Panasonic promised, and then delivered.
The Panasonic LUMIX S series are some of the best performing full-frame mirrorless cameras available for video. Besides the S1H being Netflix approved, when combined with an Atomos Ninja V, it takes image latitude to new levels thanks to ProRes RAW recording.
Mark the calendar for November 24th, as Panasonic is scheduled to officially release firmware for the S series cameras that will improve the AF performance. The update is said to improve body tracking as well as real-time tracking for the eye, face, and head for more precise focusing. Under the hood, improvements have been made to the DFD (depth-from-defocus) system for better continuous autofocus that's said to better track small or fast-moving objects in stills or video mode.
This is good news for those who rely on autofocus as part of their workflow.
- Human/Animal recognition can be set ON or OFF when the AF mode is set to [1-Area] or [1-Area+] - S1H S1R S1 S5
- [AF+MF] can be used during video recording - S1H S1R S1 S5
- Recognition performance during video recording in V-Log has been improved - S1H S1 S5
- [SS/Gain Operation] function has been added - S1R S1 S5
- [Red REC Frame Indicator] is available - S1R S1
- It is possible to play back vertical videos vertically - S1H S1R S1
- 4K video files can be transferred to a smartphone via Wi-Fi - S1H S1R S1
- [Horizontal Image Flip(Monitor)] / [Vertical Image Flip(Monitor)] enables to reverse or not to reverse the monitor image when the free-angle monitor is rotated - S1H S5
S1R 5K Video
Panasonic said they would be releasing this update, and it's arrived. The S1R sees a bump in resolution as it will be able to record internal 5K (30/25/24p) 4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP at 200Mbps. Plus, 4K 60/50p 4:2:2 10-bit is now supported over HDMI.
- [Like 2100(HLG)] has been added in [Photo Style] to support 10-bit HDR video recording
- High-Resolution audio recording using an XLR Microphone Adaptor DMW-XLR1 is available and it can be controlled with [XLR Mic Adaptor Setting] menu
- [Luminance Level] function supports the 10-bit mode
- 4K 60P/50P 4:2:2 10-bit video output over HDMI has been supported
S5 4K DCI Video, ProRes RAW
Another promise with results. The S5 can now record internal 4K DCI (4096x2160), and better yet, external ProRes RAW has made its way to the camera. When using an Atomos Ninja V, shooters can record 5.9K, 4K, or anamorphic (4:3) 3.5K 12-bit RAW video. You can use the same LUT to color grade V-Log/V-Gamut as on the S1H.
- 4K DCI 60/50p 4:2:0 8-bit LongGOP 150Mpbs
- 4K DCI 30/25/24p 4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP 150Mpbs
- 4K DCI 30/25/24p 4:2:2 10-bit LongGOP 100Mpbs
- Display a Vector Scope
- [Master Pedestal Level] function has been added
- [L.ClassicNeo] and [L.Monochrome S] have been added to Photo Style.
S1 Future Firmware
Panasonic has teased firmware for the S1 that will come out in the first half of 2021. It will add internal 5.9K, 4K DCI, and 4K 60p/50p 4:2:0 10-bit recording as well as an anamorphic mode and timecode. Additionally, 12-bit RAW support over HDMI in 5.9K (29.97/25p), 4K (60/50p), and anamorphic 3.5K (50p) will be available.
The one caveat to the RAW recording is that in order to activate MOV and V-Log recording, you will need to purchase the DMW-SFUW software upgrade, which is a separate purchase if you don't already have it.
Among the S series updates is new firmware for the G100 camera that makes it compatible with the LUMIX Webcam Software. So if you have the camera, you can now use it as a webcam through the Panasonic software.
You will be able to download the updates on November 24th via Panasonic's support page.