We just started testing cameras, and our test bench v0.7 is rather simplistic, so we decided to launch without text in the test boxes. If you have any suggestions on what to improve, let us know here. As we gather your suggestions, we plan on making more frequent changes to our methodology and we'll be able to add text to the reviews in the near future.

Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.7
Reviewed Feb 12, 2021 at 08:55 am
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Picture
8.0
Travel Photography
8.2
Landscape Photography
7.5
Sport & Wildlife Photography
7.2
Vlogging
8.7
Studio Video
5.4
Action Video
Body Type
DSLR
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
Full Frame
Tested Lens
Panasonic LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6

The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 is a superbly well-built full-frame mirrorless camera. It offers impressive overall video quality whether you're recording in 4k or FHD, and its autofocus does an impressively good job of tracking moving faces and objects. The camera itself also features a wide complement of inputs and outputs for fitting different accessories, and you should be able to record for fairly lengthy periods without running out of battery. Its performance in still photography is also very good, with images being low in noise even at high ISO levels and an effective, reliable, and consistent autofocus system. Unfortunately, it's a little bulkier than many other mirrorless cameras.

Our Verdict

8.0 Travel Photography

The Panasonic S5 is great for travel photography. Images are low in noise and graininess, even at high ISO levels, which is great for shooting in dimly-lit environments. It also features a wide shutter speed range, allowing for both intricate long-exposure photography and frozen stills of quick moments. Its autofocus system is also quick and reliable, and the camera's body feels exceptionally well-built and comfortable to hold. However, it's slightly more impractical to carry around compared to smaller mirrorless cameras or point-and-shoots that can be stored in a pocket or a small bag.

Pros
  • Exceptional build quality.
  • Effective and reliable autofocus system.
  • Very comfortable to use.
Cons
  • Relatively bulky design.
8.2 Landscape Photography

The Panasonic S5 is a great option for landscape photography. It takes images that are very low in noise even at high ISO levels, which is good for nighttime shoots. Its body also feels fantastically sturdy and is rated as being weather-sealed, though we don't currently test for that. The full-articulated touchscreen interface is also very sharp and bright enough to be easily seen under direct sunlight, and the camera has sufficient battery life to be used for extended periods. That said, it's fairly heavy and bulky for a mirrorless camera, and its kit lens doesn't let in all that much light.

Pros
  • Exceptional build quality.
  • Bright, sharp, fully-articulated screen.
  • Very comfortable to use.
Cons
  • Relatively bulky design.
7.5 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Panasonic S5 is good for sports and wildlife photography. Thanks to its impressive noise handling capability, images should look sharp even at high ISO levels. Its autofocus system also does an amazing job of tracking and maintaining focus on moving objects and faces. Unfortunately, its maximum shooting speed isn't particularly high, which can make it hard to capture distinct images of fast-moving subjects. While it feels very well made and is comfortable to use, it isn't especially compact.

Pros
  • Exceptional build quality.
  • Effective and reliable autofocus system.
  • Very comfortable to use.
Cons
  • Relatively bulky design.
  • Slow maximum shooting speed.
7.2 Vlogging

The Panasonic S5 is decent for vlogging. Its fully articulated screen can be rotated to face you when the camera is held in a selfie position. Its in-body and digital stabilization features also help keep camera shake to a fairly low level, which is good for recording handheld video, and its autofocus system does a great job of maintaining and tracking faces. However, since it's on the bulky side for a mirrorless camera, it can be a bit of a hassle to carry around.

Pros
  • Good video stabilization performance.
  • Bright, sharp, fully-articulated screen.
Cons
  • Relatively bulky design.
  • Lack of very high-speed frame rate recording options.
8.7 Studio Video

The Panasonic S5 is an excellent option for studio video. Videos are sharply rendered and low in graininess even when shooting in dimly-lit environments. It also features a wide variety of inputs and outputs for various videography accessories, like external recorders, headphones, or auxiliary mics. Its autofocus system delivers exceptional overall performance, and its menu system is easy-to-understand.

Pros
  • Great video quality.
  • Effective and reliable autofocus system.
  • Wide selection of inputs and outputs.
Cons
  • Lack of very high-speed frame rate recording options.
5.4 Action Video

The Panasonic S5 isn't designed for action video. It's too big to be mounted on a chest or helmet rig and isn't capable of recording at high frame rates in 4k or FHD for generating smooth slow-motion video. That said, it does a great job of reducing camera shake, offers impressive overall video quality, and feels superbly well-built.

Pros
  • Exceptional build quality.
  • Good video stabilization performance.
Cons
  • Relatively bulky design.
  • Lack of very high-speed frame rate recording options.
  • 8.0 Travel Photography
  • 8.2 Landscape Photography
  • 7.5 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 7.2 Vlogging
  • 8.7 Studio Video
  • 5.4 Action Video

Check Price

Black (Body Only)
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
Black W/ 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 Lens
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
2.7
Design
Portability
Height 3.9" (9.8 cm)
Width 5.7" (14.6 cm)
Depth 3.2" (8.2 cm)
Volume
71.6 in³ (1,173.3 cm³)
Weight
1.61 lbs (0.73 kg)
Weight With Lens
2.36 lbs (1.07 kg)
9.0
Design
Build Quality

  • Metal and plastic body
  • Buttons and command wheels offer good physical feedback
  • Screen can rotate to be seen from the front
  • SD card compartment is covered by hinged door
  • Screen mechanism feels even sturdier than that of the Canon EOS R6
  • Inputs and outputs are covered by hinged rubber flaps

