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Panasonic Lumix S1R Review - Verdict

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Panasonic Lumix S1R With 24 105mm F4 (1)

Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix S1R is available for £3399 body only, or £4199 with 24-105mm f/4 lens as tested here. This puts it up there with other high-end full-frame cameras, as shown below:

Nikon Z7, 45.7mp, 9fps, 4K 30fps, £3199 body only
Sony Alpha A7R III, 42mp, 10fps, 4K 30fps, £2699 body only
Canon EOS R, 30mp, 8fps, 4K 30fps, £2349 with EF adapter

The 24mp version, the Panasonic Lumix S1 is priced at £2199 body only. Have a look at more full-frame mirrorless cameras in our Top 10 Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.


Panasonic Lumix S1R Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix S1R offers a high-resolution 47mp full-frame sensor, and as part of the L-Mount alliance offers a range of lenses, from Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma. Unlike Canon and Nikon’s mirrorless systems, you don’t have to wait for one brand to gradually release lenses over the next 2 or 3 years. In case you can’t tell, we’re a big fan of companies working together, as it gives the consumer more choice, in both price and options.

If you look at how the Micro Four Thirds system has worked, with just two main camera companies, Panasonic and Olympus, over time, it’s built up to give the consumer the widest choice of lenses of any mirrorless camera system, with many other companies releasing lenses, including Sigma, Voigtlander, Leica, Samyang, Tamron, Meike, and others. There’s no reason why the L-Mount alliance shouldn’t follow suit, and give the end user far more choice in (native) lenses compared to other systems. As with other mirrorless camera systems, you’re able to use an adapter, such as the Sigma MC-21, to mount other systems lenses onto the camera.

The Panasonic Lumix S1R is a large full-frame mirrorless camera, and is surprisingly a similar size and weight as a full-frame DSLR such as the Nikon D850. This appears to be a deliberate design choice by Panasonic, and whilst it may not be to everyone’s liking, there will be some who prefer a larger camera. It has resulted in a camera that has a large, comfortable grip, with good ergonomics and an easy to use control layout. We’ve already mentioned ergonomics are good, but you’ll also find the menu system is well laid out and easy to use, with built-in help.

Offering a 47mp sensor, the camera has a higher resolution than the competition, (currently), although the choice of a standard CMOS sensor, rather than a BSI CMOS sensor, has meant that the camera does not quite match the noise performance of cameras such as the Nikon Z7 and Sony A7R III with BSI CMOS sensors. That’s not to say that the noise performance is bad, in any way, it’s very good, and image quality is impressive, with great colour reproduction.

The Panasonic Lumix S1R doesn't offer CINE 4K video recording, although few full-frame cameras do, and most cost more, such as the Leica SL (601), at over £4500, and the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, at £5000. However, it does offer a wide range of 4K UHD video recording options, including 60fps at 4K (with a time limit), or unlimited 4K video at 30fps. The video quality, as you would expect with a Panasonic camera, is excellent, with plenty of detail, good image stabilisation, and plenty of options.

The camera offers in-camera image stabilisation, and using this, the camera offers a high-res multi-shot mode that can give you 187mp raw images, which can be converted to JPEG images on your computer. This is beyond what most people will need, but there will be some people who have previously had to look at 100mp medium format cameras as the only option, easily priced in excess of £20K.

To sum it all up, the Panasonic Lumix S1R has it all excellent image quality, excellent video quality, great handling, weather sealing, fast performance, and an easy to use menu system. The biggest negative, is the camera’s size and weight, being easily the same size and weight as a full-frame DSLR, but without the long battery life of a DSLR. But camera size is very much a personal thing, and what’s too big for one person, will easily be just right for another. Perhaps the Panasonic Lumix S1R will be just right for you?

Panasonic Lumix S1R Pros

  • 47mp full-frame sensor
  • 187mp High-Res Multi-shot mode
  • High quality 4K 60fps video recording
  • Updated and easy to use menu system
  • In-camera image stabilisation system
  • SD + XQD card slots
  • Weather sealed body
  • USB charging and power
  • Unlimited video recording
  • Part of the L-Mount alliance

Panasonic Lumix S1R Cons

  • Size
  • Price
  • Doesn't offer CINE4K video
  • Doesn’t include a software CD, available to download
  • Short battery life (without power saving on)

Overall Verdict

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rhody 18 2.8k 2 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2019 7:07PM
Thank you very much for a review I have been wanting to read since the news broke. I am with Panasonic on matching the ergonomics of a DSLR with this flagship camera. The size of DSLR's and SLR's has been honed to perfection for decades so I can see the logic in keeping the size and form of DSLR sizing to match high performing, wide aperture lenses.
I am a big fan of FF mirrorless although I still take my Micro Four Thirds gear on a long day out.
Good Luck Panasonic - looks like a winner in the making.

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