Panasonic Lumix S1R mirrorless camera review: alien invasion

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⇡#Key features of the camera

For Panasonic, unlike Nikon, Canon and Sony, the new move turned out to be truly radical — S1 and S1R became the first full-frame cameras in the history of the company. Together with them, a new line of optics, a new mount, a new … everything is presented.

Panasonic kicked off in a new world with two similar but different cameras: the Lumix DC-S1, with a lower sensor resolution (24 megapixels) and advanced video capabilities, is a classic all-rounder for the company, while the S1R is focused primarily on for professional photographers, video shooting is secondary for this model. Let’s talk about the S1R.

So, meet the Panasonic Lumix S1R, a mirrorless camera with a full-size sensor and interchangeable lenses. The camera is equipped with a completely new Leica L mount, which is compatible not only with «native» lenses, but also with Leica SL lenses (Leica full-frame line). Panasonic currently has three own lenses for the new mount: Lumix S PRO 50 mm F1.4, LUMIX S 24-105 mm F4 and LUMIX S PRO 70-200 mm F4. All of them came to me for a test along with the camera. In addition to Leica SL and Panasonic (the line of lenses will expand quite rapidly), Sigma optics are also planned to be released — the famous Japanese company helped Panasonic in the development of the mount and will actively join the development of the new series.

The manufacturer positions its novelty as a tool for serious professional work. Indeed, here we see a number of impressive characteristics.

⇡#New sensor

At the moment, the resolution of the S1R sensor, which is 47.3 megapixels, is the highest in its class. According to this characteristic, the novelty surpasses the Nikon Z7 with a resolution of 45.7 megapixels and the Sony a7R III with a resolution of 42.4 megapixels, released last year. The CMOS sensor does not have a low-pass filter, so we can expect that with Panasonic’s new product we will get images of huge resolution with excellent detail, suitable for printing in very large formats, and also opening up a lot of space when cropping images. The downside of such a high resolution, of course, is the huge weight of the frames, which places special demands on the image storage and processing system. In addition, when developing the sensor, attention was paid to the maximum reduction of digital noise. The technology is based on the use of aspherical microlenses, a «waveguide» to direct light into the pixel, and deep photodiodes to capture light more efficiently. This technology differs from back-illumination (BSI) used in high-resolution Sony and Nikon cameras, which places the light-sensitive area closer to the surface of the chip. The ISO range of the Panasonic Lumix S1R is ISO 100-25,600, expandable to ISO 50-51,200.

⇡#New mount

The Panasonic Lumix S1R uses the Leica L mount, which features a large diameter (51.6 mm, Canon RF — 54 mm, Nikon Z — 55 mm, Sony E — 46.1 mm), a small working distance (20 mm) and a large number of contacts . This makes it possible to create high-quality high-aperture optics within the system with theoretical characteristics higher than for Sony E, although Leica L does not give a serious advantage over Nikon and Canon.

⇡#New processor

The camera is equipped with the Venus Engine Beauty processor. According to the manufacturer, this development allows for excellent quality of textures and color nuances in both highlights and shadows.

⇡#New viewfinder

The cameras (both S1R and S1) use a new 5.76MP OLED viewfinder. At the moment, none of the competing cameras have such a resolution — as a rule, they use viewfinders with a resolution of 3.69 megapixels (full-frame cameras from Sony, Nikon and Canon).

The viewfinder can be set to update at 120 or 60 frames per second. The manufacturer declares a delay of only 0.005 seconds, and this is also the best indicator in the class.

⇡#Image stabilizer Dual I.S.

The camera has a 5-axis stabilization system, just like in Nikon Z and Sony a of the latest generations — here there is an advantage over the Canon EOS R. Stabilization works both in photo mode and in video mode (including in 4K format) at all focal lengths. The manufacturer talks about the ability to shoot handheld at shutter speeds six times slower than the usual 1/focal length ratio for photographers.

⇡#Features of the focus system

Panasonic’s new camera uses Depth from Defocus AF, the same principle as Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds cameras, but with more processing power. At the same time, for the first time in S1R, we encounter a new function in the object recognition system: if earlier cameras were able to recognize only people in the frame, now representatives of the animal world have been added to them: cats, dogs, birds, which facilitates precise focusing and tracking them in the frame .

