The Panasonic Lumix S1 (and big brother S1R) are the company’s mid to high-end full frame mirrorless cameras. The Panasonic DC-S1 and S1R Have the Leica L-mount which is supported by a growing range of manufacturers. The main difference between the two models are the resolution for photography and video features. We would say the the S1 is more video focussed and the S1R is focussed on high end photography. They are weather sealed, have great 5.78m dot OLED EVF’s and dual card slots. 1 SD and 1 XQD which is likely upgradable to Cfast 2.0 in the future.

Panasonic S1

Full Review

Key Features

Announced: February 1, 2019
Type: Mirrorless SLR
Sensor/Mount: Full Frame / L Mount
Resolution: 24MP (96MP High res mode)
Video: 4k 60fps

User Level: Enthusiast/professional

Quick Conclusion: An interesting camera for sure. High speed shooting and 7 stops of sensor stabilization makes it great for sports and wildlife. But its a big camera at a high price. 

Photography Review

Featuring a full-frame 24.2MP CMOS sensor and the ‘Venus Engine’ the Panasonic S1’s imaging capabilities have been optimized for high sensitivity photography with a wide dynamic range. The sensor and processor incorporate Multi Pixel Luminance Generation and Intelligent Detail Processing technologies. These are pretty long titles but essentially means it does cleaver internal processing to increase image quality. The Venus Engine’s processing power also helps to suppress noise levels throughout the sensitivity range, from ISO 100-51200 and can reach all the way to ISO 204800. We’re not sure why you would need to go so high but hey, who knows.

The sensor utilizes an advanced DFD contrast-detection autofocus system for quick and precise focusing and subject tracking which seems to work impressively well. It also has IBIS or  sensor-shift image stabilization which alolws for up to 5.5 stops of shake reduction for sharper handheld shooting.

It has  continuous shooting speeds up to 9 fps with AF-S or 6 fps with AF-C, for more than 90 consecutive raw files.

By using sensor-shift stabilization technology, the S1 features a High Resolution 96MP mode. I uses the IBIS to create his however can ONLY be used for static subjects and on a tripod.  Suitable for static subjects and when working on a tripod. The final resolution is 12000 x 8000-pixels.

Video Capabilities Review

The Panasonic S1 is built with video in mind. Featuring UHD 4K 60fps recording with full-pixel readout you will get crisp video files with 29.29 sec record time. If you drop the frome rate to 4k 30fps then you can record with no limits. It comes with 10-bit 4:2:0 color. The S1 also has Full HD up to 60p with unlimited recording times.

The high-speed recording modes are UHD 4K60, with 30 fps playback, and Full HD 180 fps, with 30 fps playback, offer 2x and 6x slower motion, respectively. This feature is great as you don’t have to slow it down in post production. However it does not record sound in these modes.

The S1 has a High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode, along with a dedicated Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) Photo Style mode, can be used to expand highlight and shadow details and offer greater flexibility when color grading. It has HDMI out for external recording and has both audio in and headphone monitor out via 3.5mm jacks.

Panasonic will also be offering a paid upgrade for those wanting even higher specs for video. This will upgrade the Panasonic DC S1 to support for 4:2:2 sampling, 10-bit color depth internal recording along with V-Log.

SCORE

  • BUILD QUALITY
  • FEATURES
  • IMAGE QUALITY
  • VIDEO CAPABILITY
  • HANDLING/CONTROLS
  • METERING/FOCUSSING
  • PERFORMANCE/SPEED
  • LOW LIGHT
  • VIEWFINDER/SCREEN
  • PRICE/VALUE

The Good

  • We Like the larger form factor
  • Love the no recording limit
  • Ergonomics
  • Image quality and resolution
  • 4k ant 60fps
  • Super high resolution EVF
  • Duel Cards
  • HLG photo (HDR)
  • High Res mode

The not so good

  • No phase detection autofocus – But the results are still promising
  • L mount doesn’t have a great lens lineup at present. The ‘L Mount Alliance’ may solve this
  • Expensive compared to similar cameras like EOSR, Z6 and A7iii
  • Heavy (Although some people may prefer this)

Notable videos to watch

Sample Photos