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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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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DXOMark: Leica’s Summicron SL 35mm F2 ASPH Falls Behind Sony, More

Leica Summicron 35mm f2

The Leica Summicron 35mm SL f2 ASPH is a solid lens for those who have adopted the L mount, but it can’t keep up with the other players.

DXOMark has been hard at work in their labs once again, and this time, they put the Leica Summicron SL 35mm f2 ASPH through its paces. The Leica Summicron is a solid 35mm offering for those rocking a Panasonic S1R, or any other L mount camera. But this particular lens falls short of matching the quality of lenses from Canon, Sigma, and Sony. Join us after the break for a full rundown of the test results, and to see how it stacks compared to the competition.

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Can You Use the Constant Light Built Into a Strobe for Photography?

Some photographers want to use a constant light while they learn how to light their photos, so does a strobe’s LED really work?

Admit it; if you’re reading this then you probably don’t know a lot about lighting. That’s okay. We can supplement the fact that you suck at lighting with a strobe’s constant light, right? This light is called the modeling light and it’s designed to give a preview of what your flash’s output will look like. Lots of photographers want to know if it’s really worth it. The truth is it’s a very complicated answer. There are lots of times when it’s just easier to use an LED constant light. But more often than not, that’s because photographers don’t know how to light. I have to admit, considering what I know about using a strobe, it was actually harder for me to use a constant light than it was a strobe. Here’s what happened.

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Good News! Autofocus on the Panasonic S1R Doesn’t Suck Anymore

The Panasonic S1R’s autofocus has really improved thanks to new firmware, but it’s still not class-leading.

With all the latest and more affordable entries in the L mount alliance similar to the Panasonic S1R, the system is starting to look more attractive. The photographers who still like mammoth DSLR-like cameras are going to be very happy with the Panasonic S1R’s latest firmware update. The update is best done on a PC vs a Mac, and when you’re done you’ll be rewarded with autofocus that’s going to astound you. This is in comparison to the previous autofocus performance. The Panasonic S1R wasn’t going to win any awards when it came to autofocus performance; it’s still not going to if we’re being completely honest. But the performance improvement is synonymous to the way Fujifilm X Pro 1 and Canon EOS R users felt after a few critical firmware updates improved their cameras. In good lighting and low lighting, the autofocus performance is faster, but it’s still not perfect.

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Review: Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm F4 Macro OIS

The Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f4 Macro OIS currently acts as the standard lens available for the system–and it’s not too bad!

While I’m usually not a fan of lenses like the Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f4 Macro OIS, I have to admit that this one grew on me. Many years ago, a 24-105mm f4 was my bread and butter lens, and many folks have something like it for general shooting. But for the type of photography and shooting I do now, I found that this lens isn’t versatile enough. This is a problem I find inherent in all 24-105mm lenses: it’s either not as long as Nikon’s 24-120mm or the aperture is too slow. When it comes to shooting in very low light situations, the image stabilization from the sensor and the lens sometimes falls short of what a faster aperture can give you. The Panasonic S1R is perhaps the best camera to combine this lens with. It is designed for high resolution shooting that therefore lends itself to better color editing and much more. The Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f4 Macro OIS is fittingly large to accommodate the Panasonic Lumix Pro series of cameras, and a lens that I’m not sure every photographer would want or need.

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First Impressions: Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm F2.8 (Super Sharp!)

The Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 is arguably the best zoom we’ve used for the system so far.

The results of Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 will mean a lot for the company. In my opinion, it’s one of three lenses that will determine the success of the L mount alliance in its early stages. Along with the Panasonic 50mm f1.4 and the Sigma 35mm f1.2, these lenses are some of the options most targeted to professional photographers. Leica has an excellent selection of glass, but let’s be honest: it also comes at a premium. We’re not sure how many professional photographers will reach for Leica lenses. But, they’ll reach for Sigma and Panasonic due to the price and performance they offer. If Panasonic can fix its autofocus algorithms, the Panasonic Lumix S Pro 24-70mm f2.8 will make their cameras an excellent contender vs the rest of the options on the market.

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Is Panasonic Feeling the Heat in the Full Frame Mirrorless Race?

Recent price drops on the S1 and S1R suggest Panasonic is struggling.

The Full Frame camera market (up until about five years ago) was dominated by Canon and Nikon. Sony decided they wanted a piece of the Full Frame cake and they came in and shook things up. Canon and Nikon are now lucky if they get some crumbs these days. It was a bit of a shock when Panasonic announced they were branching out from their Micro Four-Thirds ways with the Full Frame Mirrorless S1 and the beastly S1R. Nobody knew quite what to expect. The Panasonic cameras are pretty great. However, recent price drops suggest Panasonic can’t even get near to the cake, let alone have any crumbs. Continue reading…

Review: Panasonic S1R (The DSLR Shooter’s Mirrorless Camera)

With the Panasonic S1R photographers are getting another soon to be great camera system that needs to evolve a bit more.

When the Panasonic S1R was announced last year, I was very excited that a company was creating a real professional competitor to Sony. But when I held it in my hand, I grew concerned about its size. It’s big: the antithesis of what mirrorless cameras are supposed to be. When the time came for me to test the camera, I realized the Panasonic S1R reminds me of a world I left behind years ago: the DSLR world. This camera is designed to bring those who love big, beefy DSLRs over to mirrorless. It’s less designed for the Leica M style users (that I relate to much more). What you’re getting from the Panasonic S1R is very good performance, but I’m not sure it justifies the size.

Editor’s Note: Autofocus section has been updated as of December 2019.

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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…

The Panasonic S1R Is the Best Ranked Full Frame Camera at DXOMark

panasonic s1r

The Panasonic S1R has been making waves in the testing labs over at DXOMark.

DXOMark has been hard at work putting one of Panasonic’s new cameras through boot camp, and it’s passed with flying colors. The Panasonic S1R has set a new standard for Full Frame camera sensors as it has displaced the Nikon D850 from its third place spot. This means the Panasonic S1R is only bested by the Medium Format Pentax 645Z and the Hasselblad X1D-50C. Join us after the break for more details about the DMOMark results. Continue reading…

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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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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