Panasonic S5 IIX for video review: Is it worth $2,200?

In this review, we will dig into the details of the Panasonic LUMIX S5 IIX to decide whether or not this new full-frame mirrorless camera is worth its price. Designed specifically for videographers, the S5 IIX records stunning 6K 30p video with rich 10-bit color. Plus, it does it all with the quality and convenience of Apple ProRes. To determine what we can expect from the S5 IIX in the real world, we tested everything from its dynamic range and low-light performance to its battery life and heat management.

Let’s take a closer look at the Panasonic LUMIX S5 IIX to see how it stacks up to the competition — including its sibling, the LUMIX S5 II.

Getting to know the Panasonic LUMIX S5 IIX

Panasonic S5 IIX
Image courtesy: Panasonic

The Panasonic LUMIX S5 IIX delivers excellent video quality with its 24.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and newly-designed image processor. The camera offers video recording at resolutions up to 6K at 24 or 30 frames per second. UHD and cinema 4K recordings are available from 24 fps up to 60 fps. Finally, in 1080p HD, you can capture slow-motion video at up to 180 fps.

Video can be captured in a variety of formats, including MP4 and MOV in H.264 and H.265. There’s also an option to record footage in the ALL-Intra format, resulting in footage that requires less processing power to edit. However, the stand-out feature regarding recording format is the S5 IIX’s ability to record Apple ProRes 422 internally. The popular video codec balances quality and efficiency, retaining a high level of detail and color accuracy while still offering a smooth real-time editing experience.

RAW video recording

For maximum flexibility in post-production, the camera offers the option for ProRes RAW and Blackmagic RAW via the HDMI output to an Atomos Ninja V+ or Blackmagic Video Assist. RAW video formats store data directly from the image sensor. That means you’ll have much most control over the image in post-production, giving you more flexibility for color correction and grading.

Gamma curve options

In terms of log shooting capabilities, gamma curve options on the S5 IIX include V-Log and V-Gamut. These gamma curves provide more dynamic range, but you’ll need to apply a LUT before working with the footage, adding another step to your post-production workflow. Monitoring log video can also be a challenge with a preview LUT applied during the shoot.

Alternatively, Cinelike D2 and V2 are also available if you want a flatter image without the extra steps involved in a log video workflow. Other picture profile options include Like709 — for video destined for a Rec.709 color space — and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG), which optimized dynamic range for high-dynamic range (HDR) viewing while still looking great on standard displays.

Panasonic S5 IIX top
Image courtesy: Panasonic

Image quality

With the basic specs out of the way, let’s turn our attention to what really matters: image quality. Drawing from our prior experiences with the LUMIX S5 lineup, the latest addition, the LUMIX S5 IIX, continues to impress with its exceptional image quality with sharp details and vibrant, true-to-life colors. The resulting video provides a pleasing, cinematic look.

Dynamic range

One big factor in the overall quality of an image is its dynamic range. Measured in stops of light, this is the amount of detail preserved in extreme highlights and shadows of an image. Using our waveform monitor and our dynamic range chart, we can see exactly how many stops of dynamic range the camera can capture.

Our test shows that the S5 IIX is able to reproduce up to 14 stops of dynamic range when shooting in the V-Log gamma curve. This gives you plenty of latitude when shooting in mixed lighting conditions and when color grading in post-production.

Though still impressive, we were only able to get 11 stops of dynamic range in the standard color profiles. In both cases, the camera’s wide dynamic range allows it to capture rich and detailed footage.

Low-light performance

The camera performs well in low-light conditions, with acceptable noise levels up to ISO 25600. To test the camera’s low-light performance, we recorded a trophy on a turntable in a dark room. Even in the darkened studio, we were able to capture completely usable footage, even at high ISO settings.

For a more precise evaluation, we also looked at noise levels across the tonal range at different ISO levels. We found that noise enters the image at ISO 3200 but is acceptable all the way up to ISO 25600. And with dual native ISO, we found that the S5 IIX can capture great-looking footage with minimal noise, even in the most challenging lighting conditions.

