UPDATE [11/10/2022]: Following the news announced earlier this week about the promise of a new Panasonic S5 Mark II, Mirrorless Rumors (opens in new tab) just posted that a reliable source has said that the S5 Mark II is expected to be a much more high-end version than the current S5 with a high entry price point to match. It also looks like it will definitely be announced at CP+ in Japan in Q1 of 2023.
It's been over two years since the release of the Panasonic Lumix S5, and rumors are suggesting we could see an upgrade soon with a Panasonic S5 Mark II. The S5 is a smaller full-frame camera than Panasonic S1 and S1H but with video capabilities that matched the Sony A7S III and Sony FX3 making it by far one of the best-value full-frame cameras.
The news of an upgrade is exciting but where will it sit in the lineup of mirrorless Panasonic systems? The best Panasonic cameras include compacts, micro four thirds and full-frame mirrorless systems.
Panasonic is yet to make an official announcement but according to Photo Rumors (opens in new tab), Panasonic will announce the Panasonic S5 Mark II in February 2023 at the CP+ show in Japan. With no specifications released we can only speculate what it might feature but our guess is that it could make the Panasonic S1 almost obsolete.
One of the biggest downsides to the Panasonic S range is the focusing system. Rather than using a phase-detect autofocus system as you would find in the Sony A7R IV (opens in new tab) or the recently released Fujifilm X-T5 (opens in new tab), Panasonic has always opted for a cheaper and slower AF system.
While contrast-detection AF works by detecting the contrast between edges in your image to find the focus by analyzing pixels on the camera's sensor, phase detection works by separating light as it enters into two beams and when they intersect your image is in focus. Contrast detection is very accurate but works best on still subjects as the process of analyzing each pixel is slow. If you shoot a lot of sports and action photography, a phase-detect AF system will be much better.
• Read more: What is autofocus, and how does it work?
We can assume the Panasonic S5 Mark II will have the same fully articulated screen as found in the S5 and S1H and the same form factor as the S5. It would be nice to see even better video features such as 6K internal recording (at the moment you can only achieve 5.9K ProRes RAW using an external recorder such as the Atomos Ninja V). An even faster continuous burst mode would be great for photographers looking for an affordable camera to shoot action and sticking to dual SD cards rather than 1 XQD and 1 SD will keep costs down.
If the Panasonic S5 was anything to go by, the Panasonic S5 Mark II will hopefully offer an even better set of advanced features but for a very affordable price. We expect the original RRP will be slightly higher than that of the S5 as everything has gone up recently but around $2,000 - $2,200 would be reasonable.
Get more for your money with the cheapest full frame cameras (opens in new tab).