As part of Panasonic’s entry into full-frame mirrorless, the Lumix DC-S1 is a well-rounded camera offering advanced feature-sets for both stills and video, along with a robust physical construction. Characterized by its full-frame 24.2MP MOS sensor, which is supported by an updated Venus Engine, the S1 offers impressive image quality along with a quick 9 fps shooting rate and expanded sensitivity range up to ISO 204800. In regard to video, the S1 can record UHD 4K30p with full-pixel readout, 4:2:0 10-bit color, and unlimited shooting times, as well as 4K60p for up to 29:59. HDR video recording is possible using the dedicated Hybrid Log Gamma mode, and a firmware update will be available to add 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording along with V-Log. Complementing both stills and video capabilities, the image sensor also utilizes an advanced DFD contrast-detection autofocus system for quick and precise focusing and subject tracking. Additionally, sensor-shift image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake by 5.5 stops for sharper handheld shooting.
Beyond the imaging attributes, the S1 is also distinguished by its body design, which incorporates an impressively high resolution 5.76m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder along with a 3.2″ 2.1m-dot triaxial tilt touchscreen LCD. The magnesium-alloy body is weather-sealed to permit working in harsh conditions and has a top status LCD for reviewing shooting settings on the fly. CFexpress Type B/XQD and SD card slots offer flexible storage capabilities and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity afford remote camera control along with wireless image transferring to tablets and smartphones.
24.2MP Full-Frame MOS Sensor and Venus Engine
UHD 4K HDR Video Recording
Beyond stills shooting, the S1 is a highly capable video camera featuring UHD 4K30p recording with full-pixel readout, 4:2:0 10-bit color, and unlimited recording time along with UHD 4K60p recording for up to 29 minutes 59 seconds. Full HD recording is also supported, up to 60p with unlimited recording times. Also, high-speed recording modes for UHD 4K60, with 30 fps playback, and Full HD 180 fps, with 30 fps playback, offer 2x and 6x slower motion, respectively.
Complementing the video quality, a High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode, along with a dedicated Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) Photo Style mode, can be used to expand highlight and shadow details and offer greater flexibility when color grading. An optional paid firmware update will be available to further heighten recording capabilities with support for 4:2:2 sampling, 10-bit color depth internal recording along with V-Log. Additionally, recording to an optional external recorder is possible, via the HDMI Type A port, and support for an external microphone and headphones are also available via dedicated 3.5mm jacks.
- Used in conjunction with other members of the L-Mount Alliance, the L lens mount is a versatile interface with a mount diameter of 51.6mm and a flange distance of 20mm for working with a broad range of optics.
- An impressive Real View Finder is a high-resolution 5.76m-dot OLED EVF offering a clear 0.78x configurable viewing magnification along with a smooth 60 fps or 120 fps changeable refresh rate, 0.005 sec lag, and 10,000:1 contrast ratio.
- Large 3.2″ 2.1m-dot LCD is a bright, clear means for live view shooting as well as playback and menu navigation. The screen features a triaxial tilting design to suit working from high and low angles, even in the vertical shooting orientation, and its touchscreen design affords intuitive settings control. Live View Boost is a dedicated viewing mode for working in low-light conditions, where the viewing sensitivity can be increased to aid in composing your image, and a Night mode also benefits working in dark conditions by lowering the screen’s backlight intensity.
- In addition to the rear LCD, a top status LCD can also be used for quickly reviewing shooting settings, even when the camera is powered off.
- Durable, weather-sealed magnesium-alloy construction is splash, dust, and freezeproof to accommodate working in harsh weather conditions and trying environments.
- Ergonomic design provides a large, comfortable right-hand grip along with easily accessible physical controls, an eight-way joystick, and a refined overall UI design for intuitive use. Additionally, illuminated buttons aid settings adjustment in low-light conditions and a lock lever prevents unwanted settings changes.
- Dual memory card slots—one CFexpress Type B/XQD slot and one SD UHS-II compatible slot—offer improved flexibility for image storage, allowing you to segregate raw and JPEG files to different cards, save duplicate files to both cards, or simply double your storage space with overflow recording.
- A USB Type-C port allows for fast file transferring as well as high-speed in-camera battery charging. Additionally, an HDMI Type A port benefits video applications, a 2.5mm port can be used with the optional DMW-RS2 Remote Shutter, 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks suit advanced audio recording needs, and a PC sync port can be used for wired flash synchronization.