Rolling shutter

In our tests, we found that the Panasonic S5 IIX doesn’t suffer too much from the rolling shutter effect. This side effect of sensor operation manifests as wavy vertical lines in footage with lots of movement. In the S5 IIX, it’s about as bad as you’d expect, given the type of sensor used — certainly no worse than the S5 II.

In our view, the S5 IIX exhibits a typical amount of rolling shutter compared to similar cameras, and it’s acceptable for most shooting situations we usually encounter. The exception would be any situation that requires frequent, high-speed pans.

Phase Hybrid Auto-Focus

Like the Panasonic S5 II, the Panasonic S5 IIX delivers solid autofocus performance with face, eye, head and body autofocus for both humans and animals. You can even prioritize the subject’s eye for sharp focus, even when they are in motion or looking away.

The S5 IIX uses a Phase Hybrid Auto-Focus system, which uses two views of the scene from slightly different perspectives to calculate the distance and direction of focus adjustment. In the S5 IIX, 779 AF points cover approximately 90% of the frame horizontally and vertically. However, the camera does offer the option to decrease the size of the AF area for more precise focusing. You can also fine-tune the speed and sensitivity of the autofocus. The camera also offers continuous autofocus during zooming.

Throughout our test shoots, we found that the camera provided accurate and reliable autofocus. We tested the S5 IIX’s ability to focus on fast-moving subjects as they entered the frame and found no issues with the camera’s performance.

Though the camera’s autofocus system works well, there will always be some situations where you will need to focus manually. In that case, the S5 IIX offers Focus Peaking, Magnified View and One Shot AF functions to assist with manual focusing.

Image stabilization

For handheld shooting, the Panasonic S5 IIX makes it possible to get smooth and stable footage with its 5-axis sensor stabilization. In-body image stabilization (IBIS) is a welcome feature in any mirrorless camera. During our test, we found that the IBIS in the S5 IIX performed well. It’s very convenient to be able to shoot stable footage without additional gear. With IBIS on, even if you’re shooting handheld or in challenging conditions, the camera can compensate for up to 6.5 stops of camera shake. The result is smooth, professional-looking footage.

Ergonomics and build quality

Panasonic S5 IIX ports
Image courtesy: Panasonic

Moving on, it’s time to talk about how the camera feels to use. Constructed with a magnesium alloy chassis, it’s relatively small and lightweight for a full-frame camera. It weighs in at around 1.5 pounds and measures just 5.29 x 4.03 x 3.55 inches. While some video shooters prefer the stability of a heftier camera, this camera’s compact form factor makes it easy to take on location or rig up with support equipment.

But aside from its size and weight, the S5 IIX has a number of other features that enhance that camera’s overall usability. Let’s take a closer look.

The screen

Panasonic S5 IIX back
Image courtesy: Panasonic

First up, the camera features a fully articulated three-inch touchscreen with static touch control. You can use the screen to adjust settings, select focus points, review images, and even flip it out for selfies or vlogging. This is a great feature for content creators or anyone shooting a video without a dedicated camera person — you’ll always be able to tell when you’re in frame and in focus.

The screen has a resolution of 1.84 million dots and a brightness of 800 nits. It’s bright enough to see in most lighting conditions, and when combined with full articulation, it’s easy to get a good look at what you’re shooting.

However, the screen design does have a downside. When you use the HDMI or USB ports on the side of the camera, the cables can block the screen and make it hard to see what you’re shooting. This turned out to be a big inconvenience during operation since we relied on the screen for monitoring and framing our shots while recording to an external SSD. At best, the cables limit the monitor’s range of movement. It’s unfortunate that these two useful features interfere with each other in this way.

Shot assists

Along with the bright, articulating rear display, the Panasonic S5 IIX’s shot assist tools provide another way to make sure you’re getting the shot. The S5 IIX has several shot assists for an easier shooting experience. These include waveform, vectorscope, zebra and focus-peaking. These tools help you achieve accurate exposure and precise focus — essential for any professional shoot.

