The awaited Panasonic LUMIX S5 is yet another powerhouse from this camera range, fully packed with exciting specs plus photo and video functions. Here are some highlights and distinctions from the now lifted embargo: Full-frame 24.2MP 35mm CMOS sensor boasting high-quality recording up to 51.200 ISO with 14+ stops of claimed latitude, V-Gamut and V-Log that empower coherence with the “VariCam Look” and internal recording up to 4K @ 60p/50p with 4:2:0 10-bit. Let’s take a first deep dive.
Panasonic Lumix S5 – Mount & Sensor
Of course, the camera relies again on the well-established L-Mount, offering users a wide range of high-grade lenses from lens manufacturers such as SIGMA, Leica Camera, and Panasonic themselves. At the heart and core of the product lies the 24.2MP 35mm full-frame sensor with its Dual Native ISOs, taking advantage of low-light situations with ISO 4000 and above or with the 640 base ISO for typical bright and everyday environments.
Additional Recording Features & Output Functions
Interesting recording features are, of course, the Slow & Quick motion recording feature with 1-180fps in HD and 1-60fps in 4K. Many fans will probably like that the camera can use autofocus in slow-motion. Nevertheless, as soon as the camera hits the 150fps mark, the focus setting will switch to MF. The camera additionally comes with a 4:3 anamorphic shooting mode, an interval recording feature (4K at 60p), and an HDR video capture mode.
Handling recording and photography, the camera offers to capture onto double SD Card slots. One of these slots is capable of using UHS-I and the other the faster UHS-II SD cards.
Aside from internal recording where the best options have a 30min time limit, the Panasonic LUMIX S5 offers high-quality HD and 4K output via HDMI up to 4K at 60p/50p with a color-subsampling of 4:2:2 10-bit. As a rule of thumb, all 8bit recording modes DON’T have any time restrictions limits, while 10bit internal recording will stop at 30 minutes with the possibility to continue recording by pressing the record button right after again.
Future Capabilities through Firmware Update
Announced for the end of 2020, other significant improvements are 5.9K (5888x3312px) RAW output with frame rates of 29.97p/25p over HDMI to the Atomos Ninja V, a 3.5K (3536x2656px) anamorphic video at 50p and an unconventional 4K (4128x2176px) output at 59.94p/50p. Aside from that, the camera’s packed software will receive even more assist functions such as a Master Pedestal Adjustment, SS/Gain Operations, and a surely universally used Vector Scope function.
Well-known from the Panasonic LUMIX S1R, S1, and S1H, the S5 is also equipped with a 5-axis image stabilizer in the body and makes full use of the corresponding lens series 2-axis O.I.S. (Optical Images Stabilizer). The system is so strong that it allows users to chose a 6.5-stop (according to CIPA standards; with the latest firmware) slower shutter speed and still compensates for most types of vibrations and shakes. It thus helps to avoid blurry recordings.
Panasonic LUMIX S5 Auto Focus
Although still being contrast based, Panasonic did extensive work trying to enhance the functionality of the auto focus in this camera. Did they succeed? Well, it will be interesting to see and hear future users commenting on the AF functionality. One thing is for sure: it looks like Panasonic is rather happy and confidant with the results as other cameras in their LUMIX line will get a similar “deep learning” autofocus treatment soon.
Photography Functions, Picture Control & Optional Accessories
Since one may describe this camera best as a hybrid that fits multiple tasks and applications, it also comes with photography features. It offers capturing up to 470 pics while only utilizing its big Live View Finder (LVF) that relies on a super-swift OLED display with a minimal delay of < 0.005 seconds while offering a 2,360K-dot resolution for high user accuracy. The camera can even take up to 1,500 pics (in Power Save LVF mode) on the same single 2,2000mAh battery charge.
When using the DMW-BGS5 battery grip accessory, the camera will capture a marathon session of 940 images (with LVF) and approximately 3000 photos while operating in Power Save LVF mode. This battery grip is undoubtedly just one of many possible accessories that are optionally available with the S5 and which are well known from other cameras of the series. Other additional gear includes but exceeds products such as the Panasonic DMW-SHGR1 Tripod Grip, the DMW-RS2 Remote Shutter control, a plug-in type DMW-XLR1 Microphone Adaptor, and a DC coupler by the name DMW-DCC17.
For users well-versed with the high-resolution photography as performed by the LUMIX S1 and S1H, the S5 offers a similarly enhanced photo solution with its 96MP high-res RAW and JPEG capability, an HLG mode, and Live View Composite functionality.
Panasonic LUMIX S5 – Final Remarks
The Panasonic LUMIX S5 might prove to be one of the most important mirrorless cameras Panasonic has released in years. The reason is simple, with a very competitive price tag (and together with the included 20-60mm kit lens), this camera might prove to be the engine behinds Panasonic efforts to make their L-mount cameras even more popular. Aside from the main features and details presented in this article, the camera certainly has a whole set of extra features. Please head to Johnnie’s LUMIX S5 review by clicking here. You can also learn more about Panasonic’s future plans by watching a video interview we conducted in Osaka with Yamane-san, Director of Panasonic’s Imaging Business Unit by clicking here.
What is your take on the just newly announced Panasonic LUMIX S5 powerhouse? How would you like the S5 to evolve with future firmware upgrades and would you consider using or buying this camera for your future projects? Please share with us your thoughts in the comment section below.