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S5II vs S5 and SL2s


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A bit of background: I use my SL601 mainly for the Sigma 150-600 In decent light the OIS suffices for handheld shooting and I like the sensor, UI and EVF.  But as the shutter speed gets slower in lower light  or by using the TC1411 extender, or when I want to use modern features like high speed bursts, pre-release, focus stacking I take the S5; it has fantastic IS -5 stops 5 axis in conjunction with the lens OIS.

I was eyeing the SL2s for its IBIS and better sensor, but there is also the S5II with an improved sensor, improved AF -PDAF ( although I am not an AF dependent photographer) and better EVF. Maybe I would be better off hanging on to the SL and trading the S5 for an S5II. Can that camera rival the SL2s for my use? Does the S5 mark II have the same sensor as the SL2s?
It would certainly save a not inconsiderable amount of money. 

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Jaap -

You have far more experience with Leica than I do, but I too owned the SL601.  I enjoyed it, and it worked well for me, but I moved to the SL2-S bundle with the 50mm lens and I'm glad I did.  When I bought the SL601 I also bought the 24-90 Zoom, a fine lens but very heavy.  It may be similar to working with the Sigma 150-600, even if one lens is larger than the other.  

I bought the SL2-S for the in camera stabilization, and found it worked even better than I had hoped.  The grip on the SL2-S is also more comfortable and helps stabilize the camera when working with heavy lenses.  The low light capability is at least as good as the reviewers suggest, and processing the DNG files allows you to get almost any image to be useable.  Low light shooting isn't an issue.  You can also shoot at ISO levels approaching 25000 if you have to, but in every way the ISO capture of the SL2-S is far better than the 601.  The JPEGs are also very well done - good color/contrast/etc.  Some suggest that the colors of the SL 601 are "less digital" than the SL2-S, but I didn't find that to be so for the images I make (typically 50mm, handheld, shot from wide open to f/8 most times).  Both cameras are capable of fine image quality.  I don't have issues with the autofocus on the SL2-S - I capture pretty much every shot I want, and the ones I miss are in "iffy" situations - poor light, rapidly moving subjects with little time to compose a shot.

The SL601 has a built in GPS that's not included in the SL2-S, but you can use the Leica App to get GPS data for your images.  The only downside is in poor reception areas it may be a bit spotty.  Given the size of your lens you may want to have GPS as an option if capturing your location is important to you.

In terms of the S5/S5II, I haven't used those cameras, but the local AD has some in trade.  I still find the Leica menu system superior, and I also prefer the haptics of the Leica.  Having said that, others find the price differential to be too large to ignore and find the non-Leica cameras perfectly fine for the images they make.

My summary: Better grip (good for large/heavy lenses) on the SL2-S, great low light capture, IBIS works fine, viewfinder is exceptional with good eye relief for eyeglasses.  No GPS in SL2-S, but available with Leica App.  I don't see any significant downside, with the exception of the pricing.  And there seem to be good deals to be had at KEH and other sites on used, near mint SL2-S bodies.  The soon to arrive SL3 will likely continue to pressure SL2/2-S prices, hopefully giving you a choice of what will work best for you.

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2 hours ago, jaapv said:

I was eyeing the SL2s for its IBIS and better sensor, but there is also the S5II with an improved sensor, improved AF -PDAF ( although I am not an AF dependent photographer) and better EVF. Maybe I would be better off hanging on to the SL and trading the S5 for an S5II. Can that camera rival the SL2s for my use? Does the S5 mark II have the same sensor as the SL2s?
It would certainly save a not inconsiderable amount of money. 

I also have the S1 and S5.  I actually bought my S5 for a song on clearance after the announcement of the S5II.   For me, the S5II didn't offer enough new features that it warranted the extra for the newer camera, particularly for what I paid for the S5.   The S1, S5, (and presumably the SL2s) all appear have the same 24.2mp sensor, and from what I was able to find on the S5II, the improvements to the sensor were primarily with the autofocus system.

If you find something that contradicts my understanding, please let me know.   I've had excellent results with the Sigma MC-21 and Sigma Macro 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM with the S5 and haven't felt the need to investigate the S5II any further. 

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I have a S5II ans SL2S, 

S5II is basically the same sensor as the SL2S with phase detect. 

