Panasonic S5 II & S5 II x announced with Phase Hybrid AF

Panasonic has officially unveiled the Lumix S5 II, and the Lumix 5 II x full-frame hybrid mirrorless cameras that both now feature Phase Hybrid AF. Why do I mention that specifically? Well, the Achillies Heel with Panasonic cameras that they have always lagged behind the competition when it comes to AF performance.

So let’s get straight into what both cameras offer as far as their key specifications.

S5 IIS5 II x
Sensor24.2MP CMOS24.2MP CMOS
Dual Native ISOV-Log 640/4000
HLG 400/2500
V-Log 640/4000
HLG 400/2500
AFPhase Hybrid AFPhase Hybrid AF
IS5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
Internal Recording 6K 3:2/17:9
4:2:0 10-bit (23.98/24/25/29.97p)

5.9K 16:9
4:2:0 10-bit (23.98/24/25/29.97p)

4:2:2 10-bit (23.98/24/25/29.97/47.95/ 48.00/50/59.94p)

3.3K (4:3)
4:2:2 10-bit
(23.98/24/25/29.97/47.95/ 48.00/50p

4:2:2 10-bit
(23.98/24/25/29.97/47.95/ 48.00/50/59.94/
6K 3:2/17:9
4:2:0 10-bit (23.98/24/25/29.97p)

5.9K 16:9
4:2:0 10-bit (23.98/24/25/29.97p)

4:2:2 10-bit (23.98/24/25/29.97/47.95/ 48.00/50/59.94p)

3.3K (4:3)
4:2:2 10-bit
(23.98/24/25/29.97/47.95/ 48.00/50p

4:2:2 10-bit
(23.98/24/25/29.97/47.95/ 48.00/50/59.94/
External Recording
via USB-C

to an SSD
No5.8K ProRes 422/422HQ

ProRes 422/422HQ

3.3K (4:3)
ProRes 422/422HQ

4:2:2 10-bit
External Recording
via HDMI
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) up to 50/59.94 fps4:2:2 10-bit

ProRes RAW to an
Atomos device
5.9K up to 30P
4K up to 60P
3.5K up to 50P
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160)
up to 50/59.94 fps4:2:2 10-bit

ProRes RAW to an
Atomos device
5.9K up to 30P
4K up to 60P
3.5K up to 50P
Recording Time
EVF3.6 milion dot3.6 milion dot
HDMIType AType A
Real Time LUTYesYes

*Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 30 minutes in [6K/29.97p][6K/25.00p] [5.9K/29.97p] [5.9K/25.00p] when Thermal Management mode is set to Standard.

You can see some example videos above.

The S5 II is a sub $2,000 USD mirrorless hybrid that looks to provide a good balance of still and video performance. The original S5 was a good camera, but its successor has increased functionality and performance that will certainly make it a strong contender in the full-frame mirrorless hybrid space.

The S5 II x is a slightly enhanced version of the S5 II that only costs $300 USD more. Personally, I would be buying that camera over the S5 II given the relatively small price difference and the fact that it can capture 5.8K/4K DCI 4K/3.3K and HD ProRes externally via USB-C to an SSD.

The S5 II and S5 II x now join the S1, S1R, S5, and S1H in the Lumix S series.

Is this Panasonic’s new flagship mirrorless hybrid?

DSC 8963 01

You don’t have to read between the lines to work out that the S5 II and S5 II x are essentially the S1H replacement. The original S5 is not being discontinued, and despite the new cameras wearing the S5 name, it is safe to assume that they are the new flagship cameras and there won’t be an S1H II.

The S1H was a very underrated camera and in a lot of ways, it was ahead of its time. If it hadn’t been for the average at best AF performance, it may well have become a bigger success. The lack of native lens options at the time of its release also didn’t help its cause.

Size & Weight


The S5 II and S5 II x are only slightly heavier than the original S5. The cameras weigh 740g / 1.63 lb (Body, Hot Shoe Cover, Battery, Card x 1) while the original S5 tips the scales at 712g / 1.6 lb (1.57lb). For reference, the GH6 weighs in at 823g / 1.8 lb (With Battery, Recording Media)

The S1H weighs in at 1.16 kg / 2.56 lb (Body with Battery and Memory and the S1 tips the scales at 1.02 kg / 2.25 lb (Body with Battery and Memory).

The S5 II and S5 II x are being touted by Panasonic as direct competitors to high-end mirrorless hybrids from Sony, Canon, Panasonic, and Nikon.

So how does this weight compare to some other full-frame mirrorless hybrids? Below you can see:

Panasonic S5 II740g / 1.63 lb (Body, Hot Shoe Cover, Battery, Card x 1)
Panasonic S5714g / 1.57 lb (With Battery, Recording Media)
Sony a7R V723 g / 1.6 lb (With Battery, Recording Media)
Sony a9 II678 g / 1.49 lb (With Battery, Recording Media)
Canon EOS R5738 g / 1.62 lb (With Battery, Recording Media)
Nikon Z91340 g / 2.9 lb (With Battery, Recording Media)

As you can see, the S5 is still a little heavier than some of those other cameras, but its physical size is fairly similar.

It is nice to see that Panasonic ditched the HDMI (Type D) Micro connector that was on the S5 in favor of having a full-sized Type A HDMI. HDMI, at least in my opinion, isn’t a professional connector, but if you have to use one it is better that it is a full-size version rather than one of the smaller variants.

The S5 II and S5 II x are both made out of a magnesium alloy body and they have been designed with dust and splash resistance in mind. Sealing materials have been used around all of the buttons and dials. The S5 II and S5 II x look to be every bit as well made as the S1H and the previous S5.

The control layout of the S5II and S5 II x looks to be identical to that of the original S5. There are dedicated WB, ISO, and Record buttons just like on the S1H.

