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Andrew Reid

Panasonic S1H review / hands-on - a true 6K full frame cinema camera

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53 minutes ago, mercer said:

That looks pretty good. I wonder what lens they used. 

It’s a fantastic looking camera. Unfortunately most the people uploading footage with it on YouTube (this video being the exception) have no clue what they are doing. From incorrect shutter angles, horrible rec 709 LUTs, no clue how to grade or expose, etc. I am blown away by the colors and look.

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49 minutes ago, Zak Forsman said:

I believe it was the Panasonic 24-105mm f/4.

Not bad for a FF f/4 kit zoom. I’m looking forward to some more of the small Sigma lenses like the 45mm 2.8. 

21 minutes ago, crevice said:

It’s a fantastic looking camera. Unfortunately most the people uploading footage with it on YouTube (this video being the exception) have no clue what they are doing. From incorrect shutter angles, horrible rec 709 LUTs, no clue how to grade or expose, etc. I am blown away by the colors and look.

Interesting camera. When the footage looks good... it looks exceptionally good. If it’s less than $3000 this time next year, I may just bite.

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10 minutes ago, mercer said:

Not bad for a FF f/4 kit zoom. I’m looking forward to some more of the small Sigma lenses like the 45mm 2.8. 

Interesting camera. When the footage looks good... it looks exceptionally good. If it’s less than $3000 this time next year, I may just bite.

Trust me, it looks great. I have been using it in many scenarios and it looks really good. But like I said, you have folks who dont know how to properly convert or grade log footage or are not even using log and aren’t shooting at proper frame rates or shutter angles, not using ND, and you are going to get a mixed bag of footage regardless of camera. The footage that I see on my computer is night and day difference from a lot of these videos on YouTube. 

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1 hour ago, crevice said:

Trust me, it looks great. I have been using it in many scenarios and it looks really good. But like I said, you have folks who dont know how to properly convert or grade log footage or are not even using log and aren’t shooting at proper frame rates or shutter angles, not using ND, and you are going to get a mixed bag of footage regardless of camera. The footage that I see on my computer is night and day difference from a lot of these videos on YouTube. 

Do you prefer it over the Micro?

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

Do you prefer it over the Micro?

They are different. The Micro nails a filmic look that none of these modern cameras achieve out the box. Its gritty, raw, and has a very organic feel to it. But, it doesn't have IBIS, does not shoot photos, shoot 4k, etc. The S1H has a very nice cinematic look to it as well, but it's not as "filmic" and gritty like the micro. Colors of the S1H still amazing though and I prefer the colors of the S1H more than the Pocket 4k/6k new color science (I owned both).

With all that said, the S1H has so much going for it that my micro will only get used for certain situations and most likely not run and gun anymore. I have to use the micro on a ronin-s as there are way too many micro jitters hand held. Coming from Blackmagic and Sony cameras, I can't stress enough how unbelievable the IBIS of the S1H is, especially dual IS with their 24-105. There is no need for a gimbal unless you need slider like shots or walking shots. For stationary, short walks, pans, etc., there is no absolutely no need for a gimbal/monopod/shoulder rig, that's how steady it is. The footage looks incredible, especially if you know what you are doing and how to properly expose vlog and convert it rec. 709 with the proper varicam LUTs.

More importantly for my decision to make this my main camera is that I take photos as well and the one thing I was pleasantly surprised about with this camera is how good the autofocus for photos is considering all the complaints. The autofocus for video is horrible, but I manual focus for video. But for photos, it was MUCH better than I thought after listening to everyone complain. Eye auto focus works great as well. Not as good as my A7R3, but still really good. Another thing I haven't heard anyone talk about is how fast it can switch between custom modes, for example I have a video mode on the dial and a photo mode that I switch between. Video mode has vlog, 180 degree shutter, different settings etc that I keep static and photo mode has none of that. When I switch between them it is seamless, no loading, no screen blackout, none of that. It is instant and quick and I can switch back and forth instantly. 

