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Hey it’s Jay P. here. We’ve got our hands on the new Panasonic Lumix S5IIX. I am very excited about this camera because it is an ultimate, I think, crossover hybrid video/stills camera. It does great stills. It does great video. It has some very pro-high-end video capabilities. And I think that’s what stands it out. Well, it is what sets it apart from the S5II. Let’s take a look at what those are. I think though, basically starting off, we need to really understand that this camera is almost exactly the same footprint, autofocus, form factor, everything as the S5II.
So the S5IIX really has everything that the S5II has. It’s the same still camera. You’ve got the same body with the exception of, you have a blackened out logo on the front. Which is very awesome, I have to say. But otherwise, it’s the exact same body. Which, I love the grip on this body. I love the function of being able to get them to the buttons, to be able to make this body work. I love the autofocus that Panasonic came out with. That’s been incredible. So it has incredible autofocus. It’s got the same 24 megapixel sensor. It has the same beautiful stabilization inside. It’s got nine frames per second with 30 frames per second electronic. Great color in stills and in video. It really is the same. It is the same camera, but they’ve added some additional, one additional still feature which will be updated in the S5II, and several video features you could only get in the S5IIX without paying for an update. So let’s take a look at what those are. Because, those are what set this apart and make this very exciting for me and make this a higher end, more professional video camera.
So what makes the S5IIX worth $200 more than the S5II? Well there’s several features. One is a still feature that actually will come in both these cameras. But it comes right now with the S5IIX. And that is Live View Composite. This is a great process where you can set up an image of a person, maybe use a strobe on the person. And then if there’s cars blurring by you can look on the back of the camera in live view and you can see the image building. You can see the streaks of the cars until you finally get to the point where you feel like it’s exactly where you want it. Then you can stop your long exposure. So it’s a fun thing. We’re going to show you some examples of that. That’s Live View Compositing. So you’re really compositing. It’s showing you what’s happening in that long exposure as you’re making it. And then you get to decide when you’re going to end it. So that’s a fun feature. It’s been in Panasonic cameras for a long time. But this is the first Panasonic camera that has come out with it, when it’s released. So the S5IIX has that Live View Compositing. Another example is the nighttime skies. You put it in the sky, you can see the stars start to trail. It’s a great way to work if you’re doing long exposures. And you get to see exactly what’s happening without doing a super long exposure and looking at it and having to start over again. So I think that feature is really awesome. Here’s some examples of that.
So I’m doing a live view compositing. Watch this car as it goes by. You see it, there goes the red line of the tail lights. So what it does is it does a base plate exposure and then in the live view you get to watch. It’s going to slowly lay in the light that changes and creates the streaks. So the base exposure doesn’t change. The base plate, the background plate or our main plate, doesn’t change. But as the cars go through it’s going to lay the lines in there. So I can leave it sitting here. Cars are not going through very often. I’ll wait, another will go by and you’ll watch it. You’ll watch it as they come down. You’ll see it kind of just go down the line. And it kind of paints in. And you can wait and say, “Okay, I’d like that one. I want more. You can wait longer. Do as much as you want with it. It’s pretty cool. And then when you’re done you hit the shutter, hit the Q button and it’s going to composite your image. And you’ve got your final image.
Let’s talk about the features now in video that really make this worth the $200. The first one is that through the USB port you can attach an SSD drive. That gives you a lot of great options. Number one is size. Large SSD drives. You put two terabytes on one of these little Samsung drives. A two terabyte drive here is about $300. So not only does it give you a lot of space, it also gives you a very reasonable amount of money to get two terabytes worth of space. CFexpress cards are not going to be that cheap.You’re going to be spending a lot of money for all those cards. So even though it only has the two SD cards inside, using the SSD Drive outside through the USB port gives you ample storage space. That allows you to have better heat issues because it’s not going to heat up as much. It’s outside here. It’s quick, it’s fast. Because it’s SSD it’s going to support the speed you need to be able to write 10 bit, 6K, 24 and 30 frames per second kinds of codecs. So that’s going to make it possible with that SSD drive. That’s a huge advantage for this camera. I think it works when you attach it to some kind of a rig that holds it in place. You’ve got to create a situation where this is going to be solidly in place. I’ve got a Kondor rig here on it. We’ve got a little attachment that actually is made for the Samsung T5. It’s going to clamp onto it. It allows me to cable it in, lock the cables in place. And now I can shoot away. I’ve shot Atomos recorders for a long time and I’ve never had a problem. So I think this external SSD drive is pretty important.
