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Panasonic Lumix S5II evaluate

Panasonic Lumix S5II evaluate

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We have been severely impressed with the Lumix S5 when it launched again in 2020, and now Panasonic is again with a brand new and improved model. To be clear, the S5II hasn’t changed the S5, however is as a substitute out there alongside it as a extra premium possibility.


As a lot as we love the model’s cameras, there’s been one ever-present challenge with Panasonic’s choices: the lacklustre autofocus efficiency. That each one modifications with the S5II and the introduction of its new part hybrid autofocus system.

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So, has Panasonic hit the nail on the pinnacle and created the most effective cameras to purchase right this moment? On paper, it actually looks like it.

We have spent loads of time with the digital camera, taking pictures each photographs and movies in quite a lot of situations, here is what we came upon.

Panasonic Lumix S5II

Panasonic

Panasonic Lumix S5II

Editor’s Alternative

When you have $2000 to spend on a full-frame mirrorless physique, we expect the Lumix S5II is the best way to go, particularly in the event you shoot a whole lot of video. Nobody else is providing as a lot for the cash, it is a splendidly well-rounded digital camera.

Professionals

  • Wonderful part hybrid autofocus system
  • Greatest-in-class picture stabilisation
  • 6K video seize
  • 30 fps bursts with 200 body buffer
  • Excellent worth
Cons

  • Much less lens choices than the competitors
  • 1.5x crop at 4K60

Design

  • Dimensions: 134.3 x 102.3 x 90.1 mm
  • Weight: 740g
  • New 8-direction joystick

The S5II has a really comparable appear and feel to its predecessor. The button structure stays unchanged, as do the supplies and colors used on the digital camera’s physique.

Panasonic Lumix S5II (1)

The spec sheet tells us that it is truly barely bigger in all dimensions, in addition to being about 26 grams heavier, however in the event you aren’t holding them facet by facet, you’d by no means be capable of inform. The one apparent change is the S5II badge on the entrance of the digital camera.

A lot of the modifications are efficiency oriented and located on the within of the digital camera, apart from a brand new 8-direction joystick. That is present in the identical place because the 4-direction joystick on the unique S5 and permits you to transfer your point of interest diagonally.

Panasonic Lumix S5II (5)

We have a tendency to make use of the touchscreen extra continuously than the joystick for transferring the focus, however in the event you spend a whole lot of time wanting by the EVF, you may little doubt be happy with this enchancment. Alternatively, it may be assigned as additional operate buttons, however you may nonetheless solely get 4 instructions in the event you select to do this.

Connectivity and shows

  • Full-size HDMI, USB-C, Headphone and Mic sockets
  • Twin SD card slots, 1x UHS-II and 1x UHS-I
  • 3,680k OLED LVF and 1,840k flip-out LCD

Beginning with connectivity, issues stay functionally very comparable, as properly. Fortunately, although, this mannequin ditches the micro HDMI in favour of a full-sized HDMI port – very welcome information for individuals who use an exterior monitor.

Panasonic Lumix S5II (10)

There is a USB-C port, which has been upgraded to USB 3.2, and separate 3.5mm headphone and mic sockets. When the display screen is flipped out, neither of the three.5mm jacks or USB-C get in the best way of the articulation – nevertheless, the HDMI will get blocked, which is not any massive deal within the majority of circumstances.

It is value noting that the S5II cannot document externally to USB-SSD, you may want the pricier S5IIX mannequin if you wish to do this. Since there aren’t any heavy ProRes codecs on the usual mannequin, SD playing cards get the job accomplished simply positive.

Across the different facet, we discover twin SD card slots, similar to the S5. These have been upgraded, too, each at the moment are UHS-II appropriate, whereas the S5 solely includes a single UHS-II slot.

Panasonic Lumix S5II (9)

The opposite massive information is a brand new and improved OLED EVF. This appears to be like nice, it’s totally sharp and clean, and it made it very simple to dial in our settings and body our pictures. We weren’t capable of take a look at it side-by-side with the S5, so it is exhausting to say precisely how a lot it has improved, however from reminiscence, that is actually a step up.

The flip-out LCD seems to be the very same as its predecessor, however no complaints there, it’s totally responsive and is straightforward to see in quite a lot of lighting situations. It might have been good to see the GH6’s tilting performance make its approach to this mannequin, too, however the usual flip-out articulation is greater than sufficient for many eventualities.

Picture efficiency

  • New 24.2MP sensor with IBIS and Lively I.S.
  • Part hybrid AF, 779-point
  • As much as 30fps digital burst taking pictures with 200 body buffer

We have been actually happy with the photographs we have been capable of seize on the Lumix S5II. The photographs are sharp and detailed, whereas the colors are pure and lifelike. The RAW information maintain as much as some severe color grading, and the JPEGs do not fare too poorly, both.

Capturing on the S5II is a breeze, the brand new autofocus is quick and dependable and the topic monitoring works excellently, even in difficult situations like a busy metropolis road. In animal monitoring mode, the reliability wasn’t fairly as rock stable, nevertheless it nonetheless carried out admirably.

