Panasonic Lumix GH5 M2 overview: Evolution, not revolution

(Pocket-lint) – The world of Lumix fanatics has been ready for Panasonic to introduce us to the subsequent evolution in mirrorless video cameras. It has been a couple of years since the GH5 was launched, and now we’re prepared for the subsequent, the GH6

Besides Panasonic wasn’t prepared to totally reveal the GH6 simply but. Within the meantime, nevertheless, it is refreshed the GH5 with a competitively-priced and highly-capable Mark II digital camera that focuses on wi-fi live-streaming workflow and better bitrate recordings.

Design: What’s new? 

  • Extra distinguished film button
  • New touchscreen and interface
  • 3.5mm in/out for mic/headphones
  • Greater battery and USB-C charging

Selecting up the GH5 M2 after having used the GH5 for months feels instantly acquainted. All of the buttons and dials are in precisely the identical place, whereas the dimensions, form, contours and angles are all the identical as its predecessor too. Muscle reminiscence serves properly right here. 

The variations in design for the M2 mannequin are purely beauty. As an illustration, the trace of pink within the metallic ring beneath the burst mode dial, and the one pink film button. Plus, in fact, the pink ‘II‘ brand on the entrance (although, by way of correct product title, it is ‘GH5 M2’). In essence, it is taking some design cues from its full-frame cousin, the Lumix S5. Whereas it does not make a distinction to utilizing the digital camera, it is a good contact and elevates the looks considerably.

Not one of the perform buttons have ‘Fn’ labels anymore, as an alternative there are labels denoting what they do by default. That is really much less complicated for these of us who do not notably wish to go too deep into customising the button structure. It additionally would possibly imply you really use these buttons relatively than be petrified of them since you’re unsure what they do.

Flip open the door on the precise facet of the digital camera and you will get entry to the 2 full-sized SD card slots, simply as per the unique GH5. Flip the covers on the opposite finish and you will get entry to the three.5mm headphone socket, HDMI port, and USB-C (which helps you to cost the battery this time – it is the bigger one as discovered in the Lumix S1). There’s additionally a 3.5mm microphone enter.

As is customary for any video-centric digital camera within the Lumix vary, the GH5 M2 has a correct flip-out touchscreen. There is a minor distinction right here in comparison with the earlier mannequin, although, in that it is really smaller, with a thicker bezel. It is 3.0-inches versus 3.2-inches, however it’s sharper – now 1.8m-dot, up from 1.6m-dot of earlier than – and the reworked software program interface means it is really higher to make use of.

If you happen to like taking pictures with information on the display screen – similar to ISO sensitivity, shutter pace, and so forth – then the GH5 M2’s new interface pushes that information out of the body so it is not overlapping your picture. It is a minor change, however an vital one we expect. When your monitor is already small, you do not want textual content creeping over the body getting in the best way.  

Certainly, the whole menu interface is new. Open it up and you will get a system that is color coded and organized in comparatively easy sections. In fact, these sections are nonetheless full of various choices which you could get misplaced in simply, however with slightly persistence you will discover what you are on the lookout for. 

Video and stills 

  • 20.3-megapixel Micro 4 Thirds sensor, new anti-reflective (AR) coating
  • 4K Cine at 60fps/4K DCI at 60fps (no cropping)
  • Anamorphic 6K/30p and 4K/60p

For these primarily into stills images there’s little cause to swap out an unique GH5 for the Mark II. It has the identical 20.3-megapixel efficient sensor – albeit with an anti-reflective coating on its floor. The place it actually improves on its predecessor is in bitrate and frame-rate seize for video.

We can’t checklist all of the obtainable resolutions and body charges right here, however the GH5 M2 can shoot in Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) at 4:2:0 10-bit as much as 60fps, or in 4K (3840 x 2160) at 4:2:0 10-bit as much as 60fps. All inner with no recording limits and – crucially – with out cropping.

It will possibly additionally carry out such recordings to card whereas outputting through HDMI at 4:2:2 10-bit – this simultaneous recording potential wasn’t doable with the unique GH5.

For lots of fanatic or newbie videographers the additional bitrate and information functionality won’t make an enormous deal of distinction, however for many who are very a lot into color grading and tweaking their footage, the additional information is helpful. Particularly as, this time round, V-Log L is included as commonplace (it was a pay-for software program improve within the unique GH5)

There’s additionally Anamorphic 6K and 4K at 30fps and 60fps respectively. 

