DPReview: CP+ 2019 Panasonic interview: ‘We’re proud of our cameraness’

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/0078977575/cp-2019-panasonic-interview-we-re-proud-of-our-cameraness

“The CP+ 2019 trade show in Yokohama, Japan, gave us the chance to speak to most of the major camera makers. Panasonic put forward an extensive team to discuss the company’s move into the full-frame market….

… it’s clear that Panasonic wants its S1 and S1R to appeal specifically to professional stills photographers. When it comes to video, the company’s plans seem less well-developed. For now, at least, it seems that Panasonic sees the GH series as its main video/stills camera platform.”

Commentary

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Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 wide angle zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras. This is the very first zoom lens by any maker that provides the most necessary focal lengths for documentary photography and video, and it doubtless will feel right at home on a Lumix GH5, GH5S, G9 and the coming GH6 as well as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.

If by “cameraness” Panasonic means that one can pick up a Lumix S1 or S1R, feel at ease with it and start shooting good photographs or movie footage right away, then I agree with the company’s use of that word.

Here is an event where I tried out the S1 and here is the other event where I tried out an S1R, both times shooting decent photographs almost immediately after the most cursory inspection of the cameras’ controls.

Of course, that ease of use is based partly on my years-long familiarity with Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds Lumix cameras and partly on Panasonic’s even longer history of constantly improving its cameras and lenses all by itself and in collaboration with Leica Camera AG.

Cameras and lenses by both companies share DNA and it was inevitable, in retrospect, that their long partnership would deepen into the L-Mount Alliance, pleasantly drawing lens maker Sigma in to the equation along with its wide range of top-class prime and zoom lenses for cinematography and photography.

When Panasonic staff members asked me for my first impressions of the S1 and S1R at a couple of touch-and-try events in Sydney earlier this year, my first thought was that both would be very usable cameras if I were still working in magazine editorial portrait and documentary photography where 35mm sensors are king.

That is no mean achievement for the first version of any new product range, and I look forward to seeing how Panasonic’s current S-Series cameras and their successors develop.

If I need to get back into 35mm sensor photography and video, I know where to go.

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DxOMark: Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R sensor review

https://www.dxomark.com/panasonic-lumix-s1r-sensor-review/

Panasonic has chosen a new high-resolution 47.3MP CMOS sensor for the Lumix DC-S1R—one that challenges the class-leading sensors in the Sony A7R III and the Nikon Z 7. Intriguingly, it combines attributes of both of its rivals (with some nuances) and achieves near-identical performance results overall.

With its combination of high pixel count, low noise, and exceptional color sensitivity, the Lumix DC-S1R is likely to appeal to the most demanding studio photographers….

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.0 zoom lens.

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David Thorpe: Panasonic’s Lumix S1 and G9 Digital Double Act

“The S1 and the G9 Panasonics are a truly unique digital double act. How do the Full Frame S1 and Micro Four Thirds G9 stand up against one another? Is bigger better? Or is nimbler nicer?”

Commentary

Top video reviewer David Thorpe always cuts to the heart of the matter when it comes to mirrorless digital cameras and lenses, a trait no doubt formed by decades in the trenches as a Fleet Street photographer.

In this video review comparing Panasonic’s Lumix DC-G9 Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera with the recently-released Lumix DC-S1 35mm sensor mirrorless camera, Mr Thorpe opts to continue daily carrying his G9 but appreciates the differences and similarities in both.

Links

  • David ThorpeJohnny and Max – review
  • David Thorpe – Panasonic’s Lumix S1 and G9 Digital Double Act – video
  • ePHOTOzine – Panasonic Lumix S1 Full-Frame Camera Review By David Thorpe – video with gallery of sample photographs

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Panasonic: Lumix AF Guidebook [PDF guidebooks for Lumix S1/S1R and GH5/GH5S/G9 cameras on getting the best out of autofocus]

https://www.panasonic.com/global/consumer/lumix/technologies/af.html

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 with Panasonic DMW-BGS1 Vertical Battery Grip and  Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS lens.

