If you’re looking for a high-resolution, full-frame mirrorless camera, the Panasonic Lumix S1R definitely fits the bill. Built rugged, with an effective 5-axis stabilization system, it’s a camera that delivers great handling.
Video credit: TheCameraStoreTV
Compared to its competitions, however, the Panasonic Lumix S1R does not hold up.
What’s great about the Panasonic Lumix S1R?
- Designed for excellent handling
- Built with dual card slots
- Guarantees high-resolution image output
- Features 5-axis in-body stabilization
- Captures the best video in 4K at 60/50p
What’s not-so-great about the Panasonic Lumix S1R?
- Inferior contrast-detect autofocus
- Mediocre dynamic range
- Inferior low-light performance
- Heavier than its rivals
- Has a higher price point than its competitions
How does the Panasonic Lumix S1R compare with other similar cameras?
- Sony’s hybrid system offers a faster and more accurate contrast-detect autofocus.
- Sony A7R III is more superior in terms of dynamic range and low light noise performance.
One of the redeeming qualities of the camera is the video quality and features. Despite it not being the selling point, Panasonic did a pretty good job.
The camera can output 4K video at 60 fps and can shoot 180 fps HD. The AZR III and AZR IV from Sony have nothing to it. Even the Z7 from Nikon falls short in comparison.
The camera also has a more rolling shutter compared to the Panasonic S1R.
Body and Handling
The camera offers easy handling despite its bulk and weight. This is primarily due to its rugged design, allowing you to use it outdoors and in tough environments.
Even without a lens, the s1r already weighs 2.2 pounds, which makes it a heavyweight.
Weight and measurement comparison
- W: 2.2 pounds
- M (HWD): 4.3 x 5.9 x 3.8 inches
- W: 2.0 pounds
- M (HWD): 3.9 x 5.8 x 3.1 inches
Nikon Z 7
- W: 1.5 pounds
- M (HWD): 3.0 x 5.3 x 2.7 inches
Sony A7R III
- W: 1.5 pounds
- M (HWD): 3.8 x 5.0 x 2.9 inches
The good news is the body of the camera feels great in your hands and offers a deep enough grip that the bulk and weight can be balanced when using big and long lenses.
Panasonic made good use of the large surface area on the camera, adding 3 buttons around the lens mount for the release and two functions.
One control is the default for exposure and depth of field preview, while the other one is for magnifying a portion of the frame for an accurate autofocus system or when using manual focus.
On the front panel, there’s the 1/2 toggle switch. There also Mode 2, which is the default for silent shooting.
S1R controls are customizable and you can remap almost every button to your convenience and comfort.
There’s no built-in flash but you can mount an external one via the camera’s hot shoe.
Crisp and color-accurate images are made possible with the 47.2-megapixel sensor. It provides you with enough room to crop or punch in.
If you want 4 high-quality images stitched together, you can use the easy-to-use multi-shot mode for an amazing 187-megapixel shot.
The sensor does not have phase-detect pixels, so banding is not something you’re likely to see even in backlit or low-light situations. The S1R also boasts of accurate colors and skin tones that are evident in portrait photographs in RAW and JPEG images.
In summary, the Panasonic Lumix S1R offers build quality and excellent handling, has a better new mount, and great video capability and image quality for its category. But you’ll have to pay a hefty price to enjoy these features. Are you willing to invest in it?