March 3, 2022

Panasonic GH5 vs GH6 vs S1H

3 Superb Video-Centric Cameras from Panasonic...

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Panasonic GH6, GH5 and S1H. They are all highly capable, feature rich and reasonably priced cameras so how do you decide which is best for you? Below is a basic, general comparison of the cameras side by side.

Lumix GH6 With 12-60 Lens
Top Panel of GH6

Panasonic GH6 Specs

Product Details

9.5/10

The Panasonic GH6 is the new powerhouse Micro Four Thirds camera with a feature set that leaves you wanting for little.

Highly Recommended!

Micro Four Thirds Camera With Cage

M43 Live MOS Sensor 

25.2MP

Memory

CFexpress Type B and SDHC/SDXC

Max Photo Resolution

11552 x 8672 (XL)

Max Video Resolution

5.7k (5728x3024)

PRORES

yes

Recording Limit

UMLIMITED

Max Frame Rate with Audio

FHD 10-BIT 240FPS HFR

Max Frame Rate VFR

FHD 10-bit 24p/300fps VFR

Image Stabilisation

7.5 Stop DUAL IS 2

Rear Screen

7.5 Stop DUAL IS 2

Battery

Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 2200mAh, 16Wh)

Rear Screen

7.5 Stop DUAL IS 2

Tally Lamp

Front and Rear

Fan

YES

Audio

Built in, DMW-MS2 and 3.5mm

Headphone

3.5mm

Full Details at Panasonic

Buy from B&H PhotoVideo

Panasonic GH6 - Was it worth the wait?

I will focus this post mainly on the Panasonic GH6 from a Panny user point of view. However, if like me you are somewhat invested in Panasonic, you may like to see how the Panasonic GH6 compares to the GH5 and S1H.

I am including the Panasonic S1H because a lot of the features in this camera have made their way into the GH6 which is amazing.

Specs and Thoughts on the Panasonic GH6

Many people have waited a long time for the release of this camera. The GH line has been superb (IMO) and I have owned both the GH4 and GH5. 

Panasonic's GH5 was rather ground-breaking due to the sheer number of features available including 4K, 10bit, 4:2:2, 400mbps internal recording. For such a small camera this was incredible and 5 years on, I still use this camera today.

The Panasonic GH6 had a lot to live up to, especially with the incremental releases GH5 II and GH5s (below). From what I have seen and apart from a couple of small issues, I think this camera is a winner and comes highly recommended.

Panasonic GH5 II

Panasonic GH5 II

Panasonic GH5 S

Panasonic GH5 S

GH5, GH6 and S1H specs side by side

Feature

GH5

GH6

S1H

Megapixel

20.3

25.2

24.2

VLOG

V-Log L

V-Log

V-Log

Max Res

4K 60

5.7K 60

6K 24

Max Bit

400Mmbps 4:2:2 10-bit

1.9Gbps PRORES

400Mbps 4:2:2 10-bit

H/phone Jack

Yes

Yes

Yes

3.5mm Mic Jack

Yes

Yes

Yes

HDMI Out

Full

Full

Full

Netflix Approved

No

Maybe

Yes

Stabilised Stops

5-Stop

7.5-Stop

6-Stop

Record Time

Unlimited (no fan)

Unlimited with fan

Unlimited with fan

Dual Cards

SDXC x2

CFexpress + SDXC

SDXC x2

Focus

DFD

DFD

DFD

Rear LCD

3.2" 1.6m

3" 1.8m

3.2" 2.33m

Dual ISO V-Log

No

250/2000

640/4000

e-Shutter

16,000th

32,000th

8,000th

Shutter Life

200,000

200,000

400,000

Burst Mech

12fps

14fps

9fps

Burst Elec

12fps

75fps

9fps

Tally Lamp

No

Front/Rear

Front/Rear

Battery Life*

410/1000

350/800

400/1150

Weight (body only)

645g

739g

1052g

Price (new)

£900-1300

£1999

£2999

Price S/H

£600-£800

N/A

£1900-£2400

*The first number is in normal mode on rear monitor, the second number is in Power Save LVF Mode

I think the Panasonic GH6 is an amazing M43 camera and I don't think Micro Four Thirds is dead yet. There is definitely still a market for cameras at this size and price point, especially when they are so feature-rich.

