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Author Topic: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?  (Read 1246 times)

Dan Wells

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Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« on: January 31, 2019, 03:56:48 pm »

   The full specs are out for the new Panasonics (well, other than video data rate, and, if that's REALLY high, "videographers"  could be the answer to the title question). Like the E-M1x, I'm having trouble seeing who this one appeals to. In some ways, it's similar to Nikon's launch - a capable, but unsurprising 24 MP camera and a pixel monster.

There are two differences from Nikon's launch, though (both of which seem to go against its success). The first is that there is neither a lens roadmap nor a significant existing system (ignoring the ~6 worldwide owners of the Leica SL, for whom these bodies are certainly worthwhile upgrades).

Yes, the L-mount offers first-party adapters for Leica M and R mount lenses, but both of those are easily adapted to any mirrorless camera on the market (and, in the case of R, even some DSLRs). By contrast, Nikon's offerings fit into the whole Nikon system (flashes, batteries and other accessories are shared with Nikon DSLRs), and the trouble-free first-party adapter brings access to many million Nikon F mount lenses, which are much harder to adapt to other mirrorless systems than Leica M and R lenses.

The other difference is that this is not a compact offering. It's the largest and heaviest mirrorless on the market, other than the E-M1x (whose market I also question), and the medium-format Fuji GFX50S (20 grams heavier, with the viewfinder). The other medium-format options are lighter! It's the size and weight of an EOS 5D mkIV.

Of the three initial lenses, the 24-105 is reasonably sized (a little heavier than the equivalent Sony, exactly the same as the Canon DSLR lens, and a tiny bit lighter than the Canon R lens). The 70-200 is heavier than Canon and Nikon equivalent DSLR lenses or the Sony mirrorless lens, and the 50mm f1.4 is the weight of the massive 55mm Otus and substantially heavier than the (already huge) Sigma Art 50mm f1.4! The only remainingquestion is whether that 50 will manage to be heavier than the forthcoming NOCT-Nikkor, which is more than a stop faster (the Panasonic lens is substantially heavier than the f0.95 Noctilux)? Note that Nikon also makes a reasonably sized and priced 50mm for the Z mount...

Unless you own a Leica SL, why would you buy this over Sony? Nikon? Canon? Fuji medium format? If you choose Sony, not only are there are much lighter bodies with very similar features to both Panasonics for hundreds less, there's a full system of lenses and accessories. If you pick Nikon, there are very similar, but much lighter, ergonomically excellent bodies with a small but growing line of excellent, lightweight lenses - and access to the whole F-mount lineup. All other accessories are shared with Nikon DSLRs. Pick Canon if you think the lenses we're seeing point the way to interesting bodies and more interesting lenses, or if you have Canon DSLR lenses... Fuji medium format offers the best image quality now and a clear road to 100 MP, 16-bit image quality later - and the entry price isn't much more than the S1r.

Yes, I chose something else (Nikon Z and Fuji APS-C), and I knew roughly what the Panasonic would be like when I bought the Z7. What puzzles me, though, is that I can't figure out why anyone other than a Leica SL owner would choose Panasonic over other options.

If you prefer Sony to Nikon, that makes rational sense (more native lenses, for one) - I can see it easily even though I chose Nikon. A Canon preference is either a statement of optimism about unfulfilled potential OR an addition of mirrorless to a Canon system - either of which makes sense. Fuji (or Hasselblad) medium format makes sense if ultimate image quality matters more than bulky lenses...

The others all have their niche - and this holds if you include Fuji APS-C  and Micro 43. Fuji has the best darned APS-C system out there, with great, relatively compact lenses and a lot of the performance of 24 MP FF. Micro 43  actually fits in three separate places. The smallest Micro 43 bodies and lenses are much smaller than anything with a bigger sensor (although they have significant compromises). The Panasonics offer class-leading video features, and the O-MD line offers performance for sports photographers for far less money and weight than you can get it elsewhere.

Whee does heavy, bulky, expensive Panasonic FF fit?
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Telecaster

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2019, 04:16:41 pm »

I think Panasonic is just dallying with 135 format stills/video hybrids as a prelude to more video-centric offerings. Like Fuji they can afford to experiment without concern over bottom-line impact. CaNikon doesn't have this luxury…they need to get mirrorless stills right.

-Dave-
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John Camp

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2019, 04:43:37 pm »

I agree with Dave. Panasonic has always been strong in video, and I think this camera **could** wind up as the go-to video camera for enthusiast and semi-pro videographers, and documentary producers, replacing or supplementing Panasonic's m4/3 GH series. I mean, if you could make real big-screen movies with an entire set-up that costs ~$15,000...

