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Embodying its ‘commitment to meeting the passionate demands of all creators,’ the electronics giant has updated its full frame mirrorless camera line up by unveiling the S5.

“The reason it’s called the S5 is because it’s really a full frame GH5,” explains Panasonic, although he adds the new L-mount camera is lighter, despite shoehorning in said sensor. The launch coincides with a new slogan for the manufacturer: ‘moving images forward.’

The ‘moving images’ bit seems appropriate, as video is the S5’s chief focus. “We think the next 10 to 15 years of this industry will be based on video technology,” Panasonic adds. “The fact that we currently have seven 4K mirrorless cameras in our range will enhance our credibility even further.”

Aimed at what it terms the ‘passionate creator’, the full frame L-mount S5 can record 4K resolution video at either 50 or 60fps with a small crop, or at 30fps full frame. While 10-bit video footage can be recorded to a 30-minute maximum duration – at which point anyone filming can immediately start recording again – “if you want to record 8-bit then there’s no time limitation.”

Panasonic adds that, thanks to its heat dispersing design, the S5 will maintain continuous recording even in 40°C heat. “We don’t want a professional to take this on a paid shoot and then suffer; so that’s our commitment to the industry.”

The manufacturer also divulges that the S5’s sensor is identical to that of the 6K shooting S1H. With V-Log fully accessible from the get go, over 14 stops of dynamic range are offered by the camera, alongside HDR video and dual native ISO “which is automatic – and basically means that it will see in the dark.” Core light sensitivity runs from ISO100 to ISO51200, while time-lapse video is also provided.

Panasonic claims that its S1H has sold more than the S1, despite having had a later start, “which further gives us the confidence that video is important.” This is, it says, backed up by a report via industry watchers revealing 41% of photographers would like to do more with video, while 50% of them admit to seeing more video online these days than photography.


Despite all the excitement over the S5’s appeal for videographers, stills photographers haven’t been forgotten by this all-in-one hybrid. Maximum resolution is a respectable 24.2 megapixels, with the ability to shoot up to 96 megapixel composite images in JPEG or RAW format. Of course auto focus – and the improvement and refinement of – is another battleground for today’s camera manufacturer, and on the S5 is promised to be “like nothing you’ve ever seen before – reaction has been very positive.”

Twist in the tale: Panasonic’s new S5 not only re-introduces a vari-angle LCD, but also offers up an optional battery grip (shown below) for power users

In terms of build there’s a splash and dust proof body with 6.5 stops of built-in image stabilisation, while the manufacturer has brought back a free angle LCD. We also get a 2.3 million-dot resolution eye level viewfinder, a double memory card slot, battery charging via USB, microphone and headphone sockets, plus micro HDMI output.

Human and animal recognition is claimed to have been improved by 5x, while, as well as eye recognition and human body recognition, ‘head detection’ has been added for the first time. As it sounds, the camera will keep focusing on the head even if it moves about the frame. “It offers really good quick recognition and strong tracking,” promises Panasonic.

The S5 ‘ships’ from mid September at 2.300 USD body only, or it’s 2.550 USD with a 20-60mm lens. Accessories include a new DMW-BGS5 battery grip plus new backwards-compatible BLK22 battery. Finally, the company has also revealed a Firmware roadmap suggesting the S5 will support 5.9K video at 29.97/25 fps by the year’s end, while its S1R will offer 5K video recording. A new lens roadmap also includes a 85mm f/1.8, due to ship November for a sub- $1000 price. For more, talk to your local Panasonic rep!

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