PANASONIC LUMIX S5 Full Specs

Dimensions3.8 by 5.2 by 3.2 inches
TypeMirrorless
Sensor Resolution24 MP
Sensor TypeBSI CMOS
Sensor SizeFull-Frame (24 x 36mm)
Display Size3 inches
Display Resolution1.84 million dots
Touch ScreenYes
Lens MountLeica L
Memory Card Slots2
Memory Card FormatSDXC (UHS-II)
Minimum ISO50
Maximum ISO204800
Viewfinder TypeEVE
Battery TypePanasonic DMW-BLK22
HDMI Output4:2:2 10-bit

The Panasonic Lumix S5 finally comes with three existing Lumix S models, and therefore the Panasonic Lumix moves to full-frame and also mirrorless. Which has been largely positive. The Lumix S-line of cameras and lenses is capable of capturing sumptuously attractive photos and videos. But two criticisms, especially, are tough for Panasonic to shake – autofocus and size.

Panasonic became big with the first-generation Lumix DC-S1 full-frame and mirrorless camera, both in size and price, positioning it around $2,500, toward the high-end of the range for a 24MP model. It’s targeting a more entry-level market with the Lumix DC-S5 ($1,999.99, body only), but rather than minimizing features, the S5 may be a bit more capable, offering improved video features and better autofocus. That’s why it is a great entry point for full-frame imaging and also became a winner of our Editors’ Choice award.

Panasonic Lumix S5 Price Comparison

Panasonic Lumix S5: Features

Sharing an equivalent 24.2MP full-frame sensor because the Lumix S1, the S5 builds upon a proven platform. The Lumix S1 may be a fantastic camera, held back perhaps only by its relative heft. But the purpose is that the S1 performs brilliantly in terms of image quality, therefore the S5 has nothing to prove in this regard.

The standout features of the S5 are associated with the very fact that it’s super compact and comes in at a highly competitive price. It offers Lumix colors and full-frame quality during a much smaller body. It also adds JPEG + RAW capture to its sensor shift-based 96MP high-resolution mode. Which may be a massive upgrade. 

Capturing fast subjects is often through with either 7fps mechanical shutter for about 30 frames (RAW+JPEG) or using the 6K-photo mode, which may record 30fps for up to fifteen minutes and allows you to grab 18MP stills from the resulting footage. 

Panasonic Lumix S5

The S5 also sees the addition of a Live View Composite mode, which allows you to ascertain what you’re capturing in real-time when shooting night scenes or astrophotography for instance. It does this by only processing changes within the light detected by the sensor. This makes producing fantastic shots of scenes like fireworks or light painting significantly easier like all in-camera.

The Lumix S5 can capture a maximum of 4K/60p 10-Bit 4:2:0 video with a knowledge rate of 200Mbps. If you would like greater color depth, 4K/30p 10-Bit 4:2:2 video is additionally available internally. 10-bit video is restricted to half-hour recording. But there’s no wait time to start recording again. There’s no deadline on any of the opposite video modes.

Panasonic Lumix S5
The Lumix S5 also comes…

…with all of the V-Log enhancement options built-in that Lumix S1 owners had to distribute around £150 extra to urge the specified ‘software key’. The S5 also comes with anamorphic modes built-in, waveform monitoring, Dual Native ISO. And also can get further features and functionality from the S1H towards the top of 2020. 

These additional free firmware upgrades include 5.9K RAW video to Atomos Ninja V, vectorscope display, shutter angle control, and more. Once these updates are included. You’ll effectively have a full-frame Lumix GH5 or a mini Lumix S1H – whichever way you would like to seem at it.

To my surprise, Panasonic managed to retain in-body I.S. within the Lumix S5. It’s rated at up to 5-stops of stabilization and, counting on the Micro Four Thirds lens used, will implement Dual I.S. for up to six .5 stops of stabilization with compatible stabilized lenses. 

Panasonic Lumix S5
Further stabilization…

…is often called upon within the sort of Boost I.S. and E-Stabilization. E-stabilization incurs a small crop. Boost I.S. is the most aggressive sort of stabilization and can produce a glance almost like employing a tripod when shooting handheld. It’s not ideal for capturing video while moving the camera because it will cause sudden judders because the camera counters your movement to stay the frame steady.

