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Enjoying the Panasonic S1 again


Andrew Reid

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What a gem this camera is. I always get distracted by what else is coming out - GFX 100, SL2, X-T4, and the list goes on. But when I look at my footage shot in Asia and Berlin on the GH2, I

Quick Screen grabs from Lens testing Today. Superb Kipon Mamiya 645 Speedbooster with the Mamiya 55mm F2,8.  All handheld wide open. LUIX S1/Iso 1000, 4K 10 bit. VLOG

GH6, S35 sensor with mft mount like LS300, still with IBIS. Full 3 to 2 sensor readout at 60p and 4K at 120p. Internal Prores plus h264 and h265 flavours. Timecode In and out. Battery grip with SDI. F

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I dismissed or rather overlooked the S1 when it first came out and since as too big and AF not up to spec, but...

Just been looking at 2 potential options for hybrid in 2021 and on the fence now between the two...

They are:

Panny S1 with the 'kit' 24-70mm f4 with the advantage of fantastic IBIS, full frame light gathering and dynamic range etc

vs

Fuji XT4 with battery grip and 16-55mm f2.8 with the advantage of what after a firmware tweak will probably be equally as good IBIS and around double the battery life, slightly bigger (top to bottom anyway, less width and depth) but I much prefer the Panasonic screen.

I shoot 4k 50p for my video work so not a lot in that after all the various conversions, - Panny's native f4 with full frame equalling the light gathering capability of Fuji's cropped sensor, but f2.8 lens and focal lengths not much difference, ball park 30-100mm (as with the Panasonic, it's an APSC crop for 4k 50/60p).

The Fuji system costs a few hundred more, but will come down a bit soon enough for around parity in 6 months or so.

I'm split pretty much 50:50 at the moment between the two options, but fortunately, with no work on the current horizon, don't need to make any decisions right now.

In absence of an XH2, my strongest two contenders right now.

If any of my booked jobs actually do miraculously go ahead later this year, I might just give that Panasonic combo a punt alongside my current XT3 set up...and then I can flip either way in 2021.

Too much time on my hands right now like so many!

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3 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

here is one thing I wanna share with you. I hope it´s only an exception. My camera shut off with 25% power left on the display. I was using the original battery.

That is strange.

I use my S1 down to about 10% power all the time, both for stills and video shooting.

I can say one real strange (and annoying) thing is if you accidentally leave the battery door open, it will make a LOUD beebing sound (at least when shooting stills, not sure about when shooting video). If you were at a wedding and forgot to close the battery door (or it accidentally opened up), that beeping noise would distract EVERYONE in the church. It's that loud.

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2 hours ago, MrSMW said:

I shoot 4k 50p for my video work so not a lot in that after all the various conversions,

Just remember that the S1 shoots 4K 50p (or 60p) in 8-bit internally and that it shoots it in crop-sensor mode. So I don't think it would be "better" than the X-T4 for your needs. Probably worse since X-t3 / X-t4 have 10-bit and would be shooting at f/2.8 on same size sensor (area). 

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22 minutes ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

that beeping noise would distract EVERYONE in the church. It's that loud.

Turn it off then :)

3 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

Back to the S1. If Panasonic can give us perfect HD on both the S1 and S1H up to 60p I would feel spoiled! Until now it seems worse to than G6 regarding mushiness of textures and aliasing. There is one thing I wanna share with you. I hope it´s only an exception. My camera shut off with 25% power left on the display. I was using the original battery.

Uh oh. Which lens was attached, and how long was it recording for prior to the shut off? What message (if any) came up on the screen?

