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Review of the Panasonic Lumix S5 camera: better less, yes better

20 min read

The more powerful development technology is achieved, the more difficult it is to release something revolutionary new. Digital photo made a sharp jump a few years ago, and now, it seems, we are seeing the “tavern” period: new models are produced, and quite actively, but more often, we have a deal with “rethinkable”, “modified”, “conceptually changed” Versions of already familiar successful cameras. Our present guest is from the same category. Panasonic Lumix S5 – In essence, a few “simplified” version of the Panasonic Lumix S1 model (we tested the older version, S1R), aimed at the category rather than photoentziasts than the pro.

However, we understand that these differences between camera categories are becoming increasingly formal. Another ten years ago, the length of the lens and tsiferka on the housing could add a photographer significance in the eyes of the public. Now, it seems, everyone realized that you need to look after all the same for the quality (and, of course, artistic advantages) pictures, and in this sense the differences between the “professional” and “amateur” ruler can be reduced to zero. Because the cameras can be at all the same “filling”, and there will differ only to the nuances, important for a small interlayer of specialists. So, what does Panasonic offer us this time?

Main features, comparison with other models

Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 is a full-frame mirrorless camera with a resolution of 24 MP without an anti-machine filter.

The sensor here uses the same as in Panasonic Lumix S1. For other characteristics, these two cameras are also similar: in the S5 the same range of photosensitivity, there is also an image stabilizer (whose efficiency in some cases can even be slightly higher than that of the older model), the same number of autofocus points. At the same time, the autofocus system itself has improved: according to the manufacturer, the camera is now faster and more reliable focused in the dark + improved real-time tracking capabilities. S5 loses S1 in the size of the buffer and the serial shooting speed – 7 frames per second against 9 frames per second, but significantly wins the time of autonomous work. In terms of video portability S5, also exceeds the older model – and the manufacturer emphasizes that the camera is equally created for photo and video filming.

An important feature of the chamber is lightness and compactness. Of course, when using S5 in a set with a tele-zoom lens, this advantage is not as noticeable: more grams are more, less grams less – but when shooting with “fixes”, the difference is well tangible. With a portrait lens 85 mm, for example, the camera was really felt very easy and convenient to use.

The ability to get a powerful stuffing in a more compact building is attractive, right? For photographers who are not focused on shooting sports or other really dynamic reportage plots, Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 seems to be quite a reasonable choice within the Lumix S series. Against the background of competitors, the camera also does not look pale: if you focus on the characteristics, without comparing cameras in your work ( Such a possibility has not yet been introduced to us), then Canon EOS R6 exceeds S5 not so globally (at the same time, the price is tangible above), and Nikon Z6 II, at the same cost, has a very similar “portrait”, obviously exceeding Panasonic except in the serial speed Shooting.

⇡#Design and ergonomics

As I said above, relatively small dimensions are the distinctive feature of Panasonic Lumix DC-S5. At the moment it is the most compact Panasonic full-frame camera. Its dimensions – 132.6 × 97.1 × 81.9 mm, weight with battery and memory card is 714 grams. A little more than the nearest competitors, but within the series, where cameras were distinguished by elephant dimensions, this is a breakthrough. What is valuable, the manufacturer has retained dust and moisture protection, and this allows the camera to use in difficult weather conditions. The protrusion for grip is deep and comfortable, the covering “under the skin” prevents sliding.

Externally, S5 is generally similar to S1, but there are a few differences: the upper LCD display was brought to the sacrifice; A separate video recording button appeared; The design of the joystick and the location of individual controls has changed.

Consider the chamber more. On the left edge under two rubberized lids, connectors for connecting to the camera of various devices are grouped. From above – connectors for headphones and microphone, bottom – USB Type-C and MicroHDMI connectors.


On the right is a double memory card compartment. S5 supports SD format cards (but only one of the slots supports UHS-II). Also on top under a small rubberized lid is a slot of the remote control.


The bottom is a tripod nest and battery compartment. They are located at a considerable distance from each other, which makes it possible to change the battery without removing the camera from the tripod. Also, under the rubberized lid, there are contacts for attaching the DMW-BGS5 battery handle.

The frontier is located in front, the lens release button, a diaphragm reheet mode button, autofocus backlight lamp.

