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Panasonic S5 User Experience


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Spent some time today (not a lot else to do!) looking at the most recent crop of S5 and S1 material online.

About 80% of it is utter garbage, about 15% pretty good and around 5% exceptional and simply showcases, “in the right hands...”

It’s a beast of a tool, stills or video and in regard to the latter, 1080 120p, 4K 60p, log internal or raw external, but don’t judge on the sea of dross out there!

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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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Cameras like the S1 and S5 are jobbing cameras.  Great for getting the work done but not cinema cameras.  The S1H is a lot better.  Panasonic colour science is okay, again more perfect for Corporate work.  But doesn't always have that extra magic.  This and the codec limits the quality of the S1 and S5 footage.  

Would I own a S5.  Of course. Not everything needs that cinema magic.  But the S5 earns its small size by being less ideal for great video use than the S1 and definitely the S1H. 

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43 minutes ago, SteveV4D said:

Cameras like the S1 and S5 are jobbing cameras.  Great for getting the work done but not cinema cameras.  The S1H is a lot better.  Panasonic colour science is okay, again more perfect for Corporate work.  But doesn't always have that extra magic.  This and the codec limits the quality of the S1 and S5 footage.  

Would I own a S5.  Of course. Not everything needs that cinema magic.  But the S5 earns its small size by being less ideal for great video use than the S1 and definitely the S1H. 

I am not sure if you can see the difference between the S5 and S1H in most situations, in some situations like cross patterns or bricks sure the olpf will come out as the winner. But is it worth 2 times the price, I think for 90% of the folks on here it is not. When I said I have not seen any great footage with the s1 line, I was also talking about the S1H. 

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1 hour ago, SteveV4D said:

Cameras like the S1 and S5 are jobbing cameras.  Great for getting the work done but not cinema cameras.  The S1H is a lot better.  Panasonic colour science is okay, again more perfect for Corporate work.  But doesn't always have that extra magic.  This and the codec limits the quality of the S1 and S5 footage.  

Would I own a S5.  Of course. Not everything needs that cinema magic.  But the S5 earns its small size by being less ideal for great video use than the S1 and definitely the S1H. 

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 lot better is because it is more likely that the buyers of the S1H are shooting higher end productions where they can properly light the scene, use better lenses, etc. Unless the S1H is shooting 5.9K raw (which BTW even the S5 can do now to an external recorder), the S5 and the S1H should produce nearly identical footage if all else is equal (lighting, staging, set design, lens, etc.). 

Of course the S1H is the better video tool due to not having recording limits, full size HDMI port, and other minor HW details; but none of that really affects the picture quality. In my opinion though, the S5 really shines as a hybrid photo/video camera which is definitely not something the S1H is known for. I don't know if any other camera out there can remotely control 4 wireless flashes using an internal transmitter, unlimited intervalometer, aspect ratio bars in camera, and some of the other S5 photography features that almost no one talks about.

With the upcoming firmware update for the S1, I do think it will then become the best hybrid camera mainly due to the 1/320s flash sync speed and the full size HDMI port. Unfortunately though in my opinion the downsides to the S1 is it uses mismatched recording media, and the screen is not a full tilt flip.....however none of these features means the S1 or the S1H will produce more "cinematic" video than the S5.

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42 minutes ago, herein2020 said:

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 lot better is because it is more likely that the buyers of the S1H are shooting higher end productions where they can properly light the scene, use better lenses, etc. Unless the S1H is shooting 5.9K raw (which BTW even the S5 can do now to an external recorder), the S5 and the S1H should produce nearly identical footage if all else is equal (lighting, staging, set design, lens, etc.). 

Of course the S1H is the better video tool due to not having recording limits, full size HDMI port, and other minor HW details; but none of that really affects the picture quality. In my opinion though, the S5 really shines as a hybrid photo/video camera which is definitely not something the S1H is known for. I don't know if any other camera out there can remotely control 4 wireless flashes using an internal transmitter, unlimited intervalometer, aspect ratio bars in camera, and some of the other S5 photography features that almost no one talks about.

With the upcoming firmware update for the S1, I do think it will then become the best hybrid camera mainly due to the 1/320s flash sync speed and the full size HDMI port. Unfortunately though in my opinion the downsides to the S1 is it uses mismatched recording media, and the screen is not a full tilt flip.....however none of these features means the S1 or the S1H will produce more "cinematic" video than the S5.

internal transmitter for flash. What I did not know that, thanks! Looking into it now. 

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3 hours ago, herein2020 said:

I think the reason you think the S1H is a lot better is because it is more likely that the buyers of the S1H are shooting higher end productions where they can properly light the scene, use better lenses, etc. Unless the S1H is shooting 5.9K raw (which BTW even the S5 can do now to an external recorder), the S5 and the S1H should produce nearly identical footage if all else is equal (lighting, staging, set design, lens, etc.). 

