The Panasonic GH5, the camera that the Panasonic GH5 II replaces, was a game-changer for videographers when it was released. It provided stunning 4K video quality, an extensive range of shooting capabilities, and a comfortable handling experience. Additionally, it included helpful features such as in-body image stabilization and twin SD card ports. Despite having a Micro Four Thirds sensor on the smaller side, the camera had good image performance across the board and was a capable stills camera.
The GH5 II doesn’t bring anything to the table that will ruin the festivities. It includes everything its predecessor had that contributed to its popularity, plus a little more. But just a little bit: with more or less the same sensor and more or less the same range of video resolutions, frame rates, and bitrates, there is not a significant jump forward here.
The addition of built-in wireless video live streaming may convince some people that switching to the GH5 II is worthwhile. Still, in general, we believe that owners of the GH5 should not bother replacing it with the GH5 II since the improvements are not significant enough to warrant the expense.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Build Quality
The GH5 Mark II is almost identical to its predecessor, the GH5: it has the same dust-proof, splash-proof, and freeze-proof magnesium alloy shell with the exact 138.5 x 98.1 x 87.4mm dimensions, and it weighs only 2g more than its predecessor at 727g (with the battery and memory card).
To give Panasonic credit, this is one area in which it did not need to make any changes. The camera’s form, similar to that of a DSLR, makes it comfortable to hold, and all of the primary controls, including the giant red button that stops and starts the video, are positioned where your fingers or thumbs can easily access them.
A cursor nub for your right thumb enables easy navigation through the menus or movement of the AF point. Dials provide quick access to a wide variety of shooting settings, including four configurations the user may customize.
Full-size HDMI output (capable of transporting a C4K 4:2:2 10-bit video stream to an external recorder, should the internal 4:2:0 recording not fulfill your needs), mic and headphone connections, a dedicated remote, two SD card slots, and a USB Type-C connector are all carried over from the original GH5.
However, the USB connection found in the GH5 Mark II is an improvement over the one found on its predecessor. It can now recharge the battery and supply power, making it a beneficial enhancement, especially considering the live-streaming capability.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Live Streaming
While it might not appear to be a widespread trend just yet, Panasonic is making a central promotional point because the GH5 II supports wireless live streaming. Vloggers and other content makers should take note of this camera since it was the only high-quality mirrorless camera with built-in wifi live streaming capabilities when this article was written.
Because the live streaming configuration of the camera uses the industry-standard RTMP/RTMPS protocol, it is compatible with a wide range of operating systems. Streaming capabilities are already incorporated into YouTube and Facebook for those who wish to get started with as little hassle as possible: Download the Lumix Sync app to your smartphone or tablet, follow the on-screen instructions to link your device with the GH5 II, and then sign in to your Facebook or YouTube account to finish the setup.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Autofocus
Most of the GH5’s focusing system has been carried over to the GH5 II, with the notable exception being the addition of head, body, and animal identification (the original only had eye recognition).
The results of our tests indicate that this AI-based identification method is successful in most cases: human faces, heads, and bodies are rapidly detected; nevertheless, while a seagull was able to get the attention of the autofocus, our own sitting cat seemed to fool it somewhat.
The autofocus mechanism uses Panasonic’s proprietary DFD (Depth From Defocus) method, as opposed to the hybrid contrast and phase detection mechanisms that Sony, Canon, and Nikon prefer.
DFD uses an AI-based algorithm in conjunction with contrast detection; nonetheless, we would argue that it is not nearly as dependable as its hybrid competitors when nailing a quick and accurate focus every time. Is there a possibility that it may significantly impede your ability to take photographs or make films? No, we don’t think so, either.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Performance
Regarding the speed at which it can take still photographs, the GH5 II is approximately on par with other cameras — at least when taking pictures with a complete resolution. It can fast 12 frames per second when using manual focus and turning off live view, and it can get a respectable nine frames per second while using autofocus.
If, on the other hand, you lower the resolution, it transforms into something of a speed demon. Bursts may run as fast as 30 frames per second in the 6K Photo mode and as quickly as 60 frames per second in the 4K Photo mode.
