If you’re a content creator – whether you’re a hybrid shooter who captures a mix of movies and stills, or a videographer first and foremost – the yardstick has just changed when it comes to cameras.
The Panasonic Lumix S5 II (opens in new tab) has officially transformed the game, offering a package that’s unrivaled by its competitors – not just in terms of its fully loaded feature set, but also in terms of its unbeatable $2,000 price point.
We’d go so far as to say that the S5 II is the best place to start if you’re looking for a full-frame camera that does it all, from gallery worthy photography to versatile videography to full-blown filmmaking. Check out our full review (opens in new tab) for our in-depth thoughts, but here are the key takeaways…
OVER 100 LENSES
Let’s start with the lenses – because what many people forget is that a great camera is nothing without great glass to go with it. The Lumix S5 II employs the L Mount – the most widely supported mount in the industry, currently boasting over 100 lenses.
Why is it so well supported? It’s thanks to the L Mount Alliance, a triumvirate of three of the biggest players in imaging: Panasonic, Sigma and Leica. This gives the S5 II an incredible selection of optics, from premium showcase lenses to powerhouse professional lenses to affordable lenses for everyday use.
Whether you’re looking for a workhorse zoom to earn you money or a pocket-friendly prime for casual shooting, the L Mount gives you an unbeatable range to choose from – but you don’t have to stick to L lenses.
Thanks to the Sigma MC-21 adapter, you can use existing EF-mount glass with outstanding performance – making it easier than ever to switch from your aging DSLR to a cutting-edge mirrorless camera.
One of the most powerful weapons in the Lumix S5 II’s arsenal is its incredible autofocus, powered by a phenomenal phase hybrid AF system.
The days of cameras ‘hunting’ for subjects or the focus ‘pulsing’ in and out are a thing of the past. The S5 II possesses uncanny subject detection, which recognizes and tracks subjects even in adverse lighting conditions, and rock-solid autofocus that locks in and sticks to them like glue – even with multiple moving subjects.
Using deep learning technology, the camera has been trained by AI algorithms to detect both human and animal subjects, making the Lumix S5 II a powerful tool for content creators who want to get a little wild.
And with the ability to detect bodies, faces and eyes, this is a system that solo shooters can rely on whether they’re videoing other people or presenting their own pieces to camera.
FEATURE-COMPLETE CONTENT CREATION
At the heart of the Panasonic S5 II is a powerful, full-frame, 35mm 24.2MP CMOS image sensor.
The native 24.2MP resolution provides the sweet spot in terms of workflow, giving you crystal clear shots that aren't too bloated in size for everyday use. However, you can also make use of the High Resolution Shot mode to capture 96MP images – and these incredible, detail-rich files are produced in-camera.
Not only does this high-resolution sensor deliver natural description, it also boasts higher-speed signal processing that’s approximately twice as fast – something that is again possible thanks to Panasonic’s hardware collaborations, in this case the L² Technology in conjunction with Leica.
That 35mm sensor opens up a world of flexible full-frame filmmaking thanks to the S5 II’s open gate video recording. With customizable frame markers you are free to shoot in the aspect ratio of your choice, without being slave to the 16:9 format dictated by most cameras.
This freedom also extends to shooting as much video as you want. Thanks to the Lumix S5 II’s heat dispersion system, the days of limited shooting to stop your camera overheating are long gone – so you can capture up to 4:2:2 10-bit C4K/4K 60p/50p with unlimited recording time (from 0-104°F).
You can free up time in post-production, too, thanks to the camera’s real-time LUTs. Now you can achieve the ‘look’ for your footage in-camera, for both photo and video, by selecting from the library of LUTs or adding your own.
Want to shoot handheld, but don’t always have rigs and gimbals set up? Panasonic is an industry leader when it comes to in-body image stablization, and the S5 II’s Active IS makes walking shots, panning shots and just plain still shots a breeze, with up to 6.5 stops of compensation.
If you shoot photographs of fast action, the camera boasts incredible continuous shooting speeds of 30 frames per second – guaranteeing that you never miss a moment, or even the moments between the moments. And with features such as Live View Composite, it's easier than ever to get creative with light painting, fireworks, lightning storms, star trails and more.
From pre-shoot simplicity all the way through to friction-free post-production, the Panasonic Lumix S5 II is the tool that content creators have long been calling out for – and now it’s finally here.