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Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.10
Reviewed Aug 27, 2021 at 10:05 am
Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II Picture
7.3
Travel Photography
7.6
Landscape Photography
7.5
Sport & Wildlife Photography
7.2
Vlogging
8.8
Studio Video
4.6
Action Video
Body Type
SLR-Style
Mirrorless
Yes
Tested Lens
Leica DG H-ES12060 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Vario-Elmarit ASPH Power O.I.S
Sensor Size
4/3 (MFT)

The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II is a video-oriented Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera. It's a refreshed version of the popular Panasonic GH5, the most notable improvement being its ability to record 10-bit 4:2:0 4k 60p video. It's worth noting that we haven't tested the original GH5 and can't completely say how it compares. The GH5 II offers many video features, including a wide array of recording formats and codecs and plenty of frame rate options, including 4k and FHD recording at up to 60 fps. It has a full set of inputs and outputs, including a full-size HDMI port with clean HDMI output to connect an external recorder without overlays and microphone and headphone jacks. It has in-body image stabilization and good overall video quality, though its low-light performance is noticeably worse due to its smaller sensor. It's also suitable for still photography with excellent JPEG image quality; however, its RAW noise handling capability is only decent. Unfortunately, its autofocus system also lags a bit behind some of its competitors.

Our Verdict

7.3 Travel Photography

The Panasonic GH5 II is good for travel photography. It delivers amazing JPEG image quality with excellent dynamic range and solid noise handling capability at higher ISO levels, though its RAW performance is only decent. It also feels very well-built and comfortable to use. It has an excellent battery life, which should last you throughout the day, though this can vary drastically depending on real-world conditions and usage habits. That said, its autofocus system is only decent, and it's bulky and heavy.

Pros
  • Amazing overall image quality.
  • Feels well-built and comfortable to use.
  • Excellent battery life.
Cons
  • Autofocus is only decent.
  • On the bulkier side.
7.6 Landscape Photography

The Panasonic GH5 II is great for landscape photography. Its sensor has decent RAW noise handling capability at higher ISO levels, but it delivers amazing overall image quality when shooting in JPEG. It also has excellent dynamic range to bring out a wide array of details in landscape shots. It feels well-built and incredibly comfortable to use. However, it's heavy and bulky, so it's not the most convenient to take to remote shooting locations.

Pros
  • Excellent dynamic range.
  • Amazing overall image quality.
  • Feels well-built and comfortable to use.
Cons
  • On the bulkier side.
7.5 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Panasonic GH5 II is good for sport and wildlife photography. While its continuous shooting speed is just okay, it also offers 4k and 6k burst photo modes that can effectively capture images at 30 or 60 fps in 4k and 30 fps in 6k, so you can capture specific moments of high-speed action. That said, we haven't tested this feature. Image quality is excellent, and the camera feels incredibly comfortable to use. However, its autofocus system is only decent at tracking moving subjects.

Pros
  • Amazing overall image quality.
  • Feels well-built and comfortable to use.
  • 4k and 6k burst photo modes for 60 and 30 fps stills.
Cons
  • Autofocus is only decent.
  • On the bulkier side.
7.2 Vlogging

The Panasonic GH5 II is okay for vlogging. It has a sturdy fully-articulated screen, so you can easily turn it to face you and monitor yourself while recording. It also has an excellent battery life and in-body image stabilization, which does a great job of reducing camera shake in FHD when walking at a moderate pace, and a decent job in 4k. Overall, the video quality is good, and it doesn't have a recording time limit. However, it's heavy and bulky, making it hard to carry around for long periods. Its autofocus system is also underwhelming.

Pros
  • Good overall video quality.
  • Remarkable internal recording capability.
  • Wide array of inputs and outputs.
Cons
  • Autofocus is only decent.
  • Video quality is a bit worse in low light.
  • On the bulkier side.
8.8 Studio Video

The Panasonic GH5 II is a very good option for studio video. It delivers good overall video quality in 4k and has fantastic internal recording capability, with the ability to record 10-bit 4:2:0 4k footage at up to 60 fps. It also offers a ton of different video recording formats and file sizes. Its menu system is well laid out, and it has a full set of inputs and outputs to connect an auxiliary microphone, headphones, or an external HDMI recorder. That said, its autofocus system is only satisfactory, and its low light performance is a bit worse due to its smaller sensor.

