The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mark II is an up to date model of the corporate’s most video-focused Micro 4 Thirds digital camera; the GH5. It presents elevated capabilities over the unique mannequin and can ultimately promote alongside a higher-end GH6 mannequin, whose improvement was introduced on the identical time.

The GH5 II beneficial properties an up to date ‘Venus’ processing engine from the full-frame S1H, permitting it to seize 10-bit 4K footage at 50 or 60 frames per second and guarantees improved autofocus. It retains the identical sensor as earlier than however now with an anti-reflective coating to higher management flare.

Key Specs

  • UHD or DCI 4K 10-bit 4:2:Zero seize at as much as 60p with no crop
  • UHD or DCI 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 seize at as much as 30p with no crop
  • Picture stabilization rated at as much as 6.5 stops
  • V-Log L included as commonplace
  • 3.0″ 1.84M-dot rear touchscreen
  • 3.68M-dot EVF, with 0.76x magnification and as much as 120Hz refresh
  • Stay streaming choices by way of Wi-Fi or smartphone (Full HD)
  • Anamorphic seize and assist instruments
  • Improved AF with face/eye/physique detection
  • USB-C socket with PD-compatible energy and charging

As in earlier situations, Panasonic is utilizing the ‘Mark II’ nomenclature to point that it is a refreshed model of the GH5, not a totally new digital camera in the identical vary. The corporate believes that not everybody will want the added capabilities of the costlier GH6, and that an up to date GH5 will proceed to make sense for some customers.

The GH5 II might be launched with an MSRP of $1699: $300 decrease than the unique GH5.



What’s new

Autofocus

The usage of a extra highly effective processor permits the GH5 II to supply the identical face/eye/physique and animal recognition AF capabilities as Panasonic’s newest cameras. However, along with extra subtle recognition algorithms, the digital camera can even read-out its sensor quicker, which means it might probably run its AF system at 48 frames per second when capturing 24p footage. This implies the AF system will get extra frequent updates from the scene, one thing that its Depth-from-Defocus system advantages from considerably.

Enhanced video capabilities

The brand new processor additionally extends the video modes the GH5 II can supply, opening up the choice to shoot 10-bit 4:2:Zero 4K 50/60p footage (the unique GH5 might solely seize 60p footage in 8-bit precision), making it far more usable for Log capturing. The upper frame-rate 10-bit footage is recorded utilizing the H.265 codec.

Along with 10-bit seize of quicker frame-rates, the GH5 II additionally beneficial properties All-I seize for 29.97p and 23.98p, beforehand solely potential for 24.00p. ‘4K’ Anamorphic footage, shot utilizing the total sensor area is now out there at as much as 50p.

Along with the expanded video spec, the GH5 II additionally beneficial properties the video instruments Panasonic has developed for its newer fashions, together with a pink body across the display screen whereas recording, a wider alternative of facet ratio guides and the power to shoot portrait orientation video.

The Luminance Spot Meter is the smaller sq. on the show and allows you to assess the publicity of the factor beneath it.

The GH5 II additionally will get the S1H’s Luminance Spot Meter, which provides you an publicity score in % IRE for a small, selectable area within the scene, or a score relative to center gray (42 IRE) in stops, when you’re in V-Log L mode.

Stay streaming

The GH5 II contains extra superior reside streaming choices, permitting reside broadcast over the online, both throughout Wi-Fi or – following a future firmware replace – utilizing a USB connection to a smartphone or wired LAN connection.

The digital camera can stream by way of Wi-Fi by a smartphone utilizing the Lumix Sync app. Alternatively, you should use the Lumix Community Settings software program for Mac or Home windows to write down the streaming settings to an SD card, which then permits the digital camera to attach and stream instantly over a Wi-Fi community with out going by a PC or smartphone, as much as 1080/60p.

Doing so makes use of the RTMP/RTMPS commonplace, so the digital camera can stream on to YouTube, Fb or some other service that helps this protocol. It additionally signifies that continued assist is not reliant on Panasonic’s personal software program. Not like many camera-as-webcam purposes, this strategy additionally contains digital camera audio.