To me, I look at the cost of $4000 different than most. Unlike when I shot with a pocket 4/6k or even the micro - I don't need to carry a gimbal or shoulder rig, I don't need to mount a heavy v-mount battery on the back, I don't need an external monitor if I want to tilt or rotate it (I still do for the large screen, but its not necessary), and I don't need to bring a second body and lenses if I want to take photos. On top of all that - I prefer the video image over the blackmagic pocket 4k and 6k. It has a nicer highlight roll off, seems like better dynamic range, and I prefer the colors. All this without shooting RAW yet. I know that was way more info than you needed, but we are so lucky to have all these tools as filmmakers now days and this is the first camera in a very very long time that has me excited like this. I have owned or shot with the Canon C200, URSA Mini Pro 4.6k, Micro Cinema Camera, Pocket 4k/6k, Red Raven, A7R3, A7S2, A73. This is the first camera out of all of those where I can simply pack the camera and a lens and have what I need for a day of video and photos without a bag full of stabilization gear and photo gear mixed with video gear. 

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16 hours ago, crevice said:

They are different. The Micro nails a filmic look that none of these modern cameras achieve out the box. Its gritty, raw, and has a very organic feel to it. But, it doesn't have IBIS, does not shoot photos, shoot 4k, etc. The S1H has a very nice cinematic look to it as well, but it's not as "filmic" and gritty like the micro. Colors of the S1H still amazing though and I prefer the colors of the S1H more than the Pocket 4k/6k new color science (I owned both).

I assumed as much and I feel the same way about my 5D3 and ML Raw. It gives me everything I need in a traditional, filmic, organic image except some modern conveniences like IBIS and that crisp modern “Netflix” image which I have grown very fond of lately.

16 hours ago, crevice said:

The footage looks incredible, especially if you know what you are doing and how to properly expose vlog and convert it rec. 709 with the proper varicam LUTs.

What’s the trick for exposing vLog? Is middle grey at a drastically different spot on the curve than other Log formats? Are you using the official Varicam LUTS from Panasonic, or someone else’s?

17 hours ago, crevice said:

The autofocus for video is horrible, but I manual focus for video.

I shoot manual as well, but I’ve found, with past Panasonic cameras, that face tracking worked good enough that you could usually get a clean cut as long as you shot enough coverage. Is it the same?

17 hours ago, crevice said:

This is the first camera out of all of those where I can simply pack the camera and a lens and have what I need for a day of video and photos without a bag full of stabilization gear and photo gear mixed with video gear. 

I shoot run and gun guerrilla style so this is what I look for in every camera purchase but it’s been difficult to find something that has great IQ, DR and IBIS... with the ability to shoot raw in a future update... that’s just icing on the cake.

Thanks for the thorough reply and please share some footage when you get the chance.

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4 hours ago, mercer said:

I assumed as much and I feel the same way about my 5D3 and ML Raw. It gives me everything I need in a traditional, filmic, organic image except some modern conveniences like IBIS and that crisp modern “Netflix” image which I have grown very fond of lately.

What’s the trick for exposing vLog? Is middle grey at a drastically different spot on the curve than other Log formats? Are you using the official Varicam LUTS from Panasonic, or someone else’s?

I shoot manual as well, but I’ve found, with past Panasonic cameras, that face tracking worked good enough that you could usually get a clean cut as long as you shot enough coverage. Is it the same?

I shoot run and gun guerrilla style so this is what I look for in every camera purchase but it’s been difficult to find something that has great IQ, DR and IBIS... with the ability to shoot raw in a future update... that’s just icing on the cake.

Thanks for the thorough reply and please share some footage when you get the chance.

No trick for vlog - same process most of us know about (exposure to the right). But you’d be surprised how many people don’t do it accurately. For rec.709 LUTs the official Varicam Lut named “nicest” lives up to its name and is truly the nicest and best. 
 

I have not tried face tracking for video yet. But I’ll give it a go. 
 

This is the first run and gun camera that I’ve had that strikes all the boxes. Cinematic footage and colors, IBIS, compact, and shoots photos. 

