Panasonic Lumix DC-S1

24MP full-frame CMOS sensor | In-body image stabilization | UHD 4K/30p video

What we like:

  • Excellent build quality
  • 4K/30p capture using full sensor width
  • 96MP 'High Res' mode

What we don't:

  • Large for a mirrorless camera
  • Autofocus wobble in AF-C can be distracting
  • High MSRP compared to competition
The Panasonic S1 is a mid-range full-frame mirrorless camera with a stabilized 24MP sensor and twin card slots. As well as stills, it has solid 4K video specs. An optional paid upgrade adds 'V-Log' capture.
The S1 offers extensive direct controls that are well-placed. It's a bit large for a mirrorless camera, but still fairly comfortable to hold. The body is weather-sealed and its dual-hinged LCD feels very well built. The EVF is very high resolution but the detail level drops as the camera focuses.
The S1 is one of the only full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market that handles and feels as if it were built to truly pro-level standards
The S1's Depth-from-Defocus AF system is both fast and accurate when shooting single AF. However, it's less reliable than the competition in continuous AF. And focus 'wobble' in AF-C can prove distracting, especially when shooting through the viewfinder. The max burst in AF-C is a somewhat modest 6 fps, though there's plenty of buffer space. Battery life is a tad below average.
S1 gives outstanding image quality. JPEGs offer pleasing color, well-judged sharpening and intelligent noise reduction. Raw files show excellent detail capture and plenty of flexibility. And if 24MP isn't enough, the S1 offers a 96MP high-res multi-shot mode with an option for motion correction.
The S1 can shoot oversampled 4K/30p video using its full sensor, including 10-bit HLG capture. There are also 4K/60p and 1080/180p modes from an APS-C crop. Face detection during video capture works well, and the camera's manual focus can also be adapted to make it more predictable for video work. A paid upgrade gets you more-detailed 10-bit V-Log capture.
The Panasonic S1 offers an impressive combination of still and video capture in an extremely tough-built body with extensive controls. Our only real concern is regarding AF-C behavior: focus 'wobble' can be distracting, given the high-res nature of the EVF, which may impact sports, action and wildlife shooters. But if you can get past that, it's a hugely capable camera.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared

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