Hands-on: Panasonic announces GH5 II - The same great camera with improved video, autofocus and performance


posted Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 10:00 AM EDT

Click here to read our
Panasonic LUMIX GH5 Mark II Hands-on Preview


Alongside announcing the development of the Panasonic GH6, Panasonic has also refreshed its popular GH5 series with the Panasonic GH5 Mark II. The GH5 II shares much with 2017's GH5. However, it includes numerous improvements, making it a great choice for those who either don't want to wait for the GH6 near the end of this year or would prefer to spend less money. The GH5 II looks to deliver great performance and value for its price.

Designed with video creators in mind, the GH5 II includes numerous key video features and high-end performance, including C4K/4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit recording and simultaneous output of 4:2:2 10-bit over HDMI during 4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit internal recording. Further, where the GH5 had a $100 paid upgrade for V-Log L, the GH5 II comes with this feature already installed. Panasonic states that it's easy to color match footage recorded with V-Log on the S1H/S1 full-frame mirrorless cameras and V-Log L of the GH5/GH5S/GH5 II cameras.

The GH5 II will be available as a body-only configuration for $1,699.99 and in a kit with a Leica DG Vario 12-60mm f/2.8-4 OIS lens.

The Panasonic GH5 II has the same 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Micro Four Thirds image sensor. However, the sensor has a new anti-reflective coating, which promises improved image quality in challenging lighting, particularly when shooting backlit scenes. Further, the image sensor is paired with an updated image processor, which Panasonic states slightly improves the dynamic range of the GH5 II relative to its predecessor.

In addition to improved video features and slightly improved imaging, the GH5 II also includes improved autofocus performance. Thanks to more processing power and Panasonic's advanced deep learning technology, the GH5 II can detect specific subjects, such as humans and animals. When photographing a human subject, the GH5 II detects the eye, face and body like before, but the GH5 II can also detect the head, resulting in more precise focusing performance. Further, the GH5 II is twice as fast at recognizing eyes and faces as the GH5. Panasonic states that 'The camera keeps tracking the subject person even if he/she moves quickly, turns his/her back to the camera, tilts his/her head or moves far away from the camera.' The DFD technology in the GH5 II also includes enhanced continuous autofocus.

The GH5 II's LCD is brighter and offers better colors than the GH5's LCD.

To help keep your shots sharp, the GH5 II's body image stabilizer has undergone improvement. You can now use a 6.5-stop slower shutter speed. The GH5 II incorporates the latest stabilization algorithm developed for the S1H, resulting in smoother stabilized video, even while in motion and when panning.

In terms of the body design itself, the GH5 II looks like its predecessor, but there are important differences. The 3" vari-angle LCD is brighter and delivers better color performance. The camera has a new 2200mAh high-capacity battery, which can be recharged either via AC or USB Power Delivery. The GH5 II offers wireless live streaming using the LUMIX Sync application for smartphones in terms of wireless performance. You need only the camera and a smartphone to stream to platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Twitch. You can stream FHD/60p video content at up to 16Mbps bit rates wirelessly. Wired live streaming is available too via the LUMIX Webcam Software application. An upcoming firmware update will add support for wired IP streaming (RTP/RTSP).

The Panasonic GH5 II will be available as a body only for $1,699.99 and in a kit with Panasonic's Leica DG Vario 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens for $2,299.99. If you pre-order a GH5 II from May 25 to July 5, you will receive a free year of Lumix Pro Services Platinum membership, a $199 value. For additional information on this pre-order promotion, click here.

There's much more to discuss with the Panasonic GH5 II, so be sure to head to our hands-on preview where you will find our thoughts after using the camera ahead of today's announcement and be able to see real-world test shots.

Panasonic GH5 Hands-on PreviewBeta Gallery

Panasonic GH5 II
The GH5 II's LCD is brighter and offers better colors than the GH5's LCD.
The GH5 II will be available as a body-only configuration for $1,699.99 and in a kit with a Leica DG Vario 12-60mm f/2.8-4 OIS lens.