Panasonic introduced a pair of Lumix GH series digital mirrorless cameras geared for high resolution video streamers, film creators and still photographers, alike.

The new compact mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras include the Lumix GH5MKII (available for pre-order now) and the next series flagship, the GH6 (coming by year’s end).

The GH5MKII offers a host of feature and performance upgrades over the GH5 including a 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS image sensor with Anti-Reflective (A.R.) coating, the latest Venus Engine processing system optimized for high speed and performance, C4K 1/4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit video recording and simultaneous output of 4:2:2 10-bit over HDMI during 4K/60p 4:2:0 10-bit internal recording.

In addition, for high dynamic range (HDR) pre-installed V-Log L enables simplified color tone matching with footage recorded in V-Log of S1H/S1 and V-Log L of GH5/GH5S.

Meanwhile, Panasonic announced it is currently developing for release at the end of the year its next compact flagship Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera in the Lumix GH6, which is expected to see a street retail of approximately $2,500.

The next flagship of the Lumix GH Series line will be optimized for mobility when shooting both still and video images. Panasonic said the model will provide 4:2:2 10-bit DCI 4K/60p recording capability, delivering “unlimited video recording when the camera is used under the certified operating temperature.”

The camera will also provides a 10-bit 4K 120p High Frame Rate (HFR) and Variable Frame Rate (VFR) for high resolution slow/quick motion video, the company said. The new Micro Four Thirds sensor will enable the GH6 to record 10-bit 5.7K 60p video while ccommodating a variety of recording modes and shooting assist functions.

Panasonic said the camera is designed for photo/video hybrid-use making it suitable for films, music videos, documentaries and short clips for social media.

Panasonic said the Lumix GH5MKII will be available at a $1,699.99 suggested retail price for the (body only) and $2,299.99 for a camera lens kit (H-ES12060). Customers who pre-order the GH5MKII between now and July 5th will receive a one-year free Platinum membership from Lumix Pro Services for all GH5M2 ($199 value).

The company said the Lumix GH5MKII was developed to put “more creative power in the hands of filmmakers and videographers, equipping them with high quality video, high basic performance to meet various production sites, wire-optional live streaming.”

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The camera will output exceptionally high quality video sufficient for unedited live output as well as processed with advanced editing.

The GH5MKII is capable of unlimited video recording in various settings, reflective of the LUMIX GH Series’ professional caliber videography capability. The camera will record C4K 4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit, as well as produce simultaneous output of 4:2:2 10-bit over HDMI during 4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit internal recording. The camera offers a crop factor of 1.0x in 4K 60p by using the whole area of the sensor, enabling recording video in the original viewing angle of the lens.

For HDR, the pre-installed V-Log L offers high dynamic range (HDR) and broad color support, eliminating the need to purchase a separate software upgrade key, Panasonic pointed out.

Panasonic said V-Log L renders a very flat image while maintaining the entire range of color information within the image, resulting in a greater level of play when the images are put through post-production processes.

“V-Log L has log curve characteristics similar to negative film. Users can download 35 conversion LUTs for VariCam cinema cameras for free for use in the Lumix GH5MKII,” Panasonic said. “Color tone is easily matched with the footage recorded in V-Log of S1H/S1 and V-Log L of GH5/GH5S. Practical tools like a Waveform Monitor and V-Log L View Assist are also available.”

The Lumix GH5MKII offers two types of Cinelike gamma presets in the Photo Style. This allows capturing warm skin tones or delicate nuances of light and shadow without color grading over V-Log footage. The Cinelike D2 is said to give priority to dynamic range, while Cinelike V2 prioritizes contrast.

Also added are MonochromeS and L.ClassicNeo, and Panasonic said all the modes can be used for Anamorphic video recording.

C4K/4K 60fps, Anamorphic 50fps and FHD180fps are available for Variable Frame Rate (VFR) recording — AF can be set before starting VFR recording.

Panasonic said the GH5MKII’s 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor captures all the details delivered through the attached lens. An AR coating on the sensor minimizes ghosts and flaring, even in backlighting.

