Many videographers are excited about the new full-frame Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras, without noticing a few key features that are unfortunately missing in them, but are fortunately present in the GH5, GH5s and DMC-FZ2500. If you are considering either of the new full-frame models, you must check out important missing functions, so you can make your best choice. You may —or may not— be better off with the still current GH5, GH5s or DMC-FZ2500 camera instead. I’ll also include links to my prior articles on those models.
Features that are missing on the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras
- 4K DCI (≈1.90∶1 aspect ratio, 4096×2160). The Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras only offer 4K UHD (16:9 aspect ratio, 3840×2160). You need 4K DCI for a digital DCI theatre submission or if you just prefer the wider ≈1.90∶1 aspect ratio for any other venue.
- Exact 24.000 fps. The Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras only offer ≈23.976. You need exact 24.000 for digital DCI theatre submission, and you may prefer it for the web, especially if you expect your video to be viewed by non-4K versions of the AppleTV setup box. See my article When exact 24 fps beats 23.976… and when it doesn’t for more information.
- Continuous internal recording. The Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras are sadly limited to 29 minutes and 59 seconds.
- Worldcam? As of publication time of this article, it is still unclear whether the standard US versions of the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras are worldcam. In other words, its still unclear whether they offer the PAL-derived 25p and 50p framerates or not. I’ll update this article when the answer arrives. See my article Why we should only use worldcams.
Fortunately, the still quite viable Panasonic Lumix GH5 (covered in these articles, Amazon — B&H), GH5s (covered in these articles, Amazon — B&H) and DMC-FZ2500 (covered in these articles, Amazon — B&H) cameras include all four features covered above, so you might consider one of them instead, with or without a matching Speed Booster (optical funnel covered in this article). When I say “matching”, I mean the right Speed Booster for your camera and for your lenses.
Panasonic might offer a future firmware upgrade to the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and/or DC-S1R cameras to add some or all of these missing features, and if so, they might be either paid or free upgrades.
Audio features on Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras
Despite the missing features covered in the prior section, fortunately both the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R cameras offer 3.5 mm audio input, 3.5 mm stereo output for monitoring, and compatibility with the DMW-XLR1 XLR accessory (Amazon — B&H), reviewed by Curtis Judd, which is embedded in this article.
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