On the top of the left from the “hot shoe” there is a sample mode selection selector, on the right – the shooting mode selection selector, combined with the on-shutdown of the camera. Also – two control wheels (one combined with the descent button), the video recording button, buttons for the White balance setting, ISO and exposure.

On the rear panel, to the left of the viewfinder, the file view buttons and switching the display modes between the viewfinder and the display. On the right side – the focus type selector with the autofocus zone select button, the autofocus area selection joystick, the AF-ON button. Just below – the call button of the fast menu Q, another control disk with the invipud and the key button of the main menu in the center, the file deletion buttons and access the display settings.

In general, the impressions of the Ergonomics of Panasonic Lumix S5 I have the best. There is a feeling that the camera is made “for people.” Starting from tactful pleasant controls (“elastic” buttons, not too tight wheels), ending with visual graphics prompts on the display while choosing a particular option. Despite the fact that the management bodies are quite a lot here, they will not even become the distance between them sufficient, so as not to flush. The camera is impressive with its customization capabilities: via the menu can be configured by almost all controls “under themselves”, and very variable.

⇡#Display and viewfinder

The display and viewfinder is traditionally what the manufacturer donates, creating “folk” versions of top cameras. It happened with Panasonic Lumix S5.

The OLED viewfinder has a resolution of 2.36 million points – a very significant difference compared to S1, where the viewfinder has a resolution of 5.76 million points. Compared with the closest competitors, the camera also lags behind: on Nikon Z6 II and Canon EOS R6, the viewfinder is established by a resolution of 3.68 million points.

You can set the update rate of 60 or 120 frames per second for viewfinder, it has a very short display delay – 0.005 seconds. Instead of a round head, like S1, a more familiar rectangular shape is used here. Below is the eye sensor. The same sensor supports the LVF energy-saving shooting feature, which determines when your eye moves away from the viewfinder, and automatically translates the camera into sleep mode. Conversely, the timing of the viewfinder to the eye instantly restores the last shooting mode. According to the manufacturer, this feature can triple the number of pictures on the same battery charge.

Despite the fact that the viewfinder for modern standards is already quite “modest”, I can not say that it was uncomfortable to work with him. In general, he is not bad, but the difference is familiar with comparison. Anyway, in real practice, I often look at the LCD. And it is fulfilled quite worthy.

Here is my favorite display mechanism with absolute degrees of freedom – the user can rotate the screen at any convenient angle and close it when shooting is not conducted, thus protecting from mechanical damage. I note that here just there is an advantage over the Lumix S1, where we received an inclined screen. The display on S5 is installed the same as on the Panasonic Lumix G100 compact chamber, with the difference that it is slightly more dull: the display brightness has been reduced in favor of the accuracy of color reproduction. Resolution – 1.84 million points: a decent indicator for class.




The menu is executed on my taste, very comfortable and understandable, despite the extensive list of available settings. A little unusual structure is used – double vertical. In each section, only one page that is a big plus for me. You can navigate through the menu using the touch control. The settings in the chamber are a lot, and, of course, if Lumix S5 falls into the hands of an inexperienced user, you can get confused in them, but the main thing is that the logic of their group is thought out competently.

Of course, there is a quick menu that the user can configure under its needs, adding the most necessary functions there – separately for photo and video filming. Taking into account the good possibilities of customization of the buttons, the appeal to the main menu is not so often.

⇡#Wireless connections

Alas, in terms of wireless functions I have claims to the camera. Nowadays, the mechanism of connecting the camera and the smartphone has become already familiar and implemented in all manufacturers plus-minus equally. Somewhere more convenient and more convenient, somewhere slightly more confusing, but in general, global problems do not occur. With Panasonic Lumix DC-S5, I needed dancing with a tambourine before you managed to connect it to the smartphone and make several pictures in remote mode. In the future, when trying to transfer snapshots to the smartphone, it was not too smooth at all. The application “buggy”, “tupil”, disconnected spontaneously, the camera simply did not connect with the mobile device and issued an error from time to times. It’s a shame. For the connection of the camera with a smartphone, the Lumix Sync application is replied, and it requires serious refinement.

