Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H

24MP full-frame BSI-CMOS sensor | 6K video capture | Ultra-high-res EVF

What we like:

  • High resolution and high bitrate video capture
  • Interface and tools designed to support video capture
  • Quiet, controllable fan to increase recording time

What we don't:

  • AF system may not be as dependable as some
  • Rolling shutter risk if you use whole sensor
The Panasonic S1H is a video-focused 24MP full-frame camera capable of 6K video capture. It's built around the L-mount developed by Leica and offers high-end video features in a stills/video hybrid camera.
The S1H is a SLR-shaped camera but features controls and on-screen displays that cater to videographers, and the interface has been designed to match those of Panasonic's professional Varicam series. It's a bit heavy for a mirrorless camera, but not when compared with pro video cameras.
The S1H is the most impressive video camera we've tested yet
The camera's autofocus uses Depth-from-Defocus: a system that builds a depth map to enhance its otherwise 'trial-and-error' approach. It works well for stills and can deliver good results in video mode, but its subtle hunting and the risk of it drifting to other subjects means it's not 100% dependable.
The S1H's video is very impressive. It's detailed without appearing over-sharpened and the camera provides extensive support tools, including stabilization, for video uses. The levels of rolling shutter are worth being aware of, particularly in its full frame mode, but otherwise the footage is excellent with a good choice of color and gamma profiles.
Although primarily intended as a video camera, the S1H shares much of its hardware with the standard S1, meaning it's also a very capable stills camera. The Raw files are very adjustable and the JPEG images are attractive. A low-pass filter reduces the risk of aliasing, meaning it'll be better than the S1 in some situations.
The S1H is big and expensive when compared to most stills cameras, but is compact and affordable when compared to anything else able to shoot such good footage. It's essentially a large-sensor GH camera: shooting great footage and offering just about everything you might need.

Richard Butler