Our of our readers Chinito Pinoy has shared a pretty remarkable video with us that we would like to share. It is upscaling of sub HD resolution high-speed video at 240p, 480p and 960p from the Sony RX10 IV at 480 and 960fps and the A7S Mark III at 240fps from Sub HD to 4k UHD.
Now that Panasonic has officially announced the Lumix S5 Full frame camera which we saw as a direct replacement for the GH5 line even when now it seems a GH6 may be in the cards for a future release, it is now time to examine the slow motion modes on the camera to see if they stand a chance at becoming a feature which will be a seller for the new device or just one more feature.
When the GH5 was announced about 3 years ago it came with a 180fps 1080p mode that was better than many camera’s 120fps modes and quickly became our favorite Lumix camera for slow motion as we noticed how the quality of the 240fps mode on the GH5s low light geared camera was heavily inferior in resolution. The GH5 really became the best value along with the G9 for 180fps slow-mo modes in Full HD.
Panasonic Lumix S5 Main Features:
- 24.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
- UHD 4K60 Video,10-Bit Internal Recording
- 120p, 150p and 180p Full HD Modes*
- Slow Motion AF Tracking up to 150fps in Full HD!
- V-Log, HDR, and Dual Native ISO
- 2.36m-Dot 0.74x-Magnification OLED LVF
- 3.0″ 1.84m-Dot Free-Angle Touchscreen
- Contrast-Detect 225-Area DFD AF System
- 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
- ISO 100-51200, Up to 7 fps Shooting
- 96MP High-Res Mode, Dual SD Card Slots
- MSRP: $1,997.99 Body Only or $2,297.99 with 20-60mm Kit lens!
- Pre-order includes a Free Sigma 45mm f2.8 Lens Via Mail-In Rebate
First the Good:
The 24MP sensor is excellent in low light, it will perform extremely well compared to Micro 4/3ds or APS-C cameras but it will not beat the low light king of cameras the Sony a7s Mark II or III.
The camera can shoot 10-bit internal up to 60fps but it will have an S35 crop at the 60fps 4k mode. The sensor stabilization is not the best out there but it is quite got at up to 6.5 stops with sensor+lens correction.
If you pre-order the camera you get a free Sigma 45mm f2.8 Lens via mail-in rebate which seems either overly generous or somewhat suspect of fear of people jumping ship to other systems. We feel this is a pretty good deal especially if you also get the kit lens as that one is over $300 USD discounted if you order it with the camera.
From the samples, we have seen the quality in stills and video is as good as the S1 and S1H with very impressive color characteristics that are as close to the Canon color range as we have seen. Panasonic has done an excellent job with their color science since the GH5 and it shows how good it has become here.
We get the DfD Autofocus system with no Phase detection pixels which in our view are the only way to go for reliable video AF. In the early tests, it seems to do quite well compared to previous Panasonic Efforts and most of the pulsing is gone in people tracking scenes. However, the really depressing thing is that the reliability is not a 100% some would call it 80% or even less which means you simply cannot rely on it for mission-critical footage.
If your camera can only have in focus 8 out of 10 shots then you cannot rely on the video tracking AF for paid work. Most footage is recorded with the expectation that focus can be controlled, if it fails then you lose time in production and worse yet if you find yourself in the edit suite a month later looking at out-of-focus OOF shots on your edit bay, then you have a huge problem on your hands.
Panasonic needs to stop clinging to DfD as their single do-it-all AF solution and change to a hybrid Phase+Contrast AF system like Sony or Canon are using. This continues to be the Achilles heel of the system and they need to own up to their mistake not double down on it with every camera release.
For many users, the AF on the camera is good enough and many Vloggers will shoot with it just fine but professional videographers will need to go to Canon or Sony for reliable AF as even the flagship Panasonic S1H suffers from even worse DfD AF performance.
What about the Slow Motion?
Now on to our website focus, that of slow motion video. The Panasonic Lumix S5 is capable of 60fps 4k video at 10 bit with an s35 crop in the sensor at that mode and also a cropped 150 and 180fps mode in 1080p Full HD recording.
The good news is that now we have AF tracking up to 150fps in full HD. The bad news is, it is contrast-detect DfD which means the same problems as the regular mode. But in practice, higher frame rates offer better AF performance as the camera samples more times/sec so it can lock into subjects better!
Slow-Mo Modes & Bit Rates:
- 4k 60fps 10-Bit Internal
- 1080p 120fps, 150fps slight crop and resolution loss.
- 1080p 180fps – More severe crop and resolution loss.