A fully articulated screen, almost just like the one sported by the Lumix G100. It takes the place of the tilting touchscreen on the S1 and S1R. But cosmetically, the Lumix S5 shares the S-series aesthetic. Dual SD card slots are included here. one UHS-II compatible and the opposite UHS-I. It’s an odd option to not accompany two fast UHS-II slots as Fujifilm and Canon did with the X-T4 and EOS R6 respectively. But none of the interior recording options within the S5 at launch require UHS-II SD card speeds. So you won’t be held back by this. I might have just preferred to possess both slots.

Panasonic Lumix S5

The S5 is rated as water and mud resistant but lacks the freeze resistance rating of its bulkier stablemates. it’s all of the ports, including USB Type-C. Which may provide power while recording and may even be wont to tether the S5 and use it as a webcam. But the HDMI output is micro size. And this may undoubtedly bothersome potential S5 owners. However, if you invest in some quality cables from a brand like ZILR You’ll mitigate the inherent fragility of the port type.

Lumix as a brand…

…has been suffering from the perception that it’s DFD Contrast detection AF simply isn’t fast enough. The S5 attempts to challenge this with an updated AF system that benefits from smarter algorithms and improved processing. At launch, it outperforms the opposite S-series cameras. Although a firmware update is being unrolled across the system to bring the others up to an equivalent speed.

Panasonic Lumix S5

Overall, the Lumix S5 may be a curiosity. Its feature list is extensive and really few corners seem to have been cut here to stay size and price down. Borrowing numerous features from the S1H. And the S5 renders the S1 redundant in some ways. it’s most of its tricks and more, at a significantly lower cost.

Panasonic Lumix S5: Building And Handling

one of the key criticisms of the first Panasonic Lumix S1 and S1R cameras was their very large size and weight. Panasonic has been very keen to deal with that issue with the S5. And It also has managed to shrink down all the key components into a body that’s smaller and lighter. Which is very comfortable than the Lumix GH5 – one among its Micro Four Thirds models. 

This considerably seems like the camera Panasonic should have wont to launch the S series. Which is keeping the shape factor that had already proved popular but increasing the dimensions of the sensor within.

At now, it’s also worth mentioning the 20-60mm lens. Which is included as a part of the S5 kit package. This is often a little and neat lens, which makes it a perfect partner for the S5. The matter is that other L Mount lenses aren’t necessarily so diminutive, especially the employer Panasonic offerings. Still, a new, smaller camera could mean that smaller kinds of lenses are indeed on their way. The smaller cameras could mean that smaller lenses are indeed on their way. Being a part of the L Mount alliance means you’ll also use the S5 with Sigma and Leica lenses, which provides you extra options, too.

Panasonic Lumix S5

The Lumix S5…

…feels and operates considerably like all other Lumix cameras you’ll have utilized in the past. While meaning it’d not be the sleekest and most engaging camera on the market, it’s extremely functional. The chunky grip sits extremely comfortably within the hand, with a molded rest on the rear of the camera to assist your thumb to sit very naturally thereon.

Just because Panasonic has shrunk the camera. It doesn’t suggest you do not get an honest array of direct access control buttons and dials. The most important of those is the exposure mode dial. Which sits just to the proper of the electronic viewfinder (EVF). Here you’ve got all the standard range of modes (including P/A/S/M) also as a trio of customizable slots, which are likely to appeal to those shooting either stills or video in certain scenarios reasonably often. 

Panasonic Lumix S5

To the left of the EVF is another dial that you simply can use to line the drive mode. Here you’ll set single shooting, timer mode, interval shooting, and activate one among the burst modes. There are two burst mode positions on the dial, which you’ll assign to either high, medium, or low burst shooting, or Panasonic’s 6K shooting setting (we’ll discuss this more thereon within the ‘specs and features’ section).

A set of dual dial control dials…

…sit where your forefinger and thumb naturally rest, allowing you to regulate shutter speed and aperture. And also counting on which shooting mode you’re working in. within the main menu. You’ll set different configurations for the way each dial works. And even change the direction of the dials if you wish. 

