September 21, 2023


How Art Works

Panasonic S5 IIx Overview: Black Out is Stunning

14 min read

Some photographers may care much less what the skin of the digital camera appears to be like like so long as the photographs are good. After which there are the photographers who take black markers to their cameras to face out slightly bit much less, to up the chances of preserving candid moments. The Panasonic S5 IIx is for the latter sort of photographer. The all-black brand and grayed management labels are designed to mix with the shadows, to discourage the bizarre assumptions strangers make after they see the model emblazoned on the entrance of your digital camera.

However, on the identical time, the connection between Panasonic S5 IIx and the S5 II is what photographers have been asking for — to not pay additional for video options they gained’t use. The S5 IIx has an extended record of superior video options, whereas the S5 II sits about $200 lower. The decrease value will sway extra photographers to the S5 II than the S5 IIx. However, the photographers which have ever thought of taking a black Sharpie to a digital camera — or those that don’t wish to trouble with a firmware replace to unlock Reside Composite — might be swayed to decide on the S5 IIX.

The Large Image

The Panasonic S5 IIx is a video-centric digital camera with an extended record of video options than the S5 II.  However, whereas videographers usually tend to need the X model, photographers that love the all-black look gained’t discover any options missing. For stills, the S5 IIx delivers glorious coloration and minimal coloration noise. It packs in just a few hard-to-find options, like Reside Composite and the power to use LUT coloration profiles to JPEGs. The grip is considered one of my favorites amongst full-frame mirrorless our bodies, and the stabilization system ranks among the many greatest.

However, whereas there’s so much to like concerning the Panasonic S5 IIx, it wouldn’t be my first alternative for motion. The autofocus has improved from the primary era, nevertheless it doesn’t deal with quick topics operating towards the digital camera. Often, the digital camera would even be gradual to begin up or exit the playback mode. The battery life can be behind others, rated for 370 pictures.

The Panasonic S5 IIx delivers nice coloration, options, and ergonomics — however the digital camera isn’t the quickest amongst different equally priced our bodies. Within the fingers of the correct photographer, nonetheless, the S5 IIx will ship some magic. I’m giving the Panasonic S5 IIx 4 out of 5 stars.


  • Nice coloration profile choices and the power to make use of LUTs on JPEGs
  • Sharp pictures with minimal coloration noise on JPEGs
  • A lot of controls
  • A really comfy grip
  • Blackout design appears to be like nice
  • Tilting touchscreen
  • Reside Composite is a superb characteristic
  • Picture stabilization is great


  • Management labels are slightly tougher to learn due to the black design
  • Autofocus is improved however nonetheless lags behind high our bodies and likewise different L-Mount just like the Leica SL-2
  • Often gradual to begin up
  • The battery life is simply 370 pictures

Gear Used

I examined the Panasonic S5 IIx with the Panasonic 20-60mm f3.5-5.6 package lens. Each the digital camera and the lens are a mortgage offered by Panasonic. I additionally used the Sigma 17mm f4 Contemporary, which was on mortgage from LensRentals.

Improvements: Panasonic S5 IIx vs. Panasonic S5 II

The primary variations between the Panasonic S5 IIx and the digital camera with out the x within the title are in video options, together with USB SSD recording, All-Intra, Apple Professional Res, and wi-fi IP streaming. For stills, the record of variations is virtually non-existent. The design is all black somewhat than white branding and labels. And the Reside Composite characteristic is obtainable with no firmware replace. That’s it. Stills shooters will probably wish to save the $200, purchase the S5 II, and simply obtain the firmware. However, should you actually love that black look, the S5 IIx doesn’t minimize any stills options to make room for these video options; it’s just a bit bit pricier.


The Panasonic S5 IIx is among the most comfy full-frame mirrorless cameras to make use of. My love of ergonomics hasn’t modified since our authentic Panasonic S5 IIx first impressions:

The S5 II retains a lot of the identical ergonomics as Panasonic’s authentic full-frame mirrorless. The S5 IIx is housed in the identical physique, albeit with totally different colours. The Panasonic S5 IIx sits at a contented medium for measurement. The complete-frame digital camera is definitely smaller than the Micro 4 Thirds GH6. However it’s nonetheless giant sufficient to have a snug grip and plenty of room for bodily controls. It weighs roughly 26 ounces.

Whereas the ergonomics are an identical to the S5 II and really near the unique S5, the coloring is just not. Not like the S5 II, the Panasonic S5 IIx has a black-out design. As a substitute of white textual content asserting the title and model, it’s a black engraving. Even the labels for the totally different controls are written in grey somewhat than white, the exception being the crimson report button on the high of the digital camera. This creates a placing look that photographers who’ve ever thought of taking everlasting markers to their digital camera to higher mix in will recognize. 

