- 24MP CMOS sensor
- ISO range of 100-51,200
- 5-axis in-body image stabilization
- 5.9K RAW video capabilities, 4K video capabilities at up to 60p, and 1080p video capabilities at up to 60p
- 3” fully articulating touchscreen with 1.84m-dots
- EVF with 2.36m-dots
- 7fps burst mode
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- 440-shot battery life
- 1.57 lbs
The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 came out late last year, but thanks to the pandemic craze, it didn’t come out with a ton of fanfare.
I think this isn’t quite fair because it’s an excellent upgrade to an otherwise already excellent line of Panasonic cameras.
This camera is very compact, comes with some shocking specs, and will be an excellent camera for professional vloggers who are willing to spend a pretty penny on a camera that has practically no limitations.
This camera is also a great choice for photographers who had their eye on the Panasonic S1, but couldn’t quite afford its $2,500 price tag.
While I did mention the appeal of this camera to vloggers, it is also aimed at still photographers as well. It comes with different photo modes that haven’t been seen elsewhere before and features a 96MP high-resolution mode.
Let’s get into our full Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 review.
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Specs
When it comes to the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 specs, there’s almost too much to name.
This camera comes with a 24MP full frame CMOS sensor and can shoot 4K video at up to 60p. It appeals to vloggers thanks to the fully articulating touchscreen. The resolution did drop a little bit on this model, but I think that’s the price you have to pay for all of the other features in this camera.
The body is dust and splash resistant and, unlike other Panasonic full-frame cameras, is marketed towards general photographers. I don’t think this is a very niche camera at all.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 is absolutely wonderful with low light shooting. Later on in this article, I’m linking to a video test that has an ISO test in it if you want to see it in action for yourself.
Other Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Specs Include:
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Body & Design
The first thing you need to know about the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 body is that it comes with an L-mount, which means that if you’ve been shooting with Panasonic for a while, then you likely already have Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 lenses. If you don’t, though, then you can purchase the kit lens.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 design is only shocking because the size of the camera is so small. Of course, you don’t get a more compact camera without some losses. With the Panasonic Lumix GH-5, you can expect to lose a top plate LCD which is no longer present.
The mode dial was also shifted slightly, as compared to the S1.
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Build & Handling
If you’ve ever shot with a Panasonic Lumix GH-5, you may expect the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 to physically be quite similar.
And while it’s true that the two cameras look the same, the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 build is way different. For starters, it is much smaller. This camera measures 3.8” x 5.2” x 3.2”. It’s also much lighter. It weighs just 1.6 lbs.
When it comes to the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 handling, the first thing I should mention is all of the fun ways to save power. The first is a new shooting mode called the Power Save LVF. It’s supposed to extend the camera’s battery life quite a bit. The second is the fact that this camera comes with a better battery. As compared to the older Panasonic Lumix GH5, this battery should last 15% longer. I’ll talk more about the third battery saving mode in the video section.
If I’m being quite honest, there’s not much to say about the ergonomics of this camera, other than they are excellent (which is a feature that should be expected with a camera at this price point).
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Video Performance
Thank you to DSLR Video Shooter for this Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 video performance test.
It is seemingly rare that I get to write about cameras that are built specifically for photographers, but the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 definitely comes close.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 features 5.9K RAW video, 4K video at up to 60p, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization.
Depending upon what you’ll be using this camera for, you also have the option to shoot with an e-stabilization. This does mean that your image will be slightly cropped, but e-stabilization is a great option for times when you absolutely can’t use a tripod because it provides an extra level of stabilization.
The camera is also great for vloggers because it comes with a flip out screen.
The camera comes with a micro-HDMI, 2 card slots, a headphone jack and microphone input. It also comes with a USB-C input. This is obviously important for transferring data, but it’s also important if you’re looking to shoot a ton of 4K video. You can buy an external battery that allows you to transfer power through the USB-C input into your camera to basically double the amount of time you can shoot in 4K.
DSLR Video Shooter said they got 2 hours of 4K shooting out of the camera by itself, but using this handy battery trick, they got 4 hours.
Since this camera is still not considered one of the best videography cameras you can buy, you will have some issues when shooting video on it. For example, you cannot shoot 4K video at 50 or 60p without an APS-C crop.
You also have a recording limit of 30 minutes while shooting in 4K at 50 or 60p.
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Price
So, with all of these incredible specs, you can probably guess that the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 price isn’t cheap.
When the camera first came out last year, it did so at a cost of $2000. However, since it is a few months old now, used Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 bodies are available to purchase for a discount online.
I actually recently purchased a Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 secondhand for $1,750. I still think I got lucky.
If you’re looking to do what I did and find a used Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 online for way cheaper than the new price tag, then you should check out MPB.
MPB is our favorite used camera retailer. Unlike with Craigslist or Ebay, you aren’t actually dealing with any third party sellers. MPB purchases used equipment from sellers all over the world, cleans it, repackages it, and sells it back to you.
This type of a middleman scenario works excellently for photographers who are spending thousands of dollars on gear because you don’t actually have to take anyone’s word for the state of the camera. MPB specifically hires photographers and videographers to rate each piece of equipment that they buy.
The rating system on MPB ranges from “faulty” to “like new.” With a camera that just came out, like the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5, you can expect to find plenty of them in “like new condition.” If you’re lucky, you’ll also find it in its original packaging.
I just checked and as of the publishing of this article, MPB doesn’t currently have any Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 bodies for sale.
Still, they rotate through hundreds of products everyday. So, if you want to possibly save a couple hundred dollars on your Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 purchase, you can check the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 page on MPB right here.