On the highest plate, you’ll also find a cluster of three buttons for directly accessing white balance, ISO, and exposure compensation settings. There’s also a red button that you simply can use to activate video – a nod to the video users that Panasonic also generally aims its cameras at. 

Flip to the rear of the camera and there’s another good set of controls. Most of those are found on the right-hand side of the camera. Which makes it easy to work the Lumix S5 one-handed. 

There’s a ‘Q’ button for quick access to a variety of often-used settings, which may even be customized to incorporate your own personal preferences. A joystick is found just above the ‘Q’ button. Which you’ll use to maneuver the main target point around the frame, also on navigating around the menu systems and pictures in playback. 

Panasonic Lumix S5
Like the other cameras…

…in Panasonic’s S series, the S5 has dual SD card slots. although just one of the cardboard slots is compatible with the faster UHS-II SD cards. within the main menu, you’ll set the function of the second slot – whether you employ it as overflow. Which is giving for backup or storing different sorts of files from the cardboard within the first slot.

On the other side of the cardboard slots, you’ll find several input and output ports. There’s a microphone port, a headphone port, and a USB-C port which you’ll use to charge the battery in the camera. There’s also an HDMI port. But some video makers could be disappointed to ascertain that it’s not a full-sized port. A choice which was presumably made to assist keep the dimensions down. 

Another disappointment with the first S series cameras was the very fact that the screen could only tilt. And also instead of flipping round to the front. That was particularly problematic for video makers or vloggers who want to record themselves. Here, with the S5, it’s fixed that problem by including a totally articulating screen that will face forwards. And it has added the bonus of folding away when not in use.

Panasonic Lumix S5: Performance

  • Improved autofocus from previous S series cameras 
  • Fairly pedestrian 7fps shooting speed (though you can use 4K/6K photo)
  • Decent battery life for hobbyist shooters

The primary thing you would like to understand is how good (or bad) is that the S5’s autofocusing capabilities are. So let’s dive straight in. it’s noticeably improved over the previous S-series cameras. Body, head, and eye detection are responsive and persist with subjects tenaciously. However, detection and actuation are two separate challenges. And this is often ultimately where we experience the restrictions of the Lumix depth from defocus contrast-based AF systems. 

DFD Contrast AF works by analyzing the movement of subjects between frames. Lumix cameras use that information to calculate and anticipate the position of a moving target and actuate the AF motors accordingly. There are a few issues with this approach, particularly when it involves AF-C and video. Shooting at lower frame rates provides fewer frames for the camera to research. Which is affecting the predictive and tracking capabilities of the camera’s AF system. It’s the rationale why AF-C speed and performance drops when using an external monitor or shooting in 4K/24p for instance. To urge maximum AF consistency, you would like to extend your shutter speed or shoot at a better frame rate.

like FHD/60p or 4K/60p, for instance. 
Panasonic Lumix S5

There’s a clear improvement within the intelligence of the S5’s AF system, meaning that it hunts but the older S models. But it occasionally drifts or refuses to focus for no apparent reason. And despite the tracking box appearing to accurately detect exactly what I would like it to, be it an eye fixed, face, or animal.

As compared with the Sony A7 III though, the S5 appeared to keep step and in some cases outperform the phase-detecting Sony, which is famed for its AF performance. So it’s tough to form an assessment of the S5’s autofocus system overall. it’s possible to form adjustments to the S5’s AF sensitivity and speed though. So perhaps you’ll be ready to mix it to taste with some tinkering. 

When it involves photography, I found the AF far more consistent. Shooting at its max burst rate of 7fps, I found the bulk of shots were bang on, with the odd frame slightly off. there’s one quirk with the way the S5 displays the AF targeting that would do with improving. 

When in single-area AF and you half-press the shutter or hold the AF-On button. The camera re-exposes briefly to accumulate focus then locks on. But unless you employ the beep – I hate the beep so I don’t. But you’ll never be fully certain that the camera has focused correctly before you’re taking the shot. That’s because the targeting box is green and remains green the entire time you hold AF-On or half-press, whether it’s focused or not.

In multi-area…

…AF modes the green box, a minimum of moves around to point out which of them is focused on. Ideally in single-area AF, I’d just like the box to stay grey and only become green once focus is achieved. It’s a little quirk but one I’d like to see addressed because it would fill me with greater confidence, particularly when firing tons of frames successively.

