Thread: Panasonic S5

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    Senior Member Samuel H's Avatar
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    The review by Tony and Chelsea Northrup also has a section about video AF (which is the only bit I watched), and the S5 fails the test miserably here as well.
    https://youtu.be/XNNW_JAsGgQ?t=274


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    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLD View Post
    Johnny from CinemaNoLonger5D has a review and a clip. The clip looks meh.
    Based on what I saw in A7SIII videos, I would judge the S5 by the best footage you see online and not the worst

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel H View Post
    The review by Tony and Chelsea Northrup also has a section about video AF (which is the only bit I watched), and the S5 fails the test miserably here as well.
    https://youtu.be/XNNW_JAsGgQ?t=274
    I am so un-surprised. I feel like if Panasonic had made material improvements to their AF, it would have been all over their marketing. The only language I saw was about face tracking and stuff. But that improvement has to do with choosing what to focus on but not actually keeping it in focus as it moves


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    Senior Member soarprod's Avatar
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    https://youtu.be/wzEu8HrdCD0

    Wedding videographer review.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel H View Post
    The review by Tony and Chelsea Northrup also has a section about video AF (which is the only bit I watched), and the S5 fails the test miserably here as well...
    Contrast detect will always struggle in that type of lighting.

    And.

    The performance heavily depends on the "speed" and "sensitivity" settings.

    And Tony is wrong about Panasonic needing to invest into phase-detect auto focus. The Sony sensor itself has 693 phase-detect AF points. Panasonic, obviously, cripples it and uses the remaining 425 contrast-detect points. Because, blah-blah-blah, yadda-yadda-yadda.

    Quote Originally Posted by ahalpert View Post
    Based on what I saw in A7SIII videos, I would judge the S5 by the best footage you see online and not the worst
    I did. I base it on (one of the) the best YouTube videographer work. This only proves that S5 ain't Leica (or S1H).


    Quote Originally Posted by ahalpert View Post
    I am so un-surprised. I feel like if Panasonic had made material improvements to their AF, it would have been all over their marketing. The only language I saw was about face tracking and stuff. But that improvement has to do with choosing what to focus on but not actually keeping it in focus as it moves
    We've discussed how Panasonic could have improved auto focus.

    1) Phase-detect.
    2) Lidar
    3) AI.

    None of that has happened. Because blah-blah-blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Technically speaking, Panasonic left itself some wiggle room to improve the AF, if the review of the preproduction models prove to be - what's the word I was using? ... oh, yeah - "meh". Well, they are meh. It even makes the "unbiased" reviewers squirm.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dov5TYkR2B0

    Matt, the Panasonic poobah, is on a hot seat and his check dispensing skills don't help much. Undone is undone too.

    PS. Tony Northrup deflects the AF problem the best. He just keeps the camera rolling without saying a thing. It's a temporary delay in the execution.


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    So, there are workarounds.


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    Quote Originally Posted by filmguy123 View Post
    Yes, can't see any reason not to be extremely intrigued especially if you are already speedboosting EF. Just get the Sigma MC-1 adapter and add this, you'll maintain similar workflow and matching (but expanded) curves and color. No-brainer IMO!



    Sure, but it's much closer to a small S1H - this has far better video tools, codecs, etc. than the S1 did. The S1 has a very questionably place in the lineup now... IMO it's basically a choice between the S5, S1R, or S1H - and with the S5 intro, the S1R and S1H are essentially niche cameras at this point. The S1H is twice the cost and is a clear winner in a few categories - but it's also a trade-off, with the S5 having the size/weight advantage as well as better AF according to newshooter.
    I just put my GH5S up for sale, and I will purchase the S5 to go along with my S1H. Looks like I will have to add an additional Ninja V for longer form content, or simply add a timed circuit to automatically start record after 30 minutes. I knew my engineering degree was good for something!


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    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLD View Post
    I did. I base it on (one of the) the best YouTube videographer work. This only proves that S5 ain't Leica (or S1H).
    He did not produce the best-looking A7SIII footage IMO. I thought Brandon Li and Matti haappoje got better results.

    But Haapoje didn't produce the best R5 footage IMO.

    That's why I said judge the camera by the best footage you see, not the best cameraman


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    Quote Originally Posted by DLD View Post

    So, there are workarounds.

    Yeah, that's the last thing I want to hear about a brand new $2000 camera w/o a lens in late 2020 from a company that obviously can not address what is a major issue with its product line. And of course, we have no idea just how many out of focus shots he had to reject while compiling the video you link to (which is why vlog style reviews are so much better for judging a camera's stabilization and autofocus).

    Here's a very real world problem I am faced with - I've just been offered a reality TV show pilot that's going to need 3 cameras, which the show is going to buy, then pass on to me if the show sells. While I know I can focus manually, I know other people in my crew can't - at least not reliably enough to count on.

