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Beefing up the S1H


64mulford
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I’ve just held a Canon R5 in my hands. I’ve just seen a leaked video on the A7siii. Impressive cameras with impressive specs. As someone who has just bought a S1H I’m feeling a little bummed...

I know the S1H is an incredible camera and the other cameras still won’t come close to the features and functionality of this beast, BUT, I would love the ability to shoot 4K 60 with no crop, or 4K 120. 

What are the chances these frame rates could be added via firmware? Surely given the size, heat management and fan the camera can handle significantly more than it is currently? There must be a smart way to do this Panasonic? Make the 4K 120 4:2:0, with a slight crop and boost the fan to full speed for burst shooting? Same with full frame 4K 60 - No crop, boost the fan? Or does the S1H not have the processing power to cope with this? 

I love Panasonic and don’t want to see them fall victim to the specs race. If there is even the slightest possibility for these features being possible then they should do it to be competitive. 

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The ability to shoot 4K60P without crop will have to be pixel binned (like R5) or lineskipped, which the quality is quite terrible.   The main problem is the 24MP sensor cant read faster enough I guess unlike Canon's 20MP sensor?

 

Btw didnt they just announced prores raw firmware update? At least this one is widely supported unlike Sony's 16bit raw only the $3999 recorder support it.

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I think they are using all the capabilities they can out of the current sensor in the S1H. In my mind though the biggest problem is AF performance.

Now with Sony and Canon with 4K cameras with unbelievable AF performance in all modes, Panasonic has been thrown on the ropes again. The Canon R5/6 aren’t really competitors in terms of use (they suck for what the S1H is good at), but they are competitors in the mind share game and Panasonic falls short here.

With the AF tech in the A7SIII and Canon R5/6 being so good its hard to justify overlooking them for a S1H. From what we know of the A7SIII, its most peoples dream video mirrorless camera. Why would you buy a S1H over it? S1H does have twice the MP at 24MP and 5.9K but you give up the more useful AF. AF is going to be more of useful feature than 5.9K or 24MP stills imho,

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I wouldn't worry about the specs of other cameras, the S1H is a known reliable workhorse ,the R5 seems like an unreliable show pony that I can't see anyone using on a serious video production, the A7s3 looks more solid but we're yet to see what the time restrictions with heat management mean for shooting times...

As mentioned above the 4k60p on the R5 is bad, better to have a high quality crop than a sub standard full frame image. 

And yes the RAW update will take this camera above the other 2 for cheaper more efficient and reliable RAW if that's your thing.

4k 120p is not something I would use very often I'm already cringing at the amount of unmotivated slow mo that is going to be filling up Youtube - but if it's really important then let's see what the quality of the Sony is.

All the S1H is really lacking over the other 2 is good AF imho

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But if you have the budget for a focus puller why aren’t you using a proper cinema camera with RAW and all bells and whistles?

These smaller mirrorless cameras are most likely to be used with one camera man, with a lighter setup, maybe on a gimbal, or in the hands of someone on the back of a moped or motorcycle catching a second angle or a tricky shot.

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Yes. Until they release something that has consistent AF results and allows people to directly compare it to Sony, Fuji, or Canon and come away with at least a favorable impression I find it hard for Panasonic to stay competitive in the eyes of a consumer. They increasingly narrow their target audience.

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The S1 is cheap enough where its a good option. Downsampled 4k 10 bit internal and 4k 60p. With a $500 recorder you get high bitrate up to 4k 60p not bad at all. 

What I do wish is that they'd allow the camera to do Prores RAW out like the S1H. The S1H is a bit too pricey to interest me for what it is. 

What they really need to make the S1H more competitive is allow internal RAW recording. 

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2 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

But if you have the budget for a focus puller why aren’t you using a proper cinema camera with RAW and all bells and whistles?

Even crewed productions still have budget worries. Thus they'll choose the DoP's S1H over renting an ARRI. 

Or perhaps they're shooting in a bathroom, or in a car (or outside a car! Rigged up), or with lots of tricky moving gimbal shots. Plenty of reasons why you'd choose the S1H over a bigger camera, even if you had a larger budget. 