The advantage of the contrast system is a very high sensitivity, autofocus Lumix S1R is able to work in almost complete darkness, at -6EV. The declared real focusing speed under favorable lighting conditions is 0.08 seconds. In the dark, of course, it drops, but not to critical values, focusing still works briskly.

Key characteristics in addition to those highlighted above:

  • 2.1 megapixel LCD touchscreen;
  • shooting speed — 9 frames per second with focusing on the first frame, 6 frames per second with continuous autofocus;
  • high definition shooting mode (187 megapixels);
  • 4K/60p UHD video shooting with 1.09x crop and pixel bixing;
  • two slots for memory cards: one for XQD format cards, the second for SD cards;
  • autonomy — 360 shots per charge according to the CIPS standard when using the LCD display;
  • the ability to charge via USB cable, including chargers for laptops / tablets and portable batteries.
Panasonic S1R Panasonic S1 Nikon Z7 Sony a7R III Canon EOS R
Image sensor 36×24mm (full frame) 36×24mm (full frame) 36×24mm (full frame) 36×24mm (full frame) 36×24mm (full frame)
Effective sensor resolution 47.3 megapixels 24.2 megapixels 45.7 megapixels 42.4 megapixels 30.3 megapixels
Image stabilizer 5 axis 5 axis 5 axis 5 axis Not
Bayonet Leica L Leica L Z Nikon Sony E Canon RF
Photo Format JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW (ARW) JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW (ARW) JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW (NEF) JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW (ARW) JPEG (EXIF 2.3, DCF 2.0), RAW, Dual Pixel RAW, C-Raw
Frame size up to 8368 × 5584 pixels up to 6000 × 4000 pixels up to 8256 × 5504 pixels up to 7952 × 5304 pixels up to 6720 × 4480 pixels
Video resolution up to 3840×2160, 60p up to 3840×2160, 60p up to 3840×2160, 30p up to 3840×2160, 30p up to 3840×2160, 30p
Sensitivity ISO 100-25600 expandable to 50-51200 ISO 100-51200 expandable to 50-204800 ISO 64-25600 expandable to 32-102400 ISO 100-32000 expandable to 50, 51200 and 102400 ISO 100-40000, expandable to ISO 50, 51200 and 102400
Gate Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 — 30 s; electronic — up to 1/16000
long exposure (Bulb)
Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 — 30 s; electronic — up to 1/16000
long exposure (Bulb)
Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 — 30 s;
long exposure (Bulb)
Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 — 30 s;
long exposure (Bulb)
Mechanical shutter: 1/8000 — 30 s;
long exposure (Bulb)
Burst speed Up to 9 fps Up to 9 fps Up to 9 fps Up to 10 fps with electronic shutter Up to 8 fps normal, up to 5 fps with focus tracking
autofocus Contrast, 225 dots Contrast, 225 dots Hybrid (contrast + phase), 493 dots Hybrid, 399 phase-detection AF points in full frame; 255 phase-detection AF points + 425 contrast AF points Dual Pixel CMOS AF with up to 88% sensor coverage horizontally and up to 100% vertically
Metering, modes of operation 1728-dot touch system: matrix, center-weighted, spot, highlight 1728-dot touch system: matrix, center-weighted, spot, highlight TTL Sensor: Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot, Highlight Matrix metering, 1200 areas: matrix, center-weighted, spot, spot standard/large area, screen average, brightest area TTL metering in 384 zones: evaluative, partial, center-weighted, spot
exposure compensation + 5.0 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments + 5.0 EV in steps of 1, 1/3 or 1/2 EV + 5.0 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments + 5.0 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments + 5.0 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
Built-in flash No, X-sync
1/320 s
No, X-sync
1/320 s
No, X-sync
1/200 s
No, X-sync
1/250 s
No, X-sync 1/200s
Self-timer 2/10 s 2/10 s 2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; from 1 to 9 exposures with an interval of 0.5; 1; 2 or 3 s 2 s, 5 s, 10 s; auto timer for shooting with bracketing; self-timer for continuous shooting (up to 3 shots) 2/10 s
Memory card Two slots: XQD and SD type UHS-II Two slots: XQD and SD type UHS-II Slot for XQD/CF-Express Two slots compatible with Memory Stick (PRO, Pro Duo) and SD/SDHC/SDXC type UHS I/II Slot for SD/SDHC/SDXC type UHS II
Display 3.2″ Tilting Touch LCD, 2.1 M dot resolution 3.2″ Tilting Touch LCD, 2.1 M dot resolution 3.2″ Tilting Touch LCD, 2.1 M dot resolution Tilting touchscreen, 3″ LCD, 1.4M dots 3.2-inch 2.1M-dot touchscreen swivel LCD; optional monochrome display
Viewfinder Electronic (OLED, 5.76 million dots) Electronic (OLED, 5.76 million dots) Electronic (OLED, 3.69 million dots) Electronic (OLED, 3.69 million dots) Electronic (OLED, 3.69 million dots)
Interfaces USB Type-C (USB 3.1), HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm microphone jack, remote control jack USB Type-C (USB 3.1), HDMI, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm microphone jack, remote control jack USB Type-C (USB 3.0), HDMI type C, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm microphone jack, remote control jack USB Type-C (USB 3.0), microUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack, 3.5mm microphone jack, microHDMI type D, sync port HDMI, USB 3.1 (USB Type-C), 3.5mm external microphone, 3.5mm headphone, remote control port
Wireless modules WiFi, Bluetooth WiFi, Bluetooth WiFi, Bluetooth (SnapBridge) WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth WiFi, Bluetooth
Nutrition Li-ion battery DMW-BLJ31, 23 Wh (3050 mAh, 7.4 V) Li-ion battery DMW-BLJ31, 23 Wh (3050 mAh, 7.4 V) Li-ion battery EN-EL15b, 14 Wh (1900 mAh, 7 V) Li-ion battery NP-FZ100, 16.4 Wh (2280 mAh, 7.2 V) Lithium-ion battery LP-E6N 14 Wh (1865 mAh, 7.2V)
Dimensions 149×110×97mm 149×110×97mm 134×101×68mm 126.9×95.6×73.7mm 135.8×98.3×84.4mm
Weight 1020 grams (with battery and memory card) 1021 grams (with battery and memory card) 675 grams (with battery and memory card) 657 grams (with battery and memory card) 660 grams (incl. battery and memory card)
Current price $2620 (no lens version), $3320 (24-105mm f/4 lens version) $1720 (version without lens) $2320 (no lens version), $2720 (24-70mm f/4 lens version) $2320 for version without lens (body) $1520 for version without lens (body), $2120 for version with lens (kit)

