Panasonic Lumix S5 wants to be the 4K full-frame video master, here’s what’s on offer

When Panasonic launched the Lumix S1 – the first in its full-frame mirrorless camera series – it was criticised for being rather big and expensive. Here’s the company’s resolution to that: the Lumix S5.

The S5, announced 2 September during the week that the IFA show typically takes place, champions a number of selling points: it’s way smaller, far lighter, and a lot more affordable than the original S1.

It’s rather like a full-frame version of the Lumix GH5 – and, mind-bogglingly, it’s even smaller (at 132.6mm x 97.1mm x 81.9mm, and 714g, if you want the full stats).

The S5 is also stacked to the rafters with video feature prowess that’ll probably see the competition looking around somewhat nervously. In summary here’s what’s on offer:

  • 4K 60p recording (Anamorphic 4K included)
  • 10-bit capture (4:2:0 internal, 4:2:2 via HDMI out)
  • Continuous recording in 8-bit with no time limitation (30min cap in 10-bit)
  • Thermal design avoids overheating (tested to 40C) and no limitations to record time

The sensor inside the S5 is the same 24.2-megapixel one as featured in the Lumix S1H model – a camera endorsed by Netflix, which can capture 6K footage at 24fps with no shooting time limitations – and picks up a number of the same benefits. Principally it can operate at 40C (104F) without overheating and therefore cutting out, enabling non-stop recording potential.

Furthermore the S5 has re-written the autofocus rulebook – well, no exactly, but Panasonic tells us the contrast-detection system here has been written from the ground up – to introduce better autofocus and tracking. This AF system will roll out to all S series cameras later in 2020.

A vari-angle LCD, built-in OLED viewfinder, 3.5mm mic/headphone jack, dual SD card slots, and dust/splash resistant magnesium alloy body round off the feature set.

If you want one then there’s not a great deal of waiting around needed either. Panasonic will be shipping the Lumix S5 this September, with its body-only asking price of £1,799/$1,999 being very competitive for all that it offers. There’s also a 20-60mm kit lens option for £1,999/$2,299.