As we’ve previously mentioned, the Panasonic camera (S1) makes a compelling case for us as we look to upgrade to mirrorless. We were impressed after using the S1 for a few days in and around Hobart. The cost is high, but not outrageous. Although not as good as the S1R, the raw image quality is still very good. The S1 has a decent amount of weight for a camera, but it has more than enough ergonomics to make up for it. Full-frame mirrorless camera with 24.2 Megapixels, in-built stabilization, and 4k 60p video is the Panasonic Lumix S1. It is one of two bodies released by Panasonic as part of its L-mount partnership with Leica and Sigma. It was announced in September 2018 and given a sneak peek in February 2019. Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma have joined forces to form the L-mount alliance in order to create cameras and lenses based on the L-mount already used by Leica. Alongside the new full-frame Lumix S system, Panasonic says it will continue to develop Lumix G Micro Four Thirds products. also, you can learn about our article on the Panasonic Lumix S1 review.


It is undeniable that the Lumix S1 is large by mirrorless standards—in fact, it is as big as many full-size DSLRs—and heavy due to its mostly metal construction. Although it’s tempting to say that the massive dimensions are necessary to fit a large full-frame sensor, Sony’s A-series full-frame mirrorless cameras are much more compact. Although there is nothing wrong with a camera being big and bulky, prospective buyers should be aware that the S1 is much heavier and larger than anything in the Lumix G series, especially when a large, mostly metal lens like the 24-105mm zoom is attached. Personally, we wouldn’t want to wear it around our necks all day, but the size allows for a fantastic screen and viewfinder. The S1 feels durable and is completely weatherproof against splashes and dust. It can also operate at -10 degrees Celsius. To prevent slipping even on rainy days, there is a huge grip for the user’s right hand to wrap around that is covered, like much of the body, in a textured rubber-like material. The Panasonic S1 is brimming with controls, as is appropriate for a model targeted at photography enthusiasts. Most of them will likely make you happy if you are already familiar with using a high-end camera. For example, we found the dedicated autofocus mode button to be a godsend and the adjustment dials to the front and back to be perfectly positioned for our forefinger and thumb.

Panasonic Lumix S1 review: Features

Let’s first examine the fundamental features of the Lumix S1 before moving on to the bigger picture. In no way has Panasonic cut back on the features, making the camera a serious rival to the Alpha 7 III and Z 6. In some ways, it actually outperforms both, especially when it comes to video. The Panasonic S1 offers a standard sensitivity range of ISO 100-51,200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204,800 for those willing to sacrifice image quality. It is built around a 24-million-pixel full-frame sensor and Panasonic’s Venus Engine processor. Up to 9 frames per second of fixed focus or 6 frames per second of AF adjustment between shots are possible with burst shooting. If this isn’t quick enough, you can shoot 8MP stills in 4K Photo at 30 or 60 frames per second or 18MP stills in 6K Photo at 30 frames per second using a Panasonic camera. The buffer is quite large; at the very least, 74 images can be taken at 9 frames per second in raw + JPEG before the camera starts to lag. The buffer will be cleared in just under 20 seconds with a fast enough card.  This introduces the topic of storage. Dual card slots, which some photographers now deem necessary at this price point, have been added by Panasonic. But oddly, it has chosen to use two distinct types, one of which accepts the well-known SD format and is compatible with the fast UHS-II standard and the other of which accepts the less popular XQD. The latter, however, comes at a significantly higher cost and promises greater robustness and faster write speeds. Although there is a case to be made that you are getting the best of both worlds, I believe the majority of photographers would choose dual SD slots. The camera can be configured to simultaneously or sequentially record to each card, or to record a different file type to each slot.

Image quality

Although RAW shooting is likely the preferred format for S series customers, it’s important to note that the S1 produces some of the best out-of-camera JPEGs I’ve ever seen. Here, Panasonic’s color science is absolutely on point. The color and tonality of skin tones are perfect, softening shadows on your subject without losing too much contrast. When working with the RAW file, it is a look that is challenging to replicate. The JPEGs won’t stand up to manipulation in post-production, of course. This is where the RAW files come in, and the S1’s are just as malleable—if not more so—than those from Sony and Nikon. The camera makes use of its DFD autofocus system in this situation. Phase-detect pixels cannot be layered over the sensor, allowing for much longer exposures without experiencing banding. With good noise levels up to ISO 25,600, high ISO performance is also strong. At smaller image sizes, the highest ISO setting of 51,200 is usable, but it does exhibit a noticeable increase in noise in the shadows. also, you can check our article on Panasonic Lumix S1 review. In this regard, the S1 excels over the S1R, which has a maximum ISO of 25,600 and displays a little bit more noise throughout the ISO range. The S1’s ISO can be increased even further, to 204,800, but be prepared for significant noise at that setting. With the S1, moiré is the only thing to be on the lookout for. Without an anti-aliasing filter, some small patterns, such as clothing threads, can interfere with the pixels and produce a rainbow-like effect. We only noticed this once during our review, but if you frequently take portraits, especially in the fashion industry where the clothing is the subject, this could be problematic.