Screenshot 2022 12 27 at 1 57 11 PM

I am glad that Panasonic has kept the dedicated S&Q dial. If you are in the right recording format you can simply just move the dial one spot and be shooting at higher frame rates quickly.

There is no LCD display on top of the camera like there is on the S1H. The large top screen on the S1H is a great feature because it lets you see all of your key settings and parameters very quickly and clearly. It also lets you see how much remaining battery life you have even when the camera is turned off. Given the relatively small size of the S5 II and S5 II x there really wasn’t any room to place an LCD display. You also don’t get the dial lock mechanism that you do on the S1H. This personally doesn’t matter to me, but I thought I would mention it.

S5II body back K

The back of the camera features a fairly simplistic layout.


The S5II and S5 II x should be easy to handle and operate, unlike the S1H, which if you don’t have large hands, can be a handful to hold correctly. The reduced weight of the S5 II and S5 II x also makes it easier to handheld and use the cameras for longer periods of time. All the buttons and controls are easy to access.

If you are holding the camera in front of you, you can rest the S5 II or S5 II x in the palm of your hand and it is supported nicely. With the larger S1H, this isn’t as easy to do.


S5II body front K

The S5 II and S5 II x are using a brand new 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor (35.6 mm x 23.8mm). Yes, this is the same size as the sensor in the original S5, but Panasonic assures me that it isn’t the same sensor. The cameras do not have an OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter) like the S1H. Signal processing is done by a new processing engine.

There has been much debate about increased resolutions and whether we actually need them. The S5 II and S5 II x use a 6K sensor as opposed to a native 4K sensor. Due to loss of resolution to Bayer pattern math, at least 5.7K is needed to deliver proper 4K RGB. It’s the same reason ARRI uses 2.8K to deliver 2K. The S5 II and S5 II x, in theory, should out-resolve any 4K native camera, as it can clearly delineate 2000 line pairs while most others max out at about 1600. While competitors like Sony, Nikon, and Canon all have offerings that can record 8K, the S5 II and S5 II x are limited to 6K. At least in my opinion, 6K is more than enough.

The sensor also utilizes a non-dust system. This prevents dust from adhering to the sensor which is nice when you are changing lenses. How it works is that a supersonic wave filter (SSWF) creates around 80,000 times / second of ultrasonic vibration between the image sensor and the shutter each time the power is turned on.

According to Panasonic, the new engine used in the S5 II and S5 II x offers a lot of advancement in terms of resolution and reproducibility for full-size image sensors.

In addition, the high-precision multi-process NR installed in the engine is said to improve the separation performance of the detail and flat parts of the subject. By separating the signal and noise components more accurately and effectively suppressing noise according to the characteristics of the image, Panasonic claims it is possible to achieve a stunning and realistic depiction even with high sensitivity.

Autofocus- Finally, no more constrast-based AF!

Screenshot 2022 12 27 at 2 06 02 PM

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Panasonic didn’t exactly have a good reputation for autofocus performance, especially when it came to video. The biggest Achilles Heel of previous Lumix cameras was their autofocus performance. Well, you will be pleased to know that Panasonic has finally decided to utilize Phase Hybrid AF.

I guess it is a case of better late than never. Panasonic has finally done away with contrast-based autofocus systems. One of the biggest stumbling blocks, when it came to trying to convince people to buy a Panasonic mirrorless hybrid, was the poor AF performance. The Lumix series cameras lagged a long way behind their competition and that turned a lot of potential users off.

Panasonic’s new Phase Hybrid AF system utilizes 779 AF points. Panasonic claims that by combining Phase Hybrid AF with their recognition technology, they have massively improved the tracking abilities.

They also claim that the AF is now better at tracking multiple subjects at once, and is better in highly backlit conditions and in low-light environments.

Continuous AF during zooming and AF micro adjustment is also available.

Personally, I don’t use autofocus when shooting video, but I know a lot of people do.

Active I.S.

P1031986 1

The S5 II and S5 II x integrate an all-new in-body image stabilization that they are calling Active I.S. Panasonic developed an algorithm that is claimed to precisely calculate shake using information acquired not only from a gyro-sensor but also from the image sensor and an accelerometer sensor within the body of the camera. This is said to enable more accurate shake detection and compensation. According to Panasonic, the new system is claimed to offer industry-leading stabilization for video shooters. They also state that from their internal testing, the I.S. capabilities are around 200% better than those of the original S5.

There are now 4 different types of I.S. you can choose from:

  • B.I.S Dual I.S.2
  • Active I.S.
  • E.I.S
  • Boost I.S

By combining the Body I.S. (5-axis) in the camera and the O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser, 2-axis) in the LUMIX S Series lens, the 5-axis Dual I.S. compensates for larger movements than are controllable by conventional methods.

The 5-axis Dual I.S.2 works for both photo and video modes, including 6K, 5.9K, 5.8K, 4K, UHD, HD, and anamorphic recording. The Body I.S. compensates for camera movement even when L-Mount lenses without O.I.S. are used and when other lenses are fitted via an adapter

The Active I.S. looks like it works really well, and it certainly should allow you to capture very steady footage when shooting handheld. If you combine a Panasonic lens such as the 24-105mm that has O.I.S with in-body image stabilization you should be able to obtain remarkably steady shots when shooting handheld.

There is also an additional E-Stabilization mode you can activate where camera shake is corrected along with vertical, horizontal, roll, pitch, and yaw axes through the combined uses of in-lens, in-body, and electronic image stabilization.

The biggest downside to using IBIS and OIS is that if you try and do pans or tilts you can get this bad floating effect that makes it hard to do anything smoothly. If you are shooting anything where you are getting lens flare you will also see the flare moving around in an unnatural way. Now, you can change the stabilization operation mode to Normal, Panning (Auto), Panning (Left & right), and Panning (up & Down), but in a lot of situations, you are probably going to forget that you can change it.

