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Panasonic S5 User Experience


herein2020
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I've now done 5-6 weddings (as well as quite a few corporate videos) with the S5 and I have hired a S1 as a B-cam/emergency cam for a few jobs. 

S5:

I like the camera but if I'm going to nit pick I find that the button on the front of the camera is very easy to touch without meaning to (in my case set to IBIS). The IBIS is not as good as the S1 (probably due to weight). I wasn't bothered about the EVF until I tried the EVF of the S1. Wow! What a difference (I use the EVF 80% of the time).The light weight is a pro and a con. A con for IBIS but half way through a long wedding changing from the S1 to the S5 is a notable difference in weight which can be a pro. It doesn't get in the way of the mic and headphones and is central. IBIS, really good and better than the S5. 2 SDs is a great feature.

S1.

EVF. Wow. Just brilliant. I have now realised I prefer the S1's tilt screen as well. IBIS is excellent. Best I've used (coming from GH5). Weight is pro and con like the S5. Prefer the S1 until I get tired then a stint with the S5 is a relief! 2 different card types is a bummer.

So, at first I wondered if I had made a mistake buying the S5 after trying the S1 but I realise that's not the case. I alway have 2 cams and there's no way I'm lugging about 2 S1s! So I think having an S1 (or S1H) and a S5 makes total sense as a A Cam/B Cam kit. Both are capable of being A or B cam depending on you needs. Now I need to find an S1 on offer like those I missed our on over the summer!

Lenses:

20-60 : Nice walk about lens for photo or as a wide 20 F3.5 for video (I dislike variable iris for video).

24-105 f4 - great all round lens with really good macro.

50 f1.8 - Really light in both senses. Weighs nothing and can see in the dark. Very happy with this lens.

Next:

Look out for a Lumix 24-70 f2.8 and a S1 or S1H to buy second hand!

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Well I tried log and nah…

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t get as nice a picture out of it as I can with the Natural profile.

I made custom settings for; log, Natural, Cine D and Flat and shot the same scenarios; in open shade, into the sun, against the sun and the Natural profile was a fairly easy win except into the sun (where it was about equal between them all) and in highlight roll off where log won.

For me, there’s just not going to be any/enough advantage to shooting log so going forward, I’m going to stick with my tweaked profile but bring the highlight setting down one more notch.

For this weekends 3 day wedding, I’m back to shooting hybrid so trying the following:

S5 with Sigma 35mm f2 as my ‘indoor video’ combo.

S5 with Sigma 65mm f2 as my ‘outdoor video’ combo.

S1H with Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 as my stills camera but ability to flick to video during the ceremony for guest reactions and alternative angles for clips, (as the 2x S5’s will be on sticks and locked on the B&G from two different angles).

I’m hoping to hear much less (preferably none) shutter sound from using the S1 because last (hybrid) job, I could hear the S5 shutter in the lav mic audio from ceremony & speeches despite being an average 10-20 feet away!

Re. size & weight, something between the S5 and the S1H would be my ideal.

I would pick the S1H out of the two if I had to choose as it’s the more stable platform.

One thing I am interested in learning is how the ‘less good’ IBIS is going to perform or whether I will need to also switch on the e:stabilisation…

I don’t do any panning shots and specifically want the ‘near tripod’ look where the movement is 95% the subject and not the camera, so it will be interesting to see how the S5’s perform compared with the S1H in the real world test that only a full wedding day can provide.

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13 hours ago, MrSMW said:

Well I tried log and nah…

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t get as nice a picture out of it as I can with the Natural profile.

I made custom settings for; log, Natural, Cine D and Flat and shot the same scenarios; in open shade, into the sun, against the sun and the Natural profile was a fairly easy win except into the sun (where it was about equal between them all) and in highlight roll off where log won.

For me, there’s just not going to be any/enough advantage to shooting log so going forward, I’m going to stick with my tweaked profile but bring the highlight setting down one more notch.

For this weekends 3 day wedding, I’m back to shooting hybrid so trying the following:

S5 with Sigma 35mm f2 as my ‘indoor video’ combo.

