Panasonic officially announced the 6K-capable Lumix DC-S1H, positioning its latest full-frame camera as a mirrorless movie-making machine. First seen as a prototype at Cine Gear Expo this year, it’s now scheduled to ship next month for an MSRP of $4,000.
What’s so special for video shooters? For starters, the camera records both UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) and true 4K (4096 x 2160) at 10-bit and 60p using HEVC. 6K shooting is possible at 24p (with a 3:2 aspect ratio) and 5.9K can be acquired at 30p (with a 16:9 aspect ratio). Anamorphic 4:3 cinematography is supported. Improved heat dispersion means that the camera can record for an “unlimited” time in all modes, Panasonic said.
“Unlimited” is an awfully long time when it comes to high-resolution shooting and the heat it can generate; Panasonic claims to have licked the problem thanks to a newly developed “ultra-quiet” cooling fan that draws air across the sensor area of the camera thanks to small vents on either side of the body.
The DC-S1H can be overcranked in 4K at up to 60fps (for 2.5x slow motion in 24p playback) or in HD at up to 180fps (for 7.5x slow motion in 24p playback), or undercranked at 2fps. The camera can also record HFR video with sound and active auto focus. On-board recordings are captured via double SD card slot in relay recording, back-up recording, or allocation recording modes.
The 6024 x 4016 sensor features “an improved version” of Dual Native ISO (640 and 4000), Panasonic said, using the on-board Venus Engine processor to help minimize noise at ISOs up to 51,200 and an optical low-pass filter to reduce moiré. The S1H is said to deliver more than 14 stops of dynamic range — similar to Panasonic’s cinema camera line — and offers the option of V-Log and V-Gamut profiles borrowed from the VariCam.
HLG is supported for HDR acquisition and 4:2:2 10-bit output is available via HDMI at 60p and 50p. Other helpful features include tally lights, a waveform monitor, and a View Assist function for V-Log shooting. The 3.2-inch rear touchscreen monitor has a 3:2 aspect ratio and is more than twice as bright as the one included with the Lumix S1R/S1, GH5 and GH5S, Panasonic said. The OLED Live View Finder is the same one found in the S1R/S1.
An included 7.4V 3,050mAh battery is good for about two hours of shooting, Panasonic estimates, adding that it can be quick-charged in about two hours — even while being used — via an included USB 3.1 Type C cable.
Like other Lumix S Series cameras, the DC-S1H has an L-mount. Panasonic said it expects more than 45 L-mount lenses to be available from Panasonic, Leica and Sigma by the end of 2020, along with various adapters and converters.
Five-axis image stabilization incorporated in the camera body is compatible with the two-axis stabilizer built into Lumix S-Series lenses, resulting in especially robust stabilization — allowing as much as 6.5 stops to be picked up in still photography — for both video and stills.
Curious what it’s like working with the camera in the field? Panasonic released a behind-the-scenes marketing video, which you can watch above, depicting the camera kitted out for motion capture on a variety of rigs.
As noted, the Lumix S1H is set to ship next month and sell for $4,000.