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Panasonic S5 User Experience


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11 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Could you imagine that there are some twisted weirdos out there who enjoy this???

haha, I think if it were the only thing I had to worry about I actually could grow to like it....but when its just one more thing to pile onto the project after camera gear, lighting, working with the talent,  etc......its like the last straw for me.  Good audio is so important too...you can get away with mediocre lighting, slightly out of focus talent at times, basic camera movements, etc....but if the audio has an echo, or the mic hit the clothing, or the audio peaks or there's too much background noise, the video is ruined. 

Fortunately the only audio I typically deal with is sit down interviews indoors with a single lav mic; and to me that's still difficult....add a second person and I suddenly need my MixPre, two lav mics, a stereo mix, etc. Totally a PITA. In post, no matter how much fiddling I do, I still can barely get the audio to be useable. Lets not even talk about the cost of quality audio gear.

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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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54 minutes ago, herein2020 said:

haha, I think if it were the only thing I had to worry about I actually could grow to like it....but when its just one more thing to pile onto the project after camera gear, lighting, working with the talent,  etc......its like the last straw for me.  Good audio is so important too...you can get away with mediocre lighting, slightly out of focus talent at times, basic camera movements, etc....but if the audio has an echo, or the mic hit the clothing, or the audio peaks or there's too much background noise, the video is ruined. 

Fortunately the only audio I typically deal with is sit down interviews indoors with a single lav mic; and to me that's still difficult....add a second person and I suddenly need my MixPre, two lav mics, a stereo mix, etc. Totally a PITA. In post, no matter how much fiddling I do, I still can barely get the audio to be useable. Lets not even talk about the cost of quality audio gear.

Thing is audio people say exactly the same about video. Just think about formats and codecs - with audio there is uncompressed which is basically the same (wav or maybe aif) with just some simple varying sample rates and bit depths (but nearly always 48K 16 bit PCM) and compressed which is also main only two formats (MP4, AAC and at 48k, 320 bit). Then think about video codecs, containers, data rates, raw, V-log, progressive/interlaced, loads of resolutions, trying to match cameras blah blah blah. And cameras have their own unique formats too that you cannot edit directly! There's no comparison and coming from an audio background video seems so much more complex to the point of seeming quite ridiculous since a heck of a lot of it is totally unnecessary because it is about commercial advantage much of the time. And in the field? You need to use the right mic and put it in the right place and have a decent recorder - no framing, no lighting, no motion issues, no focus problems, not exposure issues. I could go on 🙂

I think the issue with audio is you need to get it pretty good there and then - you cannot 'fix' audio in post like you can video but it is much easier to get audio right in the first place than image. As for price, well yes you can spend £2000 on a very good mic but you don't need to and most people will never notice the mic only cost £150 because it will still sound very good as long as your recorder (or camera) had good low noise preamps and you place the microphone well. Lavs are tricky but if you are in a sit down interview situation they really shouldn't be needed - use a cable!

I really enjoy audio recording! 

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On 4/27/2021 at 12:37 PM, ac6000cw said:

Just a quick thought - have you tried setting 'i.Dynamic Range' to off (or low)? (in the 'Photo' -> 'Image Quality' menu, but also applies to video - see page 353 of the user guide)

It's disabled automatically in the V-Log/Like709/HLG etc. modes.

I'm not an S5 user, but I know from experience with the G series Lumix cameras that 'i.Dynamic Range' can make low-light video look a bit noisy/flickery (so the usual recommendation is to set it to off or low).

Good suggestion, thanks. Will check this when the camera comes back from the menders!

