Panasonic has announced that they will be bringing their first full frame mirrorless cameras, the S1 and S1R into the Malaysian Market. Their first doesn’t feel like a ‘first’ at all, with specifications that set benchmarks for future full frame mirrorless cameras to come.
The S1 and S1R have the same features in every shape and form, which we will cover in a bit, the only difference is the pixel count for their sensor - the S1, made for hybrid shooter, carries a 24.2-megapixel sensor; the S1R, targeted more towards the professional photographer, has a 47.3-megapixel sensor. Everything else from there, in terms of software and hardware, are exactly the same!
Now for all the features and we’ll start from the hardware from slowly move into the software. The Panasonic Lumix S series has the largest Real View Finder in its class with the world’s highest 5,760K-dot resolution that smoothly displays 60 fps or 120 fps with minimum lag of less of 0.005 second. The Triaxial Tilt Rear Monitor has 2,100K-dot resolution that tilts in three axis for operational ease. Both cameras also carry dual card slots - one XDQ slot and one UHS-II SD slot, which caters to the needs of professionals. The S series has a robust build that has sealings that make them it dust and splash resistant, plus the ability to operate down to -10 degrees centigrade.
Both the S1 and S1R both have 5-axis in-body stabilisation and supports 6 stops of stabilisation when combining the body with a lens with image stabilisation (IS) - aptly named Dual I.S. 2. Despite being able to shoot at slower shutter speeds for more light, both cameras can shoot up to a maximum speed of 1/8000, plus it supports high speed syncing with external flashes up to 1/320 second.
The S series has a High Resolution mode, 187 megapixels for the S1R and 96 megapixels for the S1, where the camera would shoot 8 consecutive images and synthesise those images into a single high resolution RAW image - this is ideal for taking landscapes. Another feature is the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) Photo mode that provides the image with a wider dynamic range to reproduce light and shadows with more natural contrast, however users can only view these images on HLG-compatible 4K TVs.
For video capabilities, both the S1 and S1R shoots up to 4K 60fps and a maximum of 180fps or 150fps for Full HD recording. In future firmware updates, they’re aiming to add 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording for up to 4K30p, 10-bit 4:2:2 external recording via HDMI with APS-C crop for 4K60p, 10-bit 4:2:2 for Full HD up to 6-fps, and V-log recording. The somewhat alarming news is that this will be only available through an optional paid update. This is likely due to the fact that Panasonic is targeting professional with their S series.
Panasonic launched the S series with three lenses - the 24-105mm f4, 70-200mm f4, and the 50mm f1.4. As you can see in the photo above, the S series is utilising the Leica’s L-Mount, which comes as a result of an alliance formed between Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma. Sigma has already announced that they will be bringing 11 of their Art lenses to the L-Mount - here is a list of them, with Sigma’s own description of each lens:
- 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art: World’s First and Only Full-Frame F1.8 Ultra-Wide-Angle
- 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: Bright & Sharp Wide-Angle
- 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: Fast-Aperture Wide-Angle
- 28mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: Best in Class Performance
- 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: Groundbreaking Flagship Wide-Angle
- 40mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: Beyond Art Series Performance
- 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Redesigned for High Megapixel DSLRs
- 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art: First Macro to Join the Art Line
- 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: Award-Winning Ultimate Portrait Lens
- 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art: The “Bokeh Master”
- 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art: Award-Winning Prime with Reach
With the lenses, Sigma will also launch the MC-21 adapter that converts Sigma’s SA mount and Canon’s EF mount to the L-Mount cameras. Panasonic said that by 2020, they, Panasonic alone, will have 10 lenses for the S series.
As happy as I am to see another full frame mirrorless camera in the mix, this announcement didn’t come with official local pricing or date of availability. However, you can check out the product pages for the S1 and S1R at the Panasonic Malaysia website. As for the retail price, the S1 will be USD 2,499 (approx. MYR 10,193) for body only and the S1R will be USD 3,400 (approx. MYR 13,868) for body only. Stay tuned to Stuff for more updates on Panasonic’s S series and the L-Mount Alliance.