Panasonic Lumix S5 review

Panasonic Lumix S5 review

The Panasonic Lumix S5 is an excellent full-frame mirrorless camera for both stills and video Epblogs goal is to be the tech side of trust. We are proud of our independence and of our Panasonic Lumix S5 review thorough testing methods, in which we take our time with a product. We regularly check our test reports for changes and thus keep them up-to-date over a longer period of time – regardless of when a device was released.guaranteed reviews . Trust our Epblogs comprehensive reviews. We tested the products over a longer period of time and were able to see how they cope with everyday tasks. This is how we help you to find the best product for your read our guaranteed reviews .

Epblogs verdict

The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 is a slimmer, more affordable full-frame camera, with loads of appeal for photographers shopping for an entry-level or midrange model.

Panasonic Lumix S5 Specs
  • Sensor: 24 megapixel full-frame CMOS
  • Image stabilization: 5-axis/5-stop; dual IS 6.5-stop
  • AF points: 225 area points
  • Viewfinder: 2.36m dots
  • Display: 3.0-inch touch sensitive free-angle LCD
  • ISO: 100-51,200 (expandable to 204,800)
  • Max video resolution: C4K 4096 x 2160 @ 30/24 fps
  • Ports: SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-1/UHS-II, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, HDMI, remote input, microphone jack, headphone jack
  • Wireless/Bluetooth: Yes
  • Shooting speed: 5 fps (with AF); 7 fps (single focus)
  • Battery life (CIPA): 440 images (rear monitor); 470 images (LVF); 1500 in power save mode
  • Size/weight (body): 5.22 x 3.82 x 3.22 inches; 1.58 lb. (with battery and SD card)

Panasonic went big with its first-generation Lumix DC-S1 full-frame mirrorless camera, both in size (it’s as hefty as some SLRs) 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 instead of cutting back on features, the S5 is a bit more capable, offering improved video features and better autofocus. It’s a great entry point for full-frame imaging, and a winner of our Editors’ Choice award.

It all adds up. The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 delivers the all-around performance we look for in a full-frame camera, and earns our Editors’ Choice recommendation.

Solid Build, L-Mount Compatibility

The Lumix S5 follows the standard design paradigm followed by most full-frame mirrorless cameras. It’s finished in basic black, and at 3.8 by 5.2 by 3.2 inches (HWD), is a bit slimmer all around than the S1 and S1R (4.3 by 5.9 by 3.8 inches). It’s also notably lighter, at about 1.6 pounds without a lens, versus 2.2 pounds for Panasonic’s bigger full-frame offerings.

We criticized the S1 and S1R for being on the large side, but the S5 gets ergonomics right. A deep handgrip makes it a good fit for lenses large and small, and the camera itself is built tough, with a magnesium frame and an all-weather, dust-and-splash-protected design.

You can buy the camera on its own for around $2,000, or spend another $300 for a kit option with the Lumix S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 zoom. If you’re just getting started with an L-mount system, the kit lens is a worthwhile addition—its optics are sound, and it covers a much wider angle of view than other starter zooms, a plus for vlogging, travel, and tight interiors.

The S5 is compatible with L-mount lenses, available from Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma—the L-Mount Alliance—and is bolstered by third parties offering boutique manual focus optics. The main trio has the basics covered, though, from quality starter lenses like the S 20-60mm, to pro-grade F2.8 zooms, and bright F1.2 and F1.4 prime options.

Leica has the exotic, high end covered, but be aware there are still some specialized lenses you can buy for a Sony camera system that aren’t in L-mount yet. We don’t expect a lot of S5 buyers to be in the market for a $13,000 600mm F4, but if you are, get a Sony.

For most of us, L-mount has the basics covered. Autofocus lenses cover focal lengths from 14 through 400mm, and teleconverters extend the Sigma 100-400mm Contemporary as far as 800mm.

Controls and Ergonomics

The S5’s controls are absolutely pro-grade. It sports front and rear dials on the top plate, as well as a flat command dial on the rear, so you can take full control over exposure, and there are switches to toggle drive mode, focus mode, and an AF-ON button, settings you’ll adjust when photographing different subjects.

Buttons and dials have a good feel they respond with confidence, and no mush at all. They’re supplemented by a smart on-screen interface, activated by the Q button. It gives touch (or button-based) access to another dozen options, and is fully customizable.

The LCD flips out to face forward, up, or down. An eye sensor switches between it and the eye-level EVF automatically, and you have the option of closing the rear screen in for full-time EVF use, and to keep it from picking up scuffs. It’s sensitive to touch, and packs 1.84 million dots into a 3-inch frame.

