With the strength of phone cameras these days, Panasonic’s latest mirrorless Lumix plays to a strength of the modern-day broadcast.
There’s clearly no shortage of great phone cameras out there, and last year’s crop was some of the best around, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get quite the same control and versatility a proper camera with interchangeable lenses can offer.
It’s something you’ll know only too well if you’ve ever had to be a little more creative with your scenes.
A phone’s camera is good and can offer flexibility, but you can’t throw a different lens on and change the angle or depth of field the way you can with a different lens. While phone cameras are improving, if you want the most control, you typically have to turn to a proper camera, even if some of the features on the phone might make you crave for the mobile.
Features mobiles excel at over their proper camera cousins include things like live streaming and smaller designs, but those are both things Panasonic is working to remedy, launching a new take on its Lumix mirrorless interchangeable cameras that not only offers a hand-friendly size, but also some live streaming support, as well.
It’s coming in the Panasonic Lumix GH5 Mark 2, a variant that appears to focus not just on capturing 4K video — a standard these days — but a live broadcast of video, allowing folks with more creative needs than what their phone cameras can do some live streaming flexibility.
Essentially, Panasonic will use your phone to do the streaming, but send the video from the Lumix mirrorless, broadcasting a wireless video stream to YouTube and Facebook at 1080p Full HD at up to 60 frames per second.
Wireless streaming might be the go now, but Panasonic is also promising USB tethering to a phone by the end of 2021, thanks to a firmware update. It’ll mean if you’re looking to guarantee video quality, you might be able to use your phone as the gateway for the camera to do all the work. It should even work as a webcam with this approach, which is like a livestream, only for regular work meetings and such.
Beyond the live-streaming, Panasonic’s Lumix GH5M2 includes a 20 megapixel sensor with in-body image stabilisation, supporting up to 6.5 stops for shutter speed control, 4K video capture, and support for Micro Four-Thirds lenses, plus two SD card slots, as well as a somewhat rugged design, with a magnesium frame that’s both splash- and dust-resistant. In short, Panasonic’s latest flagship aims to be both versatile and capable.
“With the GH5M2 we are proud to introduce industry-leading live streaming capabilities for modern content creators – including direct to platform wireless live streaming, with wired IP streaming and tethered mobile streaming to be available in the future,” said James Choi, Product Marketing Manager for Imaging at Panasonic in Australia.
“This will allow today’s content creators to take advantage of the acclaimed image quality and usability of the GH line, such as 4K 60p 10-bit internal recording, unlimited recording modes, and robust ergonomics, while also being able to live stream wherever and whenever they desire,” he said.
If that sounds exciting enough, at the same time, Panasonic has hinted of what we can expect to come, with the company working on the next in line, the Lumix GH6.
The next model is expected to include support for 4K at 120 frames per second, plus 5.7K video at 60 frames per second, essentially boosting the video capture capability of Panasonic’s handheld mirrorless interchangeable cameras. However, there’s no release date beyond “the end of 2021”, so for this one, you’ll just have to wait.
At least the GH5M2 has pricing and availability, and looks set to start at $2699 body online, while a model with a 12-60mm Lumix G lens will cost $2999 and a Leica 12-60mm variant with the GH5M2 will cost $3799 in Australia. Availability is set from July 2021 at photography stores across the country.