I recently purchased a Panasonic S1. I am a filmmaker who loves to tell stories but who also loves to use the best tools to capture the story. My previous cameras were the Panasonic GH5 and GH5s. Both cameras were equipped with a 0.71 Metabones Speed booster. While shooting the GH series I liked what I was getting but wanted a creamier look. I was used to that creamy look when I shot with the Canon 6D or the Super 35 C100 Cinema Camera. The images were good, but I knew I was missing something.
Last week I had the opportunity to use the Panasonic S1 in a real life shooting atmosphere. I shot the making and baking of cupcakes. This gave me a chance to shoot action as well as people. I wanted to know how well the camera rendered skin tones. The only lens I used during the shoot was my Sigma Art 40mm 1.4. and the Sigma MC-21 adapter that allows you to adapt your Canon EF or Sigma glass to the camera. Although the camera unlike the GH5s has stabilization, I equipped it with my trusty Manfrotto monopod for stabilization.
While shooing, I relied on the high quality S1 screen to get focus. I usually use a monitor, however I wanted to see how well I could nail focus just by using the camera’s back screen. The screen allowed me to focus well and I was able to punch in and focus too. The camera does not ship with Vlog L, but it does have a picture profile that is looking very promising. That profile is called Flat. I do plan on purchasing the upgrade to Vlog when it is available, but for now I will be using the Flat picture profile. While I was handling the camera I felt at home, the grip was nice and big, and I have large hands, so I felt the sturdiness of the camera. I used my Rode wireless system and the sound that I captured was clean and audible. Remember, this camera is a 4k full frame camera that shoots 8bit 420 color space. It does shoot 10bit 420, but you need to shoot in a picture profile called HLG. The 8bit looked great when I was editing the footage. The Panasonic S1 delivered that creamy look I was missing when I was shooting with the GH5. Don’t get me wrong, the GH5 can give you a creamy look if you shoot wide open. I think I just like the way the S1 renders the picture though.
One thing to note is that while I was shooting, I had the in body stabilization activated and the outcome looked like I was on a tripod. This is a huge plus because I love to shoot with a monopod and now, I can do so knowing that the footage will look stable.
If you are looking to upgrade from your GH series, I highly recommend looking at the Panasonic S1. You get in body stabilization, full frame video and photos, and soon you can purchase the video upgrade to Vlog and 10bit 422 color space. Do I regret selling my GH5, not one bit.