The eye-level EVF provides a large, clear view of the world, even if it’s not bleeding-edge technology. It’s an OLED panel with 2.4 million dots of resolution, a sizable 0.74x magnification, and a smooth 60fps refresh rate at minimum there’s a 120fps option available too, beneficial for tracking moving subjects.

Power and Connectivity

The S5 is powered by a rechargeable DMW-BLK22 battery, rated for 440 shots using the LCD and 470 with the EVF. Enabling power-saving functions stretches life farther, up to 1,500 shots per charge.

Of course, other things factor into battery life, including video recording, Wi-Fi use, image review, and burst capture. The S5 may not match the 740-shot (without power saving) Sony a7C, but in practical terms the two aren’t that far apart. The S5 can charge via its USB-C port.

Other physical connections include micro HDMI (for an external recorder or monitor), and 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks. There are two memory card slots, each with support for SDXC media at the fastest available UHS-II speeds. There’s no built-in flash, but you do get a standard hot shoe to mount an external one.

Wireless connectivity is standard on new cameras the S5 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The former speeds up connection with your phone; the camera pairs with the Lumix Sync app, a free download for Android and iOS devices. The app supports wireless transfer, as well as remote control.

Improved DFD Autofocus

Panasonic is sticking with its contrast-detection autofocus system with the S5, but has improved the DFD (Depth from Defocus) system to reduce the distracting wobbling effect in the viewfinder, an issue with earlier implementations. Coupled with advanced subject recognition, it’s good enough to lock and track faces, eyes, and intelligently identify subjects. It gives real-time visual feedback, so you know just where the camera is focusing.

Subject tracking is effective, but is limited to working at 6fps. That’s a bit slower than the Sony a7 III and Nikon Z 6, two models in the same price range that track moving subjects at 10 and 12fps respectively. A faster shooting rate is compelling for sports and wildlife specialists, but 6fps gets the job done for a lot of situations, and the S5’s focus system is superb.

And the camera can fire off shots faster if you need. With fixed focus you can push it to 7fps at full resolution, and an 18MP JPG mode (6K Photo) is available at 30fps. With a fast memory card, you can shoot JPGs continuously. For 7fps Raw photography, the S5 can get about 45 shots before slowing down.

A Proven 24MP Sensor

There are no real surprises with the S5’s image quality. Its 24MP BSI sensor is a design we’ve seen in other cameras, including the Lumix S1, and in what’s now a standard feature for the class, it’s mounted on a 5-axis stabilizer. It leverages the IBIS system to net blur-free shots at longer shutter speeds, and also uses it for a 96MP multi-shot capture mode, though you’ll need a tripod and a static subject for high-res capture.

The sensor covers a wide ISO range, starting at ISO 100 (with ISO 50 available as a low extended setting) and ranging all the way up to ISO 204800. The JPG output is excellent, with clear images available through ISO 6400. Clarity takes a hit at ISO 12800 everything is just a bit softer and holds fairly steady through ISO 51200. You can push the camera further, to ISO 102400 and 204800, with expected loss of quality details are smudged and noise is visible.

We processed Raw lab tests with Adobe Lightroom Classic, our standard. You can eke a bit more detail out of the sensor at higher ISOs Raw images are noticeably sharper than JPGs at ISO 12800 and up. Raw capture also opens up more creative opportunities you’ll be able to adjust color balance, exposure, and contrast to taste.

Class-Leading Video

The S5 is the best full-frame camera for the money for videographers. It records internally at 10-bit quality, and can push 60fps at 4K. There are a number of styles available, including standard color, black and white, and a low contrast flat profile (V-Log).

Off-speed recording is available too, for both slow and fast motion. For slow-motion playback you can get half-speed at 4K, quarter-speed with autofocus at 1080p, and one-sixth speed with manual focus at 1080p.

The S5 already works with a number of external accessories. It includes 3.5mm connections for headphones and microphones, and its micro HDMI port outputs a clean 10-bit 4:2:2 signal. At press time, the S5 supports 4K external recorders, but a firmware update, coming in late November, will add 5.9K ProRes Raw recording with the Atomos Ninja V.

Hits Its Marks

In-body stabilization, an all-weather build, strong ergonomics, and a growing lens system with support that extends beyond Panasonic are other strengths. If you’re buying your first full-frame camera, or your first L-mount model, the 20-60mm kit lens option starts at a wider angle than most competitors.

It’s also an appealing kit lens for vloggers and other video-first creators. The S5 is easily the best full-frame video option at this price it checks all the boxes, including 10-bit internal recording, V-log, and Raw capture (with the help of an external recorder).

It all adds up. The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 delivers the all-around performance we look for in a full-frame camera, and earns our Editors’ Choice recommendation.

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