Panasonic S5II mirrorless cameras bring phase-detection AF to Lumix line
Panasonic has updated its compact full-frame mirrorless photo/video powerhouse camera system from 2020. The S5 Mk II and S5 Mk II X models sport a new sensor with phase-detection AF for fast and accurate subject tracking, can record 6K video at 30 fps, and there's a built-in fan for extended shooting.
Panasonic's new 102.3 x 134.3 x 90.1-mm (4.02 x 5.28 x 3.5-in) hybrid cameras boast a new 24.2-megapixel (35.6 x 23.8-mm) CMOS sensor paired with the company's latest image processing engine – which has resulted from a partnership with Leica inked last year. This combination has allowed phase-detection autofocus to be added to the Lumix line for the first time.
The hybrid contrast/phase AF system promises much improved subject tracking, and now employs 779 phase-detection points to quickly lock on and track a subject, even in low lighting or when there are multiple moving objects in the frame. AI is also used to register the face, eyes, heads and bodies of human subjects, as well as tracking dogs, cats and birds.
There's dual-native ISO up to 51,200 (which can be extended to 204,800), nine frames per second burst shooting using the mechanical shutter or 30 fps with the electronic shutter, and five stops of in-body image stabilization or 6.5 stops when combined with a Lumix S series lens.
This Dual IS is available for both still images and video recording, though the company has also included something called Active IS to optimize correction ratios in relation to camera shake for improved performance while shooting run-and-gun video footage.
The cameras can record 6K (5,952 x 3,968) 4:2:0 10-bit movies at 3:2 or 17:9 aspect and up to 30 frames per second, 5.9K 4:2:0 10-bit at 16:9, or C4K/4K UHD 4:2:2 10-bit at up to 60 frames per second. Dropping the resolution down to Full HD can get you slow-motion 4:2:2 10-bit footage at up to 120 fps.
Panasonic says that it's listened to requests from professionals and added a number of video assistance functions, including Waveform Monitor, Vector Scope and Zebra Pattern. A real-time Look-Up-Table feature caters for color grading of images/video in the camera for immediate upload to social media. A new heat dispersion mechanism comprising a small fan and heatsink is reported to allow for unlimited C4K/60p video recording or livestreaming. And an integrated microphone is capable of recording 24-bit/48-kHz audio, while attaching an external mic could bump the resolution up to 24-bit/96-kHz.
The X variant gains a few extra video capabilities – including RAW video output, ProRes recording to SSD, USB tethering and wired/wireless IP streaming – but is otherwise the same.
Framing up is undertaken using the 3.68-million-dot OLED viewfinder or 3-inch, 1.84-million-dot free-angle LCD touch monitor. Content is captured to UHS-II SD cards in two slots, and there's 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless data transfer and remote operation.
The Lumix S5II has a body only price of US$1,999.99 and goes up for sale later this month, while the S5IIX comes in at $2,199.99 and will be available from May.