A little while back, the Panasonic S5 II got a firmware update that made it even better to hold and use for photography. High-resolution mode can be used for up to 8 seconds, for starters. Additionally, new features made the autofocus and overall focusing abilities of the camera much more usable in a variety of situations. So we decided to update out Panasonic S5 II review.
Here’s the updated text from out Panasonic S5 II review. To read the entire thing, please click here.
Ease of Use Update November 2023
The Panasonic S5 II got another pretty important feature via firmware update 2.2. Here’s what they say about it:
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
This all sounds great, but is a bit misleading. You cannot shoot at 8 seconds long handheld with the Panasonic S5 II and with handheld-high-resolution mode enabled. Instead, you can only do it with high-resolution mode. And to be honest, that’s fine. I’ve handheld cameras like the Olympus EM1 for 15 seconds and got a shot without a lot of blur. The S5 II already has really good image stabilization as it is.
Focusing Update November 2023
The Panasonic S5 II received, via firmware updates, improvements to how the autofocus works and to the way it works. Firmware 2.2 brought features like an AF Point scope, and improved autofocus magnification features. So we’re going to address them both here.
First off, let me discuss the magnification feature. The S5 II can now magnify an area 20x. This makes focus peaking all that much better. In fact, when focus peaking is combined with the 20x magnification feature, the Panasonic S5 II makes short work of focusing on a subject manually. Besides Canon’s in-camera rangefinder system, it’s the best focus peaking and magnification implementation I’ve seen. So if you’re using manual focus 3rd party lenses, you’re really in luck here. You’ll have a much easer time getting sharp images with those lenses now.
Then there’s the AF scope function, which is a bit weird. The Panasonic S5 II is really a camera meant to be in AF-C mode primarily because that’s how their phase detection feature is implemented. When you use the AF-scope function, the camera switches to AF-S all on its own. It does this because AF-Scope is really designed to focus in on very small details. In good lighting (before sun down or with a lot of illumination) the scope function works very well. It’s when the lights start to get dim that things start malfunctioning.
So if you ever need to focus in on the smallest of details and don’t want to use the pinpoint AF mode, then try this.