S5 with Sigma 65mm f2 as my ‘outdoor video’ combo.

S1H with Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 as my stills camera but ability to flick to video during the ceremony for guest reactions and alternative angles for clips, (as the 2x S5’s will be on sticks and locked on the B&G from two different angles).

I’m hoping to hear much less (preferably none) shutter sound from using the S1 because last (hybrid) job, I could hear the S5 shutter in the lav mic audio from ceremony & speeches despite being an average 10-20 feet away!

Re. size & weight, something between the S5 and the S1H would be my ideal.

I would pick the S1H out of the two if I had to choose as it’s the more stable platform.

One thing I am interested in learning is how the ‘less good’ IBIS is going to perform or whether I will need to also switch on the e:stabilisation…

I don’t do any panning shots and specifically want the ‘near tripod’ look where the movement is 95% the subject and not the camera, so it will be interesting to see how the S5’s perform compared with the S1H in the real world test that only a full wedding day can provide.

I used natural on a Wedding recently and found it to be really nice. The S1 has really nice dynamic range and roll off even in the natural profile. Have you tried the E-shutter option? I shoot mostly with the electronic shutter these days and don't really notice a difference. aaaaaannnd I just forgot speedlights don't work with E-shutter. 

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E shutter in good daylight only otherwise to be avoided like the plague!

I used it at my first 2 weddings of the year as a custom setting as a ‘silent mode’ indoors and some outdoors when shooting video to minimise shutter sound being on the audio.

Big mistake. Banding in both sets of pics from each wedding.

I have used auto e/mech for a long time and will be reverting to that because that does work really well shooting wide open in bright sunlight.

Also, holy moire Batman.

Back to the S1H for stills this weekend and will almost certainly be sticking with that as it has an OLPF plus I use a 1/8th mist anyway.

The S5’s now dedicated to video are only used with 1/8th mists also which I believe helps reduce/eliminate moire?

The second wedding I shot purely stills with the S5’s, a lot of moire. Maybe it was the choice of the groom’s clothing/material, but I’ve never had anything like it before shooting Fuji.

We are not talking ‘ruined shoot’ in either case, the use of the E shutter or the moire issue, but lessons learned as there are to be discovered with any new system!

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  • 1 month later...

So my S5 over time has now developed two problems:

  • Shutter button sticks - If I try to gently press the shutter button half way down to achieve focus, the button does not move, it sticks up. If I press hard enough to get it to move it jumps past the half way mark and starts recording. Very annoying to say the least, I end up with a lot of false start footage that I need to delete later. To compensate, I have switched to back button AF and the red record button to start recording. Before the button started sticking I could do it all in one press. There is nothing clogging the button, it just feels like plastic sticking to plastic. I have tried wiggling the button and with the camera off pressing it over and over...nothing helps it still sticks.
  • XLR Module - The expensive $450USD XLR adapter is getting more and more difficult to work with. It is getting more difficult to get it to turn on and I have tried everything; changing the connection sequence, turning off phantom power then connecting the mics then turning on phantom power, starting out with all the gains set to 0, etc. Half the time it simply will not power on. It also will not work at all with my Sennheiser wireless receiver. The min I connect the receiver to the XLR adapter it will stop turning on. This all worked flawlessly with my GH5. I have ordered a second XLR module to see if this one is faulty; but not happy at all about the situation.

While both problems are annoying, neither are worth sending the S5 in for repair; with the current shortages who knows when I would get it back. Does anyone else regularly use the XLR module with their S5?

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No issues with my S5 and I don’t use XLR so can’t help sorry!

My limited 5 wedding season is now at an end and it took all 5 weddings for me to knock this L Mount system into shape.

I ended up and have been most happy with the following combo:

Static Video = S1H + 24-105mm f4 on tripod.

Chosen because the output is superb and I don’t need or want a faster aperture than f4 for ceremonies or speeches anyway.

Plus no record limit and no overheating and as the heaviest of my units, great that it’s on the tripod!

Unit 2 is my dedicated stills combo of S1R (1500 euros barely used off a mate) with the 20-60mm as a wide landscape and architecture lens when again, the lack of a fast aperture is not a need.

