Panasonic DC-S1H Overview
Full-frame mirrorless with a serious penchant for video, the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H is clearly distinguished by its impressive video capabilities, but also features notable flexibility to suit multimedia applications along with an especially durable design. The full-frame 24.2MP CMOS sensor affords versatile performance to suit both video and stills, with a broad 14-stop dynamic range, sensitivity from ISO 100-51200, and adept processing to realize high color accuracy, responsive recording, and a broad array of video capabilities. Using nearly the full sensor, 3:2-format 6K24p video recording is supported, along with 16:9 5.9K30p and both DCI and UHD 4K60p settings with internal 4:2:2 10-bit sampling or external raw recording capabilities with a compatible recorder. Inspired by broadcast cameras, the S1H also uses the updated sensor design to provide Dual Native ISO settings that prioritize either low noise or low sensitivity in order to realize imagery quality with greater color fidelity and reduced noise. Variable Frame Rate (VFR) recording also permits using slow and quick motion effects and High Frame Rate (HFR) settings allow the use of higher frame rates in conjunction with 10-bit sampling. Additionally, V-Log has been pre-installed, and a Hybrid Log Gamma is also available for achieving greater detail when recording, and to benefit color grading during post-production.
In terms of still photography, the S1H isn’t lacking with an impressive 9 fps continuous shooting rate with AF-S, or 6 fps with AF-C. In the cases where 24MP isn’t quite enough, a specialized High Resolution mode can be used to boost the effective resolution to 96MP by compositing sequential shots together. Also benefitting stills, as well as video, is a 225-area Depth from Defocus (DFD) contrast-detection autofocus system that achieves quick and precise focusing and subject tracking. Additionally, sensor-shift image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake by 6 stops for sharper handheld shooting.
Beyond the imaging attributes, the S1H is also characterized by its body design, which incorporates an impressively high resolution 5.76m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder along with a 3.2″ 2.33m-dot tilt free-angle touchscreen LCD. The magnesium alloy body is weather-sealed to permit working in harsh conditions and has a 1.8″ top status LCD for reviewing shooting settings on the fly. Dual SD memory 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 CMOS Sensor and Venus Engine
- Optimized for video applications, the S1H is distinguished by its ability to record 10-bit 6K (5952 x 3968) video at 24.00 in 3:2 format using nearly the full area of the full-frame sensor, along with 5.9K (5888 x 3312) video at 29.97p in 16:9. When recording DCI and UHD 4K video, up to 29.97p, internal 4:2:2 10-bit sampling is possible, and when working with a Super 35mm area of the sensor, frame rates up to 59.94p are available. Full HD and Anamorphic 4K recording settings are also supported at up to 119.88p and 48.00p, respectively.
- Borrowing from Panasonic’s broadcast line of video cameras, Dual Native ISO helps to achieve a balanced combination of low noise and high sensitivity to better suit working in a variety of lighting conditions. Two dedicated circuits are provided for each pixel: a Low ISO circuit provides base sensitivities of ISO 100 for normal use, ISO 640 when V-Log is applied, ISO 400 when HLG is applied, and ISO 200 when Cinelike D2/V2 is applied; a Low Noise circuit provides base sensitivities of ISO 640 for normal use, ISO 4000 when V-Log is applied; ISO 2500 when HLG is applied, and ISO 1250 when Cinelike D2/V2 is applied.
- Optimizing your recording for post-production color adjustment, the S1H features a pair of gamma settings suited to capturing a wide dynamic range. V-Log has been pre-installed on this camera and is used to capture a flat, neutral gamma curve well-suited for grading. Additionally, a High Dynamic Range mode, and Hybrid Log Gamma, can be used to record greater detail in both the shadow and highlight regions of a scene. Additional picture styles are available to provide a more gradable image, such as Cinelike V and Cinelike D, as well as an in-camera LUT to make monitoring easier.
- With the Version 2.0 firmware update, raw output over HDMI in resolutions up to 5.9K at 29.97 fps or DCI 4K at 59.94 fps is possible when used in conjunction with a compatible Atomos recorder, such as the Ninja V.
- Simultaneous internal recording and external recording via HDMI is possible: DCI/UHD 4K is possible at 59.94p with 4:2:2 10-bit output and 4:2:0 10-bit internal or DCI/UHD 4K is possible at 29.97p/23.98p with 4:2:2 10-bit output and internal recording.
- Variable Frame Rate (VFR) adjustments can be used to produce slow and quick motion effects from 30x to -7.5x. High Frame Rate (HFR) shooting, in 4:2:0 10-bit, is also supported, with audio recording and autofocus, which enables shooting Full HD video at 180p and DCI/UHD 4K at 59.94p.
- In-camera time lapse video creation is possible, allowing you to photograph scenes over time with an interval timer, then composite the stills into a 4K60p video with in-camera exposure smoothing.
- Suitable for worldwide use, selectable system frequencies of 59.94 Hz, 50 Hz, or 24 Hz are available.
- An SMPTE-compliant time code can be embedded for easier syncing of footage from multiple cameras.
- Color bars and a 1 kHz test tone can be used as benchmarks for configuring camera settings.
- 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″ 2.33m-dot touchscreen LCD is a bright, clear, and intuitive means for live view shooting as well as playback and menu navigation. The screen features a unique tilt & free-angle design where it can tilt along the lens axis or can be flipped outward to the side and freely adjusted to suit working from more extreme high and low angles. 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 and overlaying a red filter to better preserve night-adjusted vision.
- In addition to the rear LCD, a top 1.8″ 303 x 230-dot status LCD can also be used for quickly reviewing shooting settings, even when the camera is powered off. Additionally, an enhanced graphical user interface can be optimized for video applications and include exposure settings such as shutter angle or shutter speed and ISO or gain, depending on application.
- Internal heat-dissipating fan helps prevent overheating and enables unlimited video recording times. The fan can be set to Auto 1, where the fan is initiated once a temperature rise is detected; Auto 2, where the fan is kept off for as long as possible to prioritize silence; Normal; and Slow.
- Durable, weather-sealed magnesium alloy construction is splash, dust, and freezeproof to accommodate working in harsh weather conditions and trying environments.
- Front and rear tally lamps can be used to visually indicate recording and standby settings for faster visual recognition by subjects and camera operators.
- 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 UHS-II-compatible SD memory card slots 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.
- PC flash sync terminal doubles as a TC in/out socket and an included BNC conversion enables syncing time code settings with an external device for multi-camera setups.
- Optional XLR Microphone Adapter that provides XLR inputs and physical controls through a hot shoe connection.
- DMW-BLJ31 rechargeable lithium-ion battery is rated for approximately 400 shots per charge when working with the rear monitor, 380 shots per charge with the EVF, and 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.
5-Axis 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 S1H’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 tablet 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 S1H 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.