The Lumix S1H drew attention to being the first without a mirror approved by Netflix as a valid camera to create original content for its platform. This, knowing that the requirements are not few, was already an indicator of what one would expect from it. But after trying it it becomes even clearer: this is a movie camera.
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Lumix S1H, a camera for Netflix and much more
There are cameras and cameras. All serve the same, but not all offer the same performance . The Lumix S1H is one of those cameras that surprises from the first moment that you hold it in your hand. A large and heavy camera, but still comfortable in the hand thanks to a good grip.
Of course, what really arouses interest in it is that Netflix has validated it as a camera that meets all its requirements when it comes to recording content to be published on its platform. And of course, this is no small thing. Netflix has long been betting on 4K and HDR to offer the best possible quality, so this camera should be able to offer a movie image, similar to that seen in productions such as The Irish, The Witcher or Stranger Things among many others.
With that cover letter and looking at its technical sheet, my big question is, to what extent is it profitable as an investment? Only the body costs 4,000 euros. So, thanks to Camaralia for the assignment, let’s put it to the test and see what it offers. It is not an analysis to use, but I hope it helps you to assess whether or not it is your next camera.
The strengths of the Lumix S1H
The Lumix S1H is the third member of the new Panasonic Full Frame range , the Lumix S Series. Of the three current models, the S1 and S1R are more focused on photography and this S1H is more video oriented. Basically one could say that it is the cluster of the best of the Lumix GH series with the novelties and improvements that the Full Frame sensor and other technological advantages bring.
On a technical level it offers a lot, but since on the web you have all the list of complete features , here I only highlight the most important and striking:
- Video recording at maximum resolution 6K at 30p , C4K at 60p and slow motion up to 180 fps at 1080p
- Multitude of recording formats, including anamorphic video thanks to the optimization of the 3: 2 sensor
- 24.2 MP Full Frame sensor resolution
- V-Log and V-Gamut video, support HDR content (HLG)
- Color profile 4.2.2 10 Bits with recording on SD card or external recorder
- Video recording without time limit
- Native Dual ISO System
- 3.5mm mic input and headphone output
- WiFi and Bluetooth
These are the great strengths of the Lumix S1H on paper, features to offer a great theoretical image quality in video themes especially. And that, in addition, if you come from Panasonic cameras it will be very easy to adapt to it. If not, I don’t think it costs you much either.
This is how the Lumix S1H behaves
Fortunately it does not happen, it does not suffer for long periods of use. Its dimensions help with the passive cooling system and also facilitate the use of a fan placed inside that helps improve the cooling of the sensor itself. So you don’t have to worry and you can take away the fear that at mid-recording it will stop due to excessive temperature.
Then there is the flip screen, this is very comfortable and the new option to fold without having to deploy aside helps a lot in certain situations. Therefore, day-to-day usability is also very good. Although the really important thing is the image quality .
With the ability to record video in logarithmic format, with native dual ISO system for low light recording, 6K resolution video, anamorphic video thanks to its optimized 3: 2 sensor, an excellent 5-axis stabilizer and a number of additional options. camera offers very high performance. As we said at the beginning: film performance.
The image offers a dynamic range that, together with Panasonic’s color science, allows for wide grading options. Even more if we use its settings to generate high dynamic range HLG content. In my tests I admit that I am pleasantly satisfied with different types of scenes. Although I am aware of not having pushed its technical possibilities to the limit.
Therefore, together with that stabilization system that allows you to record many shots with camera in hand, the Lumix S1H is a great video camera. I find it ideal for documentaries or travel videos if you are looking for a light option compared to other heavier and more bulky cameras. Also for higher level productions where for other size issues it is difficult to use other cameras. In general, a camera that is very complete for video.
Another thing is photographic performance . It is true that it performs at a very good level, but if you are looking for a camera mainly, the other options of the Lumix S Series or those of other manufacturers may be the same or more attractive for price and performance. Anyway, judge yourself with these examples.
Lumix S1H and its aspects to improve
With all this the Lumix S1H may seem like a perfect camera, but it would lie if I said so . There really is no perfect camera and there is one that best suits the video or photo needs of each project. That is why it is important to know well where this Lumix performs less.
The most important weak point of the Lumix S1H is with almost total security its autofocus system . If you compare it with what the AF of Sony cameras achieves, there is no color. Panasonic is still betting on a contrast system that will have its good things, but it is neither as fast nor as effective as the phase detection options.
Therefore, if you want to delegate the autofocus task to the camera you cannot trust 100%. Because with hardly any changes in the scene there are times when the focus is lost and you find yourself with a few seconds where the camera tries to recover the point where it initially focused.
The other “weak” point, compared to other proposals, is its weight and dimensions. It is a great camera, but to go light it is not 100% recommended. Even less if you add target weight, both natives and those you can use using adapters for EF or PL frames.
Is the Lumix S1H worth it?
The Panasonic Lumix S1H is a professional camera that is worth it. There is no doubt about that, although it is not for everyone. If you value it as a camera, the 4,000 euros of the body are too much. Because there are proposals with similar photo quality that cost less and even some more capable with similar price. However, as a film camera it is a winning and very attractive option .
Professional film cameras, used in the recording of commercials, short films and even movies and series of all kinds can easily cost double, triple and much more. Therefore, for this price and for what it offers, it is positioned as an option capable of blurring that line that separates independent productions from large premieres.