June 1, 2019
CINEGEAR 2019

Panasonic Beefs up the S1 with New Software Upgrade

Current and new S1 users will get over 14 stops of dynamic range, 4:2:2 10-bit internal 4K recording, and much more.

Panasonic just announced the DMW-SFU2 software upgrade key for its S1 camera model and the new features are certainly exciting for new and existing S1 shooters.

Here are the highlights:

  • Over 14 stops of dynamic range
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 4K internal recording (yes!) up to 30p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 4K via HDMI up to 60p
  • In-camera LUT support during and after recording (I used to own an FS7 and not even that had such a wonderful function)
  • Waveform monitor during recording
  • Up to 96 kHz/24-bit sound recorded internally via the DMW-XLR1 audio adapter.

I feel like the major jumps in image quality (given that we're well established the 4K+ world and resolution is starting to level out) are coming into play via color science and luminance values. Panasonic seems to be on the same wavelength. The incorporation of 4:2:2 10-bit internal is a very welcome upgrade and it's actually free for existing and currently expecting S1 owners (and will be until October).

Pricing and Availability

  • Free for current S1 owners from July 8, 2019
  • Free for new S1 owners from July 8, 2019 until September 30, 2019
  • $199 for all starting October 1, 2019 

So what about the S1H?

Panasonic's new mirrorless full-frame "legend" of a camera, the S1H, still stands above the S1, even with the new software. The S1H has all of the functions and features of the updated S1 but has significant differences, including a 6K 3:2 24p, 5.9K up to 30p, and recording format, multi-aspect ratios (like anamorphic), and unlimited recording times. I have a feeling that the S1 will find its home with owner/operators and the S1H will more often than not be on-set as a b-cam for a lot of VariCam and EVA-1 film sets. 


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