Panasonic has just introduced the Lumix S1H, which has the world's first 6K 24p recording capability in a full-frame mirrorless camera.
It is better to think of S1H as an S1 on steroids. However, make no mistake, unlike the S1 and the S1R, the LUMIX S1H was designed and developed especially for film production.
The S1H is far from being ready for consumers. Panasonic is a prototype of the camera here at Cinegear. As they did with the S1 and the S1R, this is more of a mockery than anything else. The camera is expected to be available until the fall of 2019.
We will provide more details as we get them, including an interview with Panasonic, but this is what we know so far:
- 6K / 24p (aspect ratio 3: 2)
- 5.9K / 30p video recording (16: 9 aspect ratio)
- 4K DCI and UHD 4: 2: 2 10 bits 60p
- Dynamic range claimed or more than 14 stops.
- V-Log / V Range
- Anamorphic mode 4: 3
- No recording time limits
- Release time fall 2019
On paper, the specifications are certainly impressive. The S1H is the world's first full-frame mirrorless camera capable of recording at 6K 24p (Aspect ratio 3: 2, 5.9K up to 30p (aspect ratio 16: 9) and UHD / 4K DCI in 4: 2: 2 10 bits up to 60p internally.
As a comparison, his younger brother, the S1, requires an optional upgrade paid to get 4K 30p 10 bits 4: 2: 2 internal recording, and 4K 60p external recording with V-Log. In S1H all this can be done internally and without the need for a license.
The 6K (6000 x 4000) 24p 3: 2 mode is interesting, but most people who record videos will probably record at 5.9K up to 30p in a 16: 9 aspect ratio mode.
We currently have no idea what the 6K 24p (3: 2) and 5.9K 30p (16: 9 aspect ratio) modes are recording. I doubt very much that it is 4: 2: 2 of 10 bits. It seems that the camera has an APS-C size cutout when recording 4K 60p.
The S1H is definitely, at least in my opinion, the first full-frame mirror that does not require an external recorder to obtain the best image quality. Yes, you can externally record that recording in ProRes 422HQ, but I think you have the beauty of S1H that you do not need.
Panasonic does not indicate if the S1H is capable of recording Full HD 180 fps, but since it is possible in the S1, there is no reason to believe that it is included in the S1H.
With the S1, there are shooting modes that are available to record 4K (3504 x 2336) 4: 3 8 MP at 60 fps, or 6K (5184 x 3456) 3: 2 at 30 fps. With the S1H it seems that Panasonic has to be able to remove the sensor information to allow the camera to continuously record a 6K 24p video file in 3: 2 instead of a series of still images. This mode could be very useful for photographers who want to be able to capture 6K still images from continuous recording video.
Anamorphic shot 4: 3.
Unlike the GH5 and GH5 models, the S1H has a 3: 2 sensor, not a 4: 3 sensor. The GH5 has a 4K anamorphic 6K mode (4992 x 3744). We do not know with certainty what are the anamorphic modes 4: 3 in the S1H.
At the launch of S1H, Panasonic showed a real opportunity at DP Alicia Robbins, based in Los Angeles.
The film was filmed in the 4: 3 anamorphic mode of cameras in 4: 2: 2 10-bit and 24p. Using Atlas anamorphic lenses.
History of innovation
Some of these features of the world are a real surprise if you look back at the history of Panasonic:
- 2009: the LUMIX GH1 was the world's first single lensless digital camera capable of recording videos in AVCHD in high definition.
- 2014: the LUMIX GH4 was the world's first single lensless digital camera capable of recording 4K videos.
- 2017 – The LUMIX GH5 was the first mirrorless camera in the world with capacity for 4K / 60p, 4: 2: 2 recording of 4 bits / 30p of 10 bits.
V-Log / V Range
Unlike the S1 and S1R, the S1H has V-Log / V-Gamut included as standard. With the S1 centered on the video, if you want to record 60p 4: 2: 2 internal 10-bit and V-V you need an update key similar to that of the GH5.
According to Panasonic, the recorded images of the S1H are compatible with V-Log images recorded with VariCam or V-Log L recorded by other LUMIX cameras, such as the GH5 / GH5S and S1.