⇡#Design, ergonomics and control

From the very first seconds Panasonic Lumix S1R makes an impressive impression with its size, weight and appearance. The camera looks quite strict and stylish, but without frills and flirting with the design — maximum attention is paid to functionality and reliability.

The body of the camera is cast, made of magnesium alloy, all seams are protected by a seal — Lumix S1R is suitable for shooting in all weather conditions, dust and moisture resistant. The manufacturer guarantees proper operation at temperatures down to -10 degrees (in fact, of course, you can use the camera at lower temperatures).

  Panasonic S1R with 24-105mm lens

Panasonic S1R with 24-105mm lens

The weight of the camera with a battery without a lens is more than a kilogram (1020 g), which is a very solid indicator for this class of cameras (for comparison: the Nikon Z7 with a battery weighs 675 grams, and the Sony a7R III weighs 657 grams). We can say that Panasonic follows its own traditions: to make the largest and heaviest cameras in each class — before that, everyone noted the dimensions and weight of the GH series models, comparable to DSLRs. Now here’s a full-frame mirrorless camera that weighs one and a half times more than its direct competitors. There is simply no gain in comparison with full-frame SLR cameras, if we talk about the “carcass”. With optics, the S1R is, of course, both smaller and lighter than professional DSLRs.

However, all of the new Panasonic lenses mentioned above, which I have been able to test, also have impressive dimensions. The complete set of equipment that I got for the test weighed very solidly. I confess that with a wardrobe trunk, in which all three lenses and a camera were packed, I was able to master only a two-hour walk — after that, the pleasure of shooting with high-end equipment was replaced by banal fatigue and back pain. Thus, when planning shooting, especially if it will take place “on the go”, it is better to figure out in advance which of the lenses are really worth taking with you. Hiking with such a set of equipment will be difficult, but if you are a real (and physically strong) enthusiast and are ready for anything for the sake of quality personnel, this may be your choice.

Let’s go through the main design features of the camera.

Viewfinder. Its design has already been discussed above. Let me remind you that its resolution is the largest in the class. It also looks unusually large. The viewfinder has a large round rubber eyecup that can be removed if desired, but I found it comfortable to work with. The eye sensor next to the viewfinder can be set to sleep a specified number of seconds after you move it away from your face — one way to save battery life. The viewfinder proved to be excellent in work — the image in it is “live” and detailed.