I agree..  also, S1H buyers are more likely to have higher skill levels to get the most from the footage out of the camera - post processing shouldn't be underestimated - the more I learn about colour grading the more I view camera footage (even rec709 h264 files) as an unprocessed image for input to an entire image processing pipeline.

Does the S5 have all the 10-bit 422 ALL-I codecs yet?  I haven't kept up with it, but when it launched it was like the GH5 at launch, limited to unremarkable 72Mbps type codecs.

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5 hours ago, kye said:

I agree..  also, S1H buyers are more likely to have higher skill levels to get the most from the footage out of the camera - post processing shouldn't be underestimated - the more I learn about colour grading the more I view camera footage (even rec709 h264 files) as an unprocessed image for input to an entire image processing pipeline.

Does the S5 have all the 10-bit 422 ALL-I codecs yet?  I haven't kept up with it, but when it launched it was like the GH5 at launch, limited to unremarkable 72Mbps type codecs.

That is very true, post processing is every bit as important as properly shooting the scene. 

The S5 does not have ALL-I and I doubt it ever will due to the write speeds needed, it certainly goes beyond 72Mbps as well though. Even if it had ALL-I I would never use it. The much larger file sizes, more expensive memory card requirements, and the minimal improvements in editing performance combined with even less improvements in image quality (if any) make ALL-I a very unattractive proposition for me. For my specific type of work I have never been in the middle of editing and wished that I had RAW or ALL-I footage.

Below are the S5's codecs. The specs below are not complete, it does not show which ones are 10 bit 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2 but it shows the data rates and resolutions. Of course it also does 5.9K RAW over HDMI but there's the whole micro HDMI port issue.

3840 x 2160 @ 60p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM

3840 x 2160 @ 50p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM

3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 150 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM

3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 150 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM

3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 150 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM

3328 x 2496 @ 30p / 150 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

3328 x 2496 @ 23.98p / 150 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

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Interestingly the S1 will get 6k 200mbps, but no mention of ALL-I. The only thing that might improve with ALL-I is motion cadence as well as of course editing performance. Can't comment on the S1H but there was no improvement in IQ on the GH5 in ALL-I vs Long GOP. You'd probably need closer to 800mbps. 

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3 hours ago, herein2020 said:

That is very true, post processing is every bit as important as properly shooting the scene. 

Even if it had ALL-I I would never use it. The much larger file sizes, more expensive memory card requirements, and the minimal improvements in editing performance combined with even less improvements in image quality (if any) make ALL-I a very unattractive proposition for me. For my specific type of work I have never been in the middle of editing and wished that I had RAW or ALL-I footage.

ALL-I gives a HUGE performance boost when editing!  If I ask an NLE to go to a specific frame in a file, Long-GOP requires to find the previous keyframe and render each frame between the keyframe and the target frame.  ALL-I just goes to the frame and decodes just that one frame.  ALL-I footage plays backwards with the same CGP/GPU performance as playing forwards.

For the same bitrates ALL-I does take a slight quality hit, but it's not that much.  

The bitrates aren't that different either - the GH5 has 200Mbps and 400Mbps ALL-I modes, but there is nothing stopping Panasonic from adding other bitrates as well.

ALL-I is one of the reasons that BM can get a modestly spec'd computer to play 12K BRAW footage, when almost no computer on earth can play the 8K h265 files from the Canon R5.

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I use ALL-I on my GH5 for any scenes where there is a lot of motion, not just for slightly better IQ when interpreting motion, but mainly for much improved playback.  Static scenes tending to still playback okay when limited to Long-Gop.  Its a shame Panasonic don't offer a higher bitrate as an extra option when needed.  If there was a GH6, and this feels less and less likely as time goes on, then this would be where it could improve on the fullframe.  ProRes and high bitrates ALL-I would be useful for some projects, especially if combined with higher frame rates. 

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Not very many purchased the S1 for video work. Honestly doesn't seem like many people purchased the S1H for video either. The S1H was marketed as a video camera though and has very video centric features. So you'll see better video work coming from it online. 

If you shot something with the S1 and S1H side by side they'd look almost identical besides maybe some very slight differences in motion cadence due to ALL-I. I think getting an external recorder for the S1 and doing prores or prores RAW is a better investment than an S1H as the internal footage on the S1 is going to be good enough for clients that can't afford something more. 


There's not a lot of more amateur stuff on youtube shot on an Alexa. I managed to find this video, which I think demonstrates that the camera is not going to do the work for you. Not saying the video is terrible but it definitely looks like it could have been shot on almost any camera. 

