The Panasonic S1 is the company’s first full frame digital SLR and offers an impressive feature set for photographers. Highlights include a 5.7 million-dot viewfinder, 4K video, 5-axis in-camera stabilisation and a high-resolution mode that allows the 24MP sensor to capture at up to 96MP. The camera also comes in two specialist variants: the S1R, a 47.3MP high-resolution model (capable of 187MP) aimed at professional still photographers, and the S1H, a 6K video model aimed at professional videographers. But Lumix the S1 range is more than just great cameras, it’s a full system with a wide range of lenses and accessories to suit even the most discerning of users.
The Panasonic S1 uses the new L-mount for its lenses. This mount was created in collaboration with Leica and Sigma, as part of the L mount alliance, offering a plethora of options for the user.
The current Panasonic L series lens line-up includes four models: the S Pro 50mm f/1.4 is a high-performance prime lens with ultra-fast auto focusing; the S 24-105mm f/4 is an all-purpose standard zoom, giving you a versatile focal range and optical image stabilisation; the S Pro 70-200mm f/4 is the quintessential telephoto lens, with a relatively compact form and optical stabilisation to avoid shake; and a new addition, the S Pro 24-70mm f/2.8 an uncompromising standard zoom with a double focus system for fast and accurate AF. There are two more lenses – a 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto and a 16-35mm f/4 wide angle – both due later in 2019, and another four lenses planned for release by 2020.
To give you a little more reach, Panasonic also have two teleconverters for the S1. The 1.4x STC14 and the 2x STC20 both work with the 70-200mm f/4 and the upcoming 70-200mm f/2.8, extending the focal range to up to 280mm and 400mm respectively. This makes the lenses even more suited to serious nature and sports photography use.
A strong alliance
Thanks to the L mount alliance, users also have the option to use Sigma’s selection of eight Art lenses as well as eight Leica lenses, with even more to come. There are also a series of adaptors available for Leica R-mount, M mount and S mount, Canon EF, Sigma SA and for the cinematic Arri-PL.
There is a choice of three powerful flashguns available to provide creative lighting solutions on the go for the Panasonic S1. All three units feature a hybrid flash system, combining a regular flash with a built-in LED light for video and wireless shooting control. The flagship FL580L has a 58 Guide number, an ultra-fast 1.7 sec recycle time, an auto zoom head, for 14-200mm focal lengths, and wireless shooting. The mid-sized FL360L unit has a 36 Guide number and a bounce and swivel head, while the smallest unit, the FL200L, has a 20 Guide number and a 90-degree bounce option. Those looking for a purely video option can also opt for the VW-LED1, which provides a 6x6 array of LED lights suitable for close up work.
Sorted for sound
Those looking for high-quality on-board sound recording have a choice of two hot-shoe mounted microphones to extend the Panasonic S1’s capabilities. The MS2 is a dual-purpose microphone, combining a shotgun-style, designed for directional sound capture, with a stereo capture option, for recording more ambient sound. The mic sits on the S1’s hot shoe and is powered by the camera. Alternatively, the VMS10 is a straight stereo microphone that also sits on the camera’s hot shoe. Those wanting to connect larger professional microphones to the S1 can use the XLR1 adapter. This features two XLR microphone inputs, with level, gain and cut controls for each channel.
A powerful grip
Vertical battery grips not only provide a significant boost in power, but they also offer a marked benefit in handling for those regularly shooting in portrait mode. The BGS1 has been especially designed for the Panasonic S1, S1R and S1H cameras. It holds one additional battery, to double up on your charge, and gives a secondary set of buttons, including a shutter and focus control joystick.
And that’s not all
The accessories don’t stop there. There is an alternative rubber eyecup (EC6) for the S1, which extends on one side to fully shield the eye as is more common on video cameras. And for long exposures or when you need to avoid even the subtle camera shake from pressing the shutter button, the RS2 shutter remote control.
With such a vast range of accessories to fill your camera bag, your Panasonic S1 can be set up to cope with almost any setup, indoor or outdoor, still or video.
Loan an S1
Panasonic has launched a new scheme to allow photographers to borrow its Lumix S series full frame cameras and lenses to try out for free. Professional and serious amateurs can trial Lumix S equipment for a two week period to cover a specific project or just to enjoy a chance to see what they can do.