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Panasonic launches the Lumix GH5 II, with live streaming, 6.5-stop IBIS and more

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II
(Image credit: Panasonic)

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 has become a mainstay of vloggers, content creators and filmmakers everywhere, blending light weight, portability, high-powered 4K capture and great stabilization. But it’s four years old, so what can its successor, the Lumix GH5 II, bring to the party?

First off, this is NOT the rumoured Lumix GH6. The GH6 is officially in development and will arrive by the end of 2021. In the meantime, the GH5 II is an update/refresh of the highly successful 4K stills/video camera Panasonic launched way back in 2017.

• Read more: Panasonic Lumix GH6 officially announced and in development

Whatever Panasonic announces with the GH6, we can assume the GH5 II will sit just below it in the range, and offer powerful 4K video/stills features at a more accessible price point.

The improvements over the original GH5 look pretty modest but worthwhile nonetheless. See our Panasonic Lumix GH5 II vs GH5 comparison for more detail.

The Lumix GH5 II is an update of the GH5, Panasonic's near-legendary hybrid filmmaking camera. It's not the GH6, scheduled to arrive by the end of 2021. (Image credit: Panasonic)

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II key specs and features

Physically, the Lumix GH5 II is essentially identical to its predecessor. There’s a lot that’s the same inside too, as both cameras feature Panasonic’s long-running 20.3MP Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor.

The GH5 II does, however, have an upgraded image processor, enhanced video capabilities and improved image stabilization.

For stills photographers there’s little change, although the GH5 II does have an increased buffer depth in continuous shooting mode. It can now capture over 108 RAW images in a burst, which makes it a pretty compelling option for sports and action photography, though Panasonic has stuck with its contrast based DFD autofocus technology, which has shown itself to be a little less effective with fast moving subjects than the best phase-detection systems.

Physically, the GH5 II is largely indistinguishable from the GH5. The main differences are on the inside, with extended video modes, bigger burst capacity and improved image stabilization. (Image credit: Panasonic)

The in-body image stabilisation in the GH5 II has been improved and now offers up to 6.5 stops of shake compensation, compared to 5 stops in the GH5. It also takes the stabilization algorithms from the full frame Lumix S1H to offer even smoother video capture.

The GH5 II also goes big on streaming. The GH5 offered tethered streaming via USB to a PC, but the GH5 II supports wireless streaming in full HD 60p via the LUMIX Sync smartphone app, or by direct connection to a Wi-Fi router. A future firmware update will add RTP/RTSP wired IP streaming.

Panasonic says the Lumix GH5 II's in body stabilization now offers 6.5 stops of shake compensation, up from the 5 stops offered by the original GH5. (Image credit: Panasonic)

A new, larger battery apparently has little impact on still image capacity, but does support USB charging and power delivery, and has the capacity for up to 120 minutes of 4K video capture.

The GH5 II – and especially the yet-to-come GH6 – shows Panasonic is still committed to the Micro Four Thirds format, which offers pro 4K video features without the weight and expense of full frame systems. It’s a shame that the format has yet to move on from that 20.3MP Live MOS sensor, however, which is starting to look like yesterday’s technology – especially for stills photography.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II price and availability

The Lumix GH5 II will be available from the end of June and will cost $1,698 / £1,499 / AU$2,699 body only, £1,699 / AU$2,999 with the 12-60 LUMIX lens (available in UK and Australia) and $2,298 / £1,999 / AU$3,799 with the LEICA 12-60mm lens.

• US:  Pre-order the Panasonic Lumix GH5 II from B&H
• US: Pre-order the Panasonic Lumix GH5 II from Adorama
• UK: Pre-order the Panasonic Lumix GH5 II from Park Cameras

Read more:

Best camera for video: a general guide
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Best 4K cameras for video
Best vlogging cameras
Best cinema cameras
Best mirrorless cameras
Best Panasonic cameras

Read more:

Best camera for video: a general guide
---
Best 4K cameras for video
Best vlogging cameras
Best cinema cameras
Best mirrorless cameras
Best Panasonic cameras

Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio. Previously he has been Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. 


Rod's near-encyclopedic knowledge of cameras both old and new makes him an invaluable resource, whether we need to ask a question about transparencies or the latest X-Trans sensor. He owns all manner of cameras, from Nikon DSLRs through Olympus, Sony and Fujifilm bodies, and on any given day you'll see him using kit from just about every manufacturer.