- DMW-BLJ31 rechargeable lithium-ion battery is rated for approximately 380-400 shots per charge when working with the rear monitor, 360-380 shots per charge with the EVF, and 1100-1150 shots per charge when Power Save LVF mode is on.
- High precision shutter mechanism offers a top mechanical speed of 1/8000 sec, a flash sync speed of 1/320 sec, and has been tested for approximately 400,000 actuations.
Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
DFD Autofocus System
For accelerated autofocus performance, the DFD (Depth-From-Defocus) technology quickly calculates the distance to subjects and adjusts the focusing position in as little as 0.08 seconds, with sensor and lens communication occurring at rates up to 480 fps. This contrast-detection type focus method benefits both still and video recording modes, as well as subject tracking applications, using Advanced AI Technology, where subject type, color, size, and motion vectors are used to intelligently lock-onto the moving subjects and ensure precise focus. When working with portrait subjects, face/eye detection capabilities make it easier to photograph people and prioritize focusing as specifically as on a subject’s pupil. The focusing sensitivity and speed can be adjusted to further improve performance with certain subjects. It also features 225 AF areas, which provide excellent control over where the camera will focus. Additionally, supporting working in low-light conditions, a Low Light AF feature enables accurate AF performance down to -6 EV.
Benefitting manual focus operation, focus peaking is available that highlights bright edges of contrast with a colored outline for quickly recognizing your focus point, as well as Touch MF Assist for touch-to-focus operation. Other AF features include an AF Point Scope setting that temporarily magnifies the subject by 3x to 10x for confirmation of the focus position and a custom selectable AF zone for Multi AF / Custom Multi AF.
6K and 4K PHOTO
Utilizing the S1’s video recording capabilities, a trio of still shooting modes are available for recording continuous 3:2 or 4:3 8MP stills at a 60 or 30 fps shooting rate or 18MP stills at a 30 fps shooting rate:
- Burst: This mode will allow you to continuously record, making it ideal for instances where you need a fast frame rate in order to capture the best moment.
- Pre-Burst: This mode is ideal for times when you’re unsure of the critical moment to press the shutter button and will record images one second prior to and one second after pressing the shutter button in order to give you 60 frames to choose from.
- Burst (S/S): This mode most closely follows the video recording process, and allows you to playback your video, pause at the chosen moment, and use the shutter button to mark a chosen frame from the video and save it as a single 8 or 18MP frame.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Bluetooth Low Energy (4.2) provides constant connection between your smartphone or table and the camera with minimal power consumption. For more robust wireless activities, IEEE 802.11ac and b/g/n support is also available for faster transmission and more fluid remote control and monitoring.
Complementing the camera’s wireless connectivity, Lumix Sync is an iOS and Android app designed to pair with the camera for smartphone or tablet-based remote shooting control and wireless image transferring.
Other Camera Features
- By using sensor-shift stabilization technology, the S1 features a High Resolution mode to capture and compile eight separate exposure to create a single 96MP raw or JPEG file. Suitable for static subjects and when working on a tripod, this mode creates a more highly detailed and color accurate image than a single shot alone can produce and produces an image with a 12000 x 8000-pixel resolution.
- HLG Photo mode offers increased dynamic range for improved detail in shadow and highlight regions of the image. When working in HLG Photo mode, images can be saved as an HSP file in either 4K or full resolution, in addition to JPEG and raw formats, for vivid playback on 4K televisions.
- In addition to conventional 3:2, 4:3, 1:1, and 16:9 ratios, photos can also be recorded in 65:24 and 2:1 panoramic formats.
- I.S. Status Scope helps to recognize the type of camera shake being caused by displaying an arrow in the viewfinder or on the rear LCD.
- Flicker Decrease automatically detects the frequency/flicker of artificial lighting and activates the shutter at peak brightness moments to render exposures with consistent exposure and color.
- Helping to contain bright highlights, Highlight Weighted Metering mode prioritizes highlight values when making an exposure metering in order to prevent scenes from blowing out.
- Offering more versatility than standard Auto White Balance (AWB), an AWBw setting will retain a reddish warm tint while AWBc offers a cooler, bluish tint.
- Lumix Tether enables wired, tethered shooting capabilities via USB connection between the camera and a computer. Aside from offering a larger live view preview, this application also permits remotely triggering the shutter, use of 6K and 4K Photo modes, and video recording start/stop.
- Photo Style modes: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Flat, Landscape, Portrait, Monochrome, L. Monochrome, L. Monochrome D, Cinelike D, Cinelike V, Like709, Standard (HLG), Monochrome (HLG), Like2100, and My Photo Style.