If you want to step-up from your entry-level compact camera to a more powerful, more advanced full-frame unit, Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Nikon Z6 are two models that many people would recommend. Panasonic Lumix S5 is rather new, as it was launched in 2020, whereas Nikon Z6 has been around since 2018. Below, we will see how these two full-frame cameras compare against each other!
Continue reading and learn further about:
- Which one between Panasonic Lumix S5 and Nikon Z6 is more compact and portable
- The available lens options for Panasonic Lumix S5 and Nikon Z6
- The comparison of their battery life, features, and storage space
- Which one between Panasonic Lumix S5 and Nikon Z6 has better autofocus
- The image quality of Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Nikon Z6
- Whether you should go for Panasonic Lumix S5 or Nikon Z6
Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Nikon Z6: Design
Panasonic Lumix S5 is a very interesting camera that has been breaking boundaries left and right. Despite coming with a full-frame sensor and a wealth of features, Panasonic Lumix S5 comes with a very compact body that is also weather-sealed, and a surprisingly not-so-expensive price. Thus, it often gets compared to famous mirrorless models, like Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Fujifilm XT4. Read also: Fujifilm X S10 vs X T3.
It measures only 5.2 x 3.8 x 3.1 inches and weighs barely 1.6 pounds. The body is small, but the ergonomics remain great. There is a hand grip to ensure solid handling, no matter if you are using a small or large lens. The controls are pro-grade and intuitive. A 3-inch fully articulating touchscreen and a 0.74x 2,360K-dot EVF with eye detection make its operation so convenient.
Nikon Z6 is actually a little bit thinner and lighter at 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.7 inches and 1.3 pounds. Just like Panasonic Lumix S5, Nikon Z6 is weather-sealed. In fact, it has a reputation as one of the most robust cameras in the market, with a very good sealing against dust and moisture. It also has a deep hand grip. Two programmable buttons on the front provide quick access to functions of your choosing.
The 3.2-inch rear display of Nikon Z6 is almost perfect. It is sharp, bright, and easy to see from an angle. However, it only tilts up or down, with no capability to bend horizontally. Nevertheless, the EVF is superior, with a 0.8x magnification and a 3,690K-dot resolution, to provide a very clear view.
|Panasonic Lumix S5
|7.6 x 6.1 x 5.59 inches
|5.3 x 2.7 x 4 inches
Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Nikon Z6: Lenses
Panasonic Lumix S5 works with the L-mount system, which makes it compatible with L-mount lenses made by Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma, as well as some third-party boutique offerings. Currently, the lens options are the L-mount system is pretty good.
All the basics covered, such as the starter 20-60mm, professional F2.8 zoom lenses, along with F1.2 and F1.4 prime lenses. You also get some exotic, high-end lens options from Leica, though there aren’t that many.
Nikon Z6, on the other hand, uses a new Z-mount system, but the company has created an FTZ mount adapter to make the camera work with all existing Nikon products, including F-mount lenses and Nikkor Z models. So, although there are only three Z-mount lenses available right now, Nikon Z6 can actually have a very, very wide lens compatibility.
Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Nikon Z6: Features
Panasonic Lumix S5 has a decent battery life. It can last for 440 shots when operating with the LCD, or 470 shots with the EVF. If you enable power-saving, the camera can last much longer, up to 1,500 shots. But, of course, things like photo burst, video recording, and Wi-Fi also affect the battery life, so the actual battery life almost certainly will be lower than what the specs mention. There is a USB Type-C port for computer connection and charging.
Panasonic Lumix S5 also has a Micro HDMI output, 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a hotshoe for mounting a flash or accessory. Most importantly, though, it has two SDXC memory card slots with the fastest UHS-II speeds. The dual memory card slots are very useful for video recording and backup. Additionally, there is a Lumix Sync mobile app for Android and iOS devices, which will enable remote control and wireless file transfer.
Nikon Z6 is slightly shorter in battery life, as it can only last for about 380 shots with the LCD or 310 shots with the EVF. But it is still fairly good. It also has a USB Type-C port, Mini HDMI output, 3.5mm jacks for audio input and output, and a proprietary accessory port. Unfortunately, there is only one memory card slot.
Anyhow, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are available. Nikon Z6 has the SnapBridge technology, which will allow the camera to automatically transfer 2MP JPG files when connected to your smartphone. SnapBridge can be used on both Android and iOS devices. However, if you want to transfer full 24MP shots, you still have to do it manually.
Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Nikon Z6: Performance
Panasonic Lumix S5 is sticking with the contrast-detection AF system, but it comes with an improved DFD algorithm that makes it faster and more accurate than its predecessors. It also adds real-time visual feedback to tell you whether you are focusing on the subject or not, along with enhanced subject recognition, locking, tracking, and reliable face and eye detection.
Overall, the AF performance is good. It is not the best for tracking fast-moving subjects, but it can handle other stuff just fine. Continuous shooting at 6 fps with subject tracking, or at 7 fps with fixed focus. It is not very fast but can get the job done. The buffer can take 45 RAW shots before slowing. Alternatively, you can take 18MP JPG shots at 30 fps, in which case you can shoot continuously if your memory card’s write speed is high enough.
The image quality of Panasonic Lumix S5 is impressive. The 24MP backside-illuminated sensor reliable delivers clear, sharp, well-detailed images at up to ISO 6400. Colors look vivid and accurate, and the dynamic range is very good. The 5-axis IBIS works perfectly for getting blur-free shots at long shutter speeds. There is also a multi-shot 96MP high-resolution mode, which is amazing for astrophotography. Meanwhile, videographers will absolutely love that Panasonic Lumix S5 can shoot 4K/60fps at 10-bit quality internally, and a firmware update will add 5.9K RAW recording capability.
Nikon Z6 arguably has one of the best AF systems in the market right now. It is just slightly behind the current leader, Sony a7. The AF points cover almost the entire image sensor, and the phase-based detection makes it work really well in tracking moving subjects. As long as you keep a subject within your frame, the focus will remain perfectly.
The overall performance feels very quick. Nikon Z6 takes less than one and a half seconds to power on, focus, and take a shot. Photo burst goes up to 9 fps in the 14-bit RAW format, or to 12 fps in both the 12-bit RAW format and JPG. The buffer can hold 40 RAW shots, 45 JPG shots, or 30 RAW + JPG shots before it is fully filled.
Similarly, Nikon Z6 has a 24MP backside-illuminated sensor. But it has an optical low pass filter, which is useful for preventing false color patterns and moire. However, this also means a slight softening effect on the image. The noise reduction works nicely most of the time but can be a little bit too aggressive. For video recording, the 4K resolution can shoot at up to 30 fps, but you need to record to an external device if you want to have the 10-bit quality.
Panasonic Lumix S5 vs Nikon Z6
After all is said and done, Panasonic Lumix S5 ends up as the overall winner. It is really great with the fully articulating display, double memory card slots, and image quality. It has several notable capabilities, such as the 96MP high-resolution mode, 10-bit 4K recording that is done internally, and 5.9K RAW recording. On the other hand, though, Nikon Z6 is still a decent camera, and a valid choice if you already have a lot of Nikon lenses or you need the amazingly fast autofocus.