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Panasonic Lumix S5 II and S5 II X Review

Panasonic is taking no prisoners with the release of two new hybrid full-frame cameras right at the start of 2023. Learn everything you need to know about these two models in our Panasonic Lumix S5 II and S5 II X review, which includes a specs comparison with the first generation S5 and in-depth video review.

Panasonic Lumix S5 II and S5 II X Review

We’ve gathered details to help you decide which of these powerful Panasonic mirrorless cameras to choose, whether you’re considering the second generation S5 II or the stylish new design of the S5 II X Black. So buckle up and sit back as we discover which camera is the best upgrade and makes the perfect new addition to your content creation kitbag.

What’s the difference between the Panasonic Lumix S5 II and S5 II X?

Lets get the biggest question answered and clarify what the difference is between the Panasonic Lumix S5 II and S5 II X. Firstly the S5 II X features a blacked-out design. Everything including the Lumix logo covered in sleek matte black, with a red record button being the only visible colour.

All camera features are identical, except for the following, which the S5 II X offers on top. The Lumix S5 II X is capable of 5.8K Apple ProRes recording to SSD via full-sized HDMI or USB, and ALL-Intra Recording. The S5 II X also supports Apple Pro Res RAW video output to an Atomos video recorder, wired (with a separate USB-LAN adapter) and wireless IP streaming, as well as USB tethering.

Vlogging with the new camera

Lumix S5 II Vs S5 II X comparison

The S5 II X has pro-video features preinstalled, whereas the standard camera requires the DMW SFU2 software key to enable certain video features.

Feature

Lumix S5 II

Lumix S5 II X

RAW video

Requires software upgrade key

HDMI RAW video data output

High-bitrate video

NA

  • USB-SSD recording
  • ALL-Intra recording
  • ProRes recording

Live streaming

NA

  • Wireless IP streaming
  • USB tethering to smartphones
  • Wired IP streaming

New body design

NA

First all-black LUMIX design

When did the Panasonic Lumix S5 II and S5 II X launch?

Both of the new Panasonic Lumix S5 II and S5 II X cameras were announced January 4, 2023, a couple of years after the September 2020 release of the first generation S5. What’s particularly impressive is that Panasonic has launched numerous L-Mount lenses during the interim, including the Lumix S 14-28mm f/4-5.6 Macro Lens, which arrived alongside these new cameras in 2023.

How much does the S5 II and S5 II X cost?

Panasonic has ensured both of the new full-frame L-Mount cameras are accessible, with the Panasonic Lumix S5 II price of £1999.00 and £2299.00 for the additional features included in the S5 II X. This is in-line with expectations and you get a lot of upgrades for your money.

New cooling fan for unlimited recording

New cooling fan system

Key specifications

Both new generation cameras offer the same key specifications:

  • Newly developed high-speed 24.2 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
  • New imaging processor co-developed with Leica from the L2 technology partnership
  • New Phase Hybrid AF system combining PDAF with Contrast Detect AF
  • 6K 4:2:0 10-bit (3:2) video up to 30fps and 4:2:2 C4K and 4K at up to 60fps
  • New low-profile heat management system for unlimited recording times1
  • New 3.68 million dots OLED EVF
  • New 1.84 million dots 3-inch free-angle TFT LCD monitor with static touch control
  • New REAL TIME LUT function, Waveform Monitor, Vectorscope and Zebra Pattern added
  • New 4-channel audio via Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone Adaptor
  • System Frequency (24.00Hz) and Synchro Scan added
  • New Active I.S. for highly stable video recording
  • New Live Crop function
  • New 8-way joystick
  • Faster 9fps burst shooting in mechanical shutter and 30fps in electronic shutter
  • New full-sized HDMI Type A terminal
  • Dual SD card slots (1x UHS-II, 1x UHS-I) support Relay, Backup and Allocation Recording

Stills shooting with S5 mark II

New Autofocus performance

Thanks to the new sensor and processor, Panasonic has introduced a Phase Hybrid AF system for the first time, which combines PDAF with Contrast Detect AF. This brings a significant upgrade to L-Mount users, with Human/ Face/Eye/ Animal+Human detection from faster and more dependable AF, which provides 779-area metering.