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4 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

 

Cool! Cannot wait to hear how you like it! I got the Unitor labeled version. The Soligor version was pretty well received back then by photomagazines. If you look at the original magazine ad, you can see, Soligor was selling it as a pro lens. I bought mine as a poor mans Minolta 35 - 70:) The Minolta in version III is supposed to be one of the best 2x zooms. So it is a bit adventerous that you bought that Hanimex since you own the Minolta, Andrew.:)  @BTM_Pix That´s a steal! 2x zooms are something to check out, as often written on this forum. My Tokina 25 to 50 is really cool, giving cinematic quality to light by an instant. Mine is even parfocal at 25 and 50mm!

One thing from other testers about this lens, wide open it is very sensitive to reflections and backlight but otherwise still nicely resolving on sensors.

Back to the S1. If Panasonic can give us perfect HD on both the S1 and S1H up to 60p I would feel spoiled! Until now it seems worse to than G6 regarding mushiness of textures and aliasing. There is one thing I wanna share with you. I hope it´s only an exception. My camera shut off with 25% power left on the display. I was using the original battery.

i had the same problem 1 time with the battery under cold condition.

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22 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

GH6, S35 sensor with mft mount like LS300

They could do something like this for a GH6S style camera with no IBIS. One could argue the GH5S sensor is approaching APSC size.

I wonder how many MFT lenses could cover the image circle without any major side effects? Sharpness in the corners would be reduced but we are talking video here so not a big deal.

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On 5/17/2020 at 12:03 AM, Video Hummus said:

The Panasonic lenses are expensive because they are extremely well built and feature-full. Even the 24-105 F4 is a beast with everything you mentioned and semi-macro ability.

Imagine if it had PDAF...it would have sold much, much better.

if it had pdaf i would would go all in. i have no native lenses

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6 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Uh oh. Which lens was attached, and how long was it recording for prior to the shut off? What message (if any) came up on the screen?

That´s what I thought.:/ It turned off without any message at all when I was snapping some photographs. Lens was the beloved Tokina 25 - 50 F4. Yikes.

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12 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Just remember that the S1 shoots 4K 50p (or 60p) in 8-bit internally and that it shoots it in crop-sensor mode. So I don't think it would be "better" than the X-T4 for your needs. Probably worse since X-t3 / X-t4 have 10-bit and would be shooting at f/2.8 on same size sensor (area). 

Having slept on it, this morning the Fuji options edged back into the lead ;)

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On 5/17/2020 at 12:41 PM, thebrothersthre3 said:

Cinema 5d measured the S1H having more dynamic range in 6k. Overall they seem to be the same sensor and same performance. The S1 is limited to 150mbps Long gop while the S1H can do 400mbps all-i. I personally never noticed a difference between 150 and 400 on the GH5 but can’t comment on the S1 vs S1H. If you want to get the S1H for the 6k keep in mind you can’t monitor externally when shooting 6k.

This has been addressed in the upcoming ProRes RAW firmware to be released on May 25th.

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On 5/18/2020 at 9:33 AM, PannySVHS said:

Is it possible to record with the Shogun Flame? I connect my camera to it, but recording doesn´t work with it, neither by triggering with camera nor directly.

This is currently missing. It's also kinda a pain in the ass to get this working with my S1H, as you have to enable Timecode over HDMI for the triggering to work.

Go figure!

2 hours ago, MeanRevert said:

Where can I find some sample S1 footage with skin tones and some 60P to download and grade?  I'd like to test some LUTs with them. 

I'll have some tomorrow with a model I have scheduled for a photo shoot. I'll do some video in a mix of 5.9K, 4K FF and 4K 60p.

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7 minutes ago, Lux Shots said:

This is currently missing. It's also kinda a pain in the ass to get this working with my S1H, as you have to enable Timecode over HDMI for the triggering to work.

Go figure!

I'll have some tomorrow with a model I have scheduled for a photo shoot. I'll do some video in a mix of 5.9K, 4K FF and 4K 60p.

Great! Looking forward to it. Is this internal or are you using the Ninja?

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4 hours ago, funkyou86 said:

Thanks much. It looks good so I'm looking forward to seeing if the 4:2:0 downgrade when using 60p matters much.

