Panasonic's LUMIX cameras have been a quiet but profound success in photography. Now, the company has announced the sequel to the beloved mirrorless and it has one improvement that caused quite the stir.
I have been under NDA for several months, but I can now finally speak about what Panasonic has been up to. In December, I visited Tokyo for the Lumix Global Summit where a number of announcements were made, including the flagship reveals: the Lumix S5II and S5IIX. The Lumix S5 is a full frame mirrorless body that has been incredibly well received. Panasonic has found real success in recent years, creating cameras that comfortably rival the more famous mirrorless options from Sony, Canon, and Nikon.
Nevertheless, there was one minor gripe with the S5 that many hoped its successor would fix. At the event, the announcement of the S5II was immediately followed with the news that the gripe was over: Phase Hybrid Autofocus was here. I have been to a selection of camera launches, press conferences, and events, and this is the only time I've heard the audience collectively cheer.
Spec Sheet Highlights
- S5II - $1,999/€2,199, S5IIX - $2,199/€2,499
- Full frame 24.2-megapixel sensor (with 96MP high resolution mode)
- 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilization
- 779-point Phase Hybrid AF
- 9 fps mechanical, 30 fps electronic burst shooting
- 4K (and C4K) 60p, 6k 30p video
- S5IIX built-in live streaming capabilities
- Dual SD UHS-II card slots
- L-Mount Alliance
I have spent a reasonable amount of time shooting with the S5II at this point and without encroaching too much on my review I can safely say it is excellent. The most noteworthy features for me are not found on the spec sheet, so stay tuned for the review (which has unfortunately been delayed due to a shipping issue getting the camera back from Japan to the U.K!)
What do you think of the new S5II cameras? Do agree Panasonic is wildly underappreciated?