Beyond the updated video specs, most of the GH5S's video tools are a match for those on the GH5. We'll detail them here, just in case you're not familiar with them.

Video Scopes

One feature that shows how much effort Panasonic is making to court videographers is the addition of waveform and vectorscope displays. In fact, it's the first stills/video hybrid camera we've encountered to feature them.

A waveform display is a tool to help visualize luminance/exposure. It's common on pro video equipment as well as in video editing software. Rather than a histogram, which just tells you how many pixels hold each brightness value, a waveform tell you where those pixels occur in the image. The waveform diagram shows the brightness values for every column of pixels in the image: dark at the bottom, bright at the top.

Videographers like to use waveforms because it's easy to visualize both exposure and contrast across the frame. This is particularly helpful for judging exposure at a particular location, such as a subject's face.

Videographers will appreciate the GH5S's video scopes. L: a waveform monitor makes it easy to judge exposure and contrast. R: a vectorscope can assist in determining color accuracy and saturation.

The GH5S also offers a vectorscope display, which can be used to evaluate color information in the image, such as hue and saturation. Getting accurate color straight out of camera (as well as matching it between shots) is particularly important when shooting video since there's no Raw video capture in this class of camera. It's a bit like shooting JPEGs – you only have so much latitude to adjust things in post.

Shutter Angle

This increased effort to accommodate videographers can also be seen in the ability to report exposure duration as shutter angle (for those users with a film shooting background) and to display sensitivity as gain instead of ISO (for users familiar with video cameras).

Focus peaking and zebras

The GH5S has several options for focus peaking, these include high and low intensity along with the option to make the highlighted edges pink, white, cyan, yellow or green.

The camera has two user configurable zebra presets, which can be set from 50% to 105% in 5% increments. This is helpful if you want to check exposure against different targets, such as skin tones or highlights. The range re-calibrates to 50-80% if you're shooting in VLog.

Focus Transition function

The GH5S also offers the 'Focus Transition' function we first saw on the GH5. This allows the operator to define up to three focus depths prior to recording, and then selectively switch between them, as they shoot.

The GH5S's Focus Transition Function can be employed to smoothly rack focus between two or three subjects.

This means, if you're able to block a scene (prescribe the subjects' movement in advance), you can tell the camera to focus to specific distances in a smooth, controlled manner. It's a simple matter of focusing on each subject and assigning it to one of the focus points.

Once you've set your three focus points, you can freely rack back and forth between them in any sequence for as long as you need. The Focus Transition function allows you to choose the refocus speed (in five steps). In use, it produces very natural, smooth transitions.

This feature will likely appeal to narrative filmmakers or those shooting pre-blocked scenes, such as product videos. It provides a similar solution to using touch-to-focus for racking focus, but removes any and all variability that might be introduced by an autofocus system, which may overshoot the subject or misinterpret where you tapped on the screen. If you're shooting moving subjects however, you're better of sticking with touch-to-focus.

Improved audio capture

Although the built-in microphones look fairly standard, the GH5S includes sophisticated circuitry and algorithms to help remove mechanical and operational noise while recording.

In addition to the optional DMW-XLR1 accessory mic unit, the GH5S shares the GH5's more sophisticated noise cancelling for internal audio capture. Along with revised algorithms, the camera has a small microphone that detects operational noise (hands moving on the camera, zoom and focus motor noise) and subtracts it from the audio feed.

We haven't noticed a marked improvement in in-camera audio, but chances are good that if you're serious about your production you'll either record sound off-camera, use a dedicated mic plugged into the GH5S's minijack, or utilize the optional XLR accessory unit. In-camera audio should be good enough for sound sync, however.

Time code in/out

Whereas the GH5 could generate its own time code, there's no way of getting it to receive a sync signal from anything other than the smartphone app. The GH5S rather cleverly uses its flash sync socket as the T/C in/out connector and comes with a flash sync to BNC adaptor cable in the box, making it easier to incorporate into more complex, multi-cameras shoots.

Fast and slow speed video

Another area that the GH5S steps ahead of its more balanced sibling is its fast and slow speed movie options. Sure, DCI 60p capture allow 1/2.5th speed playback as part of a 24p timeline but the really interesting capabilities appear in Full HD mode.

The GH5S can shoot at up to 1080/p240, rather than the GH5's 180 fps capture (though there's an additional crop if you shoot above 200 fps on the GH5S). It also extends the range of playback rates that your footage can be output to, meaning it can capture 240p footage and output as 59.94 or 50p, rather than just 29.97 and slower.

Anamorphic shooting

The GH5S retains the ability to shoot anamorphic footage, using its 4:3 sensor region when paired with an anamorphic lens that compresses a wide horizontal angle of view down onto a squarer format. Its lower pixel count means it can't offer the GH5's '6K' high resolution anamorphic modes but it retains the ability to show a de-squeezed preview with framing guides.