Panasonic’s S5II and S5IIX Feature Set is All Thanks to a Vocal Community of Run-and-Gun Content Creators

Over the years, Panasonic created and shaped a novel approach and subsequent community of run-and-gun handheld vloggers, videographers, and filmmakers with its hybrid cameras. What was conceptually defined with the GH1 was dramatically refined by the positive feedback loop (and firmware hacking) generated by the enthusiasts and professionals that used Panasonic’s camera gear. Throughout the development of the Lumix line, and with its newest S5II and S5IIX feature set, Panasonic has continually listened to its evolving user base and concentrated its efforts on developing video-centric feature sets that bridge the divide between prosumer and professional applications.

The S5II and S5IIX feature set continues this tradition by drastically upgrading the performance of video-centric features such as built-in image stabilization, anamorphic desqueezing, in-body LUT loading, and support for professional ProRes resolutions and new live-streaming support.

Jurek Ugarow, a veteran member of the Lumix enthusiast community and a professional filmmaker himself with Bread Pudding Productions, reviews the balance of features that set the new S5II and S5IIX ahead of the competition and at the forefront of innovation for handheld filmmaking.

Jurek’s Thoughts

“I think that Panasonic saw the future in terms of social media and content creators and they forged that path that eventually everybody followed. But yes, it was very much a video sort of…video was as important, if not more. And the S5 mark two has a wonderful set of tools for creating video, markers…various tools for highlights and all that kind of stuff. Plus the anamorphic desqueezing the LUT situation for V-Log. Just a fully decked out solution and portable, wonderfully portable. And now, with that great stabilization, moves that were not possible without a rig or a even…a gimbal are now possible handheld from what I can see. And that just makes the whole thing perfect. It’s just a small thing that has everything in it, you mean?

What kind of focus? PDAF, phase detect autofocus. They’re using, again, a hybrid that uses phase detect and contrast detect. From what I’ve seen, there needs to be a little bit of tightening up on obviously the models that were given to all the influencers, I think, I don’t think they were final firmware.

But there’s a lot of good looking stuff in there. And its autofocus, really, it’s the people who have vlogs. I think filmmakers tend to avoid autofocus because it can be unpredictable. And I, for a long time, just used manual focus, but it does round out a very enticing piece of gear.

I think for people who are gonna be using it in a more controlled environments, but higher end, the [S5IIX] does make a lot of sense because of the codex, the ProRes RAW…the bit rates and those kind of things, which might be more important to production situations.

But again, I don’t know, I’d have to wait and see. I want to look at it and I’m not that thrilled with the whole black thing, alot of people were raving about it and stuff like that. I think if they had extruded the Lumix into a black thing, that might have been better, but I think what they really do need to do with the [S5IIX] is add a tally light. It’s possible now. They’ve still got many months before it gets released…. For somebody who wants that extra resolution and facilities in terms of ProRes, being able to just go straight into the video systems…for the $200, it’s a no brainer.”

Article written by Dan Bockrath.

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