⇡#Camera in operation

Let’s go to practice. The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 test came with three lenses: Lumix S 20-60 mm universal zoom F3.5-5.6, portrait Lumix S 85 mm F1.8 and Lumix S Pro 70-200mm TVise F2.8 O.I.S. The first two lens are incredibly lungs, which is definitely nice when you go with the camera around the city all day. Well, the teleiseum is a teleiseum. In terms of pictures and convenience, I liked all three lens – they are good for their tasks.



⇡#Shooting in JPEG, creativity.

If you really briefly talk about pictures that directly come out of S5, the phrase “all is good”. Excellent sharpness and detail taking into account not the greatest sensor resolution. Natural, in the measure of juicy colors (here, of course, on an amateur. You can, of course, find fault, but you can also correct the color for yourself intracererically. For my taste, the settings on the full automata are given more than an adequate picture). You can take JPEG and lay out “as is” in the social network – if you shoot with not difficult lighting, the picture looks beautiful.





For those who want experiments in the moment, the manufacturer provided various photos: standard, bright, natural, neutral, landscape, portrait, Monochrome, L. Monochrome, L. Monochrome D, Cinematic D2, Cinematic V2, Like709, V-Log, Standard (HLG), Monochrome (HLG), LIKE2100, my photo style (configured by the user). It can be seen that in the list there is both more or less standard options for tinting and shooting modes with an extended dynamic range and advanced color space, including in non-standard HLG format.

From all this variety “clings” most L. Monochrome D, which makes it possible to create expressive contrasting black and white photos – an excellent solution for plots with hard light or pronounced graphics.



More radically affected the picture of art filters. Their manufacturer also offers a lot, though, the set does not change for a long time: expressive, retro, old times, high key, low key, sepia, monochrome, dynamic monochrome, rough monochrome, silk monochrome, expressive art, highly dynamic, cross process, toy Effect, Toy chamber, Flusted, Effect of miniatures, Soft focus, fantasy, Star filter, One shade, sunlight.

Many filters are realized interesting, and if you have inspiration to eat in them, picking up the most successful option to the plot, you can get quite a beautiful result – again in case you want a variety, but I do not want to mess around with processing.



Example of shooting one plot with different filters

From the branded Panasonic options, it is impossible not to mention the shooting in high-resolution mode. We have seen it already on many models of cameras. Its essence is that when shooting, the camera shifts the sensor eight times to effectively neutralize the Bayer color filter and increase the resolution of the pictures four times to 96 megapixels. To obtain a qualitative result, shooting must be conducted from the tripod. In S5, it was possible to create a 96 megapixel snapshot in JPEG format, whereas before this option was available in the RAW format. Shot with high resolution is possible in two modes: standard and with a decrease in movement. In the latter case, the camera analyzes the scene and uses only those areas in which there are no moving objects to avoid their distortion.


Left snapshot made in high-resolution mode, right in normal mode. The difference is difficult to notice the difference. But for photographers planning to print their work really large format, this mode can be a good help.

The post-focus feature is another own development of Panasonic, which we have already observed in a number of previously released cameras. Convenience it is that the user can choose the focus plane not during the shooting process, and after. In essence, the technology is that the camera quickly makes a number of frames in the resolution of 4K or 6K with focus bracketing (in fact, this is a short video with a focus “to depth”). The resulting pictures can be viewed on the camera in the video format and specify manually the area you want to see in sharpness. Of course, it makes no sense to use this feature for each plot, but in the case of a particularly responsible scene or scene, where you want to obtain a number of frames with the same composition, but different focusing, the option is quite promising. Here, for example, two frames from one series, where you can clearly see how the picture changes depending on what the camera focused on.


Lumix S5 is the first of the Panasonic full-frame cameras, in which Live View Composite mode is implemented. In it, the camera makes several pictures, creating composite images of only those areas that differ in brightness. This feature is convenient for shooting the night sky and allows you to transmit light traces of stars or fireworks. Each time when the shutter is triggered, a composite image is displayed, which allows you to remove, controlling the results in real time.

From the more ordinary for an inexperienced user options, you can also recall the multi-exposure – the creative mode in which the camera combines several sequentially captured frames into one image. The photographer can control the process in real time and reconstruct the last frame if the result did not like it.