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27 minutes ago, Geoffrey said:

Thing is audio people say exactly the same about video. Just think about formats and codecs - with audio there is uncompressed which is basically the same (wav or maybe aif) with just some simple varying sample rates and bit depths (but nearly always 48K 16 bit PCM) and compressed which is also main only two formats (MP4, AAC and at 48k, 320 bit). Then think about video codecs, containers, data rates, raw, V-log, progressive/interlaced, loads of resolutions, trying to match cameras blah blah blah. And cameras have their own unique formats too that you cannot edit directly! There's no comparison and coming from an audio background video seems so much more complex to the point of seeming quite ridiculous since a heck of a lot of it is totally unnecessary because it is about commercial advantage much of the time. And in the field? You need to use the right mic and put it in the right place and have a decent recorder - no framing, no lighting, no motion issues, no focus problems, not exposure issues. I could go on 🙂

I think the issue with audio is you need to get it pretty good there and then - you cannot 'fix' audio in post like you can video but it is much easier to get audio right in the first place than image. As for price, well yes you can spend £2000 on a very good mic but you don't need to and most people will never notice the mic only cost £150 because it will still sound very good as long as your recorder (or camera) had good low noise preamps and you place the microphone well. Lavs are tricky but if you are in a sit down interview situation they really shouldn't be needed - use a cable!

I really enjoy audio recording! 

Of course you are right, but I am never going to like audio 🙂. Trying to prevent audio peaking is the worst to me...how on earth am I going to know ahead of time that the speaker will suddenly get more animated or louder? The MixPre has 32bit float audio which is wonderful but it still can't fix background noise, echo, or hair rubbing the mic. I think my biggest problem with audio is I'm always stuck recording it in bad conditions (noisy, windy, etc). 

To me video and photography is way easier....for video to me there's really only two options 4K60FPS or 4K30FPS pick your lens based on the look you want pull your focus set your lighting use your stabilizer of choice (handheld, gimbal, tripod, etc), check exposure with the WFM, and press record. I know video is technically more complex, but with audio I always feel like you only get one chance at it, and for some reason it always sounds better on set than when I start editing it in the NLE. I'm truly impressed that Hollywood always has perfect audio no matter what the movie scene; middle of a hurricane and their voices are perfect.

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9 hours ago, herein2020 said:

Of course you are right, but I am never going to like audio 🙂. Trying to prevent audio peaking is the worst to me...how on earth am I going to know ahead of time that the speaker will suddenly get more animated or louder?

Just have your ISOs a little more conservative, and you can let your mix be hotter. (as there are always your ISOs after all)

 

9 hours ago, herein2020 said:

but it still can't fix background noise, echo, or hair rubbing the mic. I think my biggest problem with audio is I'm always stuck recording it in bad conditions (noisy, windy, etc). 

Pick better locations? You do that for the visuals and pick what looks good, so why not for audio too? Choose the places that will sound good. 

9 hours ago, herein2020 said:

but with audio I always feel like you only get one chance at it, and for some reason it always sounds better on set than when I start editing it in the NLE. 

Are ears are amazing at fooling ourselves and filtering out unwanted sounds so we can focus in on the sounds we want to listen to. But then back at the studio when you're playing back the audio, you were all of what your mind was earlier filtering out / ignoring! 

So you need to learn to really listen

Putting on the headphones and closing your eyes can help to zone out and zone in.  But with practice, you'll be picking up and noticing these small issues without even needing to wear the headphones. (but always do that too!!!)

 

 

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9 hours ago, herein2020 said:

I'm truly impressed that Hollywood always has perfect audio no matter what the movie scene; middle of a hurricane and their voices are perfect.

Watch all of this interview with my sound god hero Simon Hayes, he goes into what it takes to record excellent top notch sound even under raining conditions on screen:
 

 

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

Watch all of this interview with my sound god hero Simon Hayes, he goes into what it takes to record excellent top notch sound even under raining conditions on screen:
 

 

That's really fascinating and great to hear they did it like this and why.

It is a shame to me that in fact very many films use very little sound shot on set, even dialogue with so much of it done as ADR. This enables great control and gets round all the problems herein2020 mentions but also makes things kind of artificial. But then cinema is probably as artificial these days as it has ever been. It is quite similar to the idea of capturing images only for post production processing and not getting them to look good when shooting. This leads to the modern obsession with a 'look' which to me very often means looking crap and like an advert and draws attention to the filmmaking process. It was noticeable in Les Mis that the wonderfully natural and real vocal performances are not matched by natural looking images - they look as unreal and stylised as the next Hollywood offering and actually affect the suspension of disbelief for me. Thousands of gigabytes of data do not help.