    So while I think that Panasonic makes superior cameras in terms of IBIS, menus systems, and basic usability, the one thing I absolutely have to have - in focus footage - is far from guaranteed with literally any of their products.

    What was acceptable from the GH5 3 and a half years ago is not now. The only way I could justify the S5 to the producers would be to tell them they're getting a very good kit lens and a very good camera (albeit with some focus issues) for $1500 a pop out the door and we'd cut around the out of focus shots and pulsing. But of course I can't tell them that. With tax, the S5 is $2500 out the door with a kit lens.

    For less money - a lot less in fact - I can get the now year old RP that will also look better and have better auto focus. And that's including if I use budget minded EF lenses which will work just as well using a $99 adapter. It's not too hard to imagine me buying a "hero" R6 as the main camera and two RPs....

    And that's what I meant by Panny needing to use the S5 as a loss leader if they want people to jump to the L mount. For marginally more money I can get a R6 that will look better, have equal or better IBIS, a huge choice of lenses, and of course, auto focus that works with those lenses.

    Likewise, Sony will announce the a7c in a week for a price equal to the S5. The a7c will almost certainly crush the S5 for IBIS, auto-focus, lens availability, and maybe even color science.

    And let me address the other elephant in the room - Panasonic marketing this camera (or allowing the early reviewers to do it for them) as a full frame GH5 is missing the mark. While I love almost everything besides the legendarily poor auto-focus on the GH5: its dedicated buttons, IBIS, resolution options, and menu system - the actual image is not awesome. As in not at all awesome. Color heavily baked into every profile (which all are essentially the same one with more or less color & contrast); it's now easily the worst color science of any major camera system. The image gets the job done, but nothing more.

    It does not spark joy as my wife would say.

    So telling me it's a full frame GH5 but with fewer codec options and no fix for auto-focus requiring all new lenses (most of which are not available) to boot is wishful thinking at its worst. I already have a GH5 - I want something better. Like way better, not just saying "but it's full frame!" or "it's got one more stop of dynamic range over the GH5s!". All the more so if doing do requires me to commit to a different lens lineup.

    It's simply not enough given what Sony, Canon, and God forbid even Nikon are doing right now. Which is confirmed by all the footage I've seen from the S5 - nothing's blown me away or gotten me even once to say "Wow." In the direct comparisons with the GH5 I've seen, the footage is all but identical excepting depth of field.

    And that's not good enough.

    All of which leads me again to question why in the world Panasonic believes that they can charge a premium price for this camera. Sure, two years ago the S5 for $2000 would have been a great deal. But not now. Would I use an S5? Of course. I've almost pulled the trigger on one a couple of times because I love Panny. But then my mind reminds that auto focus isn't just a gimmick that I'd only use a couple of times (like anamorphic cough cough), but rather one that is essential for many styles of shooting. Essential for novice shooters. Essential for many producers. My mind reminds me that I do not always want to have to shoot log if I want skin-tones that don't look like Martian invaders.

    I also remind myself that Panasonic, instead of sticking with MFT and dropping a killer GH6 on the market this year, chose to chase a market trend from Sony & Canon which had a 10 year and 40 year head start respectively for lenses. I remind myself that they did so despite having sold a mountain of GH5's and G9's.

    Your mileage may vary of course - you may like the colors coming out of camera or feel the IBIS and autofocus are good enough for your style of work. Or maybe you just hate the Canon cripple hammer too much, or dislike Sony's coldly competent (and expensive) approach. I get that, I really do. It's part of why I've also spent thousands of dollars on Panasonic gear instead of those two other brands in the past 3 and half years.

    And also why I won't be this time around... or likely ever again.
    John Vincent
    Evil Genius Entertainment.com


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    JV, Panasonic - which is rumored to be folding its camera division into another branch - doesn't follow Sony per se but rather takes its orders from the cartel as a whole. Everyone has to offer something crippled and, in Panasonic's case, it's auto focus. As I had mentioned, Sony A7III, Nikon Z6, Sigma fp, Panasonic S1/S1H/S5 all have the same Sony sensor. Sony's crippling its codec to 8 bits. Nikon also has a relatively crappy video AF, plus it line skips for 4K. Canon EOS R has a bad center crop. R5 and R6 are timer crippled. That's what you get with a cartel. And the problem is that the aftermarket hacks are too few and too far in between. They had a solid chance to make this pattern of crippling far less prevalent. Some problems are probably a bit too hard to overcome but, on others, they hadn't given it a second thought.


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    Producer Mod Brandon Rice's Avatar
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    It's kind of funny how many people crave Auto-focus... "back in the day" we hated auto focus...
    Please subscribe to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL to see all of my projects.

    New short film THE APPOINTMENT now available to see!


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