I converted my Leica Q2 to monochrome by selecting an appropriate profile in the camera menu and dialing in some preferences to suit my taste. $6000+ saved in the process.


Yes. I am beginning to warm up to the 28mm focal length. Yes, I think the B&W HC setting in the Q2 is a close approximation of the way I like to shoot black and white. Confession: I still find myself wanting to hit the zoom button and compose in a 50mm frame. Habits. Habits. 

Panasonic Previews the Future Leica SL2-S mk2. And in the meantime shows off a remarkably capable new camera...

 The camera press is again in overdrive with a new product announcement; the Lumix S5ii. When I read the press release about this new camera what stood out to me is the "top of the fold" mention that this camera and the sensor was developed in conjunction with Leica --- as part of their new L2 initiative. 

I couple that with the ongoing super-sale of the Leica SL2-S 24 megapixel mirrorless camera (so similar to an S5 in the guts of it) to previous Leica customers. If you can prove you bought some sort of Leica product previously you can download a voucher from the Leica mothership which, when presented to a Leica dealer, entitles you to $1,300 off the list price ($5295) of a brand new megapixel Leica SL2-S. That makes the sale price of a brand new, rugged and beautifully designed SL2-S just $3,895. Could it be any clearer that Leica is clearing out inventory for an upcoming introduction of their own product?

Just before Christmas Panasonic was clearing out the original Lumix S5 inventory. The best deal I came across was one available for a short while at B&H Photo. You could get an S5 and the 20-60mm zoom AND the 50mm f1.8 lens for a total of $1,497 USD. Similar deals abounded for a package that combined the (very good!!!) 85mm f1.8 lens. Other offers included the camera and an Atomos Ninja V for under $2,000. 

So, Panasonic cleared out inventory of the first gen camera just a few weeks before today's big announcement. Leica is currently "firesale-ing" their 24 megapixel mirrorless camera in what I imagine will be just a few weeks before their big announcement....

I'm waiting on the edge of my  seat for Leica's big announcement. My one hope is that they will adapt Panasonic's audio interface for the new Leica camera....

I've just read the press release and watched Gerald Undone's gushing paean to the new camera but I have some thoughts... (I'll include copy from Panasonic's press release below...). 

I've owned all of the first four Panasonic S series cameras. All of them were close to perfect. If I hadn't gotten sidetracked by the Siren call of Leica I would still be happily shooting with them and, in fact, I am still happily photographing commercial jobs all the time with one of them. It's the original, not version 2, Lumix S5. And you know what? I think it was the best bargain in fully capable, non-niche cameras on the market. 

There were three things that the fussy reviewers consistently called out as being weaknesses of the original camera. One was the lower res EVF. It was a 2850K dot screen instead of the 5+ million dot screens of the higher priced S series cameras. Next was the C-AF in video. Apparently, for many users, it hunted and wobbled. Same in fast-paced shooting with C-AF. Most disliked the micro-HDMI connection but whether that is one of top three nitpicks or not depends on whether or not you also felt that the IBIS of the camera was mediocre. Some videographers also complained about the 30 minute record run-time limit on a number of the video codecs. 

The new S5ii EVF is 3680K dot and the viewfinder magnification has been increased. The Depth from Defocus focusing has been replaced or augmented by PDAF AF which my most trusted reviewer (with camera in hand) declares to be better AF than everyone but Sony's --- and is within spitting range of the best Sony has to offer... They replaced the micro plug with a full sized HDMI plug. The IBIS, according to Jordan and Chris at DPReview.com, is the best of all full frame cameras now on the market and is close to the performance of the new OM-1.  Finally, an integral fan and a new processor pipeline that's more than twice as fast as the previous one means that all but the 5K and 6K open gate video formats will record right up until the battery dies. And, even in the case of a long, long program, the USB 3.2 input will allow you to power the camera until your card fills up. Forget about the internal battery...

Both card slots are now UHS-2. The camera has more and better video features than most hybrid cameras up to twice its price and Panasonic did all this without making the body discernibly larger or heavier. 

I own the current S5. It's a great camera and it's the second smallest full frame, high performance L Alliance body I have. The only one smaller is a stripped down Sigma fp (a darling of a camera!!!).

Based on both video and still shoots I've done in the nearly two years that I've owned the S5 I have to say that it was the best dollar/haptics/performance digital camera I've ever invested in. Two of these cameras and a small basket of inexpensive lenses would be enough to fuel a real and very competent professional imaging business. 