For probably the most half, in our testing, footage is just like its predecessor – however that is no actual shock. Setting the 2 cameras to similar ISO, shutter pace and aperture settings (one in Cinelike D, the opposite in Cinelike D2) and it is virtually unattainable to inform the distinction between them primarily based on uncooked output.

We examined with the 12-60mm package lens in addition to the wonderful 12-35mm Leica Vario f/2.8 lens – the latter being is identical lens we have used for years with our video manufacturing, which is sharp, nice for low-light taking pictures and creates some beautiful pure background blur. 

Our solely slight grievance is within the pace of autofocusing. It isn’t poor by any means, however while you evaluate it to the likes of Sony’s video-centric full-frame or APS-C cameras – such as the (ok, far pricier) A1 – it appears slightly slower and fewer correct. If the topic strikes a bit too rapidly, it’s going to battle to remain locked on. 

One other place we observed a distinction between the Mark II and the first-gen GH5 was really on the aforementioned touchscreen. In addition to being sharper, it additionally seems that colors are a bit extra energetic and vibrant in comparison with the older mannequin. 

If you happen to’re somebody planning so as to add a second GH5 to your setup, you will be pleased to know that for each stills and video the outcomes definitely appear constant between the 2 our bodies. Which means you will not should spend any additional time color matching in put up. 

Efficiency

  • Wi-fi livestreaming
  • Wired capabilities being added in future
  • Full HD utilizing NTSC or PAL (60fps or 50fps)

Panasonic’s massive hope being pinned on the GH5 M2 is that it’s going to fill a void: wi-fi livestreaming. Admittedly, that is a distinct segment, but it surely’s a rising one for all method of content material creators. 

The Mark II comes with means to livestream wirelessly as much as Full HD decision utilizing NTSC or PAL requirements (as much as both 60fps or 50fps, respectively).

Pocket-lintPanasonic LUMIX GH5 Mk2 initial review: photo 7

Whether or not it is eager to stream a reside marriage ceremony ceremony on account of restricted friends being allowed to bodily attend, or stream classes to pupils/college students whereas home-working, or for YouTubers wanting so as to add reside movies to their schedules, the Lumix desires to fulfill these wants. 

Because it stands, the tactic for wi-fi livestreaming makes use of an accompanying Lumix Sync smartphone app. It looks like a barely unintuitive approach to do it, but it surely does imply you can launch right into a livestream whilst you’re out and about – even in case you simply have your smartphone with you. At time of writing, nevertheless, it was in beta part, so we have been unable to check this facet in full.

The app can be used for distant controlling the digital camera although. So you possibly can arrange your shot and transfer away from the digital camera to launch the shutter remotely (or press ‘file’ in case you’re taking pictures video). Organising the distant app includes connecting to the digital camera through wi-fi connection, however that does not take too lengthy to do and was dependable in our testing.

Verdict

It is secure to say that in case you’ve acquired a GH5 already, there’s not a lot cause to contemplate shopping for the second-generation mannequin. Until you can actually do with these additional bitrates or wi-fi livestreaming, there’s not an enormous evolution right here.

Nonetheless, the Mark II is sensible within the grand scheme of issues. Panasonic wanted to refresh its GH-series to make it extra aggressive, whereas additionally making certain those that need an actual all-the-top-end-stuff improve will get that possibility on the finish of 2021 – in the form of the GH6

General the GH5 M2 acts very very similar to utilizing an unique GH5. Which means it is easy to make use of, sensible, and can get you high-quality cinema footage while not having you to take out a mortgage as a way to purchase one. That is nice, however is perhaps simply an excessive amount of of the identical for some.

Additionally take into account

Panasonic Lumix GH5

It is perhaps discontinued, technically, however you need to nonetheless be capable to discover the first-generation GH5 in retail. And since it has been changed, it’s going to seemingly be cheaper too.

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Fujifilm X-T4

A mirrorless champion with a terrific OLED viewfinder and undeniably cool retro appears. It takes nice footage, options in-body stabilisation, and 4K/60 video too. 

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Writing by Cam Bunton. Enhancing by Mike Lowe. Initially revealed on .

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