When it comes to controlling sound levels the obvious thing to say is use AGC but the problem is in camera AGC is often not that great whereas modern dedicated audio recorders have amazing AGC these days that is virtually undetectable. The other suggestion is turn the levels low to avoid any distortion and record in 24bit. The noise floor is always lower at higher bit depths so you can boost the level way up to what is required overall in post without significantly adding noise. The difference between 16 and 24bit in this respect is surprisingly marked.

At the end of the day if you are a one person operation, capturing both really good sound and image is not easy. If you just need ambiences then it is fairly easy with decent equipment mounted on camera but otherwise, like the guy in the videos says, they have four dedicated sound people all the time. 

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1 hour ago, Geoffrey said:

When it comes to controlling sound levels the obvious thing to say is use AGC but the problem is in camera AGC is often not that great whereas modern dedicated audio recorders have amazing AGC these days that is virtually undetectable.

Amazing AGC???? 
No, as I never ever ever use AGC. 
Am quite certain my recorder doesn't even have that "feature"!

  

1 hour ago, Geoffrey said:

The difference between 16 and 24bit in this respect is surprisingly marked.


Yes, when the early digital recorders took the leap forward from 16bit to 24bit then that was a very substantial change indeed. (24bit  though is plenty however, but nobody should these days be ever recording in 16bit!)

  

1 hour ago, Geoffrey said:

At the end of the day if you are a one person operation, capturing both really good sound and image is not easy. If you just need ambiences then it is fairly easy with decent equipment mounted on camera but otherwise, like the guy in the videos says, they have four dedicated sound people all the time. 

On one of Simon's more recent films, he had sixteen people in his Sound Department. 

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A quick question (I can't remember if I asked before!), will the San Disk Extreme SDXC V30 170MB/s be fine for shooting with the S5? 4K 25p and 50p. I have recorded 4K 150M on the GH5 with them no probs. I'm thinking of renting a S5 for a wedding this Sunday.

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And then fine tune it even further with AF speed and sensitivity.

No user should need to do this though and this has been Panasonic’s Achilles Heel.

Not so much the fact the AF is contrast based, but there has been little to no instruction in regard to how to make it work best which has been left to the community to try and resolve.

It’s cost them market position and countless millions in sales. Marketing and reputation is everything.

The entire L Mount system; Panny, Leica and Sigma have virtually all the ingredients needed to have the best product in the marketplace bar none and it’s slightly frustrating that they do not.

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3 hours ago, MrSMW said:

The entire L Mount system; Panny, Leica and Sigma have virtually all the ingredients needed to have the best product in the marketplace bar none and it’s slightly frustrating that they do not.

Panasonic could also do with getting a move on with their 1.8 primes as that could sway a lot of people.

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1 hour ago, Thpriest said:

Panasonic could also do with getting a move on with their 1.8 primes as that could sway a lot of people.

Yes, I don't really understand this...

They were all announced together and the 85mm was available over 6 months ago. I know because I got mine in October 2020!

But not a lot of movement anywhere since other than the recent firmware updates.

As a business owner myself, I find it bizarre that how un-proactive some companies just are.

Panasonic are one such.

Take the AF 'issue'. No need to get super-defensive over it, but why not have a series of ambassadors showcasing what can be achieved and how to achieve it?

If you look hard enough, you can find some material, but it's very limited.

In a shouting contest, we would be well aware of Sony and Canon and Fuji, but Panny... some quiet voice at the back saying, "I'm here also", but overwhelmed by the crowd.

I am adamant that in an alternate universe, the L Mount reigns supreme...but in this one, they need to up their AF game (obviously), but also their marketing.

In regard to the AF video that Luca made, that is part of the key for getting the best AF.

I tested the 24-105mm f4 and the Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 again this morning and the native Panny has the edge, but the Sigma is not far behind.

