Panasonic Lumix GH5 Mark II review


Do you remember that major innovation we talked about? This is a built-in wireless live broadcast, which is not available on any other mirrorless camera at the time of writing. The GH5 Mark II uses the RTMP / RTMPS protocol, which works with a wide variety of platforms. Two of the most popular – YouTube and Facebook – are integrated. Wired live streaming isn’t available at launch, but Panasonic says it will be added in a future firmware update.

Each stream must be configured via the Lumix Sync mobile app: after pairing your phone with the GH5 Mark II and connecting it to a Wi-Fi network, then setting the quality and privacy settings, you press a big red button on screen and it starts. Video quality is limited to 1080p / 60fps when streaming live, but will adjust automatically as needed. Using a smartphone as a 4G hotspot, for example, caused our Facebook Live stream to drop to 720p.

Even if you can’t share your glorious 4K activities, we found the video quality to be good. Panasonic is hanging on to a trend it believes will continue to gain in popularity. Only time will tell if the live broadcast is lightning in the pan – but there’s still a lot more happening with this camera.

The Depth From Defocus (DFD) autofocus system has been retained from the original GH5, with some improvements. The GH5 had eye recognition, but the GH5 Mark II will also identify and track heads, bodies and animals. In our experience, the system works quite efficiently, especially with humans. That said, the DFD isn’t as fast or accurate as some of the other AF systems, especially in low light.

The battery of the GH5 Mark II has a slightly larger capacity than the original model, but the battery life remains roughly the same. Panasonic claims you can take up to 400 photos or record about an hour of 4K video footage on a full charge. It’s a decent demonstration in our book, especially now that you have the option of using the USB-C port as constant power as well.

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