5 Less Known Features of the Panasonic LUMIX S5

Compact, full-frame, and with excellent video specs? Sign me up! At least that’s what the Panasonic LUMIX S5 promises on paper – a bunch of top-notch video and photo specs from the bigger S Series bodies in a smaller package. It’s got 4K 60p, V-Log, HDR, Dual Native ISO, a flip-out screen, and plenty more that make it impressive for the size. If you are in the market for a new everyday camera the S5 is well worth a look.

In a very speedy roundup, filmmaker Arber Baqaj talks about five hidden gems in the S5. Considering how technical cameras have gotten in the past decade I’m sure we are all overlooking a feature or two to get us even better performance, which makes this video well worth the watch.

1. Screen Brightness

If you can’t see it, it’ll be damn hard to shoot it. The S5 boasts an incredibly bright screen. If you constantly find yourself shooting outside or vlogging having a bright screen means you can actually see what is going on.

I know I’ve had many cameras where I’d have to cup my hand over the screen just to figure out if my image was close to what I wanted. The video of the S5 here is even able to show just how bright it can get.

2. Exposure Leveling

Maybe not something you’ll need unless you do time-lapses. Even if you haven’t yet tried to make one yet this feature might entice you with how easy it makes them. Exposure leveling helps make sure that your individual exposures match up as close as possible.

In traditional time-lapse filmmaking, shooting with any sort of auto mode results in flicker as exposure can shift slightly from shot to shot. This isn’t the case with exposure leveling, providing you with a smooth, flicker-free time-lapse movie. You can even do it all in-camera with the S5.

3. Linear Focusing

Mirrorless brought a lot of benefits, but it also brought fly-by-wire focusing to the forefront of lens development. Sure, you got faster autofocus and probably some other advantages, but many companies opted to use a system where manual focus speed changed depending on how quickly you turned the focus ring. This might work for photographers (I still disagree about that), but for video it was the worst.

With the S5 you can change the focus ring control to be either non-linear (bad) or linear (good!). This is critical for video as a linear rotation means consistent and repeatable focus pull.

You can also change the total degrees of rotation to fit your preferences. It is literally impossible to use follow focuses and markings to focus without this setting.

4. Autofocus with 120 fps Slow Motion

The S5 can actually hit 120 fps in Full HD. And, with the improved autofocus system of the S5 you can actually use it while shooting in slow motion. Panasonic has made solid strides to improve their autofocus over the years and the S5 having this capability and speed is a very useful feature for slow-mo fans.

5. Flat Profile for 8-Bit Footage

Log profiles are great! If you have the data to support heavy grading work. We have quickly found that log isn’t a fix for 8-bit footage, however, a somewhat flatter profile can help improve the quality of 8-bit footage without risking it just falling apart the second you pull it into an NLE.

This will be helpful since some modes require bumping down to 8-bit recording, such as Full HD 120p.

This list alone should be a good example of why everyone should spend some time reading the camera manuals after purchase. It also shows off some features that might help prove the S5 is a solid camera to pick up.

[source: Arber Baqaj]

Order Links:

  • Panasonic LUMIX S5 Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)

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