I put all those asterisks around **could** because it seems equally plausible that it's going to do a major face-plant.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2019, 05:53:28 pm »

I guess that the only question is whether Sigma will only produce dedicated lenses for this mount or for Z and R also...

Super tough question for them.

Cheers,
Bernard

Dan Wells

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2019, 11:18:30 pm »

Maybe so on the video - the spec that doesn't show up is video data rate... There IS an XQD slot in there, capable of 3.2 gigabits (400 megabytes) per second - if the whole system is capable of recording 4K60p RAW at a gigabit per second or something similarly insane, it's not a still camera - it's an oddly shaped camcorder. Of course the GH-series, especially the GH5s, have always been oddly shaped camcorders - so it's far from inconceivable that Panasonic makes another one.

I hope Sigma isn't dumb enough to produce any lenses in L-mount only, but they never did that with their SA-mount. I'd expect (and hope) any dedicated mirrorless lenses will come in FE, Z, EF-R and L mounts.

 By signing Sigma up to the L-mount alliance, Panasonic and Leica avoid the fate of Pentax in Sigma's eyes. Sigma makes 41 lenses for Nikon F full frame, 39 for Canon EF, but 5 for Pentax (a 15mm fisheye, a 500mm telephoto prime, two versions of a sub $200 70-300mm zoom, and the 35mm Art). For the average K1 owner, only the Art lens and maybe the modestly priced, but older fisheye are at all relevant. Very few people are going to use a $169 or $199 film-era lens on a 36mp DSLR, and the $5000 50mm is an exotic. If Sigma weren't part of the L-mount alliance, Panasonic would worry about Sigma making lenses in FE only, or FE, Z and EF-R, but forgetting the L-mount, leaving them in a Patented Pentax Pickle...
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 11:29:29 pm by Dan Wells »
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Kirk_C

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2019, 11:43:20 pm »

By signing Sigma up to the L-mount alliance, Panasonic and Leica avoid the fate of Pentax in Sigma's eyes. Sigma makes 41 lenses for Nikon F full frame, 39 for Canon EF, but 5 for Pentax (a 15mm fisheye, a 500mm telephoto prime, two versions of a sub $200 70-300mm zoom, and the 35mm Art). For the average K1 owner, only the Art lens and maybe the modestly priced, but older fisheye are at all relevant. Very few people are going to use a $169 or $199 film-era lens on a 36mp DSLR, and the $5000 50mm is an exotic. If Sigma weren't part of the L-mount alliance, Panasonic would worry about Sigma making lenses in FE only, or FE, Z and EF-R, but forgetting the L-mount, leaving them in a Patented Pentax Pickle...

Interesting point.

Well Pentax lenses announced almost 2 years ago are finally being relased for K mount.
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Dan Wells

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2019, 02:01:29 am »

L-rumors just released (leaked?) a truly full spec sheet, complete with video data rates. Not bad, but nothing terribly special. Maximum data rate is 150 Megabits per second, standard H.264. Any random Z7 can do that, too. The lower resolution S1 also does the more recent (and efficient) H.265 codec, but only up to 72 Mbps. It's possible that a firmware update may unlock more...

Oddly, the sensor on the S1r is 50.44 MP, but uses "only" 47.3 MP for imaging. First of all, that's not any Sony sensor I've ever heard of - it's a little higher than the A7rIII and Z7/D850 sensors, but it's not the upcoming 61 MP sensor. Second, isn't that losing quite a few pixels? I thought that most sensors lost less than 1 MP to non-image pixels?

The weight quoted in most specs so far appears to be wrong. It's the weight without card and battery. Unfortunately, these cameras use a 100-gram (ouch) 3050 mAh battery to get only ~360 shots CIPA. That's about 1 2/3 Nikon En-EL15b or Canon LP-E6n batteries to get roughly the same number of shots as a Z7 or an EOS R... This is a 23 watt-hour battery - for comparison, an EN-EL15B is 14 watt-hours and the EN-EL18c monstrosity that powers the D5 is 27 watt-hours (but gets several thousand shots). With the battery in it, it's slightly heavier than a D850 or a Pentax K1 mkII and substantially heavier than a 5D mkII.or a D500.

Unless I'm missing something, Panasonic has just managed to release the third heaviest digital camera  on the market. The two heavier cameras are perhaps obvious - the 1Dx mk II is the heaviest camera around, then the D5 (not counting medium format body+back combos as a single "camera"). Then come a parade of FF DSLRs, the E-M1x, the three medium format mirrorless cameras  and the D500, ranging between a few grams lighter than the 1020 gram Panasonic and a couple hundred grams lighter. The usual "full-size mirrorless"  suspects (Z6/Z7, recent A7 series, X-H1, E-M1 mkII, etc.) are less than 2/3 the weight of this monster at 600-700 grams - and they all take lighter lenses!