A pre-announced firmware replace will add assist for wired connections to facilitate extra steady, larger high quality connections, together with the power to tether on to a smartphone over USB (Android solely, at first). The digital camera will even have the ability to join on to a PC over a wired LAN utilizing RTP/RTSP protocols. Panasonic says this replace ought to arrive by the top of 2021.

Improved IS

The GH5 II’s in-body stabilization system is rated as delivering as much as 6.5EV of compensation, when measured utilizing the CIPA commonplace check. That is 1.5EV greater than the unique GH5. Panasonic says this determine is maintained for longer focal size lenses with Twin IS 2 that synchronizes with the in-body system.

New shade modes

Panasonic has added two new shade modes to the GH5 II: L.ClassicNeo, a ‘nostalgic’ profile with delicate saturation and distinction, and L.Monochrome S, a delicate monochrome mode that Panasonic says ought to swimsuit portraiture.

The GH5 II additionally beneficial properties Cinelike D2 and Cinelike V2, the up to date low-contrast and ready-for-use cine-style shade modes (the GH5 has the unique variations of each). What’s noticeable, although, is that these do not end in a rise in base ISO, as they do on the full-frame ‘S’ sequence Panasonics, which suggests they are not the variations designed to accommodate further dynamic vary.

V-Log L

Apparently, the GH5 II doesn’t get the expanded, 13-stop model of V-Log L we noticed in BGH1 field digital camera module.

Distinction Panasonic cameras use completely different areas of the V-Log curve (pink). The GH5 II makes use of the blue area, which sees it branded as V-Log L; matching the GH5 and 5S. However the it might nonetheless be cross-compatible if it used the bigger area utilized by the BGH1.

The entire design (and a number of the potential drawbacks) of the V-Log system relies on using completely different parts of the identical Log curve, relying on how a lot usable dynamic vary the digital camera can file. This implies you should use the identical LUTs throughout a number of cameras, the principle factor that adjustments is the purpose at which the highlights clip.

Nonetheless, regardless of this by-design cross-compatibility, and the elevated DR (ie: decrease noise) that the brand new processing allows within the GH5 II, it has been given the 12-stop model of V-Log L, to make sure the GH5 and GH5 II behave constantly if shot side-by-side.

No Uncooked video output

One other fascinating omission is the choice to not embrace Uncooked output from the GH5 II. Panasonic says that stripping out all of the processing that normally goes into the cameras footage signifies that you’d should do a good quantity of labor to the Uncooked footage, simply to carry it as much as the identical commonplace, and that there’d be little to realize even when you did.

There’s loads of cause to consider that is true: even the 12-stop model of V-Log L will encode many of the sensor’s DR (10-bit Log encoding is far more environment friendly than 12-bit linear, so is unlikely to end in any vital lack of tonal precision), so is it actually well worth the further work, when you primarily simply achieve the power to make larger corrections to white stability?

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The way it compares

The updates within the GH5 II push it again into the place of being in all probability the best-specced crop sensor stills/video hybrid in the marketplace. Whereas its headline specs do not look radically completely different to the Fujifilm X-T4 (which additionally has stabilization and a totally articulated display screen), the distinctions begin to reveal themselves whenever you have a look at the main points of what assist instruments are offered and the way lengthy every digital camera could be anticipated to shoot for.

Panasonic DC-GH5 II Panasonic DC-GH5 Panasonic DC-GH5S Fujifilm X-T4
MSRP at launch $1699 $1999 $2499 $1699
Sensor measurement 4 Thirds 4 Thirds 4 Thirds
Twin Achieve
APS-C
Twin Achieve
Pixel rely 20MP 20MP 10MP 26MP
Viewfinder 3.68M-dot
0.76x magazine
As much as 120Hz
3.68M-dot
0.76x magazine
3.68M-dot
0.76x magazine
3.68M-dot
0.75x magazine
As much as 100Hz
Rear display screen 3.0″ 1.84M-dot
Totally articulated
3.2″ 1.62M-dot
Totally articulated
3.2″ 1.62M-dot
Totally articulated
3.0″ 1.62M-dot
Totally articulated
Picture stabilization As much as 6.5EV
Lens Sync
As much as 5.0EV None As much as 6.5EV
Highest res 10-bit video DCI/UHD 4K 60p, 4:2:0
DCI/UHD 4K
30, 4:2:2
(60p 4:2:2 over HDMI)
DCI/UHD 4K
30, 4:2:2
(60p 4:2:2 over HDMI)
DCI/UHD 4K
30, 4:2:2
(60p 4:2:2 over HDMI)
DCI/UHD 4K 60p 4:2:0
Approx rec limits 20 min (4K/60)
30 min (4K/30)
Log assist V-Log L (12-stop) V-Log L (12-stop)
Paid improve

