Yesterday at a closed (and virtually broadcast) media release, Panasonic let a privileged few see the brand new LUMIX S5.
And it’s packed with impressive video capabilities, including 4K 60p 10-bit internal recording and external output via HDMI, full Varicam V-log profile pre-installed in the camera, 4:3 Anamorphic Super 35 mode and up to 180 frames per second (fps) Slow Motion shooting. The camera is also compatible with Panasonic’s DMW-XLR1 microphone adaptor, allowing professional audio equipment to be used in video creation. Additionally, RAW video output via HDMI up to 5.9K will be available via a future firmware update.
For hybrid shooters who want to take a step up, the S5 appears to deliver stunning image quality and greater creative scope.
It contains the 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor first introduced in the LUMIX S1, providing impressive low-light performance and incredibly high dynamic range. This is backed by the 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 image stabilisation system with up to 6.5-stops[i] of camera shake correction for handheld shooting. The camera also incorporates an improved Deep Learning autofocus algorithm that detects specific subjects – humans and fast-moving animals – with great accuracy.
Inspired by the flagship S Series professional camera line-up, the S5 provides enthusiasts with a compact, durable camera designed for field use. The camera’s full magnesium alloy weather-sealed body is splash and dust resistant, essential for working in a range of environmental conditions. Dual SD card slots offer further flexibility with relay recording and backup support. A large, high-resolution OLED viewfinder delivers quick response with minimum distortion for easy and accurate framing of the scene.
Creative aids for expressive photography include “Live View Composite”, newly-introduced to the S Series with the S5, which combines multiple exposures into a single image that emphasises bright points while suppressing overexposure of the total image and maintaining the shadows, thus reducing the learning curve for light painting and long exposure photography. The S5 also features sensor-shift 96-megapixel (MP) high resolution mode, which can capture detailed landscapes with increased dynamic range and colour reproduction, with files created in-camera without the need for external software.
Panasonic is currently developing a number of S Series prime and zoom lenses at popular focal lengths, designed to further expand the creative possibilities for LUMIX S Series users. These new portable and lightweight lenses include a 24mm F1.8, 35mm F1.8, 50mm F1.8, 85mm F1.8 and a 70-300mm F4.5-5.6, all of which will complement the S5 very well.
Key LUMIX S5 Capabilities
Exceptional recording performance for video creation
As a pioneer of photo/video hybrid mirrorless cameras, LUMIX has the largest line-up of cameras that record 4K 10-bit video[ii]. The S5 is no exception and is capable of unlimited 4K 60p/50p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output and also delivers unlimited 4K 30p/25p 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording. In addition, 4K 60p/50p 4:2:0 10-bit and 4K 30p/25p 4:2:2 10-bit can be recorded internally for up to 30 minutes.
The camera features V-Log/V-Gamut with a wide dynamic range of 14+ stops, in line with the dynamic range of the Panasonic VariCam, to precisely capture everything from dark to bright areas. Subtle gradations such as skin tones are faithfully reproduced. Designed with consistent colour management in mind, the recorded footage is easily matched with V-Log footage recorded by the LUMIX S1/S1H or LUMIX GH5/GH5S, for an easier post production workflow. Practical tools like a Waveform Monitor and V-Log View Assist are included.
Slow & Quick mode enables impressive slow and quick motion video with autofocus[iii], and can be accessed directly using the mode dial. In 4K the S5 achieves up to 30x quick or 2.5x slow motion at 1-60fps, and in FHD it achieves 60x quick or 7.5x slow motion[iv] at 1-180fps.
Stunning image quality
The S5 has a 24.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor (35.6 mm x 23.8mm) with Dual Native ISO technology. The sensor can leverage a dual-base ISO setting, resulting in minimised noise and outstanding image quality from low to high sensitivity. Dual Native ISO provides a greater variety of artistic choices, with the ability to use less light if desired. The S5’s Dual Native ISOs are 640 and 4000[v] in V-Log. This feature teams up with the Venus Engine processor to deliver a maximum ISO of up to 51200.
With the new Live View Composite function, the camera releases the shutter at designated exposure intervals and produces a single picture combining all the areas of high luminosity such as lights, stars or fireworks. The photographer can monitor this in Live View.
Panasonic’s 5-Axis Dual I.S. 2 offers excellent stability in a range of situations. A high-precision gyro sensor joins the Dual I.S. system of 5-axis in-body stabilisation and 2-axis optical stabilisation in selected lenses for highly accurate shake detection and compensation. This makes it possible to use up to 6.5 stops[vi] slower shutter speed in both photo and video. Incredibly stable performance can be achieved when shooting handheld at much slower shutter speeds and lower ISO values, reducing the need to carry a tripod or gimbal.
The 96MP High Resolution mode creates highly detailed images that can be turned into enormous prints or used in commercial imagery. Using sensor shift technology, it captures and combines eight consecutive images in-camera for outstanding results achieved when shooting handheld colours of natural landscapes to intricate fine arts, and can also be used when moving subjects are in the scene, by switching to the sub mode. It produces a 96MP equivalent (12,000 x 8,000-pixel) RAW and/or JPEG image.
