A first look at Panasonic’s GH5s mirrorless camera

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When Panasonic announced the GH5s earlier this week, it was clear that the company created it with one simple goal in mind: to be the best 4K prosumer video camera on the market. The GH5s is being billed as the ultimate low-light shooter and a direct competitor to the king of the category, Sony’s A7S II. One of the most notable features of the new camera is its 10.2-megapixel dual ISO, multi-aspect sensor, which is half the resolution of Panasonic’s 20.2-megapixel GH5. But while the GH5s may shoot at a lower res than its flagship sibling, Panasonic says that actually helps the chip handle low-light sensitivity much better.

The GH5s can handle up to 51,200 native ISO and 204,800 extended, though you should probably stay around the 25,600 mark if you want to get the crispiest night shots. And since this is designed to be a video camera first and foremost, there’s support for Cinema 4K (4,096 x 2,160) at up to 60fps (with a full sensor readout), 10-bit HDR and up to 240fps slow-motion capture. Most importantly, there’s no time limit as to how much 4K footage you can record at a time, so you’re only bound by the limits of your battery or SD card.

If you bought a GH5 last year, fret not, as Panasonic says the GH5s isn’t meant to replace that camera. Instead, the company wanted to expand its Micro Four Thirds ecosystem in hopes of reaching audiences like professional cinematographers — a lot of whom have made the Sony A7S II their preferred low-light shooter. We’ll have more on the GH5s before it launches in February for $2,499 (body-only). Until then, enjoy these close-ups while you think about whether or not you want to spend your money on it.

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