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Panasonic Launches New Lumix S5II and S5IIX

Panasonic Launches New Lumix S5II and S5IIX

 

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Panasonic recently unveiled the latest addition to their popular Lumix S series full frame mirrorless cameras with the new Lumix S5II and the Lumix S5IIX.  Set with a release date this January, The Lumix S5II and S5IIX brings many updates and enhancements, both inside and out.  Panasonic’s Lumix S is considered a top rated camera, so naturally there are high expectations for its follow up edition in the Lumix S5II and Lumix S5IIX.

 

One of the main issues from the original Lumix S that Panasonic resolved is with the focusing system.  The Lumix S5II and S5IIX now has phase detection autofocus to compliment its 24MP CMOS sensor.  The original Lumix S utilized a DFD contrast focus system which was fast, but with newer technology, the DFD became outdated and won’t track subjects nearly as well as the Lumix S5II & S5IIX’s newer phase detection autofocusing systems. 

At first glance, you will notice some amazing new specs and features for the new Lumix S5II.  The Lumix S5IIX is a slightly more powerful version with bolstered specs and features geared towards video recording.  Here are some important highlights of each of the new Lumix S5II cameras.

Lumix S5II Highlights

  • 2 MP Effective Still resolution
  • Max image size of 96MP High Resolution Mode and 600x400L in RAW or JPEG
  • On Sensor Phase Detection for rapid subject auto tracking and auto focusing.
  • 30fps when using the electronic shutter feature with AF and Raw Capture modes.
  • Video capture 6K with 3:2 aspect ratio up to 30p (10-bit) or DCI/UHD in 4K up to 30p utilizing the full sensor width.
  • 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut capture delivers a high dynamic range and broad colors, plus a REAL TIME LUT function enables in-camera photo and video color grading, with LUT6K 30p Open Gate unlimited recording.
  • Accurate true to life colors, 3D effects, and better resolutions, provided by Dual Native ISO gain selection.
  • Noise suppression and stunning rendering when shooting at ultra-high sensitivities including low light environments.
  • Heat dispersion from a newly added cooling fan with high efficiency heat sink.
  • Unlimited video recording - Thanks to the new heat dispersion system, you can record endlessly without the concern of overheating and automatic shutdowns. This also allows the camera more power while maintaining a compact size.
  • Powerful image stabilization allows high resolution shots even while walking and enhanced video recording stabilization.
  • Dust and liquid resistant camera body built with a full die-cast magnesium alloy frame with sealing for all cracks, corners, joints, dials, and buttons.

Lumix S5IIX features everything the S5II has but with more power and features geared towards video recording.

  • Raw video output for more possibilities when editing postproduction.
  • Allows for video recording and playback to SSD via USB
  • 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut capture delivers a high dynamic range and broad colors; in-camera photo and video color grading; 5.8K Pro-Res, Pro-Res internal, RAW over HDM
  • Wireless or Wired IP streaming (perfect for vloggers and videographers)
  • All I Codecs – Allows for higher quality individual frames but results in larger files.

Phase Detection & Subject Recognition

One of the biggest enhancements in the Lumix S5II & S5IIX is the added on-sensor phase detection technology.  This is far superior than the DFD contrast focusing system found on previous Panasonic cameras.  In fact, this is a first for Panasonic cameras which brings the Lumix S5II into the upper tier of quality and features when comparing it to other full frame mirrorless cameras.  To say this is a big deal is putting it mildly as the new phase detection system enables the camera to produce higher res images and video.  This is mainly due to phase detection providing a “double vision” so to speak (like most people use two eyes).  This allows the camera to ascertain the depth and distance within your frame’s composition.  The new phase detection system should be especially attractive to videographers since it helps the camera rapidly refocus without overshooting, even while on the move, and even while shooting in poorly lit environments.

The Lumix S5II(X) has 3 different recognition modes, each featuring a unique set of algorithms to detect your subject exactly as you envision.  Human/Animal mode, which will offer a broader recognition range.  Human mode, which prioritizes people by specific features.  And, Face/Eye mode which is exactly as it sounds.