Slap a small Sigma 45mm f2.8 lens on the front of the older S5 and you've got a great street shooting right that's highly mobile. Slap a Leica 24-90mm lens on the front and you've got a studio photography monster that delivers state of the art 24 megapixel files. All in the older camera.  Consensus is that PDAF has been added to the new model without messing up the imaging quality. 

All this combined tells me two things: 

The S5ii is a Sony/Canon/Nikon/Fuji KILLER in a wide price range of competing products. Both for stills and for video. Second, that the first S5 will soon be discontinued and will be a real bargain for people who just want a great stills camera with competitive image quality and who don't really need all the latest video stuff --- or the ability to track cheetahs running a slalom course. You could do a lot worse if you were shopping around for a camera system and looking for a comfortable entry point.......

The press release:  

supply your own grain of salt...

Panasonic Announces Highly Anticipated LUMIX S5II and S5IIX at Consumer Electronics Show 2023

The S5II and S5IIX utilize Phase Detection Auto-Focus (PDAF), satisfying the demand for the feature in LUMIX mirrorless cameras

Las Vegas, NV (January 4, 2023) – Panasonic is proud to announce two new hybrid full-frame mirrorless cameras, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX, as the latest additions to its LUMIX S Series camera line-up. The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX are the first LUMIX mirrorless cameras to utilize Phase Detection Auto-Focus (PDAF) thanks to a newly developed 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor and a new imaging engine. Developed under the LTechnology alliance formed by LEICA and LUMIX last year, the new imaging engine provides high resolution, natural description, and approximately 2x higher-speed signal procession for high bit-rate video recording. To further the cameras’ PDAF capabilities and make them more dependable, Panasonic evolved the auto-focus system into Phase Hybrid Auto-Focus by increasing the AF points to 779 to significantly improve subject tracking. Once the S5II and S5IIX are locked on a subject, the auto-focus will continue to track the subject, even in adverse lighting conditions and when multiple objects are moving within the frame. Additionally, continuous AF during zooming*1, AF micro adjustments, and options to decrease the size of the AF area are available.

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The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX have a powerful image stabilization system for wide-ranging shooting conditions and situations. The Body I.S. (5-axis) in the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX i and the O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) from the LUMIX S Series lens were combined to create the 5-axis Dual I.S. 2, maximizing the correction power to allow 6.5-stop slower shutter speed*2. The 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 works for both photo and video recording, including 4K. In addition, Active I.S. has been added for even more stable video recording. Active I.S. optimizes the horizontal, vertical, and rotational correction ratios by determining the status of camera shake. As a result, the performance of the image stabilizer can account for a larger amount of

camera shake at approximately 200%*compared to conventional image stabilization. This capability is highly beneficial in adverse situations, such as handheld filming or telephoto fixed- frame shots.

The new imaging engine provides the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX with high video performance comparable to the LUMIX S1H. They provide 4:2:0 10-bit 6K (3:2) / 5.9K (16:9), unlimited 4:2:2 10-bit C4K/4K recording capability*4. With a new heat-dispersion mechanism, there is no limit on recording time to avoid overheating*5. HFR (High Frame Rate) in C4K/4K (48p), FHD (120p), Slow & Quick motion in C4K/4K(1-60fps) / FHD(1-180fps) are also available. The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX contain 14+ stop V-Log/V-Gamut capture to deliver a high dynamic range and broad colors. Plus, a REAL TIME LUT function is provided to enable color grading on the compatible video and photo in camera by applying the LUT(.VLT/.cube) saved in the SD memory card. Users can perform intended color grading on the spot without postproduction and share images online through social networking sites. This function can be used for livestreaming.

Packing the essence of LUMIX S Series cameras into a compact, lightweight body, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX have further evolved to meet the demands of all creators. The LUMIX S5II is $1,999.99 and will be available in January 2023. The LUMIX S5IIX is $2,199.99 and will be available in May 2023.

*Conventional zoom lenses require firmware update to use Continuous AF during zooming. The firmware will be released on 10/Jan 2023, UTC 1:00.
Based on the CIPA standard [Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=200mm when S-E70200 is used. Firmware must be updated to the latest version.

*Compared with LUMIX S5. Focal length 20mm, when using S-R2060.
When the camera is used at recommended operating temperature 0-40 degrees C.
When [Thermal Management] is set to [STANDARD], recording stops once the continuous recording time exceeds 30 minutes.

