S1 Video Overview

The Panasonic S1 is the more video-capable of the two cameras, offering 4K/60p shooting from an APS-C crop of its sensor or oversampled 4K/30p from its full width. Its video specs don't come close to the video-centric GH cameras, but it has some clever options that have been inherited from them.

Key takeaways

  • Oversampled 4K/30p video from full sensor with or 4K/60p from APS-C region
  • 1080 capture at up to 180 fps, output as 50 or 60p footage
  • HLG video capture as 10-bit HEVC files
  • Paid upgrade necessary if you require a 10-bit V-Log workflow

Despite being less expensive, the S1 is the more capable video camera of the pair (its lower resolution allowing faster readout, presumably). By default, the S1 is pretty strong but there's also a paid upgrade available for high-end videographers wanting more out of the camera.

Out of the box, the standard S1 will shoot 4K video at up to 30p or up to 60p in Super 35/APS-C mode. In 30p mode the camera will shoot until the card is full but there's still a 29:59 minute restriction applied in the 50 and 60p modes.

Sensor region Format Resolution Frame rate Bit-depth Bitrate
APS-C /
Super 35
MP4 3840 x 2160 59.94p / 50p 4:2:0 8-Bit 150Mbps
Full width 29.97p / 25p / 23.98p 100Mbps
1920 x 1080 59.94p / 50p 28Mbps
29.97 / 25p 20Mbps
MP4 HEVC 3840 x 2160 29.97p / 25p / 23.98p 4:2:0 10-bit 72Mbps

The 4K/30p mode makes use of the sensor's full width, so you get no further crop of the angle of view. It also uses the whole 16:9 region of the sensor, which means it's generating footage from many more pixels than its outputting. This oversampling approach lets it give a more detailed stream than would otherwise be possible.

Out of the box, the camera doesn't offer a Log gamma curve for those users with a color-grading step as part of their workflow. It does, however, offer Hybrid Log Gamma mode. This is captured in the H.265/HEVC format at 72Mbps. And, although this is intended as a means of shooting footage for display on high-dynamic-range TVs, it is also a usable substitute for Log capture for non-pros.

1080/180

In addition, the S1 will shoot 1080 video at up to 180 fps from an APS-C region. This is output at 1/6th speed as 29.97p footage. There's also an option to shoot 150 fps footage, which produces 1/5th speed footage. PAL-region cameras will also offer 5 and 6x slow-mo from 125 and 150 fps shooting, respectively.

The camera doesn't offer the full 'Variable Frame Rate' function from the GH cameras, instead just letting you choose from a handful of specific multiples. There's also the option for 1/2-speed slow-mo 4K/30p and 24p (from 60 and 48 fps capture).

Linear Focus

As with Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds lenses, all its L-mount lenses will be focus-by-wire. However, this doesn't mean they have to offer the speed-sensitive response that can make by-wire lenses so awkward for video focusing. The S1 and S1R will offer the option to provide a linear response. Some lenses will have a focus clutch, on which you pull back the focus ring to reveal a distance scale and get a linear focus response by default.

However, the new cameras take this further by letting you define the amount of throw necessarily to rack from close-focus to infinity. The options range from 90 to 360 degrees, in 30 degree increments, meaning you can tune the lens response to give you sufficient precision to make the focus pull you need to make.

Mic inputs

The S1, like its higher-res sibling, has both headphone and mic sockets and is compatible with the DMW-XLR1 adapter if you want to use higher-end mics. Or, if you choose to use the internal mic socket, you have a choice of whether it should expect a mic or line-level signal and whether it should provide phantom power to the external mic.

Paid-for Log upgrade

In the same way that Log shooting was available as a $100 upgrade for the GH5, committed video shooters will have to pay extra to access the camera's full set of video features.

This does more than just add Log capabilities, though: it unlocks the ability to capture or output 10-bit 4:2:2 footage in both 4K and 1080 resolution. In its standard form, the camera can only capture 10-bit 4:2:0 footage and even then only in its HLG mode.

Sensor region Format Resolution Frame rate Bit-depth Bitrate
Full width MP4 3840 x 2160 29.97p / 25p / 23.98p 4:2:2 10-Bit 150Mbps
1920 x 1080 59.94p / 50p / 29.97p / 25p 100Mbps

Log is an attempt to share the storage space in the file more equally between the stops of light you've captured (rather than devoting most bits to the midtones). This gives you more flexibility when it comes to editing if you're likely to make significant adjustments. So for Log shooting, having 1024 values to share out means you retain far more tolerance for editing than if you only had the 256 values that an 8-bit file gives.

The larger sensor of the S1 means it can potentially capture more dynamic range than the GH-series cameras. For this reason, the S1 uses Panasonic's full V-Log gamma curve, not the truncated V-LogL version that its smaller-sensor cameras used. This allows the S1 to slot directly into any professional workflow alongside its professional VariCam cameras and means the camera can capture more dynamic range than its smaller sibling.