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panasonic lumix s5 l mount comparison

S5 Introduction

In this blog post we’re excited to write about the new Panasonic Lumix S5 full-frame hybrid stills and video camera. We outline who it might be for, some real world uses and provide a comparison table with other camera bodies in the L-mount range as well as embedding our own video review. We hope this might demonstrate just how competent this model is despite being the most affordable current offering. We also cover new accessories released with the body, related products used in these photos and more!

Comparing sizes with the extremely compact Lumix S5 centre stage

PANASONIC LUMIX S5 OVERVIEW

The first thing everyone noticed about Panasonic’s latest full-frame mirrorless is just how compact it is. The comparison photo above shows that they’ve managed to shave off size and weight from every angle, although the Lumix S5 still provides an ample grip and useable ergonomics for hand-holding. The Lumix S1H weighs in at just over 1kg whereas the new S5 is a mere 630g, even lighter than the GH5 which weighs 725g. It’s no surprise that this latest model is aimed at portability and travel photography and vlogging, yet still packs a considerable punch including pro hybrid features, despite the affordable ‘enthusiast’ price tag.

Products used in these shots

Pro video features of the S5 with external mic and gimbal recording piece to camera

With these photos of real world uses, here’s a quick list of the products which are shown throughout, for anyone interested in grabbing the same equipment for their endeavours:

  1. DJI Ronin-S gimbal stabiliser - Excellent for single handed precise video control
  2. Neutral density filter - Ideal when producing video in brighter sunlight to slow down shutter speed
  3. Saramonic Mini Condenser Shotgun Mic - Superb compact microphone with directional sound
  4. Joby GorillaPod - Perfect as a compact, lightweight and versatile mini tripod with 5kg payload!
  5. Battery grip DMW-BGS5E for the S5 - Increases shooting capacity and vertical ergonomics
  6. Panasonic Lumix S5 with 20-60mm kit lens - A real full-frame winner for hybrid photos and video

S5 Specs Rundown

Fully articulating free angle LCD screen

Lumix bodies never skimp on features and are designed for users to get the most out of the latest features available from Panasonic. Our visitors can see full specifications in our store however this quick specs rundown demonstrates some of the technologies Panasonic have crammed into the S5:

  • 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor with 24.2 megapixels - the same sensor as in the considerably more expensive S1H
  • High speed Venus Engine
  • Video specs: 4K60p/50p/30p/25p/24p. 60p is 10-Bit 4:2:0 and 30p is 10-Bit 4:2:2. 4K30p 8-Bit no Time Limit 4K60p for 30 Minutes NO OVERHEAT, just starts a new file after 30 minutes. External monitors provide 4K60p 10-Bit 4:2:2
  • Dual Native ISO technology for low light shooting and video
  • In-body stabilisation with 5-axis Dual I.S. for up to 6.5 EV stops of anti-shake
  • Greatly improved deep learning autofocus with Face, Eye, Head, Body and animal detect now available. AF speeds are up to 5x faster following algorithm redevelopment. These developments will be rolled out to existing L-mount users which is one of the benefits of owning a Panasonic camera. They regularly improve models through firmware updates, bring new features and breathing new life into cameras.
  • Fully articulating LCD screen - perfect for vlogging, pieces to camera and difficult shooting angles
  • A number of remote shooting and connectivity options with WiFi, Bluetooth, smartphone app and tethered shooting via USB.

Using a pro gimbal stabiliser for smooth 4K video

What we see is a highly capable body, suitable for content creators who shoot both stills and video. Video can be captured with natural and accurate colours in V-Log and delivers a super impressive 14+ stops of dynamic range. This is truly professional quality, competing with dedicated pro video recorders available on the market today.

Panasonic S5 For Stills Photography

With a tried and tested 24.2 full-frame sensor (found in the S1H) photographers can rest assured they are able to shoot beautiful stills with the S5. Lovely bokeh can be captured from any of the fast L-mount lenses in the Panasonic, Leica and Sigma alliance. All three manufacturers are committed to producing exceptional optics, with over 40 options currently available in our store.

Studio photography with the Lumix S5

For those craving more resolution (more power!) the S5 can stitch together a series of tripod mounted shots resulting in a huge 96-megapixel equivalent photo which is 12,000 x 8,000-pixels. For shooters craving high speed for sports, action or nature photography (more power!) gain 60fps in 4K photo mode or 60fps in 6K photo mode (18MP). Shooting straight from the body will yield up to 7fps whether electronic or mechanical shutter. Whichever way you look at it this camera is quick, very quick indeed.