S1R equipped touch liquid crystal display with a diagonal of 3.2 inches and a resolution of 2.1 megapixels, which can tilt when shooting in both landscape and portrait orientations.

On the top panel also located monochrome LCD display, which displays basic shooting options. In mirrorless cameras, even of a serious level, it is often absent, but this is a very useful and convenient thing.

Mode dial broaches on the top left has two continuous burst shooting modes (labeled I and II). They can be configured to set your preferred shooting speed or to access 6K / 4K Photo shooting.

Joysticks and switches. The S1R is equipped with an eight-way rear joystick for fast AF point movement, a clear improvement over the four-way joysticks on Panasonic Micro Foyr Thirds system models. You can choose how fast the AF point moves. You can also set the function that is selected by pressing the joystick (reset the position of the AF point, use as an Fn button, access the menu — or you can not assign any function).

DIP switch on front panel cameras can be configured to control one of a number of functions: AF area mode, shutter type, self-timer, and more.

On the left side of the back of the camera is lock lever, and you can choose what exactly you want to block with it — some individual controls or, for example, temporarily deactivate the touch screen.

Illuminated controls is one of the features that sets the S1R apart from most competitors. This is a very useful and convenient feature when shooting in low light conditions where the controls are hard to see. The buttons can be set to either stay lit or light up when the top panel LCD backlight button is pressed.

Dual card slot is another important design feature. This is something that I personally lacked in competing cameras such as the Nikon Z7 and Canon EOS R. The S1R allows for both serial and parallel recording on two memory cards. In a responsible commercial environment, having a back-up copy of materials is certainly a very significant advantage. One slot is for SD cards up to UHS-II, the other is for XQD cards. The SD slot allows the use of V90 cards for maximum shooting and recording speeds.

In general, the set of controls and the ability to flexibly configure everything and everything in the camera can be called unprecedented on the market. For example, the white balance, ISO, and exposure compensation keys can be set so that you adjust the settings as you hold them down and turn the dial, or turn the dial after pressing it once; you can make it so that one disk, when setting the sensitivity, is responsible for changing the ISO, and the other is responsible for the upper limit in Auto ISO mode, or both simply adjust the ISO; For exposure compensation, you can choose which scale to compensate for the flash. And there are many such details. Moreover, the settings profile can be saved to a memory card (!). This is useful for photographers who rent a camera and do not want to set everything up again every time. I must say that the S1 and S1R settings files are not compatible.


The Panasonic Lumix S1R has a brand new and unusually huge 23 Wh (3050 mAh, 7.4 V) DMW-BLJ31 battery — not only is the camera itself one and a half times heavier than competitors, but the battery is one and a half times more large and larger capacity. When shooting a report with the frame preview turned on and hovering over the screen, the battery lasted for seven hours of work with interruptions — about 600 frames. According to the CIPA standard, 380 frames are declared — this, of course, with a large margin.

The battery can be charged either with a charger or with a regular USB cable.


Panasonic has greatly redesigned the interface of the S1/S1R, streamlining the menu structure and redesigning the quick menu system. Each main menu tab is divided into subsections, indicated by a series of icons. This allows you to quickly navigate to the desired section.

The quick menu is organized in a 3×4 matrix format next to a small preview window or a 6×2 array stretched to fill the screen. In any case, this is a real breakthrough compared to G-series cameras, which have always been very organization of the quick access menu. Of course, the elements included in the matrix are configured, and the settings for video and photos are displayed separately in the respective modes. There is touch input. The latter is not only used to navigate the interface, but also allows you to set the focus point.

⇡#Wireless connection

The camera is equipped with Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 wireless interfaces. Nothing new here — the camera can be controlled from a smartphone, transfer pictures wirelessly, but there is no background transfer using Bluetooth, as in Nikon SnapBridge. Bluetooth is used only for quick pairing of already “familiar” devices with each other.

⇡#Camera in action

Shooting in JPEG. Artistic filters and image styles

Despite the fact that cameras of the Panasonic Lumix S1R level imply shooting in RAW and subsequent processing of images, it is also important to evaluate the quality of work in JPEG — after all, for example, reportage photographers often have the task of uploading images immediately.

