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Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Review - Performance

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Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II gives great results with very pleasing colour reproduction. Images have plenty of detail but aren't over sharpened. Face and eye detection focus can help get excellent portrait photos with every shot correctly focused on the subject's eyes. Exposure was reliable, and we rarely needed to use exposure compensation. Dynamic range captured is good, and using the iDR (intelligent Dynamic Range) option you can capture additional dynamic range in images.

DFD focus works perfectly well with stills photography and was quick enough, as well as accurate. Image stabilisation works well, and lets you get sharp results even at slow shutter speeds.

Built-in lens correction is automatically applied to Micro Four Thirds lenses, and this means that distortion is very well controlled, as well as purple fringing and chromatic aberrations. There are further options in the camera to correct for vignetting (shading compensation), as well as diffraction when using smaller apertures. Available with the Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens, image quality is very good, and the lens is capable of focusing on close-up subjects, giving good macro performance for a "kit" lens, with good background blur. Focus is extremely reliable with a good success rate, with the focus failure likely to be due to accidentally setting the wrong focus point with the touch-screen.

4K Photo at 60fps produces 8mp images, and 6K Photo at 30fps produces 18mp images. Focus stacking can be used to produce an 18-megapixel image with all focus points in focus in one image, alternatively, you can save an image with just one area in focus, as well as browse the different focus points on the camera screen. 

 

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise performance is very good from ISO100 up to and including ISO1600. Detail drops off at ISO3200, however, ISO3200 provides usable images, with ISO6400 potentially offering good results, depending on your intended use. You'll most likely want to avoid using ISO12800 or ISO25600. There is quite strong noise reduction, however, you can adjust the noise reduction from -5 to +5, and these shots were taken on default settings.

 

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto white balance (AWB) gives a warm result under tungsten light, and there is an "AWB: Cool" setting that delivers a slightly more corrected result. However, if you need your white background to be white, under tungsten lighting, then the tungsten preset gives the best result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, and there is no fluorescent preset available (most give a colour cast on other cameras due to variation of fluorescent lighting). The AWB Cool setting may be useful when there is a mixture of tungsten and fluorescent lighting.

 

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are numerous Photo Styles (Colour profiles) available, and these can be applied to photos or video. You can save the original, unedited raw files, so that if you don't like the effect you can have an image without the effect applied. The camera doesn't feature an automatic panoramic mode. There are a number of different profiles that will be interesting to photographers, as well as ones designed for video.

 

Video - The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II has an updated range of video features, including improved video resolutions and frame rates. The camera uses the full sensor area, giving improved detail in 4K and 1080p video. You'll also find 6K-A (4:3) anamorphic recording for use with an anamorphic lens.

4K Cine resolution (4096x2160) video can be recorded at 50fps (420/10bit), 25/24fps (422/10bit), and up to 400Mbps is available. You can also record up to 60fps. FullHD 1080p video can be recorded at up to 180fps, however, autofocus is unavailable, frustratingly you need to use manual focus. MOV is what you want if you want to choose from the whole range of video resolutions and frame rates, but MP4 is also available (with a limited range of resolutions and frame rates) .

There are so many different resolutions, frame rates, and options available, you can add your favourites to "MyList" so you can quickly get to the settings you want more quickly. Beware, you'll need a high-end PC to playback (and edit) 400Mbps video footage!

For those with professional broadcast needs, the camera has SMPTE / EBU / ARIB colour bars with a 1kHz test tone. There is also Cinelike D2 / Cinelike V2 / Like709 / and V-LogL photo styles available for video, plus Flat, as well as a number of customisable photo styles. More video features available include: Knee control, Luminance level (8-bit and 10bit), Wave form monitor / Vectorscope, Time code, Synchro scan, SS/Gain operation, V-LogL View Assist, HLG View Assist, and Anamorphic Desqueeze display, plus more

The ISO range available for video recording is ISO100 to ISO12800, and you can display a red REC frame indicator when recording, or for Live streaming, a blue frame indicator. There is no raw video output, and you might want to wait for the GH6 if you want this.

Live streaming uses the RTMP/RTMPS protocol, which is supported by Youtube and Facebook, with H.264 compression, and has a maximum resolution and frame rate of FullHD, 60fps, and 16Mbps. A firmware update is planned to add support for wired connections, such as USB to smartphone.

There are custom AF settings available for the video mode as well, which lets you adjust the AF speed (from -5 to +5), and AF sensitivity (from -3 Locked On to +3 Responsive). The contrast-based focus system (DFD) can hunt when you leave continuous AF switched on.

The camera has built-in stereo microphones, with Wind Noise Canceller options of: OFF / Low / Standard / High / AUTO. There are microphone and headphone sockets. High-res audio recording is also available with the optional DMW-XLR1 (sold separately).

We've recorded videos in a variety of conditions and have been very impressed by the results.

You can view additional Panasonic Lumix GH5 II videos on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.


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