There is a slight image crop when you turn on the E-Stabilization (video) mode, but it is fairly minimal. If you just have the Boost I.S (video) activated there is no crop.

Video Specifications


Despite being a hybrid mirrorless camera, Panasonic, as always, is pushing the video specifications as one of the main selling points of the S5 II and S5 II x

Panasonic was the first company to introduce 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording in a mirrorless hybrid and they now have 12 cameras that are capable of recording UHD 4:2:2 10-bit internally. No other company making mirrorless hybrids can claim that. Here are the 13?cameras capable of capturing UHD 4:2:2 10-bit internally:

  • Panasonic Lumix G9
  • Panasonic Lumix BGH1
  • Panasonic Lumix BS1H
  • Panasonic Lumix GH5
  • Panasonic Lumix GH5S
  • Panasonic Lumix GH5II
  • Panasonic Lumix GH6
  • Panasonic Lumix S1H
  • Panasonic Lumix S1
  • Panasonic Lumix S1H
  • Panasonic Lumix S5
  • Panasonic Lumix S5 II
  • Panasonic Lumix S5 II x

Here is what the S5 II and S5 II x can capture when it comes to internal video recording:

S5 II & S5 II x (No Crop) .MOV/ MP4

6K* 3:2 (5952×3968)4:2:0 10-bit29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
6K* 17:9
4:2:0 10-bit29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
5.9K* 16:9
4:2:0 10-bit29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
4:2:2 10-bit
4:2:0 10-bit
29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
UHD 4:2:2 10-bit
4:2:0 10-bit
29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
HD 4:2:2 10-bit
4:2:0 10-bit
119.88p, 100.00p, 59.94p, 50.00p,
47.95p/ 48.00p, 29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p

* 30-minute recording limitation

When recording in 6K or 5.9K UHD you can record in 4:2:0 10-bit up to 29.97p in full-frame with no crop. You can shoot in 4K DCI or UHD in 4:2:2 10-bit at up to 29.97p. There is an APS-C sized crop when shooting in UHD at 50p or 59.94p. There is also an APS-C crop when shooting in HD at higher than 60fps and when shooting in the 4K anamorphic mode.

You can also shoot in the S&Q mode and do up to 1-180 fps in HD.

S5 II & S5 II x (APS-C Crop) .MOV/ MP4

4096 x 2160
4:2:2 10-bit
4:2:0 10-bit
59.94p, 50.00p, 47.95p/ 48.00p,
29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
UHD 4:2:2 10-bit
4:2:0 10-bit
59.94p, 50.00p, 47.95p/ 48.00p,
29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
3.3K (4:3)4:2:2 10-bit
4:2:0 10-bit
59.94p, 50.00p, 47.95p/ 48.00p,
29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
HD 4:2:2 10-bit
4:2:0 10-bit
119.88p, 100.00p, 59.94p, 50.00p,
47.95p/ 48.00p, 29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p

You can only shoot in the APS-C crop mode if you want to record 4K DCI or UHS at frame rates above 29.97p. The 3.3K anamorphic mode is only available when using the cameras in their APS-C crop modes.

S5 II x ProRes Recording (No Crop)

5.8K4:2:2 10-bit29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
4K DCI4:2:2 10-bit29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
UHD 4:2:2 10-bit29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
HD 4:2:2 10-bit119.88p, 100p, 59.94p, 50.00p,
47.95p, 48.00p, 29.97p, 25.00p,
24.00p, 23.98p

As you can see, you are still limited to 29.97p when recording in ProRes externally in the full frame sensor mode.

S5 II x ProRes Recording (APS-C Crop)

4K DCI4:2:2 10-bit59.94p, 50.00p, 47.95p/ 48.00p,
29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
UHD 4:2:2 10-bit59.94p, 50.00p, 47.95p/ 48.00p,
29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
3.3K (4:3)4:2:2 10-bit59.94p, 50.00p, 47.95p/ 48.00p,
29.97p, 25.00p, 24.00p, 23.98p
HD 4:2:2 10-bit119.88p, 100p, 59.94p, 50.00p,
47.95p, 48.00p, 29.97p, 25.00p,
24.00p, 23.98p

Anamorphic Capabilities

The S5 II and S5 II x have a lot of good options when shooting anamorphic.

Above you can see the various anamorphic modes that are on offer.

The cameras can record 3328 x 2496 4:2:2 10-bit up to 50p.

Now, some of these video specifications may not seem overly exciting given what the Canon EOS R5, Nikon Z9, and Sony a9 are capable of, but you have to remember the S5 II is a sub $2,000 USD full-frame camera.

Recording Time Limitations?

The S5 II and S5 II x don’t have any recording limitations as long as you are recording in 4K DCI, UHD or HD. You can record without any interruption even in temperatures up to 40 C / 104 F. Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 30 minutes in [6K/29.97p][6K/25.00p] [5.9K/29.97p] [5.9K/25.00p] when Thermal Management mode is set to Standard.

S5 II x ProRes Recording

As I mentioned earlier, the S5 II x is able to record 5.8K/4K DCI/3.3K/HD ProRes in 422HQ or 422 over USB-C to an external SSD. This is a nice feature to have and with plenty of small-sized and fast SSD/NVMe drives now available this is sure to be something that filmmakers will take advantage of.

RAW Recording


Just like the S1H and S5, the S5 II and S5 II x will be able to output a 5.9K RAW signal that will be able to be recorded to a compatible Atomos device in ProRes RAW. With the S5 II you need to purchase an optional license to enable external RAW recording. With the S5 II x the license comes with the camera.

This is what will be able to be recorded:

Screenshot 2020 08 12 at 10 19 15 AM

Apple ProRes RAW can be recorded on Atomos Ninja V. V-Log or Rec.709 is selectable on Live View monitor during RAW output.

