Panasonic Lumix S5 : Incredible video power in a smaller package

Panasonic Lumix S5 : Incredible video power in a smaller package

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Panasonic Lumix S5 : It has 4K power than the S1 and faster autofocus system.With its S1 series, Panasonic has enjoyed a monopoly on mirrorless full-frame cameras that shoot high-quality 4K 4-bit video. However, in the last month or two, Canon and Sony released formidable video-centric camcorders, which can fit the S1 for video, while being considerably smaller than the two-pound S1. Now, Panasonic has responded with its full frame Lumix S5. It takes almost everything good about the Lumix S1 and puts it in a much smaller and lighter body.

The S5 retains the key video features of the S1 such as 4K 10-bit video, five-axis body stabilization, and a flip-up screen, and to sum it up, it has a new and improved autofocus system that is faster than what you’ll find. on Panasonic’s larger full-frame S1 cameras.

Lumix S5 is Panasonic’s answer to the Canon EOS R6 and is the best camcorder in its price range. It’s smaller and less expensive than the Lumix S1, but it actually offers better video features. It includes a flip-up screen, five-axis body stabilization, and 4K 10-bit recording at up to 60fps. Autofocus is faster and more accurate than the S1, but not as good as Sony and Canon video systems. It has a weak electronic viewfinder and while it offers clear and accurate photos, you will never mistake it for an action camera due to the low burst speed.

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Since it looks stronger than the S1 and still costs $ 500 less, is there a catch? To find out, we put a pre-production model through his footsteps in Paris and the French countryside to see what he could and couldn’t do.

Lumix Body and handling

Lumix: With the S5, Panasonic finally has a full-frame camera, as small as rival models like the Sony A7 III and Nikon Z6. At 714 grams with battery and memory card, it weighs slightly more than the A7 III and Z6. However, it is almost 300 grams lighter than the S1. At the same time, the S5 has a magnesium alloy body designed to dissipate heat, so it doesn’t suffer from overheating issues like its rival, the Canon EOS R6 (more on that soon).

I really liked the maneuverability of the S1, but found the S5 to be just as good and even better than the A7 III and Nikon Z6. It has a great grip to start with, along with plenty of manual controls that allow you to set burst shooting, shutter, aperture, ISO, and other controls without having to dive into a menu.

In fact, if you set up the buttons and quick menu correctly, you rarely, if ever, have to explore the main menus. If you do this, Panasonic has updated them to make them more logical and easier to navigate.

Navigation is also aided by the fact that you can operate the menus, along with focus and other functions, directly from the touchscreen. It also swivels sideways and swivels 270 degrees so you can see for yourself, which makes the S5 a very good camera for vlogging and selfies. It is incredibly versatile.

Panasonic S5 full-frame mirrorless camera Unfortunately, the S5 contains only a 2.36 million-dot OLED EVF, which is much lower than the S1’s 5.76 million-dot OLED model. Perhaps Panasonic realized that video images did not need a high resolution electronic viewfinder, because it would mainly use the touch screen. However, I disagree: I would have expected Panasonic to use at least a 3.69 million dot display like the one found in Sony’s similarly priced 2018 A7 III.

The S5 also has a small storage compromise. It has dual SD cards, but only one is a faster UHS-II slot and the other is UHS-I. Panasonic told me they did this because the S5 is primarily a camcorder and the higher speeds don’t help video because the maximum data rate is 150 megabits per second, well below what a UHS card can support. And up. Speeds aren’t ideal for burst shots, but again, the S5 isn’t exactly a sports camera, as I’ll talk about soon.
In terms of ports, the S5 has headphone and microphone jacks, with mic and line-level inputs, that can accommodate many types of powered and unpowered microphones. It is also compatible with the Panasonic XLR1 adapter for multi-channel, XLR audio inputs. However, you only get a micro HDMI and not a full size HDMI port like because it is not a priority with this room. The S5 is definitely not a sports camera to begin with. It only shoots 5fps with continuous autofocus, less than half of what the A7 III can do. Plus, it delivers great photos with natural skin tones and colors. It also shines in low-light situations due to the image stabilization, dual ISO system, and huge camera sensor.

Although the S5 is not a high resolution camera like the A7R IV, for example, it does have a high resolution mode that combines multiple photos into a single 96 megapixel image. The results can be beautiful, but you will need a tripod to get functional images.

The S5 has an advantage over its rivals, in that the photos do not have a very small band that can be caused by pixels with phase detection in the sensor. Overall, though, the S5 is a video-centric camera and photos are just an added bonus.

Gallery: Panasonic S5 Mirrorless Camera Sample Image Gallery

Lumix
Lumix

The Lumix S5 has five-axis image stabilization, which works in conjunction with stabilized lenses. It provides up to 6.5 stabilization stops, which is better than GH5, but worse than S1. As usual, just optical stabilization is great for handheld shots or low-light photos, but it’s not a magic bullet. If you go or perform and need light photos, it is best to use a gimbal.

When it comes to autofocus, there is good news and bad news. Unfortunately, Panasonic has failed with its contrast detection system, which is inferior to the autofocus detection used in Sony and Canon cameras, especially when it comes to video. On the bright side, Panasonic has dramatically improved the speed of the autofocus system and added intelligent AI. This ensures faster subject acquisition and smoother tracking of the face and eyes.

Continuous autofocus for photos works very well, especially given the relatively slow shooting speed. However, for videos, the biggest problem is pulsation or small changes in and out of focus, as the contrast detection system overcomes and recovers the focus. With the S5, however, it is much less visible than before, due to the added speed and changes to the algorithm. In fact, I hardly noticed her, except for portable photos, when I moved the camera a lot, trying to follow a border collie.