The built in stabilisation works well for stills (and video) allowing photographers to capture images in low light with a 6.5 stop advantage when coupling certain OIS lenses. ISO is native at 100-51200 which can also be extended. So photographers shooting portraits, street, sports and action, wildlife and architecture, landscapes and interiors are all catered for. I cannot think of anyone left out from this true portable hybrid camera.

Video Capabilities of the S5

Piece to camera with screen flipped and external microphone

It’s no secret that Panasonic Lumix cameras are aimed at content creators who shoot movies, whether that be family documentaries, vlogging and Youtube or professional videography. The S5 crams the latest video capabilities into the tiny body and promises NO OVERHEAT when recording 4K/60p at up to 30 minutes. This is very impressive as a 30 minute clip is plenty for most applications including pieces to camera.

Video quality is pushing professional boundaries at 4K 60p with V-log available to render and colour as desired. 4K 60p/50p 4:2:0 10-bit, and 4K 30p/25p 4:2:2 10-bit internal movies with 14+ stops of dynamic range are available to users and an external monitor can also be connected through HDMI.

IBIS is smooth and footage is clear and sharp with plenty of options for slow motion playback. A fast SD card is recommenced for the high speed card slot to keep up with data rates of up to 200Mbps. A single slot caters for UHS-II Video Speed Class whilst the other card slot is compatible with UHS-I UHS Speed Class 3.

Other Features, Connectivity and Kits

Composing in live view with optional battery grip

Being aimed at photographers and videographers the S5 provides plenty of inputs including:

  • HDMI
  • External microphone
  • External headphones
  • Battery grip
  • USB charging
  • Hot shoe
  • Remote trigger

This leaves little left to ensure any user can connect the right accessory for the task at hand.

For users who want to get straight into vlogging we have an exceptional value Vloggers kit which includes the body, the superb (similarly tiny) 20-60mm L-mount lens and a tripod grip. This allows immediate filming of selfies, stable video and of course stills, straight out of the boxes!

A slimmed down lens kit is available in the form of the S5 with 20-60mm lens kit. I’m a big fan of this slightly unusual focal range as it delivers ultra-wide for selfie video as well as a slightly long standard range. This versatility covers a lot of shooting bases in a tiny, lightweight package which really is a clever kit to start out with.

Alongside the new body is a brand new high power battery, the battery grip that is ideal in studios or for extended shooting as well as a coupler for mains powered work.

Our Park Cameras Video Real World Testing Review:

Comparison Table

 

New S5

S1H

S1

Sensor Resolution

24.2MP

24.2MP

24.2MP

Continuous Shooting Speed

4K 60fps / 6K 30fps

4K 60fps / 6K 30fps

4K 60fps / 6K 30fps

High Resolution Photo Mode

96MP

96MP

96MP

Max Video Resolution

4K 10-Bit 4:2:2

6K Raw

4K 10-Bit 4:2:2

High Frame Rate Video

4K60p / FHD 180fps

4K60p / FHD240p

4K60p / FHD240p

RAW Video

No (Coming in future firmware update)

Yes (6K)

No

V-Log

Yes - Pre-installed

Yes - Pre-installed

No (Available as paid firmware upgrade)

ISO

Dual Native ISO

Dual Native ISO

Dual Native ISO

Image Stabilisation

6.5 Stops

6.5 Stops

6.5 Stops

Autofocus

New Algorithm and Software

Real-time Face/Eye/Body Detection

Eye Sensor AF, Contrast AF

Eye Sensor AF, Contrast AF

Size

132.6 x 97.1 x 81.9 mm

151 x 114.2 x 110.4 mm

148.9 x 110 x 96.7 mm

Weight

630g

1,052g

899g

Conclusion

Panasonic has blurred the line between intermediate enthusiast and professional equipment with this latest release. There’s always more that can be added to any body, but as is often the case Panasonic really do add as much value as they can to every camera release. The regular firmware updates ensure users get the most from any specific model and the S5 launches with firmware ahead of existing cameras even though they are considerably more expensive at the time of writing.

For anyone wanting to get into full-frame photography and videography this presents a superb option particularly with access to a growing number of high quality L-mount lenses. Attention to detail is second to none with weather sealing and a high quality magnesium alloy die-cast body.

Speeds are simply excellent and the autofocus system is vastly improved with Eye, Face, Body and animal detect deep learning Ai. I would highly recommend this model for anyone seeking a compact hybrid body with numerous features across video and stills.

Some users may be considering the Lumix G100 so why not head over to read our blog review.

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By Nick Dautlich on 02/09/2020