The Panasonic Lumix S5 is a feature-packed do-it-all hybrid stills/video camera system. With dual card slots and some nice video specs finding the best memory cards can be a little tricky.
This guide will help you find the best memory cards for the different features and specs you may use so that you don’t overpay on high-end memory cards that you may not need.
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Best Memory Cards Panasonic S5
The Panasonic S5 has some interesting specs and capabilities and knowing its limitations could save you a lot of money on memory cards. So before we get into the list, here is what you need to know about buying memory cards for the Panasonic S5.
The S5 has dual memory card slots and you can record to both of them at the same time when shooting stills or video.
While the S5 is capable of using UHS-II memory cards, only slot 1 is capable of taking advantage of those speeds. Slot 2 is UHS-I only.
This means, if you plan on shooting backup to both cards at the same time, you’ll be limited to UHS-I performance and there will be no benefit to spending money on high-end UHS-II cards.
Also, since the Panasonic video specs max out at 200Mbps, or 25MBs, this means the highest speed class you’ll need for video is U3 which is offered by most UHS-I memory cards.
Basically the camera will support UHS-II memory cards, but if you plan on shooting video or shooting with dual memory card slots, UHS-I cards are all you need.
However, there are a few great options for UHS-II cards that I think are actually perfect for this camera, because while the camera doesn’t take advantage of all the benefits of UHS-II, the added speed when transferring from your card to your computer is nice.
Of course, if you just plan on using a single card and want that buffer to clear as quickly as possible, UHS-II memory cards are a nice option.
Panasonic S5 Memory Card Recommendations
For videographers and photographers shooting backup, there are a few great UHS-II cards that are priced very competitively and will give you everything you need even if you decide to shoot with a single card slot for maximum UHS-II performance.
Since the camera doesn’t have any specs that require more than the U3 speed class, UHS-II U3 cards or UHS-II v60 cards is all that should be considered. Or to save money UHS-I cards are also a solid option but UHS-I cards won’t give you those fast transfer speeds to your computer.
Here is a list of some of the best cards for the Panasonic S5.
|Recommended SD Cards||In-Camera Speed (S1H)||See Price|
|Sony E U3||75 MB/s (rated)||Amazon|
|Sony M Tough v60||71.3 MB/s||Amazon|
|ProGrade v60||53.3 MB/s||Amazon|
|Sandisk Extreme Pro||38.2 MB/s||Amazon|
|Delkin Black Tough||37.7 MB/s||B&H|
|Kingston Canvas Go!||37.6 MB/s||B&H|
Camera memory card speeds based on the Panasonic S1H memory card tests.
My #1 recommendation would be a Sony E card. It’s only a little more expensive than a UHS-I card but you get the benefits of faster transfer speeds to your computer. If you want a tough card, the Sony M cards are nice, or you could go with the Delkin Black UHS-I card.
Panasonic S5 Specs
|Sensor: Full Frame 24.2MP CMOS
Continuous Shoot: 7fps
Est. Buffer Size: ?
RAW Shots To Fill Buffer: 24 RAW
Max Memory Card Size: ?
4k Datarate: H.264 4:2:2 150Mbps / H.265 4:2:0 200Mbps
1080p Datarate: 100Mbps
Best Memory Cards For 4k Video
Video specs are a little confusing with the Panasonic S5. There are a few compression types to choose from with different bitrates, subsampling, and color depth.
In an ideal world, you’ll want to shoot 4k with 10-bit at 4:2:2. This will give you the best-looking image. Strangely Panasonic doesn’t offer that with the H.265 video codec, they only offer it with an H.264 codec at a lower bitrate of 150Mbps. To be fair, this is all most people really want that are casually shooting video, and having the internal 4:2:2 10-bit is a really nice feature.
If you want a better bitrate you the only way to get it is to shoot 50p or 60p which gives you 200Mbps, but it uses the H.265 coded which is also 50% more efficient, but only with a 4:2:0 subsampling.
For all the bitrates, you’ll only need a maximum of a U3 memory card which supports a minimum write speed of 30MB/s.
Minimum write speeds based on card speed ratings
U1 = 10MBs or 80Mbps
U3 = 30MBs or 250Mbps
V60 = 60MBs or 480Mbps
v90 = 90MBs or 720Mbps.
Panasonic S5 Video Specs & Recording Modes
If you need unlimited record time, the Panasonic S5 only offers unlimited with 4:2:0 8-bit. All the other record modes have a 30 minute record time.
Record Limit: Unlimited for 4:2:0 8-bit. 30-min for 10-bit 4:2:2 and 10-bit 4:2:0
Audio FIle Format: AAC, Linear PCM
4k Recording Modes
1080p Recording Modes
Panasonic S5 Record Times and Memory Card Capacity
This chart takes a few of the different bitrates and record options listed above show how much record time you can be expected to get out of each size card.
You can also use my record time calculator to see even more memory card sizes.
Keep in mind that the 200Mbps record-setting is for 50-60p, which can be played back in slow motion or at regular speed. If you confirm it to 25 or 30 then your clips would be twice as long.
|Panasonic S5 Record Times||64GB||128GB||256GB||512GB|
|4k 200Mbps | 25MB/s||43min||85min||171min||341min|
|4k 150 Mbps | 18.75MB/s||57min||114min||228min||455min|
|4k 100 Mbps | 12.5MB/s||85min||171min||341min||683min|
|1080p 100Mbps | 12.5MB/s||85min||171min||341min||683min|
Best Memory Cards Panasonic S5 Bottom Line
Panasonic has put together quite a nice camera but that second SD card slot is only UHS-I which makes buying memory cards a bit tricky. This was always my big complaint about the Sony A7III. Even though you’ve put in a UHS-II card, you still only get UHS-I performance because of that backup slot adding a bottleneck to the whole system, so you have to decide if you want maximum speed with a single UHS-II card slot or redundancy with slower UHS-I speeds.
If you’re just ok using a single SD card, then you will get more than twice the performance using a UHS-II memory card.
I recommend you stick with slower UHS-II cards that come in at a more affordable price. The V60 cards or that Sony E card. UHS-I cards are also a great option.