Recording media

For recording media, the Panasonic S5 IIX features dual SD UHS-II card slots and supports backup and relay recording. This is great, but we were disappointed that the camera lacks a CF Express slot. This would have allowed for faster data transfer and larger storage capacities.

However, the camera does support recording to an external SSD. While this does add some bulk to your setup, recording to an external SSD is an affordable way to capture and store high-quality video footage. In fact, external SSDs are the lowest-cost storage option available when it comes to large-capacity recording media.

The option to record to low-cost SSDs is especially welcome given that the is no record limit when recording in 4K. Be sure to check for compatibility with the specific SD cards you intend to use. Panasonic offers a list of compatible media.

Image courtesy: Panasonic

Streaming capabilities

For content creators, the Panasonic S5 IIX features built-in wired or wireless IP streaming capabilities. This allows you to stream video at resolutions up to 4K 60 fps directly from the camera. This is great for creators who want to use the same camera for scripted video production and livestreaming.

Battery and heat management

As for battery life, you can expect around 76 minutes of continuous recording in 6K 30 fps. This is acceptable, but we would have liked to have seen at least 100 minutes. With that said, we didn’t experience any overheating issues at any point during our tests. According to Panasonic, the camera employs an innovative cooling system — and it seems to be doing its job.

Panasonic S5 II vs. Panasonic S5 IIX

The biggest question to answer when considering the S5 IIX is whether you should buy this camera over the very similar yet less-expensive Panasonic LUMIX S5 II. Let’s address the differences.

The paint job

First, let’s take at some of the more superficial differences. The S5 IIX features a matte black finish. This makes it less reflective and more discreet, which may be important in some use cases. However, this finish can also make it slightly harder to see the buttons in the dark, so this difference comes down to personal preference.

Recording options

Next up, the S5 IIX can also record video to an external SSD via USB-C. This is not possible with the S5 II. We already touched on the benefits of external SSD recording; we can imagine this will be a major point in favor of the S5 IIX in the eyes of some video producers.

The S5 IIX also supports RAW video output via HDMI to an external recorder — the S5 II requires a $200 firmware upgrade for that functionality. Another functionality the S5 IIX has that the S5 II does not is IP streaming, allowing wireless video streaming.

Which is the better value?

That leads us to the question of whether you should buy the Panasonic S5 II or splurge for the S5 IIX. The answer lies in that $200 upgrade for RAW HDMI output. That also happens to be the price difference between the two cameras. Considering that, the S5 IIX gives you more functionality for the same amount of money.

The full-frame mirrorless camera marketplace

With the most obvious comparison out of the way, let’s look at a few other full-frame mirrorless cameras that you might also consider.

Sony a7S III

First up is the Sony a7S III. This 12-megapixel full-frame 4K camera lacks the ability to record 6K video, so it’s immediately at a disadvantage in that regard. However, the Sony camera does match or exceed the capabilities of the S5 IIX in terms of image stabilization, color rendition and gamma options, and both cameras offer advanced autofocus systems. In terms of price, the S5 IIX has the advantage again; the Sony a7S III is priced at just under $3,500 compared to $2,200 for the Panasonic camera.

Canon R6 Mark II

Next, let’s consider the Canon R6 Mark II. At $2,500, this camera is more closely aligned to the S5 IIX in price point. Likewise, it offers a very similar feature set with a 24.2-MP sensor, 6K video recording and in-body image stabilization, along with a robust Dual Pixel CMOS AF II autofocus system. If you need the features in the S5 IIX, but you’re already invested in the Canon ecosystem, the R6 Mark II is worth considering.

Nikon Z 8

Finally, let’s take a look at the Nikon Z 8. At nearly $4,000, this is the most expensive alternative we considered. So what do you get for nearly twice the cost?

