Videographers are almost spoiled for choice when it comes to run-and-gun cameras, but this Panasonic aims to take the crown.
At a hair under $2,000, the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 mirrorless body sits in somewhat of a pricing nether-zone. I’d class it as a little too expensive for many hobbyists looking at getting a body for video, but not enough that professional videographers would consider it to be a competitor to bodies like the a7S III. Of course, no one would rule out a camera because the price is too reasonable, but it’s priced as such, I suspect, due to a couple of drawbacks.
While being reasonably small and light (albeit slightly bigger and heavier than the a7S III funnily enough — don’t let the marketing trick you into thinking the S5 is tiny), the S5 boasts an impressive spec sheet; a full frame sensor, V-Log, Dual Native ISO, UHD 4K 60 fps, 10-bit video, great dynamic range, and so on. However, the big drawback is that 4K at 60 fps crops in at a factor of 1.5, which is no bueno for many.
Nevertheless, the S5 is shaping up to be a powerful camera at a reasonable price, and another recruit into the compact full frame body squadron, ideal for run-and-gun setups. Filmmaker Aidin Robbins creates beautiful shots with it and does a good job of selling it. Panasonic have been a staple of the videography side of our industry for such a long time now that they are seen as less of a fringe player, and more of a safe bet. Would you buy the S5 though?