The new Venus Engine in the camera enables high-load 4K60p 4:2:0 10-bit internal recording and simultaneous 4:2:2 HDMI output.

A high-speed, high-precision AF and advanced deep learning technology detects specific subjects such as humans and animals to maintain sharp focus. The system will detect a human eye, face, head or body in real-time for precise focus as the subject moves in frame. Panasonic said the new system will detect eyes and face at a 2x faster recognition cycle speed than the GH5 and are detectable even if they appear in approximately half the size of those the GH5 can capture.

“The camera keeps tracking the subject person even if he/she moves quickly, turns his/her back to the camera, tilts his/her head or moves far away from the camera. In addition, improvements to the DFD technology has enhanced AFC, which also enables users to keep tracking small or fast-moving subjects to capture them in crisp focus when the shutter is released,” the company said.

The GH5MKII features an advanced Body Image Stabilizer (I.S.) to achieve stable handheld shooting and making it possible to use a 6.5-stop slower shutter speed.

The GH5MKII borrows the latest algorithm developed for the Lumix S1H, to produce smooth, stabilize video even when the camera is moving or panning. Movement with a characteristically low frequency is suppressed more effectively to use slower shutter speed.

The camera includes a 3.0-inch free-angle LCD in 3:2 aspect ratio with 1,840K-dot resolution and touch-screen control. Panasonic said this yields higher luminosity than the GH5 and produces superior color reproduction for high visibility outdoors. Composition during recording in various popular aspect ratios such as 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, 4:5, 5:4 and 9:16 can be checked with the Frame Marker function. The REC Frame Indicator identifies whether the camera is recording or not.

Wired/wireless unlimited live streaming is supported by USB PD capability for both indoor and outdoor use.
In addition to wired live streaming, the Lumix GH5MKII can be used to live stream using the Lumix Sync application for smartphones. This enable high quality live streaming with minimum equipment(camera and a smartphone).

Complying with H.264 in RTMP/RTMPS protocol, maximum FHD/60p 16Mbps is supported. For wired live streaming, Panasonic’s dedicated software program, LUMIX Webcam Software, is available to download. A forthcoming firmware update will also allow the GH5MKII to support wired IP streaming (RTP/RTSP).

The Lumix GH5MKII uses a heavy duty magnesium alloy full die-cast front / rear body frame. It is splash, dust and freeze resistant down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The shutter unit is also durable for approx. 200,000 cycles.

A new battery offers 2200mAh high capacity and can be recharged either via USB or a proper charger, as required. It also complies with USB PD (Power Delivery).

The Lumix GH5 is equipped with a double SD Memory Card slot compatible with high-speed, high capacity UHS-II for Relay Recording, Backup Recording or Allocation Recording.

For wireless connectivity, the camera supports Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 5GHz (IEEE802.11ac) / 2.4GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n). Once the camera is connected to a smartphone or tablet installed with Panasonic’s dedicated application software, Lumix Sync for iOS / Android, users can shoot, browse and share images remotely, the company said.

For the Wi-Fi, 5GHz (IEEE802.11ac) is effective in addition to the conventional 2.4GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n.

The camera will accept the XLR Microphone Adaptor DMW-XLR1, which is a plug-in type adaptor for an XLR microphone to record high-quality stereo sound. It enables 4K video recording with high res 96kHz/24bit sound, and is ideal for lip-sync recording.

An optional Shutter Remote Control DMW-RS2 can be used to minimize unwanted motion to make it easy to shoot bursts or hold the shutter open for extended periods of time. A Start/Stop button is also provided for videography.

Also available is optional battery grip DMW-BGGH5.

In addition, a planned future firmware update for the GH5MKII is scheduled by the end of 2021, and will bring the following additional features:

Live View Composite

USB Tethering(4G/5G Smartphone Link) Compatible Streaming Distribution

More stable connection with smartphone will be available

RTP/RTSP wired IP streaming

By connecting the camera to the PC via wired LAN, High quality image with sound can be stably streamed to the social streaming platform. (A USB-Ethernet adapter is required).

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By Greg Tarr

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