So this camera allows you to get ProRes RAW or B-RAW. Which if you really want high quality, the highest quality you can get, that’s a great way to go. I’m more inclined to use this with the SSD drives because that gives me as much information, beautiful codec, beautiful pictures. It really gives me complete control. But you do have the ability to do RAW with this camera which for some people is going to be huge.
So the S5IIX gives you also ALL-Intra compression. What’s nice about the All-Intra compression is that it is a single, each image is a single image that’s compressed. It makes it so that when you go to edit in a non-linear editing, your program is not trying to render all the images. Whereas a lot of the compressions out there, the program is having to render all of the different images between the the I frame, the P frame, the B frame and put all those together. And it just really slows down the editing process. All-Intra is much quicker to get into a non-linear editing situation. It allows you to cut quicker and is a great compression.
The X has a video output so you can connect this to either an Atomos or a Blackmagic recorder to be able to do RAW to that device as well. Which gives you the monitor and RAW or other codecs. Which gives you a lot of different options.
So the S5IIX is really made to live stream. Whether it’s wireless IP streaming or if it’s USB connected to your phone or if it’s wired IP live stream, this camera is made to live stream. That’s one of the major advantages for this $200 upgrade is you get the ability to live stream with this camera.
So video really is the strength of the S5IIX. So the question for me became. Is it necessary to go to an SSD drive and to have that Apple ProRes on the SSD drive or is it fine internally with the SD card? So I just wanted to look at some footage on the SSD drive and some footage on the SD card. The best footage as far as quality wise and just compare those. And just see exactly what we get. So the first thing I shot here, this is on the SSD drive. This is the 5.8K at 30 fps and the 4K side by side. You know, it’s immediately, the footage, the 5.8k is just much clearer and very crunchy. You got a little more black. It’s very pretty. Both these are very beautiful images with regards to the color depth. When you look at the color rendition though I think the reds and things are a little stronger with the 5.8K. Which you would expect to see. It’s hard to see this because we’re showing this to you on a 4K monitor, a 4K export. So there is an example of those two. But this is really worth noting. The ProRes 5.8K gives you 7.54 gigs for a 30 second clip. Whereas, the 4K gives you 3.79 gigs for a 30 second clip. So you’re getting about 3.9 gigabytes for a 30 second clip. That’s in 4K 30 frames a second in the Apple ProRes to the SSD drive. So that’s a lot of space you’re moving. This doesn’t, we didn’t even look at the Atomos which gets to Raw. I mean, you’re talking a tremendous amount of data you’re going to have to move around. It’s hard to move this data around. When I look at our computers and things it becomes, it becomes a bit of a challenge. I think the footage in both these situations is really beautiful. You see the flowers, the way they’re moving. It’s just the motion capture, it’s just really beautiful images. Do I need to go with this much quality? Probably not for a lot of things I do. But would I go to this if I’m doing something a little higher end, more professional? Absolutely! And I could stay on that SSD drive. This is a pretty good place to be if you have the space for it and the ability to move this footage around. Which is one of the reasons why an SSD drive is nice. Because, you can move that right to the editing process and you will not have to move that information around as much. All those clips around as much. Just keep it on that SSD drive.
