Consumer tests and product reviews

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Panasonic Lumix S5 - the best hybrid camera in 2021

We rate the Panasonic Lumix S5 as the best full-frame hybrid mirrorless camera for this year


We have tested plenty of cameras in the last couple of years, including some Panasonic Lumix cameras. The increasing requirements we have and the full-frame hype made us pick a versatile camera for our business and vlogging needs. 

We have to admin that it was a tough choice before getting the Lumix S5. We had our attention on couple more very good full-frame cameras like the Sony A7 third gen and the Canon R. Another option was the Nikon Z6 which also an amazing hybrid camera with great qualities. 

Panasonic Lumix S5 - our first impressions

Each one of these cameras has its pros and cons but they are all very good in general. The Panasonic Lumix S5 on the other hand was on whole different level when we tested it. The form factor, build-quality, the features and almost everything was on a high level and at least for us - better than the competition. 

Of course many would now disagree and directly point a finger at Panasonic's unstable autofocus performance and say not having a hybrid autofocus system is a major fail in 2021. Well, for some that might really be the case but not for those who are spending $2000 on a camera and should definitely know how to use it. In addition the DFD autofocus in Lumix S5 is much improved with the latest update and performs on a decent to very good level most of the time, especially when paired with native Panasonic lens (like our 20-60 kit lens). 

Now lets take a quick look at the camera, its package contents. We bought the kit lens combo that comes with the 20 to 60 mm kit lens and docking station for the battery. Other box contents include some booklets, the camera itself and that is all. 

To keep this post as light as possible we decided to present you the S5 in quick YouTube video: 

Panasonic Lumix S5 - best qualities

Now lets talk about the top qualities of the Panasonic Lumix S5 and why we believe it is the best hybrid camera in 2021:
  • Image quality - images taken even with the kit lens are very sharp with very good color reproduction and color science is on par with the best cameras in class. Most pictures have natural colors and tones, neither over-sharpened nor flat.
  • Video features - the Lumix S5 is a videographer's dream. It is packed with video features that are usually found in much more expensive cameras. For example you can record 6k  ProRes RAW  on external source (Atomos Ninja) or shoot anamorphic with variety of settings. We will need a an entirely dedicated post only for the video features so probably we will make one soon.
  • Build-quality and ergonomics - as mentioned before, the camera is very solid with good controls and with comfortable grip. 
  • Menus and handling - working with the S5 compared to cameras like the Sony A7 3 is a real joy. The fully-articulating flip screen has touch controls for almost everything. Of course you have hardware buttons as well, which also include programable buttons that are placed on adequate spots.
  • Other features - dual-card slots, nice viewfinder, weather sealing (splash and dust resistant)
  • In-body stabilization - the Panasonic Lumix S5 has one of the best in-body stabilizations among all competitors. It is rated at 5-stops and can works as dual-stabilization when paired with stabilized lens. Thanks to the good weight and grip and this amazing stabilization you would be able to make many clips handheld and no need for setting up gimbals.
  • Price - the S5 can be found for under $2000 with the kit lens combo which is just an amazing deal compared to rivals like the Canon R6 which cost way more.
  • Great kit lens - the 20-60 kit lens is really good and quite versatile for both stills and video.
These are just some of the great qualities of the Lumix S5 but we will give it some more time of testing and using it on real projects. We have it for less than a month and we totally love this camera. It is a huge step up compared to the GX9 that we previously used. 

Panasonic Lumix S5 - sample photos 

Now lets take a look at some of the images that we managed to capture with the S5:

Panasonic Lumix S5 camera images:
Panasonic Lumix S5 camera  camera controls

Panasonic Lumix S5  full-frame camera

Panasonic Lumix S5 back side  Panasonic Lumix S5 kit lens

Panasonic Lumix S5  box contents

Please let us know what are your thoughts about the Lumix S5. Do you agree that this might be the best all-round hybrid camera for 2021 or would you recommend another brand/model?