Video AF is wayyyyyyyy better on the S5II, alot more AF modes as well. 

I still like my SL2S for photos though, menus are clean and I feel like Panasonic never gives you a flat RAW file to work with. Something is always baked in.

A used S5II is $1300 though, what a steal.  

 

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I have looked at the S5ii and my only comment worth passing on is that I didn't notice the EVF being significantly better than the SL2S.
I didn't try it enough to assess AF, but I am happy to take it from others that it is much better than the SL, S5 and SL2S.

The SL2S is worlds ahead of the SL: IBIS and low light capability (noise and colour) are the big improvements. With all its flaws, I find iAF (automatic switching between AFC and AFs) to be helpful.

And I'm sure you know that we're likely to see a SL3 in March.....

Edited by LocalHero1953
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More thought on the EVF. I guess I just looked at the S5ii EVF in terms of resolution, which, subjectively, was not significantly better than the SL2S.

What I DIDN'T check was EVF lag: what you see vs what the camera captures. The SL2S has a very slight lag which I can mentally compensate for in normal light (though it is much better than the TL2, CL, SL or the Visos for M240 and M10, with which I have compared it). Lag increases as the light drops, and becomes very obvious in conditions where I can hardly see the subject with the naked eye.

I don't know if the S5ii is better (it may be important for your wildlife photography). I will be interested to see how the SL3 performs in this regard. 

Edited by LocalHero1953
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Thanks for this insight (everybody for their observations BTW). I find shutter lag not very important for my wildlife photography as it is based on the observation and knowledge of animal behaviour without the camera to my eye; basically the viewfinder is mainly used from framing, focus etc. 

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I'm reading the responses with a lot of interest as I own a S5 and have been contemplating a SL2S or a S5 II. I don't have a SL 601.

What really intrigued me was that in testing the SL2S, I was able to achieve very pleasing and vivid colours with only a few adjustments in Lightroom, whereas achieving a similar look with the S5 required a LOT of HSL adjustment in almost every colour channel, and a fair bit of shadow/highlight/black/curves adjustment, too. For cameras that purportedly use the same sensor, the DNG/RW2 output is very different between them.

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Yes, that is dependent on the Bayer filter which is different. I needed to make a separate profile for the S5 and never achieved a 100% colour match to either SL or CL but I did get close enough. 

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I found the S5 EVF to be very inferior to SL2S and in ‘use’ not as intuitive.

Good camera though and I got a lot of satisfaction from it prior to my discovery of the SL2 which I traded for the SL2 S as 24mp is enough and better DR etc.

I let the S5 go as I decided I didn’t need a 2nd body I wasn’t using but I get twinges of regret and if the S5II EVF is as good as the SL2 and used prices drop further l may succumb again to this weird desire for an ‘in case’ 2nd body

Drifted off there, I reckon the Mark 2 would almost certainly meet your needs jaapv

Edited by huwm
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Only reason I can see to chose (and I did) the S52 over the S5 and the SL2's is the improved autofocus.

If autofocus isn't a big factor then Paul's comments at #5 stand out to me.

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3 hours ago, LocalHero1953 said:

The SL2S is worlds ahead of the SL: IBIS and low light capability (noise and colour) are the big improvements. With all its flaws, I find iAF (automatic switching between AFC and AFs) to be helpful.

 

 

 

 

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I own a S5 besides my Leica M cameras and I am pretty happy with it (shooting mostly travel and street). I thought about buying a S5II but then decided against it. Why this? 

1. Most of the improvements of the S5II are related to video - I almost never shoot videos with my cameras (my iPhone is good enough);

2. There are rumors that the image quality of the S5 is a little bit better than on the S5II;

3. Sizewise the S5 is already at the limit I am willing to tolerate - the S5II is even bigger if only a little (and still smaller than a SL2).

Actually I am a little bit torn concerning the way Panasonic goes with their cameras. It's obvious that they eye videographers and not so much photographers. But I have absolutely no interest in videography (maybe because I have worked some years as a TV-Journalist😅). But, I like the (in my eyes!) good usability of the Lumix cameras (compared to Nikon, Sony or Canon), the great output from the sensor and the great price-performance ratio of the Lumix fullframe system.