The first thing that caught my attention was the good dynamic range of the shots already in JPEG. For example, the scene below was filmed under difficult backlighting, when it is difficult even for the eye to distinguish details in distant shadows. In the picture, the shadows turned out to be worked out, nowhere did they merge into a dark spot. The texture of illuminated asphalt is also clearly visible:

The second important point is the impressive sharpness and detail of the image. Let me remind you that the camera does not have a low-pass filter, and, combined with the huge image resolution (8368 × 5584 pixels), this gives excellent results and opportunities for radical image cropping:

On the left is the original image, on the right is a crop. Shooting options: f/8, 1/60, ISO 160

The automatic white balance left not the best impression. When shooting landscapes and street scenes on a clear day, colors tend to look quite natural and pleasing:

But when shooting at dusk, in the shade, with mixed and artificial light, I liked the results much less. Pictures with auto white balance often come out too cold, with a purple or reddish tone, which is especially noticeable when shooting portraits:

The photo on the left was taken indoors with natural daylight, away from a window; photo on the right — on the street in cloudy weather in anticipation of twilight

It should be noted that the S1R has a lot of white balance presets: cold auto, warm auto, and so on, so it’s easy to adjust the camera to get a better color option.

Panasonic Lumix S1R has a traditional set of artistic filters for the company: there are many of them, they are quite diverse and interesting. I like to use them for shooting scenes that do not require deep processing, for example, to add atmosphere to a shot and immediately publish it on social networks:

Below you can see examples of one scene with all filters.

In addition to using filters, you can also influence the color scheme of your shots using the Shooting Style option. The camera has a preset set of styles and, of course, the ability to customize your own by controlling contrast, saturation, and other image parameters. The following is an example of shooting one scene with different styles offered to the user by Panasonic.

The camera has various bracketing options — not only for exposure, but also for color, focus, depth of field, etc.

An example of shooting a scene with depth of field bracketing

There is also a popular multiple exposure function that allows you to superimpose images on top of each other without using special programs:

One of the interesting features of the S1R, which has already been seen in Pentax cameras (K-1 II, for example) and Olympus, is the ability to shoot with a sensor shift to get a picture with ultra-high resolution. Here — up to 187 megapixels. True, pictures in this resolution do not show any transcendental level of detail, the increase does not correspond to a fourfold increase in resolution. However, for billboard photographers, this mode can be a good help.

⇡#Shooting at high ISO

Image quality in low light is one of the most important parameters for evaluating a camera. Modern full-frame mirrorless cameras have set the bar high, and it was interesting to see how Panasonic responded.

Consider shooting at different ISO values ​​using the example of a series of shots taken in a row. The first photo was taken at ISO 1600. It looks great, a hint of noise can be seen only at very close approximations — this applies to both JPEG and RAW.

On the left — a picture in JPEG, on the right — RAW, converted with default settings

In the next photo, the sensitivity is raised to ISO 2500, and the picture is about the same. Noises in RAW became a little more noticeable (again, you need to zoom in on the picture to notice them), but the in-camera noise reduction coped with them adequately, without significantly affecting the detail:

On the left — a picture in JPEG, on the right — RAW, converted with default settings

Next is a picture taken at ISO 5000. It also looks very decent, but here you can already more clearly distinguish both noise and the difference between JPEG and RAW: as a result of the in-camera noise reduction, the details became not so clear, the color is more faded and in general there was a hint of the «soapiness» of the picture:

On the left — a picture in JPEG, on the right — RAW, converted with default settings

The next example is more indicative: here the shooting was carried out at ISO 6400. Most of the frame is occupied by the sky, pay attention to how the noise reduction system showed up on it: it looks loose, not very attractive. In this case, I like the way the RAW file looks better, albeit with clearly visible noise. You can remove noise in the sky using selective correction in a photo editor.

On the left — a picture in JPEG, on the right — RAW, converted with default settings

To complete the picture, I also took a non-posed shot at the upper ISO value of 25600. We can see that JPEG looks very “soapy” compared to RAW, while RAW already has a critical noise value and color degradation. Such an ISO value, of course, can no longer be called a working one — a maximum of such a picture can be posted on Instagram*in a small resolution, strong noise is leveled.