To answer the question of the Lumix S5’s AF performance unequivocally, it’s an improvement. Its detection is super quick and it performs particularly well when taking photos. But when it involves keeping subjects consistently focused in movie mode it still lags behind the simplest autofocusing systems around. If you rely heavily on AF-C during video with moving subjects you’ll want to think about the Sony A7SIII (current champ). The Canon EOS R6 and EOS R5, or the Nikon Z6, Z7, and Z5.

Panasonic Lumix S5

Despite its compact size, the S5 does offer 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization. In use, it works well and enables me to shoot handheld as slow as 1/6th of a second. This is often great for nighttime or low-light shots once you don’t have a tripod or stable surface to compose your shots on. this is often improved further if you’ll pair the S5 with an I.S. lens, then it’ll offer six .5 stops of stabilization, which is most notable while shooting video handheld or walking. as compared with the GH5, I’d say the S5 was on par, but it doesn’t feel quite as stable because of the I.S. system utilized in the Lumix S1.

Panasonic Lumix S5: Image/Video Quality

  • Tried-and-tested sensor delivers excellent imagery
  • Full-frame low light performance in a compact body
  • Has an ISO range of 100-51200 (expandable to ISO 50 and ISO 204800)

We weren’t expecting that too many surprises will come from the S5 in terms of image quality, as we’ve already seen its sensor in action elsewhere. And it did indeed turn in a superb performance – it’s capable of manufacturing highly detailed shots with warm and vibrant colors during a big variety of situations. 

What you essentially get may be a full-frame performance from a Micro Four Thirds body. This is particularly excellent news for those that wish to shoot frequently in low light. At ISO 6400. There’s barely any noise visible and image smoothing is kept fairly well in check. you’ll see some slightly smudgy areas if you examine closely at 100%, but otherwise, the general impression is great.

As you’d expect, if you head into the upper echelons of ISO 51200. And therefore the expansion settings – noise and image smoothing increases dramatically. So it’s best to remain far away from those unless absolutely necessary. 

On the entire…

…the S5’s all-purpose metering setting does an honest job of keeping images well-balanced. But it can struggle a touch with very high-contrast situations. That said, detail is often extracted well from the files in post-production. So if you’re prepared to try to do touch work it’s not an excessive amount of a priority. 

The 20-60mm kit lens may be a good walk-around lens, and it makes tons of sense as a travel lens. The 20mm end is good and wide, which is great for both shooting landscapes. But also for bloggers who want to present to the camera while walking along. the shortage of a crop at 4K/30p may be a benefit that puts it before the Nikon Z5. This applies to a reasonably heavy crop at 4K.

Speaking of video, the results here also are excellent, as we’d expect from a Panasonic camera. Image stabilization does an honest job of keeping shots nice and smooth, while the AF-C setting was ready to follow us as we moved around the frame while walking and talking.

Panasonic Lumix S5

The sound quality is sweet. But the built-in microphones suffer somewhat from wind interference. Even when it doesn’t desire you’re in particularly windy conditions (as you’ll see within the videos above). If you’re somebody who is getting to record tons of videos outside, it’s certainly worth investing in an external microphone.

Is the Panasonic Lumix S5 worthy to you?

Panasonic has long been known for its video credentials, and therefore the S5 may be a fantastic hybrid camera for those that want to shoot a good mixture of still and moving images. It doesn’t have quite the S1H’s full gamut of video skills, except for a way smaller camera, it’s impressive. Uncropped 4K/30p video elevates it above many rivals, while other specs like V-Log recording and Dual-Native ISO make it very appealing for those that shoot tons of videos.

One of the key criticisms of the first S series cameras was their large size and weight. For a corporation that pioneered small cameras with the Micro Four Thirds format, it had been a touch of a departure. That’s been well and truly addressed here with a body that’s smaller than the favored GH5. Pair it with the 20-60mm kit lens and you’ve got a nifty little camera that’s quite good for travel and day-to-day shooting.

If you’ve already invested in Panasonic’s S series, then the S5 may be a good complementary body to possess in your kit bag. it might work well for travel shoots, also as off-the-cuff content creation and vlogging, alongside your more serious main camera.