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Panasonic S5 User Experience


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17 minutes ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Thanks for sharing your experience. I really appreciate it.

I actually own the panasonic 24-105 f/4, and while it isn't particularly sexy, it is a pretty darn good lens. I had been looking at maybe selling it and getting the FIRST version of the Canon EF 24-105 and then using the leftover money (if any) to maybe buy another lens (like EF 40mm f/2.8 or EF 85mm f/1.8), but it sounds like just keeping the Panasonic 24-105 f/4 might just be the best thing.

The main problem with the Panasonic 24-105 f/4 is that it is too pedestrian to LOVE, and too competent to HATE.  

I would definitely keep the Panasonic since you already have it especially if the barrel doesn't fall out and in like the Canon. Also, you get to use continuous AF with the native lens. If I did not have so much Canon glass I would probably have gotten native lenses because no matter what everyone says about Panasonic's continuous AF, its still better than none at all which is what I get with EF glass.

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There is an R5/R6 user experience thread so I figured it was safe to start a Panasonic S5 user experience thread.  I've only shot with it for a few hours, mostly setting up (and learning) the menus an

I agree with @zerocool22 the S5 and S1H have identical sensors, LOG profiles, etc. I highly doubt in most scenarios you would be able to tell the difference. I think the reason you think the S1H is a

Well here's my first use of the S5. Neutral profile, no tweaks to any in camera settings, SOOC, 4k 50p shot in shutter priority 1/100 with the 20-60mm kit lens. Clips imported into Premiere

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7 hours ago, MrSMW said:

In other news, my Sigma 56mm f1.4 turned up today.

What a little beauty. Small but chunky, a nice weight to it but still light.

It reminds me in some ways of the Canon ef 50mm f1.8 I used to use in 2018 as my primary lens.

Not used it yet, but I think I am going to love it and that’s one more item checked off.

I'd be interested to hear how the Sigma 56 1.4 turns out. Would you use it for photos as well? the S5 could be an APSC beast with full frame capabilities? Or will the APSC photo be a bit crap?

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I tried one single outdoor tracking sequence from around 50 feet away (face tracking mode) and it locked on body immediately, went to face as the subject got nearer and then eye at about 10 feet.

Pre new firmware, if that is going to make any difference...

Locks and tracks nicely indoors.

I will give it a proper run this afternoon with one of my unwilling subjects but it’s looking good.

Will I use it for stills?

No, but only because I moved from Fuji to the L Mount system for a reason and that is so I could continue to shoot S35 video and full frame stills in one system.

Will I shoot any APSC stills at all?

Yes actually, but not with any of the Sigma APSC lenses and I will be getting all 3 as part of a single camera/3 lens dedicated video set up.

I made a final decision on my stills lenses late last night after wrestling over every possible combination and came to the following conclusion and that is neither the f2.8’s or the big/heavy f1.4’s (such as the Sigma 105) are going to work for me.

Instead, I am going to weld a Sigma 35mm f1.4 to one body and the new Sigma 85mm f1.4 to another, but when I need to (ceremonies and speeches) flick to crop mode to get a ‘130mm’ in camera crop.

I need small and light and fast and portable as possible and for my needs, I have cracked it now.

Final line up:
 

Static video = S5 + Sigma 30mm f1.4 + tripod + power bank. This unit for ceremony & speeches only otherwise 20-60mm kit lens goes on and unit lives in my belt as my wide angle stills lens.

Filming = S5 + Sigma 16mm f1.4 (dancing), Sigma 56mm f1.4 (indoor) and Pan 85mm f1.8 (outdoor) giving me 4K 50p focal lengths equivalent to: 24, 84 and 127.5mm. This unit lives on the freestanding monopod.

Stills = pair of S5’s mated to the Sigma 35mm f1.4 and Sigma 85mm f1.4 which can be extended in crop mode to 127.5mm. I also have the super-wide 20mm focal width of the first unit all day except ceremony & speeches when I don’t need it anyway.

4 bodies + 7 lenses and it’s all still one backpack and one small camera bag with the monopod in hand, including my tiny folding carbon tripod, light stand, lighting, audio and drone.

Phew. A lot harder than I thought but I remain convinced there is no better system for my needs right now than the combination of L Mount Sigma glass with S5 bodies.