Panasonic Lumix S1 review: Video quality

Both stills and video can be stabilized with this S1’s stabilization system, and Panasonic has a reputation for providing its models with a comprehensive set of video recording tools. Given its ability to capture 4K UHD video using the entire sensor’s width without the need for a crop factor and its ability to capture full pixel readout at up to 30p, the S1 is actually possibly a stronger camera for video than the more experienced S1R. This setting also allows for unlimited recording time, but footage is divided into separate files. 25p and 24p frame rates are also available, and video can be recorded in 4K UHD quality at up to 60/50p. When using the HEVC/H.265 codec, 10-bit 4:2:0 footage can be internally captured; otherwise, 8-bit 4:2:0 footage can be internally captured using MPEG-4/H.264. Later this year, Panasonic will also release a software key update that will upgrade the S1’s video specifications to 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording when capturing in 30p/25p/24p and 10-bit 4:2:2 external recording when shooting 4K footage in 60p/50p. Additionally, this will make it possible to use V Log, though all of this will cost money rather than being a free firmware update.


Panasonic invented the mirrorless camera and has since had more than ten years to perfect the technology. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the S1 is a very capable camera that accomplishes your requests with the least amount of hassle in the majority of circumstances. It is quick and responsive, and shooting with it is a pleasure thanks to the superb control layout. The metering system performs as expected in most situations, though it has a propensity to underexpose in cloudy, low-contrast situations. However, you can easily make a correction after seeing this in real-time in the viewfinder. The Highlight Weighted Spot metering option is definitely worth investigating if you’re a fan of the “expose to the right” exposure methodology for shooting raw. Although Panasonic’s auto white balance and color gamut have significantly improved in recent years, it still falls short of the industry leaders in producing visually appealing out-of-camera JPEGs. Accuracy is given more weight in its color scheme than the more saturated signatures offered by manufacturers like Canon and Nikon. you can read our article on Panasonic Lumix S1 review. Panasonic has thankfully provided cool- and warm-biased alternatives because the default auto white balance setting errs a little too much on the cool side in our opinion. We anticipate that most users will shoot in raw format. You can see how fine the image quality of the S1 is right here. Since low ISO raw files are remarkably malleable and noise-free, you can recover an incredible amount of detail from dark shadows without having to worry about noise. The image quality at high ISOs is also very good, and we wouldn’t hesitate to shoot at ISO 12,800 as a matter of course. With careful noise reduction, ISO 25,600 is also completely usable.

Panasonic Lumix S1 review: Battery life

It is somewhat surprising that the battery life isn’t particularly impressive given how much larger the battery is than those found in competing cameras. For SDHC/SDXC cards, the CIPA rating is 380 frames; for XQD cards, it is 360 frames. These numbers, according to Panasonic, can be increased to 1,150 and 1,000 shots, respectively, using the Power Save feature. You should get a result that falls between those two when using the camera’s default settings in real-world situations. Additionally, the USB port provides the convenience of allowing you to charge the battery while it is still inside the camera; the entire process is said to take about two hours.


The S1 is big for a mirrorless camera and costs $3,397 on amazon. In actuality, it is larger than every other full-frame camera available today. This larger size does, however, come with a long battery life and excellent low-light performance. The camera’s unlimited record time when shooting 4K at 24 and 30 frames per second is another awesome feature. Additionally, Panasonic provides a $200 firmware upgrade that adds 10-bit internal capture and V-log capabilities.


Some people might be put off by the S1’s larger size and weight. Others, however, find it to be exactly what they’ve been looking for in a mirrorless camera. We found the camera to be pleasant to use and didn’t mind the added size. More importantly, the S1 takes beautiful pictures. Although we appreciate that it has two card slots, it is unfortunate that they each use a different type of media. We were pleasantly surprised by the excellent low-light performance because we had not anticipated it to rival Sony’s a7S II. We wished the S1 had a fully articulating screen and exposure control when recording in high-speed video mode.

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