Pros
  • Good overall video quality.
  • Remarkable internal recording capability.
  • Wide array of inputs and outputs.
  • Offers many recording formats for video.
Cons
  • Autofocus is only decent.
  • Video quality is a bit worse in low light.
4.6 Action Video

The Panasonic GH5 II is a poor choice for action video. It's not designed to be mounted on a helmet or chest rig, and it's not waterproof, although we don't currently test for this. It does a good job of stabilizing video when shooting handheld, but it can't record at frame rates higher than 60 fps, so it's not well-suited to generating slow-motion footage of high-speed action. It's also on the bulkier side.

Pros
  • Good overall video quality.
  • Feels well-built and comfortable to use.
Cons
  • Video quality is a bit worse in low light.
  • Not suitable for action camera mounts.
  • Not waterproof.
  • On the bulkier side.
  • 7.3 Travel Photography
  • 7.6 Landscape Photography
  • 7.5 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 7.2 Vlogging
  • 8.8 Studio Video
  • 4.6 Action Video
  1. Updated Sep 16, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.10.
  2. Updated Aug 05, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.9.
  3. Updated Jun 07, 2022: Updated 'Bitrate Maximum in 4k' and 'Bitrate Maximum in FHD' to reflect max bit rates available in MOV format to better represent this camera's capabilities. The 4k and FHD 'Video Internal Recording' scores have been updated accordingly.
  4. Updated Apr 25, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.
  5. Updated Aug 27, 2021: Review published.
  6. Updated Aug 25, 2021: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II comes in one color variant: 'Black'. You can purchase the camera body alone or in a bundle with the LUMIX Leica DG H-ES12060 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Vario-Elmarit ASPH Power O.I.S. lens.

If you come across another variant or your Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, so we can update the review.

You can see our unit's label here

Compared To Other Cameras

Panasonic LUMIX GH5s

The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II and the Panasonic LUMIX GH5s are similar cameras and both are fantastic video options. The biggest difference between them is the sensor; the GH5 II has a 20.3 MP sensor while the GH5s has a multi-aspect 10.2 MP sensor that's optimized for low light. If you mainly shoot video, and you want better low-light performance, you can't go wrong with the GH5s. However, if you're more of a hybrid shooter, the GH5 II is a bit more well-rounded with built-in stabilization for handheld shooting and an improved autofocus system, along with anamorphic 6k video recording.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III are both great Micro Four Thirds cameras, but they're suited to different uses. The Panasonic offers more advanced video features, including more 4k frame rate options, more file format and codec options, and better internal recording capability. If you're more of a photographer or hybrid shooter, the Olympus is more well-rounded, with a high-resolution photo mode, faster burst shooting, and a slightly more reliable autofocus system.

Sony ฮฑ6600

The Sony α6600 and the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II use different-sized sensors and are suited to different uses. The Panasonic is a Micro Four Thirds camera with more frame rate options and better internal video recording capability than the Sony, so it's a good option for studio video or amateur filmmaking. That said, the Sony camera has a more effective autofocus system, a longer battery life, and delivers better image quality and low-light performance thanks to its larger APS-C sensor.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
2.6
Design
Portability
Height
3.8" (9.8 cm)
Width
5.8" (14.8 cm)
Depth
3.8" (9.6 cm)
Volume
84.9 inยณ (1,392.0 cmยณ)
Weight
1.63 lbs (0.74 kg)
Weight With Lens
2.32 lbs (1.05 kg)

You can see the camera with its kit lens here and with the lens extended to its farthest point here.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

  • Metal and plastic body
  • Buttons provide good tactile feedback
  • Screen can rotate to be seen from the front
  • SD card slot is covered by an easily accessible hinged door
  • Inputs and outputs are covered by hinged rubber flaps
  • Screen hinge mechanism feels very sturdy
  • Some physical controls like the thumb stick and dials don't feel as premium than those on the Panasonic LUMIX DC-S5