Design
Body
Water Resistance
Weather-Sealed
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
3
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
L Mount
Built-In Flash
No
Design
In The Box

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 camera body
  • LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens
  • Lens cap
  • Lens cover
  • Lens hood
  • Owner's manual
  • Shoulder strap
  • Battery charging cradle
  • Battery
  • Sensor cap
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • AC adapter

9.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
Yes

  • Handgrip is large enough for most hand sizes and has a textured rubber surface that provides a secure hold
  • Changing aperture, shutter speed, and ISO is easy with either eye pressed up against the viewfinder thanks to the dedicated controls for exposure adjustment functions
  • All essential functions can be reached by your thumb
  • Rubber eyecup is comfortable
  • Squared-off body is less comfortable to hold than cameras that have a more rounded body, like the Canon EOS R6

9.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
LUMIX Sync

  • Interface is well laid-out and can be navigated via the touchscreen, the command dials, or the joystick
  • Guide Mode can provide more information of certain features and camera functions

Design
Viewfinder
Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
2.36 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.74
9.7
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Fully Articulated
Screen Max Brightness
1,030 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
1.84 million dots
Size
3.0" (7.5 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
24.2 MP
Processor
Venus Engine
Extended ISO Minimum
50
ISO Minimum
100
ISO Maximum
51,200
Tested Firmware
Ver. 2.1
8.8
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Panasonic DMW-BLK22
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
440 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
130 min
6.8
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Interchangeable
Maximum Aperture
3.5 - 5.6
Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)
f/3.5
Minimum Focal Length
20 mm
Maximum Focal Length
60 mm
Max Focal Length (Full Frame Equivalent)
60 mm
Luminance
68.5%
Light Falloff
63%
Photo
Photo
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
RAW File Format
RW2
Shutter
Electronic and Mechanical
Minimum Shutter Speed
60 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
1/8,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
No
Focus Peaking
Yes
Zebra Pattern
Yes
Histogram
Yes
Time Lapse
Yes
5.4
Photo
Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
3 fps
High Speed Continuous
6 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
6 fps
Raw Buffer Size
53 RAW Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
10,000 JPG Photos
Buffer Empty Time
16 s
8.8
Photo
Autofocus
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
N/A
Manual Focus Assistance
Yes
Face Detection Distance
152" (385 cm)
Eye Detection
Yes
Face Tracking Success Rate
78.1%
Object Tracking Success Rate
82.6%
8.3
Photo
Image Stabilization
In Body Image Stabilization
Yes
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/8 s
8.7
Photo
Image Quality
Dynamic Range At ISO 100
8.77 f-stops
Color Accuracy (dE2000)
6.58
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 800
38.55 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 800
1.709 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 1600
37.89 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 1600
1.613 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 3200
37.01 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 3200
1.68 pixels

ISO Setting Sample Photo
ISO 100 Photo
ISO 200 Photo
ISO 400 Photo
ISO 800 Photo
ISO 1600 Photo
ISO 3200 Photo
ISO 6400 Photo
ISO 12800 Photo
ISO 25600 Photo
ISO 51200 Photo

9.4
Photo
Luminance Noise
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 100 40.97 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200 40.29 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400 38.99 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800 37.4 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600 35.19 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200 32.76 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400 30.18 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800 27.49 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600 24.58 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200 22.05 dB
Sample Gallery
Sample Gallery
The Skate Park

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Polish Church

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Studio

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Stairway

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

General Video
General Video
Video Feature
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
4:2:2
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
10 bits
Log Picture Profile
Yes
Recording Light
No
General Video
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
General Video
Video Exposure Assistant
Zebra Line
Yes
Histogram
Yes
Waveform
Yes
General Video
Recording Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
Yes
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MOV H.265 / HEVC
Yes
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
9.0
4k Video
4k Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
30 fps In 4k
Yes
24 fps In 4k
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1.5 x
8.1
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Tracking In 4k
8.2
Object Tracking In 4k
7.3
8.2
4k Video
4k Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In 4k
Yes
Walking Test In 4k
9.49 pixels/frames
Running Test In 4k
22.22 pixels/frames
Crop
1.09 x
9.6
4k Video
4k Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
200 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
60 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:2
Bit Depth In 4k
10 bits
Record Time Limit N/A
Overheat Recording Interruption
No
8.5
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
8.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
9.8
4k Rolling Shutter
3.64°
Full HD Video
8.5
Full HD Video
FHD Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
No
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
8.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Tracking In FHD
8.1
Object Tracking In FHD
7.3
8.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In FHD
Yes
Walking Test In FHD
6.45 pixels/frames
Running Test In FHD
12.48 pixels/frames
Crop
1.09
9.8
Full HD Video
FHD Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
100 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
20 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:2
Bit Depth In FHD
10
Record Time Limit N/A
8.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
8.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
8.1
FHD Rolling Shutter
2.25°
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-II
Card 2 Slot
SD Card UHS-I
9.5
Storage And Connectivity
Input / Outputs
USB
USB-C
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
Yes
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 only comes in one color variant: 'Black', and you can see its label here. We tested it in conjunction with the Panasonic LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens, but other L-mount lenses can be fitted to the camera. However, we haven't tested this camera in any other configuration.

Let us know in the discussions if you come across another variant, so we can update our review.

Discussions