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If the Panasonic Lumix S5 IIX’s video capabilities are any indication, the fierce rivalry between manufacturers that have produced some competent sub-$2,000 mirrorless cameras is still going strong today.

The Panasonic S5II series has a ton of important improvements. With its L-mount, 24-megapixel sensor, and dual native ISO up to 51,200 without further steps, the original S5 wasn’t a very different beast from the S5II. All of these features are the same as the S5II. Phase-detection autofocus is the main enhancement, and it is a significant one. Other improvements include a UHD viewfinder, 30 frames per second stills, and increased video frame rates in several significant codecs, especially the 4:2:2 10-bit choices.

Simon discussed each of those topics in his assessment of the S5II, proving that it was a capable little brother to the S1 series. Comparing the original S5 and the S1 in terms of release date and autofocus capability could be more equitable. Nevertheless, Panasonic’s big- and small-chip video cameras are the S5IIX or the S1H, which is the video-oriented version of the S1 in the same way that the S5IIX is the video-oriented version of the S5II until the firm introduces a full-frame camera with phase-detection autofocus, which it surely will.

The X-suffix and S5II do share a sensor, which makes some sense considering how difficult it is to create a phase-detecting sensor. Because of this, even if the S5IIX has far greater video capabilities, Simon’s results will still apply. It goes beyond ProRes. Frame rates are more flexible, especially in 4:2:2 10-bit (which all of these cameras seem to be 10-bit). It can record intra-frame cinema 4K at up to 600Mbps to internal storage, which is a lot, and up to 800Mbps to an external SSD, which is a lot. The S5IIX supports intra-frame codecs, which is not the case with the base model. It may seem strange, but both cameras will output Blackmagic Raw to an external recorder.

Up until now, we have only talked about H.264 or H.265 as choices. Given the prominence of ProRes in this camera, it is worthwhile to investigate further. To be clear, let’s Not because it has cutting-edge technology, but rather because it is convenient, ProRes is utilized as a mezzanine codec. Its intrinsic intra-frame nature makes it analogous to things like Motion JPEG, DNxHD, or miniDV, which is useful for editing tools. Additionally, it is well-standardized, proving that sometimes having a clear, widely accepted standard is more important than the assumption that the technology it describes is perfect.

That being said, intra-frame modes are supported by H.264 and H.265, which are likewise highly standardized. Naturally, the purpose of non-intra features is to increase the bitrate-to-quality ratio. Video editing software may want to decode a frame at random from anywhere in the video, which raises the possibility that it may need to explore the stream backward until it locates a prior intra-encoded frame before decoding ahead to the desired frame. Depending on how the video was encoded, that could be difficult or simple, though most modern edit systems can manage the workload.

Nevertheless, ProRes is a widely accepted, marketable codec; this is standardization at action, and it is this that gives value to independent contractors. The camera will capture 4K, 5.8K, and ProRes video.

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By Technically Ethical

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