Whereas I actually liked the appears to be like and delicate branding, it did take some looking to familiarize myself with the controls, and I feel a part of that has to do with the truth that the labels are low distinction. In dim environments, the labels are going to be tougher to see, which implies with the ability to use the controls by contact alone goes to be extra essential with this digital camera. It took me a couple of minutes to search out the swap to go from AF-S to AF-C as a result of that management was within the shadow of the viewfinder.

The Panasonic S5 IIx is a really comfy digital camera. My fingers can wrap all the way in which across the grip with slightly room to spare. The viewfinder juts out sufficient from the physique that I don’t should squish my nostril towards the digital camera, whilst somebody who wears prescription glasses. 

The controls are all additionally simple to achieve. The highest of the digital camera homes a burst mode dial, mode dial, and two management wheels at the back and front of the grip. There are additionally shortcuts for white stability, ISO, and publicity compensation. For focusing, there’s a joystick, an AF mode button, and a swap for single, steady, or handbook focus on the again. The rear of the digital camera additionally homes a fast menu and menu controls and an LCD display that flips out to the aspect on a hinge for vari-angle viewing. The grip has a door for twin SD card slots, whereas the other aspect has ports for mic, headphones, HDMI, and USB-C.

Total, the Panasonic S5 IIx delivers comfy ergonomics in a black-out design that’s designed to mix in.

Construct High quality

The Panasonic S5 IIx is constructed with magnesium alloy, which creates a sturdy really feel. The digital camera doesn’t really feel like low-cost plastic. The fabric additionally has a pleasant delicate texture all through. That, combined with the wonderful grip, makes my fingers completely satisfied.

The physique is weather-sealed. I dumped some water onto the digital camera and didn’t see any penalties from the added moisture. I additionally didn’t spot any particles or mud on the sensor over the course of the evaluation. 


One of many largest adjustments within the second era of the S5 sequence is the autofocus. Lastly, Panasonic has adopted a part detection, distinction detection hybrid system. That leads to a much-improved focus over the S5, although the part detection is just used when in AF-C mode. The S5 IIx is a marked enchancment from earlier generations, nevertheless it nonetheless isn’t ranked within the high three. The S5 IIx does fairly effectively in low gentle, nevertheless it struggles with motion coming towards the digital camera.

Topics shifting shortly towards the lens gave the S5 IIx numerous bother. The digital camera had a tough time maintaining with a child on a swing utilizing eye AF, lacking most of the time. Even with eye AF turned off, the digital camera had a tough time maintaining with motion heading in the direction of the digital camera. With a canine or little one operating in the direction of the digital camera with zone focusing in AF-C, the primary few pictures can be in focus, then the main focus would fall off, and it wouldn’t fairly decide again up once more. The S5 IIx did advantageous maintaining with portraits and motion not straight towards the lens. However, it’s not a digital camera that I might select for sports activities or motion a lot quicker than a stroll.

However low gentle didn’t gradual the S5 IIx down any additional. With the publicity preview off, the S5 IIx locked on the again of a darkish closet with none points. The built-in AF help gentle actually helps right here. Even with publicity preview turned on, the display will shortly flash lighter (or darker) as wanted whereas the digital camera focuses.

Ease of Use

Outdoors of focusing, the efficiency additionally appeared to lag a bit in different areas. The beginning-up time after turning on the digital camera appeared sluggish. The S5 IIx additionally sometimes had a delay between switching from the LCD and viewfinder utilizing the attention sensor, and generally the playback took additional time to return again to dwell view mode.

Whereas I really like the look of the S5 IIx’s blackout design, the low-contrast labels may be difficult to learn in troublesome lighting. That may generally translate into extra time spent looking for the correct controls earlier than these controls are second nature. For instance, in brilliant daylight, the label for the AF-C management was in shadow — I had a tough time finding it at first. That stated, the design will probably be very acquainted to present S5 customers, because the controls are similar to the primary era.

The menu system is straightforward and effectively organized — Panasonic’s is amongst my favourite menu techniques. The menu skips something that already has a bodily management, preserving the record of menu gadgets a bit shorter. The tabs are effectively organized, and there’s a customized menu to avoid wasting favorites. The menu can be touch-sensitive.

As a full-frame digital camera, the S5 IIx isn’t made with the simplicity of a newbie’s digital camera. The variety of controls could really feel a bit daunting, and the brighter labels on the S5 II could also be slightly simpler to search out. However, there’s an auto mode, and the extra tech-savvy rookies shouldn’t have too bumpy of a journey, due to the ergonomics and easy menu.