On the left — a picture in JPEG, on the right — RAW, converted with default settings

For comparison, I will also show another type of plot. I tried the Panasonic Lumix S1R as a reportage camera. Since photos from the event were needed, as often happens, urgently, the shooting was carried out in JPEG format. The shot was taken with a 70-200mm telephoto lens with a maximum aperture of ƒ/4, so I had to raise the sensitivity to ISO 6400. I can’t say that the result seemed very good to me. Despite the included noise reduction function, the noise is still quite obvious, while the overall sharpness of the picture is far from ideal. In addition, there are noticeable problems with the transfer of skin tone — you can see the unevenness in the pictures below:

As a result, in terms of work at high ISOs, the Panasonic Lumix S1R holds up with dignity, but without revelations. In reportage and portrait shooting, if you need really high quality, I would recommend limiting yourself to working at ISO 3200, which is quite a bit by modern standards. For landscape, travel, street photography, if a little noise is not critical for you, it is quite possible to use values ​​up to ISO 5000.

Download RAW files (573 MB)


The camera uses a contrast autofocus system — this distinguishes it from its closest competitors using a phase or hybrid (including both types) autofocus system. In total, the Panasonic Lumix S1R uses 225 focus points — by modern standards, this is not very much, but in this case it is not the quantity that matters, but the quality of the proprietary Depth from Defocus system, which causes a lot of controversy when talking about Lumix G-series cameras.

The camera focuses really quickly, but I can’t say that it is always accurate. When shooting portraits, there were no problems — the S1R immediately finds and highlights the face and eyes of the model; due to misses in focus, a situation sometimes arises when the sharpness goes to the far eye (as a rule, in the case when it is better lit):

In the tracking focus mode, when shooting a running man, the S1R performed well, most of the frames are focused correctly, but there are still some misses:

In the first two frames, the camera caught focus on the face, in the third (according to chronology, it is intermediate), the focus went to the backpack

When there are several people in the frame at the same time, it is worth telling the camera who to focus on. The most obvious solution — to depict in sharpness the one who is closer — for some reason often does not work, the characters in the background are in focus:

  An example of a very common focus error

An example of a very common focus error

One of the main innovations of the focusing system is the ability to recognize not only people, but also animals in the frame. Capturing cats is a real challenge because it’s rare for an animal to sit still for more than a couple of seconds, and I was hoping that Panasonic’s new Lumix S1R technology would help reduce the reject rate significantly. But by and large, it remained the same as when shooting on cameras that lack this option. It seems that the camera does not always recognize where the animal’s eyes are:

As a result, I quickly switched to setting the focus area manually (I prefer to do this by touching the touch screen), which led to more adequate results:

When shooting subject compositions or landscapes that require focus in the foreground, the camera also needs to be prompted where to focus. Sometimes she makes mistakes in situations that are quite obvious to me as a photographer. Achieving focus in the right place is not always easy.

As for the speed of the focusing system in difficult / insufficient lighting, it left a positive impression: indeed, I didn’t notice any noticeable differences compared to shooting in the daytime, the camera grabs the object very tenaciously (but again, not always the one that should be the main one as planned ).

⇡#Shooting 6K photos

The 4K photo shooting function has long been introduced in the Panasonic Lumix G-series cameras. Its essence is that the camera, when using an electronic shutter, takes a series of photos of reduced resolution, but at a very high speed. You can view the result as a movie and select individual frames to save them as photos. This format is good for shooting dynamic scenes. In S1R, technology migrated from the GH5 camera — here you can shoot a series of photos not only in 4K resolution, but also in 6K.

In this mode, autofocus performed worse than when shooting a similar scene in burst mode: there were much more misses.

Below you can see the clip automatically glued by the camera in 6K shooting mode:

An example of a movie produced when shooting a 6K photo

⇡#post focus

The post-focus feature is another Panasonic in-house development that we’ve already seen on a number of previous cameras. Its convenience lies in the fact that the user can choose the focusing plane not during the shooting process, but after. In essence, the technology lies in the fact that the camera quickly takes a series of frames in 4K resolution with focus bracketing. The resulting images can be viewed on the camera in movie format and manually specify the area you want to see in sharpness. Of course, it makes no sense to use this function for every scene, but in the case of a particularly important scene or a scene where you want to get a series of shots with the same composition but different focus, the option is quite promising. An illustrative example of the post-focus function can be seen below:

An example of a video clip obtained by activating the Post-Focus mode

⇡#Stabilizer operation

What really impressed me about working with the Panasonic Lumix S1R is the stabilizer. Frankly, when you hear from the manufacturer about a stabilization system that allows you to extend the shutter speed by 6 times, you are skeptical about this: probably, we are talking about isolated cases in ideal circumstances. I was interested to understand what I could achieve by photographing familiar scenes without a tripod. The next shot was taken handheld with a 50mm lens at a shutter speed of 1/5 second. On the enlarged fragment, you can well appreciate the sharpness: there is no “shake” here.

