This past January 4, Panasonic announced its two new hybrid full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Lumix S5II and S5IIX. Both have proven to be exciting additions to the maker's Lumix S Series camera lineup.
The S5II became available first, and now the long-awaited release of the S5II has arrived today, and with it comes some excellent expanded RAW filming capabilities. To refresh your memories, the Lumix S5II and S5IIX are the first Lumix mirrorless cameras to utilize Phase Detection Auto-Focus (PDAF) thanks to a newly developed 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor and a new imaging engine.
The new Auto-Focus system was developed thanks to the L2 Technology alliance formed by Leica and Lumix. The new imaging engine provides high resolution, natural description, and approximately double the signal procession speed for high bit-rate video recording. To further improve the new cameras’ PDAF capabilities and make them more dependable, Panasonic evolved the auto-focus system into Phase Hybrid Auto-Focus by increasing the AF points to 779 to significantly improve subject tracking.
Once the S5II and S5IIX are locked on a subject, the auto-focus will continue to track the subject, even in adverse lighting conditions and when multiple objects are moving within the frame. Additionally, continuous AF during zooming, AF micro adjustments, and options to decrease the size of the AF area are available.
The Panasonic Lumix S5II and S5IIX are both very capable shooters that feel great in the hand with excellent weight distribution making for a comfortable shooting experience.
In addition to the PDAF capabilities mentioned above, the Lumix S5II and S5IIX provide Dual Native ISO sensitivity and minimizes noise generation by choosing an optimal circuit to use according to the sensitivity before gain processing. As a result, it allows a maximum ISO 51200 high-sensitivity recording.
You will also expect faster speed burst shooting at 9 (AFS) / 7 (AFC) fps with a mechanical shutter and 30 fps (AFS/AFC) with an electronic shutter in JPEG/RAW compared with Lumix S5. You also get the ability to take 96MP high-res photos when using the High-Resolution Mode (JPEG/RAW).
The Lumix S5II and S5IIX come with a large, 3,680K-dot OLED LVF (Live View Finder) with a high magnification ratio of approximately 1.52x / 0.76x (35mm camera equivalent). You also get a 3-inch flip-out touch screen with a 3:2 aspect with 1,840K-dot high resolution.
Both cameras come with 5-axis in-body stabilization. The O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) from the Lumix S Series lens was combined to create the 5-axis Dual I.S. 2, maximizing the correction power to allow a 6.5-stop slower shutter speed.
There is so much more, and I can't wait until we get our hands on a review unit.
The Lumix S5II and S5IIX can film video in 6K resolution. The Lumix series cameras are well-known for their video capabilities; these latest iterations are no different. They're highly capable, and thanks to a new heat dispersion mechanism that combines a small fan and high-efficiency heat sink, you can expect unlimited record times, which comes in handy when live streaming.
As of today, S5IIX is now available for purchase and arrives with the ability to film in the Blackmagic BRAW codec. ProRes RAW and expanded compatibility with external devices, plus support for Atomos Ninja V, Atomos Shogun Connect, and Atomos Ninja.
Also, The LUMIX S5II firmware update will offer RAW data output over HDMI (Requires Software Upgrade Key DWW-SFU2). In addition to ProRes RAW, Blackmagic RAW will now be available. Live View Composite, pre-installed on the LUMIX S5IIX, is among the new features included in the firmware update.
The Lumix S5II and Lumix S5IIX feature unique shooting options, such as the 4K at 60p interval shooting and 4K HDR video recording. Panasonic listened to professional users and added video assist functions such as Waveform Monitor, Vector Scope, and Zebra Pattern are available. They even included features offered on the Lumix S1H and Lumix GH6, like System Frequency (24.00Hz), Synchro Scan, Fan mode, and a redesigned control panel, enabling quick selection of menu.
The new imaging engine should provide the S5II and S5IIX with high video performance comparable to the Lumix S1H. They provide 4:2:0 10-bit 6K (3:2) / 5.9K (16:9), and unlimited 4:2:2 10-bit C4K/4K recording capabilities. The cameras are capable of HFR (High Frame Rate) in C4K/4K (48p), FHD (120p), and Slow and Quick motion in C4K/4K(1-60fps) / FHD (1-180 fps).
Lastly, the S5II and S5IIX contain 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut capture, which should deliver a high dynamic range and broad colors. Plus, there is a "REAL TIME LUT" function built in that enables color grading on the compatible video and photo in camera by applying the LUT(.VLT/.cube) saved in the SD memory card. Hypothetically, this allows users to perform intended color grading on the spot without having to wait to go into postproduction and share images online through social networking sites. This function is also available while livestreaming.
Ports and connectivity
The S5II and S5IIX come with all the ports and slots you need to get the most out of them. On the left side, we find a 3.5mm mic port, a 3.5mm headphone jack to monitor audio, an HMDI port, and a USB Type-C port.
On the right, we find the double UHS-II x 2 card slots that will handle all your storage needs.
Both cameras come with Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi (5GHz and 2.4 GHz) connectivity allowing users to control the camera via the free-to-download Lumix Sync app on iOS and Android. You can also tether the camera via USB to your computer and shoot photos or videos.
The Lumix S5II and S5IIX are composed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast front and rear frame, and should be pretty splash and dust-resistant. The one thing that impressed me was how much input Panasonic got from pro shooters and then applied what they heard to the design of these cameras.
The massive improvements to the Autofocus system and the exterior design, like adding a new easy-to-use 8-directional joystick and drive dial, are huge and, because of the ergonomics, are a blast to use.
The Lumix S5II is $1,999.99 and will be available in January 2023. The Lumix S5IIX costs $2,199.99 and will be available in May 2023.
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Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.