Dan

« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 02:10:22 am by Dan Wells »
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2019, 04:43:30 am »

I think it makes perfect sense, given the partnership between Panasonic and Leica, going for many years now. I can see Leica M users using their lenses on a Panasonic L mount camera - much cheaper than Leica L mount camera, for starters. Plus the ones that still have Leica R lenses.

Sigma coming on board makes the whole thing even more attractive.

Rado

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2019, 05:25:45 am »

I hope Sigma isn't dumb enough to produce any lenses in L-mount only, but they never did that with their SA-mount. I'd expect (and hope) any dedicated mirrorless lenses will come in FE, Z, EF-R and L mounts.

It remains to be seen how much of a hurdle (technological and legal) is producing native AF lenses for R or Z mount by 3rd parties. I don't see Canikon licensing their mount to anyone, which is a shame, 'cause I'd really like to see some native AF lenses from Zeiss for those mounts.

What might be of interest (to me) is an EF-L adapter that Sigma has announced. It should work well (at least with Sigma EF lenses).
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mecrox

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2019, 06:08:06 am »

I have Olympus kit at the moment but I am thinking of switching after Oly apparently blew their resources on an odd duck no one really asked for. The surest bet among the new FF milcs for a stills-only person like me looks to be Nikon by a long way. The Nikon Z may not set the world on fire but it's an easy path to getting a decent camera and getting on with life without becoming embroiled in outlier bets with all that implies about system availability, longevity of project before the suits tire of it and decide to invest in computerized lawnmowers instead, and all the rest. This may be dull but "Just Works" TM counts for a lot here. The whole camera market looks pretty crazy at the moment.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2019, 07:34:34 am »

I have Olympus kit at the moment but I am thinking of switching after Oly apparently blew their resources on an odd duck no one really asked for. The surest bet among the new FF milcs for a stills-only person like me looks to be Nikon by a long way. The Nikon Z may not set the world on fire but it's an easy path to getting a decent camera and getting on with life without becoming embroiled in outlier bets with all that implies about system availability, longevity of project before the suits tire of it and decide to invest in computerized lawnmowers instead, and all the rest. This may be dull but "Just Works" TM counts for a lot here. The whole camera market looks pretty crazy at the moment.

It's off-topic but I'm curious. Why do you say "blew their resources"? Is this a supposition or something more? Olympus has several body lines (PEN, E-M5, E-M1) that have been updated more or less regularly over the years.

Your concern about longevity and system availability is an idea I read quite often here and in other places. It sounds plausible enough, but I am increasingly less inclined to buy it anymore. Judging from what I read on the interweb, there are lots of people who switch systems all the time, often without much provocation. With several new camera/lens systems recently introduced, I don't see much concern with longevity or availability out there. Canon has 2 separate mirrorless lines, I've never really understood Sony's product lines, etc., stability is not much in evidence.
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mecrox

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2019, 12:58:11 pm »

It's off-topic but I'm curious. Why do you say "blew their resources"? Is this a supposition or something more? Olympus has several body lines (PEN, E-M5, E-M1) that have been updated more or less regularly over the years.

Your concern about longevity and system availability is an idea I read quite often here and in other places. It sounds plausible enough, but I am increasingly less inclined to buy it anymore. Judging from what I read on the interweb, there are lots of people who switch systems all the time, often without much provocation. With several new camera/lens systems recently introduced, I don't see much concern with longevity or availability out there. Canon has 2 separate mirrorless lines, I've never really understood Sony's product lines, etc., stability is not much in evidence.


First, because an Olympus exec as good as said so in an interview the other day.

Second, I have only owned two brands since digital ILCs got going: first Pentax and then Olympus. Pentax got zapped by corporate shenanigans which had nothing to do with cameras at all, first a hostile takeover (Hoya) and then a new parent (Ricoh) running out of money. The Oly camera division is similarly vulnerable, in my view, and I don't wish to be held hostage a second time over. Development slows, the system decays, lenses aren't produced, etc. The temptation is to hang around but I can only shoot with what's around today, not on tomorrow's promises. I really like Olympus kit in fact, and it has worked out very well for me, but if things start looking iffy for Olympus cameras then I won't hang around and will move to Nikon. I value stability and a good ecosystem more than most folks, perhaps.

