Panasonic launches LUMIX S5IIX and S5II

Panasonic LUMIX S511X.

Panasonic has unveiled two new hybrid full-frame mirrorless LUMIX S Series cameras, S5IIX and S5II.

Key capabilities include a new 24.2 megapixel 35mm full-frame sensor that features that features on-sensor PDAF (Phase Detection Auto-Focus), and a new processor born from the Panasonic and LEICA L2 Technology alliance. This makes possible Phase Hybrid AF and Active IS for reinforced command over subject tracking and stabilisation.

Under the L2 Technology alliance formed by LEICA and LUMIX, both brands co-invested to develop a new imaging engine that has approximately 2x higher-speed signal processing for high bit-rate video recording and improved high burst rate photography.

Other features include unlimited 4:2:2 10-bit C4K/4K recording achieved via a fan and high-efficiency heat sink; full-sensor video shooting; and REAL TIME LUT for on-the-spot colour grading without postproduction.

Panasonic imaging product marketing manager Aaron Waters said the new cameras offered an evolution in performance.

“LUMIX has a loyal community that has benefited from continued enhancements to the range. The improvements to the AF system will further encourage adoption by first-time mirrorless buyers, allowing them to enjoy the capabilities that LUMIX has to offer,” he said.

The LUMIX S5IIX has an monochromatic all-black look, while the S5II features the signature LUMIX design with red and white accents. The step-up S5IIX offers a range of pro-level video features pre-installed, including HDMI RAW video data output, USB-SSD, ALL-Intra and ProRes recording, and wireless and wired IP streaming.

With the adoption of PDAF, the AF system has evolved into Phase Hybrid AF. Advanced subject detection and metering technologies lock on, track and capture the target subject in focus in a range of shooting situations – from fast moving sports or multiple subjects; to vlog style content such as talking to camera in a studio or holding up an object to the camera; and backlit or low illumination environments.

With an increased buffer memory size, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX are capable of high speed burst shooting at up to 30 fps (AFS/AFC) with an electronic shutter in JPEG/RAW.

Aaron Waters explained: “LUMIX has taken the accuracy of Depth From Defocus and the smart subject detection of AI and added Phase Detection to offer high performance auto focus, in both photo and video modes.

“The new PDAF has 779 focus points, and with the new generation processor, provides total AF confidence and a strong ‘lock’ on the subject.”

The cameras’ new Active I.S. determines the status of camera shake and optimises horizontal, vertical, and rotational correction ratios. The system can compensate for significant camera shake in video recording, approximately 200 per cent more when compared to the LUMIX S5i. This is designed to benefit situations such as handheld filming while walking without using a gimbal, long-shutter handheld shots such as night-time or moving water, and telephoto fixed-frame shots. The cameras also offer Dual I.S.2 with a high-precision 5-axis gyro sensor for stills shooting.

The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX introduce 4:2:0 10-bit 6K (3:2) to the S Series, aiming to make it easy to crop for multiple aspect ratios (16:9, 9:16, 1:1) from the same source footage while maintaining resolution. For example, when you take a 9:16 vertical image out of 6K footage you still maintain a greater than 4K vertical image which can be viewed on mobile devices.

The 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut capture offers a high dynamic range, consistent colour management and streamlined post-production. In addition, with in-camera colour grading via REAL TIME LUT, creative scope is increased while workflow is reduced – aiding repeatable setups.

The new cameras provide 4:2:0 10-bit 6K (17:9) / 5.9K (16:9), unlimited 4:2:2 10-bit C4K/4K recording capability. HFR (High Frame Rate) in C4K/4K (48p), FHD (120p), Slow & Quick motion in C4K/4K(1-60fps) / FHD(1-180fps), and 4K HDR video recording are also available. 4K 60p Time Lapse video can also be produced in-camera. The exposure is automatically adjusted to prevent large changes in brightness between adjacent frames, allowing smooth daytime to nighttime time lapses to be created. Practical tools included are Waveform Monitor, Vector Scope, Zebra Pattern, System Frequency (24.00Hz), Synchro Scan, Fan mode and a control panel for quick menu selection. By using the optional XLR Microphone Adaptor DMW-XLR1 and the 3.5mm input jack/built-in microphone, users can capture four channels of audio, reducing the need for external audio recording devices.