 

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1 hour ago, TomTheDP said:

Not very many purchased the S1 for video work. Honestly doesn't seem like many people purchased the S1H for video either. The S1H was marketed as a video camera though and has very video centric features. So you'll see better video work coming from it online. 

If you shot something with the S1 and S1H side by side they'd look almost identical besides maybe some very slight differences in motion cadence due to ALL-I. I think getting an external recorder for the S1 and doing prores or prores RAW is a better investment than an S1H as the internal footage on the S1 is going to be good enough for clients that can't afford something more. 


There's not a lot of more amateur stuff on youtube shot on an Alexa. I managed to find this video, which I think demonstrates that the camera is not going to do the work for you. Not saying the video is terrible but it definitely looks like it could have been shot on almost any camera. 

 

Yes that is true but it does look like that video has that extra tiny bit of mojo though that most other cameras cant provide. If you check comparison videos blindly, you can always pick the alexa out as nicest image. Shooting with an alexa is a bit of a nightmare if you are a solo shooter that used dslrs or smaller cinema cameras though.

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11 hours ago, SteveV4D said:

I use ALL-I on my GH5 for any scenes where there is a lot of motion, not just for slightly better IQ when interpreting motion, but mainly for much improved playback.  Static scenes tending to still playback okay when limited to Long-Gop.  Its a shame Panasonic don't offer a higher bitrate as an extra option when needed.  If there was a GH6, and this feels less and less likely as time goes on, then this would be where it could improve on the fullframe.  ProRes and high bitrates ALL-I would be useful for some projects, especially if combined with higher frame rates. 

My impression was that the GH5 started off without the cool codecs and they were added later on, so I would have thought the S5 would also get updates in a similar manner.  Maybe not, who knows.  Certainly the GH5 was partially famous because of the ALL-I modes, so it does matter I think, although there's the whole 'undercutting your other models' thing.

I've idly entertained the idea of upgrading one day from the GH5 to FF, especially if there is no GH6, but there's no way I would re-buy a camera body and all my lenses for 100Mbps Long-GOP after having 200Mbps/400Mbps 10-bit 422 ALL-I.  

I guess if you graph how much a 150Mbps+ 10-bit 422 ALL-I capable camera with IBIS and MILC form-factor costs then maybe that graph goes up after the GH5 goes EOL?  I thought the S5 would have been that natural replacement.

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5 hours ago, kye said:

My impression was that the GH5 started off without the cool codecs and they were added later on, so I would have thought the S5 would also get updates in a similar manner.  Maybe not, who knows.  Certainly the GH5 was partially famous because of the ALL-I modes, so it does matter I think, although there's the whole 'undercutting your other models' thing.

I feel there are 2 main reasons to add new features to cameras down the line.  The first which I feel applies to the GH5 and the initial upgrade given to the S1 was that features were added later when they had resolved any issues, adding such features would cause in the camera software.  The ALL-I was added to the GH5 6 months later and probably not included on initial release as they hadn't quite finished working out some of those issues in implementing it.  Other cameras get external RAW I feel for similar reasons.  Otherwise why not include it on initial release.  

Another reason to add features is to bring a camera more in line with other newer models.  The S1 got a recent upgrade no doubt to help separate it from the S5, which would otherwise have eclipse the model.  

I'm not sure any of this applies to the S5.  Unless a cheaper fullfrane comes from Panasonic, unlikely; then there's no reason to give the ALL-I codec.  Even with the GH5, we were promised ALL-I on release, even though we waited 6 months for it.  No such promises have been forthcoming on the S5.

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8 minutes ago, SteveV4D said:

I feel there are 2 main reasons to add new features to cameras down the line.  The first which I feel applies to the GH5 and the initial upgrade given to the S1 was that features were added later when they had resolved any issues, adding such features would cause in the camera software.  The ALL-I was added to the GH5 6 months later and probably not included on initial release as they hadn't quite finished working out some of those issues in implementing it.  Other cameras get external RAW I feel for similar reasons.  Otherwise why not include it on initial release.  

Another reason to add features is to bring a camera more in line with other newer models.  The S1 got a recent upgrade no doubt to help separate it from the S5, which would otherwise have eclipse the model.  

I'm not sure any of this applies to the S5.  Unless a cheaper fullfrane comes from Panasonic, unlikely; then there's no reason to give the ALL-I codec.  Even with the GH5, we were promised ALL-I on release, even though we waited 6 months for it.  No such promises have been forthcoming on the S5.

That makes sense.

In that case, I don't know why people are saying the S5 is a FF GH5.  

100Mbps Long-GOP < 400Mbps ALL-I, regardless of how big the sensor is.

In fact, I shoot 200Mbps 1080p because I value the 10-bit 422 ALL-I more than I value 4K.

