Panasonic Lumix S5 II First Impressions: A Worthy Contender?
Panasonic already has some of the best full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market, but its new Lumix S5 II finally adds a very important feature everyone’s been waiting for – a hybrid autofocus system. In this article, we are going to share our first impressions of the Panasonic Lumix S5 II.
Panasonic sent us the Lumix S5 II with the Kit Lens Combo, which includes the 20-60mm lens and camera body. In the box you get the lens, lens hood, charging adapter, USB Type-C charging cable, shoulder strap, user manual, battery and the Lumix S5 II itself.
Panasonic is competing with full-frame counterparts from Sony, Nikon and Canon with the launch of the Lumix S5 II, a mirrorless camera priced at Rs. 1,94,990 in India, just for the body. The Lumix S5 II Kit with Lumix 20-60mm Lens is priced at Rs. 2,24,990, and the kit with two lenses (Lumix 20-60mm and Lumix S 50mm F1.8) is priced at Rs. 2,44,990.
The camera features a matte-finish metal chassis and is definitely built like a tank. It gives a very confident feel due to the extended grip, which also aids in better ergonomics. A dial, along with the shutter button, is located at the top of the camera, followed by the mode dial, with the power switch right next to it. There are separate buttons for white balance, ISO, exposure, and video recording.
On the rear of the camera are a menu button, selector dial, focus mode dial, joystick, back button, display button, and a customizable button that can be assigned to perform a specific function. The viewfinder juts out a bit, especially because of the air vents on the sides to help prolong shooting times and keep the camera cool. It comes equipped with a hot-shoe mount on top.
The Panasonic Lumix S5 II has a microphone input jack, headphone jack, HDMI port and USB Type-C port on one side, while two SD card slots are on the other. The body is weather sealed and all the buttons on this mirrorless camera are ergonomically placed, making it quite easy to use.
The camera sports a 3-inch free-angle touchscreen display. The display is bright enough to use outdoors during the day, and the menu layout is straightforward enough that I didn’t have to dig deep into settings to access most features. It houses a 24.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with 779 phase detection autofocus points. Its maximum burst shooting rate is 30 frames per second. The camera also has 5-axis in-body stabilization.
For still photos, the Panasonic Lumix S5 II has an ISO range of 100 – 51,200, which can be expanded to 50 – 204,800. The few early samples I was able to capture were really detailed and had nice colors straight out of camera. The autofocus system of this camera is also very fast and accurate.
On the video front, the Panasonic Lumix S5 II can record up to 6K 30fps with a bitrate of up to 200Mbps. I shot some videos with this camera and from my initial assessment, the in-body stabilization works great, dynamic range is good, details are crisp, and focus shifts are smooth and accurate even with close-up shots.
The Panasonic Lumix S5 II is a solid new offering with an ergonomic design and a great set of features, but will it do enough to compete with equally great options from other mirrorless camera makers? Tell us what you think about the Panasonic Lumix S5 II in the comments.