shadows, mostly into the highlights. You can really see into the shadows now, especially thanks to the better ISO performance. The highlights don't clip so harsh at a certain point, but roll off smoothly. Of course, you didn't really see any of that in Kai's video, because he was shooting V-Log L in a very low contrast scene... *rolls eyes*. Overall I think it just holds up really well. And another thing that's greatly improved is color. So really, I do not have to look at APS-C mirrorless systems or cinema/production cameras anymore if I have the GH5S.

Lack of sensor stabilization. Well yeah, of course it's always nice to have, but we started out shooting with the 5DmkII, GH2, GH4, BMPCC, A7S and to this date still many, mostly traditional DSLR, other cameras and it was no different then. It still isn't if you're rocking a Samsung NX1, Fujifilm X-T2, Canon 5DmkIV, 1D C or 1DX mk II, Nikon anything or high end cinema camera. And we've all seen the reasons for why this feature might have/has been omitted from this release. The lack of any good C-AF... listen, that's not something new with Panasonics either. And until they address that, as they've addressed the sensor performance right now with new technical advancements, that's not going to change any time soon. And again, take these cameras mentioned earlier, we've all been there already and we made it work. It's just that simple. We wanted to shoot like industry professionals and now we can. We stabilize our cameras ourselves and direct the focus with intention by focus pulling one way or another and not relying on C-AF. Plus, if you get into commercial video production and start to land bigger fish, you can put a high-end cinema camera in the rental budget and you'd have already come to terms with the areas of stabilization and focus.

To me... it's a great option to have. And I see it as an 'up' from the current line-up for someone that wants better performance, but wants an up that's also in the financial whereabouts of their previous camera. Getting into new ecosystems, especially if you're sticking to MFT for stills in a compact fashion, could turn out rather expensive. And this GH5S will only set you back 500 bucks more than the GH5 launched for. Coincidentally you might rock the Lumix G9 next to it for stills capture and providing you with still quite nice video features and most of all with in-body stabilization. That should have your bases covered.

You should really regard the GH5S as the GH-range up for cinematographers. If people comment with 'No IBIS, no buy' or 'Fail!', I think they fail to see this camera is just not aimed at them. They should wait for a possible GH5V, a Casey Neistat signature edition vlogger's camera with Canon licenced DualPixel AF and 6.5 stops of body image stabilization or move over to something else completely. Casey did. He now rocks the 6DmkII. Which btw is a camera without sensor stabilization, just sayin'...

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10 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Well we will all have to do a lot more research to figure this thing out but this thing for the money I think is even better the the EVA1 may be. This thing is going to be scary good for video. In Vlog and dual native ISO's I think it is really better than the EVA1. And it is better in low light.

Panasonic just gave us a bargain of the year camera for not much money. Now no doubt the Sony A7s mkIII is on the horizon so we will see, but they had better make some Really big changes or they are going to loose a lot of sales, because you know it will be a lot more expensive than 2500 bucks, and the cost of Sony FF glass, well that alone leaves me out of the picture..

I had NO desire to buy a GH5. I will admit I, if I can, will buy a GH5s. I think it is that good. The GH5s is a No Excuses camera, other than the loss of the IBIS and if you read why they got rid of it you will understand why they did it. Jittering on Tripods and car mounts etc. Apparently even when it is off it is not locked. DR's said it was the thing they hated most about the GH5. So they listened to the Pros and made us a better cam. Maybe not all around, but better for serious video.

And they said it might make the thing overheat being closer to the body with Variable aspect sensor, and they didn't want to make the body any different I read also so every add on for the GH5 fit this new one..

Plus this GH5s is at least 2 maybe 3 stops better in low light, and has 14 stops of DR. Holly Crap. And to me it's output in Vlog is Way more Cinematic looking than the GH5.

Better than EVA-1 in Vlog? 14 stops of DR? No IBIS because it jitters on tripods even when it is off? 

Really does sound like a no excuses camera. Nothing at all like that outdated GH5 camera.

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18 minutes ago, sfc said:

Better than EVA-1 in Vlog? 14 stops of DR? No IBIS because it jitters on tripods even when it is off? 

Really does sound like a no excuses camera. Nothing at all like that outdated GH5 camera.

I wonder, why does that 14stops number get thrown around?

Last time i checked, Vlog-L maxes out at 12 stops of DR. That's why i thought it was such a bummer that they didn't include real Vlog. 

I will be waiting for some reputable DR tests ... i won't get up my hopes yet.

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3 minutes ago, Cinegain said:

You should really regard the GH5S as the GH-range up for cinematographers. If people comment with 'No IBIS, no buy' or 'Fail!', I think they fail to see this camera is just not aimed at them. They should wait for a possible GH5V, a Casey Neistat signature edition vlogger's camera with Canon licenced DualPixel AF and 6.5 stops of body image stabilization or move over to something else completely. Casey did. He now rocks the 6DmkII. Which btw is a camera without sensor stabilization, just sayin'...