For one, you get a 45.7-MP FX-Format Stacked CMOS Sensor capable of capturing 8.3K 60 fps N-RAW and 4.1K 60 fps ProRes RAW video. That’s along with 10-bit Internal 8K 30 fps and 4K 120 fps. Nikon bills the Z 8 as ideal for hybrid shooting, and it makes sense; photographers will love that huge stills resolution. Videographers, however, will likely not mind trading those extra pixels for better video features in another camera.

Is it worth it?

The Panasonic S5 IIX is a highly capable camera that delivers professional, cinematic video footage. With the ability to record videos up to 6K resolution at 30 frames per second, the S5 IIX supports Apple ProRes recording with the option to record directly to an external SSD. Another strength lies in its 5-axis sensor stabilization, which offers up to 6.5 stops of shake compensation.

However, there are a couple of weaknesses to consider. Firstly, the camera lacks a CF Express slot. This limitation could potentially affect the camera’s efficiency and workflow when dealing with large amounts of data. Additionally, we loved the flip-out screen of the camera, but it’s obstructed by the HDMI or USB cables when using those ports.

Overall, despite these weaknesses, the S5 IIX’s strengths make it a compelling choice for videographers looking for professional-grade capabilities. The S5 IIX isn’t meant for everyone. However, if you need the extra features, the Panasonic LUMIX S5 IIX is well worth its $2,200 price tag.


  • Records up to 6K 30 fps video with 10-bit color and unlimited recording times
  • Supports Apple ProRes recording to SSD via full-sized HDMI or USB for high-quality video files
  • 5-axis sensor stabilization with up to 6.5 stops of compensation


  • No CF Express slot for faster data transfer and larger storage capacity
  • Flip-out screen blocked by cables when using HDMI or USB ports