Another example, shooting a more dynamic scene, here the goal was to get blurry cars that emphasize movement in the frame. The focal length in this case is longer — 75 mm, and the shutter speed is even slightly longer — 1/4 second.

So, we see that the work of the stabilizer can diversify the picture from an artistic point of view, but, of course, the main thing is the ability to shoot static scenes with hands without increasing the sensitivity too much. Indeed, in those situations where it was previously impossible to get a high-quality photo without a tripod, now such a powerful stabilizer can help out a lot. As an illustrative example, I want to show a couple of almost identical photos taken with a difference of a few seconds. In the first case, the correct exposure was achieved by increasing the ISO, in the second — by lengthening the shutter speed (the sensitivity is still considerable — ISO 5000, but at a longer shutter speed, the boat would be noticeably lubricated in motion, which I did not want). Agree, the threshold value of ISO affected the image quality much worse, and the sharpness of the second image is very decent (if the photo is planned not for printing, but for posting on the Internet, then after reducing and software sharpening, the micronuances associated with the lack of a tripod are leveled). The only thing that should never be forgotten is that moving objects in the frame at a slow shutter speed, of course, will still be smeared, and this effect is not always desirable. Therefore, alas, it will not work to apply the capabilities of the stabilizer, for example, to reportage shooting — there, in case of low light, you will have to increase the ISO.

Both shots were taken at a focal length of 105 mm. Left shot settings: f/4, 1/100, ISO 25600 Right shot settings: f/4, 1/25, ISO 5000

It should be noted that in the Panasonic S1/S1R, stabilizers in the camera itself and in the optics can work together (they are provided in LUMIX S lenses, including 5-axis ones, as well as in the camera itself). Due to this, such a high efficiency is achieved. Another point, already more funny than necessary, is that when the stabilizer is activated, you can see a moving dot in the frame, which just shows how your hands move when shooting and what vibrations the camera manages to stabilize. The advantage of this mode is that, in addition to the stabilizer, you can monitor the situation with camera fluctuations and “manually” correct them, relying on some objects or holding your breath.

In order for such statements not to be unfounded, of course, it is necessary to conduct comparative testing, but I think today this is the best stabilizer that I have ever seen in a camera.

⇡#Work with the RAW files

At the time of our testing of the Panasonic Lumix S1R, official updates to Adobe products had not yet been released, so the camera files were first converted to DNG using Adobe DNG Converter and only then processed in Camera RAW. Based on this, the conclusions about the photo processing cannot be called final, but we can make a general impression.

As the first example of a complex scene, I used a shot taken at sunset: the sun was almost down, and the bottom of the picture was very dark, which made the scene look faded and uninteresting. The goal here was to «stretch» the shadows, making the photo more balanced and visually lighter:

On the left is a RAW file converted with default settings, on the right is the same, processed to taste

When brightening the shadows, noise naturally appeared — here it does not particularly spoil the overall picture, but if desired, the noise reduction option can be applied during processing, then the picture will look more “smooth”, but less detailed.

In the next shot, matrix metering was used, and a very bright background resulted in a lot of underlight on the face, so the goal was also to lighten the shadows. There were no problems with this, but noise in the background is clearly visible in this picture. On the face, they are not very noticeable:

On the left is a RAW file converted with default settings, on the right is the same, processed to taste

The opposite situation: a very overexposed portrait due to the ISO not being changed in time. As a rule, it is much more difficult to deal with highlights than with shadows, but here the result, in my opinion, is good: the skin texture was completely restored:

On the left is a RAW file converted with default settings, on the right is the same, processed to taste

Below are some more examples of processing RAW files:

In general, working with RAW files left a pleasant impression — the pictures contain good potential both in shadows and in highlights, but, of course, completely “knocked out” bright areas cannot be restored.

