With CES only a few days away, one of the expected announcements is that of the Panasonic GH5s. The GH5 is currently one of the top, if not THE top, performing DSLR cameras for video. Indie filmmakers, and even larger scale productions, use the Panasonic GH5 as a primary camera in their shoots. The micro four thirds camera has proven its usefulness and incredible video quality since the upgrade to the venerable GH4 was announced.
Finally, if rumors are true, Panasonic will be releasing an update to the camera to rival the Sony a7S II. This would be a new shift in product lines for Panasonic if this rumor turns out to be true. Sony has for some time now had 2 different product lines for its alpha a7 series. There is the a7R series, which is now up to the a7R III, and the a7S series, which currently stands at a7S II. The a7R is much more geared towards still photographers, although it is very good at video as well. The a7S line is the best performing low light camera on the market in its class.
With releasing a new low light model camera, Panasonic will be directly targeting the users of the Sony a7S. The GH5 and a7S II are both the top of the line, but the low light capability of the Panasonic just hasn’t been able to touch the Sony as of yet. While this is all still a rumor, if the camera is actually announced and can live up to its announced specifications, this could be a big blow to Sony and a true competitor to their camera.
The Specs Rumors
The GH5s camera will almost certainly be geared 100% toward video, leaving the photo line for the standard GH5.
Below are the anticipated specs, if the rumors are to be believed:
- Effective Pixels: 10,280,000
- Total Pixels: 11,930,000
- 12 fps (10fps in 14-bit RAW)
- Focus Modes: AFS/AFF/AFC/MF
- ISO: 160 – 51,200 (Extended to 80 – 102,400)
- Exposure Compensation: -5EV to +5EV (1/3 steps)
- Flash Sync: 1/250
- MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, ACC)
- Electronic Shutter: 1 sec – 1/16,000
- Mechanical Shutter Speed: B (max 30 min), 60sec – 1/8,000
- Motion Pictures Shutter: 1/25 – 1/6,000
- 2 Memory Card Slots
- LCD: 3.2” TFT LCD, Touchscreen
- HDMI Type A/USB 3.1
- And more…
These specs, if they perform as planned, could make this an interesting competitor to the Sony a7S II. The low light performance is just what the GH5 line of cameras need, however, this will not likely be the desired solution for hybrid shooters who want the camera for both video and photos. While the new still photos will be 14-bit, the sensor size is truly limiting for most photographers.
So, is this a threat to Sony? It might be. But keep in mind that Sony has already upgraded the a7R line so the new upgrade to the Mark III for the a7S line could be close. Sony rarely goes too long without a camera update, so many people expect a new model soon. And who knows what new specs the Sony will have. I think that most people who will be in the market for the GH5s may want to wait a few months to see what Sony counters with.
The price is rumored to be around $2500, which is about $500 more than the current GH5 model. We will try to get our hands on one as soon as possible to let you know if the extra $500 is worth it for the improved low light performance.
When Is The Announcement?
Panasonic is expected to announce the camera at the 2018 CES in Las Vegas. Their press conference is scheduled for 10am PST on January 8. Stay tuned, as we will be covering the announcement and introducing the new camera as it is released.