Panasonic's GH5 II Has 4K 60p, Better Autofocus, V-Log, and Improved Color Profiles

Panasonic adds to its popular G series cameras with the new GH5 II that touts a ton of new features and updates. 

In the camera tech beat, the news is currently saturated with full-frame offerings, and that's why it's refreshing when a camera company goes against the grain and continues to develop for formats that are still very popular.

The GH5 II is the latest Micro Four Thirds camera from Panasonic, and not only is it a big upgrade from its predecessor, it keeps the price point low at only $1,699 for the body alone. 

The headline features of the GH5 II that improve upon the GH5 are 4K DCI 60p 10-bit recording at 4:2:2 externally or 4:2:0 internally with no recording limits. Better yet, you can simultaneously record 4K 60p 10-bit internally and externally.

There are several new color profiles that include Cinelike D2 and Cinelike V2, which is Panasonic's equivalent to Sony's S-Cinetone. The autofocus has been improved tremendously. There's still no phase detection AF (that might come in the G6), but it's a big jump in terms of eye and face detection.

Panasonic has also included V-Log instead of it being an add-on purchase.

And best of all, you can livestream directly from the GH5 II to a number of platforms through Panasonic's new camera app through a wireless or wired connection. 

Let's take a look. 

Credit: Panasonic

Sensor & Image Engine 

The GH5 II doesn't receive a new sensor, but it does get a new image processor that allows for more processing power under the hood. However, the 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor does get a new anti-reflective coating, which helps capture more detail of the image. Keep in mind the A.R. coating is not like an optical pass filter that can affect the clarity and resolution of an image. It instead improves the ghosting and flaring, especially around light sources.

The image processor has been updated to the latest Venus Engine allowing for 4K 60p recording and a jump in AF performance that includes face, eye, body, and animal detection. 

Credit: Panasonic

Video Features

Video has been updated, offering new recording formats like 4K DCI 10-bit 4:2:2 All-Intra at 29.97/25p, 4K DCI 10-bit 4:2:0 All-Intra at 59.94 and 50p, and 4K UHD at 59.94 and 50p. Additionally, there's now an option for Anamorphic 4K UHD 10-bit 4:2:0 at 50p.

The bigger feature as mentioned above is simultaneous 4K recording for internal and external video which gives you a 10-bit 4:2:0 internally and 10-bit 4:2:2 externally when shooting 4K DCI or 4K UHD. There are also 8-bit recording options for 4K as well as LongGOP and H.265 options depending on the record mode. 

Below are internal recording options. 

17:9 4K DCI 

  • 10-bit 4:2:0 60/50p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 30/25p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 24p

16:9 4K UHD 

  • 10-bit 4:2:0 60/50p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 30/25p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 24p

16:9 Full HD

  • 10-bit 4:2:0 60/50p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 30/25p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 24p

4:3 Anamorphic 

  • 6K 10-bit 4:2:0 30/25/24p
  • 4K 8-bit 4:2:0 60/50p
  • 4K 10-bit 4:2:0 50p
  • 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 30/25/24p

Panasonic has also added two black and white color profiles in L. Classic Neo and L. Monochrome S and has updated its Cinelike profiles to version 2. With these modes, you can create impressive looks with warm skin tones, or delicate nuances of light and shadow can be reproduced even without color grading over V-Log footage. The Cinelike D2 gives priority to dynamic range, and the Cinelike V2 prioritizes contrast. All these modes can be used for Anamorphic video recording.

V-Log is also pre-installed and the GH5 II allows you to preview loadable LUTs or download standard Rec.709 LUTs via Panasonic import into the camera. V-Log L has log curve characteristics similar to negative film. Color tone is easily matched with the footage recorded in V-Log of S1H/S1 and V-Log L of GH5/GH5S. Practical tools like a Waveform Monitor and V-Log L View Assist are also available.

Credit: Panasonic
Better IBIS/Anamorphic Stabilizer

The GH5 II has a slight improvement in in-body image stabilization performance of around 1.5 stops. Shooters should get around 6.5 stops of camera shake correction over the GH5, which offered 5 stops. The 6.5 covers both IBIS and Panasonic's Dual IS. 

Another new feature to the GH5 II is the anamorphic image stabilize feature. While the GH5 can desqueeze a number of anamorphic modes (1.30, 1.33, 1.5, 1.8, and 2.0x), it can now also help stabilize your footage when shooting handheld. If you ever shoot with a 1.8x or 2.0x, you know how hard this can be. Footage can look extremely shaky fast, even with a compact lens. 

Credit: Panasonic

Improved Autofocus 

The GH5 II incorporates an advanced deep learning technology that detects specific subjects such as humans and animals. When a human is the subject, in addition to detecting the eye, face, and body, the head is also separately recognized by real-time detection technology, which results in even more precise focusing.

