Panasonic Lumix S5ii and S5iiX


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Oct 21, 2016
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It seems Panasonic deliberately created a controversy introducing their Lumix S5ii and Lumix S5iiX camera bodies. The question left open for now, is whether aside from "paint and markings", there is any "real" difference between the bodies or whether it is pure marketing? The possibilities are 1, there is no real physical difference, 2 the difference boils down to "quality" of parts which we call "binning" or "cherry picking", or 3, real circuit differences.

According to DP Review, the body price difference is $1999 for the S5ii and $2199 for the "X". DP Review gives differences as:
["Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 II / DC-S5 IIX initial review"]

"All the differences between the S5 II and S5 IIX have to do with the latter's video capabilities. The X's body has a rather nice all-mono design with blacked-out 'Lumix' branding and no red accents on the control dials, but in almost every other regard, the two look the same.

Under the hood the S5 IIX brings enhanced video modes that are better suited to extensive post-production work.

Raw video output
Internal ProRes capture (422 and 422 HQ)
All-I codecs
USB-SSD output
Direct wired and wireless streaming (per GH5 II)

S5 II owners can buy an upgrade to add Raw video out for their camera, but it won't come with the other enhancements of the S5 IIX. In the US, at least, the paid upgrade costs the same as the difference in cost between the two models, so unless you desperately need the S5 II on a shoot immediately, it would appear to make more sense to wait until May for the X to start shipping."

Considering the small price difference, it does look "possible" that the bodies are actually the same and the differences are coming from non-upgradeable firmware differnce. However this turns out, Panasonic has definitely made an interesting business decision.
A quick update: I have been looking at the reports regarding the S5ii and S5iiX and no-one has given any information whether the two cameras are physically the same or not. That being the case, I do not think anyone close to the industry will do so in the near future. At this point, both products are continuing and the price gap remains.

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