With the powerful new phase detection system, the subject recognition feature on the Lumix S5II is incredibly fast and accurate.  Regardless whether you’re shotting stills or video, and even in low light settings, the subject recognition feature works flawlessly while producing clean, crisp, and smooth results. 

New Imaging Processor

Panasonic upgraded the Lumix S5II(X) with a new processor in partnership with Leica.  The new processor allows for quicker speeds, higher resolutions, 14 stops of dynamic range, and the Dual Native ISO.  More powerful and quicker processing means better color depths and detail when shooting and when editing postproduction.

REAL TIME LUT

You may have noticed one of the highlights above called REAL TIME LUT, aka Look Up Table.  Essentially, this lets you save a range of colors that can be applied and transform the range of colors in an image.  The Lumix can store up to ten LUT’s to be applied in real time.  Being able to save a range of colors to map one color area to a different color area without having to apply presets from a different file on a computer can save you a lot of time from editing and is a fantastic tool.  Hence, the title “REAL TIME” LUT.

Active Image Stabilization

Because of the power of the new imaging processor, the Lumix S5II(X) now boasts incredible stabilization with its Active I.S. system.  Active I.S. provides you the ability to shoot in highly active scenarios while alleviating any shake in your shot.  With 5-axis the Lumix can detect and prioritize your cameras movements to keep your shots in focus and stable.  The Active I.S also offers correction mode which prevents moving objects from wrecking your shot.  Active I.S also helps support crystal clear shots when shooting in 96MP High Resolution Mode.

Video Recording, Audio, & Heat Dispersion

When it comes to video, the Lumix S5II(X) shines like a star.  Between all the different formats you can film in, featuring 10-bit color recording, and the heat dispersion which allows for virtually unlimited recording time, the Lumix S5II(X) is the perfect tool for any videographer, content creator, and vlogger.

The Lumix S5II(X) records in 4:2:2 10-bit C4K/4K 60p video with options to record in 4:2:0 10-bit 6K/29.97p LongGOP video via H.265 Codec.  Additionally, the S5II(X) uses Open Gate which is Panasonics term for full sensor recording.  This opens more format recording and editing possibilities, and is perfect for those who like shooting in different aspect ratios. 

With 4 channels of 96kHz and 24-bit audio when using an external mic or adapter, the Lumix S5II(X) provides crystal clear audio recording.  This ensures your final product is polished and professionally produced.

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S5II vs S5IIX

The Lumix S5II is clearly a very capable camera.  The S5IIX option provides all the bells and whistles you get from the S5II but with an added emphasis on video recording and feature set.

The S5IIX features RAW video output, internal ProRes capture in 422 and 422 HQ, All-I codecs, SSD recording via USB, and direct wired or wireless streaming IP.  These S5IIX features provide more possibilities when filming and more flexibility for postproduction editing.  

For avid videographers, you will love the power of the Lumix S5IIX.  The S5II will have a retail price of $1,999 while the S5IIX will have a slight premium for the extra video features and will be priced at $2,199.  Even though these are new and availability may be limited for the S5IIX, you should be able to preorder it.  If you’re heavy into videography, the S5IIX is worth the premium and the wait.

When compared to other popular photo and video cameras such as the Lumix S5II vs Sony a7IV, you will find tremendous value with the S5II.  The S5II edges out the Sony a7IV when it comes to fps Burst Mode capabilities & more video resolution options.  When you incorporate the specs from the S5IIX, the Lumix destroys the competition with more compression options, and movie features (RAW video output and USB to SSD).  Finally, when you incorporate the price into your valuation, the Lumix is better priced ranging from $2k to $2.2k vs the a7IV’s $2,500 price tag.

After thorough review of Panasonic’s new Lumix S5II and S5IIX, the images produced are beautiful and the videography is astoundingly immersive.  The verdict is a strong buy.

Availability

The Lumix S5II and S5IIX will be sold as “body only” or with combos that comes with the Panasonic 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.  Panasonic also offers a specially designed Lumix 14-28mm f/4-5.6 Ultra-Wide Macro L-mount lens for the Lumix cameras.

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