The latest model to join Panasonic’s full frame L Mount S-range is the S5, which is being billed as the S Series version of the GH5. By this it’s meant that the new model very much has its accent on high-end video production, being equipped with many of the advanced filmmaking features that have made the MFT GH5 such a hit with those taking a hybrid approach, and it’s testament to the importance that the company puts on this burgeoning sector.
Due to become available at the end of September with a rrp of £1799.99 body only or £1999.99 for a kit that includes the Lumix S Series 20-60mm f3.5-5.6 lens, the new model is very much seen as camera that will appeal to those who aspire to what the GH5 can offer but in a full frame package. Although it comes with a larger sensor than the GH5, however, the S5, at 132.6 x 97.1 x 81.9 mm (approx) and with a body-only weight of 630g, is still physically smaller and is the most compact model in the S Series line-up.
At the heart of the camera, the Lumix S5 contains a 24.2 MP 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor that boasts wide dynamic range and high sensitivity performance. A maximum ISO of 51200 is also offered, with the adoption of the Dual Native ISO technology.
On the video front the S5 is capable of 4K 60p/50p 4:2:0 10-bit and 4K 30p/25p 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording, plus 4K 60p/50p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output. For 4K 30p/25p 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording there is no time limitation as Panasonic’s heat dispersion technology enables stable and continuous video recording.
To further enhance its performance, a firmware update is scheduled for the S5 by the end of 2020, which will support Raw video data output to the Atomos Ninja V over HDMI at a resolution of 5.9K (5888×3312) 29.97p/25p, 4K(4128×2176) 59.94p/50p and Anamorphic 3.5K (3536×2656)/50p.
The Lumix S5 also offers 14+ stops of dynamic range, which is as wide as cinema cameras, and V-Log / V-Gamut compatibility with popular VariCam colour science. 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. The camera also possesses improved high-speed, high-precision AF in both photo shooting and video recording, made possible through advanced deep-learning technology, featuring real-time detection of the subject, such as human eye, face, head and body recognition.
While seen as a camera that can offer a huge amount to the serious filmmaker, the S5 is also being touted as a formidable stills camera, with the potential to offer the professional photographer everything they require from a working camera. As well as offering continuous burst shooting, the 6K Photo feature makes it possible to capture scenes at 30 fps by extracting the frame with the best timing out of a 6K burst file (in 4:3 or 3:2 aspect ratio) to save as an approximate 18-megapixel equivalent high-resolution photo.
There’s also a High Resolution mode where eight consecutive images are automatically shot while shifting the sensor using the Body I.S. (Image Stabiliser) mechanism and synthesised into a 96-megapixel equivalent (12,000 x 8,000-pixel) image by the Venus Engine. Ideal for landscapes or images of stationary subjects shot using a tripod, it can also be used in situations where moving subjects are included in the scene, by switching the sub mode.
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