PANASONIC LUMIX S5
THE VERDICT If you want the latest full- frame mirrorless camera for video, you have a huge choice. There’s the new Sony A7S III and Canon EOS R5, as well as Sigma fp, Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 in Mark I and Mark II guises and the Panasonic S1H. And now the S5. The newest Lumix hugely undercuts the S1H, Sony and Canon offerings on price. And the Sigma is definitely a different breed of camera, with its focus on Raw shooting. That leaves the often- overlooked Nikon and Lumix S5. The Z 6 is a very capable video machine. But there’s just one card slot and you can only get 10-bit and Log colour with an external recorder. The Mark II is yet to be tested. So the Panasonic trounces the Z 6 on video spec by a long way. It really is a mini S1H at half the price, in the body size and style of a GH5. And that makes it an amazing bit of kit for filmmakers. And it’s good at stills, too.
HOW IT RATES Features: 9
batteries have been canned in favour of a smaller 2200mAh battery. This can be charged in use with the USB-C port, or takes around four hours to fully charge when the camera is not in use. Battery life was decent, giving more than a couple of hours in mixed shooting. It’s worth investing in a few spares for longer shoots. But when you’re only spending under two grand for such a feature-packed camera brimming with filmmaking spec and produces such good results, buying a few spare batteries is not a deal-breaker. For the money, nothing comes close to the spec and performance of this power-packed Lumix.
Like its S series cousins, the S5 offers six-stop Dual Image Stabilisation, which is excellent. Panasonic’s in-body five-axis system gives up to 5.5EV, but this is increased to 6.5EV with Panasonic’s OIS lenses. Of course, it’s not like a gimbal or tripod, but it does make handheld shots very usable. When changing settings, the menus are easy to use and it’s a cinch to select what you want via the touchscreen or buttons and dial. The touchscreen can be used to control menu settings and also set AF points. To make the camera as small as possible, the S1-style 3050mAh
ABOVE The S5 is great for good-quality stills and manages high contrast well, especially when shooting Raw
The video spec is truly outrageous with 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording and everything you need Performance: 9 The autofocus lets it down slightly, but that 180fps, high-ISO performance and 4K footage is dazzling Handling: 9 The S5 is small and light, with goodmenus Value formoney: 10 It’s a well-built, brilliant performer with amazing spec PROMOVIEMAKER OVERALL RATING: 9/10 It’s the full-frame GH5 you always wanted, ormini S1H you can afford Pros: 10-bit 4:2:2 and fast frame rates Cons: Not everyone has L-Mount glass
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