The full-frame mirrorless Panasonic Lumix S1R is strong competition for Sony A7 III, Canon EOS R and Nikon Z7 models. This camera can do a lot, as we found out when we reviewed the new equipment of the Japanese giant.
Panasonic Lumix S1R is a full-frame mirrorless camera, which is finally a serious competition for Sony models. Nikon Z7 did not offer innovation, just like the Canon EOS R. Lumix S1R offers a lot, although it is not the cheapest cameras. We invite you to read our review of this model.
Lumix S1R is a really big camera
Not so long ago, one of the advantages of mirrorless cameras was their smaller size relative to SLRs. For some advanced models, this boundary begins to blur. The best example of this is the Panasonic Lumix S1R. This is a camera with really solid dimensions. The body itself weighs almost 900 grams and you can feel it in your hand. Added to this are lenses that, thanks to their advanced optics, can weigh as much as the body. In terms of size, the S1R does not differ from professional SLRs , because it is a really big camera. This translates into the fact that it lies great in the hand and provides very convenient operation thanks to the large number of buttons and knobs. The grip is made of solid magnesium material, and a large part of it is covered with rough rubber. All this ensures that the camera does not slip in your hand, and hours of work with it does not cause trouble.It will take some time for a new user to become familiar with camera operation, because there are really a lot of buttons. On the right side of the upper body you will find a switch and buttons that allow you to set white balance, ISO and exposure compensation. There is also a place for a black and white screen that is always active – even when the camera is turned off. On the right you will also find the shutter button and two knobs – one located more in the front, near the index finger. Both knobs will be used to set various parameters. At the top there is also a small button to activate the backlight of the black and white screen. On the left, on the left, the manufacturer placed a mode dial on which we can find – by default – P, A, S, M, Intelligent Auto Mode, Film Mode and three custom modes, allowing the user to save their own settings. An additional ring is placed around the mode dial allowing quick setting of the serial or single mode and the self-timer. The front part of the body is also packed with various buttons. The more interesting ones include the lock lever, after which a large part of the buttons on the front are locked. It helps when we could accidentally press something . And there are many such possibilities, because pressing the knob around the menu – in any direction – sends us to a function. For example, it allows you to quickly start the black and white L Mono D mode, turn on silent mode, or change the dynamic range in a photo. Such quick access to functions is very useful, but it is also good to be able to lock it so that you don't accidentally press anything. In the front there was also a ring for changing the focusing mode – AF-S, AF-C, MF. The presence of a joystick that allows focusing is also key. This can also be set by touch on the screen, but when using the viewfinder, the joystick becomes a necessity. On the side of the viewfinder there is a button that allows you to switch the preview – pressing it can switch us to the view only in the viewfinder or only on the screen. Of course, the viewfinder also starts when we approach the eye, but sometimes it can be too sensitive, which unnecessarily dims the screen – it can interfere, e.g. when using the gimbal. It's good that with one button we can turn it off quickly. The next buttons can be found on the body part on which the lens is located. With the help of the lever, we can ultimately turn matrix stabilization on and off, set e.g. high resolution mode. On the left part of the body there is a place for the headphone, microphone, trigger tube, USB type C and – and here surprise – standard HDMI input, not in the micro version. On the right side there was a flap, under which the entries for the memory cards were hidden. There are two card entries – standard SD and XQD input. In this situation, the SD card can be a backup for a more reliable XQD. The battery in the Lumix S1R is one of the largest batteries I've ever seen in a mirrorless camera. The size, however, goes hand in hand with the capacity, which is really record-breaking – it is as much as 3050 mAh . A great result. Although this does not mean that the camera is number one in terms of performance. It just needs a lot of energy to work, which ultimately means that we will take about 380 photos on one charge. This is not a bad result, but it does not go beyond the market average. The camera also had wireless connectivity. With the help of the application, you can control it wirelessly, but also send photos to the cloud in real time, for example via a smartphone, thus creating a backup. The connection is made very quickly, because the camera supports WiFi in ac standard and Bluetooth 4.2.
Big screen with touch
The camera has no screen larger than the market average, because its size is 3.2 inches. It is also accompanied by excellent resolution of 2.1 million. dots , which guarantees very good reproduction of the real quality of the photo. The screen tilts, but not to the side, as with most Panasonic mirrorless cameras. We will not tilt it by 180 degrees, but after releasing the lock, you can tilt the screen slightly to the right (less than 90 degrees).The screen is operated by touch and unlike many competition models, touch here allows for comprehensive camera operation. This means that with its help we will set not only the focus point, but we can also easily and conveniently navigate the menu. The menu itself has been divided into several sections: Image quality for photos, Image quality for movies, Focus / shutter, Other, Custom menu and Edit image. Each section has an additional subsection, in which there are several settings. All this means that the menu has several dozen functions. You will need to spend some time to navigate smoothly through the camera settings. Fortunately, the camera also gives you the option of configuring your own menu in which we will place the most important and most used functions for us. The camera's viewfinder is well exposed on the body. It has a round eyecup and is very convenient to use. Noteworthy is its above-average resolution of 5.76 million points. This is one of the best results on the market, which translates into the fact that the viewfinder guarantees sensational accurate preview of the image, which is especially important considering the high resolution of the images offered by the camera. Lumix S1R also has a black and white screen on the top of the body. During operation, it guarantees a preview of the most important exposure values such as ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance mode etc.
