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Panasonic announces Lumix S5 full-frame mirrorless camera

The “budget-friendly” S1H is here with 4K 10bit full-frame video for $2K

panasonic lumix s5
Images by Panasonic

Panasonic announces the new Lumix S5 full-frame mirrorless camera aimed at both video creators and photographers alike. The new camera has a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor, improved autofocus, IBIS, and 4K/60p 10bit internal recording.   

Lumix S5 – a true full-frame budget hybrid? 

Furthermore, the newest member of the Lumix S-series features a 24.2 MP full-frame CMOS sensor without a low-pass filter. This will give you some extra sharpness in your photos, which can be quite useful for portraiture, food, and product photography.

Much like its S1 and Lumix S1H brethren, the new Panasonic S5 adopts Dual Native ISO technology for that extra edge in high-ISO performance.  

Moreover, Panasonic has implemented their excellent heat dispersion technology for stable, long-time video recording. According to Panasonic, the S5 is capable of 14+ stops of dynamic range, thanks to the included V-Log/V-Gamut. This will also provide easier matching to higher-end Panasonic cameras in post. In addition, the camera also supports Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). 

Indeed, it is a relief to see Panasonic include full V-Log profile at no extra cost in the Lumix S5. Historically, they used to charge an extra hundred dollars and that got you the more lightweight V-Log L.   

Lumix S5 panasonic ronin s gimbal stabilizer
Image by Panasonic UK

More affordable full-frame 4K 10bit camera

Panasonic has a long tradition in releasing solid video-performing hybrid cameras. And as such, the S5’s linage can be traced all the way to the mighty GH4 and GH5/s cameras.

Right out of the box, the Lumix S5 can record 4K UHD video in 10bit 4:2:2 up to 30fps (at 150Mbps), and 4K UHD 10bit 4:2:0 at up to 60fps (at 200Mbps).

However, it’s worth noting that those are all Long GOP, and not All-I Intra formats. Afterall, Panasonic had to save some money there and cut some features present in the higher tier S1H model. This should be expected. 

Nevertheless, the camera is capable of outputting 4K 60p/50p 4:2:2 10bit via HDMI to an external recorder such as the Atomos Ninja V.

Another limitation worth mentioning is the 30 minute recording limit in 4K 10bit and 4K/60p 8bit. However, 4K/30p 4:2:0 8-bit and Full HD internal recordings, do not have this limitation. 

Improved DFD Autofocus

Panasonic hybrid cameras have historically struggled with video autofocus, due to their inherent contrast-based system, however Panasonic says they’ve made significant improvements in the autofocus department.

And as such, the S5 features a high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF with DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology in both photo and video modes.

In addition, the AF system here utilizes advanced deep-learning technology featuring Real-Time detection of human eyes, face, head and body. 

5-Axis IBIS and High Resolution Photo Mode

Furthermore, the new Panasonic S5 features a (slightly less powerful) 5-axis in-body image stabilisation (compared to S1 and S1H) rated at 5 stops of shake compensation. And when combined with a supported stabilized lens 5-axis Dual I.S.2 prevents blurred images at up to 6.5-stops.

In addition, the Panasonic S5 features a splash/dust-resistant rugged design and an articulating touchscreen. It has to be noted here as well, that this it not the same flip-up and out design as on the S1H. 

For photographers looking to get more out of their images, the S5 features a High Resolution Mode capable of stitching a 96MP image in-camera in either RAW or JPEG.  

Check out some sample footage and behind the scenes below (courtesy of Panasonic)

Art of Glassblowing, shot on Lumix S5 by Todd White
panasonic lumix s5 atomos ninja v
Image by Panasonic
Behind the scenes – by Panasonic

New Battery, Dual SD Card Slots, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The new Lumix S5 utilizes a new 2,200mAh high-capacity battery rated for 470 images (using the LVF) or 1,500 images in Power Save LVF mode. In keeping up with similar releases from the competition, Panasonic have enables USB-C port charging from power banks. 

One downside however, is the Micro HDMI port, instead of a full-size one. This is a bit sad, however understandable given the place of the S5 in the S-series hierarchy. 

And when it comes to recording your photos and videos, the S5 features dual SD card slots, one of which is UHS-II compliant. 

Moreover, 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity are also supported. 

Lumix S5 panasonic 20-60mm kit
Images by Panasonic – Lumix S5 with 20-60mm kit lens
Full Lumix S5 launch presentation by Panasonic

Upcoming Lumix S5 Firmware Update 

Earlier today, Panasonic also announced they are planning to release a future firmware update for the Lumix S5 by the end of the year.

Furthermore, this update will feature the following new formats:

  • DCI 4K video
  • 5.9K/30p RAW output to Atomos Ninja V over HDMI
  • 4K (4128 x 2176) 60p Raw output via HDMI
  • 3.5K Anamorphic (3536 x 2656) 50p Raw output via HDMI

In addition, Panasonic will implement more video assist functions such as:

  • Vectorscope
  • Master Pedestal Adjustment
  • SS/Gain Operation (SEC/ISO, ANGLE/ISO, SEC/dB) 
  • New Photo Styles:
    • L.MonochromeS and L.ClassicNeo

Pricing and Availability

And finally, the new Lumix S5 is priced at $1999.99 (body only) and $2300 USD with a 20-60mm kit lens. Panasonic estimate shipments to start sometime in mid-September.

Pre-order links at B&H:

Learn more at Panasonic’s website here.

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