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On 10/5/2019 at 8:22 AM, crevice said:

They are different. The Micro nails a filmic look that none of these modern cameras achieve out the box. Its gritty, raw, and has a very organic feel to it. But, it doesn't have IBIS, does not shoot photos, shoot 4k, etc. The S1H has a very nice cinematic look to it as well, but it's not as "filmic" and gritty like the micro. Colors of the S1H still amazing though and I prefer the colors of the S1H more than the Pocket 4k/6k new color science (I owned both).

With all that said, the S1H has so much going for it that my micro will only get used for certain situations and most likely not run and gun anymore. I have to use the micro on a ronin-s as there are way too many micro jitters hand held. Coming from Blackmagic and Sony cameras, I can't stress enough how unbelievable the IBIS of the S1H is, especially dual IS with their 24-105. There is no need for a gimbal unless you need slider like shots or walking shots. For stationary, short walks, pans, etc., there is no absolutely no need for a gimbal/monopod/shoulder rig, that's how steady it is. The footage looks incredible, especially if you know what you are doing and how to properly expose vlog and convert it rec. 709 with the proper varicam LUTs.

More importantly for my decision to make this my main camera is that I take photos as well and the one thing I was pleasantly surprised about with this camera is how good the autofocus for photos is considering all the complaints. The autofocus for video is horrible, but I manual focus for video. But for photos, it was MUCH better than I thought after listening to everyone complain. Eye auto focus works great as well. Not as good as my A7R3, but still really good. Another thing I haven't heard anyone talk about is how fast it can switch between custom modes, for example I have a video mode on the dial and a photo mode that I switch between. Video mode has vlog, 180 degree shutter, different settings etc that I keep static and photo mode has none of that. When I switch between them it is seamless, no loading, no screen blackout, none of that. It is instant and quick and I can switch back and forth instantly. 

To me, I look at the cost of $4000 different than most. Unlike when I shot with a pocket 4/6k or even the micro - I don't need to carry a gimbal or shoulder rig, I don't need to mount a heavy v-mount battery on the back, I don't need an external monitor if I want to tilt or rotate it (I still do for the large screen, but its not necessary), and I don't need to bring a second body and lenses if I want to take photos. On top of all that - I prefer the video image over the blackmagic pocket 4k and 6k. It has a nicer highlight roll off, seems like better dynamic range, and I prefer the colors. All this without shooting RAW yet. I know that was way more info than you needed, but we are so lucky to have all these tools as filmmakers now days and this is the first camera in a very very long time that has me excited like this. I have owned or shot with the Canon C200, URSA Mini Pro 4.6k, Micro Cinema Camera, Pocket 4k/6k, Red Raven, A7R3, A7S2, A73. This is the first camera out of all of those where I can simply pack the camera and a lens and have what I need for a day of video and photos without a bag full of stabilization gear and photo gear mixed with video gear. 

Thanks for the feedback!

I'm still hesitating between S1H and P6K. I think i've watched all S1H and S1 avalaible footage on youtube and vimeo!

My feeling is that despite all the ergonomic issues, P6K is in another league in term of image quality. Some P6k footage looks like really high end cinema cameras. 

On the other hand, while i've seen really nice footage from S1H, overall I still feel that videoy/digital look (too sharp, noise reduction artifacts, harsh highlight rolloff, weird colors in mixed lighting situations, "thin" color depth especially on skin tones that often look platic) in addition to noticeable rolling shutter and wobbles.

My hope is that image quality is hindered by high compression h265 4.2.0 codecs , so that prores raw would improve it substancialy.

However, raw will likely be limited to 10 bits (EVA 1 raw is 10 bit, and if it was 12 bits they would have been bragging to boost sales !)

I've got a question for EVA-1 users: Does 10 bit prores raw improve significantly image quality in comparison with internal codecs or 10 bit 4.2.2 prores HQ from external recorder ?

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, wildrym said:

Thanks for the feedback!

I'm still hesitating between S1H and P6K. I think i've watched all S1H and S1 avalaible footage on youtube and vimeo!

My feeling is that despite all the ergonomic issues, P6K is in another league in term of image quality. Some P6k footage looks like really high end cinema cameras. 