The main lenses for it though are the Sigma 35mm f2 indoors and the 65mm f2 outdoors and the combo of S1R plus the 65mm f2 is just mental. I’m pretty blown away with this sensor and these lenses.

Set up 3 is my ‘filming’ clips combo of S5 + Sigma 28-70mm f2.8 mostly handheld but sometimes out of necessity, monopod. 
I still can’t get a better output using log than I can with the Natural profile tweaked…but I may look at that over the Winter.

Potential changes for 2022…?

It’s a heavy old lump but I may just swap the Sigma 35/65 f2 combo for just the native 50mm f1.4 and move those lenses over to filming.

Other than that, this is my system for 2022 as things stand.

In my ideal world, an S5H and an S5R would both exist and either with further improved DFD AF for video, or phase/hybrid AF.

But in the absence of all that, pretty happy with this set up now.

Pity the very short season ended just as I was getting to grips with it so hopefully 2022 delivers the 30+ jobs I have booked in…

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I have considered all of the 1.8’s and have the 85, but went with the f2 Sigmas instead.

If I do switch to the 50 it would be the f1.4 for that extra stop of low light capability ie, f2 to f1.8 is not worth it. To me.

Plus it’s supposed to have a bit of magic in the quality/rendering department and that is the most important factor to me.

The Sigma 65mm f2 is just stellar though…

Possibly a tad tight in some indoor scenarios…but I have the 35 version for that so not a problem and then it does have that little bit more reach than a 50, but without having to go as tight as 85.

I like ‘willfully different’ and shooting primarily 65 is just that.

I have all Winter and early Spring to decide though so not in any rush or doing anything until after that time so we will see.

I’ve read so many times in so many places about how 24mp is enough for social photography but you know what, when you’ve tasted 47, 24 is never going to cut it again. There is a real and significant difference.

I hummed and hawed for so long over whether to go S1R or Leica SL2 or just stick with 24mp, but eyes opened and at 1500 euros, insane value.

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On 9/3/2021 at 5:35 AM, MrSMW said:

I think I'm done with the Wireless Go and just sticking with pocket recorders, lav mics and auto-syncing in post which is pretty much a one click job. The sound guy moved the speaking mic from where I'd reset it from where he'd originally set it and I didn't notice until after the ceremony started... Anyway, it's too reliant on proximity that can't always achieved and no way am I sticking that on anyone's lapel with a dead kitten on it.

Why not their latest Rode Go with internal recording?

  

On 9/4/2021 at 5:23 PM, MrSMW said:

and 3x Sony pocket recorders that cost about £75 each off Amazon.

Do consider instead the Zoom F2-BT (or Tentacle Track E), they're still very very affordable, but all round much much better designed as bodypack recorders. Plus they've both got timecode functionality, making it easier (extra safety net) to sync it up with your timecode capable Panasonic S1H. 

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13 hours ago, MrSMW said:

I hummed and hawed for so long over whether to go S1R or Leica SL2 or just stick with 24mp, but eyes opened and at 1500 euros, insane value.

If I was mainly photo the S1R would be the way to go. They sell for less that the S1s and S5s on the second hand market!

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36 minutes ago, Thpriest said:
14 hours ago, MrSMW said:

 

If I was mainly photo the S1R would be the way to go. They sell for less that the S1s and S5s on the second hand market

Moving from Fuji XT3, there was and is a definite ‘upgrade’ from APSC to FF, but it’s not especially big and no viewer would notice.

The 24mp FF sensor is maybe 10-15% better IMO in low light and back lit situations compared with Fuji’s 26mp crop sensor, but I’d say Fuji’s colour is better by a small margin, so swings and roundabouts as they say.

But the jump from 24 to 47mp is much more noticeable.

Again, it’s not anything that anyone would really notice on-line or on social media etc, but it’s very noticeable to yourself and if you care about such things as I do…

The colour is also better from the 47mp sensor. I have not seen anyone mention that one but IMO, it’s not just the improved resolution, but there’s something in this 47mp sensor wherever it’s coming from…and that seems to be a bit of a mystery except it’s probably the same as the Leica SL2 and Q2 but with some slightly thinner piece of glass/a layer with the Leica version?