Фото сделано в режиме мультиэкспозиции, объединено три кадра

Photo Made in multi-exposure mode, three frames

⇡#A raw in RAW

In this section, we will traditionally consider which result can be obtained by processing “complex” plots filmed in RAW format. I note that it is possible to quickly handle the snapshot and intracererically – all the basic options are there. But, of course, work in a professional RAW converter gives the best result. Pictures for review I edited in the Adobe Camera Raw program. As an example, I chose a few contrast scenes. The purpose of processing is to bring the photo to the balance, it is better to show light and dry the shadows.








Left – in-camera JPEG, right – RAW converted with settings to your liking

Download snapshots in RAW format (208 MB)

PANASONIC LUMIX DC-S5 shows a very worthy dynamic range. The shadows “stretch” are very good, and their clarification does not lead to the appearance of pronounced noise. The stock in the lights, as in all the chambers, is slightly smaller, but also essential.

Autofocus, serial shooting and buffer. Stabilizer. Shooting at high ISO. Video filming. Autonomy. Conclusion

⇡#Autofocus, burst and buffer

Autofocus features are perhaps one of the key characteristics of modern cameras, the border on which the differences between the relatives in the rest of the devices run. And although in general, the technology has made a huge step forward over the past decade and all serious cameras we see a decent and unprecedented level of speed and accuracy of the focus, the differences can be strong enough for someone from photographers – critical. S5 autofocus, at first glance, alarms: The manufacturer does not use a hybrid and not pure phase, like almost all the others, but a contrast autofocus without phase sensors on the matrix – that in theory can mean a slower and less confident focus operation. However, it is necessary to remember that the S5 is used by the autofocus system Depth from Defocus (DFD), which the manufacturer continues to improve. DFD technology allows you to quickly estimate the direction and the value of the original defocus, after which it immediately move the lens into close to the exact focus. The camera operates with knowledge about the optical characteristics of each lens to calculate the distance to the object and the corresponding lens control.

In addition to improving the DFD calculation system, when creating S5, deep learning technologies were used, which allowed the objects more quickly and accurately: the head detection algorithm is available in addition to the face recognition, eye and body, which allows man in focus in situations, When he turned away from the camera. Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 is able to recognize a person’s face, even if it takes just a 2.5% frame. Also available face recognition and animal eye. The number of focus points remains unchanged in comparison with S1 – 225 (there is enough for the coating of the frame region).

The real experience of interaction with the camera left a positive impression of the focus operation: S5 focuses quickly even with dim and complex light. Recognition of people and animals works well and also quickly, even if there are obstacles in the frame.


Focusing with complex lighting / obstacles

In fairness, I will note that the focus missing still happened, but in really difficult conditions: when shooting a person’s reflection in a mirror in a complete darkness with a LED ribbon as a single light source. But, to the honor of S5, even in these conditions in the overwhelming number of frames, sharpness in the eyes is saved.


Focusing with complex lighting

Next – the traditional test of the tracking focus. The person runs on the camera, the recognition of individuals and eyes is included. And here the S5 technologies have shown themselves excellent: neither on one of the personnel in the series focus did not come down.





Tracking focus

In something, S5 must still give up to his “senior colleagues”, and, as often happens, the manufacturer sacrificed the speed of serial shooting and clipboard. The camera is capable of shooting at a speed of 7 frames per second with focusing on the first frame (and 5 frames per second with continuous autofocus) – is not impressive according to modern standards, but many really need these super speed and do you often use them in your real photographic practice? In fact, they are needed only to serious photo reporters, shooting, for example, sports. The declared magnitude of the buffer is more than 24 RAW / 999 JPEG. In practice, I managed to make a series of 48 RAW-frames.


The image stabilization system on Panasonic cameras perfectly proven itself for a long time. It allows you to shoot with hands on long excerpts, receiving high-quality frames without a strong increase in photosensitivity. S5 S5 should not be presented in this sense. The manufacturer promises the effectiveness of stabilization in 5 steps. Check how it works in practice.

My best result is a frame, shot at an excerpt of 1/2 second at a focal length of 60 mm. The sharpness is not so perfect, as it could be when shooting from a tripod, but lubsa as such is not here.