Design
Body
Body Type
SLR-Style
Water Resistance
Weather-Sealed
Mirrorless
Yes
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
3
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
Micro Four Thirds
Built-In Flash
No
Design
In The Box

  • Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II camera body
  • Leica DG H-ES12060 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Vario-Elmarit ASPH Power O.I.S. lens
  • Lens cap
  • Rear lens cap
  • Sensor cap
  • Lens hood
  • Hot shoe protection cover
  • Shoulder strap
  • Battery
  • Battery dock charger
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Cable holder
  • AC adapter
  • Owner's manual

9.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
Yes

  • Handgrip is large enough for most hand sizes and has a textured rubber surface that provides a secure hold
  • Changing aperture, shutter speed, and ISO is easy with either eye pressed up against the viewfinder thanks to the dedicated controls for exposure adjustment functions
  • All essential functions can be reached with your thumb
  • Rubber eyecup is comfortable
  • Body is more rounded than the Panasonic LUMIX DC-S5, giving it a slightly more comfortable feel, although the grip is a bit narrower

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
3.68 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.76
9.8
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Fully-Articulated
Screen Max Brightness
1,240 cd/mยฒ
Advertised Resolution
1.84 million dots
Size
3.0" (7.6 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes
9.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
LUMIX Sync

  • Interface is well laid-out and can be navigated via the touchscreen, the command dials, or the joystick
  • Some video settings are buried within the video menu, but once you get used to it, it's easy to find what you're looking for
  • Guide mode provides more information about certain features and camera functions

7.0
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Interchangeable
Maximum Aperture
2.8 - 4.0
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
f/5.6
Tested Lens
Leica DG H-ES12060 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 Vario-Elmarit ASPH Power O.I.S
Minimum Focal Length
12 mm
Maximum Focal Length
60 mm
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
120 mm
Optical Image Stabilization
Yes
Luminance
76.3%
Light Falloff
66.6%
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
MOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
20.33 MP
Sensor Size
4/3 (MFT)
Processor
Venus Engine
Extended ISO Minimum
100
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
200
Native ISO Maximum
25,600
Tested Firmware
Ver.1.1

Note: In 'Creative Video Mode', the max ISO is 12800.

8.5
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Panasonic DMW-BLK22
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
400 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
125 min

Note: Panasonic advertises that this camera's battery life goes up to approximately 410 photos when used with the Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 H-FS12060 lens. However, this isn't something we currently test for, and we haven't tested the camera with that lens.

Photo General
Photo General
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
Raw File Format
RW2
Shutter
Electronic and Mechanical
Slowest Shutter Speed
60 s
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/8,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
No
Time Lapse
Yes
6.5
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
3 fps
High Speed Continuous
8 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
8 fps
Raw Buffer Size
19 Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
10,000 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
13 s

Note: In addition to its regular continuous shooting modes, the GH5 II also offers '4k PHOTO' and '6k PHOTO' burst modes, which essentially record clips of video from which you can save high-quality stills. The '4k PHOTO' mode can capture bursts of either 30 fps or 60 fps, while '6k PHOTO' captures bursts of 30 fps.

If you want a Micro Four Thirds camera with a faster continuous shooting speed, check out the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III.

7.4
Photo General
Photo Autofocus
Object Tracking Success Rate
73%
Face Tracking Success Rate
47%
Face Detection Distance
169" (430 cm)
Eye Detection
Yes
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
225
7.8
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/13 s
In-Body Image Stabilization
Yes
Photo Image Quality
7.5
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Dynamic Range
Dynamic Range At Base ISO
9.8 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/500s Exposure Time
8.0 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/2000s Exposure Time
6.8 f-stops
Dynamic Range At 1/4000s Exposure Time
6.0 f-stops
7.5
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Sharpness
Vertical Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
1,704 LW/PH
Horizontal Edge MTF50 At Base ISO
1,622 LW/PH
9.3
Photo Image Quality
Photo JPEG Noise
SNR 18% At Base ISO
40.22 dB
SNR 18% At ISO 800
39.54 dB
SNR 18% At ISO 3200
37.03 dB
7.0
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
RAW SNR 18% At Base ISO
37.9 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200
37.9 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400
35.75 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800
33.25 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600
30.6 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200
27.71 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400
24.6 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800
21.87 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600
19.07 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200
N/A

Note: ISO 100 is an extended minimum on this camera, so the luminance noise results for that setting may not be fully comparable with other cameras we've tested.

