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Panasonic Lumix S1H Review

What We Think of the S1H

After Panasonic teased the announcement of their new full-frame, mirrorless camera at CineGear 2019 there was much speculation on what this camera would actually have to offer upon its release. The wait is finally over, as they recently released their latest camera to their Lumix series line, the S1H. This camera is tailor-made for the cinematographer who is trying to take their video projects to the next level, as this camera has incredible resolution capabilities as one of its main selling points. With all the rumored hype of new cameras from Sony, Canon, and Nikon; Panasonic really put those expectations on the back burner by rising to the top of conversation with their new S1H model. 

Panasonic Lumix S1H
                                 
S1H
                                
Lumix S1H
                               

Specs

Panasonic’s Lumix S1H is recognized for its features that are not found in most full frame mirrorless cameras, such as 6K video recording capabilities. In addition to this, listed below are the key specifications of the S1H that prove why this might be the best camera option for your next cinematic film project.

24.2 megapixels

- 6K 3:2

- 5.9K

- 5.4K 3:2

- 4K DCI and UHD up to 60p

- Native ISO range of 100 - 51,200/ Extended ISO range of 50 - 204,800

- Full HD up to 180 fps

- Tilt and rotatable LCD flip screen 

- Unlimited recording times in all modes

- L mount technology

- 5-axis in-body image stabilization

- Dual SD card slots 


S1H's Video Capabilities

With the S1H being the newest release of Panasonic’s Lumix line, it has made a name for itself amongst the some of the top cameras on the market due to its tremendous video capabilities. The Lumix S1H is the world’s first full-frame ILC camera to shoot in a 6K/ 24p at an aspect ratio of 3:2 for anamorphic shooting. In addition, the S1H can also record 5.9K/ 30p in a 16:9 aspect ratio, as well as 10-bit 4K/ Cinema 4K 60p from a Super 35mm crop. With this being said, the Lumix S1H has caused some waves in the cinema camera market. For instance, most cameras with these video capabilities which are used to cinematic films usually cost upwards of $7,000. Where Panasonic decided to cause a riff in the system however, is by packing these amazing recording features into a mirrorless body that costs just under 4 grand. 

S1H and PolarPro

Since the S1H is set to be a leader in the cinematography industry, it is only right that you have the proper tools with you on location to best execute your workflow. When filming on your S1H, it is practically guaranteed that outdoor conditions will vary depending on when and where you are shooting. In order to mend the exposure frustrations that may occur, a variable ND filter can be used to give your footage not only the proper flushed out lighting, but also a high-quality and professional look to it. Here at PolarPro, we teamed up with one of the biggest creators in the industry, Peter McKinnon, to engineer the highest quality VND filter on the market. The Peter McKinnon VND is made of two handcrafted fused glass elements, which work in unison to allow the proper amount of light exposure into your lens. Featured in our QuartzLine filters as well, our quartz glass technology allows the VND to have increased durability and withstand extreme conditions. The Peter McKinnon Variable ND filter is also paired with a Quartztech coating which helps prevent wear and tear, and for extra protection features a custom engineered lens defender to reduce the likelihood of scratches to your filter. Finally, the VND is set in an aluminum frame making it an extremely lightweight addition to your camera bag. Our Peter McKinnon Variable ND filter is available in both 2-5 and 6-9 stop options, making it easy for you to adapt to any outdoor environment.

Our Favorite S1H Features

After getting our hands on the new Lumix S1H, we have determined our favorite features of this exceptional video-centric camera:

Resolution - Without question, this camera has established itself as a huge competitor in the cinematography market. Despite the fact that this is the world’s first full-frame ILC camera to shoot in 6K, what we find to be an even more useful setting within our workflow is the 5.9K full frame shooting in 16:9 aspect ratio. We prefer this rather than the 6K resolution setting, to avoid the crop in aspect ratio. As a result, our content still fits the normal widescreen layout without losing much quality in the minor step down in resolution.

Autofocus - Another area where the S1H sets itself apart is through its autofocus settings, as it uses a Contrast AF system which allows you to choose between AFS (Single), AFC (Continuous), or MF (Manual Focus). When it is under the Continuous AF setting, the S1H has full autofocus and audio capabilities at extremely high frame rates. Why this feature is something that should be noted is because most cameras do not have the ability to maintain proper AF and audio at these faster rates, like the S1H can. 

Dynamic Range - In addition to this, the 10-bit internal factor of this camera’s capability is quite remarkable. Most cameras can only record 8-bit video internally which causes it only to be able to display 16.7 million colors; yet, the S1H can display up to 1.07 billion colors due to the fact that it is 10-bit. Additionally, if you usually shoot in V-Log/ V-Gamut format, one of the unique settings Panasonic has put into this camera will be appealing to you. With the S1H you will gain access to the “VariCam Look” which is a software that when applied to your videos, will make them look and feel as if your work was filmed on a motion picture camera. In addition to this, the S1H also features 14+ stops of dynamic range which also displays in 10-bit format as well. These features are extremely valuable for a cinematographer, as it can allow you to have more creative freedom in post production to edit the colors of your video with ease. 

Lumix S1H
                                 
Panasonic Lumix S1H
                                 
Lumix S1H
                                

I-BIS Stabilization - The Panasonic incorporates a 5-axis in-body image stabilization into their S1H model, which helps prevent any jarring movements from throwing off the continuity of your footage. Furthermore, if you combine the image stabilization of the camera itself with one of the S1H’s supported O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) lenses then you will gain access to the Dual I.S. 2 technology. This technology is the same that Panasonic used in their GH5 model, and is great for handheld shooting or vlogging, as it will smooth out the bumpiness of your movements as you walk, run, or jog as you are shooting.

Flip Screen - One of the most unique features of the Lumix S1H is its fully articulating touch screen. What sets this touch screen apart from others, is the mechanism it is built on differs from its competitors. For example, the base of the tilt/ swivel mechanism is not attached to the camera itself, but rather a secondary articulation mechanism which itself swings out from a top mounted hinge, which allows the LCD to be moved further from the rear of the camera. Why do we love this feature? The answer is easy-- as a result of this construction, you can swivel the screen to its full extent without the worry or getting blocked or getting caught on any of the cable connections.


Carly San Filippo
Copywriter at PolarPro. 

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