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5 hours ago, kye said:

That makes sense.

In that case, I don't know why people are saying the S5 is a FF GH5.  

100Mbps Long-GOP < 400Mbps ALL-I, regardless of how big the sensor is.

In fact, I shoot 200Mbps 1080p because I value the 10-bit 422 ALL-I more than I value 4K.

150 Mbps Long-GOP 10bit, my friend! 🙂 Once you shot the S1/S5 in Vlog, you will feel shocked, how good it is.

The 10bit Long-GOP is an exellent codec. Scary, how good it is! Would be fun to be able to test it on a real cinema size screen, sometthing like 30 feet wide.

But the 10bit 200Mpbs HD on the GH5 is beautiful, the 100Mpbs also.

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

Have you checked out the BTS as well?

 

Yes. He's got some good stuff on his channel. That video kind of convinced me I don't need or want an Alexa though. I could have shot that so much easier with my Panasonic S1. 

I don't think youtube compression is helping that video either. 

 

9 hours ago, kye said:

That makes sense.

In that case, I don't know why people are saying the S5 is a FF GH5.  

100Mbps Long-GOP < 400Mbps ALL-I, regardless of how big the sensor is.

In fact, I shoot 200Mbps 1080p because I value the 10-bit 422 ALL-I more than I value 4K.

I have not seen a difference in 150mbps Long gop vs All-I 400mbps. Aside from easy of editing. Would be an interesting thing to test. 

The S1 and S5 will have an edge on the GH5 with internal 10 bit H265 4k 60p, while the GH5 only does 8 bit internally. For those who use 60p a lot.

I feel like Panasonic will not add ALL-I to the S1 as its really the only thing separating it from the S1H besides the OLPF
 

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10 hours ago, SteveV4D said:

I feel there are 2 main reasons to add new features to cameras down the line.  The first which I feel applies to the GH5 and the initial upgrade given to the S1 was that features were added later when they had resolved any issues, adding such features would cause in the camera software.  The ALL-I was added to the GH5 6 months later and probably not included on initial release as they hadn't quite finished working out some of those issues in implementing it.  Other cameras get external RAW I feel for similar reasons.  Otherwise why not include it on initial release.  

Another reason to add features is to bring a camera more in line with other newer models.  The S1 got a recent upgrade no doubt to help separate it from the S5, which would otherwise have eclipse the model.  

I'm not sure any of this applies to the S5.  Unless a cheaper fullfrane comes from Panasonic, unlikely; then there's no reason to give the ALL-I codec.  Even with the GH5, we were promised ALL-I on release, even though we waited 6 months for it.  No such promises have been forthcoming on the S5.

I think it is a tricky situation for Panasonic.

Firstly, it makes sense to promise (and eventually deliver) such features as all-i internal since the GH5 was the PREMIERE camera in the G series lineup (or, at least the premiere VIDEO oriented camera in the G-series lineup) With the S series, the premiere camera is the S1H. On the other hand, the S5 - in spite of all it's video capabilities, is still the "bargain" camera in the S-series line of cameras. I wouldn't be surprised if Panasonic considers the S5 to be something like "The G7 of the S Series" of cameras.

I saw a video around September of 2020 in which one of the more-senior members of Panasonic imaging was being asked about the future of Panasonic cameras and he kind of mentioned there were challenges ahead and Panasonic was going to distinguish itself by producing great cameras for content creation. So moving forward, I am pretty sure that EVERY Lumix camera is going to be a VERY capable video camera. (Unfortunately I didn't bookmark that video... maybe someone else has a link to it???)

Anyway, as mentioned at the start of this post, that kind of puts Panasonic in to a tricky situation where they might have cameras that are technically capable of doing more things, but they need to hold back on the features just to distinguish the higher end cameras.

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28 minutes ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Anyway, as mentioned at the start of this post, that kind of puts Panasonic in to a tricky situation where they might have cameras that are technically capable of doing more things, but they need to hold back on the features just to distinguish the higher end cameras.

Technical ability is just one aspect of a camera specs.  The other is cost. Probably the most important.  Each camera has to make a profit.  

There is no profit in making the S5 so good, no one wishes to buy the S1H. 

Same with Canon.  Though my issue with them is that they can add features like RAW to the R5, yet withhold it from the C70.  At least Panasonic is more consistent with distinguishing their features from different models.  Though their slip of adding vlog to the G100 whilst the GH5 is still a paid upgrade does annoy.  

For me a camera manufacturer needs consistency amongst their line, whilst allowing rooms for upgraded specs for higher priced model.   The difference between the S5, S1 and S1H makes sense to me and I can't see the S5 jumping further without devaluing something of the other models.

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