Panasonic S5: delve into the details

About the features of this camera already wrote before. In this article I want to go through the nuances that are not obvious at first glance. I had opportunity familiarize yourself with this camera and test it.

My experience with the Panasonic S5

The camera is relatively small, not very heavy. Since the Panasonic G9 lay nearby and there was something to compare with, I will say that the grip and handle of the S5 are not the most comfortable. In general, it's okay, but models like the Panasonic S1 or G9 feel better in the hand. By the way, Panasonic G9 on micre 4/3 heavier than the Panasonic S5 at full frame.

Since I was testing the camera indoors in low light, it caught my eye relatively weak viewfinder. On paper, it has 2.36 million dots, which is pretty decent. But in fact it is weaker than Fujifilm X-S10. The viewfinder is smaller and in those conditions flickered, regardless of shutter speed. There was no flicker on Fujifilm.

3 inch screen with a resolution of 1.84 million points is normal, but clearly not top-end. Screens in cameras Canon R/R6/R5 significantly benefit. There seems to be a small difference between 3 inches (Panasonic) and 3.2 inches (Canon), but it feels good when you hold the cameras side by side.

Autofocus average. Panasonic scold autofocus so much, as if it were not there at all. This is not true. There is really no autofocus Blackmagic cameras. In the Panasonic S5, it is quite functional, but of course it is inferior to other cameras on the market. In very low light in photo mode, there were dark places in the room where the Panasonic S5 did not want to focus at all, and the Fujifilm X-S10 aimed without problems. But we did some tests where the S5 did quite well even in servo mode.

In general, autofocus is slow. The quality of his work depends on the lighting. But nevertheless, for many real tasks it will be enough.

By the way, the Panasonic S5 does not have autofocus on the eyes, only on the faces. The difference will be felt when shooting large facial portraits with f2 and wider lenses. For optics with f2.8 and darker, there is plenty of focus on faces.

Pleasantly surprised that video The Panasonic S5 holds autofocus well if you want to film yourself in blog mode. More old panasonics on mic 4/3 they did not cope with this task. Here you can also put the camera and shoot yourself with tracking AF.

Slow motion: nuance

In this camera, the slow-motion mode was cut. On paper, you get the same 180fps in FullHD as on the Panasonic S1. Only at S5 at the same time bitrate only 20Mbit, which is clearly not enough for such a number of frames per second.

In 4K 60fps, the bitrate is normal, but "only" 8bit, instead of 10bit at 4K 30fps. 4K 60fps this camera shoots in crop mode.


I had the opportunity to feel the new Panasonic Lumix S 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6. I liked the lens. I recommend taking it as a whale to this camera. If you take it immediately with a set with a camera, it turns out very profitable.

panasonic 20-60mm

The lens is plastic, weight 350 grams. I was pleasantly surprised by its compactness. The zoom ring is tight. Unlike zoom lenses on the Nikon Z-mount, it does not need to be extended to get started. It feels cheap in the hands, but it is sharp everywhere and always. I liked the focal lengths of 20-60mm, it gives a non-standard wide angle for this kind of lenses (instead of the usual 24mm) and, at the same time, zooms in well. I find the 20-60mm lens more interesting than the standard 24-70mm.

You should not expect some kind of super color rendering or incredible plasticity and bokeh from a standard kit, but as a kit lens it is excellent, in my opinion. Yes, the aperture is not high, but this is expected for an inexpensive kit lens. Let me remind you that for shooting night landscapes you need tripod. No brightest lens will help with this.

A lot of native optics from both Panasonic and Sigma have already been released on Panasonic cameras with their Leica L-mount mount. All of them are undeniably worthy. The only question is the price. As a rule, this is not a cheap pleasure. Therefore, many people think about using adapters for Canon EF lenses. And it works. Even with inexpensive Commlite adapter you'll get autofocus in photo mode. In video mode, AF with non-native optics seems to work, but very so-so. In point mode, it is quite suitable for photography. So there is an option to save money.

