The GH5S's video feature set is essentially an expansion of that of the standard GH5, with the biggest differences being in the range of shooting options you get in the wider aspect ratio DCI 4K format (4096 x 2160 pixels).

4K Video Modes

The GH5S can shoot all the modes that the GH5 can but can now match all of those bitrate/compression combinations in DCI mode, which was previously limited to 24 and 23.98 fps.

Combined with the camera's multi aspect sensor, which devotes a little more sensor area to it, the GH5S should be the much better choice if you have the more cinematic DCI format in mind.

Resolution Frame Rate Bitrate Chroma
sub-sampling
Comp.
type
Video Codec Audio Codec
4096 x 2160
  • 24p
  • 23.98
400 Mbps 4:2:2 10-bit All-I MP4/MOV
(H.264)
Linear PCM
  • 29.97
  • 25
150 Mbps IPB
  • 24
  • 23.98
  • 59.94
  • 50
4:2:0 8-bit
  • 29.97
  • 25
100 Mbps
  • 24
  • 23.98
3840 x 2160
  • 29.97
  • 23.98
  • 25
  • 24
400 Mbps 4:2:2 10-bit All-I
  • 29.97
  • 23.98
  • 25
  • 24
150 Mbps IPB
  • 59.94
  • 50
4:2:0 8-bit
  • 29.97
  • 23.98
  • 25
  • 24
100 Mbps 4:2:0 8-bit
  • 29.97
  • 23.98
  • 25
MP4
(H.264)
AAC
  • 29.97
  • 23.98
  • 25
  • 24
72 Mbps 4:2:0 10-bit HEVC
Table shows all available frame rates. The system frequency needs to be switched between 59.94, 50 and 24Hz to access all possible modes. Rows indicated in green are new to the GH5S, while those in red represent the HEVC modes for shooting Hybrid Log Gamma for direct output to AV equipment (rather than post processing).

Full HD Video Modes

Resolution Frame Rate Bitrate Chroma
sub-sampling
Comp.
type
Video Codec Audio Codec
1920 x1080
  • 59.94
  • 29.97
  • 23.98
  • 50
  • 25
  • 24
200 Mbps 4:2:2 10-bit All-I MP4/MOV
(H.264)
Linear PCM
  • 59.94
  • 29.97
  • 23.98
  • 50
  • 25
  • 24
100 Mbps 4:2:2 10-bit IPB
  • 59.94
  • 29.97
  • 23.98
  • 50
  • 25
  • 24
4:2:0 8-bit
Table shows all available frame rates. System frequency needs to be switched between 59.94, 50 and 24Hz to access all possible modes.

In addition to these high-bitrate modes, the GH5S continues to offer MP4/AAC and AVCHD/Dolby shooting at 28, 24, 20 and 17Mbps.

External Recording

The camera is able to record internally and simultaneously output a 4:2:2 10-bit signal when shooting at up to 30p. Above this, you need to choose between 4:2:0 8-bit internal capture or 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI out.

Internal capture HDMI Output
23.97 / 24 / 25/ 29.98p

4:2:2 10-bit

4:2:2 10-bit

50 / 59.94p

4:2:0 8-bit

4:2:2 10-bit

Filling in the gaps: 4:2:2 color

You may have noticed much of what we've written uses the terminology 4:X:X and talks about bit-depth. Understanding this notation is key to understanding what the GH5S offers. The 4:X:X naming system describes how much color data is preserved when footage is compressed into a manageable stream. It takes advantage of the fact that human vision is much more sensitive to brightness (luma) resolution than color (chroma) resolution.

Wikipedia does a good job of illustrating the 4:X:X notation, so it's worth checking out the article if you want to read about this in detail.

In a nutshell, the naming system describes how many pieces of color (chroma) information are retained for each group of output pixels. The key thing to note is that 4:2:2 footage retains twice as much color information as 4:2:0 footage does.

Sub-sampling type: Luminance Resolution Chroma Resolution
4:2:0 3840 x 2160 1920 x 1080
4:2:2 3840 x 2160 1920 x 2160

Then there's the question of bit depth, which indicates how much precision is recorded for each color. 8-bits of information allow values between 0 and 255 to be stored (numbers that are likely to be familiar if you've ever working on a JPEG in Photoshop). If you use 10-bits of space to describe each data point, that gives you much more subtlety: every data point is captured using values between 0 and 1023.

Greater bit depth means that you have more steps with which to describe subtle variations in brightness and color, which is especially valuable when you stretch and manipulate those variations when doing things like color grading. The finer the steps you used to capture a gentle tonal transition, the less likely you are to see big, stepped gaps (posterization) when you try to increase the contrast. By moving to 10-bit capture, the GH5 captures each color with 64x more precision than most consumer cameras (4x as much information in each of three color channels).

Log Gamma

Unlike the GH5, where VLog-L is a paid add-on, the more video-focused GH5S comes with it available as standard.

'What is Log gamma?' we hear the more inquisitive among you ask. Log gamma is a way of compressing more of the camera's dynamic range into a relatively low bit-depth file, to allow more flexibility when post processing the footage. Of course this means sharing that limited space across a wider range of tones, so it should only be used in high DR circumstances where it's needed.

Log gamma isn't the same thing as Raw capture: even in 4:2:2 you're throwing away half of the color data and you're also fixing the channels, relative to one another, into those 8 or 10-bit scales. This means you can't push one channel too much relative to another after capture, so you should only shoot Log when the scene demands it. However, like Raw, it can give access to the maximum possible dynamic range if you have a workflow for processing it.

The specific Log gamma used on the GH5 is Panasonic's V-Log L, which is designed to match the V-Log gamma used on Panasonic's VariCam professional cameras. (V-Log L is a truncated version of V-Log that accounts for the fact that the GH5S's sensor captures less dynamic range than a Super 35 sensor.)

VLog L View Assist Function

One of the challenges when shooting Log footage is that the image visually appears very flat. As a filmmaker, you know it will be graded in post to look much nicer than what appears on your screen, but sometimes it can be difficult to visualize what that graded result will look like when you're staring at a very flat Log image.

As with the GH5, the GH5S provides the ability to load up to four LUTs (lookup tables) into the camera. These LUTs can be used to view a real time approximation of what your footage will look like when it's been graded. New to the GH5S is the ability to apply this preview LUT to playback mode, as well as the camera's live view preview.

Comparison of profiles, including VLog L with in-camera VLog-to-Rec.709 LUT applied. The LUT is displayed on-screen, while the camera continues to record in unmodified Log.

The camera includes a built-in VLog-to-Rec.709 LUT and additional LUT's can be uploaded in the .vlt format (the same format used by Panasonic's VariCam cameras). LUTs in other formats, such as .cube files, can be converted to .vlt format using a utility like LUTCalc, though the process isn't exactly for the faint of heart. Fortunately, the creator of LUTCalc has posted a video explaining exactly how to do it.

Note that even with a LUT applied, the image is not in its 'finished' form. Applying a LUT is usually the starting point for color grading, and leaves room for additional adjustments.

Ready-to-go profiles

If you're looking to shoot footage that won't be color graded in post, GH5S has a profile designed to mimic the ITU 709 standard, and control over the highlight response rolloff (Knee point and Knee Slope), to capture and protect highlights for more general shooting.

As with the latest firmware for the GH5, the S includes industry-standard Hybrid Log Gamma profile, which will capture footage designed for playback on compatible high dynamic range TVs, again without the expectation that the footage would need to be graded.