The Panasonic S5 II and S5 IIx are pretty great cameras and have image quality capabilities that so many others don’t. And on October 24th, the cameras are getting brand new firmware updates. Two of the biggest changes are around focusing. While Panasonic can’t keep up with Canon, Sony, or Nikon they’re still incredibly capable. But that’s not all that the cameras are getting.
S5II Firmware Version 2.2 / S5IIX Firmware Version 1.3
Here are the details of the new firmware update that’s coming to the Panasonic S5 II and Panasonic S5 IIx.
AF-Point Scope function
AF-Point Scope function to magnify the focus position during AF has been added.
The shutter speed at high resolution mode can now be set to max. 8-second with the long exposure noise reduction applied. Thanks to the image stabilizer, [Handheld High-Res] mode has been added to enable recording pictures with higher resolution even without using a tripod.
Improved MF Assist
It is now possible to magnify the full screen mode display in MF Assist up to approx. 20x allowing more precise MF.
These are very welcome changes, especially for people who tend to use manual-focus vintage lenses and who just can’t get over the way the images look. It’s also great for third-party lenses like those from Laowa that don’t have focusing-communication contacts on the lenses.
The AF-Point scope function is a fascinating one as it’s something that I’d only ever think that photographers would need to do with specific lenses. Some lenses don’t have autofocus motors that work that well. And sometimes, the focusing is just a bit off. If you use something like a few of Sigma’s lenses that have the ability to be overridden and touched up, this is a great feature to have.
Generally speaking, I’ve never had that much of a problem with Panasonic’s S5 II when autofocusing. And the autofocus performance is something that I’ve found to be partially dependent on what color profile you’re in. That can affect a whole lot of the performance in both sufficient and low lighting.
What We’d Like to See
Still, there are things from Panasonic that we truly want to see. Panasonic used to have a multiple-exposure mode. And that hasn’t returned yet — it’s something that I really want because it helps me create better photos in-camera. If I were to combine that with the Real-Time LUT function, I’d be in heaven.
I’d also really like a bunch of other features for photographers, like something similar to the Sony Touchless Shutter feature they demonstrated a long time ago but never followed through with in a fervent way.
I’d also like to have even faster ways to access the scene detection modes. With the Panasonic G9 II now having additional autofocus updates, I’d like to see those come to the S5 II and S5 IIx as well.
The only other big thing that I’d want is even better autofocus performance for people of color in challenging lighting situations. This sometimes has to do with your using Real Time LUT or nor. But it also has to do with easily detecting those people in low light or even strong backlighting. Nikon is really the only company that has gotten this technology down so well. Hopefully these techs come soon.