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Panasonic S1R arrived. Impressed! Some 5K tests


Andrew Reid
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S1R is like a different camera to when it came out.

Here's what I like so far.

The 10bit 5K does indeed have enormous mojo. Almost worth not bothering with full frame for! For anamorphic shooting it is seriously nice as it is 4:3. For normal shooting, a nice easy crop in post to whatever aspect ratio you like. It is crisp as heck. Colour is stunning. Particularly in the Neutral profile, it reminds me of the similar 5K mode on the similar Leica SL2 for 5 grand!

Low light is far better than expected. Dual gain sensor. ISO 12,800 perfectly usable. ISO 3200 and 6400 very clean. I have included some sample clips shot in full frame 4K 8bit and 5K 10bit at 12,800 and 6400.

https://we.tl/t-baorfLanyd

Quick toggle between 4K FF / 5K S35. It can be assigned to a button, which you can press to instantly go between 8bit MP4 mode (full frame) and 10bit MOV mode (S35). Very handy for that second tighter framing in 5K or to go from 4K/60p to 5K/24p and so on.

Colour science. I really like it. I put it at top. Canon move over.

CFExpress slot. Was XQD. With new firmware now it is CFExpress and takes same fast card as my EOS R5 does.

IBIS - seems to have the best performing IBIS I've yet seen although was to be expected coming from S1.

AF in stills mode (with L-mount lenses) - it is MASSIVE improvement on S1 and earlier firmwares. Not just fast but reliable too now. In video mode yet to try it but not expecting it to be as good for movies

EVF - it is larger than EOS R5 to my eye, just all round better.

Back screen - Never felt so confident manually focusing without punching in or activating peaking!

65:24 mode and L.Monochrome mode = XPAN style 9K stills shooting 🙂

All in all, I think it is more unique than S1 and a total bargain for £1500.

The S1 doesn't have the 5K, isn't as good in S35, cannot do full frame 4K/60p and doesn't have a pixel-to-pixel crop mode for Super 16mm c-mount lenses. On the stills side the S1R has a superior sensor, much higher resolution and better AF.

The only thing I might miss is V-LOG but the S1R's Flat profile seems to have very good DR for my needs and is much easier to grade. There is also CineLikeD and Hybrid LOG Gamma.

The S1R is two steps... an E-Mount and Good AF away... from being 99% of people's go to mirrorless camera. E-mount there is no denying is just far more established and AF too important to compromise on for most people's needs.

But for me, in that beautiful 5K mode with a bunch of manual lenses, it is perfect and different to a whole host of identikit camera bodies.

(S1 will be on eBay tomorrow if anyone wants it!)

It is also a Leica SL2 killer!

FOOTNOTE:

DSC09968b.jpg

I am rocking the Fotidiox Leica Killing adapter with built in variable ND.

It is EF mount so quite versatile. Takes M42 stuff and Contax Zeiss for instance.

The electronic side works as well although you can pretty much forget about reliable AF!

And before you say "but whattabout R5" that doesn't do 5K S35 anamorphic or Super 16mm crop and costs rather a lot more!

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

As I have been saying for some time, that 5k does indeed have something about it SOOC!

If only it could be 5k 50p…

I tried it at 30p and slowing it to 80% in post, but it has not been meeting my slomo needs…not that I really expected it to, but also too much flicker under many artificial lighting scenarios being EU. Obviously knew this also already, but trying to get what I need out of the camera.

The 4k 50/60p despite being 8 bit is also better than I thought.

Otherwise ditto everything Andrew said; the ibis is great, the AF better than you’d think, for stills fantastic and the sensor just magic.

Ridiculous priced used bargain!

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How does the S1r 4:3 5k compare directly to the S1 3:2 6k? I like that both offer something other than 16:9, but I really like that the S1 can use the full sensor with no crop. Interesting that the AF performs differently on the S1 and S1r as they are both said to use the same 225-point DFD system. I think the S1 has an ace up its sleeve in its ability to shoot raw to an external recorder, as clunky as that can be. 