We reckon the brand new autofocus system goes toe-to-toe with the likes of Canon and Fujifilm. It isn’t fairly on Sony’s stage but, however we will think about it getting there ultimately.

Being long-time customers of cameras just like the GH5, we discovered the menu system and button structure to be acquainted and intuitive. One among Panasonic’s strongest options is the diploma to which you’ll configure and remap buttons to fit your particular wants, and we’re large followers of this. Although, for these much less aware of the system, we will think about the sheer breadth of choices being a bit of overwhelming.

We have been extraordinarily impressed with the upgraded picture stabilisation system, and although it could be of essentially the most profit to video shooters, it is wonderful for images, too. We have been capable of take as much as one-second-long publicity pictures, handheld, with tack-sharp outcomes. Spectacular stuff.

Low-light dealing with is nice, too. The digital camera handles noise exceptionally properly, and because of twin native ISOs of 640 and 4000, you may have to get into the vary of 25,600 and above earlier than the graininess begins to negatively affect your photographs.

A key function of the S5II is its skill to shoot at as much as 30fps bursts with the digital shutter. It is a large enchancment over the meagre 7fps supplied by the S5, and makes it way more interesting to sports activities and wildlife shooters. You may must be cautious with rolling shutter results at these excessive speeds, although, because the sensor readout is not the quickest. After all, you may haven’t any such points utilizing the mechanical shutter, which now permits for as much as 9 fps bursts.

Video efficiency

  • 6K recording at as much as 30fps in 4:2:0 10-bit
  • 4K recording at as much as 60fps in 4:2:2 10-bit
  • Limitless recording time and onboard LUTs

Simply as we discovered with images, it is once more the autofocus and stabilisation that steal the present in video modes. The autofocus is excellent for video taking pictures – it is extraordinarily dependable and whereas, once more, we expect Sony has the sting total, the Lumix S5II shouldn’t be far behind in any respect. It is particularly good at monitoring individuals and faces, and there is not one of the irritating focus pulsation that comes with Panasonic’s contrast-based modes.

We expect the video picture stabilisation is the perfect that you will discover on any mirrorless digital camera right this moment. It is exceptionally clean, to the purpose the place you possibly can go away the gimbal at house in most conditions. Plus, there are none of these annoying nook wobbles that you will discover on different IBIS programs – no less than at 20mm and above, as we did our testing with the 20-60mm package lens.

You aren’t getting Apple ProRes choices on the S5II (you want the S5IIX for that), however the resolutions and body charges that assist 4:2:2 10-bit color have been expanded considerably on this mannequin, and that features Cinema 4K at 60fps. You’ll output ProRes RAW and BRAW over HDMI quickly, too, since there’s firmware on the best way that unlocks these capabilities.

Our largest disappointment with the video taking pictures on this digital camera was the truth that you could use an APS-C crop to shoot at 4K resolutions above 30fps. If you happen to primarily shoot at 4K60, as many individuals do, this might show to be a deal breaker. On the plus facet, although, 6K taking pictures could be accomplished with no crop in any way.

Panasonic Lumix S5II (15)

There aren’t any recording time limitations on this digital camera, and the cooling has apparently been examined at 40 levels Celsius, which is much too heat for our British our bodies. We have used this digital camera extensively, generally out in direct daylight, and have by no means seen any of the temperature warnings that so usually plague high-spec mirrorless shooters.

On the subject of audio, the S5II helps as much as four-track 96kHz/24-bit LPCM recording, and it may be used with Panasonic’s XLR adapter, too. The audio high quality is great, and the preamps work brilliantly. If there was one factor we may change, although, it might be the flexibility to modify to two-track recording. It isn’t an enormous deal, however the digital camera is all the time recording 4 tracks, even when utilizing a stereo mic, which leaves us with additional traces of empty audio in our video modifying software program.

Verdict

We beloved the unique Lumix S5, however the unreliable contrast-based autofocus system all the time held us again from recommending it over the competitors. The S5II fixes that with the introduction of its new part hybrid system, which is what has actually bought us on this mannequin.

Apart from that, the opposite enhancements are very welcome, too. Burst taking pictures is far improved on this mannequin, and the added decision and elevated bitrate for video taking pictures is nice information for filmmakers. Add to this the perfect picture stabilisation system that we have seen on a full-frame digital camera, together with a full-size HDMI port, and you have your self a particularly compelling digital camera physique.

In all honesty, the one actual gripe we’ve got with this digital camera is that it will possibly’t shoot 4K 60fps video with out a crop. That is one thing that is potential with the cheaper Canon R8, however you then’ll lose out on many of the different skilled video perks that include the S5II, and crucially, you do not get that splendidly clean IBIS.

On the subject of all the different specs, the S5II is extra according to the Canon R6 Mark II or Sony A7 IV, each cameras that value $500 extra, and it bests them in lots of areas. So, whereas $2000 is not precisely low cost, comparatively talking, the S5II is a little bit of a discount.

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