Sensor: 24.2MP full-frame (23.8×35.6mm)
Video: 4K (3840×2160) at 60fps and 150Mbps
Stabilisation: 5-axis in-body stabilisation
High Resolution Mode: 96MP (12,000 x 8,000-pixel) images
The Lumix S1 is aimed at professional and high-end enthusiast photographers and videographers. It’s a complex camera that offers lots of opportunities to customise it and make it work for you. It also has a dual-tilting screen, a first-rate viewfinder, excellent video specification, a fast AF system and a useful High Resolution mode that can produce 96Mp images.
Like the Panasonic G9 and S1R, the Lumix S1 has a High Resolution mode. When this is selected, the camera takes a sequence of shots in quick succession with the sensor moving by a tiny amount between each. The S1 then merges the images into a single raw file.
When the aspect ratio is set to 3:2, using High Resolution Mode results in 12,000 x 8,000-pixel images. That’s 96Mp. Thanks to the S1’s IBIS (in-body image stabilisation), its sensor can be moved by a tiny amount between shots in the High Resolution mode. This enables the camera to gather more information about the scene and create larger images.
When the image resolution is set to 300ppi, a standard 24Mp image produces prints that measure 20×13.3inches or 50.8×33.87cm. However, a 96Mp High Resolution mode image would make prints that measure 40×26.6 or 106.6×67.7cm. Each dimension is twice that of the standard image. That’s attractive to landscape, still life, macro and commercial photographers.
There are a few restrictions applied when you use High Resolution mode. For example, it automatically uses the electronic shutter, the minimum aperture is f/16 and the shutter speed can only be set from between 1 and 1/8000 of a second. Sensitivity can be set up to ISO 3200.
It’s the type of camera that takes some getting to know, but it’s also a camera that is worth getting to know.
As the lower-resolution of Panasonic’s two full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Panasonic S1 has a 24.2Mp full-frame sensor. Interestingly, this is a 23.8×35.6mm device whereas the S1R’s sensor is listed as 24x36mm. The total pixel count is 25.28Mp while the effective pixel count is 24.2million.
That sensor has a native aspect ratio of 3:2, but it’s also possible to shoot in 4:3, 1:1, 16: 9, 2:1 and 65:24.
The image sensor is paired with a new Venus Engine processor. This enables a maximum shooting rate of 6fps with continuous autofocusing. If you can do without C-AF, however, the rate can be pushed to 9fps. Alternatively, in 4K/6K Photo mode, it’s possible to shoot 4K images at 60fps or 6K images at 30fps.
Panasonic is aiming the Lumix S1 at creatives who want to be able to shoot both stills and video. On the video front, the headline feature is that the S1 can shoot 4K (3840×2160) at 60fps and 150Mbps. However, if you want to keep the full width of the sensor, the maximum frame rate for 4K video is 30fps.
There’s also an HEVC shooting option at 4:2:0 10-bit for internal recording. This option is missing from the Lumix S1R.
Helpfully, Panasonic’s Dual IS system is incorporated. This stabilises images and video.
In addition, Panasonic is going to introduce an optional (paid for) firmware update for the Lumix S1 to introduce full V-Log recording. This will also enable 4:2:2 10-bit 4K 24p/30p internal video recording and 4:2:2 10-bit 4K 60p HDMI output.