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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

The physical size and weight of the Panasonic GH5s and the Panasonic FZ300 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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
Compare GH5s versus FZ300 top
Compare GH5s and FZ300 rear

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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic GH5s» 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 23.3 oz 440 Y Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
Panasonic FZ300« 5.2 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 24.4 oz 380 Y Jul 2015 599 i i Panasonic FZ300
Canon R« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.3 in 23.3 oz 370 Y Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
Canon SX60« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Panasonic G9« » 5.4 in 3.8 in 3.6 in 23.2 oz 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Panasonic GH4« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.3 in 19.8 oz 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
Panasonic FZ200« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic GF5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 9.4 oz 360 n Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
Panasonic GH3« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.2 in 19.4 oz 540 Y Sep 2012 1,299- i Panasonic GH3
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic GF3« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 300 n Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
Panasonic FZ100« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
Panasonic G10« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The FZ300 was launched at a lower price than the GH5s, despite having a lens build in. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic GH5s vs Panasonic FZ300

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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 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

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

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Panasonic GH5s» Four Thirds 9.9 3680 27004K/60p----Panasonic GH5s
Panasonic FZ300« 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p19.311.09738Panasonic FZ300
Canon R« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p----Canon R
Canon SX60« » 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739Canon SX60
Panasonic G9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p----Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
Panasonic GH4« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174Panasonic GH4
Panasonic FZ200« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic GF5« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861Panasonic GF5
Panasonic GH3« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.712.481271Panasonic GH3
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849Panasonic GF3
Panasonic FZ100« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----Panasonic FZ100
Panasonic G10« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353Panasonic G2
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for 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 variety 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GH5s, the Panasonic FZ300, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Panasonic GH5s»3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n n Panasonic GH5s
Panasonic FZ300«1440 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ300
Canon R« »3690 n 3.2 2100 swivel Y 8000 8.0 n n Canon R
Canon SX60« »922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 2000 6.4 Y Y Canon SX60
Panasonic G9« »3680 Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 20.0 n Y Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
Panasonic GH4« »2359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 8000 12.0 Y n Panasonic GH4
Panasonic FZ200« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic GF5« »- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 4000 4.0 Y n Panasonic GF5
Panasonic GH3« »1746 n 3.0 614 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Panasonic GH3
Panasonic FZ150« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 12.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 3.2 Y n Panasonic GF3
Panasonic FZ100« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 11.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ100
Panasonic G10« »202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 2.6 Y n Panasonic G2
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 4000 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The FZ300 has one, while the GH5s does not. While the build-in flash of the FZ300 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (flickering).

Both the GH5s and the FZ300 write their imaging data to SDXC cards. The GH5s features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the FZ300 only has one slot.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Panasonic GH5s»YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5s
Panasonic FZ300«YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Panasonic FZ300
Canon R« »YstereomonoY-mini3.1Y-YCanon R
Canon SX60« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Canon SX60
Panasonic G9« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y-YPanasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
Panasonic GH4« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Panasonic GH4
Panasonic FZ200« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic GF5« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF5
Panasonic GH3« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Panasonic GH3
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic GF3« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF3
Panasonic FZ100« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic FZ100
Panasonic G10« »Ymono---mini2.0---Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V

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 how do things add up? 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.


Reasons to prefer 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).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • 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.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
  • More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • 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.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • 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 count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GH5s is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 7 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.

GH5s 14:07 FZ300

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the GH5s and the FZ300 in practical situations. 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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic GH5s»-84/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
Panasonic FZ300«HiRec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2015 599 i i Panasonic FZ300
Canon R« »--4.5/5-4/5 Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
Canon SX60« »HiRec75/1004/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 549- i Canon SX60
Panasonic G9« »HiRec85/1005/5-5/5 Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
Panasonic GH5« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
Panasonic GH4« »HiRec85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499- i Panasonic GH4
Panasonic FZ200« »HiRec80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
Panasonic GF5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
Panasonic GH3« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,299- i Panasonic GH3
Panasonic FZ150« »HiRec76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
Panasonic FZ100« »Rec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
Panasonic G10« »-70/1004/5-4/5 Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« »-72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
Sony HX400V« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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