Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 initial review



Product photos by Dan Bracaglia

The Panasonic S5 is a 24MP full-frame mirrorless camera built around the same sensor as the Panasonic S1, but in a smaller, more affordable body. In fact, despite having a full-frame sensor, the S5 is smaller in every dimension than its Micro Four Thirds sibling, the GH5. Aiming to appeal to both photographers and videographers, it includes updates to Panasonic’s DFD autofocus system, new creative photo modes, and video features that come close to matching both the GH5 and the much more expensive S1H.

Key specifications:

  • 24.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor with no AA filter
  • Up to 4K/60p (APS-C), full-frame oversampled 4K/30p all with 4:2:2 10-bit color
  • Panasonic contrast-detect DFD AF with improved face, body and head detection
  • 2.36M dot OLED EVF w/ 0.74x magnification
  • 3” 1.84M dot fully articulating touchscreen
  • Dual SD card slots (1x UHS-II, 1x UHS-I)
  • 96MP high-resolution mode
  • 7 fps burst shooting (5 fps with continuous autofocus)
  • 2.4/5Ghz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with one-touch image transfer
  • Dust and splash resistant
  • 460 shots per charge when used with EVF

Whereas Panasonic’s first-generation full-frame cameras were somewhat niche-driven, the S5 is more of an all-around generalist, with a body and price point that more directly competes with the likes of the Nikon Z6 and Sony a7 III. For videographers, it’s a bit like a full-frame GH5 or a mini S1H, while photographers should benefit from an updated AF system and a variety of photography-focused performance enhancements.

The S5 will be available around mid-September for $1999 body-only, or $2299 with the Lumix S 20-60mm F3.5.5.6 lens.

Watch DPReview TV’s first impressions review of the Panasonic S5.

What’s new and how it compares

The S5 shares many video features with the S1H, adds some creative photo modes for stills shooters and gets an updated DFD autofocus system.

Read more

Body controls and handling

This is Panasonic’s most compact full-frame camera to date. See what’s different about it, and why it will get even better through firmware.

Read more

Initial impressions

The S5 is Panasonic’s first compact full-frame camera. Find out why we think that’s a good move and what we think of it so far.

Read more

Sample gallery

See some scenes of summer around Seattle in our Panasonic S5 sample gallery.

View gallery


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