Shooting assist functions including WFM (Wave Form Monitor), Vector Scope, Luminance Spot Meter, Zebra Pattern can be used during RAW output.

A LUT (Lookup table) exclusively designed for RAW video recorded on NINJA V is available from: https://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/download/lut/s1h_raw_lut/index.html.

This LUT allows you to match the color grading with V-Log/V-Gamut2. Using this new LUT, you can match colors between the footage recorded with Panasonic Varicam, EVA1, S1H, and GH5/GH6 series cameras to combine them.

You can also RAW video data over HDMI to Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR. This enables 5.9K / 4K / Anamorphic (4:3) 3.5K 12-bit RAW video data output over HDMI to Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR, to be recorded as Blackmagic RAW.

Screenshot 2022 12 18 at 10 17 26 AM

What about the heat?

S5IIX body slant K

Full frame mirrorless cameras recording 4K and higher resolution video generate a lot of heat. Unlike digital cinema cameras that have large cooling systems and vents to dissipate the heat, mirrorless cameras are weather sealed. This means that there is nowhere for the heat to escape. A lot of full-frame mirrorless cameras suffer from overheating problems when they are recording video.

Screen Shot 2019 10 13 at 11 13 36 AM
Panasonic S1H

Unlike the S1H which utilizes a fan behind the LCD screen, the smaller-sized S5 II and S5 II x have a fan placed inside the actual EVF housing. Panasonic does a lot of testing with its mirrorless hybrids, and they told me that they need to be able to run continuously without any issues in 40°C (104°F) temperatures. Hence, why a fan is required so that you don’t have any recording limitations in most of the recording modes. One of the reasons some products have limitations usually has to do with reliability. You could take a normal consumer car and reprogram the computer to make it go faster, but that will affect reliability, fuel efficiency, and the lifespan of that engine and its components. Cameras are no different.

In saying that, cameras from a lot of manufacturers for many years have been artificially limited in their capabilities, mainly because of market segmentation, although that has started to change. If you are offering several models at different price points then the manufacturer will inevitably not include, or limit some forms of functionality in the camera. Any manufacturer has the right to do this. Whether a camera can do more than it is actually capable of is irrelevant. If a manufacturer chooses to limit the capabilities or performance of a camera that is their choice. As a consumer, you may not be happy about this, but nobody forces anyone to buy a camera. If you don’t like what a certain manufacturer has done then don’t give them your money.


The S5 II and S5 II x like most full-frame mirrorless hybrid cameras are not going to be immune from heat warnings. The cameras may stop recording when used at a temperature that is lower or higher than the recommended operating temperature (0 to 40 degrees). If the temperature of the camera rises a temperature icon will be displayed. Recording may stop, and some functions may become unavailable temporarily. You need to wait until the camera cools down.

No weather-sealed full-frame mirrorless hybrid is going to be immune from heat issues, period. If you don’t add a proper cooling system to any camera you are going to run into issues.

Dual Native ISO

Screen Shot 2019 10 11 at 6 05 00 PM

Just like the S1H and S5, the S5 II and S5 II x have a dual native ISO. Both cameras Dual Native ISOs are 640 and 4000 when shooting in V-Log. Normally noise increases as sensitivity rises with a single native ISO image sensor. However, the image sensor with Dual Native ISO in the S5 is claimed to minimize noise generation by choosing the optimum circuit to use before gain processing, according to the ISO sensitivity that is set.

DSC 9074 01

Unlike the original S5, the Dual Native ISO feature can be switched manually between LOW and HIGH like on the S1H. You can also set it to AUTO.

Now, the Dual Native ISOs do change depending on what profile you are shooting in:

  • Normal picture profiles: 100 and 640 ISO
  • V-Log: 640 and 4000 ISO
  • HLG: 400 and 2500 ISO
  • Cinelike D2/V2: 200 and 1250 ISO

One thing to note is that there currently isn’t any way of changing the shutter speed from angle to degrees like you can on the S1H. You can only display shutter speed on the S5 II and S5 II x. This will be fixed in a future firmware update.

Picture Profiles

On the S5 II and S5 II x you can choose to shoot in the following picture profiles:

  • Standard
  • Vivid
  • Natural
  • Flat
  • Landscape
  • Portrait
  • Monochrome
  • L.Monochrome
  • L.Monochrome D
  • Cinelike D2 (gamma curve that gives priority to dynamic range)
  • Cinelike V2 (gamma curve that gives priority to contrast)
  • Like709 (mimics a Rec.709 gamma curve)
  • V-Log
  • Like2100(HLG)

You can make adjustments to certain parameters once you choose a picture style. With V-Log and Like2100(HLG) you can’t change as many parameters for obvious reasons.

Cinelike D2, Cinelike V2, and Like709 are all good options if you don’t want to record in V-Log.

Real-Time LUT

On both cameras, you have the ability to use what Panasonic refers to as Real Time LUT. Essentially this just means that you can load up a user LUT and then choose to have that LUT baked into your footage. This is useful if you have fast turnaround times or you don’t want to deal with Log footage in post or if you don’t want to use one of the picture profiles.


Screen Shot 2019 10 13 at 9 57 39 AM

The S5 II and S5 II x both have V-Log/V-Gamut included as standard

According to Panasonic, the S5 II and S5 II x recorded footage is compatible with V-Log footage recorded by VariCam or V-Log L footage recorded by other LUMIX cameras such as the GH5/GH5S, GH6, S1H, and S1.

You couldn’t turn Noise Reduction to -1 when shooting in V-Log on the S5 like you could on the S1H. On the S5 the lowest you could set Noise Reduction to is 0. I haven’t been able to check whether or not this is the case with the new S5 II and S5 II x.

