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Panasonic GH5s versus Panasonic FZ300

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 (labelled Panasonic FZ330 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2018 and July 2015. The GH5s is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the FZ300 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GH5s) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ300) sensor. The GH5s has a resolution of 9.9 megapixel, whereas the FZ300 provides 12 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic GH5s vs Panasonic FZ300

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GH5s and the Panasonic FZ300 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the GH5s – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic GH5s vs Panasonic FZ300
GH5s versus FZ300 top view
GH5s and FZ300 rear side
Body view (GH5s on the left)

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ300 is notably smaller (11 percent) than the Panasonic GH5s. 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 and possibly misleading, as the FZ300 has a lens build in, whereas the GH5s is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the GH5s and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the GH5s gets 440 shots out of its DMW-BLF19 battery, while the FZ300 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLC12 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic GH5s (⇒ rgt) 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 660 g 440 YES 2018 2,499 latest check
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft) 132 mm 92 mm 117 mm 691 g 380 YES 2015 599 latest check
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 123 mm 77 mm 105 mm 733 g 300 YES 2015 999 latest check
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 no 2014 549 latest check
Olympus E-M1 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 134 mm 91 mm 67 mm 574 g 440 YES 2016 1,999 latest check
Panasonic G9 (⇒ lft | rgt) 137 mm 97 mm 92 mm 658 g 400 YES 2017 1,699 latest check
Panasonic GH5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 YES 2017 1,999 latest check
Panasonic G85 (⇒ lft | rgt) 128 mm 89 mm 74 mm 505 g 330 YES 2016 899 latest check
Panasonic GX8 (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 78 mm 63 mm 487 g 330 YES 2015 1,199discont. check
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 93 mm 84 mm 560 g 500 YES 2014 1,499discont. check
Panasonic GH3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 93 mm 82 mm 550 g 540 YES 2012 1,299discont. check
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 no 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 no 2011 499discont. check
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 110 mm 65 mm 43 mm 271 g 400 no 2010 499discont. check
Sony A9 (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 YES 2017 4,499 latest check
Sony A7S II (⇒ lft | rgt) 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 627 g 370 YES 2015 2,999 latest check

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The FZ300 was launched at a lower price than the GH5s, despite having a lens build in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.


Sensor comparison: Panasonic GH5s vs Panasonic FZ300

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GH5s features a Four Thirds sensor and the Panasonic FZ300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ300 is 88 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic GH5s and Panasonic FZ300 sensor measures
Sensor size

Despite having a smaller sensor, the FZ300 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixel, compared with 9.9 MP of the GH5s. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.53μm versus 4.77μm for the GH5s). Moreover, it should be noted that the GH5s is much more recent (by 2 years and 5 months) than the FZ300, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its 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.

GH5s versus FZ300 MP
Sensor resolution

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic GH5s (⇒ rgt) Four Thirds 9.9 3680 2700 4K/60p .. .. .. ..
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 4K/30p 19.3 11.0 97 38
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.4 12.3 521 63
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 14.2 4608 3072 1080/60p 19.2 10.8 127 39
Olympus E-M1 II (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 20.2 5184 3888 4K/30p 23.7 12.8 1312 80
Panasonic G9 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 20.2 5184 3888 4K/60p - - - -
Panasonic GH5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 20.2 5184 3888 4K/60p 23.9 13.0 807 77
Panasonic G85 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 4K/30p 22.8 12.5 656 71
Panasonic GX8 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 20.2 5184 3888 4K/30p 23.5 12.6 806 75
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 4K/30p 23.2 12.8 791 74
Panasonic GH3 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/60p 22.7 12.4 812 71
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 19.1 10.8 114 37
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000 1080/60p 19.4 10.9 132 40
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736 720/60p 19.6 10.8 132 41
Sony A9 (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 24.0 6000 4000 4K/30p 24.9 13.3 3517 92
Sony A7S II (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 12.0 4240 2832 4K/30p 23.6 13.3 2993 85

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the GH5s provides a higher frame rate than the FZ300. It can shoot video footage at 4K/60p, while the FZ300 is limited to 4K/30p.

Feature comparison: Panasonic GH5s vs Panasonic FZ300

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the GH5s offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the FZ300 (3680k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic GH5s and Panasonic FZ300 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic GH5s (⇒ rgt) 3680 no 3.2 1620 swivel YES 8000 12.0 no no
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft) 1440 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 12.0 8.8 YES
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.2 1620 tilting YES 2000 5.9 6.8 YES
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) 922 no 3.0 922 swivel no 2000 6.4 5.5 YES
Olympus E-M1 II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1037 swivel YES 8000 18.0 no YES
Panasonic G9 (⇒ lft | rgt) 3680 YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 8000 20.0 no YES
Panasonic GH5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 3680 no 3.2 1620 swivel YES 8000 12.0 no YES
Panasonic G85 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 9.0 6.2 YES
Panasonic GX8 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 8000 10.0 no YES
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2359 no 3.0 1036 swivel YES 8000 12.0 17 no
Panasonic GH3 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1746 no 3.0 614 swivel YES 4000 6.0 12 no
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1312 no 3.0 460 swivel no 4000 12.0 13.5 YES
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) 202 no 3.0 460 swivel no 2000 12.0 9.5 YES
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 fixed no 4000 2.5 7.2 YES
Sony A9 (⇒ lft | rgt) 3686 no 3.0 1440 tilting YES 8000 20.0 no YES
Sony A7S II (⇒ lft | rgt) 2400 no 3.0 1229 tilting no 8000 5.0 no YES

Both the GH5s and the FZ300 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The FZ300 replaced the earlier Panasonic FZ200, while the GH5s does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Panasonic GH5s vs Panasonic FZ300

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic GH5s or the Panasonic FZ300 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5s:

  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/30p).
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3680k vs 1440k dots).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 1040k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (440 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 5 months of technical progress since the FZ300 launch.

Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 9.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the GH5s necessitates an extra lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (132x92mm vs 139x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2015).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GH5s emerges as the winner of the contest (9 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

GH5s 09:07 FZ300

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the GH5s or the FZ300. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. The full reviews are available, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
.com
dp
review
.com
ephoto
zine
.com
imaging
resource
.com
photography
blog
.com
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Panasonic GH5s (⇒ rgt) .. 84/100 Gold 4.5/5 .. 4.5/5 2018 2,499 latest check
Panasonic FZ300 (⇒ lft) HiRec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 599 latest check
Canon G3 X (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 3.5/5 4/5 2015 999 latest check
Canon SX60 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 75/100 4/5 - 4.5/5 2014 549 latest check
Olympus E-M1 II (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2016 1,999 latest check
Panasonic G9 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Silver 5/5 .. 5/5 2017 1,699 latest check
Panasonic GH5 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2017 1,999 latest check
Panasonic G85 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 84/100 Gold 5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2016 899 latest check
Panasonic GX8 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 82/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2015 1,199discont. check
Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 85/100 Gold 5/5 5/5 5/5 2014 1,499discont. check
Panasonic GH3 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 79/100 Gold 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2012 1,299discont. check
Panasonic FZ200 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 80/100 Gold 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 599discont. check
Panasonic FZ150 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 76/100 Silver 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2011 499discont. check
Panasonic LX5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 73/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2010 499discont. check
Sony A9 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 89/100 Gold 5/5 5/5 5/5 2017 4,499 latest check
Sony A7S II (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2015 2,999 latest check

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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