I'm used to Blackmagic now so also would like to know, how have you guys been exposing without False Color?

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On 5/18/2020 at 3:30 PM, Justforfun said:

I was thinking of getting the XT4 but as I go back to my f log XT3 files vs vlog S1 files I just get reminded how great the S1 image quality is. I use a black pro mist to soften some of the sharpness

I feel the same way about the comparison between the S1 and the XT3. I tried so hard to love the XT3, and I do love its form factor and many things about it, but the image quality of the S1 is far superior in both video and stills. In fact, I'm always amazed by how many people rave about the XT3 in reviews. I'm assuming there have been no IQ improvements in the XT4.

The XT3 dynamic range is quite lacking in some situations, and the image fidelity - the detail - is kind of mushy and almost phone-quality at time. The biggest deal breaker was the photo quality in raw, which I find to be smeary and lacking in detail. I've used all the raw converters, C1 etc but didn't find anything that got really clean and sharp images. Maybe because I'm comparing APS-C to full frame? The S1 photos are 100% more detailed, although the fuji colour is great.

In video the S1 detail, cleanness, dynamic range and colour is in a different league. I'd say the S1, along with the S1H (which I tested for a couple of weeks) is the best video image quality I've seen from any hybrid, and I've tried and owned many. For reference, the best absolute video image quality I've experienced is the Ursa Mini 4.6k which I owned for a year or so. I preferred the image to the Red Epic Dragon. I also had the ZCam E2 for a while which was great, but ultimately I wanted a hybrid camera. The S1 quality in 25fps is as good if not better than the E2 in prores. E2 slow motion - 50fps 4k and above -  was far better though.

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7 hours ago, MeanRevert said:

Thanks much. It looks good so I'm looking forward to seeing if the 4:2:0 downgrade when using 60p matters much.

I'm used to Blackmagic now so also would like to know, how have you guys been exposing without False Color?

You have to wait for the next update in a couple of days. It will improve the H265 10 bit 420 codec and V-Log quite significantly.

Just now, austinchimp said:

I feel the same way about the comparison between the S1 and the XT3. I tried so hard to love the XT3, and I do love its form factor and many things about it, but the image quality of the S1 is far superior in both video and stills. In fact, I'm always amazed by how many people rave about the XT3 in reviews. I'm assuming there have been no IQ improvements in the XT4.

The XT3 dynamic range is quite lacking in some situations, and the image fidelity - the detail - is kind of mushy and almost phone-quality at time. The biggest deal breaker was the photo quality in raw, which I find to be smeary and lacking in detail. I've used all the raw converters, C1 etc but didn't find anything that got really clean and sharp images. Maybe because I'm comparing APS-C to full frame? The S1 photos are 100% more detailed, although the fuji colour is great.

In video the S1 detail, cleanness, dynamic range and colour is in a different league. I'd say the S1, along with the S1H (which I tested for a couple of weeks) is the best video image quality I've seen from any hybrid, and I've tried and owned many. For reference, the best absolute video image quality I've experienced is the Ursa Mini 4.6k which I owned for a year or so. I preferred the image to the Red Epic Dragon. I also had the ZCam E2 for a while which was great, but ultimately I wanted a hybrid camera. The S1 quality in 25fps is as good if not better than the E2 in prores. E2 slow motion - 50fps 4k and above -  was far better though.

Saw lots of X-T4 video. Still has the smartphone look.
Lots of noise reduction and sharpening even when both set to -4 and Interframe NR is set to OFF.

Horrible.

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11 hours ago, MeanRevert said:

Thanks much. It looks good so I'm looking forward to seeing if the 4:2:0 downgrade when using 60p matters much.

I'm used to Blackmagic now so also would like to know, how have you guys been exposing without False Color?

It matters a whole bunch. Maybe not the 4:2:0 color reduction, but the H265 encoding really rubs the shine off of the image.

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