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Picture below of the ‘indoor’ combo of:

S5 + Smallrig L bracket + Sigma 56mm f1.4 + variable ND that rotates with the unbranded metal hood, on el cheapo ball head thing (purely for straight horizon) and freestanding Sirui monopod.

As above, for dancing (only time I need a wide angle), Sigma 16mm f1.4 instead.

Most of my time is outdoors however and for that the Panasonic 85mm f1.8 will be used like a ‘130mm’ FOV.

 

A92389CD-CA48-4EFC-B8AC-6FC829F6A618.jpeg

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Update.

Just spent the last hour testing the 56mm f1.4 and mixed results...

AF tracking first.

Using 4k 50p and a tweaked version of the Natural profile, it sucks balls.

Hey ho, not my intended use for it anyway.

It's fine when the subject is standing still but say moving head, chatting etc, but walking forwards, nah.

In and out of focus the whole time, but actually more accurate the further away the subject when using face tracking.

I was shooting wide open the whole time as I'm only going to test how I'm intending to use and face is actually pretty decent up to around 10 or so feet, but any closer, it loses it and won't pick up again.

I have sensitivity on -2 and tracking on -3 ie, max lock.

Can you trust S5 AF? Nope, not for anything moving towards you anyway.

But it's not all bad news...

The separation at f1.4 is great and something I am looking for and the IBIS is actually really good.

Without resorting to electronic, it's close to tripod. Not quite, no IBIS can be 100% rock steady but it's pretty close and I am really picky about such things.

The 56 is intended as an indoor lens however, on a monopod and for the kind of use I intend, the AF is much better when there is no distracting background such as tree branches and sunlight causing potential distractions and I did my tests in this regard direct into the sun also so the worst possible combo.

Indoors, it remained pretty well locked on though I think I'm probably just going to use manual focus all the time unless it's an entrance or an exit or confetti or similar in which case I'll be using the kit lens at f5.6 which is a bit more forgiving on focus anyway.

No background pulsing. Absolutely zero.

I believe this is because:

A: I'm not using wide angle lenses and

B: When using a very shallow DOF, there is less background contrast.

C. Have the sensitivity on -2.

In other news, I've just received notification that the Pan 85mm f1.8 is now in stock with my dealer and on it's way to me and should be here by the weekend.

That will be the real one for me to test as it's intended to be my prime workhorse and cover 75-80% of the day and by several accounts, an actual native as in Pan lens on Pan body should have better AF.

A recent test by a guy called Pav in the UK showed that back to back, the Sigma 85mm f1.4 was MUCH better than the Pan 85mm f1.8 for stills AF, but for video, the Sigma was a bit rubbish and the Pan was really good. That's OK, that's my intended use for both these lenses.

There are some strange quirks with the L Mount system for sure!

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65mm f2 is an odd one!

On an APSC or in crop mode though, makes it a 100mm which is more interesting!

I’m pretty fixed now with what I am doing but I will be keeping an eye on this and anything else because as much as I wish to be ‘done’ and that’s it for the next 3 working years, if there is a better and viable alternative, it’s at least worth considering.

Mostly I am looking forward to lockdown easing in the New Year and getting on with the commercial and personal projects that are beginning to stack up.

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Panasonic 85mm f1.8 has turned up.

First impressions, it's light, compact and well built.

Second impression is that the AF seems marginally better than the kit lens that was 'OK' and much (MUCH) better than the Sigma 56mm f1.4

In fact, I am cancelling my order for the Sigma 16mm and 30mm f1.4's and probably returning the 56mm f1.4

I'm going to do some more thorough tests tomorrow but it seems that it's true that the L Mount Alliance may share a lens mount, but they don't all share their protocols as much as they might.

I don't need ultra-amazing AF, but there are times when I need it to work and it 'seems' at least, that Panasonic glass with Panasonic bodies is the way to go.

So back to my original plan and will await the announcement of the Panasonic 24, 35 and 50mm f1.8's and work with that set instead.

Maybe even 1 less body as I am actually quite impressed with the IBIS and it's only a total of less than 10 minutes I actually need a monopod for dual photo/video at the same time and that will save me the cost of one full body.