Based on what I have seen, rather than the marketing materials, I regard the GH5S as a great cam for event and wedding shooters who are always running around with monopods, little gimbals and little lenses. However, in my workflow, I don't want a b-cam that doesn't have IBIS. I have enough heavy gear and manual glass to deal with without the headaches of a rig for a stills body cam.

Whether the image quality is an improvement over the GH5 outside of low light, or actually a little worse...remains to be seen.

In terms of what is good for low budget cinematographers, I suppose if the highlight roll off is as good as is claimed and the motion cadence is improved...the GH5S may be a contender over blackmagic purely for ease of use and reliability.

I definitely don't think that the GH5S release is a 'fail' in any way. It has it's place and people on forums have been loving the whole 'low light monster' meme since the A7S came out. I want Panasonic to continue to innovate.

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39 minutes ago, Simon Shasha said:

No IBIS is an epic fail.

Well, only a pity perhaps. But, you can always buy two GH5 + GH5s camera units (my deal, actually) for the purpose ;-)

Not uncommon a shooter to handle two camera bodies BTW.

Before color and B&W; higher ISOs and resolution + IBIS today.

As simple as that.

 

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2 hours ago, maxotics said:

Exactly.  That's the story here!  The A7RII and A7SII are the end of the tech line for light sensitivity in full-frame sensors, now the GH5S is the maximum a MFT sensor can do.  One can read between the lines in how important Panasonic believes light-sensitivity when they take out IBIS to accommodate more data channels for split pixels gains--though that assumption might be wrong.  Or it might be as IronFilm just said, the size of the sensor.  Either way,  the manufacturers seem to be up against many limits to the technology.  Sony made the right bet a few years ago (in going large pixels).  Panasonic may be too little, too late here.  Sony A6300s can be had in good shape for near $600.  

The a7s was introduced at NAB 4 years ago and now with Sony's newest sensor m43 has caught up, until the a7s3 gets a refresh similar to this. While the gh5s is impressive, I'm still waiting to see what Sony brings - since it'll have IBIS and likely PADF.

Used a7sII's are selling in the $1700 range on Fred Miranda, for me that makes the gh5s a tough sell as I have no native m43 glass and would need a speed booster to get a s35 FOV. As always its great to have options.

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Wex Photographic's lovely Slovenia and Bernard Bertrand's boxer video above are pretty impressive; and I've no doubt the color science has improved, as it has with each subsequent release. I'll be going out on another shoot tomorrow evening with the GH5 and Zhiyun Crane, and I can rest assured the images will be more than steady enough to use without any post-stabilization. I could dig some of that GH5s low light goodness myself, but if I were to use it on tomorrow's shoot, all the clips would have to be warp stabilized. I shake a lot, there's no getting around it.

Speaking of low light ability, although the boxer video was shot at ISO 3200-6400, in reality, it's probably closer to 1600-3200, as Panasonic regularly overstates their ISOs. In fact, there are over half a dozen different ways manufacturers can measure ISO - and no two are alike. I personally won't shoot above ISO 800 with the GH5. The Nocticron M. Bertrand is using is a 42mm f/1.2, but in actuality, it's probably T1.8. None of this means squat to me - if I see a couple more videos like M. Bertrand's, I just might buy the GH5s, IBIS be damned!

Of course, if you need 14 stops of dynamic range and you have superhuman powers that can detect motion cadence, I congratulate you. Because I've watched dozens of interviews with DoPs talking about everything under the sun, and not once has there ever been nonsense about motion cadence. Only in these pages!

11 minutes ago, AaronChicago said:

@jonpaisgood to see a proper lowlight example. Cranking the ISO outside at night to "light" a scene is so unnatural and ugly.

I respect your work and your opinion. 

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10 minutes ago, Emanuel said:

Well, only a pity perhaps. But, you can always buy two GH5 + GH5s camera units (my deal, actually) for the purpose ;-)

Not for me. Just put my GH5 and two A6500's up for sale. Once you own them, you realise how they are just not worth it.

Bought a cheap A6000 on sale. Going back to the A6000 for stills, and BMPCC/BMMCC for motion.

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Really, sometimes we can find/hear some pearl of Monti Payton's sort of explanations at unexpected places - so, Panasonic guy seriously claims that their technicians profoundly grace those who are shooting from the car in the movement. Suddenly we all have to find out how we, in fact, are finally blessed to not having this cone ibis trol-monster that corrupt our high-end shots.

All in all - besides subtle differences in color processing, 2 stops better usable real world lowlight performance from one side vs ibis from the other - that's all that will rest after typical first wave of paid/gifted marketing canon fire.

Actually, Panasonic had always such habit - to put the first probes of new technology in some of the in-between models. I'm just afraid that, behind all this New lowlight Boss in the Town  mambo-jumbo we have to be prepared for the price of 3000$/euro for GH6.

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