Screen Shot 2019 10 17 at 10 15 56 AM

The [V-Log] curve characteristics comply with “V-Log/V-Gamut REFERENCE MANUAL Rev.1.0”. When set to [V-Log], the standard exposure when grey with a reflectance ratio of 18% is imaged is IRE 42%.

Screen Shot 2019 10 17 at 10 16 32 AM
When luminance is to be displayed by Stop units, this camera calculates IRE 42% to 0 Stop.

It’s nice to see that Panasonic has included V-Log/V-Gamut in the S5 II and S5 II x and not made it a paid option.

DSC 3506

V-Log View Assist is also available on the new cameras. V-Log View Assist means you can show images with a LUT applied on the monitor/viewfinder and also output that via HDMI.

Above you can see the options that are available when using V-Log View Assist.

There is also a couple of view assist options if you are shooting in HLG.

I’m not the biggest fan of the V-Log to 709 LUT. In my personal opinion, it just doesn’t look good and makes everything way too magenta for my liking. Skin tones don’t look good if you are shooting in V-Log and then just using the LUT.

Luminance Level

DSC 9095

On both cameras, Panasonic gives you the ability to assign the luminous range when recording video. When shooting in any of the 8-bit codecs you can choose to set the luminous range at:

  • 0-255
  • 16-235
  • 16-255

Now, the luminance range settings will change themselves if you are shooting in any of the 10-bit codecs. Instead of the above, you can choose to set them at:

  • 0-1023
  • 64-940
  • 64-1023

In V-Log you can’t adjust the luminous range. It is preset at 0-255 when shooting in an 8-bit codec and 0-1023 when shooting in a 10-bit codec.


Now, there is always going to be a catch with a sub $2,000 USD hybrid mirrorless camera. With the S5 II and S5 II x you can only record internally in 6K and 5.9K in 4:2:0 10-bit and only up to 29.97p.

The cameras can record in:

MOV: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.265/HEVC
MP4: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.265/HEVC

As I mentioned earlier, the S5 II x can record externally in ProRes.

The maximum internal bitrate is 200Mbps. With the S5 II x you can record up to 800Mbps when capturing externally in ProRes to a connected USB-C drive.

What does it record to?

Screenshot 2020 08 14 at 10 24 40 AM

The S5 II and S5 II x both feature dual SD card slots. Both slots are compatible with UHS-I/UHS-II cards.

You can select how the dual card slots work. Here is how you can set them up:

Relay RecRecording transitions from one card to the next once
the first card becomes full
Backup RecRecords the same footage to both cards simultaneously
Allocation RecAllows you to specify what images get recorded
to what card. For example, stills to one card, videos to another etc.

What can they output over HDMI?

The S5 can output up to 5.9K 4:2:2 10-bit at up to 29.97p over HDMI. If you are outputting 4K 4:2:2 10-bit up to 30p over HDMI you can still simultaneously record in camera.

The cameras can output 4:2:2 10bit when [Rec Quality] is set to [4:2:2 10bit] or [4:2:0 10bit]. They will output 4:2:2 8bit when [Rec Quality] is set to [4:2:0 8bit].

You can choose to output the camera’s information over HDMI so you can see menus and replicate the rear LCD screen. This is handy if you are just using an external monitor for display purposes only.

In a lot of ways, the S5 II is like the older S1H. On the S5 II, you are going to get pretty similar image quality as you will get on the much more expensive S1H. You also get practically the same recording modes internally, unlimited recording times, and the ability to record in ALL-I codecs.

Dynamic range

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While the camera has a good amount of dynamic range, out of the claimed 14 stops, 8 of those are below middle grey. This claimed dynamic range is the same as the claimed dynamic range of the S1H, S5, Varicam LT, Varicam 35, and EVA1.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing scientific dynamic range tests, however, I am more interested to see how that dynamic range translates to real-world shooting conditions. The amount of stops a camera has doesn’t mean anything, especially if the highlight handling of the camera isn’t great. The S5 II and S5 II x may well have 13-14 stops of dynamic range, but they don’t roll off highlights that smoothly, and they hard clip them before you get anywhere near 100 IRE. Despite the highlight roll-off being quite aggressive on scopes, when looking at actual real-world images it isn’t nearly as bad as the scopes indicate.

The overall dynamic range of the S5 II and S5 II x should still be pretty good and if you can’t work with the DR the camera has you are doing something very wrong. All modern-day cameras have a pretty decent dynamic range.

Accurate Colors?

You hear people talking about color science all the time, but in my opinion, color science is really only applicable or debatable when you are not shooting Log or RAW. If you are someone who needs a camera where they just want to turn material around quickly or hand it off to someone who won’t be grading it, then choose a camera that you think looks good when you are shooting in a regular picture profile. The S5 II, like most Lumix cameras, should give you a nice-looking image shooting directly in the L709 or some of the other standard picture profiles.

It is fairly easy for any camera to reproduce a single color (for example a blue sky) but where it is a lot more challenging to reproduce lots of different colors accurately at the same time.

Color accuracy is a hard one to judge as both lenses and lighting will play a factor in how color is perceived.

Low Light Performance


As I have already mentioned, the S5 II and S5 II x utilize the same dual native ISO technology that can be found in the S1H and S5. Unlike the S5, you can manually change the setting between Low/High/Auto on the S5 II and S5 II x.

ISO performance can be hard to quantify as it really depends on what conditions you are shooting in. If you are shooting in conditions where everything in your scene is dark, you will, of course, see more noise. If a good proportion of your scene can be exposed correctly, then the noise levels are less distracting, even when shooting at higher ISO levels.

I personally don’t like shooting anything above 5000 ISO regardless of the camera I am using. But depending on the type of work you are doing you may find yourself having to push ISO levels to get that shot that couldn’t otherwise be captured.