According to Panasonic, it detects eyes and face at a 2x faster recognition cycle speed than the GH5 and is detectable even if they appear in approximately half the size of those the GH5 can capture. Additionally, the camera can keep tracking the person when a person moves quickly or turns their back to the camera. The camera can do this because of improvements in the DFD technology which has enhanced AFC, enabling shooters to keep track of small or fast moving objects. Just how good it is, we'll have to wait and see. 

Focus Ring Control 

With the GH5 II, Panasonic has introduced the ability to control the focus of the lens.

You can either set the lens to linear or non-linear focus, or you can set the lens to a specified amount of focus pull. While the feature is only available on compatible Panasonic G series lenses, it allows you to adjust the focus ring to your liking. So let's say you prefer a focus throw of 180° or 300°. The new focus ring control option allows you to set that for your lens. 

Livestreaming

The GH5 II can livestream directly to a number of platforms including YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch.

The camera integrates Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to offer a more flexible shooting experience. Once the GH5 II is connected to a smartphone or tablet via the LUMIX Sync software for iOS/Android, users can shoot, browse, and share images remotely. The app also allows you to stream directly using your cell phone as a hot spot. 

Panasonic demonstrated how easy it is to start a livestream, and we were impressed. In just a few short clicks, you can start streaming while still having access to all the functions of the camera. The GH5 II can connect wirelessly or through a wired connection (coming in a future update) and supports RTMP/RTMPS protocols at recommenced Mbps rates. 

What's great about this update is you no longer need to be tethered to a computer and you can stream directly anytime, anywhere. Essentially, Panasonic added BGH1 streaming capabilities into the GH5 II. Just keep in mind when you're not on WiFi, streaming will eat up your mobile data. 

Credit: Panasonic
Brighter Monitor/Assist Tools

The GH5 II has a 3.0" free-angle LCD monitor that has a 3:2 aspect ratio. It has 1,840 dots with a 120hz refresh rate. It also has a higher luminosity over the GH5 and better color reproduction. Panasonic says the monitor is 1.5x brighter. The GH5 II also has a dedicated OLED LVF to make it easier when shooting stills or video. The display carries over similar specs as the GH5. 

Additionally, Panasonic has added a new frame indicator feature. When recording, a red box will appear on the monitor letting you know when the camera is in record. And when you stream, a blue frame will appear, letting you know the camera is live. Along with those features there's a new luminous spot meter, the ability to filter record modes, and save favorite frequently used record formats with the new "My List" feature. What's nice about this feature is that it's saved directly to the camera instead of the SD card. 

There's also a waveform monitor which can now be adjusted in size, vectorscope, and the control panel can be figured in different views for quick adjustment settings. 

Credit: Panasonic
Body 

The GH5 II has the same body design as the GH5, allowing you to use all your same third-party accessories and setups. The only thing that has changed is a new button on the top and back.

It's made from a magnesium alloy body, has the same form factor and shape of the GH5, but comes in a few grams heavier because of the higher capacity battery to power it. 

The GH5 II can be powered through the included 2200mAh battery. Panasonic says the GH5 batteries will work on the GH5 II, but expect shorter run times. It's also worth pointing out the battery charger of the GH5 II will charge your GH5 batteries, but the GH5 battery charger won't charge your GH5 II batteries. 

The GH5 II also has dual SD card slots (UHS-II) to relay recording, backup recording, and allocation recording. 

Price & Availability

The GH5 II will be available for $1,699 for the body only and $2,299 in kit form.

Also, if you pre-order a GH5 II from May 25 to July 5, Lumix Pro Services is offering a one-year free Platinum membership for all GH5 II ($199 value).      

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Your Comment

3 Comments

Why would Panasonic announce the GH6 the same day they announced the GH5II? I'm a little confused about that decision. Why buy the GH5II when you know in a few months the GH6 will be here for the same price.

May 25, 2021 at 10:36AM

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Russ O
Filmmaker
8

I think it makes sense to have an easy replacement for the gh5, at that lower price point. I can't imagine them selling much without a better autofocus, and some updated specs.

May 26, 2021 at 4:02PM

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Travis Johansen - Minneapolis
Director of Photography & Producer
223

Having been a Panasonic gh5 customer and user with a pair of them, I still have them on the shelf but have not used them in more than a year.

A couple things that really piqued my interest here is the rtmp support for streaming if it is reliable and works continuously without overheating or having issues, that would be a game changer particularly when doing multicam setups with a super small crew on site

Having vlog and 6K at 30p, plus a excellent evf built in and ibis that is truly unmatched, you could definitely have a unique spot in specific use cases

May 26, 2021 at 4:06PM

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You voted '-1'.
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Travis Johansen - Minneapolis
Director of Photography & Producer
223