A minor upgrade with unparalleled live-streaming talents
two minute review
The Panasonic GH5 II’s predecessor, the original GH5, was a landmark camera for video makers. It delivered gorgeous 4K footage quality, a wide variety of shooting options, and good handling, along with valuable features like in-body image stabilization and dual SD card slots. It was also a solid still camera with good all-round imaging performance, despite its smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor.
The GH5 II does nothing to spoil the party. It comes with everything that made its predecessor successful, plus a little extra. But only a little bit: With more or less the same sensor and the same range of video resolutions, frame rates, and bitrates, there’s no big jump here.
For some, the built-in wireless video live streaming may make it worth the upgrade, but in general we don’t think GH5 owners shouldn’t bother replacing it with the GH5 II; The improvements are very minor.
For others, especially those looking to take their first steps into “serious” video production, the Panasonic GH5 II represents a great buy. While retaining all the benefits of the earlier model while adding quality-of-life updates like internal battery charging and the aforementioned wireless live streaming, it quickly establishes itself as Panasonic’s new go-to model for demanding content creators.
It can shoot everything from old 10-bit 4:2:2 videos to buttery smooth slow motion Full HD clips, and its videos can look great with minimal post-production editing.
Compact, lightweight, weatherproof and a pleasure to use at home or in the field, the GH5 II represents great value for money. It’s got serious video chops, is strong on stills, and is built to last.
Panasonic GH5 Mark II price and release date
The Lumix GH5 Mark II will be available from the end of June in two main packages: a body-only option for $1,699.99 / £1,499 / AU$2,699 and an L kit (including the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 Leica lens) for $2,299.99 / £1,999 / AU$3,799.
There will be an additional option of the M Kit (including the 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Lumix lens) for £1,699 / AU$2,999 in some regions such as the UK and Australia. There is also a Pro Kit available in Australia that comes with a 12-35mm Lumix G lens and will set you back AU$3,799.
That means the GH5 Mark II is actually cheaper at launch than the original Panasonic GH5, which came in for $2,000 / £1,699 in 2017. Again, it shares much of the same hardware over the four years, so that was to be expected.
construction and operation
The GH5 Mark II is no different from its predecessor: it has the same dust-proof, splash-proof and freeze-proof magnesium alloy body with the same 138.5 x 98.1 x 87.4mm dimensions and 727g (including battery and memory). card) weighs just over 2 grams.
To be fair to Panasonic, this is one area that didn’t feel the need for change. The camera’s semi-DSLR shape fits snugly in your hands, and all of the main controls (including the big red video stop/start button) are located within easy reach of your fingers or thumb. The dials provide quick access to a wide range of shooting modes, including four user-customizable configurations, and a cursor-nub for your right thumb allows for fast menu navigation or autofocus point movement.
Like the original GH5, there’s a full-size HDMI output (capable of carrying the C4K 4:2:2 10-bit video feed to an external recorder, should internal 4:2:0 recording not meet your needs), mic and a headphone jack, a dedicated remote, two SD card slots, and a USB Type-C port. The USB connection on the GH5 Mark II is above the level of its predecessor, however, capable of recharging the battery and supplying power; This is a really useful upgrade, especially considering the live-streaming feature.
The size of the touchscreen has been reduced a bit, from 3.2-inches to 3-inches, but there’s a slight jump in its brightness and resolution that we think makes up for. It sports an extremely flexible tilt-and-swivel design, allowing it to fold completely forward—essential for vlogging and live-streaming, in fact. The electronic viewfinder remains the same as the GH5’s, which isn’t a problem as it’s bright, crisp and does its job perfectly.
Wireless live streaming may not seem like a huge craze just yet, but Panasonic has made it a big promotional point for the launch of the GH5 II. At the time of writing, this is the only high-quality mirrorless camera with built-in wireless live streaming, so vloggers and other content creators should take note.
The camera’s live streaming setup uses the standard RTMP/RTMPS protocol, which means it can be used on a variety of platforms. For those who want to get started with the least amount of fuss, YouTube and Facebook streaming is built-in: download the Lumix Sync app to your phone or tablet, go through the simple steps to pair your device with the GH5 II, then Log in to your Facebook or YouTube account and you’re basically there.