Most snapshots made on such an excerpt value turned out to be good in quality. On longer excerpts already appeared lubrication. For example, the snapshot below it is noticeable when viewing in the original resolution. But if you reduce the photo and add a little sharpness to publish in social networks – it is unlikely that many will be brought into the eyes of a light “coil” of the back plan. This photo is done on an excerpt of one second at a focal length of 49 mm.

So, the stabilizer showed itself expected well. In reality, you can make high-quality pictures on significantly longer excerpts than the manufacturer declares. But, of course, it is necessary to closely monitor the sharpness in the process of shooting, and it is better not to be limited to the only double.

Shooting at high ISO

The last test of photos of Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 – shooting at high sensitivity values. The range at the camera is wide: 100-51200 ISO with the extension “down” to 50 ISO and “up” to 204800 ISO. Although, as we found out, there is a powerful stabilizer in the chamber, which in many situations will help to avoid high ISO values, it cannot rescue when shooting reports and other speakers.

To begin with, let’s see several frames taken “in the field” conditions.

On ISO 1600 camera works perfectly: smooth images, detailed, clean colors:


On the left of the intracerermic JPEG, right RAW, converted with default settings

On ISO 4000, you can notice noise in the shadows, if you bring the picture, but in general, the photo also looks high quality:


On the left of the intracerermic JPEG, right RAW, converted with default settings

A similar plot to twice the greater photosensitivity is 8000. The quality of the color reproduction has decreased noticeably, the details and textures began to “climb” in JPEG. But S5 is still holding a worthy:


On the left of the intracerermic JPEG, right RAW, converted with default settings

At the meaning of ISO 12800, “soapy” becomes already pronounced, noise reduction works very aggressively. But if you look at the original RAW, you can note the small monochrome noise, which does not greatly cut the eye, and such a frame is still quite suitable for printing A3 format, not to mention the internet.


On the left of the intracerermic JPEG, right RAW, converted with default settings

On ISO 25600, the picture looks no longer very high quality, but still acceptable to accommodate in social networks in a reduced amount:


On the left of the intracerermic JPEG, right RAW, converted with default settings

And the last of the “official” values ​​- 51200 ISO: noises also within reasonable:


On the left of the intracerermic JPEG, right RAW, converted with default settings

Download snapshots in RAW-format (233 MB)

Next – a visual comparison on test pictures.


ISO 50


ISO 100


ISO 200


ISO 400


ISO 800


ISO 1600


ISO 3200


ISO 6400


ISO 12800


ISO 25600


ISO 51200


ISO 102400


ISO 204800

Download snapshots in RAW format (432 MB)

In terms of work at high ISO Panasonic Lumix DC-S5, demonstrates good results and keeps adequately compared to competitors.


Panasonic cameras are traditionally distinguished by wide features of video filming, and, of course, Lumix S5 has not exceeded. The camera is positioned as a hybrid apparatus, equally suitable and for shooting a photo, and for shooting a video. Many opportunities, she borrowed from a senior and oriented exclusively on S1H videographers.

There are 3.5-mm connectors for microphone and headphones in the chamber. The microphone socket can work with both microphone and linear input and can serve phantom power to microphones that need it. The camera is also compatible with the DMW-XLR1 PANASONIC microphone adapter, which has two XLR input channels and physical controls. The video output is made as a Micro HDMI port.

Download video in original quality (571 MB)

Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 removes a full-frame 10-bit DCI and UHD 4K video with a frequency of up to 30 frames per second and color support 4: 2: 2. Also available 4K video with a frequency of 60 frames per second using APS-C / Super35 cropping or Sensor 1: 1 pixel area (1.56x cropping) with a resolution of up to 10 bits 4: 2: 0 using the HEVC codec or in 8 -Bit format 4: 2: 0 using the less loading codec H.264. Some modes have a 30-minute recording restriction.

Download video in original quality (413 MB)

Of course, all the improvements in the work of autofocus touched not only the photo, but also video shooting – the camera is faster and more accurately recognizes people and animals, better tracks objects. However, the criticism associated with the focusing method – Depth from Defocus, which we talked about the appropriate section sounded to the Panasonic cameras. And although the manufacturer has improved autofocus, the general principle remained the same. Approximation to objects may cause some trembling, which is known to DFD – the system simply does not sleep at the frequency of frame change, which there are noticeable artifacts when changing the focus point. The accurate and sensitivity of autofocus can be configured (choosing how quickly the transition between objects should occur and how long the camera is waiting for the refocus). Their adjustment can lead to better results depending on the situation.

