Panasonic’s newest addition to their full frame mirrorless Lumix S series cameras is here with the Lumix S5II and the Lumix S5IIX. The S5II is set for a release date this January and the S5IIX to be released shorty after. Both these models bring new innovations, components, and hardware upgrades, as well as newly enhanced features and functions.
The main attraction of Panasonic’s new Lumix S5II and S5IIX is the newly added phase detection auto focusing system. This is a big improvement to the S5II’s predecessor which used a DFD contrast focusing system, which is an ok focusing and tracking system, but no where near as good as phase detection.
Upon review of the specs, you will notice that phase detection is not the only feature to get excited about with these new Lumix S models. In fact, there is quite a bit of newness with the S5II, and Panasonic also created a S5IIX version with a more extensive focus on video recording.
Lumix S5II Highlighted Specifications
- Stunning 24.2MP Effective Still Resolution and the ability for max image size of 96MP in High Resolution mode with 600x400L in RAW or JPEG.
- On sensor Phase Detection system provides rapid, quiet, and accurate subject detection with auto tracking and auto focusing.
- Up to 30fps when using E-Shutter mode with auto focus and RAW capture modes.
- Immersive 6k video capture 3:2 up to 30p 10-bit and DCI/UHD in 4k up to 30p provided by utilization of full sensor width.
- 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut capture delivers a high dynamic range and broad colors, plus a REAL TIME LUT function which enables in-camera photo and video color grading, with LUT6K 30p Open Gate unlimited recording.
- Leica Imaging Processor enables Dual Native ISO gain selection for true to life colors, 3-dimensional effects, and higher quality resolutions for both stills and video.
- Impressive rendering in ultra-high sensitivities such as shooting in low light environments with top level noise suppression.
- Newly added cooling fan and efficiency heat sink create the heat dispersion system that enables unlimited recording for the Lumix S5II(X).
- Active IS (or image stabilization) gets you high resolution shots without missing a beat, even during movement or while walking. Active IS also supports an enhanced video stabilization.
- Built tough and for use in all of natures elements. The Lumix S5II(X) is dust and liquid resistant with a camera body made from a full die-cast magnesium alloy frame. Your camera and content are protected with sealing added to all joints, corners, dials, and buttons. This is a camera built for longevity.
- Supports USB 3.2 Gen 2 with double UHS-II card slots.
- Relay and backup recording options.
- Large 3.68 million dot OLED Live View Finder with high magnification ratio (1.52x/.76x 35mm equivalent).
- 3-inch free angle touch control monitor in 3:2 with 1.8 million dot resolution.
- Optimized design with 8-directional joystick and drive dial including a position for High Resolution 96 MP mode for JPEG/RAW.
Lumix S5IIX – The Panasonic Lumix S5IIX version possesses everything the S5II features, but with extra enhancements specifically designed for videographers looking for a more professional video recording feature set.
- RAW video output provides more flexibility for professionals who do a lot of postproduction editing.
- The S5IIX allows video recording and playback to SSD via USB.
- 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut capture delivers a high dynamic range and broad colors; in-camera photo and video color grading; 5.8K Pro-Res, Pro-Res internal, RAW over HDM
- Wireless or Wired IP streaming (perfect for vloggers and videographers)
- All I Codecs – Allows for higher quality individual frames but will create larger size files.
On Sensor Phase Detection
One upgrade that makes the Panasonic’s new Lumix S5II and S5IIX stand out is the on sensor phase detection system which enables subject recognition, auto focusing, and auto tracking. Panasonic is pulling out all the stops as this is the first time they’re incorporating this technology into their mirrorless cameras.
Phase detection creates a second image to pull information and data from. Think of it as giving your camera a second eye to see, to keep everything in focus and with the proper brightness, just like people use two eyes to see. This enables the Lumix S5II and S5IIX to produce higher resolutions for photography and videography in all settings, light or dark. Phase detection enhances the cameras capabilities in many ways. Particularly, it allows the camera to determine the depth and distance within your frame which results in accurate focusing and subject tracking. Additionally, it helps maintain the focus on your subject without overshooting, which is a very attractive feature for videographers who record while moving or walking.
With 3 powerfully accurate recognition modes, the Lumix S5II and S5IIX gives you the option to capture your shot exactly as you envision. Panasonic incorporated algorithms for each distinct recognition mode which allows you to prioritize whether to track and focus animals or humans, body and head features, or faces and eyes.
New Imaging Processor
Co-developed and designed in partnership between Panasonic and Leica, the Lumix S5II comes with a new processor that helps you create the magic. The new Imaging Engine compliments the 24.2MP full frame CMOS sensor by offering twice as fast signal processing speeds for high bit rate recording. With quicker speeds, higher resolutions, and processing power, the Lumix S5II offers over 14 stops of dynamic range in V-Log and V-Gamut codecs. It also allows for higher speed burst shooting at 9(AFS)/7(AFC)fps using a mechanical shutter and 30fps (AFS/AFC) using e-shutter in JPEG/RAW. Plus, the S5II now has DUAL Native ISO to keep your images vivid and beautiful even in low light settings. More power and faster processing speeds help the Lumix S5II(X) achieve better color depths and detail during photoshoots and when editing postproduction.