Relative to competitors

I believe that this model has been unfairly neglected relative to other cameras on the market due to not the coolest autofocus. Yes, with such a camera it will be uncomfortable to shoot weddings /matinees/other trash in chaotic lighting. But not everything is around now wedding bombillas. It seems to me that now there are fewer such people.

Panasonic S5 is quite suitable for travel photo / video shooting, for portrait photography, for blogging, for various video work. As for video, the Panasonic S5 has a number of competitive advantages that can outweigh the relatively weak autofocus. Namely:

  • For the price of the Canon R, the Panasonic S5 can shoot 4K video at 10-bit without cropping. I can’t say that this is directly super-critical, but for those who are very passionate about video shooting, this camera will give more for the same money.
  • The Panasonic S5 delivers sharp 4K with good detail (sharper Canon R).
  • Panasonic S5 does not overheat when recording video.
  • No video recording limitin 8 bits - no limit, in 10 bits there is a limit of 30 minutes).
  • Video to log profile by dynamic range Panasonic S5 is even slightly ahead Canon R5, but costs as Canon r.
  • There is an anamorphic mode and a bunch of other specific settings that competitors do not have for this and even more money.
  • Pleasant color reproduction right out of the box, unlike garbage from Sony.
  • Good audio preamplifier - you can write high-quality sound directly to the camera without a recorder.

BONUS: For super professionals, this camera has 2 SD card slots and matrix stub.

Concerning Panasonic S1

Pros of S1

  • More comfortable grip
  • Better screen and viewfinder
  • Normal bitrate in slow motion FullHD 180fps
  • 4K 60fps no crop

Cons S1

  • Expensive
  • Noticeably heavier


So, if you choose wisely and understand your real needs, then the Panasonic S5 will be a good choice for adequate money.

Why is this camera so underrated? Everyone wants the fastest autofocus, the coolest settings, and so on. What for? And just because it is necessary - give me more of everything and more pills for greed.

This camera has real advantages, for which, in this price segment, you can even sacrifice AF speed. But it’s not clear for filming where it’s certainly not suitable without autofocus lighting, although the working ISOs are very high here.

From the standpoint of competitive advantages Panasonic S5 is a more video-centric camera. But for photographers, this is a decent full frame. The camera has good color reproduction and a nice picture in general. With the Panasonic Lumix S 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, I was pleased with the compactness of such a versatile kit.

about megapixels in cameras

Do megapixels matter? How many do you need?

In short, it depends on you and is entirely subjective. There is no ruleThe more megapixels the better". Although this is something that manufacturers of digital cameras and cameras in phones are constantly trying to impose.

Experienced photographers have long known that megapixels really don't make much of a difference. But people who buy smartphones often take a more sophisticated model, where they drew more megapixels in the camera parameters.

I will express my opinion. I now have a conditional sufficient limit of 24-26 megapixels. I think this is normal resolution. Below I will give arguments FOR and AGAINST a large number of megapixels.

Why don't you need a lot of megapixels in your camera?

  • The vast majority of images are now viewed from the small screens of smartphones, where megapixels do not play a significant role.
  • Even if the photos and print, few people do this in the format of 1 meter by 1 meter or more. And with print formats up to A2, any digital camera can easily handle it.
  • The number of megapixels does not determine the quality of the photo, although some people equate these concepts. Quality comes first lighting.
  • Small matrices, such as in smartphones or wretched micro 4/3, are not capable of producing high resolutions. The numbers that are inflated in the specifications - interpolation and have no real basis. Photos with 64 megapixels on a smartphone are in fact no better than photos at 12 megapixels from the same smartphone.
  • You can achieve a higher resolution by merging panoramas on any camera (relevant for landscape photography).
  • Files with fewer megapixels take up less space and process faster on older computers.

What gives more megapixels in a camera?

Everything depends on the viewer. For people who consume content from smartphones, high-resolution photos really do not make sense. But for owners of normal monitors, there is a difference.

If you have a large enough monitor with good resolution, you will be able to clearly see the difference between 20 megapixels on one camera and 30 or 45 megapixels on the other. And if you open a photo at 12-16MP on the same monitor, then there will be literally nothing to consider there. The difference in detail will be huge.

