The Panasonic Lumix S5 is a full-frame mirrorless camera and the most affordable model in the Panasonic Lumix S range.

However, Panasonic hasn’t just used the same bodyshell and reduced the number of features of the Lumix S5. It’s taken a look at what people love about the Micro Four Thirds Lumix GH5 and looks at the pros and cons of the S-series to deliver something more affordable and very attractive to enthusiast photographers looking to shoot video more seriously and frequently.

Impressively, the Lumix engineers have managed to make the Panasonic S5 smaller than the Lumix GH5. That’s quite a feat given the difference in the sensor and mount sizes of the two cameras.

As it’s a full-frame S-series mirrorless camera, the Panasonic S5 has the L mount, which is also used by Leica and Sigma.

Panasonic LUMIX S5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera, 4K 60P Video Recording with Flip Screen & WiFi, LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 Lens, L-Mount, 5-Axis Dual I.S, DC-S5KK (Black)
  • LIMITED TIME PRE-ORDER PROMOTION: Pre-order by Sep 30 to get a free SIGMA 45mm F/2.8 lens (MSRP:$549 value, to be shipped separately at mid Nov). While supplies last. Find out more:...
  • A LIGHTWEIGHT, POWERFUL HYBRID CAMERA FOR VIBRANT STILL PHOTOGRAPHY AND CINEMATIC VIDEO: Realize your creative vision with extraordinary 4K 60p, 10-bit video, FHD 180fps Slow Motion option as well as...
  • DETAILED PHOTO AND VIDEO THAT WILL DELIGHT ENTHUSIASTS AND EXPERTS ALIKE: Capture content in impressive high quality with 96MP High Resolution mode, Dual Native ISO to minimize noise in high...

Specifications

  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 2nd September 2020
  • Sensor: 24.2Mp full-frame (35.6mm x 23.8mm) CMOS sensor CMOS
  • Lens mount: L
  • Construction: Magnesium ally with dust and splash resistant seals
  • Stabilisation: 5 axes in-body IS to 5EV, 6.5 with Dual IS
  • Screen: 3-inch 1,840,000-dot vari-angle touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 2,360,000-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.74x magnification
  • Key video specifications: 4K (3840×2160) 4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP H.264 29.97/23.98p/25p and 150Mbps for up to 30mins, 4K (3840×2160) 4:2:0 8-bit LongGOP H.264 29.97/23.98p/25p and 100Mbps unlimited, Full HD (1920×1080) 4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP H.264 59.94/29.97/23.98p/50/25p and 100Mbps unlimited
  • Slow & Quick motion: Slow: 4K up to 60p in MP4, FHD around 120p at full width or 180p with narrower angle of view, Quick: 4K to 1p
  • Sensitivity: Dual native ISO 100, 6400, Range: ISO100-51,200, expandable to ISO 50-204,800. Dual-native ISO for video
  • Shutter speed: 60-1/16,000sec, Bulb to 30mins
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: AF-S or manual focus: 7fps, AF-C: 5fps, 6K Photo 30fps, 4K Photo: 60fps
  • Memory: Dual SD card slots, 1 UHS-II, 1 UHS-I
  • Weight: 714g with memory card and battery
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 132.6×97.1×81.9mm

Features

One of the most exciting features of the Panasonic S5 is that it has the same 24.2Mp full-frame sensor as the S1H. That’s a camera that has garnered many plaudits for its video quality. Consequently, Panasonic is pitching the S5 at people who have started out as photographers and content creators who want to create more video. Its headline video specification is that it can shoot 4K (3840×2160) footage in 4:2:2 and 10-bit LongGOP H.264 at 29.97/23.98p/25p. That’s when recording internally to an SD-type card.

It can shoot and that quality and resolution for up to 30minutes. Alternatively, if you’re happy to 4:2:0 8-little bit 4K footage, you can shoot indefinitely until your memory cards are full.

If the Panasonic S5’s HMDI port is used to connect external storage, it’s possible to record 4K 4:2:2 10-bit footage at 60p. That means you can have high resolution 2x slow-motion video in 4K quality.

