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Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Review

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.

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).

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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.

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.

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’re seeking 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.

The sensor in the GH6 is not identical to the one in the GH5, even though both cameras have a resolution of 20.3 megapixels. This time, Panasonic has included an anti-reflective coating, which the firm claims decreases flare when used in conjunction with bright light sources.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution5184 x 3888
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors22 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorVenus Engine
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 200-25600 (expands to 100-25600)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
CIPA image stabilization rating6.5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, standard
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Panasonic RW2)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points225
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,840,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.52× (0.76× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution3,680,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modesProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash modesAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modesSingle, continuous, 6K photo, focus bracketing, self-timer
Continuous drive12.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedSpot
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)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264, H.265
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
Connectivity
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (Full size)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2 LE
Remote controlYes (via cable release or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionDMW-BLK22 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)400
Weight (inc. batteries)727 g (1.60 lb / 25.64 oz)
Dimensions139 x 98 x 87 mm (5.47 x 3.86 x 3.43″)
Other features
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

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 a fantastic 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.

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