When Panasonic announced the Lumix GH5 Mark II in May 2021, it said it was splitting the GH line of video-centric Micro Four Thirds cameras into two and that the GH6 would exist alongside it with the GH6 sitting atop the range.
However, we didn’t learn the full specs of the Panasonic GH6 until February of this year, so many videographers and content creators waited to make a purchase until they had a clearer picture of it. what is available.
Now, finally, we are able to compare the Panasonic GH6 with the GH5 II, highlighting the key differences, to help with that buying decision. You might also want to read our filmmaker’s Lumix GH6 review.
• Panasonic Lumix GH6: 25.21Mp Four Thirds type Live MOS
• Panasonic Lumix GH5II: 20.3 Megapixel Four-Thirds Live MOS
What the specs don’t reveal here is that the GH5 II’s 20.3MP Live MOS sensor is actually the same as the original GH5, which launched in March 2017. It got an anti-reflective coating and is paired with a newer processing engine, but the framework was 4 years old at launch.
The GH6’s 25.2MP sensor, however, is brand new and is the highest resolution sensor currently available in a Micro Four Thirds camera. It also has fast playback to minimize rolling shutter and lacks a low pass filter.
Panasonic has also paired the GH6’s sensor with a new Venus Engine processor that’s said to be twice the speed of the previous incarnation.
2. ISO range
• Panasonic Lumix GH6: Stills ISO 100-25,600 plus ISO 50 (extended), Video ISO 100-12,800 plus ISO 50 (extended)
• Panasonic Lumix GH5 II: Stills ISO 200-25600 plus ISO 100 (extended), Video: ISO 200-12800 plus ISO 100 (extended)
Again, there’s quite a bit more between the two cameras than the base specs suggest. The GH6 has dual native ISO or dual output gain. This allows the camera to read two different outputs from each sensor and then combine them to deliver images and video with more detail in shadows and highlights.
This works automatically when shooting stills with the sensitivity set to ISO 800 or higher and it’s enabled by enabling the Dynamic Range Boost option for video.
• Panasonic Lumix GH6: Up to 5.7K 30p in ProRes 422 HQ and ProRes 422
• Panasonic Lumix GH5 II: Up to C4K (4096×2160) at 60p, 200Mbps 4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP
Although both cameras are capable of capturing very good quality stills, they are primarily designed for shooting video and both have a wide range of features and video modes.
Key specs of the GH5 II are its ability to record C4K (4096×2160) at 60p at 4:2:0 10-bit or 4K (3840×2160) at 30p at 4:2:2 10-bit at a bit rate of 400Mbps. However, the GH6 can record 5.8K (5760×4320) at 29.97p, 200Mbps 4:2:0 10-bit, or C4K (4096×2160) at 60p at 4:2:2 10-bit video.
Of the two cameras, only the GH6 can record in Apple ProRes 422 and Apple ProRes 422 HQ. At launch this is limited to 5.7K 30p but it will be expanded to other resolutions and frame rates with a firmware update. It will also have the ability to record Apple ProRes RAW to an Atomos Ninja V via its full-size HDMI port with a future firmware update.
While the GH5 II has the V-Log L profile pre-installed, the GH6 has the V-Log profile which allows for an even wider dynamic range.
Both cameras have unlimited video recording. With the GH6, that’s partly thanks to the inclusion of a fan with intakes on the sides of the screen on the back of the camera.
4. Auto Focus
• Panasonic Lumix GH6: Contrast detection with DFD, sensitive from -4 to 18EV
• Panasonic Lumix GH5 II: Contrast detection with DFD, sensitive from -4 to 18EV
While both cameras feature a sensitive contrast-detection autofocus system down to -4EV, according to Panasonic, the GH6’s DFD (Depth from Defocus) technology has been updated and is 3x faster. than in previous cameras.
There’s also a new focus limiter feature that works much like the limiters sometimes found on telephoto and macro lenses. It’s accessed via the camera menu to restrict the range in which the camera will focus the lens and this could be handy for interviews and other scenarios where the AF system might otherwise get distracted by something in background.
• Panasonic Lumix GH6: 3.0-inch 1.84 million-dot free-angle tilting touchscreen
• Panasonic Lumix GH5 II: 3-inch 1.84 million dot free-angle touchscreen
While the Panasonic GH5 II has a vari-angle touchscreen, the GH6 has a tilting and vari-angle screen. The tilt mechanism allows the entire variable unit to be tilted up from the camera body, then flipped to the side and rotated up or down or flipped forward without grab any cables that may be connected to the ports on the side of the camera.
• Panasonic Lumix GH6: Two slots, 1 CFexpress, 1 SD UHS-II
• Panasonic Lumix GH5 II: Two UHS-II SD card slots
In a first for a Micro Four Thirds camera, the GH6 features a CFexpress Type B card as well as a UHS-II compatible SD card slot. The CFexpress card is needed to record Apple ProRes 422 and Apple ProRes 422 HQ and at bit rates above 600 Mbps, while a fast UHS-II SD card can handle all other video at bit rates up to 600 Mbps.
7. Height and weight
• Panasonic Lumix GH6: 100.3 x 138.4 x 99.6 mm (excluding protrusions), 739 g with SD card and battery
• Panasonic Lumix GH5 II: 98.1 x 138.5 x 87.4 mm (excluding protrusions), 727 g with SD card and battery
The Panasonic GH6 and GH5 II are big cameras for their sensor size, but the GH6 is the larger of the two largely because of the extra depth provided by the fan that helps keep it cool. It’s also a bit heavier than the GH5 II and has a die-cast magnesium alloy front and rear frame.
Both cameras are weatherproof.
• Panasonic Lumix GH6: Dual 5-axis IS giving up to 7.5 EV of shutter speed compensation
• Panasonic Lumix GH5 II: Dual 5-axis IS giving up to 6.5EV of shutter speed compensation
The inclusion of a new 5-axis gyro sensor in the GH6 and a new stabilization algorithm allows the GH6 to offer 1 stop more shutter speed compensation than the GH5 II. In addition to physical stabilization, both cameras have digital stabilization which crops the image a bit but extends the range of stabilization available in video mode.
Panasonic GH6 vs. GH5 II: conclusions
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II offers an impressive array of features, but it’s built for avid content creators, YouTubers and avid videographers. The GH6 goes one step further with an even wider range of video features, including the ability to shoot in Apple ProRes Apple ProRes 422 and Apple ProRes 422 HQ, and with Apple ProRes RAW to come.
The GH6 lacks the GH5 II’s built-in ability to stream live via wired or wireless connection to a router or smartphone running the Lumix Sync app, but it can shoot in V-Log and with Dynamic Range Boost. active, it can record over 13 stops of dynamic range, making it an attractive option for filmmakers looking for a small camera or on a budget.