Panasonic Lumix cameras are very popular around the world, though hard to find in India. However, that does not take away from the fact that when it comes to mirrorless cameras, the Lumix series has been right there on top for many years now. The latest in the series, the Panasonic Lumix GH5S, has just been launched in India and packs quite a punch when it comes to features. The one standout feature here is the Cinematic 4K, something never before achieved in a camera of this size.
It is hard these days to do a full review of a camera writing an epic. That is because cameras, in their desperate bid to become more appealing than smartphones, have added so many new features. So with the Panasonic Lumix GH5S we will look at the top features that impressed us the most. But that does not in any way mean, these are the only features you should bother about.
Panasonic Lumix GH5S specifications
10.28 Megapixels Live MOS Sensor | OLED Live View Finder + Free-angle 3.2-inch TFT LCD | Contrast AF system | Upto 204800* *Extended ISO | Upto 1/16,000 shutter speed | upto 3840x2160p (4K PHOTO) with Burst speed of 60 frames/sec |Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
Panasonic Lumix GH5S price in India: Rs 1,84,990 (body)
The best part about the camera has to be the ease with which it can be used. It has everything like a top-end DSLR, but it is not as confusing or intimidating. The many rings and buttons let you easily change settings. And if that does not work there is the touchscreen which makes life easier for the smartphone generation. If you are one of those who does not want to bother with the settings of the camera, just switch to the P or AI mode where the camera takes charge and ensure you have a perfect frame all time.
Picture quality should not be something we discuss with a LUMIX camera so advanced. The camera rises to any occasion, be it low light or action. I used it with the Panasonic Leica DG 42.5mm f/1.2 ASPH OIS lens, and was thoroughly impressed. I walked inside a dimly lit tomb in Lodhi Garden when it was already twilight, aimed at the inside of the dome and clicked in auto mode. The results were far better than what my naked eye could see. The camera captured subtle silhouettes and harsh HDR with real ease.
The feel of using the Panasonic LUMIX GH5S is something hard to express in words. Every click gives you a this-will-be-done kind of response that is so reassuring as a photographer. Though a mirrorless camera, the GH5S seems to have been made to feel and perform like a full DSLR. So those who are planning to switch over from a DSLR for the advantages and comfort of a mirrorless will feel at home here. One issue I felt was with the viewfinder and LCD throwing up a bit of buzz when you are framing images in low light. I initially thought there was some fluorescent blue alien substance on my subject, then realised that was showing only in the preview.
But the selling point of this camera will be its capabilities with video. In fact, this does Cinematic 4K, unheard of in a camera of this built. Despite the resources needed for writing 4K video the camera manages to give a smooth experience. Also, this has one of the best microphones in a camera like this (Check out the test video). Using the 10.2-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor with Dual Native ISO Technology, this camera can achieve stunning video quality even in low light.
Also, by adding extra microphones and with a tripod and a Class 10 SD card this can take care of video needs of even professional production houses. You also have the ability to shoot slow-motion or even a time lapse with excellent results.
The Panasonic image app lets you control the camera as well share images to the smartphone. The set up is easy, but should be easier. Also, even while transferring images it needs to switch from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi manually, something that should happen without your help. Anyway, the ability to have your camera photos in the phone within seconds of the shoot makes this a more potent device for the Instagram generation. Having shifted fully to a smartphone for my photography, I would prefer a camera like this, if at all.
The Panasonic LUMIX GH5S might be an expensive proposition given its price tag and lens costs, but this is clearly one of the best camera options out there, especially when you consider how good this is with video. The best thing about the GH5S is that it is not intimidating, but still extremely capable and truly contemporary. The Cinematic Video abilities might start posing a serious threat to Canon and Nikon DSLRs that are first preferences in this space now.