The new AF system can detect subjects in difficult conditions, such as in low light and backlighting and once locked on, will continue tracking the subject, even when other objects move around the frame. AF mode options include Tracking / Full Area AF / Zone (Horizontal/Vertical) / Zone / 1-Area+ / 1-Area / Pinpoint and the cameras will focus down to EV -6.

S5 II and S5 II X Burst speed

When shooting in burst mode the S5 II and S5 II X achieve 9fps in mechanical shutter (AFS/MF), 7 frames/sec (AFC) (with Live View). In electronic shutter mode you can burst as fast as 30fps (AFS/AFC/MF), for more than 200 RAW images before recording slows (300 JPEG).

Pro level video capabilities

Internal video recording capabilities

Panasonic cameras are known for their excellent video capabilities and the S5 II and S5 II X continue this trend with a range of high-quality internal video options. These include: 4:2:0 10-bit 6K (3:2) and 5.9K (16:9) at 30fps and 4:2:2 C4K and 4K at up to 60fps.

The full sensor is used for 6K, 5.9K (16:9), C4K or 4K, and the camera switches to recording on an APS-C cropped area for faster frame rates in those resolutions. Both cameras capture 14+ stops dynamic range when shooting in V-Log.

The S5 II and S5 II X include a host of new features to help capture better than ever video, such as:

  • Live cropping (Supports cropping from 5.9K (FULL) 30p/25p/24p video to 4K/FHD sizes)
  • SS/Gain operation
  • Synchro scan
  • Master pedestal level (black level adjustment)
  • Colour bars / 1kHz test tone
  • LUT view assist (Supported file types: .vlt, .cube over Monitor / HDMI)
  • HLG view assist
  • Anamorphic desqueeze display (2.0x / 1.8x / 1.5x / 1.33x / 1.30x / OFF)
  • Wave form monitor / Vectorscope
  • Knee control (Yes (in Like709 mode))
  • Red REC frame indicator
  • Time code mode and HDMI time code output (TC IN/OUT)

Amazing articulating LCD screen for video

The table below shows a range of video recording options with the new models.

[6K] 5952x3968 (3:2)

29.97p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

23.98p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

[6K] 5952x3136 (17:9)

29.97p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

23.98p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

[5.9K] 5888x3312 (16:9)

29.97p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

23.98p, 200Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

[C4K] 4096x2160

29.97p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)

29.97p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

23.98p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)

23.98p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

[4K] 3840x2160

29.97p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)

29.97p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

23.98p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)

23.98p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

[FHD] 1920x1080

119.88p, 150Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)

119.88p, 150Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

59.94p, 100Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)

59.94p, 100Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

47.95p, 100Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)

47.95p, 100Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

29.97p, 100Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)

29.97p, 100Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

23.98p, 100Mbps (4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP) (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, LPCM)

23.98p, 100Mbps (4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP) (H.265/HEVC, LPCM)

Lumix S5 Vs Lumix S5 II video specs comparison table

This table compares key video capabilities between the first generation S5 and second generation S5 II cameras. A number of new formats are now available, including 6K, 5.9K and C4K 4:2:2 10-bit at 60fps, along with 4-channel audio via external microphones and the Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone Adaptor.

Feature

Lumix S5

Lumix S5 II

Dynamic range latitude

14+ stops (V-Log)

14+ stops (V-Log)

