Panasonic Lumix S5 Review: Full Frame Camera, Powerful Features – The Panasonic Lumix S5 is a full-frame sensor mirrorless camera designed for photography, videography, and content creators who need a full-frame camera that is relatively compact but has complete and sophisticated photo and video specifications.
Panasonic Lumix S5 Review
By design, the Lumix S5 follows the design language of Lumix micro four-thirds cameras, such as the Lumix G95, which is compact but has quite complete buttons, dials, and joysticks.
Videographers may be happy to get an articulating screen that rotates in any direction. This touch screen has a resolution of 1.8 million dots, very clear and sharp, especially when checking focus during photo playback.
Lumix S5 Specifications
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||6000 x 4000|
|Effective pixels||24 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, 100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)|
|Lens mount||Leica L|
|Focal length mult.||1×|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Max shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Format||MPEG-4, H.264, H.265|
|Storage types||Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II supported in slot 1)|
|USB||USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||714 g (1.57 lb / 25.19 oz)|
|Dimensions||133 x 97 x 82 mm (5.24 x 3.82 x 3.23″)|
Lumix S5 Photography Features
For photography, the S5 has the same sensor as its sister S1, which is 24MP without the Anti Alias filter ensuring maximum sharpness at the pixel level. For those who need a higher resolution and for photographing still subjects, there is a High-Resolution Mode feature that produces 96MP (12000×8000 pixels), which is enough for printing huge photos.
Autofocus for video works well, and the S5 has improvements, especially to its object detection algorithm. Now, the Lumix S5 can detect the face and eyes and detect the head when facing backward or sideways. When part of the face is covered, such as when wearing a mask, the camera detects the face. The autofocus performance for photography also works fast.
One thing that is sophisticated and is the first to be encountered in a full-frame mirrorless camera is the Live-view Composite feature. This feature is a tool to get long-exposure photos with the help of the actual live view, so we know when it’s time to end the long-exposure picture.
By selecting this feature, the camera will take slow shutter photos continuously and combine them all in one picture (and update the live view display on the screen) without worrying about overexposure in the still part. This feature can even still be used if we choose the RAW file option to edit the results again with more leverage on the computer.
The photos above and below are examples of the results of the Live-view Composite feature. The photo above was taken by selecting f/11, and the shutter was 0.6 seconds, then the camera was allowed to take pictures many times until the car’s headlight trail was entire, then the shutter button was pressed again to end.
But because the shutter is 0.6 seconds is not long enough. The second photo (bottom) was tried using f/16 and 2 seconds for a longer light trail. This feature is also suitable for photographing fireworks or steel wool, as long as it is dark and we are using a tripod.
This Lumix S5 has a RAW Processing feature that can process RAW files into JPG so that they are ready to be shared on social media. Lumix RAW processing provides many photo processing options, including changing WB, exposure compensation, highlights & shadows, photo styles, and so on.
Lumix S5 Videography Features
The S5 camera is not only for photos but also for videography. Even the specifications for video are very high, often compared to the higher-end Lumix S1H cameras. The S5 can record 4K 60p, and for those who like slow motion, it can go up to a maximum of 180p, although autofocus only works up to 120p.
The LCD screen that can be rotated sideways and in any direction makes it easier for videographers to record at difficult angles. Helpful features for professional videographers include waveform, timecode, vectorscope, and the ability to record 5.9K RAW with available firmware updates.
Due to its compact size and the absence of an internal cooling fan, the S5 has limitations when recording video at 4K 60p for up to 30 minutes. But for various video mode options, such as 4K 8 bit or Full HD.
Videographers who have a run and gun style, who don’t like tripods and gimbals, will find it helpful with the built-in 5 Axis stabilization. In our tests, the video footage was stable when shooting a video with a 20-60mm lens, but the videographer ran fast, so the footage looked shaky / vibrate. Maybe if it is paired with a lens with IS, it will perform better. The stabilizer performance is not as good as a micro four-thirds camera system like the G9.
For continuous autofocus, the performance will depend on the selected video mode. For example, if we choose 4K Super 35mm crop 60p video quality. The autofocus performance will be better than the 4K full-frame 24p. In addition, if the background is contrasting, there is the potential for pulsing to occur where the focus will appear to be throbbing out of focus and out of focus quickly. Therefore, I recommend Lumix S5 users wisely choose camera modes and backgrounds that are not so contrasting.
Another effort to get optimal autofocus is by setting the sensitivity and speed of autofocus in custom AF settings adapted to video recording conditions. Another alternative is to use manual focus for relatively static subjects.
- Relatively compact size & lightweight for a full-frame camera
- Weather sealing (dust, splash, and flash proof)
- High-res mode 96 MP
- Live view Composite mode
- 5 Axis Stabilizer 5 Stops and 6.5 Dual IS
- Many video options up to 4K 60p (Super 35mm crop), Full HD 180p
- Built-in V-log gamma
- Dual Native ISO (ISO 640 and 4000)
- Year-end firmware enabling 5.9K RAW recording, vectorscope, shutter angle
- Face-eye-animal autofocus system and head/object detection
- Dual card slots, but only one is UHS-II
- Continuous autofocus when pulsed video on a contrasting background
- Continuous shooting at only 7 fps and 5 fps when following a moving subject (AF-C)
- No All-I video recording option
- Relatively low-resolution viewfinder (2.3M) and relatively small
Panasonic Lumix was one of the first companies to make mirrorless cameras whose main idea was to create a compact camera system. In the era of full-frame mirrorless development. The challenge for every camera manufacturer is to create a mirrorless camera that remains compact but has sophisticated and complete features for the needs of today’s content creators.
Panasonic Lumix S5 Price
With all the advanced photo & video features, the price of $1,950.00 body only and $2,230.00 with the S 20-60mm lens makes the Lumix S5 one of the best value cameras at the moment.
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