For people who are serious about photography, I highly recommend have a 27-32 inch monitor with 4K resolution. You will see photos in a completely different way than on devices with a smaller diagonal and FullHD resolution.

I won't go into detail about printing photos. Of course, higher resolution allows for larger prints. But we do not often print canvases on the entire wall. And small and medium-sized photos can be printed from anything.

Higher resolution will allow you to use a full-frame digital camera even in crop mode. This is a relatively new feature. Mirrorless added this functionality.

Also, a higher resolution gives more opportunities for cropping / reframing photos when processing in Lightroom.

But the most important thing is what you are used to and what is the norm for you. I have been shooting for a long time full frame camera with 20 MP and that was enough for me. To this day, there are plenty of professional photographers who have enough of this permission. Then I had Canon r with 30MP and I felt the difference. After R, I no longer wanted to use a 20 megapixel camera. Now I have Canon R5, where even more detail can be seen when approaching. It's great because you like it and that's it.

The practical use of extra megapixels is not as significant as your emotions from looking at a photo.

On medium format cameras like Fujifilm GFX100S more permissions. 100 megapixels cause a WOW effect even after 45 megapixels. The detail is phenomenal.


The question is, where should you stay? Or do you not need to stop and play megapixels indefinitely? It's subjective. As you wish, so be it. But the pictures are prettier or better from bóThere will definitely not be more megapixels.

Related articles: How many megapixels do you need to print photos?

how to choose a camera

Is it worth it to change the old camera to a new one?

Before you another article on the topic how to choose a camera.

So, let's open the question from the title. As a rule, a camera upgrade means replacing:

What depresses me in this matter is the lack of any clarifications. If the question sounds exactly like this, without additions, “Should I change my old camera for a new one?”, then in general it doesn’t matter at all.

You can change, you can not change - it will not change anything. The problem is that people blame failures on their technique, not their skills.

What do newer models of cameras give?

  • In terms of photography, new cameras will not make pictures fundamentally more beautiful / better.
  • In terms of video, they will give more resolution, autofocus and better dynamic range. It will be eye-catching.

In terms of just pressing a button and expecting results, the new cameras will produce better quality video, but almost exactly the same photos as old camera models.
If you aim for a quality result, then you need to upgrade your shooting skills first of all.

Buy and not think - the motto of our time

People often don't understand how a camera works, when to use light, when to use high-aperture optics. Instead of sorting out the issue, it is much easier for them to spend money on a new camera and expect a fundamentally different result. But he won't.

Can you shoot with the old one?

I am not saying that it is necessary to shoot for junk, tk. technique is not important. Not at all. If you are into photography/videography, using the new technique is much more enjoyable than the old one. Just don't confuse results with ease of use.

The essence of the upgrade is to make it easier and more convenient to shoot and that's it. Although this does not apply new cameras from Sony. The difference in technical parameters does not have such a critical result as many people think.

Regarding the quality of shooting, when I draw parallels between new and old cameras, I mentally compare cameras of the same price segment and with the same sensor size. It would be foolish to say that the camera on micre 4/3 shoots just like full frame.

Another thing is, some people believe in progress so strongly that they think that the new crop can be better or at least the same as the old full frame. It is nonsense. Full-frame cameras give a different color reproduction and display volume in a different way. The new mirrorless crop will have better autofocus, maybe even less noise at high ISOs, but it won't be a full frame. Even if you attach stupid speedbooster.

At the same time, and full frame not required to buy. Especially in the hope that the pictures will get better. It's not the salt.


The article turned out to be quite skeptical and nihilistic. What is the truth? The truth is that it is necessary to set specific tasks, for which the technique will be used. The tasks “I want to shoot children, nature, landscapes, the sea, portraits” can be performed by any camera ... and any phone already. The task of “I want to shoot” a video is performed by any modern camera. “I want to take beautiful pictures” - absolutely any camera will do.

For a competent choice of a particular model, you also need to correctly raise the question and accurately understand your goals. If the question is not accurate, then you can take anything. It won't affect anything.

Also I can order a consultation on the choice of technology.