Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high

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Presented at Photokina 2018 (where we were already in contact with the models), months of waiting for Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1 have sparked a desire to learn more about the house’s bet in this highly controversial segment. Now we have the opportunity to try out some pre-production models, and we’ll tell you about it.

Although more details became available on the occasion of the CES, the truth is that there was not much information about the characteristics of the cameras except the two different sensors (about 24 and 47 effective Mpixel), the new Venus processor, the 4K video recording 60p, dual IS image stabilizer in housing, double slot for XQD and SD, LCD with three-axis tilt and mount the L-mount system.

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high

Now we finally have all the technical specifications, but most of all we could hold them in our hands and try them for a few hours. Little, as is customary in these cases, and certainly not enough for cameras that are clearly geared towards the professional. However, the time we spent with them was more than enough to realize Panasonic’s strong bet.

First sensations in the hands

After we finished the rigorous presentation (involving Leica and Sigma executives to demonstrate the alliance formed at L-Mount), we entered a room where many cameras awaited us (the event was held in Barcelona). however with trade press around the world). We quickly realized that the best adjective we can use to talk about these cameras (externally S1 and S1R are the same except for the screen print of the name) is “blunt“. As we saw in Photokina with the models, they are really big cameras.
Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high
Forget “light” and “compact” to talk about cameras without mirrors. The Lumix S1R and S1 are big and heavy (about 900 grams just the body with no battery or cards), which quickly makes it clear that they are aimed at the professional sector. Of course, if we had to compare the camera in terms of size and weight, some SLRs are full size, like the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and the Nikon D850, and not some of them are competitors in the field of full-frame mirrors, though they are relatively large, the new Lumix are not similar.
Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high
Of course, the sense of ruggedness (as you can imagine) is very big and very ergonomic, with a grip that allows you to use the camera even with large lenses like 70-200 mm 1/4 S PRO (which is one of those that we tried it). As mentioned above, the design is similar to the Lumix G9, but oversized and equipped with many buttons, wheels and controls in the purest professional style to have everything at hand without having to go into the menus too much.
Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high
These controls now include the lock lever, which lets you do what the name suggests (adjusting the controls we want to block and preventing them from being inadvertently activated) and the front switch for two customizable modes. However, the rest is not lacking, and one has the feeling that it is (as it could not be otherwise) a chamber of those who need hours of learning to learn how to handle it well. And above all, a lot of time to get used to the various controls and to use the game that professionals can offer. Incidentally, although the keys and controls are generally good, the crossbar seemed very hard while the trigger was too delicate.

Behavior

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high
Panasonic Lumix S1 with 24 – 105 mm f / 4 to 1/30 sec, f / 4.0, ISO 100 with studio flashes. Made with a preproduction model so the image quality is not the final

If we rely on the viewfinder, we see that Panasonic is not exaggerated when it comes to real seeing, because the truth is that the viewfinder is very good (with a very high resolution of 5.76 million points) and one Provides vision that meets expectations.

The same goes for the screen, which, as previously announced, has a three-axis system similar to what we saw on another camera, which in principle appears somewhat threadbare.

However, as they could be well demonstrated (in one of the most curious moments of the presentation), the system is durable and strong enough to hold the camera (including lens) regardless of the extended LCD display in its (apparently) sensitive position.

As for the approach, we generally found it very fast and precise, even though the mastering focus point is its crumb, and in very low light environments, we had some problems. However, aside from being non-final units, we have to remember that we did not have enough time to test the variety of focus modes offered (including one that recognizes people and animals), so this is just a first impression that needs to be confirmed in a later analysis.

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high
Panasonic Lumix S1 with 24-105 mm f / 4 to 1/160 sec, f / 4.0, ISO 12,800. Made with a preproduction model so the image quality is not the final

By the way, if we talk like a single camera, it’s because our contact was really so short we barely noticed a difference with the S1R and the S1. To be sure, these are two very similar models that hardly differ. Basically, the resolution, which is very high in the S1R, for professionals who need a very high quality, and greater capabilities for video recording in the S1.

In this sense, we can not say that one is faster at the time of handling than the other or, of course, at the time of ignition in bursts. A field in which, by the way, their numbers are interesting (up to 9 FPS at AFS), but not “stratospheric”.

Picture quality

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high
Panasonic Lumix S1X with 24-105 mm f / 4 to 1/250 sec, f / 4.0, ISO 100 with studio flashes. Made with a preproduction model so the image quality is not the final

Now for the most important section, we did not have much time to review the shots (we still have a RAW developer we can thoroughly examine them with) but the general impression is that the quality is very high and high Level of detail if you doubt what is best in the marketplace.

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high
Crop to 100% of the previous image. Panasonic Lumix S1X with 24-105 mm f / 4 to 1/250 sec, f / 4.0, ISO 100 and studio flashes. Made with a preproduction model so the image quality is not the final

Of course here we do notice the difference between the 47.30 Mpixels of the S1R and the 24.20 of the S1 , although the truth is that both offer a quality beyond doubt and a really high level of detail. On the noise side, as expected in a full frame sensor, the range of use is very high and we can dare to shoot at 12,800 ISO without the result being detrimental.

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high
Panasonic Lumix S1R with 70-200 mm f / 4 to 1/320 sec, f / 8.0, ISO 25,600. Made with a preproduction model so the image quality is not the final

We could also try the high-resolution mode, which makes it possible to obtain high-resolution photos using the pixel-shift technique. The bad thing is that the result stores it in RAW, with which we can not yet see it. For the rest, as we said about the AF, this is a first impression (Panasonic has insisted that the picture quality of the photos you see is not the end result) clearly is difficult to improve.

Conclusions

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high

So things, it is clear that when the firm decided to “jump into the full frame pool” he thought to do “big time”. So, while companies like Canon and Nikon did it with a certain timidity (like trying not to steal too much prominence from their SLR Pro), Panasonic has launched with all the consequences clearly addressing the professionals with a bet that of course has good arguments . Of course it is too early to conclude if the pool will finally have water or not, and we will not go into the issue of whether they are expensive or not (although certainly the price is above the competition in the sector without FF mirror), but Of course the Lumix S1R and S1 look great.

Of course, for those who are still thinking about the “betrayal” of Olympus and the Micro 4/3 system, it is clear that the new cameras are not aimed at the general public but at professionals. So the more modest Panasonic models will still make a lot of sense for other audiences that demand the lightness and compactness that until now had been associated with the mirrorless .

Panasonic Lumix S1R and S1, all the information, contact and samples of the new CSC full frame that point high
Panasonic Lumix S1R with 24-105 mm f / 4 to 1/15 sec, f / 4.0, ISO 100. Made with a pre-production model so the image quality is not the final

Price and availability

Both models will be available at the end of March with a recommended price of 2,499 euros for the Lumix S1 and 3,699 euros for the S1R in the case of acquiring only the body of the camera. If we prefer the kit that includes the optics 24-105 mm f / 4 the figure rises to 3,399 and 4,599 euros for the S1 and S1R (respectively). As for the new objectives, the aforementioned 24-105 mm f / 4 costs 1,399 euros if purchased alone, while the 70-200 mm f / 4 S PRO is set at 1,899 euros and the 50 mm f / 1.4 S PRO at 2,499 euros. As a special launch promotion Panasonic will make a cashback of 200 euros for the purchase of a product and up to 600 if a more objective camera is acquired.

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