1. Professional-quality photo/video performance for unlimited expression

In addition to the PDAF capabilities mentioned above, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX provide:

  • Dual Native ISO sensitivity, which minimizes noise generation by choosing an optimal circuit to use according to the sensitivity before gain processing. As a result, it allows

    a maximum ISO 51200 (Extended: 204800) high sensitivity recording.

  • Increased capable of higher speed burst shooting at 9 (AFS) / 7 (AFC) fps with a mechanical shutter and 30 fps (AFS/AFC) with an electronic shutter in JPEG/RAW

    compared with LUMIX S5.

    2. A variety of video functions and recording options

    Alongside the recording capability, new heat dispersion mechanism and 14+ stop V Log/V Gamut capture mentioned above, the LUMIX S5II and LUMIX S5IIX feature unique shooting options such as the 4K60p interval shooting and 4K HDR video recording. In response to requests from professional users, video assist functions such as Waveform Monitor, Vector Scope and Zebra Pattern are available. Some features offered on the LUMIX S1H and LUMX GH6, like System Frequency (24.00Hz), Synchro Scan, Fan mode and redesigned control panel, which enables quick selection of menu, are also available on the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX.

    48kHz/24bit audio can be recorded using a built-in microphone and external microphone for realistic sound recording. The use of the external microphone and XLR microphone allows high-res 96kHz/24bit audio recording.

    The LUMIX S5IIX is capable of RAW video output and All-Intra, ProRes*recording on SSD. It also features wired*2/wireless IP streaming function and USB tethering.

    *Apple and ProRes are trademarks or registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. *Requires USB-LAN adaptor, sold separately.

    3. Excellent operability and functions to minimize workflow for one man crew operation

Building upon the functionality of the LUMIX S5, a wealth of options was added to the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX to provide users with a superior shooting experience. AWB Lock maintains the white balance set in auto. Sheer Overlay can now be used in Creative Video mode making it easy to fix the frame through footage sequence. Luminance level of 2100 Like (HLG) in Photo Style for video has an extended setting range from 64-940 to 0-1023, providing sufficient amount of color grading resistance. In addition to FHD it is now possible to output a 4K image with the live crop function. To support high precision focusing, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX provide practical options for manual focusing. While focus is shifted with variable amount according to the rotation speed of the focus ring for non-linear setting, it is shifted with a designated amount according to the rotational quantum of the focus ring for linear setting. Sensitivity (amount of focus shift per rotational quantum) can be selected from 90 to 1080 degrees to enable intended focus operation. The MF Assist, which enables the focus point to be enlarged, is now available in both photo shooting and in video recording*1.

The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX adopt a large, 3,680K-dot OLED (Organic Light-Emitting

Diode) LVF (Live View Finder) that features a high magnification ratio of approx. 1.52x / 0.76x

(35mm camera equivalent). A 3.0-inch free-angle touch-control monitor in 3:2 aspect with

1,840K-dot high resolution does not cause interference even when both the HDMI cable and

USB cable are connected by adjusting the tilt/rotation angle of the monitor. There are

improvements in external design, including new easy-to-operate 8-directional joystick and the

drive dial with an increased setting position for 96-megapixel High Resolution Mode

*Up to 60p. Does not work in Variable Frame Rate mode.

4. Reliable quality and performance for professional use and connectivity

Overheating is a fatal issue to continuous video recording, especially when the resolution and the frame rates are increased. The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX adopt a new heat dispersion mechanism that combines a small fan and high-efficiency heat sink. As a result, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX achieve unlimited video recording time*1*and livestreaming*3 in C4K 60p while keeping the camera size compact. In case the camera stops while 4K video recording, the small fan operates separately to cool down the unit for quick recovery.

To withstand heavy field use, the LUMIX S5II and S5IIX are composed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast front / rear frame and is splash-resistant*and dust-resistant.

For the terminal, HDMI Type A is provided. Plus, a cable lock holder for the HDMI/USB cable is bundled to prevent issues such as unplugging on location. The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX support USB 3.2 Gen 2 for high-speed writing and readout. The LUMIX S5II and S5IIX are equipped with double card slots (UHS-II x 2). Users can choose the recording method from Relay Recording, Backup Recording, Allocation Recording. For the external microphone, a Φ3.5mm stereo jack and a headphone jack are provided.