- H.264/MP4 4:2:0 8-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160): 23.976p/25p/29.97p [100 Mb/s]
Full HD (1920 x 1080):
- 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p/180p [20 to 28 Mb/s]
So we now have what could be the let down of this camera and that is the low bit rate quality in 1080p slow motion of [20 to 28 Mb/s]. That is the exact same bit-rate as that on the 3-year-old GH5 camera which is not ideal. It is also more of a 720p image up-scaled to 1080p which looks aliased and soft.
We rather have a 100Mbps mode like that possible on regular up to 30p and 60p full HD recording modes. Slow motion is crippled by using one-third of the bit-rate allocation in what we believe would be related to camera memory due to the faster frame rates. However, the S5 has a massive memory buffer that should easily be capable of recording 100Mbps 1080p at 120, 150 and 180fps options.
The excellent video preview by DPreview below at 11 minutes 7 seconds shows the slow motion mode samples in action with a heavy resolution loss at 1080p 180fps.
Panasonic S5 First Impressions Review by DPReview:
Another sample below shows many more slow motion clips which seem to be at 150fps which offer Continuous AF in Slow Motion up to that point. 180fps will not use AF. Forward to 7Min for the samples.
Panasonic S5 – hands-on review and full autofocus test by extrashot:
The Lumix GH5 is still one of the best video powerhouse cameras ever produced. It doesn’t overheat, it shoots incredible 4k oversampled video at up to 60fps 4k or 180fps 1080p with near Full HD quality but it’s Achilles heel, the Micro 4/3ds sensor which is small and quite inferior in low light compared to Full Frame or even APS-C rivals. The GH5s is the low light lower megapixel version with dual Gain senor which is actually very clean in low light and can go toe to toe with the best out there but has no IBIS which is a big loss.
Now Panasonic is set to announce the Lumix S5 Full frame mirrorless camera which essentially migrates most GH5 features into a full-frame body with nearly the same introductory price of $1998 USD but improves 4k 60p with 4:2:2 color at 10-bit instead of 4:2:0 8 bit on the GH5. You get IBIS, and also the 180fps Full HD of other S L-mount cameras by Panasonic. It is still too early to tell what kind of quality the 1080p 180fps mode will be capable of but it does hold promise as the S1H and S1 do a pretty good job on these modes.
Lumix S5 Announcement Very Soon:
The camera will be unveiled Wednesday, September 2, 2020, at 14:00 UTC at the official Lumix site here: https://www.panasonic.com/global/consumer/lumix/s/s5.html
We also expect to see new low-cost L mount lenses for the system that will make the camera more appealing. We just have to wait a few more days!
But what about the AF?
Yes, the dreaded DfD Depth from Defocus algorithm based on contrast detection is also present on this camera which means it will probably be inferior to systems that use dual pixel AF based on Phase and Contrast hybrid modes which are especially good for video. That means Sony and Canon will still have the upper hand here. Panasonic should keep DfD as an option but make cameras with Phase-detection AF pixels to be able to fully compete in this market. They are doing incredible hybrid still and video cameras with one feature missing, if they fixed the AF they would probably be the first choice of video professionals considering how good the cameras perform. Sadly Sony seems to be eating their lunch with the newly announced a7s Mark III with an AF system that rivals the best out there, in fact, it is so good that you can forget about focus pulling for most shots. The same cannot be said of the Lumix DfD AF contrast system.
We expect the 180fps Full HD Quality to be as good as the one in the S1H camera of the Lumix System. See this video to see the expected quality:
EPIC SLOW MOTION – Shot on Panasonic S1H 180fps by Manit Monsur:
Text from Nokishita rumors here!
LUMIX S5 full-frame mirrorless camera is designed especially for content creators. Latest advances in image resolution, image stabilization, and autofocus all in this compact camera that is the signature of LUMIX.
Experience extraordinary video recording in 4K 60p, 4:2:2 10-bit. It also offers a Full HD 180fps Slow Motion option as well as 4:3 Anamorphic support. This is what makes S5 perfect for use when taking still photos or as a vlog camera.L-rumors
With a 24.2MP 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor, the LUMIX S5 boasts a wide dynamic range and high sensitivity performance. The adopted Dual Native ISO technology enables the LUMIX S5 to record maximum ISO 51200 crystal-clear high sensitivity video. Dual Native ISO minimizes noise in high sensitivity. V-Log/V-Gamut compatibility offers a 14+ stop dynamic range to sensitivity. V-Log/V-Gamut compatibility offers a 14+ stop dynamic range to capture every detail.