If you want a camera with better RAW noise handling at higher ISO settings, check out the Panasonic LUMIX GH5s.

Photo Image Quality
Test Scene Pictures Download
JPEG Picture At Base ISO Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 400 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 800 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 1600 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 3200 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 6400 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 12800 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 25600 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
RAW Picture At Base ISO Download
RAW Picture At ISO 400 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 800 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 1600 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 3200 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 6400 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 12800 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 25600 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
Pictures Sample Gallery
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Skate Park Picture
JPEG Skate Park Picture Download
RAW Skate Park Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Polish Church Picture
JPEG Polish Church Picture Download
RAW Polish Church Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Studio Picture
JPEG Studio Picture Download
RAW Studio Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Stairway Picture
JPEG Stairway Picture Download
RAW Stairway Picture Download
Video General
Video General
Video Features
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
4:2:2
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
10 bits
Log Picture Profile
Yes
Recording Light
No

Note: This camera can only shoot anamorphic 6k video (6K-A, 4992 x 3744) in a 4:3 aspect ratio rather than true 6k.

Video General
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes

Note: This camera has a couple of useful settings called 'Sound Rec Gain Level' and 'Sound Rec Level Adj' to help you easily adjust microphone gain levels as you shoot.

Video General
Video File Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
Yes
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MOV H.265 / HEVC
Yes
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
Yes

Note: The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II has many recording format options and codecs, which are adjustable via the 'Rec Quality' tab in the 'Image Format' video menu. According to Panasonic, it can record using the following codecs for each format:

  • MOV: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.265/HEVC (Audio format: LPCM (2ch 48kHz/16-bit, 48kHz/24-bit*, 96kHz/24-bit*) *When attaching DMW-XLR1 (sold separately)
  • MP4: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.265/HEVC (Audio format: AAC (2ch))

You can see all of the MP4 menu options here and here, and all of the MOV menu options here, here, and here.

4k Video
9.5
4k Video
4k Video Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
Yes
30 fps In 4k
Yes
24 fps In 4k
Yes
4k Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
10
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
400 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
68 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:2
Bit Depth In 4k
10 Bit
Record Time Limit In 4k
N/A
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
0

Note: The bit rates for this camera vary depending on what recording format you shoot in. For instance, the max bit rate in MOV is 400 Mbps and the minimum bit rate is 95 Mbps. Chroma 4:2:2 is also only available in MOV format.

7.1
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
7.0
Face Tracking In 4k
6.2
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Eye Detection In 4k
Yes
8.3
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
7.5
Test Scene Extract In 4k
9.0

Note: Since this camera has a variety of recording formats and codec options, we've included sample scene extracts of 6K-A 30p at 4:2:0 10-bit video here and C4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit video here.

7.5
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
3.0ยฐ
Full HD Video
8.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
No
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
FHD Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
10
Full HD Video
FHD Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
200 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
20 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:2
Bit Depth In FHD
10 Bit
Record Time Limit in FHD
N/A

Note: The bit rates for this camera vary depending on what recording format you shoot in. For instance, the max bit rate in MOV is 200 Mbps, and the minimum bit rate is 92 Mbps. Chroma 4:2:2 is also only available in MOV format.

7.2
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
6.7
Face Tracking In FHD
6.8
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Eye Detection In FHD
Yes
8.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
7.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
9.0
7.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
3.0ยฐ
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-II
Card 2 Slot
SD Card UHS-I
10
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
USB-C
HDMI
Full Size (Type A)
Headphones
Yes
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Note: You can see the rest of the inputs on the other side of the camera here. Also, this camera allows direct streaming to various platforms via Wi-Fi, though we don't currently test this feature.

Discussions