Wi-Fi 5 GHz (IEEE802.11ac)*and 2.4 GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n) effectively provide a- secure and stable connection on smartphones, tablets, and other devices on location for smooth remote control. The transmission speed of photo/video data is also increased by using the 5 GHz band. Compatibility with Bluetooth 5.0 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption. The settings of LUMIX S5II and S5IIX camera can be copied and transmitted wirelessly to other LUMIX S5II and S5IIX cameras when using multiple LUMIX S5II and S5IIX cameras. The LUMIX Sync application for iOS/Android devices allows remote control of the camera using a smartphone or a tablet via easy wireless connection. In addition to wireless control via a Remote Shutter DMW-RS2 (sold separately), application software LUMIX Tether enables tethered shooting via USB. Users can control the camera by connecting it to a PC via USB. It lets them view the image on a large PC screen while shooting.

The camera’s 2200mAh high-capacity battery DMW-BLK22 can be recharged either via AC or USB according to the users’ convenience. It also complies with USB PD (Power Delivery) when the corresponding Battery Charger DMW-BTC15 (sold separately) is used.

Battery Grip DMW-BGS5 (sold separately) can be used in common with LUMIX S5.
Dressed in an exceptional matte black profile, the LUMIX S5IIX boasts an exceptional

sleek, stylish design while the S5II takes on the authentic look as the predecessor.

*When the camera is used at recommended operating temperature 0-40 degrees C.
6K and 5.9K at 30p/25p video recording stops once when continuous recording time exceeds 30 minutes if [Thermal Management] is set to [STANDARD]
*3 In the LUMIX S5IIX only
Dust and Splash Resistant does not guarantee that damage will not occur if this lens is subjected to direct contact with dust and water.
5GHz Wi-Fi is not available in some countries.

5. The best assortment of S PRO /S full-frame lenses

The Panasonic LUMIX S Series boasts a total lineup of 14 lenses including new LUMIX S 14-28mm F4-5.6 MACRO (S-R1428) according to the purpose. Moreover, the L-Mount system provides the best assortment of full-frame lenses to choose from, for limitless spectrum of creative possibilities. Color shading correction helps improve image quality when other manufacturer’s lenses including old lenses are used with or without using a Mount Adaptor. Furthermore, LUMIX S5II and S5IIX memorize the name and its focal length of analog lenses such as anamorphic lenses or old lenses to provide suitable setting of camera’s in-body image stabilizer automatically when those lenses are used.

6. Future firmware update

To enhance the performance of LUMIX S5II and S5IIX, the functions below will be available with future firmware update following the needs of customers.
RAW data output using Software Upgrade Key DMW-SFU2 (S5II)
Live View Composite (S5II)

and more.

•L-Mount is a trademark or registered trademark of Leica Camera AG.
•Wi-Fi® is a registered trademark of Wi-Fi Alliance®
•The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Panasonic Corporation is under license.
•Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.
•Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.


About Panasonic Corporation of North America

Newark, NJ-based Panasonic Corporation of North America is a leading provider of Consumer Lifestyle technologies, as well as innovative Smart Mobility, Sustainable Energy, Immersive Experiences, and Integrated Supply Chain solutions. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Holdings Corporation. One of Interbrand’s Top 100 Best Global Brands of 2021, Panasonic is a leading technology partner and integrator to businesses, government agencies and consumers across the region. Learn more about Panasonic’s ideas and innovations at na.panasonic.com/us

Follow Press Updates for Panasonic Lumix:

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Press Resource Contacts:

Dan Unger dan.unger@us.panasonic.com Caitlyn Duran (Porter Novelli) caitlyn.duran@porternovelli.com

One of those sunsets where you wish you were at the beach or in the mountains with beautiful models.... But you are ever so happy you brought your camera along with you anyway.


We occasionally get late afternoons/early evenings during the Winter here in Central Texas that give us beautiful sunsets and post sunset afterglow. I cleaned (mostly) my office yesterday, went to swim practice, made a few phone calls, etc. But when four p.m. rolled around I was ready to grab a friendly camera and go out for yet another walk. I took the Leica CL. Set it to manual exposure, daylight white balance, ISO 400 and Jpeg. 

As I walked around the ole downtown the light started to get more and more beautiful. I kept looking at the sky and having a feeling of wonder when I saw the colors and contrasts that were changing minute by minute. I shot until the light was gone and I was back at my car. The top photo here is the last photo of the day. Shot across a small park because I was so happy to see the last light from the horizon when I turned the corner. 

The rest of the images below go backward in time... (thank you Blogger...)

The important thing here is not "the walk" or the camera but the desire to be out, in the world, at one of the most beautiful times of the day. I'm happy cameras have straps so I can bring them along with me everywhere. And all the time.