High resolution matrix
Panasonic Lumix S1R, like Sony A7 marked with the letter "R" is addressed mainly to photographers, not filmmakers. Its showcase is a full-frame high resolution matrix – 4 7.3 Mpix. It has been stripped of the AA filter, which guarantees even higher detail and quality of the photos. This set makes photos taken with the camera really impressive. You can't have any reservations about their detail, and the tonal dynamics is really high. The camera copes with the automatic white balance very well and in the vast majority of cases sets the colors correctly. The colors of the photos are nice, the frames are well saturated, only the blue sky could bring out the camera a bit better, but we can improve it a bit in post-production. The weakness of many Panasonic models was the weak ISO, caused by the small Micro 4/3 size matrix. Only Lumix GH5S changed something in this matter, but its problem is low resolution. Finally, the Panasonic Lumix S1R has high resolution and good ISO . It should be remembered, however, that high resolution negatively affects ISO, so you can squeeze a little more from the full frame of Panasonic. Pictures taken with ISO 12 800 for this model are still acceptable because the noise level is relatively low. At twice the value, the noise is more noticeable, but still acceptable. At least in the case of photos, because in the case of movies it is dangerous to go beyond ISO 6400.The camera guarantees quick work. Pictures are saved quickly, despite the high resolution and large RAW file. In the serial mode, photos can be taken at a speed of 9 frames per second, which at this resolution is a good result. In turn, thanks to 4K Photo and 6K Photo functions, photos in these resolutions can be taken at a speed of 60 and 30 frames per second, respectively. A big plus of the camera from the point of view of many users will be a relatively quiet shutter. This is one of the quietest cameras on the market today. The camera also has a quiet mode, of course, in which it can take pictures without making any sounds. Below are a handful of sample photos taken with the camera. Pictures in full resolution – traditionally – in the gallery . Autofocus is based on 225 focus points. In many previous models, users have complained a lot about its speed and accuracy, especially in the continuous mode used during filming. The Lumix S1R shows a noticeable improvement over the mirrorless manufacturer with a micro 4/3 matrix. The camera sharpens faster and more accurately and finally becomes more useful in movie mode, but it still falls on the background of the competition. Full-frame mirrorless cameras as well as cheaper and less advanced models with APS-C matrices offer a much faster focusing system. So if you look for some weaknesses in the camera, which, after all, consists of many advantages, it is definitely autofocus.
Movie mode is not a priority
As I mentioned at the beginning, Lumix S1R is dedicated to photographers, not filmmakers. Panasonic is known for great filming cameras, but this model has a different task to fulfill. Therefore, in his case, the movie mode is rather an addition. Which doesn't change the fact that the camera looks better in terms of movies than most models available on the market. Even thanks to 4K movie mode at 50 frames per second . We can film in Full HD with the same parameters. In both cases, the image quality is high. However, there is no slow-motion mode, so we will not record the image with a larger frame. There is also no flat V-Log profile or 10-bit recording options. These are to be available after installing paid software updates. The camera also does not offer the possibility of recording the image in Cinema 4K mode, which guarantees Lumix GH5 S. In general, in this model we do not experience many of the features and film capabilities known from the models GH5 and GH5 S, because this camera is not dedicated to filmmakers. Movie mode is an addition, but 4K at 50 fps is quite a lot. In addition, the camera offers an efficient 5-axis matrix stabilization with a performance of 5.5 EV. In addition, stabilization works with that in the lenses, so as a result we can get 6 EV performance.
Summary and evaluation
Panasonic Lumix S1R is a professional camera dedicated to demanding and aware photographers. This model is another proof that mirrorless cameras do not have any complexes relative to SLRs. The S1R is a large camera that offers great functionality and very high image quality. The new lenses for the L system are characterized by great optics, which together with the high resolution of the camera results in great frames. The camera is high in terms of service, because it is very comfortable to work with. The only thing that can be accused of him is the average autofocus, which works well, but you can expect a little more from the camera for so much money. The fact is, however, that finally the A7R series from Sony got a serious competitor. [Show_rating]