And it’s not the Goliath unit some folks make it out to be…

Maybe with the 50mm f1.4 I am leaning towards, but we’ll see next year.

@IronFilm I’m sticking with my original Go for now as the combo with the lav mics & Sony recorders has been working mostly OK this year and it’s more a case of having backups due to others muppetry!

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16 hours ago, MrSMW said:

Moving from Fuji XT3, there was and is a definite ‘upgrade’ from APSC to FF, but it’s not especially big and no viewer would notice.

The 24mp FF sensor is maybe 10-15% better IMO in low light and back lit situations compared with Fuji’s 26mp crop sensor, but I’d say Fuji’s colour is better by a small margin, so swings and roundabouts as they say.

But the jump from 24 to 47mp is much more noticeable.

Again, it’s not anything that anyone would really notice on-line or on social media etc, but it’s very noticeable to yourself and if you care about such things as I do…

The colour is also better from the 47mp sensor. I have not seen anyone mention that one but IMO, it’s not just the improved resolution, but there’s something in this 47mp sensor wherever it’s coming from…and that seems to be a bit of a mystery except it’s probably the same as the Leica SL2 and Q2 but with some slightly thinner piece of glass/a layer with the Leica version?

And it’s not the Goliath unit some folks make it out to be…

Maybe with the 50mm f1.4 I am leaning towards, but we’ll see next year.

@IronFilm I’m sticking with my original Go for now as the combo with the lav mics & Sony recorders has been working mostly OK this year and it’s more a case of having backups due to others muppetry!

 

I now shoot 95% of my handheld footage with the Sigma EF 50mm F1.4. That is by far my favorite lens although things do get tight sometimes due to the crop when I am shooting 4K60FPS, I couldn't imagine a 65mm. 

I was a big believer in the MP doesn't matter theme and even briefly owned the Canon R6 with only 20MP, but the part no one really talks about is when you need to crop and recompose your shot. Its easy for people to say just get closer or fill the frame with your subject, but when your lens is not long enough and you are shooting events where you cannot get closer to the subject, that extra MP really helps as you are forced to do some pretty extreme cropping. I end up stuck in some of the worst places imaginable yet still need to get a good shot of the speaker, or runway walk, or the crowd and sometimes every MP counts.

I am pretty jealous that you are able to go all in one one system, I am still stuck in nowhere land but such is life. 

I definitely think you should keep trying the VLOG footage and maybe while you are at it try Davinci Resolve over the winter. No more Adobe subscription for me and color grading is so much better. DR 17 is truly an incredible platform, and each update just makes it even better. Once they fix the Fusion integration it truly will be the complete package. I got so sick of the Adobe subscription that I learned the basics of DR in one week and have never looked back.

I shot my first Boudoir video recently with the S5; VLOG really let me push and pull the colors to get every scene to look exactly the way I wanted. It also let me shoot at ISO4000 and get really clean blacks without falling apart at the highlights, and the highlight rolloff is so much nicer than any of the built in profiles IMO (NSFW, 18+ only):

 

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17 hours ago, MrSMW said:

The colour is also better from the 47mp sensor. I have not seen anyone mention that one but IMO, it’s not just the improved resolution, but there’s something in this 47mp sensor wherever it’s coming from…and that seems to be a bit of a mystery except it’s probably the same as the Leica SL2 and Q2 but with some slightly thinner piece of glass/a layer with the Leica version?

How does the 4K 60fps of the S1R look??? I think it is only a small crop, right? (Not the 1.5X crop on the S1 / S5 / S1H).

And the S1R has 10-bit HLG, right??? 

I would love to get 10-bit 4:2:2 4K 60fps in full frame but I wouldn't want to move to a7S III or a Canon R6.

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11 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

How does the 4K 60fps of the S1R look??? I think it is only a small crop, right? (Not the 1.5X crop on the S1 / S5 / S1H).

And the S1R has 10-bit HLG, right??? 