But the new 85 is looking good. But then I thought the Sigma 56 was...but I have done a little more testing before opening my gob this time 😉

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43 minutes ago, MrSMW said:

Panasonic 85mm f1.8 has turned up.

First impressions, it's light, compact and well built.

Second impression is that the AF seems marginally better than the kit lens that was 'OK' and much (MUCH) better than the Sigma 56mm f1.4

In fact, I am cancelling my order for the Sigma 16mm and 30mm f1.4's and probably returning the 56mm f1.4

I'm going to do some more thorough tests tomorrow but it seems that it's true that the L Mount Alliance may share a lens mount, but they don't all share their protocols as much as they might.

I don't need ultra-amazing AF, but there are times when I need it to work and it 'seems' at least, that Panasonic glass with Panasonic bodies is the way to go.

So back to my original plan and will await the announcement of the Panasonic 24, 35 and 50mm f1.8's and work with that set instead.

Maybe even 1 less body as I am actually quite impressed with the IBIS and it's only a total of less than 10 minutes I actually need a monopod for dual photo/video at the same time and that will save me the cost of one full body.

But the new 85 is looking good. But then I thought the Sigma 56 was...but I have done a little more testing before opening my gob this time 😉

Panasonic AF motor scans with 480 hz the scenes and gives the DFD system faster information for contrast AF.

Sigma don´t have this technology..

But sometimes DFD truly sucks  ( no reaction in AF-C, only AF-S works fine )

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54 minutes ago, MrSMW said:

Panasonic 85mm f1.8 has turned up.

First impressions, it's light, compact and well built.

Second impression is that the AF seems marginally better than the kit lens that was 'OK' and much (MUCH) better than the Sigma 56mm f1.4

In fact, I am cancelling my order for the Sigma 16mm and 30mm f1.4's and probably returning the 56mm f1.4

I'm going to do some more thorough tests tomorrow but it seems that it's true that the L Mount Alliance may share a lens mount, but they don't all share their protocols as much as they might.

I don't need ultra-amazing AF, but there are times when I need it to work and it 'seems' at least, that Panasonic glass with Panasonic bodies is the way to go.

So back to my original plan and will await the announcement of the Panasonic 24, 35 and 50mm f1.8's and work with that set instead.

Maybe even 1 less body as I am actually quite impressed with the IBIS and it's only a total of less than 10 minutes I actually need a monopod for dual photo/video at the same time and that will save me the cost of one full body.

But the new 85 is looking good. But then I thought the Sigma 56 was...but I have done a little more testing before opening my gob this time 😉

As I was reading this thread and your lens lineup I was surprised that you were planning on relying so much on Sigma when everything I've read says that "native" Panasonic lenses are much better in the AF department...then I reached the end of the thread and saw you reached the same conclusion 🙂

I read a great article that I can't find now that discussed all of the weird quirks of trying to use Leica, Sigma, and Panasonic glass within cameras that are supposedly all fully L mount compatible and the article made it clear that beyond the actual mount there are a lot of issues between the alliance member's lenses and bodies; the article pretty much reached the conclusion that if you want the best user experience you needed to match the camera maker's lenses with their bodies, of course this kind of defeats the concept of an alliance.

This is also one of the reasons I am cautious about going all in on the S5, I feel like every native L mount lens I buy is pulling me into a system that may always have a lens shortage if you only count the 'native' Panasonic glass, so for me I decided to give up continuous AF in order to stick with EF mount lenses.

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1 hour ago, MrSMW said:

Panasonic 85mm f1.8 has turned up.

First impressions, it's light, compact and well built.

Second impression is that the AF seems marginally better than the kit lens that was 'OK' and much (MUCH) better than the Sigma 56mm f1.4

In fact, I am cancelling my order for the Sigma 16mm and 30mm f1.4's and probably returning the 56mm f1.4

I'm going to do some more thorough tests tomorrow but it seems that it's true that the L Mount Alliance may share a lens mount, but they don't all share their protocols as much as they might.

I don't need ultra-amazing AF, but there are times when I need it to work and it 'seems' at least, that Panasonic glass with Panasonic bodies is the way to go.

So back to my original plan and will await the announcement of the Panasonic 24, 35 and 50mm f1.8's and work with that set instead.