The picture stabilization will probably be a lift for each new and seasoned photographers. Rated for as much as 6.5 stops, the digital camera makes use of a five-axis sensor shake system. With cautious handholding, I used to be capable of take handheld pictures at 1/fifth of a second at 60mm, sometimes so long as half a second with solely minimal blur. Panasonic additionally says that it’s the one stabilization system designed to work with anamorphic lenses — however I didn’t have any of those lenses helpful to strive it out. 

One factor to notice, nonetheless, is that the battery life is just rated to 370 pictures. That’s somewhat low for the class, nevertheless it was enough for doing a little Reside Composite work. The flexibility to merge Reside Composite images within the digital camera is a very nice characteristic for star trails and lightweight portray. It’s a lot simpler than merging every little thing in Photoshop.


A few of Panasonic’s coloration profiles, just like the Cinelike choices, underexpose the picture, so photographers ought to shoot accordingly. In customary coloration mode utilizing the Sunny 16 rule, the meter steered that I used to be barely underexposed. Total although, the meter appeared to do okay recommending an correct publicity.

Picture High quality

Just like the S5 II, the S5 IIx produces a number of the greatest colours out of different full-frame mirrorless cameras, due to the totally different coloration profile choices and the power to use LUTs to nonetheless images. Photographs had been sharp and, even maxing out the ISO, managed coloration noise effectively.

JPEG High quality

Panasonic is considered one of my favourite full-frame cameras for colours — and the S5 IIx follows that development. The colours have some punch to them with out being overdone. The Cinelike profiles have good deep darks for a timeless really feel. Actual-Time LUTs for stills are additionally attainable right here, which was considered one of our favourite options concerning the S5 II. That permits you to use the Look Up Tables that video editors use and apply coloration profiles to stills, so you may make them appear like a sure movie inventory, for instance. Customized coloration settings are additionally attainable right here. Even with simply the package lens, the pictures had been very sharp. 

Excessive ISO Output

It’s hardly stunning anymore when a full-frame digital camera produces usable pictures at ISO 6400. However, even at ISO 25600, the noise is there however hardly annoying. In a direct comparability, just like the S5 II, there are just a few cameras which can be slightly cleaner on prints, just like the Leica SL2s and the Fujifilm XT4. Maxing out the ISO capabilities at 51200, element is muddled, and there’s some noise, however the S5 IIx nonetheless produces little or no coloration noise on JPEGs. On RAW information, ISO 6400 nonetheless had enough element when modifying the little little bit of noise, however round ISO 12800 noise discount turns into actually detrimental to the general high quality.

Whereas the digital camera will produce a little bit of noise, I feel it’s the proper of noise, including to the look somewhat than detracting from it. The digital camera didn’t produce a lot coloration noise, which in my view is essentially the most distracting sort of grain. I printed out an 8×10 at ISO 51200, and it appeared extra like a portray than {a photograph}. That’s as a result of the small print had been smudged, however the noise additionally wasn’t readily obvious both. Between the picture stabilization and the noise discount, the S5 IIx will produce actually clear pictures in difficult gentle.

RAW File Versatility

The RAW information have a very good vary of flexibility. I used to be capable of get better numerous particulars within the shadows, with out wrecking havoc on the picture high quality. This was a giant assist night out the publicity when flash wasn’t out there. Highlights may be salvaged considerably as effectively, so long as these lighter tones are saved from clipping off the histogram.

Further Picture Samples

From day one, The Phoblographer has been big on transparency with our viewers. Nothing from this evaluation is sponsored. Additional, plenty of people will submit critiques and present plenty of modifying within the images. The issue then turns into that anybody and everybody can do the identical factor. They’re not displaying what the lens can do. So we’ve a bit in our Further Picture Samples space to indicate edited and unedited images. From this, you may make a choice for your self.



Who Ought to Purchase It? 

For photographers, the Panasonic S5 IIx doesn’t supply a lot totally different than the $200 cheaper S5 II. Each have the identical sensor, processor, stabilization, and autofocus, so they may produce an identical pictures. The primary motive photographers could wish to decide up the S5 IIx is the black out design. The opposite variations lie within the superior video options. The S5 II now has Reside Composite out there with a firmware replace, in order that characteristic actually is now not a differentiator between the 2 our bodies.

Photographers that love the blackout look are additionally going to benefit from the skill to use LUTs to JPEGs, in addition to Panasonic’s Cinelike coloration profiles. The Panasonic S5 II and S5 IIx produce a number of the greatest colours coming from full-frame cameras, in my view. The ergonomics and physique design can be very comfy, with a good-sized grip. Stabilization can be a giant plus.