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I'm interested in the EVF and LCD resolution. Are they better than the S1? The S1's EVF is very good and the LCD is pretty good. I think the S1H has a better LCD. I'm not sure if it's better for focussing in real terms. Is the S1R's LCD the same as the S1H's? Is there a notable improvement over the S1?

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4 hours ago, Owlgreen said:

How does the S1r 4:3 5k compare directly to the S1 3:2 6k? I like that both offer something other than 16:9, but I really like that the S1 can use the full sensor with no crop. Interesting that the AF performs differently on the S1 and S1r as they are both said to use the same 225-point DFD system. I think the S1 has an ace up its sleeve in its ability to shoot raw to an external recorder, as clunky as that can be. 

S1 3:2 6K is over the entire sensor and restricted to 24p. It also offers Full Frame 6K 16:9 up to 30p. Besides that, both S1 and S1R offer a 6K (5K!) photo mode in 30p.

S1R 5K mode is S35 format and up to 30p. All modes are 10bit h265 420 200mbps.

S1 also has the super strong 10bit 422 codec up its sleeve, which offers much better quality in grading. But the 8bit variante is no slouch neither in 709 formats.

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9 hours ago, FHDcrew said:

I’m impressed by the above example. The highlight rolloff looks insanely smooth given there is no VLOG. Andrew, does HLG work in the 5k mode?

Yes HLG works in 5K 10bit. HLG needs 10bit. So it doesn't work in the 8bit 4K modes.

Bit rate is 200Mbit in H.265, so rather good. That compares to just 75Mbit on the OM-1 in 10bit.

200mbit is a good sweet spot for me as 400Mbit I find to be a bit on the large side in terms of file sizes.

I have configured the lever on the front of the camera to switch between Rec.709 and HLG.

Which is quite fun.

The way it works is whenever I need extra DR in 5K I just flick that lever. Boom. And when you don't feel you need it and can't be arsed to grade the HLG, flick it back again and your originally selected picture profile is re-enabled automatically.

Meanwhile on a button near the shutter release I have made it a one tap to go between full frame 4K 60fps and S35 5K 10bit. So all these unusual options triggered within a second during the action, rather than diving into menus for them.

The only thing that takes a bit of menu diving is the Super 16mm pixel-pixel crop mode.

As for rationale for selling S1... Which is a very good tool... Well with S1R I was wanting something a bit different. My S1 has been great but I mainly see it as a full frame 10bit 4K/24p camera or the 6K mode which gives you rather similar end result, and so it doesn't have the same variety of creative purposes. The S1R has the resolution to do that unusual 4:3 5K mode and Super 16mm crop 4K. I also like that it is 4K/60fps full frame and would take 60fps over 10bit creatively speaking. The other thing with the S1 is that now the EOS R5 is working more reliably and I have the Sony A7 IV, my full frame 10bit 4K needs are covered - with the Sony handling 60fps and the R5 120fps whereas S1 maxes out at 30fps.

Also on the stills side I prefer the sensor of the S1R to the S1, it has more mojo and a lot more resolution.

Undoubtedly the S1 in V-LOG has better dynamic range though but I am not a dynamic range fetish person. I like to see a strong contrast in my end result and shoot in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get fashion. This way I get to experiment in the moment. Does a bright area look better if you let it bloom outward, or should you box it in, preserve the detail there, and darken the other areas of the shot? I find it is always more fun to make that decision during the shoot rather than in an endless post production nightmare divorced from what you felt during the actual shoot, which also has other impact of distracting you from editing!

With S1R I feel like I have the best camera for manual focus glass, along with the Fp-L.

With Sony E-mount and Canon R5 I feel those have all the AF lenses covered.

They are not as much fun to use as the S1R though.