The two downsides for me are the "elephant-in-the-room" autofocus and quirky "Dual Native ISO" alternative. From what I have seen in some reviews, the image quality (video) suffers a bit and being forced to use ISO 2000 in daylight for V-LOG is a bit meh.

Side Ports on GH6

Panasonic GH6 Sides

Why compare these three cameras?

The reason I decided to compare these particular cameras is:

  1. 1
    The GH5 is still an amazing camera and I still use mine
  2. 2
    I also own the incredible S1H and the GH6 is almost a "mini S1H"
  3. 3
    The GH6 fits neatly in between the GH5 and S1H

There are a lot of features that are in all three cameras. Only time and newer tech separates these features but overall, all three are capable of producing stunning footage.

Only one though, also shoots the quality of stills that I need. This fact has played a large part in my decision as to whether I will buy one or not...

Will I buy it?

Not right now.

My Panasonic S1H is a beast and has most of the features present in the GH6 plus a full frame sensor and true dual base ISO. In low light, the S1H performs incredibly well and the stills quality beats M43 sensors IMO.

The only things the GH6 has that I wished the S1H had are:

  1. 1
    5.9k 60 and 4K 120 but I can live without them (I do have 180fps VFR in FHD if I need to go super slow)
  2. 2
    ProRes Internal however I can record ProRes externally to my Atomos Ninja Recorder
  3. 3
    Faster stills bursts. The S1H is pretty poor

If I didn't own the S1H, yes, I would buy the GH6 in a heartbeat. I love grabbing the GH5 for reviews, general days out and times when I need something lightweight.

The Panasonic GH6 packs much of what the S1H has (including one of the best rear screens on the market) in a much smaller package. However, my trusty GH5 still produces the goods for a lot of things that I film (product reviews, daylight stock, B-roll etc).

I was lucky enough to get a Panasonic S1H, brand new, for just £2,400. Not that much more than the GH6 and am really happy with the S1H for now.

If £2999 was my only option for the S1H, I would have waited for the GH6 or splashed out more for the Canon EOS R5c.

Rear of Mirrorless Camera

Should you buy the Panasonic GH6?

If you own the GH5/GH5 II or GH5S and don't need the faster frame rates, slightly better low light performance, ProRes and 5.7k video, I would probably not buy the GH6 right now.

The GH5 will still be highly relevant for most "prosumers" for a while yet. Maybe you'll buy it "just because" and for the hell of it (like I tend to do : ). after all, there may come a time when you need those things right?

For those that are doing more professional film making and on occasion need the additional features then yes. The GH6 would also make a superb B-roll camera to compliment any of the more professional Panny cameras.

If you are just starting out or coming from a lesser camera than the GH5, absolutely. The GH6 will blow you away and keep you busy with a smile on your face for many years!

Final Thoughts

The good, the bad and the ugly (AF)

Good

  • 5.7K 10-bit 60p/50p 
  • 7.5-stop DUAL I.S.2
  • 25.2mp Sensor
  • Apple ProRes
  • 4K 120 & 240/300fps(VFR)
  • Internal cooling
  • Pull out, flip & twist screen

Bad

  • Dual native ISO a bit hmm
  • VLOG ISO min ISO2000
  • Autofocus better but hmm
  • CFExpress cards pricey
  • 75fps stills limited 2-3 secs
  • Battery life less than GH5

Conclusion:

Ugly: I cannot understand why Panasonic didn't listen to the deafening feedback from so many people regarding the AF. If they had upped their game and spent the past 5 years working on a superb phase detect system, this camera would have rocked the world...

As it is, all the Panny users that got fed up waiting for decent AF have more than likely already jumped ship to Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fuji or Olympus (and their wonderful new OM-1).

The positives for me greatly outweigh any small niggles though and to be honest, the Panasonic GH6 would be a perfect B camera to the S1H so never say never.

At the end of the day, get a camera that does what you need. Use it, enjoy it and don't always be swayed by newer tech that you might never use in the real world. Especially when the end results aren't that noticeably different.

Panasonic GH6 Front No Lens
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