Panasonic Lumix S5 Review – Newsshooter

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Panasonic has officially unveiled the Lumix S5, a full-frame hybrid mirrorless that is designed to compete against cameras such as the Sony a7 III, Canon EOS R, and Nikon Z6.

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The S5 is a sub $2,000 USD mirrorless hybrid that looks to provide a good balance of still and video performance in a smaller, lighter camera body than other models in the Lumix S series.

The S5 now joins the S1, S1R, and S1H in the Lumix S series.

This is a first look at a pre-production unit of the S5. The camera I was testing is not a full production shipping unit. Please take this into account when reading this review. There may well be small changes (probably firmware) that will make there way into the production version of this camera.

I encourage anyone who is interested in the S5, or any other camera for that matter, to get a hold of one and try it out before buying. Reviews can only tell you so much and my thoughts on certain aspects of the camera are just an opinion. Never make a gear decision based on a single review. Read as many different reviews as you can and try and get hold of a camera yourself to see if it works for you.

Why make the S5?

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In a lot of ways the S5 is a full-frame version of the GH5, hence the name S5. To be absolutely crystal clear, the S5 isn’t a GH5 replacement, it is simply a new camera. Panasonic told me that the GH line isn’t being discontinued or phased out.

The S1H has been a big success for Panasonic, but the S1 didn’t catch on and it hasn’t enjoyed the same success as its bigger brother. In some regards, the S5 is probably the camera the S1 should have been.

Panasonic has been doing a lot of market research into what people liked and didn’t like about the S series. What they found is people liked the following:

  • Video specifications
  • Color science
  • Reliability and build quality
  • Lens mount adaptability
  • Lens Quality
  • Anamorphic shooting modes

What people didn’t particularly like was:

  • Size/Weight
  • Auto Focus performance
  • Price
  • Lens lineup

To address a lot of these issues Panasonic went back to the drawing board to create the S5.

Size & Weight

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The S5 is considerably lighter and smaller than other Lumix S cameras. The body only weighs in at 630g (1.39 lb) and it has physical dimensions of (W) 132.6 mm x (H) 97.1mm x (D) 81.9mm. With a battery and card the S5 tips the scales at 712g (1.57lb). That actually makes it smaller and lighter than the GH5. For reference, the GH5 weighs in at 725g (1.6 lb).

The S1H weighs in at 1.16 kg / 2.56 lb (Body with Battery and Memory. The S1 tips the scales at 1.02 kg / 2.25 lb (Body with Battery and Memory).

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