The new Full Frame LUMIX S5 is a hybrid camera that is perfect for creative photography and video productions. It is the first camera to use the latest autofocus algorithm of Panasonic that is better, faster and more accurate for both the photographer and filmmaker. We spoke with two creatives who were among the first to test Panasonic’s new mirrorless marvel. LUMIX Ambassadors Ludwig Favre and Romain Sarret travelled together to the Greek islands of Santorini and Mykonos to test this camera in the field.
Ludwig Favre is a Parisian photographer who specialises in photographing large cities and landscapes. He creates visuals in his pastel-coloured signature look for different clients, ranging from advertising campaigns to magazine editorials and books, and he also sells his work in galleries worldwide. Ludwig travels the world documenting its wonders, creating an almost surreal, painterly image of the landmarks we take for granted: the facade of a building, national parks, architecture, pristine beaches and cityscapes. So his excitement at photographing on a magical Greek island with its famous views, signature white houses and deep blue Mediterranean Sea was entirely understandable.
Romain Sarret became interested in video because he wanted to show more than ‘static images’, and spends hours in front of his computer editing and grading. The new LUMIX S5 gives him the creative freedom to edit and express his vision in the field and also in post-production. The lighter and smaller design of the LUMIX S5 makes it a wonderful camera to handle all day long on a gimbal or just handheld using the built-in (Dual IS 2) image stabilisation. We ask the two creatives with very different needs for their first impressions of this camera. What makes this camera such a welcome addition to the already exciting professional LUMIX S-system line-up?
What did you discover about the new LUMIX S5 camera on this trip?
Romain: Travelling to Greece really let me experience how good the LUMIX S5 is for video. I'm really amazed because it's a great run-and-gun camera that offers most of the features a filmmaker needs nowadays.
Ludwig: I was able to experiment with the camera and evaluate its ability to function in low light as well as in bright sunlight. Maintaining details in my highlights, even in bright contrast situations is very important and it appears that this camera does it without any problems.
What was your first impression of the LUMIX S5?
Ludwig: What strikes me is that despite its compactness and low weight, it offers performance and specifications you usually expect from larger professional cameras. Being small and compact makes it easy and especially fun to use.
Romain: My first impression was ‘Wow, it's a small S1H’ because it has a lot of similarities with the LUMIX S1H camera, but in a smaller and lighter body.
Why is this camera suitable for your type of work?
Romain: I make a lot of dynamic videos and I try to carry the maximum amount of gear in my backpack. So I need lightness, compactness, but without sacrificing image quality, especially in terms of colours. The LUMIX S5 meets all these requirements.
Ludwig: This camera is perfect for me because it’s compact and has very good image definition. Its low weight means you can take it with you in a backpack and take photos without being embarrassed.
How is the new and improved autofocus performance?
Ludwig: I could really test the performance of the autofocus during a kite-surfing session. Shooting with the S5 autofocus system means you just focus on the composition. It’s very fast and more important, very precise.
Romain: During my trip to Greece, I used the AFC mode in 4K50p (S35 mode) because I had to follow a kite surfer while shooting slow-motion video. The autofocus performed spot on and without any issues. I can clearly see the improvements.
Will this camera become a fixture in your camera bag? What’s your favourite lens to use with it?
Romain: The LUMIX S5 is now my go-to camera for most of my recordings and sometimes I take it along as a backup for my LUMIX S1H, because I know that the results from both look equally good. As for the lenses, I really like the LUMIX 24-105mm F/4.0 and use it all the time. It’s lightweight, and has a wide range with great image stabilisation. So it’s good for almost any shoot, from landscapes or portraits to video, and the F/4.0 aperture isn’t a problem, as LUMIX S cameras have amazing capabilities in low light.
Ludwig: Yes, because of its small size it will always be in my camera bag. Paired with the LUMIX S PRO 24 -70 mm F/2.8 it is the most versatile system for me. This lens is perfect for street photography or landscapes, and in combination with the LUMIX S5’s image performance, you have an ideal set-up to shoot just about anything.
Ludwig Favre, Born in France in 1976 is without doubt a man with skills and a keen sensibility for aesthetics and composition. Ludwig Favre travels the world documenting its wonders in a way that elevates their look. Ludwig is a Panasonic Lumix Ambassador and a Member of the Fubiz Studio Talent. Click on any of Ludwig Favre’s projects on his official online portfolio and you’ll be inspired by every shot in there, each representing a stunning scene of the world like you’ve probably not appreciated before.
Romain Sarret, has been passionate about image creation for a long time. Started in photography and became more and more interested in video creation. His love for photography shaped his vision for color grading something that can be clearly seen in his video’s. He is a self-taught and trained professional that creates video content for different clients and shares his technical experience on different online media channels.