Panasonic’s newest full-frame cameras get some nice new features from the firmware update that went live late last night. Versions 2.2 for the Lumix S5 II and 1.3 for the Lumix S5 IIX address the usual vague “operational stability” issues but we’re pleased to see that the usability of the two cameras gets better with this upgrade. The firmware promises faster switching between viewfinder and LCD, for instance.
The latest firmware for both cameras adds the handheld high-res mode we saw on the recent DC-G9 II. The S5II twins shipped with a multi-shot 96MP high resolution shooting mode, with the option of correcting motion in the scene, but this was designed for use on tripods. With this update, you can finally get 96MP high res stills without a tripod, as long as you have the appropriate mode selected (though the detail levels are likely to be lower).
The tripod version of high-res mode gains the ability to shoot for up to 8 seconds and can now be used in conjunction with long exposure noise reduction.
The firmware also adds an option called AF-Point Scope. This will let users magnify the focus position to a greater degree while using autofocus. Manual focusing should get easier, too, with a tweak to the MF Assist feature that will let you punch in up to around 20x, to ensure that your intended subject is tack sharp.
Lumix S5 II and S5 IIX owners can find this firmware and upgrade instructions on the Panasonic website.