On the other hand, while i've seen really nice footage from S1H, overall I still feel that videoy/digital look (too sharp, noise reduction artifacts, harsh highlight rolloff, weird colors in mixed lighting situations, "thin" color depth especially on skin tones that often look platic) in addition to noticeable rolling shutter and wobbles.

My hope is that image quality is hindered by high compression h265 4.2.0 codecs , so that prores raw would improve it substancialy.

However, raw will likely be limited to 10 bits (EVA 1 raw is 10 bit, and if it was 12 bits they would have been bragging to boost sales !)

I've got a question for EVA-1 users: Does 10 bit prores raw improve significantly image quality in comparison with internal codecs or 10 bit 4.2.2 prores HQ from external recorder ?

I've been looking at C300 footage recently and there is a big difference between the best and worst, some people can make it shine and others could make an Alexa look like an iPhone video. It might be wise to wait for a few weeks till there's a bit more footage rather than just the promos and test shots out there - the S1 vlog stuff I have been seeing has definitely gone up in quality as the camera has been used more and there's a larger sample of users publishing stuff. 

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2 hours ago, wildrym said:

Thanks for the feedback!

I'm still hesitating between S1H and P6K. I think i've watched all S1H and S1 avalaible footage on youtube and vimeo!

My feeling is that despite all the ergonomic issues, P6K is in another league in term of image quality. Some P6k footage looks like really high end cinema cameras. 

On the other hand, while i've seen really nice footage from S1H, overall I still feel that videoy/digital look (too sharp, noise reduction artifacts, harsh highlight rolloff, weird colors in mixed lighting situations, "thin" color depth especially on skin tones that often look platic) in addition to noticeable rolling shutter and wobbles.

My hope is that image quality is hindered by high compression h265 4.2.0 codecs , so that prores raw would improve it substancialy.

However, raw will likely be limited to 10 bits (EVA 1 raw is 10 bit, and if it was 12 bits they would have been bragging to boost sales !)

I've got a question for EVA-1 users: Does 10 bit prores raw improve significantly image quality in comparison with internal codecs or 10 bit 4.2.2 prores HQ from external recorder ?

 

 

 

 

Not even close. You’re feeling is almost the exact opposite of mine and you’ll have to listen to folks that actually have the S1H. The videos that have been uploaded seemed to be majority from the Asian market - who have a different style than the western market. The S1H looks better than the pocket 6k in highlight roll off, DR, and color. I owned the pocket 4K and the 6k. I had the pocket for a while and tested thrn6k for a week. I have been testing both cameras footage side by side in resolve during all my tests. Even motion cadence looks better to me. The short videos that Panasonic released are more of what you can expect if you know what you’re doing. There is shit RED footage as well. Don’t underestimate grading skill, proper shutter angle, proper vlog exposure, etc., and lighting. It can make a great camera look like dog shit. I’ll have some footage soon 

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2 hours ago, wildrym said:

Thanks for the feedback!

I'm still hesitating between S1H and P6K. I think i've watched all S1H and S1 avalaible footage on youtube and vimeo!

My feeling is that despite all the ergonomic issues, P6K is in another league in term of image quality. Some P6k footage looks like really high end cinema cameras. 

On the other hand, while i've seen really nice footage from S1H, overall I still feel that videoy/digital look (too sharp, noise reduction artifacts, harsh highlight rolloff, weird colors in mixed lighting situations, "thin" color depth especially on skin tones that often look platic) in addition to noticeable rolling shutter and wobbles.

My hope is that image quality is hindered by high compression h265 4.2.0 codecs , so that prores raw would improve it substancialy.

However, raw will likely be limited to 10 bits (EVA 1 raw is 10 bit, and if it was 12 bits they would have been bragging to boost sales !)

I've got a question for EVA-1 users: Does 10 bit prores raw improve significantly image quality in comparison with internal codecs or 10 bit 4.2.2 prores HQ from external recorder ?

 

 

 

 

Thats the impression I got as well. Although I think the S1H is pretty impressive in its own right. Also the P4K has pretty noticeable rolling shutter in 6K as well. 

I haven't heard of the S1H being too sharp though just that noise reduction is out of control. Hopefully they'll address the NR issue as they did with the GH5. 

