Panasonic announced the development of the S Series full-frame mirrorless cameras at Photokina last year, and has now revealed all the details on the prosumer challengers to the likes of Nikon, Canon and Sony.
The Lumix S1 is built around a 24.2 megapixel full-frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm) CMOS sensor, though there's a High Resolution Mode available that sees eight consecutive images taken at slightly different sensor positions, and then combined into one 96 megapixel-equivalent image. Panasonic says that such a mode would be of use in landscape photography.
On the movie-making front, the professional users that this camera is aimed at can look forward to 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, with full pixel readout possible at 30 fps, and 4:2:2 10-bit internal video recording and 4K/60p HDMI output options available.
The other member of the S Series is the Lumix S1R. Panasonic reckons the 47.3 megapixel full-frame (36 x 24 mm) CMOS sensor at the heart of this model puts it above all other full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market in terms of resolution. And the High Resolution Mode for this model can result in a massive 187 megapixel-equivalent image. 4K/60p video is also present and correct on the S1R.
As mentioned last year, both cameras make use of Leica's L-mount for attaching glass. The sensors of the S1 and S1R have been treated to an AR coating to nip ghost and flare in the bud. The cameras feature a new Venus Engine image processor that's been specifically tuned for the full-frame mirrorless cameras, and can manage continuous bursts of up to 9 fps (AFS) or 6 fps (AFC).
Panasonic's Contrast autofocus with Depth From Defocus technology is shown on the spec sheet, which looks at two images with different depths of field and then calculates the distance to the subject. AI technology helps this combination to achieve the industry's fastest focus speed and tracking speed. AI is also used to differentiate between different subjects, such as humans and animals, even when they're facing away from the camera.
Though the cameras have 5-axis body image stabilization to counter the effects of hand shake, dual image stabilization is possible when the cameras have a Lumix S Series lens out front.
Framing up can be undertaken using a 5,760k-dot resolution OLED viewfinder with reported 0.005 second lag and 10,000:1 contrast, or the 2,100k-dot tilting monitor. Bluetooth 4,2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi are cooked in for remote operation and image transfer.
Body-only pricing for the S1 is US$2,499, or you can buy the camera and a 24-105 mm kit lens for $3,399. The S1R comes in at $3,699 for the body or $4,599 with the same kit lens as the S1. Pre-orders are open now, ready for April availability.
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