What We Want to See in the Panasonic S1R and Panasonic S1 Successors

It’s been a few years since the Panasonic S1R and S1 came out. We reviewed both cameras. And we’ve since updated our reviews of both cameras. It’s prime time for a refresh. To be honest, I don’t know anyone who bought the originals. The Panasonic S5, on the other hand, was very popular. When these cameras were announced, people were much more excited for them than what Canon delivered around the same time. Canon ended up causing more commotion, but Panasonic has done a whole lot to improve. And I’m hoping that the successors to the Panasonic S1 and Panasonic S1R are better. Here’s what they need to do.

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We Reviewed These Cameras That Double as the Best Webcams

These cameras make for fantastic webcams, and we’ve tested them to be sure!

Everyone needs a solid webcam these days. The good news is that your current camera can probably do just that. During the pandemic, manufacturers have been giving their cameras more capabilities. One of those involves being a solid webcam. On our YouTube, we’ve been showing lots of videos to test the autofocus on these cameras. They happen almost weekly on our Pro Camera Reviews show. More importantly, we’ve used them with a variety of lenses. Some have more lag, others just don’t have autofocus that can keep up. So here’s a roundup of great cameras that double as the best webcams.

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Fall in Love Again. Leica 35mm F2 Summicron SL APO Review

We’re streaming daily on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and Spotify!

I love the 35mm focal length, and the Leica 35mm f2 Summicron SL APO is no exception to that rule. Mount it to your camera and go! You’ll have fun! You’ll know it’s there to stick by you through and through. Like many lenses for the L mount alliance, you’ll appreciate the lens for what it is, but you’ll need to understand that the L mount is still a pretty flawed system. Once it sorts itself out, this lens will be all that much better. However, you’d better make this the only lens you’ll ever use because it’s expensive.

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After the New Update, the Panasonic S1 Seems to Be the Best Webcam

Our Panasonic S1 review has been updated to reflect new changes.

Panasonic is a company I thought would’ve been the first to figure out this whole webcam hack situation. They were behind all the other folks, but it was very worth the wait. Today, we’re announcing an update to our Panasonic S1 review. The camera has received firmware updates massively improving the autofocus. The professional photographer it was targeted to now has something very usable. However, you’ll get the best results with the Panasonic Lumix S Pro lenses. Further, we’ve still found problems in low light, and this is all across the board for Panasonic products, even with the new S5.

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The Panasonic S5 Has Something No Other Full Frame Camera Has

The Panasonic isn’t all just about video: there are some great features for photographers too.

You’ve seen the teasers for the new Panasonic S5, and you’ve heard the speculation. Now, we can tell you more about this smaller than Micro Four Thirds, Full Frame camera. Designed for hybrid creators, the Panasonic S5 meets the needs and desires for new ways of self-expression. Yes, that was Panasonic marketing talk. What does it all mean? Join us after the break to get a rundown of the specs. You’ll also hear about some new L mount lenses, and will be teased about a new GH series camera

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A Fantastic Portrait Lens: The Leica SL 50mm F1.4 Summilux Review

The Leica SL 50mm f1.4 Summilux performs admirably, but it’s chunky and held back by a slow focusing camera system.

I need to begin this review by telling you all how long I’d been lusting to test the Leica SL 50mm f1.4 Summilux. Three years ago, I wrote this article about Jarle Hagan’s documentary portraiture of Norway’s Sami – a protected indigenous people and the most northern dwelling indigenous people in Europe. When I saw his images, I was incredibly inspired in a way I haven’t been by a marketing campaign for years. His pictures, lighting, and the humanity he presents is the stuff of legends. But beyond that, it also meant the Leica SL 50mm f1.4 Summilux survived a super harsh environment.

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The Big City Lens: The Panasonic 16-35mm F4 PRO Review

The Panasonic 16-35mm f4 PRO is very nice, but it’s not outdoing Sigma’s 14-24mm f2.8.

When we called the Panasonic 16-35mm f4 PRO lens in for review, we were pretty excited. Panasonic has done a positively stellar job of designing lenses for the L mount system. But when looking at prices, I was scratching my head. One would think the Panasonic 16-35mm f4 PRO would be the affordable wide-angle zoom amongst the lineup. But the truth is it isn’t. Sigma’s 14-24mm f2.8 is a bigger lens that lets more light hit the sensor, and it’s more affordable than the Panasonic 16-35mm f4 PRO. As I sit in my office typing that sentence, I’m still perplexed as to why. The Panasonic is an excellent lens in every single respect, but I would sooner reach for an f2.8 lens if I could. That’s also not to say that the Panasonic 16-35mm f4 PRO isn’t a great performer. In fact, it’s exceptional.