LUMIX uses advanced technology to achieve high-speed, high-precision auto focusing. This guidebook allows you to utilize this auto focusing effectively at a higher level….

The LUMIX features an AF Custom Setting function that lets you finely adjust the directivity of the AF in response to the subject and situation. Here, we present the recommended settings and hints when making the setting….

External levers, buttons, and a Joystick Controller enable intuitive operation while using the finder. Users who are familiar with touch operation can seamlessly change the size of the AF area and shoot the subject by simply pressing the shutter of the touch monitor. Here we present more convenient auto focus settings designed for maximum operating ease….

Introducing original Panasonic technology for achieving high-speed, high-precision auto focusing….

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Lumix G9 Pro, Lumix GH5 and Lumix GH5S at Pa`nasonic Japan’s website. Where is the professional successor to the pro flagship rangefinder-stye GX8?

Commentary

With a number of pundits asking whether Panasonic has got it right yet with the company’s unique approach to autofocusing, it is timely to look deeper into the autofocus capabilities of Panasonic’s new S-Series 35mm sensor Lumix cameras and its established Micro Four Thirds sensor-equipped Lumix GH5, GH5S and G9 cameras.

It is reasonable to assume that Panasonic is currently working on its M43 cameras’ successors, and I would love to see the company produce a GH6 that combines the best of all three of them for stills photography and video, with the very best autofocusing that technology can offer.

Although I would love it if all manufacturers made lenses equally adept for use with manual focusing and autofocusing, equipped with the hard stops and manual clutch focus that have proven so effective on some Fujifilm X-mount and Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses, the fact is that autofocus will always play a part in using almost all lenses made nowadays.

Even back button focus in manual mode relies on good autofocusing capabilities on the cameras on which it features, so their autofocus needs to be the best possible.

If autofocus on Panasonic’s current camera generation remains lacking then best to study how it can be tailored to obtain result close to what you need rather than waiting for DSLR-quality autofocus in a future generation.

I was impressed by the Human Body Detection and Face/Eye Detection features of the Lumix S1 and S1R when I briefly tried them out at two public events in Sydney, so I hope that Panasonic will continue to improve the cameras’ autofocus via firmware updates, and radically improve autofocus in it coming generations to the point where it matches if not surpasses that of the best current DSLRs.

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PhotoJoseph: LUMIX S1 & S1R Battery Grip BGS1

“The LUMIX S Series S1 and S1R have an optional battery grip, the BGS1. This is a tour and explanation of how to use it and what it can do!…”

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 with Panasonic DMW-BGS1 Vertical Battery Grip and Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS lens.

Panasonic accessories for Panasonic Lumix S-Series cameras

Commentary

Panasonic’s accessories for its new S-Series 35mm sensor cameras received little attention during the two public launch events I attended earlier this year, yet they and especially the DMW-BGS1 Vertical Battery Grip displayed the same carefully attention to detail and keen listening to professional users’ lengthy lists of features requests as the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras themselves.

Since buying into Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds system with the Lumix with the Lumix DMC-GH4 some years ago, I have considered vertical battery grips essential items to be bought with any new camera, if the manufacturer has thought to provide one, and this applies to the DMW-BGS1 Vertical Battery Grip as well as several other S-Series accessories.

I am especially impressed by the fact that Panasonic has included the Panasonic DMW-EC6 Eyecup in the list of accessories for the S1 and S1R.

I have had to rely on third-party rubber eyecups made by JJC and Guerrilla for Fujifilm X and Panasonic G cameras, except for my Lumix GX8 where an optional long eyecup was made available by Panasonic, due to wearing eyeglasses and needing to block out laser beam sunlight or harsh indoor lighting.

Both these accessories will come in handy when using both cameras for video, portrait and documentary photography.

I had a chance to try out the vertical battery grip on a Lumix S1R with 50mm f/1.4 lens and it made the camera much easier to use when shooting vertical/portrait orientation with the camera’s very welcome 3:4 aspect ratio, perfectly matched to the average single magazine page.

