Panasonic Lumix S1R Review

The Lumix S1R is Panasonic’s first high-resolution full-frame mirrorless camera. When compared to the company’s long custom of Micro Four Thirds digital cameras, the new full-frame Lumix S system is a big leap up in terms of sensor size.

A large aspect of any camera program is its lens selection, which is especially difficult when launching a brand-new camera system, especially one which must make use of a different zoom lens mount. Fortunately, Panasonic has long had a productive romantic relationship with Leica, who has their own full-frame lens mount, the L mount. While Panasonic is making their own lenses (the S1R and S1 released alongside three Panasonic S lenses), users may also connect existing L mount lenses from Leica. Further, Sigma has joined the newly-produced L Mount Alliance, promising to release native variations of their Sigma Artwork lenses furthermore providing mount and conversion options to existing Sigma owners.

Check Out: Best Lenses for Panasonic Lumix S1R

Panasonic Lumix S1R: Price

When contemplating the intelligent design of the S1R, Panasonic’s imaging expertise, and the brand new L-Mount Alliance, Panasonic did a really good job of positioning themselves through the critical launch amount of their new full-framework mirrorless cameras. They’ve jumped in with both feet and it shows with all the Panasonic S1R. Let’s have a close look at how the camera works in the field, which includes a glance at image quality, autofocus functionality, video features and even more.

Camera Body & Handling: A big, but very well-designed camera

If you agree with the typical wisdom that mirrorless digital cameras are always little and lightweight, the S1R will begin to make you recognize that isn’t the case. The camera weighs 2.26 pounds (1,021 grams), which is fairly a bit more than the Nikon Z7, Canon EOS R, and Sony A7R Mark IV full-frame mirrorless digital cameras, for instance. Further, S1R is large. It really is 5.9 inches (148.9 millimeters) wide, 4.3 in. (110mm) high, and 3.8 in. (96.7mm) deep, which is usually between half an inch and an inch bigger than the Sony A7R IV in each dimension.

However, this bulk includes excellent construction and smart control design. The S1R feels very great in the hands. Its control keys and dials are plentiful and easy to use, and the front grip is deep and comfy to hold. When you have gone hands-on with different mirrorless cameras and found some of them a little too cramped, the S1R is going to be a breath of oxygen.

Another excellent facet of the camera is definitely its digital viewfinder. The OLED EVF offers 5.76 million dots and a 0.78x magnification. The display is sharp and works great. It isn’t just high res, but it is also smooth because of its 120Hz refresh price. Further, the circular eyecup around the EVF can be comfortable, which might not sound like a significant consideration, nonetheless, it is if you are shooting for a protracted period of time. The trunk touchscreen is nice as well, although it isn’t a tilt/swivel display but instead a triaxial display. Which means that it tilts along and about 45 degrees aside. The 3.2-inch screen looks good, but I really do skip the fully articulating display style of Panasonic’s higher-end Micro Four Thirds cameras.

Image Quality: The 47.3MP full-body sensor provides great images

The Panasonic S1R includes a 47.3-megapixel full-frame image sensor. During its first announcement and release, it had been the highest-megapixel full-frame mirrorless camera. Since that time, Sony provides announced the 61-megapixel A7R IV, but that nevertheless leaves the S1R as still an extremely high-resolution option in the ever-more-crowded full-frame mirrorless market.

High ISO

The S1R includes a native ISO selection of 100-25,600 and can be extended right down to ISO 50 or more to ISO 51,200. Of course, a full-framework 47-megapixel image sensor has been pushed pretty hard at ISO 25,600. With the picture below, that was shot at ISO 6400, I am quite impressed by the way the camera performed. Taking into consideration first the JPEG image, the camera will a good job of retaining a substantial amount of details while also suppressing noise. There is still a little bit of detail in the fur, although certainly some very fine information gets blurred. Look specifically at the whiskers, which get blurred quite intensely. In the repeating patterns of the fur, the detail is preserved pretty much. Looking at the 100-percent crop from underneath the left part of the picture, the camera does a fairly nice work of handling sound in smoother regions of the image.

Ease of Use

The Panasonic S1R is certainly a complicated camera, with a whole lot of customization choices and semi-hidden configurations. That’s good if you’re a tinkerer like me, but it additionally implies that this camera is definitely not easy to use.

To name just one single example, unless you come across it unintentionally or browse the manual very closely, you might not recognize that there’s a long-press choice on most of the S1R’s buttons. By pressing and keeping for a few seconds, you pop-up a menu that enables you to personalize that button’s function. It’s an incredible touch, though I question how long it will require the majority of the S1R’s buyers to learn it’s even there.

Panasonic Lumix S1R: Electronic Viewfinder

The Panasonic S1R runs on the high-quality, 5.76-million dot electronic viewfinder with 0.78x magnification. It’s among the highest-specced EVFs today, and that presents in practice.