The improved autofocus detects head as well as eyes, face, and body. The powerful Dual Image Stabilization with 5-axis enables a 6.5-stop slower shutter speed.
The compact nature of the S5 is one of the signature features of the LUMIX series. To make sure that your camera withstands tough field use, the S5 comes with a dust and splash resistant construction. Optimized heat dispersion ensures a stable, continuous video recording without interruption.
One of the expanded features of LUMIX S5 is the Live View Composite mode which instantly creates a stunning image out of several live shots; the shutter releases at designated intervals of exposure time to merge the bright parts into a single image. Useful for shooting fireworks or a starry sky.
Watch this video for some killer Insect Slow Motion:
While the Lumix S5 camera is announced early September, you can check In the meantime this amazing video of flying insects in Slow Motion by Ant Lab on Youtube filmed with a Phantom Miro Camera. The best part about this video besides the amazing visuals is the excellent informed narration by Dr. Adrian Smith, someone who knows a lot about insects and can really explain the nuances of insect flight with a lot of contagious enthusiasm. The Ant Lab channel is fantastic and we recommend it wholeheartedly!
Insect Flight | Capturing Takeoff & Flying at 3,200 FPS by Ant Lab:
Believable slow motion video samples on Youtube for phones and cameras are so confusing nowadays that you simply cannot rely on them unless it comes from a reputable source. The avalanche of fakes is so big that it makes it next to impossible to find the real ones out there. It also makes it extremely hard to choose a slow motion capable phone when the supposed videos you are looking at are faked from other devices or even professional slow motion cameras.
There is also the big problem of stealing real quality slow motion footage from other channels and using it in compilations that claim to be from a phone or camera in order to get clicks and views for quick revenue. The problem goes even deeper when these fakes overtake most other real videos due to the viral nature of their compilations as they usually look much better than anything these cheap devices they claim to represent can do. We examine a few cases that can educate you on how to spot these fakes!
Slow Motion Phones Sample fakes:
The Xiaomi Mi 10 pro, for example, is a phone that boasts the following specs in frame rates:
Xiaomi is not very forthcoming with the specs of the slow motion as it does not specify duration or method of capture. The samples below show us the problem of fakes head-on:
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro Slow Motion camera test. by Pro Mind Tech:(FAKE)
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 960FPS slow motion video sample by myphone.gr: (REAL)
Fighter Jets and Airshow in 4K Slow Motion (Super-zoom) by Warped Perception:
The newly announced Sony a6400 is what the a6300 should have been almost two years ago. It is still missing a key feature that was introduced with the a6500 that of IBIS or Sensor Stabilization which works with any lens added to the system. However, if you remove the IBIS fail from the equation this is a killer camera for just $900 which in this day and age of $1000+ cellphones, it is quite a bargain for the body only.
We were amazed by the 120fps full HD quality of other sony alpha cameras like the a9 and the a7 III which fully track subjects while recording in super slow motion which really makes the feature stand out compared to other cameras which force you to go manual while on that mode. The codec quality has also been bumped in this camera for 120p to 100Mbps from 60Mbps on earlier cameras like the a6300 which should preserve more detail while sacrificing little in image crispness.
a6400 Main Features:
- 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor
- BIONZ X Image Processor
- Real-Time Eye AF & Real-Time Tracking
- XGA Tru-Finder 2.36m-Dot OLED EVF
- 3.0″ 921.6k-Dot 180° Tilting Touchscreen
- Internal UHD 4K Video, S-Log3, and HLG
- S&Q Motion in Full HD from 1-120 fps
- Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC
- 425 Phase- & Contrast-Detect AF Points
- Up to 11 fps Shooting and ISO 102,400
a6400 Video Mode:
Yes, 4k 60p is missing from this entry level camera but it still generates oversampling in 4k from its 25MP sensor and down converts to 4k UHD for a beautiful image with less noise and no perceptible moire/aliasing artifacts.
This a6400 camera is really crying to have IBIS in the sensor but with a small gimbal stabilizer, it should work wonders for their intended Vlogger audience.
NEW SONY a6400 CAMERA with a FLIP SCREEN by Jenna Ezarik:
The video above by Jenna Ezarik shows why IBIS is needed in a camera like this, it is quite shakey and the rolling shutter is apparent. The audio from the built-in microphones is very acceptable as is the video quality which rivals some of the best 4k out there. Which means the higher-end model which is planned for the alpha line will probably have IBIS and even better features for under $2000 USD.
Sony a6400 Slow Motion 120fps 1080 Samples:
Sony A6400’s BEST New Feature (not flip screen) – First Review by Max Yuryev: