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 can 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.
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.
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 and low light. Its body is also weather-sealed and feels incredibly sturdy. The fully-articulated touchscreen interface is also very sharp and bright enough to be easily seen under direct sunlight, and the camera has sufficient battery life for you to use it for extended periods. That said, it's fairly heavy and bulky for a mirrorless camera.
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.
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.
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.
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 for generating smooth slow-motion video, though it does have a slow-motion mode in 1080p. On the upside, it does a great job of reducing camera shake, offers impressive overall video quality, and feels superbly well-built.
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.
The Panasonic LUMIX DC-S5 and the Sony α7 IV are both great full-frame mirrorless cameras that perform well in photo and video. They can record 4k 10-bit 4:2:2 video internally at up to 60 fps. Both have fully articulated screens and sturdy, weather-sealed bodies and are similar in size and weight. That said, while the Panasonic has better overall stabilization performance, the Sony has a significantly better autofocus system, takes CFexpress Type A cards as well as UHS-II SD cards, and can shoot at 120 fps in 1080p.
The Panasonic LUMIX DC-S5 and the Panasonic LUMIX GH5s use different sensor sizes and they're aimed at different kinds of shooters. The S5 is a full-frame hybrid camera that's a better fit for those primarily interested in photography. Its larger sensor is more suited to low light and provides better bokeh. It also has IBIS for more stable handheld shooting and an improved autofocus system. However, the GH5s has a bit more to offer for filmmakers, including anamorphic 4k and Cinema 4k up to 60p and All-Intra video compression.
If you'd prefer a camera that can record 4k 60p video without a crop, consider the Panasonic LUMIX GH5s.