High-speed, high-precision AF supported by real-time detection technology
Panasonic has achieved high-speed AF with its advanced control technology incorporating the major devices – lens, sensor and imaging engine. The lens and sensor communicate at a maximum 480 fps. Contrast AF with DFD technology allows the S5 to achieve an ultra high-speed, high-precision AF of approximately 0.08[vii] sec. It also excels in low-light shooting, with -6EV[viii] luminance detection performance in Low Light AF, thanks to the higher sensitivity and optimised tuning of the sensor.
The S5 also incorporates an improved Deep Learning autofocus algorithm that offers greater accuracy in detecting specific subjects – including humans, people’s faces, and fast-moving animals. In addition to the eye, face and body, the head is also separately recognised by real-time detection technology to provide even more precise focusing. The camera keeps tracking subjects when they move quickly, turn away, tilt their head or move far away from the camera. Also, improvements to DFD technology have enhanced AFC, which allows the camera to keep tracking small or fast-moving subjects and capture them in crisp focus.
Reliable performance plus expandability for creative freedom
To withstand heavy field use, the S5 has a magnesium alloy full die-cast body and is splash/dust-resistant[ix]. With an optimum layout of heat dispersion components, heat is effectively transferred externally, which results in stable, continuous video recording for an extended time.
The large OLED LVF (Live View Finder) has a magnification ratio of approx. 0.74x, 2,360K-dot high resolution and a minimum time lag of less than 0.005 sec. A versatile free-angle 3.0-inch LCD rear monitor (3:2 aspect,
approx.1840K-dot) with touch control allows for quick changes to settings, even when the user is in front of the camera.
Other shooting assist functions include Frame Markers for checking composition during recording. A wide range of aspect ratios are supported, including those for popular social media platforms – 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, 4:5, 5:4 and 9:16. In addition, the REC Frame Indicator displays an eye-catching red frame for checking at a glance if the camera is recording or not.
The S5 has dual SD Card slots – one slot complies with the high-speed, high-capacity UHS-II (Video Class 90) and the other with UHS-I. Users can select Relay Recording, Backup Recording or Allocation Recording modes.
The camera uses a new DMW-BLK22 high-capacity battery which meets its power demands in a small form factor. The S5 battery is also backwards compatible with the GH5, GH5S and G9. The camera’s battery can be recharged either via AC or USB, which is convenient if you are travelling and want to use a USB power bank. The S5 is also capable of power supply and delivery via USB-C, making it possible to continuously power the camera with a USB power source.
Content sharing with smartphones is streamlined using Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy connection, Wi-Fi 5-GHz (IEEE802.11ac) and 2.4-GHz (IEEE 802.11b/g/n). With an always-on Bluetooth connection, a smartphone can act as the camera’s remote control via the LUMIX Sync app. The settings of an S5 camera can also be copied and transmitted to other S5 cameras when shooting using multiple cameras.
The S5 is compatible with the LUMIX Tether applications which enable tethered shooting via USB. Users can control the camera by connecting it to a PC. Images can be viewed on a large PC screen while shooting, which is useful in situations where continuous confirmation is required. For live streaming, LUMIX Tether for Streaming (Beta) with LIVE VIEW mode is available. LUMIX Sync for iOS/Android devices enables image transfer to a smartphone or tablet via easy wireless connection.
Convenient optional accessories
A variety of optional accessories can be used with the S5. They include a Microphone Adaptor (DMW-XLR1) for professional XLR microphones to record high-quality stereo sound, as well as switchable Mic, Line and Condenser Microphones. The Battery Grip (DMW-BGS5) extends battery life and provides controls for portrait oriented shooting. Other accessories include a Remote Shutter (DMW-RS2), DC coupler (DMW-DCC17), and Tripod Grip (DMW-SHGR1).LUMIX S5 Pricing and Availability
LUMIX S5: Body only – RRP $3199
LUMIX S5 kit (DC-S5KGN-K): Kit with LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens (S-R2060) – RRP $3699
The S5 will be available in late September 2020 from leading photographic specialists.
Planned firmware updates for the LUMIX S1R, S1H and S1
Panasonic will release firmware updates for the LUMIX S1R, S1H and S1 by the end of 2020. New firmware will enable the S1R to record 5K video, making the most of its high-resolution image sensor. In addition, the AF improvements
[i] Based on the CIPA standard [Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=200mm] when S-E70200 is used.
[ii] Of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, as of 2 September 2020.
[iii] The AF mode switches to MF when the frame rate is set to of 150 fps or more. The angle of view is reduced when the frame rate is set to 180 fps. Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 30 minutes.
[iv] The AF mode switches to MF when the frame rate is set to of 150 fps or more. The angle of view is reduced when the frame rate is set to 180 fps. Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 30 minutes.
[v] When recording mode is set to V-Log. The sensitivity varies depending on the recording mode.
[vi] Based on the CIPA standard [Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=200mm] when S-E70200 is used.
[vii] 11EV, at wide-end with S-R24105 (CIPA) in LVF120 fps setting.
[viii] At ISO100, F1.4, AFS
[ix] Dust and Splash Resistant does not guarantee that damage will not occur if this lens is subjected to direct contact with dust and water. To avoid damage when using the camera under these conditions, it must be used in accordance with associated instructions in the manual.