I would love to get 10-bit 4:2:2 4K 60fps in full frame but I wouldn't want to move to a7S III or a Canon R6.

The S1R 4k looks pretty nice. It's line skipped but hey it's still 4k. It does have 5k 10bit as well. I think it's a solid option. 

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15 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Photos in the first half, were a totally different vibe, I am guessing you set up different lighting for that? 
The video quality in the 2nd half was miles ahead of the 1st half! Good stuff

 

Yes, I looked around at other boudoir videos and they all seemed to do the same thing; so I decided to go for a mixture of reality show feel, BTS photo shoot feel, then let the viewer think the video was over before flipping the whole venue and shooting the night portion. Same camera, lens, venue, and model, but completely different look and feel.

Since I shoot photos and videos 50/50 for the photos that was with studio strobes, my Canon 5DIV, a different lens and different color grading. My goal was to show how the venue looked and what a difference lighting and color grading could make for the photos.

 

On 10/18/2021 at 10:31 AM, Thpriest said:

I've only used the XLR a few times with the S5 but it has always worked correctly as it did with my GH5

 

My XLR problems were actually with the camera body itself. I tested with a second S5 body and the XLR module works perfectly with it. I am sending my S5 in for repair for the sticking shutter button and the XLR module problems.

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On 10/20/2021 at 5:40 AM, Mark Romero 2 said:

How does the 4K 60fps of the S1R look??? I think it is only a small crop, right? (Not the 1.5X crop on the S1 / S5 / S1H).

And the S1R has 10-bit HLG, right??? 

I would love to get 10-bit 4:2:2 4K 60fps in full frame but I wouldn't want to move to a7S III or a Canon R6.

No idea, my S1R is for stills only!

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On 10/21/2021 at 8:58 AM, herein2020 said:

Yes, I looked around at other boudoir videos and they all seemed to do the same thing; so I decided to go for a mixture of reality show feel, BTS photo shoot feel, then let the viewer think the video was over before flipping the whole venue and shooting the night portion. Same camera, lens, venue, and model, but completely different look and feel.

I guess in a way, it is much harder to shoot day time boudoir video, as you've got much less control over the light (relatively speaking, as there is more of it. And you're just the one crew member). 

Maybe a thought to consider for next time, is smoke the place up for atmosphere, and try to cut back the ambient light as much as you reasonably can to shape the light more. 

Perhaps the bright high key sunny day outdoors look works if shooting a model strutting in a bikini by a pool, but not so much in lingerie for a boudoir film shoot? 

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13 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I guess in a way, it is much harder to shoot day time boudoir video, as you've got much less control over the light (relatively speaking, as there is more of it. And you're just the one crew member). 

Maybe a thought to consider for next time, is smoke the place up for atmosphere, and try to cut back the ambient light as much as you reasonably can to shape the light more. 

Perhaps the bright high key sunny day outdoors look works if shooting a model strutting in a bikini by a pool, but not so much in lingerie for a boudoir film shoot? 

I actually went for the high key look on purpose for the daylight portion. I wanted it to look very average plus I was also doing a full photo shoot with the model as well so that she had footage she could post so the goals were mainly high key look and BTS feel for the photo shoot/daylight portion. I also wanted to set up that very average look and feel so that the night portion would have more impact.

If I had to shoot a video like that in daylight I would have used blackout curtains, ND filters to reduce the exposure, more closeup work, etc.

I only used the smoke machine in the sauna because what a lot of people do not realize is that they can still set off the smoke alarms. Although it is not actual smoke; depending on the type of smoke detector (at least here in the USA) they can set them off so you have to be really careful with how much and what venue you use them at especially if the venue has a sprinkler system; that's a worst case scenario.  The atmospheric machines do not have this problem but they are many times more expensive. A final problem with smoke machines is they leave a glycerin residue on everything so that can ruin a venue pretty quickly as well. 

 

In my studio my smoke machine leaves the residue and it takes about 3 days for it to evaporate; in the meantime its an annoying oily residue that no venue owner would be pleased to have to deal with.

 

Here is a good article on it:

https://djroundabout.com/will-a-fog-machine-set-off-a-fire-alarm/

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