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17 hours ago, 64mulford said:

I’ve just held a Canon R5 in my hands. I’ve just seen a leaked video on the A7siii. Impressive cameras with impressive specs. As someone who has just bought a S1H I’m feeling a little bummed...

I know the S1H is an incredible camera and the other cameras still won’t come close to the features and functionality of this beast, BUT, I would love the ability to shoot 4K 60 with no crop, or 4K 120. 

What are the chances these frame rates could be added via firmware? Surely given the size, heat management and fan the camera can handle significantly more than it is currently? There must be a smart way to do this Panasonic? Make the 4K 120 4:2:0, with a slight crop and boost the fan to full speed for burst shooting? Same with full frame 4K 60 - No crop, boost the fan? Or does the S1H not have the processing power to cope with this? 

I love Panasonic and don’t want to see them fall victim to the specs race. If there is even the slightest possibility for these features being possible then they should do it to be competitive. 

How many times do you have to stop a shoot in order to change lenses because of the 4K60 crop?

How many times are you shooting 120p and find that the 1080p image quality is an issue in post?

How many times have you picked up and turned on your camera, or been looking at the files in your NLE and thought "gee, I really wish this brand had more market share".

15 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

I think they are using all the capabilities they can out of the current sensor in the S1H. In my mind though the biggest problem is AF performance.

Now with Sony and Canon with 4K cameras with unbelievable AF performance in all modes, Panasonic has been thrown on the ropes again. The Canon R5/6 aren’t really competitors in terms of use (they suck for what the S1H is good at), but they are competitors in the mind share game and Panasonic falls short here.

With the AF tech in the A7SIII and Canon R5/6 being so good its hard to justify overlooking them for a S1H. From what we know of the A7SIII, its most peoples dream video mirrorless camera. Why would you buy a S1H over it? S1H does have twice the MP at 24MP and 5.9K but you give up the more useful AF. AF is going to be more of useful feature than 5.9K or 24MP stills imho,

I wouldn't be so sure that they've maxed it out.

The GH5 received incremental updates for years afterwards, and they made the original firmware look puny in comparison.  I look at the current crop of cameras and don't feel at all left behind - 4K 400Mbps 422 10-bit ALL-I internal h264 without any crop compared to the 24p modes isn't that much lower than the current offerings.

In fact, the GH5 wasn't even maxed out.  There was talk within Panasonic of a firmware update to have a higher resolution than 5K (maybe 8K?) coming out of the camera - I saw this an excerpt of an interview with a Panasonic staff member, but had a quick look and couldn't find it again just now.
I suspect it would have been de-squeezing the anamorphic modes in-camera.  It has the capability to write 400Mbps to the card, and it has h265 capability, so an 8K 2.35:1 or 2.66:1 400Mbps h265 mode may very well have been possible.  In 2017.

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21 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

From what we know of the A7SIII, its most peoples dream video mirrorless camera. Why would you buy a S1H over it? S1H does have twice the MP at 24MP and 5.9K but you give up the more useful AF. 

I guess more will be revealed of the A7s3 but there are definitely question marks over its reliability with over heating. People mocked the size of the S1H but as can be seen by the Canon debacle and the new Sony you can't cheat physics with heat management and it looks like Panasonic made the right decision in making a larger solid camera people can trust. Paying over £4000 for a camera that may stop working is unacceptable in my eyes and so the R5 is not fit for purpose in a video production. (The A7s3 needs more testing)

That leaves the A7s3 and from what I've seen I would say the colour and IBIS are way superior on the S1H, disappointing that the A7s3 doesn't seem to have the same colour dna as the FX9. With RAW and anamorphic modes, higher resolution stills, AF is all that is really lacking

I  

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1 hour ago, ade towell said:

would say the colour and IBIS are way superior on the S1H, disappointing that the A7s3 doesn't seem to have the same colour dna as the FX9.

This is one thing I think the S1H pretty much nailed. The color. I really really hope we get something similar on a GH camera.