It is good to see that Panasonic has included V-Log / V-Gamut in S1H and has not converted it into a payment option. This is Panasonic's first mirrorless camera (if you do not have the newly announced S1 offer), you must pay a license to use V-Log.
We have no idea what the sensor is using in the S1H. Maybe it's the same full-frame 24.2MP MOS sensor and the Venus engine as the S1, but we have not officially been customs. If it is not the same sensor, it is likely to have a similar size.
For reference, the S1 sensor is 35.6 x 23.8 mm and has a sensor resolution of 6026 x 4017. The maximum resolution of the recordable image is 6000 x 4000. That would mean that 6K 3: 2 would be possible from this sensor.
To record in 5.9K 16: 9, the number of effective pixels required is approx. 18.69 megapixels (5952 x 3140).
Factor similar to S1 and S1R.
The S1H is a camera S1 and S1R. Share a similar shape and aspect factor. However, it is a little higher and wider.
Notice the big red button. We badume that this is a recording button.
You can see that the red button on the S1H is located where the Dial Mode button is on S1.
Like the S1 and the S1R, the S1H is quite large for cameras without a mirror. The camera is much larger than the Sony Alpha and larger than the Nikon Z and the Canon R. It is also much heavier.
However, this provides some advantages. Panasonic can tighten in two card slots (XQD + SD card), larger batteries, much cooling and ergonomically, like the S1 and the S1R, it should be quite nice to hold.
The camera has a rear monitor with a triaxial pitch of 3.2 instead of the reversible screens of the GH5, as well as a viewing screen on top of the camera that will please photographers. The camera has the same OLED EVF with a resolution of 5.760k points that is found in S1 and S1R. The OLED EVF also has an impressive 120Hz refresh rate.
The S1H uses the same AF DFD system for contrast detection area and image stabilization with sensor change as the S1.
Power and other accessories
The S1H uses the same batteries as the S1 and the S1R, the DMW-BLJ31. It has a capacity of 3100mah. To take long shots, you must be able to add the handle of the DMW-BGS1 battery that may contain another battery and connect via electronic contacts instead of a dummy battery like other handles. The grip sells for $ 349.99 USD.
The camera has a USB type C port that allows fast file transfer, as well as charging the battery in the camera at high speed. In addition, there is an HDMI type A port, which can be used with the optional DMW-RS2 remote shutter, and 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks.
What about the heat?
The full-frame mirrorless camera that records 4K videos generates a lot of heat. Unlike digital cameras that have large cooling and ventilation systems to dissipate heat, mirrorless cameras are sealed against the weather. This means that there is no place for heat to escape. Many cameras with no full-frame mirror suffer from overheating problems when recording video.
The reason why the body of S1H is larger than S1 and S1R is probably due directly to these heat problems. Having a larger body would definitely help with heat dissipation, especially if you were recording in 6K.
Although the S1H can record continuously without any time limit, it will still warm up. Panasonic says that when the camera temperature rises above the specified operating temperature, the camera can automatically stop video recording to protect it from heat damage.
Does the S1H release a key in the works for Panasonic?
With the S1H being marketed as a movie production tool, how does this affect other dedicated Panasonic Cinema cameras, especially the EVA1?
It is very rare to see conventional manufacturers place lower priced cameras that are as good as no more than their more expensive offers.
Even though the S1H offers 4K DCI and UHD 4: 2: 2 10 bits 60p, 6K and 5.9K, claimed 14 stops or dynamic range, and V-Log / V-Gamut, you still need a lot of features you get in EVA1.
The EVA1 has a correct integrated audio recording with XLR, built-in ND filters, external RAW recording, dual native ISO, 2K up to 240 fps and SDI output.
Despite all these extras, one could argue that the S1H really begins to blur the lines between a hybrid / mirrorless camera and a film camera like the EVA1.
Your move Sony
The LUMIX S1H arrives only 3 months after Panasonic officially announced the full specifications and details of its first full-frame mirrorless cameras, the S1 and the S1R. This announcement today tells me that Panasonic is aggressively pursuing Sony to provide the best full-frame mirrorless cameras (at least when it comes to specs) for video photographers.