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DPReview TV: Panasonic S1 Review

“How does the new Panasonic S1 stand up to its mirrorless competition? Does ‘animal-AF’ work on dinosaurs? Will Jordan curl up on the ground in the name of art? We answer the tough questions. Shot entirely on the Panasonic S1 in the Canadian Badlands….”

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 35mm sensor mirrorless camera with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS standard zoom lens.

Commentary

DPReview’s Calgary-based DPReview TV team has created one of its signature video reviews of Panasonic’s Lumix DC-S1 35mm sensor mirrorless camera equipped with the Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS standard zoom lens, and I am hoping they will soon be following up with a similar review of the Lumix DC-S1R.

My own first impressions of both cameras and two of their native Lumix lenses garnered during a couple of public launch events in Sydney are that both are serious competitors to recent 35mm mirrorless releases and appear designed and manufactured well enough to make a dent in the field where I most relied upon 35mm format cameras in the past – magazine editorial photography and newspaper photojournalism.

Provided, that is, Panasonic does something to improve both cameras’ autofocus capabilities and replaces their Fujifilm-style three-way tilting LCD monitors with the fully-articulated monitors that work so well on Panasonic’s professional-quality GH5, GH5S, G9 and GX8 Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras.

I suspect that we may only see that occurring on next generation Panasonic Lumix S Series cameras given both problems are hardware-based, but we can hold out hope that a possible future S1 and S1R firmware update will see radical autofocus improvements.

Meanwhile I hope to dig deeper soon into both cameras’ feature sets and suitability for stills photography and video, with a special personal interest in the S1R for large-enlargement exhibition prints and emotionally-intense portrait photography.

Two big points in the S1 and S1R’s favour for both applications – Panasonic’s vertical battery grip and optional video-style rubber eyecup, both accessories having proven themselves necessities on other camera systems, with vertical battery grips being essential for best grip when shooting portraits in vertical aka portrait orientation.

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Panasonic UK Lumix Ambassador Nick Driftwood Shares His Lumix S1 Custom Modes Settings File for Video

UK Panasonic Lumix ambassador and longtime video innovator Nick Driftwood is kindly sharing his custom settings file for shooting NTSC and Pal video with the newly-released Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 35mm sensor format hybrid stills and video camera. 

Creating settings like these can be a painstaking enough business with Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras and even more so with the Lumix S1 given it offers a total of thirteen, yes thirteen, custom settings slots as opposed to the five of its smaller-sensor siblings. 

Mr Driftwood has my gratitude for creating this settings file and even more so for making it available for free instead of a fee, at his Nick Driftwood’s Filmmaker Emporium

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.0 zoom lens.

As I discovered last week, the Lumix S1 and S1R are great cameras for stills photography though I have yet to try them out for video.

Mr Driftwood confirms my observation about the S1’s photography capabilities, and he has more to say about it as a video camera:

This is a great camera for photographers with its 24MP FF sensor offering really good low light performance – its very clean even at 10000 ISO!

But it also translates over to decent looking video with its 4K 24p, 25p, 30p, 50p, 60p performance. Then there’s also the brilliant 4K/6KPhoto mode that can shoot 60fps in 4K/ 30fps in near 6K (for example 4:3 aspect mode is 4992×3744 pixels).

Switching around manually all these settings can be tiresome, so, I wanted to invite users to take a look at the custom mode features where you can set and store all your favourite settings and recall them in an instance. It saves so much time being able to load settings all in one go!

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Hands on with the LUMIX S1 & S1R, Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney, April 4 2019

Having been to digiDirect’s public launch of the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras and the initial three lenses on April 1st, with hands on the S1 and Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.0 zoom lens, I wanted to get to know the higher megapixel S1R and the Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 prime lens. 

With both cameras I immediately learned there is so much more to them than two brief events like these can reveal, such as their video and high resolution mode capabilities, but getting a decent feel for how they work and what they are capable of is crucial. 

Getting a good feel is exactly what I did to the point where I was impressed enough to consider purchasing the S1R for portrait photography sometime in the future, with an eye on mating it up with some coming wide aperture lenses from members of the L-Mount Alliance. 

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.0 zoom lens.

