Gear Tech

Panasonic’s S5 is a lightweight and compact video/stills monster

Panasonic delivers a true hybrid powerhouse that’s easy on the wallet, too...

If you’re looking for a camera that can deliver for both stills and video, Panasonic’s new S5 should definitely be on your short list. The newly-arrived full-frame mirrorless sports impressive specification, yet sits below the S1H in the brand’s line-up and is competitively priced.

At just 714g, the S5 is 30% lighter than Panasonic’s S1 and is actually smaller than the Micro Four-Thirds GH5. Built around a 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor that offers 14+-stops of dynamic range, the set-up also allows for Dual Native ISO technology and an ISO ceiling of 51200 – perfect for those who love to shoot or film in low light.

Stills features include a High Resolution mode that can capture RAW or JPEG and works by merging eight consecutive images together to produce a huge 96-megapixel file that measures 12000×8000 pixels – surely enough to satisfy the most demanding of megapixel fans and perfect for making huge prints. 

Say hello to the Panasonic S5…

Lumix cameras have always been well-known for their IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilisation) systems and the S5 is no different. Panasonic’s Body I.S. system combines data from not only the gyrosensor, but also from the image sensor and accelerometer sensor to deliver up to five stops of compensation from the 5-axis system. Pair the S5 with a OIS lens and this jumps up to 6.5-stops of compensation so it should be easy to keep shots steady.

When it comes to autofocus, the S5 features a Contrast AF system that combines with DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, and Panasonic says this enables the S5 to lock onto subjects in only 0.08sec. Able to focus in low light (down to -6EV) Panasonic also says the S5 features ‘advanced deep learning technology that detects specific subjects – humans and fast-moving animals, including dogs, cats and birds. Notably for humans, in addition to the eyes, face, and body, the head is also separately recognised by real-time detection technology to provide even more precise focusing.’

However, along with the great stills features, it’s the S5’s video specs that have really got people talking. Capable of shooting 4K 60p/50p 4:2:0 10-bit, and 4K 30p/25p 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording. It is also capable of 4K 60p/50p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output. For 4K 30p/25p 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording and Panasonic says there’s no time limitation as the camera’s heat dispersion technology enables stable and continuous video recording.

What’s more, Panasonic’s V-Log technology is included, allowing for more tolerance when it comes to colour-grading your footage and along with HDR video, there is a Slow & Quick mode that can shoot slow and quick motion in 4K (1-60fps, 30x quick to 2.5x slow) or in FHD (1-180fps, 60x quick to 7.5x slow).

Other features include dual SD cards and a battery life of 470 pictures on a single charge using the LVF or up to 1,500 pictures in Power Save LVF mode. Available from the end of September, the Panasonic LUMIX S5 carries an impressively competitive price-tag and will cost £1,799/$2,000 (body only).