Panasonic GH5/GH5s vs Sony A7III vs BlackMagic Pocket Camera 4k!

Panasonic changed the video production industry when it released the GH-5. The sheer amount of features packed into this compact-ish body rivalled features found in cameras that cost up to 2 orders of magnitude more! It packs in everything from the anamorphic mode, 6K, a ridiculous capacity for high frame rates, and the list goes on and on! It was however criticised for its poor low light performance, so like the Sony A7S series, Panasonic released an S version of the GH5 and termed it, rather unimaginatively, the GH5s. It was a low megapixel count solution with dual native ISOs that allowed the GH5 to “see in the dark”.

At that point in 2017, if you wanted a reasonably priced, natively UHD video capable camera that could be used for semi-professional/professional video production, you could pick from between the GH5, the GH5s, or the Sony A7sII. If full frame is what you wanted, you could go with the A7 Series and compromise on color (only 8-bit support) and if you wanted a feature-rich environment where you could live without full frame bokeh, then you’d go the Panasonic way.

Enter spring 2018 and the mirrorless video game has been changed completely by the incredible announcement of 2 very exciting new products!

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last month, Sony has announced (in the most profound way possible), a trend-changing “Base model” camera that simultaneously boasts supreme low light capability from a full-frame sensor, one of the most powerful autofocus systems, support for high frame rates in HD, and great quality 4k. And then, NAB happened.

Enter Player 3: Blackmagic Pocket Camera 4k

And then, the best news. At NAB, Blackmagic Design confirmed that the Blackmagic Pocket Camera’s 4k version is ready! Unfortunately, the release schedule is quite far but the specs will blow your mind.

This creates a problem though! If you’re currently looking to buy a camera that does 4k video, which would you pick? Each camera has its own unique attribute that may make it worth your time or make it completely useless to you, and regret is not a good feeling. To give you some objective information, here’s a table that enables a feature comparison.


Still photos supportYesYesHell YesYes, but amount of control is unclear
Frame rate options @1080pCustom frame rates possible upto 180fpsCustom frame rates possible upto 180fps 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94, 100,12023.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60, 120(cropped/"windowed")
Frame Rate Options @ 4k23.98,25,29.97,50,59.94,23.98,25,29.97,50,59.94,23.98, 25, 29.9723.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 60
In-Camera StabilisationSensor shift stabilizationNoSensor Shift StabilisationNo
Articulating ScreenYes, Selfie mode possibleYes, Selfie mode possibleYes, but no selfie modeNo
Max Video Resolution"6k Photo"4096x21603840 x 21604096 x 2160
Max Bitrate@4k400Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra)400Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra)100 Mb/s XAVC S via H.2644096 x 2160 @30fps
CinemaDNG RAW - 270 MB/s*. 60FPS Unknown.
Max Bitrate@1080p200Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) 200Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit ALL-Intra) 100 Mb/s XAVC S via H.264)27.5 MB/s*
Headphone Jackstandard 3.5mm jackstandard 3.5mm jackstandard 3.5mm jackstandard 3.5mm jack
Mic Jack3.5mm mic jack, adapter is optional extra 3.5mm mic jack, adapter is optional extra 3.5mm mic jack3.5mm mic jack + Mini XLR with Phantom Power
Native ISO optionsDual NativeDual Native
Claimed Dynamic Range13 stops
Memory Card SlotsDual SD Card slots (UHS-II U3 Compatible)Dual SD Card slots (UHS-II U3 Compatible)Dual Card slots, with one SD and one Sony card1 x CFast and 1 x SD USH-II card slot
LOG profile SupportV-LogL pre-installedV-LogL recording with (Optional) DMW-SFU1 paid upgradeS-Log3 GammasYes
RAW Video SupportNoNoNoF**k Yes
RAW Photo Support Yes YesYesUnknown
HDR Video4K HDR hybrid log gamma support4k Hybrid Log Gamma supportHLG "HDR sensor"
Onboard Time-lapse FeatureYesYesNoPossibly
Sensor Size17.3 x 13.0 mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)17.3 x 13.0 mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)35.6 x 23.8 mm18.96mm x 10mm
Still Image Max Resolution20.3 Megapixels10.2 Megapixels24.2 MegapixelsUnknown
HDMI port sizeFull size (Type A) HDMIHDMI Type A SocketMini HDMI Full size HDMI
CaveatsAutofocus problemsAutofocus Problems,
No in-camera optical stabilisation
Small HDMI, only 8 bit color, 30 minute recording limit per fileRelease is scheduled for september

* Please note, this is MegaBYTES per second, megabits is 8x

At the moment there is no concrete information about release dates, but if you’d like us to keep you in the loop as and when more information becomes available, please click here and you will receive an email when we know more!


Chirag is a Media Technologist Originally from the Himalayan region of Shimla (India). He holds a MSc in “Medientechnologie” from the German University TU-Ilmenau, and a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering.
Passions include drones, cameras, astrophysics, and making life here on planet earth a little bit better.

Back to Top