Hands-On With the New Panasonic LUMIX S5: Just How Good Is It?

Panasonic has just announced the S5, which packs a huge amount of features into a very compact body and at a very compelling price. To get a few insights into how it performs, check out this hands-on review.

The camera industry isn’t exactly short of full-frame mirrorless cameras that are great for hybrid shooting, but the S5 is definitely a welcome addition, bringing many of the features of the S1, S1R, and S1H into a small and lightweight body. Perhaps most importantly, it’s on sale at just under $2,000, presenting stiff competition to the array of cameras that are battling it out in and around this price point. To check out all of the specifications, click here.

As discussed in some detail in this video from the gents at DPReview, what most Panasonic fans will want to know is what changes have been made to the autofocus system. While Panasonic has been pioneering in some of its technology in the last couple of years, autofocus is one area where it is regarded as somewhat behind the likes of Sony and Canon, relying on a contrast-detect system that has a tendency to pulse and hunt. Be sure to check the video to see what improvements have been made and whether Panasonic has caught up.

Will you be placing an order? Let us know your impressions in the comments below.

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7 Comments

Jeremy Strange's picture

This comment cracked me up, well done.

Cool Cat's picture

It's a Panasonic LUMIX. What could possibly go wrong?

Jacques Cornell's picture

As an event pro, I own both Lumix MFT and Sony A7[x] systems. The answer to your question is WAY longer with Sony. When the 24, 35 & 85mm f1.8 primes are released, I will be VERY closely examining whether to ditch my Sonys to return to an all-Lumix kit.

Paul Hancock's picture

Unless you shoot sport or wildlife, take it from someone who ditched an A7RIII for an S1R... Make the switch. Sigma are making the best lenses in the industry right now for the price, and the forthcoming 1.8’s look sweet... The AF system is literally the only weakness .

Paul Hancock's picture

I understand you’re being facetious, but to answer your question, in my experience... Nothing. They’re the best built mirrorless camera out there.
The S1, S1R and S1H are superior pieces of hardware to any mirrorless product Sony, Nikon and Canon (I’m yet to try the R5) have managed to put together. They’re bombproof, pro-grade products.
I ditched a Sony A7RIII for an S1R after having one in extended loan, as they’re not even in the same galaxy as a pro tool. If the Lumix S line had the Sony AF system it would be a truly perfect camera.

Cool Cat's picture

Of course I was being sarcastic. That was my whole point after watching the video in the article. They gave the usual pros & cons. They are all great cameras today and I don't care to be niki picky. I would simply select a camera that felt good in my hands and then learn it inside/out.

I think the Sony A7RIII is an incredible camera but it feels like a brick in my hands. Haven't tried Panasonic but they look great with all the buttons, knobs and manual controls. I don't like being forced to use the touch screen for everything. So enjoy your camera. What could possibly go wrong.