LUMIX GH5M2 has just been announced and has many improvements compared to the GH5. The camera includes 4K60 10-bit 4:2:0 internal recording mode, 20.3MP AR-coated sensor with new Venus Engine, improved 5-axis IBIS, pre-installed V-Log L, better AF, support for wired and wireless live streaming, brighter LCD display, and new higher-capacity battery packs. We received the camera in the CineD office, so you can expect our review soon.
During today’s online event, Panasonic announced a handful of new stuff. We prepared three separate posts about all the news – click here to read all about the LUMIX GH6 Development announcement or here to read about the new Firmware Updates for the LUMIX G series cameras – GH5S, G9, and G100. This article focuses on the newly announced LUMIX GH5M2 camera, so let’s take a look at its features and specs.
LUMIX GH5M2 – Internal 4K60 10-Bit
The LUMIX GH5 announcement happened in September 2016 during the Photokina trade show. That was five years ago. If I am not mistaken, that is the longest we ever had to wait for a new generation of LUMIX GH cameras. Sure, we got the GH5S in January 2018, then the BGH1 last year, and while the GH6 won’t arrive for another few months, Panasonic treated us with an improved GH5 – welcome the LUMIX GH5M2.
What is different compared to the GH5? Firstly, the new GH5M2 features an internal DCI 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:0 Recording mode. The GH5 and GH5S only record up to 4K30 in 10-bit internally. The GH5M2 can also simultaneously output 4K 4:2:2 10-bit over HDMI while recording internally.
AR-Coated Sensor, Better IBIS
The image sensor has the same resolution of 20.3MP, but it now has AR (Anti-Reflective) Coating that further suppresses flares and ghosting and should therefore produce cleaner details. The image processor has been updated to the latest Venus Engine. The already-good 5-axis IBIS (in-body image stabilizer) system got improved further. It now offers a 6.5-stop compensation (compared to 5.0-stop with the GH5).
V-Log L Included, Better AF
Just like the GH5S, the GH5M2 also features a pre-installed V-Log L picture profile. It is not necessary to purchase the license separately. The camera also provides two types of Cinelike Gamma Presets in the Photo Style menu – the Cinelike D2 (priority to Dynamic Range) and Cinelike V2 (priority to contrast). Furthermore, L.Monochrome S and L.Classic Neo profiles have been added. All these presets are also available in Anamorphic mode.
According to Panasonic, The AF system of the GH5M2 got updated with deep learning technology, that detects specific subjects, both human and animal and it recognizes the head separately for more precise focusing. The AF should detect the eyes 2x faster and with 50% size in the frame when compared with the GH5. The tracking in AFC mode has been improved as well.
In addition to wired live streaming, the LUMIX GH5M2 is capable of wireless live streaming via the LUMIX Sync Smartphone App. With a future firmware update to add RTP/RTSP wired IP streaming, it will also be possible to stream a stable image with sound in H.264 codec up to Full HD 60p at 16Mbps (16Mbps cannot be selected when the RTMPS URL is set). The camera includes Bluetooth 4.2 and both 5GHz (IEEE802.11ac) and 2.4GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n) Wi-Fi. The 5GHz Wi-Fi will, however, not be available in some countries. For wired live streaming, the dedicated LUMIX Webcam Software is available for free download.
LCD Screen, Body, Battery
The 3” flippy LCD touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio and resolution of 1840K now features higher luminosity and better color reproduction for good visibility outdoors. (GH5 and GH5S have 1620K dots). Panasonic also added the Frame Marker function to check the composition during recording in various common aspect ratios such as 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, 4:5, 5:4 and 9:16. The red Recording Frame Indicator on the screen and in the EVF provides better signal when the camera is recording.
The magnesium alloy die-cast body of the GH5M2 is splash, dust, and freeze-resistant down to -10°C/ 14°F. The good thing is, that most of the accessories for the GH5, such as the XLR Microphone Adapter, the Shutter Remote Control, and the Battery Grip, can also be used with the GH5M2. As the body remains the same, you should also be able to use any camera cage that was designed for the GH5.
The GH5M2 does not use the same batteries as the GH5 – it uses the new 2,200mAh battery pack (DMW-BLK22) known from the LUMIX S5. The older DMW-BLF19 battery packs can, however, be used with the GH5M2 as well. The camera now supports USB PD (power delivery) via the USB-C port, so the battery can be charged while in operation.
Future Firmware Updates for GH5M2 and LUMIX G / Leica DG Lenses
As mentioned above, the GH5M2 will get a firmware update later in 2021 that includes the following features:
- Live View Composite
- USB Tethering (linked to a smartphone via 4G/5G), Compatible Streaming Distribution
- Even more stable smartphone connection
- RTP/RTSP wired IP streaming
Now, what I find even more interesting, is that Panasonic plans to release a new firmware update for select LUMIX G and Leica DG lenses. The update will enable users to choose a non-linear or linear setting for the focus ring. In the non-linear setting, the focus shifts variably according to the rotation speed of the focus ring. In the linear setting, the focus shifts at fixed intervals according to how far the lens is turned, mimicking a manual lens. The sensitivity in the linear setting can be set between 90 and 360 degrees at 30-degree intervals.
This update would make it much easier to use follow focus with these lenses. It seems, however, that it will only work when used with the new GH5M2. I really hope it will also work with older camera bodies. Compatible lenses are: H-E08018, H-X1025, H-ES12060, H-ES50200, H-RS100400, H-XA025, H-ES200, H-HSA12035, H-FS12060, H-HSA35100, H-FSA45200 and H-FSA100300.
The firmware programs will be available at the LUMIX Global Customer Support site on June 8, 2021.
Price and Availability
You can find the price of the new LUMIX camera below but the time is not set to when the camera will be available. What we know is that Panasonic will offer an Early Bird promotion worth $199 until July 31, 2021 in certain geographical regions. (Membership to LPS (LUMIX Pro Services) platinum and a limited edition Peak Design camera strap).
Do you use the LUMIX GH5, GH5S, or any other Micro Four Thirds camera? What do you think about the new GH5M2? Is it worth upgrading from the GH5? Let us know in the comments section underneath the article.