Panasonic’s GH5s is designed for pro video

Panasonic GH5s mirrorless camera

by Tom Barrance | Updated November 2023

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Panasonic’s GH5s is an update to the original GH5, specifically aimed at professional video shooters. It adds more video options to the GH5’s already impressive specs, with improved low light performance. It’s the camera I hire when I need to shoot in low light.

Panasonic designed the GH5s around a 10.2 MP sensor, which has around half as many effective pixels as the GH5. This makes a lot of sense for video shooters, particularly with small MFT sensors: as each pixel is bigger, it can capture more light.

This sensor is ‘multi-aspect’. Other cameras have a ‘native’ aspect ratio which they crop for different frame shapes. The GH5s has a bigger sensor, which can accommodate different frame shapes without cropping. Apart from maximising image quality and low-light performance, this means you get the full benefit of wide angle lenses whichever aspect ratio you’re using.

It’s also ‘dual-gain’. You can switch between two different modes depending on how much light you have. Normal mode is based on getting the best dynamic range (the amount of contrast the camera can handle); in low-light mode the priority changes to reducing image noise.

The GH5S doesn’t have in-body image stabilisation. That’s because most pro users will mount the camera on a tripod, jib or stabiliser. In-body stabilisation can cause jitters in situations with a lot of vibration, eg with the camera mounted in a vehicle.

Other pro features include timecode in and out, and the ability to shoot full ‘digital cinema’ 4K in slow motion. and at PAL and NTSC television frame rates. It includes V-log, which can make contrasty scenes easier to film and colour-correct at the editing stage. It can shoot HD video at up to 240fps.

One feature I really like is the option to turn on a red frame around the whole image when the camera is recording. This is much clearer than the red dot you normally see.

New prices for  GH5s are around

body only. For comparison, the GH5 II is around

The GH5S is now officially discontinued but you can still find them new. It’s also a great value used option, at around half the new price.

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My guide to choosing lenses for Panasonic MFT cameras