V-Log L (12-stop)

F-Log
Anamorphic assist

‘4K’ as much as 50p
‘6K’ as much as 30p

‘6K’ as much as 30p ‘4K’ as much as 30p No
Video instruments

Zebras (x2)
Focus Peaking
Waveforms
Vectorscope
Lum spot meter
B/forged protected rec
Shutter angle
Synchro scan
Corrected Log show (w/ LUT add)

Zebras
Focus Peaking
Waveforms
Vectorscope
B/forged protected rec
Shutter angle
Synchro scan
Corrected Log show (w/ LUT add)
Zebras
Focus Peaking
Waveforms
Vectorscope
B/forged protected rec
Shutter angle
Synchro scan
Corrected Log show (w/ LUT add)
Zebras
Focus Peaking
Synchro scan
Corrected Log show
HDMI port Full measurement Full measurement Full measurement Micro
Battery life
EVF/LCD (CIPA)
410/410 400/410 410/440 – / 500
Weight 727g 725g 660g 607g
Dimensions 139 x 98 x 87mm 139 x 98 x 87mm 139 x 98 x 87mm 135 x 93 x 64mm

The digital camera we won’t but examine the GH5 II to is the forthcoming GH6. Panasonic has made clear that the range-topping mannequin will shoot 4K at as much as 120p and 10-bit 4:2:2 footage at as much as 60p, with a 5.7K/60p seize choice, however we haven’t any additional element, past the very fact it would value round $2500 at launch. This implies the GH5 II is being repositioned as a extra reasonably priced choice within the lineup.

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Physique and controls

The GH5 II’s physique is actually unchanged from that of the GH5S, which itself is similar to earlier GH fashions. There’s a big pink [REC] button on the highest of the digital camera, together with devoted (however customizable) buttons for WB, ISO, Publicity Comp and now Photograph Type. There’s an AF joystick on the again of the digital camera and an AF drive mode change surrounds a well-placed AF-On button.

As regular, the physique feels stable and is designed to be mud and moisture resistant. Just like the GH5S, the dual card slots on the digital camera’s aspect can now make full use of V90 UHS-II SD playing cards.

Display screen

The GH5 II has a barely smaller rear display screen than its predecessor: it is a 3.0″ panel somewhat than 3.2″. It is nonetheless a 3:2 facet ratio and has barely elevated decision. Probably the most vital distinction, although, is that it may be made brighter than the older display screen, which makes it simpler to function the digital camera outdoor.

There is a slight overlap between the display screen’s articulation and the headphone socket, so it is value positioning the display screen earlier than plugging-in, particularly if the connector in your chosen cans is of the bigger kind.

Viewfinder

There is a equally delicate change to the viewfinder. It is nonetheless a 3.68M dot OLED show and is mounted behind the identical optics, so nonetheless presents 0.76X magnification. Nonetheless, the elevated pace of the digital camera permits it to be refreshed at as much as 120Hz, for a smoother, extra responsive view.

Menus and shows

The GH5 II beneficial properties the ARRI/Varicam model information show, in addition to up to date menus

The GH5 II will get the up to date menu system launched on the GH5S. It is a well-arranged sequence of tabs with icons to trace and remind you the place to search out the choice you are in search of. It additionally contains the power to create a filtered record of video modes, to make it fast to entry those you intend to make use of and to scale back the danger of choosing one you hadn’t.

The GH5 II additionally beneficial properties the ARRI-style data panel show, first launched within the GH5S. These adjustments to the interface and menus make it a lot simpler to make use of a GH5 II at the side of a GH5S or S1H.

