As part of Panasonic's entry into full-frame mirrorless, the Lumix DC-S1 is a well-rounded camera offering advanced feature-sets for both stills and video, along with a robust physical construction. Characterized by its full-frame 24.2MP MOS sensor, which is supported by an updated Venus Engine, the S1 offers impressive image quality along with a quick 9 fps shooting rate and expanded sensitivity range up to ISO 204800. In regard to video, the S1 can record UHD 4K30p with full-pixel readout, 4:2:0 10-bit color, and unlimited shooting times, as well as 4K60p for up to 29:59. HDR video recording is possible using the dedicated Hybrid Log Gamma mode, and a firmware update will be available to add 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording along with V-Log. Complementing both stills and video capabilities, the image sensor also utilizes an advanced DFD contrast-detection autofocus system for quick and precise focusing and subject tracking. Additionally, sensor-shift image stabilization helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake by 5.5 stops for sharper handheld shooting.
Beyond the imaging attributes, the S1 is also distinguished by its body design, which incorporates an impressively high resolution 5.76m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder along with a 3.2" 2.1m-dot triaxial tilt touchscreen LCD. The magnesium-alloy body is weather-sealed to permit working in harsh conditions and has a top status LCD for reviewing shooting settings on the fly. XQD and SD card slots offer flexible storage capabilities and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity afford remote camera control along with wireless image transferring to tablets and smartphones.
Featuring a full-frame 24.2MP MOS sensor, along with an updated Venus Engine, the S1's imaging capabilities have been optimized for high sensitivity, a wide dynamic range, and flexible recording modes. The sensor and processor incorporate Multipixel Luminance Generation and Intelligent Detail Processing technologies, which help to produce high resolution and definition by suppressing color moiré, and Color Control further enhances color reproduction, especially in the highlights and shadows. The Venus Engine's processing power also helps to suppress noise levels throughout the sensitivity range, from ISO 100-51200, and yield fast full-resolution continuous shooting speeds up to 9 fps with AF-S or 6 fps with AF-C, for more than 90 consecutive raw files.
Beyond stills shooting, the S1 is a highly capable video camera featuring UHD 4K30p recording with full-pixel readout, 4:2:0 10-bit color, and unlimited recording time along with UHD 4K60p recording for up to 29 minutes 59 seconds. Full HD recording is also supported, up to 60p with unlimited recording times. Also, high-speed recording modes for UHD 4K60, with 30 fps playback, and Full HD 180 fps, with 30 fps playback, offer 2x and 6x slower motion, respectively.
Complementing the video quality, a High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode, along with a dedicated Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) Photo Style mode, can be used to expand highlight and shadow details and offer greater flexibility when color grading. An optional paid firmware update will be available to further heighten recording capabilities with support for 4:2:2 sampling, 10-bit color depth internal recording along with V-Log. Additionally, recording to an optional external recorder is possible, via the HDMI Type A port, and support for an external microphone and headphones are also available via dedicated 3.5mm jacks.
Helping to achieve the utmost sharpness when photographing handheld, Dual I.S. 2 combines the S1's 5.5 stop-rated 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization technology with lens-based 2-axis image stabilization to compensate for a broader range of movement types to render sharper, clearer imagery. Dual I.S. 2 requires the use of compatible Lumix lenses featuring O.I.S. This stabilization system is able to compensate for approximately 6 stops of camera shake.
For accelerated autofocus performance, the DFD (Depth-From-Defocus) technology quickly calculates the distance to subjects and adjusts the focusing position in as little as 0.08 seconds, with sensor and lens communication occurring at rates up to 480 fps. This contrast-detection type focus method benefits both still and video recording modes, as well as subject tracking applications, using Advanced AI Technology, where subject type, color, size, and motion vectors are used to intelligently lock-onto the moving subjects and ensure precise focus. When working with portrait subjects, face/eye detection capabilities make it easier to photograph people and prioritize focusing as specifically as on a subject's pupil. The focusing sensitivity and speed can be adjusted to further improve performance with certain subjects. It also features 225 AF areas, which provide excellent control over where the camera will focus. Additionally, supporting working in low-light conditions, a Low Light AF feature enables accurate AF performance down to -6 EV.
Benefitting manual focus operation, focus peaking is available that highlights bright edges of contrast with a colored outline for quickly recognizing your focus point, as well as Touch MF Assist for touch-to-focus operation. Other AF features include an AF Point Scope setting that temporarily magnifies the subject by 3x to 10x for confirmation of the focus position and a custom selectable AF zone for Multi AF / Custom Multi AF.
Utilizing the S1's video recording capabilities, a trio of still shooting modes are available for recording continuous 3:2 or 4:3 8MP stills at a 60 or 30 fps shooting rate or 18MP stills at a 30 fps shooting rate:
Bluetooth Low Energy (4.2) provides constant connection between your smartphone or table and the camera with minimal power consumption. For more robust wireless activities, IEEE 802.11ac and b/g/n support is also available for faster transmission and more fluid remote control and monitoring.
Complementing the camera's wireless connectivity, Lumix Sync is an iOS and Android app designed to pair with the camera for smartphone or tablet-based remote shooting control and wireless image transferring.