Maybe even 1 less body as I am actually quite impressed with the IBIS and it's only a total of less than 10 minutes I actually need a monopod for dual photo/video at the same time and that will save me the cost of one full body.

But the new 85 is looking good. But then I thought the Sigma 56 was...but I have done a little more testing before opening my gob this time 😉

Is that what you got instead of the Sigma 45mm, because of low stocks?

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2 hours ago, omega1978 said:

But sometimes DFD truly sucks  ( no reaction in AF-C, only AF-S works fine )

I tried again before sunset.

The Pan 85 has a really nice ‘clean’ look both on the LCD and downloaded on the desktop.

However, AF was not great subject moving forwards and a return to background pulsing. Arrrgh!

I had turned up the sensitivity and had it in AFC.

I will try again tomorrow in AFS and play with the settings.

The Sigma I tested back to back. It does not compare. Focus was dreadful and it did not look nearly as nice on the back of the screen or after being downloaded.

That one is going back for sure.

So tomorrow I will give the new 85 one last chance. It has to pass this AF test or the entire system just won’t work for me.

For static, manually focused, locked off video, great.

For stills, really good, but I need at least decent AF for ‘filming’.

I feel a return to Fuji is on the cards...

Pair of XT4’s for video/filming + a pair of S5’s for stills has been a Plan B ‘just in case’.

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24 minutes ago, MrSMW said:

Ha, no!

They are not giving away Pan 85mm f1.8’s!

Actually I am getting one. Not because of low stock, but because of delivery problem and now the deal with sigma has passed, and they cannot deliver any sigma's anymore. But as I could not help it, panasonic stepped up and is sending me a pan 85mm 1.8 instead of the sigma 45mm.

85mm is not a focal length that I use much, and 45mm was more up my alley. But the sigma 45mm did not look that appealing to me, so I am glad I am getting the 85mm just because I want to test the AF(as the sigma was manual). Too bad it does not have IS though, but hopefully the ibis will sort that out. 

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1 hour ago, MrSMW said:

Ha, no!

They are not giving away Pan 85mm f1.8’s!

image.png.b89a0cbfb73335545d2f0e6790c1e874.png

Maybe I've misinterpreting this promotion, then, but it was updated recently to say this. Is there another 85mm lens?

Edit: Oh, I see somebody already pointed this out -- I guess this is why I should read the posts before responding lol

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1 hour ago, MrSMW said:

I feel a return to Fuji is on the cards...

Pair of XT4’s for video/filming + a pair of S5’s for stills has been a Plan B ‘just in case’.

I personally tested the S5 with the Panasonic 24-70 2.8 on a mini documentary wednesday, and I really noticed a boost in AF performance since the last update (2.0). I'm not the only one to have noticed it as I saw some similar comments on Facebook groups. I shot on that day maybe 60% AFC and 40% manually focusing. I was really impressed by the new reliability of the AF. Not on par with Sony or Canon, but reliable enough in some situations.
 

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2 hours ago, MrSMW said:

I tried again before sunset.

The Pan 85 has a really nice ‘clean’ look both on the LCD and downloaded on the desktop.

However, AF was not great subject moving forwards and a return to background pulsing. Arrrgh!

I had turned up the sensitivity and had it in AFC.

I will try again tomorrow in AFS and play with the settings.

The Sigma I tested back to back. It does not compare. Focus was dreadful and it did not look nearly as nice on the back of the screen or after being downloaded.

That one is going back for sure.

So tomorrow I will give the new 85 one last chance. It has to pass this AF test or the entire system just won’t work for me.

For static, manually focused, locked off video, great.

For stills, really good, but I need at least decent AF for ‘filming’.

I feel a return to Fuji is on the cards...

Pair of XT4’s for video/filming + a pair of S5’s for stills has been a Plan B ‘just in case’.

I'm honestly not sure you'll find the great AF you're looking for with Fuji. I'm in a similar boat; two Panasonic S1s (which I absolutely love) but sometimes I need a camera with great AF. I really don't want to spend the $$$$ on an R5 or SIII but I've watched (and read) so many reviews on the other systems and I don't think the AF is great on them either (certainly better than the S1 but not in the same league as the R5/SIII).

 

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