The Panasonic Lumix S1H is perhaps a little too large, weighty, and specialized in figuring highly amongst the best mirrorless cameras all around; however, it appears to be a strong contender for our list of the best 4K cameras for filmmakers and possibly even the best theater cameras.
It is now up against competition from another Lumix S camera, which is the Panasonic Lumix S5, which is significantly less expensive.
Panasonic Lumix S1H Key Specs
- Sensor: 24.2MP full-frame CMOS
- Image processor: Venus
- Autofocus: 225-area DFD contrast AF
- ISO range: Dual Native ISO, 100-51,200 (50-102,400 exp.)
- Max image size: 6,000 x 4,000
- Metering modes: 1,728-zone, multi, center-weighted, spot, highlight,
- Video: 6K (5.9K) 3:2 24p, 5.9K 16:9 up to 30p, C4K/4K UHD up to 60p, unlimited recording time
- Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 5.76m dots, 100% coverage, 0.78x magnification
- Memory card: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
- Max burst: 9fps AFS/MF mode, 5-6fps AFC/Live View
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Size: 151.0 x 114.2 x 110.4mm
- Weight: 1,164g (including battery and memory card)
Panasonic Lumix S1H Key Features
With the Lumix S1H, Panasonic hopes to deliver footage of cinematic quality, and the camera has the features to back up that claim.
The headline-grabbing feature is its capacity to record video in a resolution of 6K (yes, 6K), which can be done in a 3:2 ratio at 24p with a quality of 10-bit 4:2:0, or in a conventional 1:9 balance at 30p/25p/24p. At this level, however, processing capacity is the restricting element. Because of this, you can only photograph in the cropped Super 35mm format when using a 6K or 5.9K camera.
The bit-depth is a crucial factor. It is acceptable to capture video footage with an 8-bit format if the video is not extensively altered or “graded” later. However, suppose you intend to modify the video significantly. In that case, particularly if you want to use V-Log settings, you require the additional bit-depth that 10-bit capture provides to prevent banding, clipping, and other artifacts.
The purpose of the 6K recording is not to create 6K videos but rather to provide additional cropping wiggle room during the editing process to produce 4K output.
The S1H can record in 4K at full frame (uncropped) resolution, with internal recording in 4:2:2 10-bit format and frame rates of up to 60 frames per second. Playback at 30 frames per second can give the impression of two times the average speed of the activity captured at 60 frames per second.
The ratio of 4:2:2 describes the way that visual information is packed together. Although 4:2:2 compression is less compressed and provides higher quality, the standard technique for internal recording in most cameras is 4:2:0 compression. However, 4:2:2 is less prevalent for internal recording because it offers a lower compression ratio.
Panasonic Lumix S1H Build Quality
The Lumix S1H is noticeably more significant than the standard Lumix S1, immediately noticeable to the naked eye. Because the body of the S1H is significantly more robust, there is more space on the upper plate for a more extensive status display. In addition, the standard white-on-green LCD of the S1 and S1R has been replaced with a white-on-black (or blue) display with more prominent characters. This replaces the LCD that was previously black-on-green.
The display on the rear of the device is not a tilting screen but rather a robust-feeling vari-angle display that can open in both the sideways and forward directions. This is mounted on a “tray” that can be dragged from the camera’s rear. This allows the screen to be moved out of the way of the cable sockets on the side of the camera. This is an uncommon feature. However, when the S1H is installed on a rig and hooked up to external recorders, monitors, and microphones, this nifty function has the potential to become necessary.
You’ll find the air ducts that are part of the camera’s cooling system between the screen and the camera frame. You can forget these when recording and shooting because you don’t notice them. The only thing you need to watch out for is making sure they aren’t obscured.
Panasonic Lumix S1H Performance
Although heavier and bulkier than the standard Lumix S1, the Lumix S1H feels and performs very similarly to the standard Lumix S1 when still photographs. Panasonic has not deviated from its contrast-based DFD AF system; however, while this functions adequately in single-shot mode, it is significantly less compelling in continuous autofocus mode, particularly in lower light levels.
Panasonic has designed a camera for high-end video and cinematography with dual SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II card slots. However, we were informed that even for 6K capture, the newer and quicker CFexpress card support in the S1 and S1R wasn’t essential and that this was only required for these cameras’ high-speed RAW capture capabilities. (the S1R in particular, we presume).