You can adjust the amount of noise reduction being used regardless of what picture profile you are using. In V-Log it is set at the lowest default level of 0. You can adjust it up to +10. On all the other picture profiles it also defaults at 0, but you can adjust it from -5 to +5.

I would use the noise reduction very carefully if you plan on having it on. Even Panasonic clearly states that Increasing the effect may result in a slight drop in picture resolution. In my opinion, you are much better off doing your noise reduction in post unless you have to turn your material around very quickly.

V-Log material does clean up quite nicely with a bit of noise reduction. The S5 II and S5 II x should perform admirably in low-light conditions. While they may not be the best low-light full-frame camera going around, ¥they are going to be good enough for most people’s needs.

Lens Mount


The S5 II and S5 II x use the L Mount. The L Mount is fairly adaptable and there is a range of adaptors you can use to run non-native L Mount lenses if need be.

One of the interesting things I found out in the past from Panasonic was that a large proportion of S1H users weren’t using native L-mount glass on their cameras. A lot of people were running cinema glass through the use of adaptors. However, with the improved autofocus of the S5 II and S5 II x, more users are likely to use native glass instead of cinema glass.

One of the key drawcards of the L Mount is its short flange focal distance. With an inner diameter 51.6 mm and a flange depth of 20.0 mm it allows enough room to place a lens adapter ring between just about any lens and the L Mount.

Below are the flange depths of some other camera systems:

  • Nikon Z Mount 16mm
  • Fujifilm X-Mount 17.7mm
  • Sony E-Mount 18mm
  • Canon RF-Mount 20mm
  • Leica M-Mount 27.8mm
  • Contax G-Mount 29mm
  • Canon EF-Mount 44mm
  • Nikon F-Mount 46.5mm

Wooden Camera makes a PL to L Mount conversion kit if you want to run cinema glass on your S5. There are also other PL to L Mount Adapter options from a wide range of companies, including Fotodiox, c7 Adapters, Leitz, Kippon, and Sigma.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for Panasonic in trying to sell any of Lumix S series cameras used to be lens choices. However, Panasonic now has a pretty comprehensive range of native lenses in L mount. Third-party lens manufacturers are also now making more lenses in L mount.

The Lumix S lenses are optically very good, but they have tended to be quite expensive.

Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro O.I.S. Lens$1,097.99 USD
Lumix S PRO 16-35mm f/4 Lens$1,297.99 USD
Lumix S PRO 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens$1,997.99 USD
Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/2.8 O.I.S. Lens$2,397.99 USD
Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S. Lens$1,497.99 USD
Panasonic Lumix S 18mm f/1.8 Ultra-Wide-Angle Lens$997.99 USD
Panasonic Lumix S 24mm f/1.8 Lens$797.99 USD
Panasonic Lumix S 35mm f/1.8 Lens$597.99 USD
Panasonic Lumix S 50mm f/1.8 Lens$347.99 USD
Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 Lens$2,097.99 USD
Panasonic Lumix S 85mm f/1.8 Lens$497.99 USD

Fully Rotatable Screen

Just like most of the Panasonic mirrorless cameras, the S5 II and S5 II x come with a fully articulating and rotatable screen. The screen is 3″ in size, which is slightly smaller than the 3.2″ screens used on the S1H, S1, and S1R.

Panasonic LUMIX S5 S R2060 backslant K LCD

The 3″ fold out monitor should be easy enough to use and I think most users will be happy with its design. The touch screen functionality of the original S5 was responsive and the quality of the screen was pretty good. I would expect that it should be the same on the S5 II and S5 II x.


You can actually make the screen on the S5 very bright and this does make it pretty usable even in very sunny conditions outdoors, so that will hold true with the S5 II and S5 II x.

I like that the fold-out monitor can be flipped around and completely hidden away. It means that when you are putting the camera in a bag or transporting it the rear screen won’t get accidentally scratched.

The only trouble with the screen on the S5 II and S5 II x is the rotation is limited if you have an HDMI cable plugged into the body of the camera. The screen ends up hitting the HDMI cable. I had the exact same issue when I was reviewing the S5 and S1H.

For people who need to film themselves, Panasonic has also included a REC Frame indicator where a red frame outline appears to let you know if you are recording or not. This can be turned on or off.


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The new cameras don’t use the same Real View Finder as the S1H, S1, S5, or S1R. The S5 II and S5 II x use a new viewfinder with an 0.39″ OLED with 3,600,000 dots.

I like that you can press the LVF button on the side of the EVF to turn the rear LCD screen off, or turn the EVF off. I wish Panasonic had implemented a way to be able to keep both on at the same time and to turn off the EVF proximity sensor.

The rear viewfinder should be pretty good, and an improvement over previous Panasonic cameras.

White Balance

On a lot of mirrorless cameras doing a white balance is far more complicated than it should be.

With the S5 II it is quick to do a custom white balance. The camera also has a dedicated white balance button that is easy to access. This allows you to make white balance changes very quickly.

You can store up to 4 custom white balance settings, and there are additional 4-Kelvin color temperature settings you also store.

You can also choose AWB as well as 7 other preset-defined white balance settings.

Frame Lines

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The cameras have the ability to generate a wide array of frame markers in different sizes. here is what you can do:

  • 2.39:1
  • 2.35:1
  • 2.00:1
  • 1.85:1
  • 16:9
  • 4:3
  • 5:4
  • 1:1
  • 4:5
  • 9:16

What is nice is you can also change the color of the frame marker lines as well as the frame mask. These are features you don’t commonly see on mirrorless hybrids.

Image Area of Video

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As the S5 II utilizes a full-frame sensor you can choose what image area you would like to capture. The angle of view differs depending on the image area. By choosing a different image area you can effectively extend your lenses focal reach without image deterioration.

You can only choose Image Area when recording in various codecs and frame rates. In a lot of the UHD and HD modes, you can choose Full Frame, S35, and Pixel/Pixel.

