Overnight, Panasonic has released details of the Lumix S1H full-frame mirrorless camera, which is designed to record cinema-quality video and is the first with 6K/24p recording.

Angled view of the new Lumix S1H camera fitted with the Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 MACRO O.I.S. lens. (Source: Panasonic.)

The new camera completes Panasonic’s current ‘full-frame’ line-up by adding a camera that will appeal to professional cinematographers by combining professional-level video quality with the high mobility of a mirrorless camera. The S1H features a new 24.2-megapixel full-frame (35.6 x 23.8mm) CMOS sensor plus the Dual Native ISO technology, first introduced in the flagship VariCam lineup. The sensor can leverage a dual-base ISO setting, resulting in minimised noise and superior image quality from low to high sensitivity. The new camera’s native settings are ISO 640  and ISO 4000. The Venus Engine processor in the camera enables users to set a maximum ISO 51200 with extension to ISO 204800 optionally available. A low-pass filter in front of the image sensor effectively minimises moiré patterns.

The new camera comes with IBIS (in-built image stabilisation) plus Panasonic’s 5-Axis Dual I.S. 2 system combines a high-precision gyrosensor with the 5-axis in-body stabilisation and 2-axis optical stabilisation in selected lenses to provide accurate shake detection and compensation. This enables users to shoot with up to 6.5 stops slower shutter speeds for both photo and video recording, reducing the need to carry a tripod, gimbal or Steadicam rig. The electromagnetically-driven shutter system ensures quiet, steady shooting.

Innovative heat management technology enables the camera to deliver non-stop video in every recording mode. An internal cooling fan disperses heat without interfering with audio recordings. The fan has four different settings, including off. AUTO1 starts the fan soon after shooting begins, to keep heat down and facilitate longer shoots. AUTO2 uses the fan only when necessary. Ultra-quiet performance, rugged design, and low vibrations for minimal effect on the image stabilisation system are other features that complement this new structure.

Rear view of the Lumix S1H camera with the main monitor reversed. (Source: Panasonic.)

The ability to record 6K 3:2 (5760 x 3840 pixels) full-frame video or 5.9K 16:9 video in 10-bit depth internally puts the new camera in a class of its own. It is also the first full-frame system camera to support 10-bit 60/50p 4K/C4K HEVC video recording when using the image area equivalent to Super 35mm, which has a crop factor of approximately 1.5x. When set for 10-bit recording, the camera can simultaneously deliver 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output to an external recorder. It can also record 4:2:2 10-bit 4K30/25p in H.264 format at the full sensor area at up to 400mbps when utilising an All-Intra codec. Other recording options include a 4:3 Anamorphic mode, which can match professional cinematographic lenses.

The S1H camera set up on a rig for cinematography with a cinematographic lens. (Source: Panasonic.)

Integrated V-Log/V-Gamut settings record a wide dynamic range of 14+ stops, in line with the dynamic range of the Panasonic VariCam cameras. This enables subtle gradations, such as skin tones, to be faithfully reproduced and ensures consistent colour management, making the S1H’s recorded footage is compatible with VLog footage recorded by VariCam, or V-Log L footage recorded by the Lumix GH5/GH5S for an easier post production workflow. Variable frame rate (VFR) functionality supports both overcranking and undercranking, enabling users to record 2.5x slow (24p/60 fps) in C4K/4K and 7.5x super-slow (24p/180 fps) in FHD resolution. HFR (high frame rate) recording includes audio and autofocus at 120fps for creating slow-motion video in post-production, while maintaining a high bit rate and 10-bit internal recording. Convenient tally lights on the front and rear of the camera show the user and the subject when recordings are being made.

The monitor on the S1H features a new multi-hinge design that tilts and rotates to provide a wide range of viewing angles. (Source: Panasonic.)

Built with a  magnesium alloy full die-cast frame, the S1H is highly durable, while sealing protects every seam, dial, and button, as well as the fan. The camera is dust and splash-resistant and usable at temperatures down to -10°C. The shutter unit is rated for around 400,000 cycles.