For this you need to connect the camera to the Internet via Wi-Fi; It can be your smartphone’s Wi-Fi hotspot if you’re out and about, and after testing it we can confirm that it works pretty well. Whether you’re using a home Wi-Fi connection or a hotspot, you can have a stream up and running in just a few minutes, especially once you’ve gone through the initial setup and used whatever platform you want. Save your login details for to use
Streaming quality is limited to a maximum of 1080p/60fps, but will automatically adapt to its connection. For example, our Facebook stream dropped the resolution to 720p—but the connection remained solid, running with a 15-second or longer delay.
Those looking to stream via an RTP/RTSP wired connection will have to wait for a promised firmware update, which will also include USB smartphone tethering. Like many Panasonic cameras, the GH5 II can be used as a wired webcam using the company’s Lumix webcam software, although its resolution is limited to 960p.
The GH5 II’s autofocus setup is largely retained from the GH5, albeit with head, body, and animal recognition (the original had only eye recognition).
Our testing shows that this AI-based detection approach is generally successful: the human face, head, and body are quickly picked up, but when a seagull receives autofocus attention, our own sitting. The cat finds it a little foxy.
The AF setup uses Panasonic’s own DFD (Depth from Defocus) system instead of the hybrid contrast and phase detection setups favored by the likes of Sony, Canon and Nikon. The DFD uses an AI-based algorithm with contrast detection, and we’d say it’s not as reliable as its hybrid rivals when it comes to getting sharp, accurate focus every time. Is this likely to hinder your photography or filmmaking too much? No, we don’t doubt it.
There are 225 selectable focus points spread across the sensor, and a huge range of AF modes to choose from. As is customary with most touchscreen-equipped cameras today, you can tap the display to select an AF area or point, including the object you want the system to track as it moves across the frame. revolves around.
In terms of steady shooting speed, the GH5 II is about average—at least if you’re talking about shooting full-resolution images. It can manage a fast 12fps with manual focus and Live View turned off, or an acceptable 9fps with autofocus on.
Dial up the resolution, however, and it becomes like a speed demon. 6K photo mode offers bursts of up to 30fps, and in 4K photos it goes as fast as 60fps. Of course, the downside is the drop in pixels: your images will be 18MP in size in 6K mode; In 4K, they are 8MP. Plus, these shots are actually frames taken from MP4 video rather than traditional stills, so you can’t shoot them in RAW.
The GH5 II’s batteries have a slightly higher capacity than the GH5’s (1,860mAh instead of 2,200mAh), but the real-world differences are negligible, suggesting that the new model is a bit more power-hungry. With normal use, you can expect to charge for around 400 stills or about an hour of 4K video recording.
The way the battery is charged has changed. This can now be done internally, with the GH5 II’s USB-C port capable of supplying continuous power to the camera or recharging the battery. This is a huge improvement in quality of life compared to the original GH5, which required external charging.
Due to the small physical size of the GH5 II’s Micro Four Thirds sensor, it’s not the greatest still performer if you’re looking for great low light performance or ultra-detailed landscape images. An APS-C, full-frame or medium format camera can easily perform better in these areas.
That being said, it can very well hold its own in most situations. Its 5-axis in-body image stabilization system has slightly improved performance compared to the GH5 (Panasonic claims it can now offer the equivalent of 6.5 stops of compensation) and helps a lot in low-light photography. As does the large extended ISO range of 100 to 25600.
Despite having the same 20.3MP resolution, the sensor isn’t exactly the same as the GH5. Panasonic has added an anti-reflective coating this time around, which the company says reduces glare from bright light sources.
Stills can be shot in the Raw format for those who want maximum post-production control, but even its fresh-camera JPEG images look attractive and vibrant. The GH5 II comes with a range of photo style picture profiles (the effects of which can be applied to video as well), including Standard, Vivid, Flat, Monochrome, and V-Log L, and you can create up to four custom preset profiles. If you want more control. In addition, there are 22 filters to add instant characters to photos.
Video performance and quality
Like the GH5…