Where this option is impressive is when you are recording in HD. Here you can select from using Full Frame, S35mm, or Pixel/Pixel. This is very handy as you can use one full-frame zoom lens such as the 24-105mm F4 to shoot just about anything you need. If you are shooting events, news, or even weddings, and you need to deliver in HD, an S5 and 24-105mm F4 full-frame zoom makes for a compelling solution.

If you are shooting in UHD, selecting APS-C or Pixel/Pixel gives you the same result.

The other benefit of pixel to pixel when shooting in HD is that you can get incredibly good macro shots with a standard lens.

I couldn’t see any large difference in image quality when using Full, S35mm, or Pixel/Pixel. The only thing I could see is that the Pixel/Pixel is probably not quite as sharp as the Full Frame or S35mm modes.

Of course, you also can’t choose to shoot using the full view of the sensor if you are using a Super 35 mm/APS-C lens or if you have the Image Circle selected to S35mm.

Live Cropping

On the S5 II and S5 II x, just like the S1H and S5, you can utilize a function called Live Cropping. What this essentially does is let you capture a zoomed-in view of your image.

DSC 3499

By cropping a part of the image from what is displayed in the live view, you can record FHD video that incorporates panning and zooming as long as the camera stays in a fixed position. You can also just record a frame that doesn’t move.

You need to select a compatible recording mode and format to be able to record Live Cropping. If you have selected a recording format or recording quality where Live Cropping isn’t available, the camera will automatically switch to a recording format that is.

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There is a little catch when using Live Cropping. You can only set the S5 II or S5 II x to record for either 20 or 40 seconds. It’s a little strange that you can’t just set it to stay on whatever frame you have selected for as long as you want, but I’m sure Panasonic did this on purpose so that users wouldn’t forget that Live Cropping was activated.

So does it work well? In short yes. The zooms you can do are really smooth. The pans aren’t quite as good and they have a slightly digital feel to them. The only problem I have with Live Cropping is there is no way of setting a start or a pause at the end. Once you set your points and hit record, the zoom or pan instantly starts and then when it finishes it instantly stops. As you can also only select recording durations of 20 or 40 seconds, the usefulness of this function becomes somewhat limiting.

It is a little limiting that you can only get an HD recording. It would have been nice to be able to record in 4K. Yes, this wouldn’t allow for that much of a pan or zoom, but it would still be nice to have.

You really need to use a tripod when doing Live Cropping. While you can do it handheld, the results won’t be nearly as good.

Live Cropping is a nice feature to have. While it’s great that you can do the cropping, panning, and zooming in-camera, there probably isn’t any real benefit overdoing it in post, unless you are handing footage off to a client or turning material around quickly.

Just to be crystal clear, anytime you are using Live Cropping, the recording will be done in HD. The HD recordings can be done at up to 60p 4.2.0 8 bit in MP4 only.


With the interval shooting function you can automatically set up time-lapse recording on the S5 II and S5 II x. The shooting interval can be set from 1 second to 99 minutes 59 seconds in increments of 1 second.

Once you finish recording a timelapse you can then turn it into a movie file without leaving the camera. The cameras support 4K / 60p interval video generation. What is nice is that the exposure is smoothed when the video is being generated so you can create time-lapse videos with smooth exposure changes.


Good onboard audio recording is something that is rarely seen in mirrorless cameras. This is a pity because I would argue that manufacturers should be paying more attention to audio, especially with more video-centric models.

A good proportion of people buying an S5 II or S5 II x are probably going to be doing their own audio and won’t have the benefit of using a sound recordist.

When using the S5 II, the recording level range can be set from -12dB to +6dB. On the S1H you can set it from -18dB to + 12dB.

DSC 9084

This ability to set the recording level very low means you can eliminate any internal pre-amp noise when you connect up an external audio device.

DSC 9092 01

In the camera’s audio menu you can also select the type of input you want to choose.

The S5 II and S5 II x have a recording level meter that is displayed on the shooting screen. Unlike the S1H which uses meters with the same display characteristics as cinema cameras (-36dB to -12dB in 2dB increments and -12dB to 0dB in 1dB increments), the S5 only shows you indicators for -12dB and 0dB.

The S5 II and S5 II x don’t display peak level values for each separate audio channel like the S1H does, in fact, it doesn’t display any peak audio values.

Now, as far as audio monitoring goes, the S5 II and S5 II x have the same problem you will find on a lot of cameras. There is no way to monitor just channel 1 or just channel 2. If you are running two microphones, you hear one microphone through the left earphone and the other through the right. This really frustrates me. Why is it so hard to make a system where you can choose to monitor an individual channel and not just both at the same time.

The positive aspect of the headphone monitoring is that you can choose to listen to the audio in REALTIME, or you can choose RECSOUND, so you can monitor the outputted HDMI audio. This compensates for the slight audio delay.


Screenshot 2020 08 16 at 9 36 21 AM

If I was buying an S5 II or S5 II x I would also be purchasing the optional DMW-XLR1 audio module. This is the best way to keep the cameras relatively small while adding better audio recording options.


The S5 II and S5 II x both have timecode, but unlike the S1H you can’t input timecode through a BNC conversion cable.

I would have liked to have seen Panasonic take the same route as Nikon and utilize Bluetooth technology so you can send timecode wirelessly from a device like the UltraSync BLUE.

Video Assist Tools

Along with focus peaking, focus magnification, and zebras, the S5 II and S5 II x also have a waveform as well as a luminance spot meter.

The luminance spot value shows your IRE as a percentage. Strangely when you select V-Log as the picture profile the luminance spot value changes to +/- STOP values. I am not quite sure why Panasonic has done that. 0 Stop indicates an IRE value of 42%. If you shoot a 18% grey card then you can just adjust your aperture until it hits 0 Stop in V-Log and you know your exposure will be spot on.

