The Panasonic GH5 Mark II is one of the best video cameras around, particularly at its relatively affordable price point – and it’s now even better value thanks to a new update that will bring wired 4K streaming capability to the camera.
Our Panasonic GH5 Mark II review recently praised its wireless live-streaming powers, which make it pretty unique in the world of high-quality mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses. On the downside, wireless streaming is capped to 1080/60p quality, with some sites like Facebook downgrading that further – so the arrival of higher-quality streaming options will go down well with content creators.
The new firmware update, which will be available for owners to download from November 29 at Panasonic’s global support site, will let you live-stream in 4K/60p (albeit with 25Mbps bit-rate) using the standard RTMP/RTMPS protocol directly to websites via USB tethering. If you don’t mind hooking the camera up to a laptop with a wired LAN connection, you can stream in 4K/60p with a 50Mbps bit-rate. Check out the table below for a full list of live-streaming options.
If you’re looking to create a professional live home studio with several camera angles, Panasonic’s Tether PC software will also soon let you live-stream with multiple compatible cameras (including the GH5 II).
In order to do this, you’ll need version 2.0 of the Lumix Tether software, which will be available from November 30 from the same Lumix support site. Handily, this update will let you control Lumix G power zoom lenses from within the software, too.
The combined updates – to both the Panasonic GH5 II and Lumix Tether software – are pretty generous, then. And they could compel content creators to look out for Panasonic GH5 II discounts in the Black Friday camera deals. The GH5 II is a fairly new camera, but we’ve already seen a 16% discount on Amazon UK.
Panasonic hasn’t left owners of its full-frame cameras in the cold today, either – it’s also announced the Panasonic Lumix S 35mm f/1.8. The lens is the fourth and final addition to its new group of prime lenses, which all have a similar design in order to make them suitable for gimbals. You’ll be able to buy the Lumix S 35mm f/1.8 for a pretty reasonable price of $699.99/£579.99 (around AU$1,070) from the end of November.
Analysis: Panasonic aims to be the king of home live-streaming
These new wired live-streaming powers are a nice free bonus for Panasonic GH5 II owners – and they show how hard Panasonic is pushing to become the default camera brand for live-streaming at all levels.
We recently saw the arrival of the Panasonic BS1H box camera, which is a cube-shaped full-framer, for more professional streaming setups. But the Panasonic GH5 II’s wireless and wired live-streaming skills certainly look promising for amateur creators who want a camera that has a larger sensor than your average webcam or action cam.
Filmmakers who want a more powerful camera for run-and-gun videos will still likely want to wait for the Panasonic GH6. That camera appears to have been delayed, though, with Panasonic Japan continuing to describe it as “under development”, despite previously suggesting it’d be “available by the end of 2021”.
That GH6 timescale is looking unlikely now, but the GH5 Mark II’s updates are at least good news for those who are looking for a home-based streaming companion for their YouTube or Twitch live streams.