Update May 2021. We’ve made changes to this review. You can track them in bold and italics.

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Review: Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro (A Beauty of the L Mount)

The Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro is an exceptional lens that is held back by a system that needs to evolve.

Something really amazed me during the presentation of the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro. They compared it to a Zeiss Otus lens. They specifically said that that’s what they were going for when it came to image quality. To be honest, they’ve either met or exceeded it. Further, they’ve added autofocus and some of the best weather sealing that I’ve seen. With 11 aperture blades at the heart of the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro, one could say that it’s doing what the Sony G Master system is striving for. But that would leave out the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro’s biggest weakness.

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Review: Panasonic 70-200mm F4 OIS Lumix S Pro (It’s Fast!)

The Panasonic 70-200mm f4 OIS Lumix S Pro isn’t a bad option for the photojournalist.

Many of you are of the philosophy that you hate zoom lenses, but the Panasonic 70-200mm f4 OIS Lumix S Pro is genuinely one of the most capable we’ve tested for the system. Thus far, I’ve found it to be the fastest focusing lens for L mount. That’s great news for photojournalistic photographers in addition to those who shoot weddings and events. You’re going to get great photos from it, but be sure to make a lot of space in your camera bag. Combined with the size of the Panasonic S1, you’ll see that it’s really large.

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The Latest Panasonic S1, S1R Firmware Increases IS to 6.5 Stops

The Panasonic S1 and S1R are going to be low light powerhouses.

One of the truly wonderful things with newer Mirrorless cameras and the ultra-competitive market that they have created is the frequency at which the cameras are now updated via new firmware. Both Sony and Fujifilm have proven to be leaders when it comes to adding new functionality to their cameras in a timely manner, but today it’s Panasonic’s turn to show everyone that they want to play ball too. The new Firmware update for both the Panasonic S1 and the S1R will increase Image Stabilization effectiveness by half a stop, and there are many more tweaks included too. Join us after the break for all the details. Continue reading…

DXOMark: The Sensor in The Panasonic S1 Beats Both the EOS R and Z6

Another day, another sensor test; this time DXOMark has been putting the new Panasonic S1 through its paces.

For those of you who like to take into account every fine detail about a camera before you plop down your hard earned money, you’ll be pleased to know that the guys and gals over at DXOMark have been hard at work. These sensor testing gurus have been doing their thing to the Full Frame Panasonic S1, and they have determined just how the new kid on the block stacks up to the competition in the playground. Join us after the break to see how this interesting camera fared. Continue reading…

Sample Images: Portraits Shot with the Panasonic 50mm F1.4 Lumix S Pro

We were shooting with the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro at WPPI 2019 and we’ve got a ton of portrait sample photos.

The Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro lens is the company’s first really high end prime lens offering for the L mount system. We recently put it through a quick test for portrait shooting. Photographers who are interested in shooting portraits with a shorter focal length like a 50mm lens will be pleasantly surprised that Panasonic put a lot of engineering into this lens. In fact, during our meeting with Panasonic they told us that they made it a “no compromise” lens. It was likened at one point to the Zeiss Otus lineup, which lead the way for the charts over at DXOMark. We’ve updated our Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro first impressions for you, but we’ve got a few further thoughts and the full gallery of portraits after the jump.

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Sample Image Gallery: Panasonic 70-200mm f4 OIS Lumix S Pro (Panasonic S1)

We got to spend some quality time with the Panasonic 70-200mm f4 OIS and the Panasonic S1; and we’ve got sample images.

Recently at WPPI 2019, we had the chance to use the new Panasonic 70-200mm f4 OIS lens for the new L mount cameras. We tested it on a shoot-ready pre-production version of the Panasonic S1; but it will work with any L mount camera like a Leica SL series for example. This lens is Panasonic’s first entry into a working telephoto zoom for the L mount and works with image stabilization on the sensor and in the lens itself. With an f4 aperture, it’s a smaller lens than what it should be, though arguably still larger than what Sony makes. Part of this philosophy is because Panasonic seems to be making no compromises with their new L mount glass.