I really like some of the video assist tools that Panasonic gives you. Luminance spot values and waveforms are really handy aids when you are shooting. By adding tools like these it shows me that Panasonic has actually talked to video shooters about features they want to see in cameras.

Still Capabilities

Screenshot 2022 12 27 at 5 12 39 PM

Above you can see the still capabilities of both cameras. The S5 II and S5 II x can do high-speed burst shooting at up to 9fps with mechanical shutter and 30fps with electronic shutter (capable of capturing up to 300 images). There is also a 96-megapixel High-Resolution Mode (JPEG/RAW).


DSC 9094

The menu system on the S5 II and S5 II x looks to be very similar to that of the S5. There are a lot of menu options and it can get a little confusing trying to make certain changes. While there is a video recording menu, you have to go into other sections to change certain parameters that still pertain to video shooting. I wish companies making hybrid mirrorless cameras would just have a system where when you are in video mode you only see video menus. Conversely, when you want to shoot still images you only see still image menus.

DSC 9123

There are a few options you can change in the menu so when you switch from stills to video or video to stills it retains those settings.

By pressing the Q button you can bring up a quick way to change key parameters quickly.

Unfortunately, the S5 II and S5 II x don’t have the same video information display screen as you get on the S1H.


DSC 9109 01
S1H battery (top) & S5 II battery (bottom)

The S5 II and S5 II x use the same battery as the S5. These batteries are different than the S1H, S1, and S1R. The S5 II/S5 II x battery is the DMW-BLK22 and it has a capacity of 2200 mAh. As a comparison, the DMW-BLJ31 battery used in the other Lumix S cameras has a 3050 mAh capacity.

The battery takes a long time to charge. Using the included charger it takes 4 hours to fully charge up the battery. The battery can be quickly charged via USB PD (USB Power Delivery) using the bundled USB3.1 Type-C cable. The camera can be used while charging.

A single battery should get you around 110 minutes if you are shooting UHD 60p. In other modes, you will get slightly longer recording times.

Battery life is decent. You would probably need around 4 batteries to get you through a whole day of shooting.

The DMW-BGS5 battery grip will also work on both cameras.

NTSC/PAL Compatible

Unlike the S1 which only allowed you to shoot in NTSC or Pal frame rates depending where in the world you bought it, the S5 II and S5 II x are fully PAL/NTSC switchable.

The nice thing about the cameras is that you can switch between NTSC/PAL without having to reboot them. On the S1H when you change the System Frequency you need to reboot the camera.

Who is it aimed at?

Panasonic LUMIX S5 S R2060 backslant K LCD

I personally see the S5 II and S5 II x as being either a camera for those shooters who want to step up to full-frame from say a GH6, or users who like the smaller form factor of a mirrorless camera, but want something more video-centric.

It could also find a place as a B camera to complement larger digital cinema cameras. If you are a Varicam LT, EVA1, S1H user, the S5 II or S5 II x should match up nicely.

The camera will also appeal to those users who want to shoot anamorphic, as there are so many affordable lenses now on the market.

Price & Availability

Panasonic LUMIX S5 Lifestyle Image holding

The S5 II will retail for $1,997.99 USD and it will start shipping on January 31st. The S5 II x is $2,197.99 USD but it won’t be available till May 31st.

The new Panasonic Lumix 14-28mm f/4-5.6 MACRO Lens (Leica L) lens retails for $797.99 USD. It will start shipping on February 28th.

How does this price compare to the direct competition?

Panasonic S5 II$1,997.99 USD
Panasonic S5 II x$2,197.99 USD
Panasonic S5$1,497.99 USD
Panasonic S1$2,497.99 USD
Canon EOS R5$3,699.00 USD
Canon EOS R6 II$2,499 USD
Sony a7 III$1,998 USD
Sony a7 VI$3,898 USD
Nikon Z7 II$2,596.95 USD

The S5 II and S5 II x are very competitively priced, and I think they need to be. Competition in the hybrid mirrorless space is pretty intense with so many manufacturers offering good options.



The S5 II and S5 II x certainly look to be very capable cameras given their relatively low price, especially when you compare them against their direct competition. With improved AF and good onboard and external recording options, Panasonic is finally back! In saying that, they are very late to the party and a lot of potential buyers are already firmly entrenched in systems from Sony and Canon.

The autofocus performance alone is a good reason to look at Panasonic seriously again. Why it took Panasonic so long to bring their AF up to speed is anyone’s guess.

I personally think that given the relatively small price difference between the S5 II and S5 II x, the S5 II x would be the camera I would be choosing. Having the option to record in ProRes to a USB-C SSD is a nice option to have.

The biggest stumbling block Panasonic faces, as I just mentioned, is that they are late to the party. By only introducing cameras with decent AF at the start of 2023 they are only now starting to catch up to the competition. The trouble with buying any camera that utilizes a native mount is that once users are invested in a particular lens ecosystem it is very hard to get them to switch to another platform. For example, if you already own a ton of Sony E mount lenses, you are not going to suddenly sell all of those and your camera to buy an S5 II or S5 II x. This is why timing is everything. If you can lock a user into your lens mount system there is a good chance they will stay with you because switching is a very expensive proposition. Panasonic always made good cameras, but in the past, their limited lens lineup and the poor AF performance pushed potential buyers towards other systems, and now trying to win those people back may be a difficult task.

The other glaring issue, at least from my perspective, is that Panasonic’s cinema division seems to be dead and buried. They haven’t released a camera in a very long time and they seem to have abandoned the cinema space altogether. This is where Sony and Canon have a big advantage because users can step up from a mirrorless hybrid to a digital cinema camera, or use a mirrorless hybrid in combination with a digital cinema camera.

It is good to see Panasonic finally dump its antiquated AF system, but will it be enough to win potential users back? We will have to see.

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