Panasonic GH5 vs GH5s
The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 and the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2017 and January 2018. Both the GH5 and the GH5s are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The GH5 has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the GH5s provides 9.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 and the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GH5 and the Panasonic GH5s is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
In this particular case, the Panasonic GH5 and the Panasonic GH5s have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the GH5s is markedly lighter (9 percent) than the GH5. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic GH5||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||725 g||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic GH5s||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||660 g||440||Y||Jan 2018||2,499||amazon.com|
|3.||Nikon D500||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Olympus E-M1 II||134 mm||91 mm||67 mm||574 g||440||Y||Sep 2016||1,999||ebay.com|
|5.||Panasonic GH5 II||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||727 g||400||Y||May 2021||1,699||amazon.com|
|6.||Panasonic S5||133 mm||98 mm||82 mm||714 g||440||Y||Sep 2020||1,999||amazon.com|
|7.||Panasonic G9||137 mm||97 mm||92 mm||658 g||400||Y||Nov 2017||1,699||amazon.com|
|8.||Panasonic G80||128 mm||89 mm||74 mm||505 g||330||Y||Sep 2016||899||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic FZ330||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599||amazon.com|
|10.||Panasonic GX8||133 mm||78 mm||63 mm||487 g||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic GH4||133 mm||93 mm||84 mm||560 g||500||Y||Feb 2014||1,499||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic GH3||133 mm||93 mm||82 mm||550 g||540||Y||Sep 2012||1,299||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony A9||127 mm||96 mm||63 mm||673 g||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony A7 II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||599 g||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The GH5 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the GH5s, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the GH5 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 9.9 MP of the GH5s. This megapixels advantage translates into a 41 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the GH5 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.34μm versus 4.77μm for the GH5s). Moreover, it should be noted that the GH5s is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the GH5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic GH5 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GH5 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GH5s are 18.4 x 13.5 inches or 46.7 x 34.3 cm for good quality, 14.7 x 10.8 inches or 37.4 x 27.4 cm for very good quality, and 12.3 x 9 inches or 31.2 x 22.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s are ISO 160 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-204800.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic GH5||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77|
|2.||Panasonic GH5s||Four Thirds||9.9||3680||2700||4K/60p||23.1||12.8||1154||74|
|4.||Olympus E-M1 II||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.7||12.8||1312||80|
|5.||Panasonic GH5 II||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.7||13.1||1136||79|
|6.||Panasonic S5||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.1||14.5||2697||94|
|7.||Panasonic G9||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.1||12.8||1138||74|
|8.||Panasonic G80||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.8||12.5||656||71|
|10.||Panasonic GX8||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75|
|11.||Panasonic GH4||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74|
|12.||Panasonic GH3||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.7||12.4||812||71|
|13.||Sony A9||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92|
|14.||Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/60p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The GH5 and the GH5s are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 3680k dots. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic GH5 and Panasonic GH5s along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Panasonic GH5||3680||n||3.2 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|2.||Panasonic GH5s||3680||n||3.2 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||n|
|3.||Nikon D500||optical||Y||3.2 / 2359||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|4.||Olympus E-M1 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||18.0/s||n||Y|
|5.||Panasonic GH5 II||3680||n||3.0 / 1840||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||n||Y|
|6.||Panasonic S5||2360||n||3.0 / 1840||swivel||Y||1/8000s||7.0/s||n||Y|
|7.||Panasonic G9||3680||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||20.0/s||n||Y|
|8.||Panasonic G80||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Panasonic FZ330||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|10.||Panasonic GX8||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|11.||Panasonic GH4||2359||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic GH3||1746||n||3.0 / 614||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Sony A9||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0/s||n||Y|
|14.||Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that differentiates the GH5 and the GH5s is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The GH5 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the GH5s offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Panasonic GH5 and the Panasonic GH5s both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the GH5 and the GH5s write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. Moreover, both the GH5 and the GH5s support UHS-II cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s, on both slots.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 and Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic GH5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Panasonic GH5s||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Nikon D500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Olympus E-M1 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Panasonic GH5 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Panasonic S5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Panasonic G9||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Panasonic G80||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic FZ330||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic GX8||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Panasonic GH4||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Panasonic GH3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Sony A9||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A7 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
The GH5s is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the GH5 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GH5 was succeeded by the Panasonic GH5 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic GH5 or the Panasonic GH5s – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 9.9MP) with a 42% higher linear resolution.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2017).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s:
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GH5 emerges as the winner of the contest (4 : 1 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GH5 and the Panasonic GH5s place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the GH5 and the GH5s in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic GH5||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic GH5s||..||..||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2018||2,499||amazon.com|
|3.||Nikon D500||5/5||+ +||4.7/5||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999||amazon.com|
|4.||Olympus E-M1 II||5/5||+ +||5/5||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||1,999||ebay.com|
|5.||Panasonic GH5 II||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2021||1,699||amazon.com|
|6.||Panasonic S5||4.5/5||+ +||4.5/5||88/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2020||1,999||amazon.com|
|7.||Panasonic G9||..||+ +||5/5||85/100||5/5||5/5||Nov 2017||1,699||amazon.com|
|8.||Panasonic G80||..||+ +||..||84/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||899||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic FZ330||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599||amazon.com|
|10.||Panasonic GX8||5/5||+||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic GH4||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||1,499||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic GH3||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,299||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony A9||5/5||+ +||4.8/5||89/100||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony A7 II||5/5||+||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 70D vs Panasonic GH5s
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Panasonic GH5
- Canon SX520 vs Panasonic GH5
- Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Panasonic GH5s
- Nikon D610 vs Panasonic GH5
- Nikon Z6 vs Panasonic GH5s
- Panasonic GH5 vs Panasonic S1
- Panasonic GH5 vs Pentax K-5
- Panasonic GH5 vs Sony NEX-3N
- Panasonic GH5s vs Ricoh GR
- Panasonic GH5s vs Sony A7 IV
- Panasonic GH5s vs Sony A7R
Specifications: Panasonic GH5 vs Panasonic GH5s
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic GH5||Panasonic GH5s|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2017||January 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 1,999||USD 2,499|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic GH5||Panasonic GH5s|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||9.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||3680 x 2700 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.34 μm||4.77 μm|
|Pixel Density||8.96 MP/cm2||4.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video||4K/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 25,600 ISO||160 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 204,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus 10||Venus 10|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||77||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.9||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.0||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||807||..|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic GH5||Panasonic GH5s|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3680k dots||3680k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||1620k dots||1620k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic GH5||Panasonic GH5s|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations||200 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II||Dual UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic GH5||Panasonic GH5s|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1||USB 3.1|
|HDMI Port||full HDMI||full HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic GH5||Panasonic GH5s|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge||440 shots per charge|
139 x 98 x 87 mm
(5.5 x 3.9 x 3.4 in)
139 x 98 x 87 mm
(5.5 x 3.9 x 3.4 in)
|Camera Weight||725 g (25.6 oz)||660 g (23.3 oz)|
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