Recording file format

MOV /MP4

MOV / MP4

Audio

2-channel

AAC: 48kHz/16-bit LPCM: 48kHz/16-bit

2-channel

AAC: 48kHz/16-bit

LPCM: 48kHz/24-bit, 96kHz/24-bit

4-channel

LPCM: 48kHz/24-bit

96kHz/24-bit

Video record limit

No limit in 8-bit

No limit

6K 4:2:0 10-bit

NA

29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p

5.9K 4:2:0 10-bit

NA

29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

C4K 4:2:2 10-bit

29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

59.94p, 50.00p

29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p

C4K 4:2:0 10-bit

NA

59.94p, 50.00p

29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p

C4K 4:2:0 8-bit

59.94p, 50.00p

NA

4K 4:2:0 8-bit

59.94p, 50.00p

NA

4K 4:2:2 10-bit

29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

59.94p, 50.00p

29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p

4K 4:2:0 10-bit

59.94p, 50.00p 29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

59.94p, 50.00p 29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

4K 4:2:0 8-bit

59.94p, 50.00p 29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

FHD 4:2:2 10-bit

59.94p, 50.00p 29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

59.94p, 50.00p 29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

FHD 4:2:0 10-bit

NA

59.94p, 50.00p 29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

FHD 4:2:0 8-bit

59.94p, 50.00p 29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

59.94p, 50.00p 29.97p, 25.00p, 23.98p

Extensive weather sealing in the body

Extensive weather sealing across the new camera body

Stills photo modes

As a thoroughbred hybrid camera you can expect fantastic stills quality with numerous photo modes including:

  • Time lapse shot
  • Stop motion animation
  • High Resolution mode at up to 12000x8000 pixels in 3:2 aspect ratio

Photo styles include Standard / Vivid / Natural / L. Classic Neo / Flat / Landscape / Portrait / Monochrome / L. Monochrome / L. Monochrome D / L. Monochrome S / Cinelike D2 / Cinelike V2 / Like709 / V-Log / REAL TIME LUT / Like2100 (HLG) / Like2100 (HLG) Full Range* / My Photo Style 1-4 (5-10), and these filters are available Expressive / Retro / Old Days / High Key / Low Key / Sepia / Cross Process / Bleach Bypass.

Dual image stabilisation system diagram

Dual image stabilisation system diagram

Connectivity and accessories

The Panasonic S5 II and S5 II X include a wide range of connection options to enhance content quality and make it easier to share your work. When attaching Φ3.5mm microphone or DMW-XLR1 (sold separately), you can record 4-channel high resolution audio.

TTL Panasonic fit external flash can be connected on the shoe with wireless control when using FL580L, FL360LE and other models.

Other connections include:

  • USB Type-C (SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps (USB 3.2 Gen2)) connector
  • HDMI Type A (full size)
  • MIC (Plug-in Power) / MIC / LINE
  • φ3.5mm Headphone output
  • WiFi 2.4GHz bands (STA/AP) (IEEE802.11b/g/n) and 5GHz bands (STA) (IEEE 802.11a/n/ac)
  • Bluetooth® v5.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE))

Panasonic S5 II and S5 II X battery and memory cards

The dust and moisture sealed body holds the same Panasonic BLK22E Rechargeable Battery as the previous generation, which is great news for anyone upgrading. This battery provides approximately 370 images or 1,250 images in Power Save LVF mode.

Both cameras are compatible with UHS-I/UHS-II UHS Speed Class 3 standard SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards and UHS-II Video Speed Class 90 standard SDXC Memory Cards and weigh an identical 740g when fully loaded with Hot Shoe Cover, Battery, SD Memory Card x 1 or 657g body-only.

Gimbal mounted S5 II body

Video review

Watch our video review of the Panasonic S5 mark II here.

Who is the Panasonic S5 II for?

The Panasonic S5 II captures fantastic 24MP and 96MP high res full-frame photos, but it’s the high video quality, which is particularly appealing and comparable to more expensive cameras. The range of recording options is superb, allowing you to choose between high resolution, high frame rate and various other settings according to the requirements of each project.

The Panasonic S5 II is a great choice for hybrid solo creators, vloggers and enthusiasts, whereas the S5 II X is aimed at more serious filmmakers who need RAW over HDMI, ALL-Intra Recording as well as IP streaming from the camera.

Both models can be used in team productions, offering advanced features like TC IN/OUT, Waveform Monitor and the option to record 4-channel audio.

Panasonic full-frame L mount cameras were always incredibly powerful video-centric hybrid options, but lacked Phase detection AF. Having developed a new sensor and processor, Panasonic has been able to add a new Phase Hybrid AF system for the first time. This has countless real world benefits and will no doubt cement these two new cameras as being amongst the best hybrid cameras on the market for enthusiasts and professional content creators.

Reserve your new Lumix camera today, and choose from these body-only or lens kits:

1 When the camera is used at recommended operating temperature 0-40 degrees C. 6K and 5.9K at 30p/25p video recording stops once when continuous recording time exceeds 30 minutes if [Thermal Management] is set to [STANDARD].

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By Nick Dautlich on 04/01/2023

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