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With the GH5s, Panasonic turns its mirrorless hybrid champ into a videographer’s delight

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Better low-light performance, but no more in-body stabilization — meet the $2,499 GH5s

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The Panasonic DMC-GH5s.
Image: Panasonic

Panasonic has unveiled an update to its well-respected GH5 mirrorless camera that adds a handful of new features (like better low-light performance), but takes others away (like in-body stabilization). The resulting device, the mirrorless 4K GH5s, isn’t really a direct upgrade to the GH5, which handled both stills and video with aplomb. Instead, it’s set to appeal to pro and experienced videographers with a particular set of needs.

The biggest change in the GH5s is the new “dual ISO” 10.2-megapixel sensor. This is half the resolution of the 20.2-megapixel sensor in the GH5, but in return offers better performance in low light. Panasonic says users can get up to ISO 51200 native “with minimal noise,” and up to ISO 204800 when extended ISO is used. A hands-on report from Engadget said that when comparing saturation and contrast in challenging condition, the GH5s “handily bested” Sony’s top low-light performer, the A7S II.

Panasonic’s new GH5s is built with videographers in mind.
Image: Panasonic

The GH5s is primarily built for video, and can record Cinema 4K (that’s a 4096 x 2160 resolution) at 30 or 60 frames per second — a world first for a mirrorless camera. It’s also got impressive internal recording capabilities, taking down 10-bit 4:2:2 footage at data rates of up to 400 Mbps. To further sweeten the pot for videographers, there’s pre-installed V-LogL software for color grading, better support for professional mics, and time code in and out to help sync footage from multiple cameras.

However, unlike the GH5, the GH5s has no in-body stabilization (IBS). This will disappoint users hoping for another hybrid camera to replace their GH5, but confirms that the GH5s is targeting high-end video users, whose stabilization rigs deliver better performance without interference from internal systems. There are some new additions for photographers, though, including support for shooting 14-bit RAW files at up to 10 frames per second.

That’s the high-level overview, and for more details you can dig into Panasonic’s press release here. Prices for the GH5s start at $2,499 ($500 more than the GH5), and it’s set to go on sale in mid-February.