Hands-on with the new Panasonic Lumix S1R

Zabriski Point at sunrise – Death Valley NP. February 25, 2019. Panasonic Lumix S1R (pre-production) with the 24-105 S, L-mount lens at 65mm. Exposure triad: f/11, 1/40 sec, ISO 100

I had the pleasure of spending a few days last week in Death Valley NP with the new Panasonic Lumix S1R and two lenses. The lenses I carried were the 24 to 105mm S Macro OIS f/4 and the 70-200mm S Pro OIS f/4. The S1R is the 47.3MP Full-Frame MOS Sensor body while the S1 is 24.2MP. The body I used was a pre-production version that had firmware version 0.7. A long way from version 1.0 that should be in the production release next month.

I am not going to spend time writing about specifications as those are available from the Panasonic and numerous other sites. What I am going to say will appear fan-boyish but this is how I feel. Having used full-frame film cameras, DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras, this is probably the finest camera I have experienced. The camera is a beast and as someone commented on YouTube and I fully concur – the S1R is the current Holy Grail of full frame bodies.

Ergonomics are exceptional, the camera just feels right. Both lenses that I tried felt comfortable and well balanced. The redesigned menu system is intuitive and exceptionaly well grouped and sequenced. Despite being a pre-production sample the image capture was truly a charm.

I set the camera to capture RAW and JPG images in full resolution and set the color space to Adobe RGB. I shot a number of high-resolution images 187MP and standard resolution images. As there is no RAW converter capapble of processing the S1R’s RAW files, all I have been reviewing are JPG’s and am thoroughly impressed. The dynamic range is impressive, the colors are fabulous as is the amount of detail even in a JPG file.

I am awaiting a RAW converter from Capture One or Adobe so I can truly experience the full potential of these new bodies.

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