The Fp-L also has that uniqueness about it, which more formulaic and generic mainstream cameras lack. The Cinema DNG feature, the extensive 4K crop modes, the tiny form factor, articulated tilt-EVF and external SSD support.

There is no point me duplicating over and over again other high-end do it all cameras like the R5. I need creative features and different mojos!

Undoubtably though, if you just want full frame 10bit that new 6K mode on the S1 with V-LOG is a total bargain for what it sells for used.

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6 hours ago, Owlgreen said:

How does the S1r 4:3 5k compare directly to the S1 3:2 6k?

Well one is 4:3 and Super 35mm

The other is open gate 3:2 full frame.

Other than that, both very nice. Dynamic range is better on the S1 in 6K due to V-LOG. I feel the 5K on S1R has more to differentiate it from other cameras, and the different sensor gives a certain mojo and colour science.

I am familiar with the 5K S35 before as Leica SL2 did it too.

That was an absolutely fantastic camera but it had the power issues in video mode and lack of articulated screen plus it cost 5 grand. No such drawbacks on the S1R for £1500.

6 hours ago, Owlgreen said:

I like that both offer something other than 16:9, but I really like that the S1 can use the full sensor with no crop. Interesting that the AF performs differently on the S1 and S1r as they are both said to use the same 225-point DFD system. I think the S1 has an ace up its sleeve in its ability to shoot raw to an external recorder, as clunky as that can be. 

The S1 can indeed use the full sensor with no crop but for me there is more to play with on the S1R.

I think audience will notice if you conform 60p or 48p to 24p for dramatic effect where warranted.

Whereas the 6K 3:2 mode on S1 either looks nigh on the same as the 4K unless pixel peeping it, or needs an anamorphic to get the most out of the 3:2.

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5 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

The other thing with the S1 is that now the EOS R5 is working more reliably and I have the Sony A7 IV, my full frame 10bit 4K needs are covered - with the Sony handling 60fps and the R5 120fps whereas S1 maxes out at 30fps.

S1 had a firmware update for cameras with the paid VLog key, giving it 4K 60p, 10bit, h265 in S35/ APS-C, in 16:9 and anamorphic modes. Reputed German test site slashcam has tested for class leading latitude in the S1. In its h264 10bit modes the latitude in the shadows coming from the S1 is very impressive, even slightly better than the R5 in Raw when pushed to the dumbest extremes. It is providing a great ratio between image quality and file size.

Great tip on the button setup for full frame and APS-C! Thanks, will try that on my S1!

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15 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Meanwhile on a button near the shutter release I have made it a one tap to go between full frame 4K 60fps and S35 5K 10bit. So all these unusual options triggered within a second during the action, rather than diving into menus for them.

So many ways to skin this cat…

I have C1 set for stills and a button configured for crop mode, C2 for 5k 25p p:p and C3 for 4k 50p.

I just flick then between those three.

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Yeah, the only problem I have with using custom modes is whenever I change something it reverts to the preset settings whenever I exit and re-enter that mode. So having to dive in and save the new changes every time you tweak a setting is a bit annoying.

The good thing with the 5K is that it has a dedicated codec setting (MOV) and the full frame 4K/60 is MP4. So tapping between those two (ignoring AVCHD of course!) on the function button I found the quickest way to toggle between them!

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17 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

S1 had a firmware update for cameras with the paid VLog key, giving it 4K 60p, 10bit, h265 in S35/ APS-C, in 16:9 and anamorphic modes. Reputed German test site slashcam has tested for class leading latitude in the S1. In its h264 10bit modes the latitude in the shadows coming from the S1 is very impressive, even slightly better than the R5 in Raw when pushed to the dumbest extremes. It is providing a great ratio between image quality and file size.

Great tip on the button setup for full frame and APS-C! Thanks, will try that on my S1!

Sorry for the question but, does the S1 record 6K 3:2 10bit? If yes then it's my camera.

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