Download Roller in original quality (126 MB)

The function of the variable frequency of Panasonic frames is now renamed “S & Q”, which is translated as “slow and fast.” The camera allows you to shoot with high frequency (up to 180 frames per second), and then reduce it, say, up to 24 frames per second for slow motion playback or go in another direction, from 1 to 24 frames per second for ultra-fast video.

Download video in original quality (446 MB)

In addition to the traditional horizontal orientation, it is also available now and shooting video in vertical format – a pleasant news for tick-tokers and instagram bloggers.

Download video in original quality (473 MB)

When shooting, you can also use photos and artistic styles (with minor restrictions – some of the styles are suitable only for photographs).


The battery life is stated as one of the strong characteristics of Panasonic Lumix DC-S5. According to the CIPA standard, the camera should make 440 images on a single battery charge when visiting the screen, 470 images when visiting the viewfinder or up to 1500 images in energy-saving mode. In practice, I managed to do about 300 frames, going through the screen before the battery indicator began to flash. After that, the camera worked for some time, passing pictures on the smartphone. It should be borne in mind that the specific results will differ from different photographers depending on the script of the camera’s handling. Nevertheless, confirm the excellent autonomy of the camera I, unfortunately, I can not, she suffers a typical “mesmerous” disease.


The chamber has a lithium-ion battery DMW-BLK22, 15.91 W · h (2200 mA · h, 7.4 V). Supported charging (off) and power (during operation) from USB. As an additional energy source, you can purchase a DMW-BGS5 battery handle.


The segment of light and compact full-frame messmaker for a wide range of users is now incredibly popular. We saw many worthy cameras in this segment, and Panasonic Lumix DC-S5, of course, also applies to the number of such. Subjectively – with the camera nice to deal. I was given the opportunity to test it with an excellent set of optics, and I can safely say that in this configuration I fully see S5 my working tool. Let’s make a remark that I am not a reporter and do not specialize in shooting video. For staged portraits, photographic, travel, still lifes, the camera is well suited. Branded optics (except, of course, telephoto lens) is also light and compact, so the camera is comfortable to spend the whole day. Protection from weather conditions is also an important factor for those who take a lot in the city and in nature. The camera is not sharpened to the narrow segment of users, it can be interesting to both enthusiasts and professionals.

The main competitors of Panasonic Lumix S5 – Nikon Z6 II, Canon Eos R6 and Sony A7 III, and I find it difficult to choose an unequivocal favorite. All cameras give out an excellent result, the difference in the details that can be essential for some photographers and are not significant for others. S5 has powerful video shooting capabilities, while not very high serial shooting speed. The principle of autofocus can cause controversy, but in practice the camera showed a very worthy level in this regard (there are some questions on the video, but the accuracy of autofocus is still impressive). Stabilizer, as always with the manufacturer, at height. Shot at high ISO is also at the most modern level. There are interesting brand “chips” – it seems not to be supernut in most cases, but useful in specific situations. The camera turned out to be balanced, powerful and interesting.

Download RAW files (887 MB)


  • Relatively low weight;
  • Protection against weather conditions;
  • Swivel display;
  • Thoughtful ergonomics, good customization capabilities;
  • Good branded optics;
  • Good shooting in JPEG, creative filters;
  • Decent dynamic range;
  • Excellent stabilizer;
  • A wide range of ISO, the possibility of high-quality shooting in conditions of weak lighting;
  • Improved autofocus system, flexible system of recognition of people and animals;
  • High resolution mode (96 MP);
  • Post-focus function;
  • USB charging;
  • Very wide video filming.


  • Wi-Fi connection problems;
  • Low serial shooting speed and mediocre buffer;
  • 30-minute time limit in some video modes;
  • Only one SD card slot supports the speed of UHS-II;
  • Controversial operation of an autofocus system when shooting video;
  • In practice, battery life may be less than specified (depends on the camera’s operation manner).

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