The large, 3.2-inch LCD monitor has a resolution of 2,330,000 dots and 3:2 aspect ratio. Touch controls is facilitated with approximately 150% higher luminance for excellent visibility in outdoor shooting, compared with the S1R/S1. A new multi-hinge design tilts and rotates enabling users to change angles without unplugging cables such as HDMI or USB. Other useful features include Live View Boost, which boosts sensitivity for checking shots in the dark. Night Mode puts a red cast over the viewfinder and/or the LCD display, so the photographer’s vision is not affected when shooting night scenes.

Top view of the S1H camera body, showing the new Status LCD screen.  (Source: Panasonic.)  

A new1.8-inch high-resolution Status LCD is the largest in its class and features MIP (Memory In Pixel technology) for low power consumption. It has a black/white switchable background and supports time code counting and audio monitoring. The LVF (Live View Finder) is the same as used in the S1R/S1 with a resolution of 5,760,000 dots plus high-speed OLED technology, it delivers a smooth 120 fps display, a minimum lag of less than 0.005 sec and a 10,000:1 high

contrast ratio. The 0.78x magnification ratio can be switched to 0.7x or 0.74x to suit users whoe wear glasses. Convenient customisable Fn buttons are located on the front of the S1H, while a new sub video button enables operators to start and stop recording when the main recording button is inaccessible.

For stills photographers, S1H supports a High Resolution mode that a 96-megapixel equivalent (12,000 x 8,000-pixel) RAW and/or JPEG image. It is obtained by recording and combining eight consecutive images in the camera. There’s also a HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) Photo mode  that delivers a wider dynamic range that ensures more natural contrast, producing images that are compatible with HDR displays. Files can be played back on the latest Panasonic HLG-compliant 4KTV via HDMI cable connection or on other HLG-compliant devices. HLG Photos can be produced as an HSP file with compressed high-brightness signals in full resolution (5888 x 3312 in 16:9).

Because the lens and sensor communicate at up to 480 fps, Contrast AF with DFD technology allows the  S1H to lock focus in approximately 0.08 second. Panasonic’s face/eye detection technology includes Eye AF, which can focus precisely on the pupil of a subject’s eye. Advanced AI Technology can detect specific subjects – humans and fast-moving animals – and track them, even when they are not facing the camera. High-speed continuous shooting is available at 9 fps (AFS) or 6 fps (AFC). Shutter speeds extend to a maximum of 1/8000 second, with flash synch at 1/320 second. The Highlight Weighted Light Metering Mode meters light with the priority on highlighted parts, to prevent them from washing out.

Dual SD card slots accept UHS-II SD Cards and cards with Video Speed Class 90 rating. The 7.4-V 3,050 mAh high-capacity battery (with a long recording time of approximately 2 hours in all recording modes) can be quickly charged via USB PD (USB Power Delivery), using the bundled USB3.1 Type-C cable. An HDMI Type A terminal is provided, with a cable lock holder for extra security. Time Code IN/OUT synchronisation is available via the flash synchro terminal and the bundled BNC converter cable.

The new camera accepts the same accessories as the S1 and S1R cameras, including the Microphone Adaptor (DMW-XLR1), Remote Shutter (DMW-RS2), Eyecup (DMW-EC6), Battery Grip (DMW-BGS1) and Battery Charger (DMW-BTC14). MIC, LINE and condenser microphones are switchable and the mic adaptor supports professional microphones. Panasonic’s DMWFL580L, FL360L and FL200L can be used on the new camera. Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy connection and secure 5GHz Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11ac) provide convenient remote control and sharing with other devices, while Lumix Sync for iOS/Android devices enables photo transmission and remote control via a smartphone or tablet through wireless connection. Lumix Tether software enables tethered shooting.

The Lumix S1H will be available in Australia in October 2019 for an RRP of AU$5999 (body only) or in kit format with the Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 MACRO O.I.S. (S-R24105) lens for an RRP of AU$7599. Click here for additional information.

The images below were captured at the media event in Sydney where Panasonic employed a professional cinematographic team to demonstrate the new S1H camera’s capabilities.

Filming an interview.

Shooting dance action.

Recording a band.

Demonstrating the results.