Panasonic used CES 2023 to introduce two new hybrid full-frame mirrorless cameras in the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX, both of which are the first of the company’s mirrorless cameras featuring Phase Detection Auto-Focus (PDAF).

The company’s latest S series LUMIX mirrorless cameras, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX, as the latest additions to its S Series camera line-up.

Using Phase Detection Auto-focus, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX are the company’s first mirrorless cameras to utilize Phase Detection Auto-Focus (PDAF). The are each equipped with newly developed 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensors supported with a new imaging processing engine.

Panasonic said the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX will carry suggested retail prices of $1,999.99 and $2,199.99, respectively. The S5II will be available in January 2023 and the LUMIX S5IIX will be available in May.

The LUMIX S5IIX is capable of RAW video output and All-Intra, ProRes recording on SSD. It also features wired/wireless IP streaming function and USB tethering.

Developed under the L2 Technology alliance between LEICA and LUMIX, the new imaging engine is said to provide “high resolution, natural description, and approximately 2x higher-speed signal processing for high bit-rate video recording.”

To further the cameras’ PDAF capabilities and make them more dependable, Panasonic evolved the auto-focus system into Phase Hybrid Auto-Focus by increasing the AF points to 779 to significantly improve subject tracking, Panasonic said.

Once the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX are locked on a subject, the auto-focus will continue to track the subject, even in adverse lighting conditions and when multiple objects are moving within the frame. Additionally, continuous AF is maintained during zooming.

Panasonic said AF micro adjustments, and options to decrease the size of the AF area are available.

Both cameras also incorporate powerful image stabilization (IS) accommodating a wide-range of shooting conditions and situations.

The system employs a combination of Body IS (5-axis) technology and a 2-axis Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) from the LUMIX S Series lens to create the 5-axis Dual I.S. system. This is said to maximize the correction power to allow 6.5-stop slower shutter speed.

The 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 works for both photo and video recording, including 4K.

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In addition, Active I.S. has been added for more stable video recording. This optimizes the horizontal, vertical, and rotational correction ratios by determining the status of camera shake. As a result, the performance of the image stabilizer can account for a larger amount of camera shake at approximately 200% compared to conventional image stabilization, the company said.

This capability is highly beneficial to handheld filming or telephoto fixed-frame shots.

The new image processing engine provides the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX with high video performance comparable to the LUMIX S1H.

The new cameras provide 4:2:0 10-bit 6K (3:2) / 5.9K (16:9), and unlimited 4:2:2 10-bit C4K/4K recording capability.

A new heat-dispersion mechanism removes limits on recording time to avoid overheating. High Frame Rate (HFR) in C4K/4K (48p), FHD (120p), Slow & Quick motion in C4K/4K(1-60fps) / FHD(1-180fps) are also available.

The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX contain 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut capture to deliver a high dynamic range (HDR) and broad colors.

Plus, a Real Time LUT function is provided to enable color grading on the compatible video and photo in camera by applying the LUT(.VLT/.cube) saved in the SD memory card.

Users can perform intended color grading on the spot without postproduction and share images online through social networking sites. This function can be used for livestreaming.

In addition to the PDAF capabilities mentioned above, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX provide:

  • Dual Native ISO sensitivity, which minimizes noise generation by choosing an optimal circuit to use according to the sensitivity before gain processing. As a result, it allows a maximum ISO 51200 (Extended: 204800) high sensitivity recording.
  • Increased capable of higher speed burst shooting at 9 (AFS) / 7 (AFC) fps with a mechanical shutter and 30 fps (AFS/AFC) with an electronic shutter in JPEG/RAW compared with LUMIX S5.

Auto White Balance (AWB) Lock maintains the white balance set in auto. Sheer Overlay can now be used in Creative Video mode making it easy to fix the frame through footage sequence. Luminance level of 2100 Like (HLG) in Photo Style for video has an extended setting range from 64-940 to 0-1023, providing sufficient amount of color grading resistance. In addition to FHD it is now possible to output a 4K image with the live crop function. To support high-precision focusing, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX provide practical options for manual focusing. While focus is shifted with variable amount according to the rotation speed of the focus ring for non-linear setting, it is shifted with a designated amount according to the rotational quantum of the focus ring for linear setting. Sensitivity (amount of focus shift per rotational quantum) can be selected from 90 to 1080 degrees to enable intended focus operation. The MF Assist, which enables the focus point to be enlarged, is now available in both photo shooting and in video recording.

The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX include a large, 3,680K-dot OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) LVF (Live View Finder) that features a high magnification ratio of approx. 1.52x / 0.76x (35mm camera equivalent). A 3.0-inch free-angle touch-control monitor in 3:2 aspect with 1,840K-dot high resolution does not cause interference even when both the HDMI cable and USB cable are connected by adjusting the tilt/rotation angle of the monitor. Improvements in external design are added including new easy-to-operate 8-directional joystick and the drive dial with an increased setting position for 96-megapixel High Resolution Mode (JPEG/RAW).

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By Greg Tarr

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