There are also ports for connecting an external microphone and headphones. Panasonic is at pains to point out that its standard testing procedures ensure that it is possible to shoot 4K video at 40-degrees centigrade and that the S5 won’t overheat in regular, professional use. It doesn’t have a fan built-in like the S1H, but the S5 has a heat-dispersing design.

Further good news is that V-Log is pre-installed and there’s no extra charge to record even more grade-ready video. There’s also a selection of other picture profiles including the natural-looking ‘Like 709’.

In addition, the Panasonic S5 can shoot anamorphic movie (with APS-C crop) to create the popular cinematic look.

It’s also good to see the Rec framework indicator that we saw with the Panasonic G100. This puts a red frame around the image when the camera is documenting and it’s much easier to see from a range of angles than the usual red dot – which is also present. Panasonic anticipates that the Lumix S5 will be used by people creating videos for a range of platforms and consequently there’s a useful frame marker that indicates the crop that’s applied in different formats. So if you plan to post a square format video clip, you are able to preview it as you shoot, ensuring perfect composition.

Build and Handling

The Micro Four Thirds Panasonic GH5 is quite a big camera for its sensor size, and the full-frame S1, S1R and S1H are bigger – on a par with full-framework DSLRs like the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. They are very well built and feel nice and solid, but they’re big and heavy. Panasonic appears to have had a rethink with the Lumix S5. Instead of using the S1 body, it’s opted for something smaller. Not just smaller than the other S series cameras, something smaller compared to the GH5. That’s great news for portability and anyone who plans to shoot handheld for long periods of time.

Performance

The Panasonic Lumix S5 has the same full-frame 24Mp sensor as the S1H. The S1H’s sensor is the same as the S1’s with the addition of a low-pass filter. This is to make the S1H (and S5) more suited to video production, but it should still mean that the S5 is an useful all-rounder.

As the Panasonic S5 has a 24Mp sensor, it’s not going to compete with the 47.3Mp S1R for detail resolution in normal shooting mode. But it should nevertheless capture a good level of detail at the lower end of the sensitivity (ISO) range.

We can realistically expect the fine detail to be maintained well up to around ISO 12,800. Beyond that value noise or the impact of its removal is likely to be noticeable.

There’s also a High Resolution mode in which the Panasonic S5 takes a sequence of shots in quick succession with the sensor moving by a tiny amount between each. These are then merged in-camera to produce a single image – raw or Jpeg. It’s said to be equivalent to a 96Mp (12,000 x 8,000-pixel) picture. That gives the S5 a bit more versatility.

However, using High Resolution mode limits you to shooting with the electronic shutter and the minimum aperture is f/16 while the shutter speed can only be set from between 1 and 1/8000 of a second. In addition to the maximum sensitivity value available in High Res mode is ISO 3200 and it’s best to use the digital camera on a tripod.

Of these limitations, the shutter speed is the most restricting as it would be nice to be able to shoot longer exposures. However, the results produced by the S1 and S1R are great, so it’s a very attractive addition to the S5’s feature set.

Verdict

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.

Check Out Panasonic Lumix S5 Price
Panasonic LUMIX S5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera, 4K 60P Video Recording with Flip Screen & WiFi, LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 Lens, L-Mount, 5-Axis Dual I.S, DC-S5KK (Black)
  • LIMITED TIME PRE-ORDER PROMOTION: Pre-order by Sep 30 to get a free SIGMA 45mm F/2.8 lens (MSRP:$549 value, to be shipped separately at mid Nov). While supplies last. Find out more:...
  • A LIGHTWEIGHT, POWERFUL HYBRID CAMERA FOR VIBRANT STILL PHOTOGRAPHY AND CINEMATIC VIDEO: Realize your creative vision with extraordinary 4K 60p, 10-bit video, FHD 180fps Slow Motion option as well as...
  • DETAILED PHOTO AND VIDEO THAT WILL DELIGHT ENTHUSIASTS AND EXPERTS ALIKE: Capture content in impressive high quality with 96MP High Resolution mode, Dual Native ISO to minimize noise in high...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here