Panasonic has introduced its first cameras with hybrid phase-detect autofocus (PDAF), the full-frame L-Mount S5II and S5IIx. The move comes as the company looks to catch up with rivals such as Sony and Canon, whose mirrorless cameras have traditionally had an advantage due to their superior autofocus systems.
Engadget tells us that the S5II and S5IIx are designed to address issues with focus "wobble" and other problems while also introducing improved video and photography features.
Both cameras have a new 24.2-megapixel sensor with 315 contrast and 779 phase-detect AF points, as well as Dual Native ISO with a range of ISO100-51200 (expandable to 50-204800).
More Groundbreaking Features
The new chip also features the L2 Engine, which processes data twice as fast as before, allowing for additional performance and less rolling shutter distortion. According to an official Panasonic press release made public by BH Photo, the AF system can now work in a range of challenging conditions, including tracking multiple people and objects, backlit conditions, and low light.
One of the standout features of the S5II and S5IIx is the Active IS in-body stabilization system, which is designed to allow users to shoot video while walking. Panasonic claims that the system can compensate for "even significant camera shake, approximately 200 percent more than conventional systems" when used with certain lenses. This could make the cameras ideal for vloggers.
Top-notch Video Enhancements
In terms of video recording, the S5II and S5IIx can capture 6K30 "open gate" 3:2 video, 4K 30p supersampled video using the full sensor width, 4K 60p video with an APS-C crop, and FHD video at up to 120p with a 1.5x crop.
The cameras have also seen significant improvements in recording times compared to the original S5, with no limitations at any resolution thanks to the addition of a small cooling fan in the enlarged EVF hump.
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Reports tell us that the S5IIx has a number of additional features not found on the S5II, including the ability to record to the USB-C port in formats such as All-I, ProRes 422 HQ, and ProRes 422, all in 10-bit.
It can also output full-frame 12-bit 5.9K 30p ProRes RAW video externally to an Atomos Ninja V+ HDR monitor recorder. Both cameras offer V-Log and V-Gamut recording options, as well as the ability to apply LUTs in real time.
Other improvements over the original S5 include a higher resolution EVF, a full-sized HDMI port, and two UHS-II SD slots.
The cameras also have a number of new still photography features, including a six fps burst rate with AF/AE, a new high-precision AF system, and a range of creative options such as the ability to take multiple exposures and create time-lapse movies in camera.
Overall, the S5II and S5IIx look set to be strong contenders in the mirrorless camera market, with a range of impressive features that should appeal to photographers and videographers alike.
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