Tech specs

Lens mountLeica L
Sensor resolutionActual: 25.28 megapixels
Effective: 24.2 megapixels (6000 x 4000)
Image sensor35.6 x 23.8 mm (Full-frame) CMOS
Image stabilizationSensor-shift, 5-axis
Built-in ND filterNone
Capture typeStills and video
Shutter typeElectronic shutter, mechanical focal plane shutter
Shutter speedMechanical shutter
1/8000 to 60 seconds
Up to 30 minutes in Bulb Mode
Electronic front curtain shutter
1/2000 to 60 seconds
Up to 30 minutes in Bulb Mode
Electronic shutter
1/8000 to 60 seconds
Up to 60 seconds in Bulb Mode
Bulb/Time ModeBulb Mode, Time Mode
ISO sensitivityPhoto/video
100 to 51,200 (Extended: 50 to 204,800)
Metering methodCenter-weighted average, highlight weighted, multiple, spot
Exposure modesAperture priority, auto, manual, program, shutter priority
Exposure compensation-5 to +5 EV (1/3 EV steps)
Metering range2,500 to 10,000 K
Presets: AWB, Cloudy, Color Temperature, Daylight, Flash, Incandescent, Shade, White Set 1, White Set 2, White Set 3, White Set 4
Continuous shootingMechanical shutter
Up to 9 fps for up to 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
Up to 5 fps for up to 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
Up to 2 fps for up to 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
Electronic shutter
Up to 30 fps for up to 200 Frames (RAW) / 200 Frames (JPEG)
Up to 9 fps for up to 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
Up to 5 fps for up to 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
Up to 2 fps for up to 200 Frames (RAW) / 300 Frames (JPEG)
Interval recordingYes
Self-timer2/10-second delay
Image sizes3:2
96 MP (12,000 x 8000) *Via in-camera pixel-shift
96 MP (8496 x 5664) *Via in-camera pixel-shift
24.2 MP (6000 x 4000)
24.2 MP (4272 x 2848)
24.2 MP (3024 x 2016)
96 MP (10,656 x 8000) *Via in-camera pixel-shift
96 MP (7552 x 5664) *Via in-camera pixel-shift
24.2 MP (5328 x 4000)
24.2 MP (3792 x 2848)
24.2 MP (2688 x 2016)
96 MP (12,000 x 6736) *Via in-camera pixel-shift
96 MP (8496 x 4784) *Via in-camera pixel-shift
24.2 MP (6000 x 3368)
24.2 MP (4272 x 2400)
24.2 MP (3024 x 1704)
96 MP (8000 x 8000) *Via in-camera pixel-shift
96 MP (5664 x 5664) *Via in-camera pixel-shift
24.2 MP (4000 x 4000)
24.2 MP (2848 x 2848)
24.2 MP (2016 x 2016)
24.2 MP (6000 x 2208)
24.2 MP (6000 x 3000)
Aspect ratio1:1, 2:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 65:24
Image file formatJPEG, RAW
Bit depth14-bit
Internal recording modesH.264/H.265/MOV/MP4/ProRes 4:2:2/4:2:0 8/10-bit
5952 x 3968 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97 fps [200 Mb/s]
5952 x 3136 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97 fps [200 Mb/s]
5888 x 3312 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97 fps [200 Mb/s]
4096 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97 fps [150 to 400 Mb/s]
3840 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97 fps [72 to 400 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/47.95/48.00/50/59.94/100 fps [20 to 454 Mb/s]
External recording modes12-bit via HDMI
5888 x 3312 at 23.98/25/29.97 fps
10-bit via USB
5776 x 3056 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97 fps
4096 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97 fps
1920 x 1080 at 24.00/25/50 fps
Sensor crop modesSuper 35 / APS-C
4096 x 2160
3840 x 2160
3328 x 2496
1920 x 1080
Fast-/Slow-motion supportYes
Gamma curvePanasonic V-Gamut, V-Log
Recording limitNone
Broadcast outputNTSC/PAL
IP streamingRTP, RTSP
3840 x 2160 to 1280 x 720 at 25p, 29.97p, 50p, 59.94p (4.0 to 25.00 Mb/s)
Built-in microphone typeStereo
Audio recordingMOV: Two-channel 24-bit 48 kHz LPCM audio
MP4: Two-channel 16-bit 48 kHz AAC audio
Media/memory card slotDual slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
Video I/O1 x HDMI Output
Audio I/O
1 x 
1/8-inch / 3.5 mm TRRS headphone/mic headphone output
1 x 1/8-inch / 3.5 mm TRRS headphone/mic microphone input
Power I/O1 x USB-C Input/output
Other I/O1 x USB-C data input/output (shared with power input)
Wireless2.4 / 5 GHz Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Mobile app compatibleYes: Android and iOS
App name: Lumix Sync
Functionality: Access stored files, firmware update, remote control
Global positioning (GPS, GLONASS, etc.)None
Monitor size3 inches
1,840,000 dots
Display typeFree-angle tilting touchscreen LCD
Viewfinder typeBuilt-in electronic (OLED)
Viewfinder resolution3,680,000 dots
Viewfinder eye point21 mm
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnificationApprox. 0.78x
Diopter adjustment-4 to +2
Focus typeAuto and manual focus
Focus modeContinuous-Servo AF, manual focus, Single-Servo AF
Autofocus pointsPhoto, Video
Contrast detection, Phase detection: 779
Autofocus sensitivity-6 to +18 EV
Battery type1 x Rechargeable lithium-ion, 7.2 VDC, 2200 mAh
Tripod mounting thread1 x 1/4-inch-20 female (bottom)
Accessory mount1 x Hot shoe mount on camera body
Material of constructionMagnesium alloy
Dimensions (W x H x D)5.29 x 4.03 x 3.55″ / 13.44 x 10.24 x 9.02 cm (without protrusions)
Weight1.45 lb / 658 g (body only)
1.64 lb / 744 g (with recording media)

Nicole LaJeunesse
Nicole LaJeunesse is a professional writer and a curious person who loves to unpack stories on anything from music, to movies, to gaming and beyond.