AWB Lock keeps the white balance set in auto, while Sheer Overlay can now be used in Creative Video mode footage sequences. Live Crop allows digital zooming and panning on the 6K sensor in a 4K video recording, making it easy for a creator to add smooth motion without having to move the camera.

In a step up from the S5, the new, larger 3,680K-dot OLED LVF (Live View Finder) has a magnification ratio of approx. 1.52x / 0.76x (35mm camera equivalent). The free-angle 3.0-inch LCD rear monitor (3:2 aspect, 1840K-dot) with touch control allows for quick changes to settings, even when both the HDMI cable and USB cable are connected, or the user is in front of the camera.

To withstand heavy field use, the cameras have a magnesium alloy full die-cast body and are splash/dust-resistant. The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX support USB 3.2 Gen 2 for high-speed writing and readout. The dual SD Card slots (UHS-II x 2) offer a choice of relay recording, backup recording or allocation recording modes, with the card access indicator now located inside the card slot cover. Videographers will be thrilled that the cameras have a full HDMI Type A terminal, offering a more robust connection without the need for adaptors. For external microphone connection, a Φ3.5mm input jack is provided as well as a headphone jack. Content sharing with smartphones is streamlined using Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy connection, Wi-Fi 5-GHz (IEEE802.11ac) and 2.4-GHz (IEEE 802.11b/g/n). With an always-on Bluetooth connection, a smartphone can act as the camera’s remote control via the LUMIX Sync app. The settings of the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX can also be copied and transmitted wirelessly to other S5II and S5IIX cameras when using multiple cameras. The cameras are compatible with LUMIX Tether applications which enable tethered shooting via USB. Users can control and view multiple cameras by connecting them to a PC. For live streaming, LUMIX Tether for Streaming (Beta) with LIVE VIEW mode is available. LUMIX Sync for iOS/Android devices enables image transfer to a smartphone or tablet via easy wireless connection.

The 2200mAh high-capacity battery (DMW-BLK22) can be recharged either via AC or USB which is convenient if you are travelling and want to use a USB power bank. It also complies with USB PD (Power Delivery) when used with the optional LUMIX Battery Charger (DMW-BTC15). The current Battery Grip (DMW-BGS5) is compatible with the new cameras.

The Panasonic LUMIX S Series boasts a total lineup of 14 lenses including the new LUMIX S 14-28mm F4-5.6 MACRO (S-R1428). Users can take advantage of the five-strong LUMIX F1.8 lens series which all feature the same exterior, and offer convenience by having the same filter size. Using lenses of a similar size, diameter and centre of gravity also makes it easy to switch between them when an S Series camera is mounted on a gimbal, for example.

LUMIX S Series lenses all feature linear motors with the option to change how the focus ring responds. For the non-linear setting, focus is shifted with a variable amount according to the rotation speed of the focus ring, while for linear setting focus is shifted with a designated amount according to the rotational quantum of the focus ring. Sensitivity (the amount of focus shift per rotational quantum) can be selected from 90 to 1080 degrees. With MF Assist, there is now the ability to enlarge the focus point to check critical focus while recording videovii.

Furthermore, the L-Mount system provides the largest native lineup of full-frame lenses to choose from, with 61 lenses to date for a limitless spectrum of creative possibilities. The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX will also recognise the focal length of an analog lens such as anamorphic or other old lenses, and automatically use the in-body image stabiliser.

The LUMIX S5IIX can record directly to an external SSD (solid-state drive) via USB-C, offering workflow and cost advantages. Professionals will also benefit from the inclusion of advanced video codecs such as All-Intra and ProRes. The camera is capable of RAW video output via HDMI supported by an external recorder. The LUMIX S5IIX also features including wiredix/wireless IP streaming and USB tethering.

To enhance the performance of the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX, the functions below will be available via a future firmware update.
• RAW data output using Software Upgrade Key DMW-SFU2 (S5II)x
• Live View Composite (S5II)xi and more.

Pricing and Availability

LUMIX DC-S5M2GN: Body only: RRP $3199

LUMIX DC-S5M2KGN: Kit with LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens (S-R2060GC): RRP $3699

LUMIX DC-S5M2XGN: Body only: RRP $3499

LUMIX DC-S5M2XKGN: Kit with LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens (S-R2060GC): RRP $3999

The cameras will be available from leading photographic specialists. The LUMIX S5II is available in late January 2023 and the S5IIX is available in late May 2023.