Sample photos from this section and the ISO section in RAW format (362 MB)

⇡#Video filming

Despite positioning the Panasonic Lumix S1R as a predominantly still camera with video recording relegated to the background, the camera’s capabilities in this regard are very serious. They are noticeably «cut», of course, by the high resolution of the sensor, which forces the camera to use a noticeable crop to get a 4K image with a frequency of 60 frames per second, and the possibilities of video shooting in the dark are limited (the sensitivity margin for a sensor with smaller photodiodes is noticeably less). There are also “forced” restrictions in comparison with the Lumix S1 — for example, the length of the video cannot exceed 15 minutes, while the S1 simply does not have this restriction when shooting 30p, and when shooting 60p, the video length can reach 29 minutes 59 seconds. Also, unlike the S1, the R version cannot shoot Full HD at up to 180 frames per second. 60 fps is the limit. In this mode, by the way, the frame area corresponding to the APS-C standard is also used. Full surface is available when shooting 4K at 30 fps.

However, the camera does have headphone jacks with a microphone, and is compatible with the DMW-XR1 adapter, which provides more advanced microphones than those used in the camera. Shooting is available in 4:2:0 color and 8-bit depth (10-bit color is possible in S1) in AVCHD (up to Full HD only) and MP4 with H.265 codec (up to 4K). Bitrate — up to 150 Mbps when shooting 4K and up to 28 Mbps when shooting Full HD.

Sample video in 4K resolution

Download original video (1.14 GB)

Compared to the same GH5, the S1R’s video shooting capabilities are not so great, the camera is hardly suitable for professional videographers, but due to quite working autofocus and good final picture quality (even though Log profiles are not available here), you can record some additional video at a photo session or a wedding at the request of the client, it is quite possible, not to mention the exhaustive possibilities of shooting a video “for yourself”.


Lumix S1R, despite its innovative and iconic status both for Panasonic and for the entire industry as a whole, seemed to me an ambiguous and contradictory camera. On one side of the scale — a huge resolution of images, excellent sharpness and detail, on the other — not very intelligible autofocus work. On the one hand — the impressive capabilities of the stabilizer, and on the other — the average work at high ISOs (even taking into account the correction for the increased resolution of the sensor). The great weight of the device itself and the kit with new optics is less significant at first glance, but in the end it also has a strong influence on the decision to purchase a particular camera/system. At the same time, the build quality of the camera, and its ergonomics, and new optics — all this leaves a very pleasant impression.

I would recommend the Panasonic Lumix S1R to advertising, studio, portrait, landscape photographers — all those who have the ability to work thoughtfully, slowly, statically and at low ISO values. You can get the most out of this camera.

Travel photographers will be put off by the weight and dimensions of the equipment, but if this is not important and you are aiming for a serious result, then the S1R can also be a good option.

Regular autofocus errors and not the best in class performance at high light sensitivity do not allow us to recommend the camera as the best option for reportage photographers.

When compared to direct competitors in this segment, Nikon Z7 and Sony a7R III, Panasonic S1R advantages can be compatible with Leica SL optics without the use of adapters, higher resolution along with the ability to shoot with ultra-high resolution, the most effective stabilizer in its class, the best viewfinder and the most flexible control scheme. The system has good prospects (including due to a more advanced mount than Sony), but today it suffers from the diseases familiar to the early stage of system development: a small fleet of optics, an imperfect autofocus system, and an incompletely developed software part ( Panasonic is at the beginning of a long journey). The main limiter at this stage is the dimensions and weight, due to which it approaches mirror systems.

RAW files (first part) (891 MB)

RAW files (second part) (1.89 GB)


  • very high image resolution (best in class);
  • excellent sharpness and detail;
  • good dynamic range in JPEG, wide possibilities for RAW processing;
  • excellent stabilizer performance at any focal length;
  • high-quality new optics, the possibility of using Leica optics, new Sigma lenses are in development;
  • 6K photo shooting;
  • great opportunities for in-camera work with color: filters, photo styles, an expanded selection of white balance presets;
  • reliable chamber design, dust and moisture protection, the ability to work in difficult weather conditions;
  • very flexible control system;
  • 2 slots for memory cards, including XQD (in new firmware — compatible with CFexpress);
  • excellent viewfinder with the best resolution in the class;
  • very good autonomy.


  • big weight;
  • the largest dimensions in the class;
  • not very accurate autofocus;
  • average shooting quality at high ISO;
  • difficulties with the transfer of skin tone when working with automatic white balance;
  • not the most serious opportunities for shooting video;
  • limited set of optics to date;
  • price.

* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations in respect of which the court has made a decision that has entered into legal force to liquidate or ban activities on the grounds provided for by Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25, 2002 “On countering extremist activity”.


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