Your photographs will be 18 megapixels in size when captured in 6K mode but only 8 megapixels in 4K mode. This is the obvious drawback. Additionally, because these photographs are not traditional stills but rather frames derived from MP4 films, you cannot capture them in raw format.
The batteries in the GH5 II have a capacity that is somewhat higher than that of the GH5 (2,200mAh as opposed to 1,860mAh), although the changes in performance in actual use are minimal, which suggests that the new model requires a little bit more power. Under typical circumstances, you may anticipate that a single charge will let you take around 400 still images or record approximately one hour of 4K video.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Image Quality
Because of its small physical size, the GH5 II’s Micro Four Thirds sensor isn’t the best still performer if you seek excellent low-light performance or ultra-detailed landscape photos. However, it is a fantastic performer for video. In these respects, a camera with an APS-C sensor, a full-frame sensor, or a medium format sensor can easily exceed it.
It can hold its own decently across the board. The performance of its 5-axis in-body image stabilization system has been slightly improved over that of the GH5 (Panasonic claims that it can now offer the equivalent of 6.5 stops of compensation), which helps a lot with low light photography. The extensive extended ISO range of 100 to 25600 helps with low light photography.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Video Performance
The Panasonic GH5 II is loaded to the brim with video shooting possibilities, much like its predecessors, the Panasonic GH5 and GH5S. To begin, you can record video in either the MOV or MP4 format, and you may select the H.264 or H.265 compression level for the recording. Video shooters, in particular, are provided with a pretty sizable number of options here, notably regarding frame rates.
You now have the ability to record 4:2:0 10-bit C4K and 4K video at 60/50 frames per second, as well as record anamorphic 4:2:0 10-bit clips at 50 frames per second. Additionally, it is possible to record internal video in a 4:2:0 10-bit format while concurrently exporting video in a 4:2:2 10-bit format through HDMI for recording on an external device.
Recording in MOV provides the most flexibility when it comes to resolutions, frame rates, and bitrates. In addition to standard 4K and 1080p Full HD, supported explanations include C4K (4096 x 2160), anamorphic 6K (4992 x 3744), and 1080p Full HD.
When recording regular video, the available frame rates to choose from include 23.98fps, 24fps, 25fps, 50fps, and 59.94fps. Additionally, there is a Variable Frame Rate option for producing fast- and slow-motion output. When the sensor is set to VFR mode, it can record video slower or significantly faster (up to 180 frames per second). When the resulting video is played back at regular frame rates, it seems very fast or sluggish.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Specs
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||5184 x 3888|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||22 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 200-25600 (expands to 100-25600)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||100|
|White balance presets||5|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||6.5 stop(s)|
|JPEG quality levels||Fine, standard|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Panasonic RW2)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Number of focus points||225|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal length multiplier||2×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder magnification||1.52× (0.76× 35mm equiv.)|
|Minimum shutter speed||60 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/16000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)|
|Flash modes||Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off|
|Flash X sync speed||1/250 sec|
|Drive modes||Single, continuous, 6K photo, focus bracketing, self-timer|
|Continuous drive||12.0 fps|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|Format||MPEG-4, H.264, H.265|
|Storage types||Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible)|
|USB||USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (Full size)|
|Wireless notes||802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2 LE|
|Remote control||Yes (via cable release or smartphone)|
|Battery description||DMW-BLK22 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||727 g (1.60 lb / 25.64 oz)|
|Dimensions||139 x 98 x 87 mm (5.47 x 3.86 x 3.43″)|
Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Verdict
It is highly recommended that you look at the Panasonic GH5 Mark II if you are interested in purchasing a well-constructed mirrorless camera; lightweight, has outstanding handling, an excellent range of video shooting capabilities, and solid performance while taking still images.
The GH5 was always an excellent option, and the modifications presented here enhance its allure further. However, suppose you already possess the original GH5. In that case, the GH5 Mark II may appear somewhat superfluous because, except for some modest improvements in performance and the inclusion of live streaming, it is unaltered. If you don’t require live streaming capability, it would be in your best interest to hold off until Panasonic releases the GH6.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Pros & Cons
- Excellent picture quality in every respect
- Integrated support for wireless live streaming
- Numerous adjustments and enhancements to an already fantastic camera
- There aren’t many compelling reasons for users of GH5 to update.