Sony really seems to have dropped the ball. They had a golden opportunity to keep their crown as the king of the cameras without a mirror, but so far they have not managed to produce the long-awaited a7S III.
As everyone knows, Sony took a mbadive leap in competition when it comes to cameras with full-frame mirror and APS-C. In recent years, this jump became a small step, and now it could well have been overcome by the competition. Panasonic, Fujifilm, Nikon, and even Canon (well, something like that) have been updated.
We have seen again and again in our industry where someone who is in front of a lot of competition becomes complacent and can not innovate. Canon did it after the initial success of the 5D Mark II and the C300, and now it seems that Sony has done the same with its mirrorless range.
That does not mean that the a7s III is not a great camera, but Sony has left the door open, and now everyone else has crashed at the party. By saying all that, Sony is still firmly entrenched as the market leader in mirrorless cameras. So, it is difficult to know if they are genuine about all this new competition.
How does the S1H compare with the S1 for the video?
|LUMIX S1H||LUMIX S1|
|sensor: unknown||sensor: 24.2MP MOS sensor|
|Video recording: 6K 24p (aspect ratio 3: 2), |
5.9K 30p (aspect ratio 16: 9), 4K DCI and UHD 10 bits 60p
|Video recording: 4K 60p, 8 bits 4: 2: 0 internal with APS-C cutout, 4K 30p with full-frame image, |
Optional upgrade paid to 4K30P, 10 bits 4: 2: 2 internal and 4K60P, externally with V-Log.
|V-Log / VGamut: yes||V-Log / VGamut: Yes (with optional license key)|
|Record bit rates: unknown||Record bit rates: MP4 / H.265|
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p / 29.97p [72 Mb/s]
MP4 / H.264
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 59.94p [150 Mb/s]
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p / 29.97p [100 Mb/s]
|Recording limit: do not||Recording limit: Yes / No-UHD Recording 4K 60p is limited to 29 minutes 59 seconds|
|Headset and microphone ports: yes||Headset and microphone ports: yes|
|HDMI: yes||HDMI: yes|
The specifications do not make the camera.
Having large specifications on paper is one thing, but specifications do not take pictures and do not use the camera. There are many factors that influence what makes a camera good, and specifications are just one of them.
Regarding the competition
As far as the competition is concerned, you are looking for a full-frame mirrorless camera for use primarily for video, the best options available are the Panasonic S1, the Nikon Z6, the Sony A7s II, the Sony A7 III and the Canon EOS R.
At least on paper, these cameras are surpbaded by the S1H. The S1H is much cheaper than the S1H will cost.
The Panasonic S1 is $ 2,499 USD, the Sony a7s II ($ 1,998 USD), the Sony a7 III ($ 1,998 USD), the Nikon Z6 ($ 1,796.95 USD) and the Canon EOS R ($ 1,999.00 USD) have a close price
Whether you like Panasonic's strategy or not, that's the way they now seem to market their products. Advertise a camera and then try to create exaggerations by not delivering everything. They did the same with EVA1 and S1 and S1R. If you are going to try to increase people's expectations, you must live up to expectations.
The problem with an early version is that it leaves the door open for Sony to sweep the a7S III. There is a possibility that Sony will get the market on the market before the S1H is available.
While there is nothing wrong with the S1 and the S1R, they have been stolen from the other full-frame mirrorless cameras that are already available, but the S1H, this seems to be another story.
Just like when the S1 and the S1R were first launched, we will have to wait and see what the full specifications and capabilities of the S1H will be. He is not really a big fan of product teasing. It would be much more than a company to advertise a product in which they provide all the features and specifications and then make it available in a few weeks.
Panasonic told me that the approx. The price of S1H will be $ 4,000. This makes it more expensive than the S1 and all the other full-frame mirrorless cameras I would choose for the video.
The S1H is scheduled to be available in the fall of the northern hemisphere.
What do you think about this latest Panasonic ad? Would you buy the S1H or is it still waiting for the Sony a7SIII? Would you pay $ 4,000 for the S1H? Let us know in the comments section below.