REAL TIME LUT
LUT, which stands for “look up table”, if a function that lets you save a range of colors that can be applied and transform the range of colors in an image. This is a common practice during postproduction and would generally require a computer. With REAL TIME LUT, the Lumix S5II can store up to 10 different LUT’s which you can then apply to your image in real time. Not needing a computer to perform LUT’s can be a huge time saver, especially if you only intend to edit rendered colors.
ACTIVE I.S. (Image Stabilization)
The Lumix S5II and S5IIX boast an incredible Active IS system. The 5-axis stabilization system keeps your images and video looking sharp, focused, and polished even when you’re shooting in a highly active setting. Active IS lets the Lumix S5II detect and prioritize any camera movements while photographing or filming. This allows recognition and compensation of any movement, so your stills and video maintain stabilized and in focus. You also get a correction mode which further assists retaining focus when there are moving objects within your frame. When shooting in High Resolution Mode which provides unbelievable detail in 96MP, you will find the Active IS especially helpful in producing a vivid and crisp product.
Heat Dispersion System
As demand for videography cameras grew, the biggest problem has always been about the camera shutting down from overheating. Panasonic resolved this in a very innovative way that is superior to other cameras, allowing for the Lumix S5II to virtually have unlimited recording (Unlimited time vs extended time). With a small fan, a high efficiency heat sink, and innovative camera design, the Lumix S5II and S5IIX provide heat management to always keep your camera cool. The worst thing is to have a camera shutdown during a shoot. With the Lumix S5II and Lumix S5IIX, you will never have to worry about a common issue videographers have.
Video & Audio Recording
The Lumix S5II and S5IIX is the perfect tool for videographers, content creators, and vloggers. There are many different powerful formats to record in which gives you the option to create content exactly as you imagine. And the heat dispersion system helps you stay focused on your photoshoot with unlimited recording time, and not power and temperature logistics.
The Lumix S5II records in 4:2:2 10-bit C4K/4K 60p video with options to record in 4:2:0 10-bit 6K/29.97p LongGOP video via H.265 Codec. Additionally, the S5II features LUT 6K 30p Open Gate which translates to full sensor recording. This opens more format recording possibilities and flexibility when editing. This is a very appealing feature if you like shooting in different aspect ratios. Not to mention the incredible 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut capture dynamic range plus REAL TIME LUT function.
The Lumix S5II also has 4 channels of 96kHz and 24-bit audio when using an external mic or adapter. With crystal clear audio recording to compliment your immersive scenes, your final product will always look polished and professionally produced.
Lumix S5II vs S5IIX
The Lumix S5II is clearly a great camera with a lot to offer regardless of your level of skill. The Lumix S5IIX version provides you everything the S5II has to offer but with extra support and features geared towards video recording.
With the Lumix S5IIX you have RAW video output, internal ProRes capture in 422 and 422 HQ, All-I codecs, which are fantastic tools for videographers who spend a lot of time editing postproduction. You also can record SSD via USB, and the Lumix S5IIX supports direct wired or wireless streaming IP. The bottom line is that the video feature set on the S5II are great, but you will get more power, options, accessibility, and efficiency when recording video with the Lumix S5IIX. If you’re a videographer, the S5IIX is for you.
When you compare to other trending cameras such as the Lumix S5II vs Sony a7IV, it is clear which is the better choice. Although the Sony a7IV is a terrific camera, the Lumix S5II is better in many ways. For example, you only get 10fps in burst rate mode with the a7IV vs the Lumix’s 7-30fps options. The S5II also offers far more video resolution and compression options, meaning you have more control over size and quality during shoots and more material to work with in postproduction. Not to mention 14+ stop high dynamic range and real time LUT which is huge for vloggers and content creators. With S5IIX, you also get USB+SSD recording and playback, plus RAW video output. Panasonic really did a great job with these two new cameras.
Availability and Price
The Panasonic Lumix S5II and S5IIX are fantastic mirrorless full frame cameras at an amazing price. The Lumix S5II will have a retail price of $1,999 while the Lumix S5IIX will have a small premium for the extra video features and will be priced at $2,199. The S5IIX is available for preorder, however may be released early and is available by the time this article is published. Both are available in camera body only and lens combo packages.
With 14 lenses in the Lumix series, you always will have the proper tools available to match your type of photoshoot and style. Panasonic even released a brand new model to go along with the new Lumix S5II and S5IIX with the Lumix S 14-28mm F4-5.6 macro (S-R1428), which gives magnification of .05x and a closest focusing distance of .15m for closeups. The Lumix S5II’s L mount system opens the possibilities of the best lenses available, further broadening your possibilities as a photographer. The Lumix S5II(X) also identifies and remembers the focal length of analog lenses such as anamorphic lenses while utilizing the Active I.S. to ensure stability and quality when using older style lenses.
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