In not too fast paced tracking, it only drifts occasionally and only really loses it if the subject rotates 180 degrees.

I get slightly better results than Luca, but then his camera was set to default AF speed and sensitivity.

It's not and never will be Canon/Sony level whilst it's contrast based though.

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1 hour ago, MrSMW said:

Take the AF 'issue'. No need to get super-defensive over it, but why not have a series of ambassadors showcasing what can be achieved and how to achieve it?

Yeah, that's be a good idea but I wonder if Panasonic marketing even know about this. They have ambassadors like Photo Joseph (who is usually quite thorough) explaining AF and there is no mention of this.

I am adamant that in an alternate universe, the L Mount reigns supreme...but in this one, they need to up their AF game (obviously), but also their marketing.

AF is very handy (especially as we get older!). Not 2000€ handy mind (a7S3 vs S5)!

I tested the 24-105mm f4 and the Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 again this morning and the native Panny has the edge, but the Sigma is not far behind.

How are you finding those 2 lenses? I've been doing my numbers and I think I can get a S5 with kit lens and the Sigma 28-70 or just a S5 with a 24-105. As I use a lot of wide angle, shoot in lowlight and will be using a lot of apsc I'm thinking that the kit and the Sigma might be the best options even though they overlap a fair bit (I'd mainly be using the kit for the 20-28 range).

I had my first wedding of the season on Sunday and whilst the GH5 does well enough I really would like more DR and lowlight.

 

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7 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Here's an Autofocus Tip that I totally didn't realize...

Apparently you are supposed to "confirm" AF tracking using the joystick or touch screen. (OK, maybe not PERFECT but looks better than usual.)

Hmmm... maybe I SHOULD read the manual for expensive pieces of equipment...

 

Thanks for this and I certainly hadn't picked up on the procedure and I have read the manual! Will have to check out

Like this guy.

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1 hour ago, Thpriest said:

 

Well the the 24-105 has a wider FOV and a longer one, but is 'only' F4 vs 2.8

Sharpness-wise, not a lot in it and I'm not really a pixel-peeper, but maybe a very slight edge to the Panasonic?

The Panny has OIS which improves stability further, but the Sigma is smaller and lighter and doesn't extend as much when zooming.

The Sigma is a nicer fit on both my S5 and S1H whereas the 24-105 IMO is a bit large for my liking on the S5 without a grip. Useable? Sure, but all day shooting a wedding... nah, grip.

I'm still waiting to test the Sigma 65mm f2 (hopefully within the next couple of weeks) before committing to that as my principle video lens and then I'd flip the 28-70 over to the S5 full-time and that will be my pairing (S5 + 28-70mm f2.8, S1H + 65mm f2) but if that doesn't wok out, then I'll keep the Sigma zoom and use it as a 'dual prime' on the S1H and either get another 28-70 for the S5 or just keep using the 24-105.

I do like the output of the 24-105 and it's flexibility and if it was either smaller and lighter by 25%, or same size & weight, but f2.8, it would be a definite keeper...but currently it's the size & weight that is preventing me from committing.

And I know, I know, it's hardly a massive lens at just under 700 grams anyway, but by my standards, it's fking huge!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I wanted something lighter and more nimble than my S1, and to replace my GH5 as a second camera, so I picked up an S5.

Coming from the S1's big beautiful viewfinder, the S5 is much harder to use. I think an eyecup or loupe might be the solution.

I have a rubber eyecup on both my S1 and my GH5, and I'm not seeing anything similar available for the S5. It almost looks like the rubber eye piece is screwed in. Anyone have insight into this?

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17 hours ago, thehebrewhammer said:

I'm actually debating returning the camera. My eyes aren't that bad but the viewfinder is really not cutting it. Peaks are not great. Focusing was easier on my old 6D with magic lantern, and that's saying something.

It isn't great I admit but I have found that a combination of the one-shot autofocus and enlarged manual focus view on the LCD (with peaking) if need be does the trick. Having said that I have never been a fan of viewfinders for video anyway since if you use a tripod they are pretty useless.

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