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12 hours ago, crevice said:

No trick for vlog - same process most of us know about (exposure to the right).

Since when is ETTR an established and accepted practice for cinema, or even for 10-bit log shooting generally?  For example, how can you assess highlight roll-off, if you're cramming everything into the upper end of the IRE range?  I can't speak to the SH1, but what makes you think you get the best image out of BMPCC 4k/6K shooting ETTR?

Drawing the conclusions you've offered here, based on 8-bit DSLR exposure techniques, may be risky. 

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4 hours ago, crevice said:

Not even close. You’re feeling is almost the exact opposite of mine and you’ll have to listen to folks that actually have the S1H. The videos that have been uploaded seemed to be majority from the Asian market - who have a different style than the western market. The S1H looks better than the pocket 6k in highlight roll off, DR, and color. I owned the pocket 4K and the 6k. I had the pocket for a while and tested thrn6k for a week. I have been testing both cameras footage side by side in resolve during all my tests. Even motion cadence looks better to me. The short videos that Panasonic released are more of what you can expect if you know what you’re doing. There is shit RED footage as well. Don’t underestimate grading skill, proper shutter angle, proper vlog exposure, etc., and lighting. It can make a great camera look like dog shit. I’ll have some footage soon 

Yes I really hope i'm wrong! S1H ticks a lot of boxes for me.

Although users feedback is important, I have to disagree on not relying on what i'm seeing. For instance i find that most short videos released by panasonic are underwhelming, especially "alive"; "the mixup" and "live your play". That 's what i was calling "thin" colors for skin tones. And those were performed in controlled lighting environment, set design,  make-up, on external recorder... But maybe it's just a matter of taste.

"Kepler 138" is brilliant, but i think those guys are so talented that they would have done something amazing even with an a7S first gen! ;).

 

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2 hours ago, wildrym said:

Yes I really hope i'm wrong! S1H ticks a lot of boxes for me.

Although users feedback is important, I have to disagree on not relying on what i'm seeing. For instance i find that most short videos released by panasonic are underwhelming, especially "alive"; "the mixup" and "live your play". That 's what i was calling "thin" colors for skin tones. And those were performed in controlled lighting environment, set design,  make-up, on external recorder... But maybe it's just a matter of taste.

"Kepler 138" is brilliant, but i think those guys are so talented that they would have done something amazing even with an a7S first gen! ;).

 

Understood and I’m not telling you to not rely on what you’re seeing. I was under the impression you were judging off some of the horrible YouTube videos from folks just pointing their camera and not knowing what they’re doing. We all have preferences, no right or wrong. Personally most people love the pocket 6k footage, but it doesn’t do it for me. Some don’t like the S1H but it does do it for me. Only thing I wish was that the S1H was in more hands so you could at least get a nice choice of videos to make a decision off of - as the pocket 4K/6k are in so many hands you really get to see people get creative and make some special work. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will get more out there. I’m working on a music video and will share when done. 
 

@hellium I was just giving a very brief and general statement that I don’t do anything special while setting exposure. I’m not giving a paid tutorial here, no reason to take what a random guy is saying on a forum as “risky”. I also have only had a week with it, so maybe I was better off giving no answer until I nailed my method down. For now I expose by monitoring my waveform, zebras, and making sure my skin tones are  to my preference by using false color on my ninja v. Pretty straight forward and maybe ETTR was too vague/not accurate. 

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12 hours ago, Mmmbeats said:

I don't see how ETTR would affect highlight roll-off.  It's just a non-destructive shifting of data towards a different part of the curve. 

Try substantially over-exposing BMPCC 4K footage (but shy of clipping), since that camera is party to this discussion.  Observe color and contrast-- as well as highlight roll-off, and the lack of adjustability of highlights.  How you concluded that it's "a non-destructive shifting of data" I don't know.  Sensors don't work that way.

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You will of course know when the "Right" in ETTR will damage the final image. ETTR is a common way for me using GH5 and C200, each with its own zebra-levels that make me not over ETTR - so that colors wont get skewed when bringing the exposure down. If you know what you are doing, ETTR won't affect highlight roll-off. :)

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