Battery

The GH5 II makes use of a brand new, extra highly effective battery: the DMW-BLK22. That is now rated at 2200mAh, giving 16Wh of capability. Regardless of the elevated capability, Panasonic quotes basically the identical 410 shot-per-charge battery life figures (per CIPA) as the unique GH5.

The digital camera comes with an exterior drop-in charger that accepts each the brand new BLK22 and the older BLF19 packs from the GH5 and people batteries will nonetheless work within the Mark II, simply not for as lengthy. Alternatively, the GH5 II could be charged or powered over its USB-C socket, if the ability supply is USB PD suitable.

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First impressions

The GH5 II (left) is a refresh, somewhat than a radical transforming, of the GH5 (proper)

The way you react to the GH5 II in all probability is dependent upon what you suppose ‘Mark II’ ought to denote. In the event you’re anticipating a Canon-esque full transforming of the digital camera, it may appear a bit undercooked. However when you see it as a real mid-life refresh, with just a few spec enhancements and sufficient processing energy to depart room for additional firmware updates, then it seems fairly competent.

Pricing it $300 beneath the unique record value of the GH5 lends weight to the second interpretation. Sure, the road value of the first-gen GH5 has dropped since launch, however the resolution to introduce a brand new model down at that value means it will promote for lower than the unique GH5 for many of its time in the marketplace. Panasonic’s suggestion that the GH6 will launch at round $2500 suggests the GH5 II is destined to be the ‘reasonably priced’ GH in a a number of digital camera vary.

The GH5 II does not symbolize some bold moon shot for Panasonic, however it’s greater than a small step ahead.
ISO 200 | 1/800sec | F4.0 | Panasonic Leica 50-200mm F2.8-4.0 @ 200mm
Photograph by Richard Butler

And this is smart: the GH5 was the one mainstream stills/video digital camera hybrid to supply 4K/60p when it was launched, whereas now it is a function out there on Fujifilm’s X-T4, Canon’s EOS R6 and varied high-end Sonys. As such, the GH5 II is not practically as far forward of the market as the unique model was. The truth is even the addition of 10-bit 4K/60p is not sufficient to make it distinctive.

Nonetheless, what remains to be uncommon is the extent of assist instruments and options which are included. Few of the opposite cameras that may match the GH5 II’s video modes are as video-focused of their execution because the Panasonic. Twin Zebras and Luminance Spot Meter make it simpler to set publicity accurately. The choice to set publicity time in shutter angle remains to be a precious rarity in mass-market cameras.

The flexibility to create a customized record of the modes you propose to make use of on a venture, and management publicity in shutter angle (which you need not regulate when switching from 24 to 60p seize), makes the GH5 II a lot faster and simpler to shoot.

The GH5 II is without doubt one of the least costly cameras to supply the choice of an XLR audio enter module or management over whether or not the digital camera restricts its recording to ‘broadcast protected’ values or supply two ranges of enter achieve for exterior microphones: its video prowess runs deeper than a easy consideration of body fee and bit-depth.

In some respects its closest rival is its full-frame cousin, the Lumix DC-S5. It does not supply the GH5 II’s full vary of video instruments, nor its full-width oversampled 60p seize, however it nonetheless contains plenty of related know-how for a reasonably related amount of cash, with the low-light and shallow depth-of-field capabilities it is onerous for the GH5 II to match.

There aren’t many different sub-$2000 cameras that may shoot high-quality 10-bit 4K with the choice of XLR audio inputs.

Then, after all, there’s the autofocus. Chris and Jordan’s exams to this point counsel it does effectively in 60p mode, however that 24p nonetheless lags behind the perfect of the competitors. We’ll attempt to get a way of how usable it’s for informal capturing as a part of our evaluation.

However, whereas the GH5 II does not push the market ahead in the way in which its predecessor did, it nonetheless seems to supply a compact, high-quality, stabilized video platform at a aggressive value.

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Panasonic DC-GH5 II pattern gallery

Please don’t reproduce any of those photographs with out prior permission (see our copyright web page). We make the originals out there for personal customers to obtain to their very own machines for private examination or printing (at the side of this evaluation).

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