In daylight and high-contrast circumstances, the S1R’s EVF has great fine detail and near-instant response period. Even for somebody like me who’s EVF-averse, it felt extremely natural to use. Hand and hand against the Nikon Z7 in great light, I preferred the appearance and crispness of the Panasonic – and that’s high praise, as the Nikon Z7’s EVF is already very good compared to most on the market.

Panasonic Lumix S1R: Image Stabilization

One useful feature of all high-end mirrorless digital cameras today is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). Instead of counting on lens-based optical picture stabilization, IBIS actually moves the camera’s image sensor to pay for vibration and outdoor motion. The Panasonic S1R offers IBIS rated to an impressive 6 stops of stabilization (according to CIPA criteria). That means it is the best in the marketplace.

In addition, the kit zoom lens – the Panasonic 24-105mm f/4 – provides optical picture stabilization of its. This OIS system functions in tandem with the S1R’s IBIS, producing for a complete 6.5 stops of vibration reduction. That’s merely insane! The next-best on the market can be Sony’s IBIS, which maxes out at 5.5 stops.

Panasonic Lumix S1R: Battery Life

By virtue of its huge size, the Panasonic S1R has a bigger battery than many mirrorless cameras out there – 3050 mAh. In comparison, the Nikon EN-EL15b is merely 1900 mAh. That’s a dramatic difference in Panasonic’s favor.

Yet, in CIPA-measured battery life, the S1R fares simply no much better than the Nikon Z7. Through the viewfinder, you’ll get 340 shots per charge on the S1R, when compared to Z7’s 330. And if you shoot via the rear LCD, things are in fact and only the Nikon – 400 photos for the Z7, in comparison to 360 for the Panasonic S1R.

I’ll point out that actually isn’t as poor battery life as it might seem. I regularly got more than the stated battery existence on the Panasonic S1R. Average performance was in the number of 400-500 shots during the period of a couple of days, without taking much treatment to prolong battery lifestyle, before the S1R passed away. I suspect you can get well over 1000 in the event that you shoot a lot of constant bursts, or are diligent about turning off the camera when you’re not really actively taking pictures.

Note that Panasonic includes a “Power Save LVF” mode that turns off the trunk LCD when not used, and Panasonic promises up to 1100 pictures per charge when it’s enabled. I did so find it to increase my battery life relatively, though I didn’t obtain the level of advantage Panasonic claimed. That’s just because a large amount of your power cost savings with this environment depend on what fast you set the “Time to Sleep” timeframe. If you arranged something fast like one or two 2 seconds, you’ll save much more power, however, your LCD will fall asleep constantly. At more sensible durations, the battery life savings are much less and less.

Panasonic Lumix S1R: Specifications

  • 47MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Depth from Defocus contrast-detect AF system
  • 5-axis in-body ‘Dual IS’ system
  • Fully weather-sealed
  • 187MP ‘High Res’ mode
  • 6 fps bursts with continuous AF
  • 5.76M-dot EVF
  • Dual-hinged 2.1M-dot touchscreen LCD
  • UHD 4K/60p video capture with 1.09x crop and pixel-binning
  • One XQD and one SD card slot
  • 360 shots/charge using LCD
  • USB charging, including from laptop/tablet chargers and portable power banks

Panasonic Lumix S1R: Conclusion

In lots of ways, the Panasonic S1R may be the best mirrorless camera available at this time (at least of the full-frame variety). It gets the innovative features you’ll discover today – from sensor-shift setting to illuminated rear control keys – and a fantastic 47 megapixel sensor. Therefore, why don’t I recommend it?

Two significant reasons: price and weight. Add a third – lenses – if the existing crop of L-mount suitable Sigma glass doesn’t work to your requirements, because pretty much every other compatible lens for the L mount is incredibly expensive.

At $3700 body just, the S1R isn’t a cheap camera at all. It costs a lot more compared to the Nikon Z7 ($2700 with current discounts), and it even costs a lot more than the recently-released Sony A7R IV ($3500). However, that’s not likely to win Panasonic a whole lot of converts.

Even if you look for a great deal and price isn’t a concern, weight may be. The S1R is normally 1016 grams (2.24 pounds), rendering it heavier than all its mirrorless competitors by a good margin. The Nikon Z7 is 675 grams, the Canon EOS R is 660 grams, and the Sony A7R IV is usually 665 grams. Light-weight isn’t the only benefit of mirrorless, plus some photographers may even appreciate the Panasonic’s heft. But also for a lot of us, it’s definitely not a positive, specifically with such high-quality rivals that do have the ability to minimize weight.

For lenses, Sigma has already been filling in their lineup of lenses to utilize the L Mount. We’re already at the idea that many requirements are met, although light-weight lenses and inexpensive telephotos stay a pretty clear weak spot. Still, with time, the zoom lens lineup for the Panasonic S1R will develop and encompass almost every common need.

That leaves fat. The S1R is many cameras, and that won’t change. Even the lenses for the S1R (current and, seemingly, future) are heavy. Other than a small number of Sigma’s “Modern” lenses, the L-mount cup for at least another few years appear to be they’ll be weighty – though, also, nearly universally saturated in quality.


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