They are so very close for me to basically delivering the perfect camera. They just have to tick that AF box.

There Still seems to be a door for them after these latest releases. With pretty clear targets: unlimited recording, oversampled 4K120p, and AF. That pretty much it. 8K, 6K, internal RAW, would be icing. 

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The Panasonic S1H to Atomos Ninja V ProRes RAW firmware is downloadable here...

https://www.eoshd.com/raw-video/panasonic-s1h-to-atomos-ninja-v-6k-prores-raw-update-now-available-to-download/

Seriously consider giving the 6K RAW a go.

Most ProRes RAW is pixel binned via HDMI (like Nikon Z6, Sigma Fp, GFX 100, etc.)

But not this one.

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52 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

The Panasonic S1H to Atomos Ninja V ProRes RAW firmware is downloadable here...

https://www.eoshd.com/raw-video/panasonic-s1h-to-atomos-ninja-v-6k-prores-raw-update-now-available-to-download/

Seriously consider giving the 6K RAW a go.

Most ProRes RAW is pixel binned via HDMI (like Nikon Z6, Sigma Fp, GFX 100, etc.)

But not this one.

Any idea about the bitrates? 

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I haven't watched a lot of videos about the R5 / R6 cameras, but in the ones that I HAVE seen, I noticed the great AF performance is often demonstrated with lenses that focus breathe... a lot!!!

(I confess I watched Tony Northrop's review of the a7S III and I think he siad it was shot on an a6, and the focus breathing was really distracting to me.)

As wonky as AF is on the S1 series (and believe me, it is pretty wonky), Panasonic lenses have minimal focus breathing (and their zooms are pretty darn parfocal to boot).

(Doesn't the S1H have a focus pull feature where you set up two AF areas and then can pull focus between them??? )

 

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I have long been waiting for a solid mirrorless release from Canon. And was hoping maybe Sony would get their act together with colors and IQ. Looks like neither will happen for another 3-4 years. The Sony A7sIII specs are pretty much perfect, IMO - focusing on great 4k and great frame rates and not worried about 6k and 8k. But from what footage I've seen, zombie skin tones seem to persist. And the R5, though tempting, just seems too unreliable.

So, after using Panasonic as my stopgap for almost 4 years now (GH5, S1, and now S1H), I think it's just time to admit that I'm a Panasonic Man. Once those f1.8 primes come out, Sigma releases more compact primes, and they release a smaller (500-600 gram) full-frame camera I can use for stills, then it will have everything I need. 

Panasonic just makes the most reliable and robust cameras with all the specs you need and have leapfrogged Canon in color and IQ with the S1 and S1H. Sure, having great AF is helpful sometimes, but it has failed me enough with the C200 and EOS R that I would never trust it on a professional shoot.

Looking forward to just being happy with the S1H (especially now with 6k and 4k ProRes Raw!) for the next 2-3 years. 

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2 hours ago, currensheldon said:

Looking forward to just being happy with the S1H (especially now with 6k and 4k ProRes Raw!) for the next 2-3 years. 

GAS can be a bitch. You have a great camera in the S1H. Incredible underrated and overlooked because it doesn’t have headline grabbing AF. Beautiful image.

My GH5S surprises me still and I enjoy filming with it always  

We can hope Panasonic surprises us and fixes those problems with GH6, S2, S2H or whatever they do. 

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2 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

GAS can be a bitch. You have a great camera in the S1H. Incredible underrated and overlooked because it doesn’t have headline grabbing AF. Beautiful image.

My GH5S surprises me still and I enjoy filming with it always  

We can hope Panasonic surprises us and fixes those problems with GH6, S2, S2H or whatever they do. 

GAS is the worst. Gear can sometimes be fun, but often it’s a huge waste of time to go through these cycles, read about rumors, and care about every release. You really only need to poke your head out of a hole every four years and see what’s new and if any real advancements have been made. Then do a bit of research, but what you need, go back to work for four years. 
 

might start doing that next week. Bye for now. 

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