Hands on with the LUMIX S1 & S1R, Ted’s World of Imaging, Sydney, April 4 2019

Portraits, Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R with Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4

Image Notes

Portraits in the gallery above were made by Karin Gottschalk with the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R equipped with Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 as raw files, converted from .RW2 raw to .TIFF files using the L. Monochrome D profile in Adobe Camera Raw 11.2.1 then processed in Alien Skin Exposure X4 using the Platinum Print Warm analog simulation profile.

All JPEGs here have been reduced in size, so they can only hint at the detail and visual richness of the S1R’s raw files that would be better revealed as large format prints.

I often saw photo gallery shows in London where all the images were printed rich and dark in platinum to draw viewers in and impart a sense of mystery, and drama, and the photographs were shot in medium format roll film or 4″x5″ and 8″x 10″ sheet film, so my aim in making these portraits was to pay homage to that look.

Although I did not have the means to print my own work as platinum prints aka platinotypes when I was working as a magazine editorial portrait photographer, I printed my portfolio work in silver-rich baryta photographic papers that I toned or split-toned to simulate non-silver printing processes as well as silver-based processes like Lith printing.

I showed these images to magazine art directors who were so excited by their expressive possibilities that they fought to have all pages printed in four colour instead of some in colour and the rest in black ink only.

My favourite camera in those years was my Zone VI Studios 4″x5″ field camera based on the Tachihara Wista camera made of cherrywood, and my favourite monochrome film was the now tragically deceased Polaroid Type 55 positive/negative film that I shot at 20 ISO for proof prints and 12 ISO for negatives.

My method was to shoot with medium wide or medium telephoto large format lenses with the aperture wide open or stopped down by one-third or half a stop, light minimally with a three-light Broncolor monobloc flash light kit, dunk the instant-processed Polaroid Type 55 in a Polaroid bucket on location then complete the negative processing, washing and drying back in the studio.

My aim was to produce deeply emotive close-up and full-face portraits, and environmental portraits, that would leap out of the printed page, stopping dead then drawing readers in as they flicked through the magazine.

The combination of Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R with Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 helped me simulate aspects of that approach to analog portrait photography and I look forward to spending more time with the S1R and its lenses present and future sometime soon.

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Panasonic S1 & S1R Launch, digiDirect, Sydney, April 1 2019

I attended the first Panasonic S-Series touch-and-try launch event for members of the public in Sydney, hosted by digiDirect at the House of Merivale in the CBD on the 1st April. 

The organisers provided a number of Panasonic S1 and S1R mirrorless 35mm sensor cameras mostly equipped with Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4.0 Macro OIS zoom lenses, though I spotted a couple of Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4.0 OIS telephoto zoom lenses and a Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4 prime lens. 

My first impressions of the S1 as a stills photography camera are positive though limited due to the circumstances, but it came across as very well-designed and well-manufactured, and it performed better than hoped for in available darkness. 

Panasonic S-Series cameras and lenses at House of Merivale, Sydney, 1st April 2019

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After some initial snapshots in colour with the S1’s default settings, I selected monochrome HLG Photo mode to better focus on the people and gear being shown.

Each photograph produced three files, the JPEGs that you see above and that I have resized without any other image editing, an .RW2 raw file and an .HSP HLG Photo file that is apparently currently only viewable on the latest high-end 4K Panasonic television sets.

The .RW2 and .HLG files are not yet supported by the latest version of macOS and none of the raw processing and image editing software that I use.

Panasonic S1 and S1R: When will raw processing software be ready?

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DxO PhotoLab in its previous incarnation as DxO Optics Pro Elite was the very first fully-fledged raw processing application I purchased after disappointments with Adobe Camera Raw, and it continues to do a brilliant job of processing raw files from cameras by most makers except for Fujifilm, though it does process raw files from my Fujifilm Finepix X100.

If I come across estimates as to when other raw processing and image editing applications will gain support for Panasonic S1 and S1R raw files then I will add it here.

At the moment I am downloading a version of Silkypix that apparently supports the S1 and S1R and will put it to the test when it eventually arrives (thanks, NBN, for your appalling download and especially upload speeds).

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