Congratulations! If you’ve come to the Panasonic LUMIX camp from another camera system, then we’re happy to have you here! But if you’re considering it because you’re very happy with the autofocus that another camera system gives you, then we’ve got great news. The LUMIX S5II is very capable when it comes to autofocus performance. We’ve shot sports, wildlife, portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, the night sky, and so much more with this camera. And with the right settings, you’ll get more than enough keepers and extras to spare.
This piece is presented in partnership with Panasonic LUMIX. We’ve independently and ethically reviewed all the products in this post already without sponsorship. And we worked with them to recommend a few key gems to you. Grab one at Amazon.
Table of Contents
The Only Shoot in Continuous Autofocus Mentality
These days, photographers tend to only want to shoot in continuous autofocus. The idea here is that the machine learning technology in cameras is so good that you don’t even need to use single autofocus. But that’s, in fact, incorrect. Continuous autofocus with the LUMIX S5II is excellent because it uses phase detection autofocus. And more importantly, it does so very well. If you are shooting a more dynamic subject, then use continuous autofocus. But if your subject isn’t moving at all, then use single. We’ll go more into single autofocus later on. Here’s a general list of times when you’d use continuous autofocus:
- Anytime that human scene detection is activated
- Anytime that animal scene detection is activated
- When you’re shooting an event
- When your subject is much more animated
- When you’re using the entire area of the screen for focusing and letting the camera figure it out based in the composition and the subject detection.
- When using tracking autofocus on the LUMIX S5II.
Then again, there are still great uses for single autofocus.
When to Use Single Autofocus
Here at the Phoblographer, we have rules when we test cameras. Often, we have to shoot various genres when we test a camera or a lens. That could be things like portraits, landscapes, street photography, etc. But that also means that sometimes we do vacation-style photographs or we shoot product images. So when we’re shooting photographs of something that’s totally not moving at doesn’t at all have a chance at moving, we suggest using the single autofocus function. That’s because single autofocus is best combined with choosing a very specific point in the scene.
This could also be a great time to shoot a subject that’s not moving at all and alive! Some portrait subjects are like that. Whether it’s a dog, a model, etc.
In single autofocus, the LUMIX S5II uses contrast-based focus detection. Panasonic has told us in meetings before that they think that this is the best option for the camera. In most situations that we’ve tested it in, the LUMIX S5II has been able to achieve sharp and accurate focus.
It’s worth it to note that sometimes both the constant preview effect, the color profile, or the Real Time LUT activated can have an effect on autofocus performance. That’s a tradeoff for sometimes getting it right in-camera and it’s something experienced all across the board in the camera world.
Animal and Human Detection in One
Panasonic was one of the first manufacturers to give their cameras the ability to focus on humans and animals both in the same setting. It makes to easier if you’re at a family gathering using your camera for fun. It also helps with certain documentary-style situations like photographing a parade.
In most situations, you can just leave this in the human and animal setting for it to just figure it all out on its own.
You can read our review of the camera at this link.