The rationale to skip is that, whereas improved, the autofocus nonetheless lags slightly behind the highest performers. Don’t purchase this digital camera for sports activities or motion. The efficiency additionally in any other case suffered from some occasional lags, together with gradual start-up occasions and an occasional delay in switching from the LCD to the viewfinder. The blackout design may also make the management labels slightly tougher to learn.

Tech Specs

LensRentals lists the next specs for the Panasonic S5 IIx:

  • Model: Panasonic
  • Digital camera Sort: Mirrorless
  • Environmental Working Temperature: 32 to 104°F
  • Working Humidity: 10 to 80%
  • Shutter Sort: Digital Shutter, Mechanical Focal Aircraft Shutter
  • Mechanical Shutter Velocity: 1/8000 to 60 Seconds, As much as 30 Minutes in Bulb Mode
  • Digital Entrance Curtain Shutter Velocity: 1/2000 to 60 Seconds, As much as 30 Minutes in Bulb Mode
  • Digital Shutter Velocity: 1/8000 to 60 Seconds, As much as 60 Seconds in Bulb Mode
  • Bulb/Time Mode: Bulb Mode, Time Mode
  • ISO Sensitivity (Picture/Video): 100 to 51,200 (Prolonged: 50 to 204,800)
  • Metering Technique: Heart-Weighted Common, Spotlight Weighted, A number of, Spot
  • Publicity Modes: Aperture Precedence, Auto, Guide, Program, Shutter Precedence
  • Publicity Compensation: -5 to +5 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
  • Metering Vary: 0 to 18 EV
  • White Stability: 2500 to 10,000K
  • White-Stability Presets: AWB, Cloudy, Shade Temperature, Daylight, Flash, Incandescent, Shade, White Set 1, White Set 2, White Set 3, White Set 4
  • Steady Taking pictures (Mechanical Shutter):
    • As much as 9 fps for as much as 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
    • As much as 5 fps for as much as 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
    • As much as 2 fps for as much as 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
  • Steady Taking pictures (Digital Shutter)
    • As much as 30 fps for as much as 200 Frames (RAW) / 200 Frames (JPEG)
    • As much as 9 fps for as much as 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
    • As much as 5 fps for as much as 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
    • As much as 2 fps for as much as 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
  • Interval Recording: Sure
  • Self-Timer: 2/10-Second Delay
  • Constructed-In Flash: No
  • Flash Modes: Auto, Auto/Crimson-Eye Discount, Pressured On, Pressured On/Crimson-Eye Discount, Gradual Sync, Gradual Sync/Crimson-Eye Discount
  • Most Sync Velocity: 1/250 Second
  • Flash Compensation: -3 to +3 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
  • Devoted Flash System: TTL
  • Exterior Flash Connection: Scorching Shoe
  • Focus Sort: Auto and Guide Focus
  • Focus Mode: Steady-Servo AF, Guide Focus, Single-Servo AF
  • Autofocus Factors (Picture, Video): Distinction Detection, Section Detection: 779
  • Autofocus Sensitivity: -6 to +18 EV
  • Battery Sort: 1x Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.2 VDC, 2200 mAh (Approx. 370 Photographs)
  • Tripod Mounting Thread: 1x 1/4″-20 Feminine (Backside)
  • Accent Mount: 1x Scorching Shoe Mount on Digital camera Physique
  • Materials of Development: Magnesium Alloy
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.29 × 4.03 × 3.55″
  • Weight: 1.45 lbs. (Physique Solely), 1.64 lbs. (With Recording Media)
  • Sensor Decision Precise: 25.28 Megapixel, Efficient: 24.2 Megapixel (6000 × 4000)
  • Sensor Sort: 35.6 × 23.8mm (Full-Body) CMOS
  • Picture Stabilization: Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis
  • Constructed-In ND Filter: None
  • Seize Sort: Stills & Video
  • Twin Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
  • Video I/O: 1x HDMI Output
  • Audio I/O: 1x 1/8″ / 3.5mm TRRS Headphone/Mic Headphone Output, 1x 1/8″ / 3.5mm TRRS Headphone/Mic Microphone Enter
  • Energy I/O: 1x USB-C Enter/Output
  • Different I/O: 1x USB-C Knowledge Enter/Output (Shared with Energy Enter)
  • Wi-fi: 2.4 / 5 GHz Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.0
  • App Identify: Lumix Sync
  • App Compatibility: Android & iOS
  • App Performance: Entry Saved Recordsdata, Firmware Replace, Distant Management
  • International Positioning (GPS, GLONASS, and so on.): None
  • Merchandise Sort: Digital camera
  • Mfr. Mannequin Quantity: DC-S5M2XBODY
  • Monitor: 3” 1,840,000 Dot, Free-Angle Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • Mount: L Mount
  • Sensor Dimension: Full Body

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