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Sample Gallery: Panasonic S1 Lumix Pro Full Frame Camera

We got play with a shoot ready pre-production sample of the Panasonic S1 at WPPI 2019; and here are sample photos.

At WPPI 2019, our staff had the opportunity to play with a Panasonic S1 camera for a while. The Panasonic S1 is the latest offering from the company to photojournalists who want a full frame mirrorless camera. The Panasonic S1 sports dual card slots in form of both SD and XQD–which later on will be firmware upgradable to CFexpress. The unit that we used is a shoot ready pre-production sample, and we’re pretty positive that there is a Sony sensor at the heart. But we’ve got image samples nonetheless which you can find in our Panasonic S1 first impressions. 

For your convenience, we’ve put a bunch of the sample images below in this post too.

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Why 1/320th Flash Sync on Panasonic S1 and Panasonic S1R is So Great

The Panasonic S1 and Panasonic S1R have 1/320th flash sync speeds; and there are huge reasons why this is awesome.

One of the biggest things that I’m personally so excited about with the new Panasonic S1 and Panasonic S1R is the innovation brought to a full frame camera with shutter speeds and flash sync. Panasonic redesigned the entire shutter mechanism and gave it this ability–which is a first for mirrorless full frame cameras. Portrait and event photographers along with photojournalists and wedding photographers will greatly value this new boost to what they were already doing. While much of the photography world tries to put an emphasis on natural light and excessive Lightroom/Photoshop production, I feel like this helps put power back into the hands of true photographers and not editors.

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First Impressions: Panasonic 24-105mm f4 Lumix S Pro (Panasonic L Mount)

The near equivalent of a kit lens, the Panasonic 24-105mm f4 is the mount’s most versatile lens at the moment. 

The Panasonic 24-105mm f4 is a lens that will probably not be considered anything special by a number of photographers out there, but for anyone that knows just how wonderful it can be to have a versatile zoom lens, you’ll look at this option with glee. A 24-105mm f4 lens used to be my bread and butter–it quite literally helped me build this site and with us nearing 10 years, I’m happy that this piece of glass is an option.

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First Impressions: Panasonic 50mm f1.4 Lumix S Pro (Panasonic L Mount)

With the Panasonic 50mm f1.4, the company is creating what they call an absolutely no compromise lens.

The last time we heard of a no compromise lens of any sort, it was with Zeiss–but the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 S Pro is looking to do what Zeiss did and vastly improve. For starters, Zeiss didn’t give the user autofocus and those lenses didn’t have weather resistance. For what they charged, I was always shocked at this. With the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 S Pro though, the company hasn’t only created a massive 50mm f1.4 lens, but they’ve given it autofocus capabilities, a clutch to bring it back to manual focus, an aperture ring, hard stops on the focusing ring, weather sealing, and a nice feel. Best of all, they’re not doing it at the Zeiss price of well over $5,000. Instead, the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 S Pro is going for $2,299. That’s still pricey for a 50mm lens, but it’s promising to be a very special one.

3/1/2019: We’ve got an update with portraits shot by Reviews Editor Paul Ip.

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First Impressions: Panasonic S1 (Should Sony Be Scared?)

The Panasonic S1 feels like Canon, Nikon and Pentax had a love child, got rid of the mirror and went into an open relationship with Sigma and Leica. 

When Panasonic announced at Photokina last year that they were coming out with new full frame cameras in cooperation with Leica and Sigma, I think that the entire photo industry was put on notice. There are lots of folks who think that Panasonic created the first real, major threat to Sony in terms of something that professionals would want to use. The Panasonic S1 is only one of the new cameras that the company announced, but during our recent visit to Panasonic’s headquarters, it was the only one available for us to play with. This camera truly feels like a DSLR and in no way feels like a mirrorless camera that we’ve seen and held before. It throws all of the retro aesthetics and idea of embracing a small size out the window and instead does the human equivalent of taking up extra seating space unnecessarily in a public area. When you get your hands on it, you’ll feel the exact same way.

2/28/2018: Updated with Sample images

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The Panasonic S1r and the Panasonic S1 are Their First Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras

Panasonic and the L mount are cozying up to each other in the form of the new Panasonic S1R camera.

There are actually two new cameras from Panasonic in the form of their new Panasonic S1 and the Panasonic S1r. Amazingly, they’re doing it right too–the cameras have dual card slots and there is a version of their cameras with a smaller resolution sensor and a higher resolution sensor too. All the details that we’ve got are after the jump.

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