I don't like moving for the sake of it. It took a long time to learn my way round Oly cameras and longer to learn the best ways of PPing their files. We live in very uncertain times.
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Telecaster

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2019, 04:14:07 pm »

I don't like moving for the sake of it. It took a long time to learn my way round Oly cameras and longer to learn the best ways of PPing their files. We live in very uncertain times.

I don't share this concern at all. Panasonic, for example, could exit the m43 market later this afternoon and I'd hardly notice. I'm all good to go with that system. Same thing with Sony. The gear is in place…now it's up to me to put it to use. It's a strange dynamic that in this age of massive abundance we're all so focused on the next thing.

-Dave-
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2019, 05:06:22 pm »


First, because an Olympus exec as good as said so in an interview the other day.

Second, I have only owned two brands since digital ILCs got going: first Pentax and then Olympus. Pentax got zapped by corporate shenanigans which had nothing to do with cameras at all, first a hostile takeover (Hoya) and then a new parent (Ricoh) running out of money. The Oly camera division is similarly vulnerable, in my view, and I don't wish to be held hostage a second time over. Development slows, the system decays, lenses aren't produced, etc. The temptation is to hang around but I can only shoot with what's around today, not on tomorrow's promises. I really like Olympus kit in fact, and it has worked out very well for me, but if things start looking iffy for Olympus cameras then I won't hang around and will move to Nikon. I value stability and a good ecosystem more than most folks, perhaps.

I don't like moving for the sake of it. It took a long time to learn my way round Oly cameras and longer to learn the best ways of PPing their files. We live in very uncertain times.

I guess I don't share your concerns. But more than that, the only thing that's changed in the Olympus world in the last week is that they announced a new body in which you have no interest. I don't see why that should cause anyone to do anything, let alone to consider changing systems. They made additions to their lens map, their other lines are still there, about due for updates possibly, so I see no reason to be worried about their future, or at least no more so than for any other manufacturer. Except for the mirrored Canon/Nikon systems, is there a more complete lens line-up than m4/3s? Olympus may disappear in time from the camera world, but my guess is that we'll have a chance to wear out our current equipment before that happens. People worry too much.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2019, 05:14:12 pm »

It has been announced!

The EVF is likely to overtake the Z6/Z7 as the best one out there and may be a major selling point. It’s pretty much the only spec that I find appealing over what’s already available.

The eye AF may be great and so is the shake indicator.

Now we know that specs are just a part of the story of course. It may end up being a great camera.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 05:32:55 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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Dan Wells

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2019, 05:44:12 pm »

I'm with Bernard - great EVF, that shake indicator is a terrific idea, but otherwise a heavy Z7 (or Z6 in the case of the S1) with heavy, expensive lenses...

I really can't see how to build a camera that isn't just like something we have, because, across the 8 (!!!) viable mirrorless mounts, somebody has made everything.

Now the question is "who can build the best lenses"? Awards so far to Sony (broad full-frame lineup), Fuji (same for APS-C), Nikon (great relatively small, sharp designs - now make more of them) and Micro 43 (every lens you might want, except no real way to get a tilt-shift since an adapted lens would probably be too long).
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Christopher

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2019, 06:02:01 pm »

I prefer the shape much over the Z or R camera. However, I’m a little surprised by the weight.


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Kirk_C

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2019, 12:39:29 am »

I just learned that with the new 50 and the 70-200 zoom you have a manual focus clutch, pull the focus ring back to obtain manual and it reveals a distance scale. This makes repetitive focus pulls possible. And for lenses that don't have the clutch there is a linear focus mode in the body which also allows you to set the full rotation angle.

These features along with the paid firmware updates that will open up the video gamut tells me these are cameras intended for the combo shooter who predominantly shoots video.

 

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nputtick

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Re: Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2019, 12:29:50 pm »

Who's it for?

Well, at $2300 / £2300 for the 50/1.4 lens, it is clearly not for me...

I think I paid about 10% of that for my Canon EF 50/1.4.
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BJL

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Panasonic S1 and S1r forthcoming - who's it for? Not for most MFT users!
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2019, 02:30:19 pm »

The lens designs (minimal focus breathing, etc.), weight, and prices suggest two things:
  • The system is heavily oriented to photographers wanting a serious, even "cinematic", level of video capabilities along with stills.
  • It is not going to steal away a substantial fraction of customers who were previously choosing Micro Four Thirds! Panasonic, like Fujifilm (and I suggest, Canon), is aiming systems in two different formats at quite distinct parts of the "post SLR" market for interchangeable lens cameras. (A market that Panasonic originated with the DMC-G1, by the way.)
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