Panasonic already has some great full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market, but its new Lumix S5 II finally adds a very important feature everyone has been waiting for – a hybrid autofocus system. In this article we share our first impressions of the Panasonic Lumix S5 II.
Panasonic sent us the Lumix S5 II with a kit lens combo that 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 equivalents from Sony, Nikon and Canon with the launch of the Lumix S5 II, a mirrorless camera that costs Rs. 1,94,990 in India, for the body only. The Lumix S5 II kit with the Lumix 20-60mm lens costs Rs. 2,24,990 and the kit with two lenses (Lumix 20-60mm and Lumix S 50mm F1.8) costs Rs. 2,44,990.
The camera features a frosted metal body and is definitely built like a tank. The extended handle makes a very confident impression, which also contributes to better ergonomics. A command dial sits on top of the camera along with the shutter button, followed by the mode dial, with the power button right next to it. There are separate buttons for white balance, ISO, exposure, and video recording.
On the back of the camera are a menu button, dial, focus mode dial, joystick, back button, display button, and a customizable button that can be reassigned to perform a specific task. The viewfinder sticks out a bit, particularly because of the side vents that support longer recording times and keep the camera cool. It is also equipped with a hot shoe mount on the top.
On one side, the Panasonic Lumix S5 II has a microphone-in jack, a headphone jack, an HDMI port and a USB Type-C port, while the other side has two SD card slots. The body is weatherproof and all the buttons on this mirrorless camera are ergonomically placed, making it very easy to use.
The camera has a freely pivoting 3-inch touchscreen display. The display is bright enough to be used outdoors during the day, and the menu layout is so straightforward that I didn’t have to dig deep into the settings to access most of the features. It features a 24.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with 779 phase-detection autofocus points. It has a maximum burst capture rate of 30 frames per second. The camera also features 5-axis in-body stabilization.
For still images, the Panasonic Lumix S5 II has an ISO range of 100-51,200, which can be expanded to 50-204,800. The first few samples I was able to capture were really detailed and had good color straight out of the camera. The autofocus system on this camera is also quite fast and accurate.
On the video front, the Panasonic Lumix S5 II can record at up to 6K 30fps with a bitrate of up to 200Mbps. I’ve shot a few videos with this camera and my initial assessment is that the in-body stabilization works great, dynamic range is good, detail is sharp, and focus shift is smooth and accurate even at close-up shots.
The Panasonic Lumix S5 II is a solid new offering with an ergonomic design and a great feature set, but will this be enough to compete with equally stellar options from other mirrorless camera manufacturers? Let us know what you think of the Panasonic Lumix S5 II in the comments.