According to Panasonic, UHS-II SD cards have sufficient transfer speeds, and photographers will want identical card slots because they frequently use matched memory cards when recording.
Panasonic Lumix S1H Video
Even though it is a high-end tool designed for video specialists, and there are a TON of frame rate and resolution choices that could get perplexing if you don’t keep your senses about you, the Lumix S1H produces video of excellent quality. This is something that you would anticipate.
Another feature we appreciate is the ability to customize the screen display to suit your cinematography style by cropping it to a full screen and giving it an opaque backdrop.
The in-body image stabilization is a beautiful feature, and a large, chunky battery is included in the package. However, the battery only has a limited life of 400 pictures (rear monitor) or 380 images (LVF), so its durability is not entirely on par with the most recent Sony Alpha versions.
The S1H body and the 24-105mm f/4 lens that we used for our experiments have a very substantial feel; however, when combined, these components make for a camera and lens combination that is extremely, highly weighty to handheld videography. Our DJI Ronin SC gimbal wouldn’t be able to support it, so you’d presumably need the Ronin S or a heavier-duty two-handled setup instead.
Panasonic Lumix S1H Specs
Sure! Here’s the information you provided in a table format:
|MSRP $3999 (body only)
|6000 x 4000
|Image ratio w:h
|1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
|Sensor photo detectors
|Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)
|sRGB, Adobe RGB
|Color filter array
|Primary color filter
|Auto, 100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)
|Boosted ISO (minimum)
|Boosted ISO (maximum)
|White balance presets
|Custom white balance
|Image stabilization notes
|5-axis; combines with in-lens stabilization for increased shake reduction
|CIPA image stabilization rating
|JPEG (Exif v2.31), Raw (Panasonic RW2), HLG photo (CTA-2072)
|Optics & Focus
|Contrast Detect (sensor), Multi-area, Center, Selective single-point, Tracking, Single, Continuous, Touch, Face Detection, Live View
|Autofocus assist lamp
|Number of focus points
|Focal length multiplier
|Screen / viewfinder
|Minimum shutter speed
|Maximum shutter speed
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)
|Program, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual
|Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
|Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
|Flash X sync speed
|Multi, Center-weighted, Highlight-weighted, Spot
|±5 (at 1/3
Panasonic has taken advantage of its extensive video experience to introduce many of the high-end features of its VariCam cameras to the Lumix S series, starting with the Lumix S1H. The fact that it is also a very serviceable 24MP stills camera is an added benefit because the controls, the interface, and the hardware have all been built for video and cinematography.
However, considering that the more affordable and more compact Fujifilm X-T3 is also capable of shooting 4K 60p 10-bit 4:2:0 (internal) and 4:2:2 (external) video and that Blackmagic has built raw video capture into its cameras, the S1H is only one of several options for higher-end video makers. Additionally, its size and weight do count against it when it comes to handheld video and vlogging.
Panasonic Lumix S1H FAQs
Is Panasonic S1H Netflix approved?
After receiving the company’s blessing, the Panasonic S1H can be used in Netflix originals.
What is the cost of the Panasonic Lumix S1H?
The chassis of the Panasonic Lumix S1H can only be purchased for approximately $3,999 in the market today.
Is the S1H a cinema camera?
The S1H is, in fact, a cinema camera that was developed specifically for use in professional video production.
Is Panasonic S1H a full frame?
The Panasonic S1H does come equipped with a full-frame camera.
Does Panasonic S1H shoot raw?
Yes, the S1H can shoot in raw format, which allows for the most significant versatility during post-production.
Is Lumix S1H suitable for photography?
Although the S1H was initially developed for video capture, it can also record still photographs of very high quality.
What is the highest frame rate for S1H?
When shooting in 1080p mode, the S1H can up to 180 frames per second.
When was Lumix S1H released?
The Panasonic Lumix S1H was made available to consumers in September 2019.
Does the Panasonic S1H overheat?
It is unknown if the S1H has substantial overheating problems because it is constructed with a very efficient cooling system.
What is the dynamic range of the S1H?
The S1H has an impressive dynamic range reaching up to 14 stops.
Is LUMIX S1H good low light?
Because of its sizeable full-frame camera and sophisticated picture processing, the S1H has earned a strong reputation for the exceptional low-light performance it delivers.
What pixel size is S1H?
The Panasonic Lumix S1H incorporates a full-frame camera with a resolution of 24.2-megapixels and a pixel measurement of 5.9 microns.