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A Quick View of the New Panasonic Lumix S5

Lewis McGregor

The new Lumix S5 might replace the S1 as the go-to camera for video and photo content creators.

A few weeks back, we reported on the newly announced S5 and where it may sit against L Mount cameras’ growing line. While rumors swirled on the internet about what the camera would offer, we’ve officially been given all the specs at today’s live event. 

Introducing the Lumix S5

The new S5 has a 24.2-megapixel full-frame sensor and, like the S1, is designed for both photo and video. However, the camera is $500 less than the S1, retailing at $1999.99. Interestingly, instead of omitting higher-tier features as less expensive models usually do, the S5 not only includes features found on the S1, but also the $3,999 S1H.

The camera can shoot up to 60fps at 4k 4:2:0 10bit, but also houses 4:2:2 10-bit for the standard frame rates. Like the S1H, you can record externally at 4:2:2 10-bit 60fps. With a promised firmware upgrade, you’re also set to shoot RAW 5.9k to the Atomos Ninja V.

As presented in their press release, it also houses the staple Panasonic 14+ stops and V-log/V-Gamut. 

The LUMIX S5 provides 14+ stops of dynamic range, which is as wide as those of cinema cameras, and V-Log / V-Gamut compatibility with popular colorimetry called “VariCam Look.” A variety of recording formats and modes, including 4:3 Anamorphic mode, Slow & Quick Motion, 4K/60p interval shooting, and 4K HDR, are also provided. Additionally, the camera can use an ISO of up to 51,200 in photo mode and houses the new standard dual native ISO, which is based at 640 and 4,000.  

Gerald Undone’s initial impressions indicate that the camera is targeted at high-level amateurs and content creators. But the camera’s additional features, such as anamorphic support, feels like anything but amateur. It could make the perfect action camera for those shooting with the S1H who need to place an additional unit in a daring location. And its size undoubtedly supports that use case. It’s 30% smaller than the S1 and weighs only 714g. Even with its magnesium alloy frame, which is splash and dust resistant. 

The Lumix line has never been first when it comes to autofocus. However, it looks like the S5 is set to negate that criticism with improved autofocus. This boasts an advanced deep-learning tech with real-time detection of the subject’s type and features, such as the human eye, face, head, body, and now animals. 

Specs at a Glance 

  • 24.2 Megapixel full-frame sensor
  • 2,360,000 dot OLED viewfinder.
  • 1,840,000 dot tilt and swiveling monitor.
  • ISO: 100-51,200, extended 50-204,800.
  • Dual SD card slots.
  • Dual native ISO.
  • Anamorphic de-squeeze in Super35 format. 1.3x, 1.33x, 1.5x, 1.8x, and 2x squeeze ratios are displayed.
  • Ratios; 2.39:1, 2.35:1, 2:1, 1.85:1, 16:9, 4:3, 5:4, 1:1, 4:5, 9:16.
  • 14+ stops of dynamic range with V-Log / V-Gamut
  • Improved Autofocus.
  • Dimensions: 132.6 mm wide x 97.1 mm high x 81.9 mm deep.
  • Weight: 714 grams

How Much and Who Is it For? 

The S5 will be available within a few weeks, and it will cost $1,999 or $2,299 with the 20-60mm kit lens. While the camera costs less than the S1, it feels more like a stripped-down version of the S1H. There’s no in-camera 5.9k, and there isn’t a low-pass filter, but it’s a more versatile video camera than the S1 and with less of a footprint. When comparison videos start to hit YouTube, it will be interesting to see if there’s still a need for the S1. The S1, S1H, and S1R are heavy and larger cameras. The Lumix S5 is smaller, lighter, and cheaper, somewhat akin to the Sony A7S line. It’s clear the camera is aimed at the hybrid photo/video content creator, but with the features found inside of the camera, it also would make a great B-cam to the S1H. 

Additional Event Information

While the live event was primarily to introduce the S5 formally, Panasonic also announced a number of new L Mount glass.

At the moment, if you want Panasonic branded L mount lenses, your options aren’t vast, and you’re going to be restricted to using zooms. However, we’re set to have a number of F/1.8 primes introduced in the near future, with the 85mm to be released in November.

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