Panasonic Lumix S5 mirrorless camera has improved autofocus
The S5 can record 4K 10-bit video in both full-frame and full-quality 1.5X APS-C modes, giving you very shallow depth of field or an additional 1.5x “zoom” if you need it. Autofocus works a bit faster in APS-C mode because there are fewer pixels to processes available . All of that means if you’re shooting something that’s moving and you need to rely on autofocus, it’s best to switch to APS-C mode, if possible.

Incidentally, face / eye detection now finds much smaller faces in the frame and tracks bodies at speeds five times faster than before. You can also track your subject if you turn or tilt your head, but you can fool yourself if it leaves the frame.

In general, the S5 nails focus much more reliably than the larger S1 series. There is good news for S1, S1H, and S1R owners though – all of these cameras will soon receive firmware updates that will give them the same accelerated autofocus capabilities as the S5.

Panasonic lumix S5 full-frame mirrorless camera



Now, let’s talk about the true strength of the S5, video. Going out on the run, the S5 outperforms the larger and more expensive S1. Period. Like the S1, it’s great for capturing extremely clear full-frame, APS-C, and pixel-for-pixel video, up to 4K and 60fps. After that though, the S5 has a distinct advantage, even if you have the $ 200 video firmware option for the S1.

You’ll get internal 10-bit 4K video at up to 60fps, instead of just 30fps with S1. At the same time, it supports 4K 10-bit external HDMI output up to 60fps. It can also handle 1080p video at up to 180 fps for action and slow motion. Unlike the GH5, it also comes with a V-Log-L video, which enables the recording of more than 14 cuts of dynamic range and HDR video recording.

Also, by the end of the year, Panasonic will make the S5 much more attractive to video professionals with a firmware update. This includes RAW video support with the $ 600 Atomos Ninja V, with resolutions up to 5.9K (5,888 x 3,312) at 30fps. It will also provide support for C4K (4,096 x 2,160), at 4K, “there are no restrictions” on recording.

Panasonic S5 Mirrorless Camera, 4K 10-Bit Video Frame


If you are looking for the frame recording mode found in GH5 (which records each frame individually to speed up editing), you did not make the cut due to overheating issues. I didn’t miss him much.

I tried vlogging with panasonic lumix S5 and it worked great. The foldable touchscreen makes it easy to change focus point or video settings, while stabilization smooths out minor bumps and bumps. And while the autofocus for contrast detection isn’t perfect, it works great with the camera next to your face. The built-in mic has pretty decent sound quality, but it’s also easy to connect an external mic with a rifle or lapel. For $ 2,000 (plus a lens), I think the S5 is the best full-frame vlog camera available right now.
As Sony is well aware, the shutter can be difficult to control on CMOS sensors. Fortunately, the S5 handles it better than most other full-frame cameras. It’s still present if you’re taking quick panoramas or shaking the camera, but it’s pretty well controlled. If it becomes a problem, you can reduce it considerably by switching the camera to APS-C or pixel-by-pixel cropped recording modes.

In terms quality of video the S5 gave exactly what I expected. I liked the clear 4K video with realistic colors and natural skin tones, while the 10-bit V-Log-L video provided excellent dynamic range and plenty of room to correct color or create HDR videos. Panasonic said it used the same science of color in the S5 as its professional Varicam cameras. This means that film crews can use the S5 as a B camera and can easily match colors.

The panasonic lumix S5 has an ISO range of 100-51,200 (expandable to ISO 50-204,000), along with a native dual ISO system that automatically switches to a more light-sensitive circuit in low light conditions. However, it handles low light conditions very well. Don’t expect the near black shooting ability of Sony’s A7S III (which is four times the pixel area), but the S5 can keep up with the A7 III, keeping ISO noise low at 25,600. Even at these levels, the video is clear and preserves color saturation and accuracy.

The panasonic lumix S5 has similar controls to the GH5, so users of that model won’t have too much trouble crossing.The S5’s huge sensor offers much shallower depth of fields with more creative options. For example, you will be able to isolate interview subjects from their surroundings without a very quick target.

Mirrorless Camera Panasonic S5

With the S5, Panasonic Lumix took its existing S1 camera and made it great by fixing slow autofocus, adding additional 4K video features, and making it much smaller. Normally, it would be an easy option for video creators, but the competition didn’t stop either.

Canon’s $ 2,500 EOS R6 has higher internal data rates and superior dual-pixel phase-detection autofocus, plus it’s better for still photos. However, the S5 is $ 500 cheaper and should suffer less due to overheating issues that can cripple video recording on the R6. Nikon Z6 can be found for $ 1,800 at present, it may lacks key features like internal 10-bit 4K recording and dual card slots.

Fujifilm’s $ 1,700 X-T4 fits the S5 almost characteristically, but has a smaller sensor, which is weaker in low light and doesn’t have a very shallow depth of field. For $ 500 less, Panasonic’s GH5 has some additional video features (like the I-frame option mentioned above), but it has an even smaller sensor. Meanwhile, the S5 seems to have made the S1 redundant, as it makes almost everything better, being smaller and cheaper.

The Panasonic Lumix S5 is now ready to pre-order and will start shipping in mid-September for $ 2,000 for the body alone or $ 2,299 with the 20-60mm f / 3.5-5.6 lens that I found ideal for vlogging. It’s also offering a limited pre-order promotion with a Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN L-mount lens, while supplies last, as long as you buy an S5 before September 30. That would give you a very decent (and free) normal prime target to start with.

When you add all the features including stabilization, large sensor, 10-bit 4K options, smaller size, and flip-up screen, the S5 is a hybrid camcorder and impressive vlogging. At this point I’d say it’s the best you can get

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