The SL-system on the other hand is probably even better build, has a better EVF and works better with M-lenses. But other than that I can't see any reason to buy into this very expensive system. While the M-system has it's unique selling point - the rangefinder and the wonderful, small lenses (even affordable very good ones from Voigtlander, Zeiss etc.), the SL-system surely has it's special appeal (design, craftmanship, wonderful but very clunky lenses) but when it comes to non-rangefinder cameras personally I prefer smaller, lighter and technically advanced DSLM's (than the SL-series).  

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After using the three incarnations of SL-bodies, plus S5 and after a quick run with S5ii (testing only), these are the factors keeping me away from S5ii:

  • The EVF in Six is/feels much better; remember that Leica has put in quite advanced and expensive optics in the view finder. On S5ii, I have a feeling of looking at a screen; on SLx, the view is much less electronic.
  • S5/S5ii is too small for my hand; I have a much better hand-hold stability with the SLx-bodies.

Image quality is comparable, although SL2-S has the best colours I have experienced. 

IBIS on SL2/SL2-S and S5/S5ii/S1R is outstanding for them all.

 

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Thanks - I read in the specs that IBIS+IOS will yield 5 stops of stabilisation, the S5 Mark II 6.5 both with 5-axis I think that this would be the most important factor for my decision. As for Video, any camera will do for me, my ambitions do not go beyond an iPhone without edits.

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I think a lot of it depends on how important feel and handling are for you. In terms of specs these days most cameras are more than capable of doing the job. The S5II's biggest advantage is its PDAF and tracking versus the SL2S. If that is not important, then I think you will find the transition from SL to SL2S easier. I also think a lot of people, amateurs in particular, tend to overvalue specs in comparison to handling and user experience. Having something that you love to use is more likely to improve your photos than having a technically superior camera that you are constantly fighting with. To be clear, I don't think the Panasonic would be a camera like that, but at the same time there is a difference and a big advantage of the SL2 for me over the S1, despite both having similar EVF's and similar stabilization, and similar AF. For me at least, the SL2 just feels better in the hand, the layout is better, the viewfinder and viewfinder information is better, the menus are better, the color is better, the behavior with M and S lenses is better, the battery does not drain when left in the camera, it is not as chunky and plastic feeling. All that said, the S1 is one of the best mirrorless cameras I have ever used. I found it WAY nicer to use than the A7S and A7Rii that I had used previously. But for me at least the SL2 is at another level entirely. Seeing that the S5 and S5II were at least initially thought of a lower cost version of the S1, I would be quite skeptical that they could keep up with the SL2S in terms of joy of use. On the spec sheet at least, there are some real advantages, however.

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I shoot the SL and S5 equally and they both have their negatives. I don’t like the overly light shutter action of the S5, but the SL changes ISO with my nose I have a hard time remembering which button I assigned to what on the Lumix but the long press-short press-double press system of the Leica needs getting used to as well. I love the rounded and compact form of the S5 and the heft of the SL.  I would call it a draw. 

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Have you tried the SL2 series? I found it a lot nicer to handle than the SL (the grip was not comfortable for me in the older body). I did like the interface, however, as I was coming from the S. I am curious, how does your nose change ISO? At least on the SL2 that is a top button option for me...do you hit one of the four buttons? That is unlikely to be a problem on the SL2 series.

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2 hours ago, Stuart Richardson said:

Have you tried the SL2 series? I found it a lot nicer to handle than the SL (the grip was not comfortable for me in the older body). I did like the interface, however, as I was coming from the S. I am curious, how does your nose change ISO? At least on the SL2 that is a top button option for me...do you hit one of the four buttons? That is unlikely to be a problem on the SL2 series.

The SL2S grip is much better than the original SL601. It has little curves and ridges in the right places and glues itself into your hand, whereas the SL feels like your holding a chunky metal tube.

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17 hours ago, Stuart Richardson said:

Have you tried the SL2 series? I found it a lot nicer to handle than the SL (the grip was not comfortable for me in the older body). I did like the interface, however, as I was coming from the S. I am curious, how does your nose change ISO? At least on the SL2 that is a top button option for me...do you hit one of the four buttons? That is unlikely to be a problem on the SL2 series.

Long press top left button...👺

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