GEAR PANASONIC LUMIX S5
As well as the lower resolution, the S5 has a micro HDMI port instead of a full-sized one, and a smaller screen and lower-res viewfinder. Both are decent, but when compared to the S1 series, you will notice the difference. There is also no top-plate LCD like the S1H, but the main dial button now has a dedicated S&Q mode to quickly set fast and slow frame rates. The button is not lockable like it is on the S1H, but that’s not a big issue. As it shares the same sensor, the video quality is almost identical to the S1H when the same settings are used. We tried both and it was pretty much impossible to tell them apart. Of course, the S1H has higher-spec options like 6K and All-Intra codecs, so it has the edge there, but the S5 produces finely detailed, sharp and natural-looking colours. And the V-Log is very good for maximising dynamic range, especially when shooting in 4:2:2 10-bit. Overall, the dynamic range is very good, and the performance at high ISO settings is excellent. But we found that in the fastest slow- motion settings, up to 180fps in HD, the image is cropped, is a little softer and there is no AF after 150fps. It’s best to keep ISO as low as you can
when shooting the fastest frame rates. The fastest frame rates are processed in-camera so you see your footage in slowmotion in playback rather than having to slow it in post. On the subject of autofocus, it’s always been the most-criticised feature of Panasonic’s cameras as the company is one of the few manufacturers that still hasn’t gone to phase detection AF. The S5 has an improved version of Panasonic’s own contrast detection technology and it definitely works better than on any other Lumix. For stills, it’s actually very good, even shooting fast-moving objects. Once it locks on, it’s precise and tracks well. But for video, it can still sometimes hunt. The camera has face, eye and body detection and you can see this tracking your subject well on the screen. However, it seems like the actual AF itself seems to struggle to keep up at times. This improved AF systemwill be coming to the S1 cameras via a firmware upgrade.
ABOVE The compact size and low weight of the Panasonic S1 makes it ideal for small gimbals
“The camera has face, eye and body detection and you can see this tracking your subject well on the screen. However, the actual AF failed to keep up at times”
One of the biggest hurdles Panasonic faces with attracting buyers to its S series of cameras is the Leica L-Mount, as very few filmmakers own this glass, and there have been a limited options. Now there are around 40 different native L-Mount lenses on the market from a variety of manufacturers, and this is growing. And there are adapters to allowyou to fit other lenses to the cameras. A new native L-Mount Panasonic lens announced with the S5 is the diminutive 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom, which we tested and found to be a good all-round performer. At launch, you can buy the S5 with the kit lens for £2000/$2297. And as a UK-only offer, it comes with your choice of a free Sigma 45mm prime lens or XLR mic adapter. L-MOUNT LENS FAMILY CONTINUES TO EXPAND
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