All right, so now let’s take a look at what we can do internally on the SD card. So here’s the best quality video we can get to the SD card inside the S5IIX. So the All-I in 4K is going to be a 1.56 gigabyte clip for 30 seconds. Whereas the LongGOP is going to be 606 megabytes for 30 seconds. These are both 4K 24p and they’re also all shot in 16.9. And it is interesting as I look at these two. You expect the LongGOP to be more compressed because it is just giving you keyframes and it’s going to have to render all of this when you get it into the non-linear editing. Whereas the All-I is giving you each of those frames and that’s why it’s a larger file. But it’s going to be much faster to edit when you get it onto the non-linear editing line. Because it already has all the images there. It doesn’t have to render them all like it does with the LongGOP. So in looking at this it’s just, they are both beautiful. I actually love the All-I a lot. I think the color depth is beautiful. I feel like the greens are excellent. The reds are excellent. I think the LongGOP is great as well. It’s just, it is a smaller file. It’s more compressed. But for most of my use this is probably a beautiful place to be. I can shoot a lot of corporate video on this without any problem. It’s going to fit the need for most of what people have to do. But what I love about having the ability to go to an SSD drive is that I can step up from this codec and give myself more information. The ability to color grade better. All those kinds of things are going to make themselves available as you go to the SSD drive and the Apple ProRes. Unfortunately, internally to the SD card, the most you can get out of it when it comes to Apple ProRes is 2K 1080P. And so at that point that’s a small file. That’s 913 megs, Apple ProRes. That’s internal to the SD card and that’s a pretty small file. I think most of what people are doing these days demands 4K. And one of the reasons why that 5.8K is so nice is because it does allow you to be able to punch in and to be able to reframe a little bit. And it gives you those options in editing. So that’s the 2K Apple ProRes. I mean, it’s a very pretty image. I really like the All-I a lot. I feel like the image, the footage looks good. So conclusion for me is, I personally love the look of the All-I. It’s a larger file. Because it’s not as compressed as the LongGOP. But it gives you a beautiful image and it’s going to be fast to work with on the non-linear editing line. And they have 400 megabits so I think that’s a great sweet spot to be to the SD card. But if you want to go to the SSD drive you can now shoot this stuff all day long. So there’s a look at the footage.
Alright, let’s wrap this up. If you shoot stills and stills only then the camera you need is the S5II. You don’t really need the S5IIX. Because most of the upgrades, well all the upgrades you’re going to get with the S5IIX are really about video. But if you do shoot video and you have a crossover kind of workflow at all, and most photographers these days, videographers, are asked to do both. It’s really interesting how you get that request most of the time. But if you do video this camera really has some advantages for you. You’ve got the external recording. You got the RAW, external RAW video data output. You have the SSD drive you can run through the USB. You’ve got the All-Intra compression. The live streaming is absolutely incredible. I mean, if you live stream, and we do here at The Slanted lens, that alone makes this camera worth the upgrade. When you put all those things together, $200 to get the S5IIX makes perfect sense to me. I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t do it. It gives you a lot of options even if you don’t use a lot of RAW video, you have the option if you’re going to be in a situation where you have to shoot a commercial. Or you have to shoot something a little more high-end you have that option. So there’s my sense about it. Two great cameras. I’m pretty excited about the S5IIX and can’t wait to keep shooting. So there you have it. Check out some of our other camera review videos or some of our videos about shooting. Which is a fun thing to do. So keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!
My first camera, a beautiful Pentax ME with interchangeable lenses. And everything looked magical in that camera. It’s fantasyland. And I thought, “Man, if I could make a living doing this, how crazy! Fantasy! And then, you know, to go and work with all the great artists that I have been working with is just, you know, incredible. So my advice for young photographers out there, find your voice. Find what it is you really want to tell the world with your art. Try not to copy everyone else. It’s okay to, like Mick Jagger said, “It’s great to steal from other artists. But make it your own.” Like they did with all the great blues songs that the stones covered. Hey, I’m Rob Shanahan. I’m a drummer, a photographer and endorser of the SKB case. They get all my gear and my drums safely to where I need to go.
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