Here's the latest S1R in the flesh! As we noted here, this is a 47.3MP 35mm full-frame mirrorless camera, a first for Panasonic and one of their first offerings to the L-mount Alliance. It comes with a 5-axis in-body image stabilization system and retails now for S$5,199.
The S1R has a nice large viewfinder with an impressive 5,760k dots resolution and a field of view of about 100%. It's also nice and bright with a fast refresh rate; certainly one of the nicest EVF's we've looked through in recent years.
It's a new layout that's still very familiar, with plenty of dedicated buttons and dials so you have quick access to your needed functions. Not much menu diving to do here - and that's a big plus point!
If you do need to go into the menus, it's great to see that Panasonic has incorporated touch throughout the cameras. Flick and scroll through settings just as you would on your mobile phone instead of having to rely on the tiny d-pad!
As you can see focus modes are on a switch that circles a button that lets you switch focus patterns, while the focus point joystick is close by. It's a very logical placement and in practical use, it's instinctive.
Speaking of autofocus, the S1R has a wide range of AF methods to select from. As you can see, it even has options for Animal eye detect! The AF Area can be further defined to your liking so you can adjust how much the camera has to cover for optimal performance.
Manual focus with the camera pulls up this view, where you get your distance scale below, as well as a magnified close-up area with peaking. It's quite a handy way to quickly get accurate focus, and you can easily shift the magnified area via touch.
Now for some sample images! The workshop setting offered models in wedding dresses in both indoor and outdoor settings for participants to test the cameras on. The images that follow are from the S1R with 24-105 F4 lens.
The following sample photographs were shot with the Panasonic S1R in JPEG format, and are copyright to SPH Magazines. These photographs are provided for your reference only and we ask that you do not reproduce them elsewhere. Because of the large size of the full-resolution JPEGs, 100% crops have been provided instead of links to the full-resolution images.
As expected from a 47.3MP camera, there's plenty of detail in the images. However, the depth of field effect is also more enhanced as you'll see from the 100% crop in the next page. (Capture info: 95mm at f/4.0, 1/160s, ISO 800).
Focus is clearly on the far eye (i.e. her right eye) and the depth of field is so thin at f/4.0 that blurring (or bokeh) starts from her nose onwards. (100% crop shown)
How do the images fare at higher ISOs? Well, this shot is at ISO 25,600, and you can clearly still make out some detail in the flowers and the chair when you look at the overall picture. (Capture info: 72mm at f/20, 1/160, ISO 25,600)
Go in to 100% and you'll notice how much noise reduction has taken place at the expense of detail. That's not uncommon for high resolution sensors, but we'd still recommend sticking below ISO25,600 with this camera.
Face detect works well with multiple subjects too, as we found in-camera there were boxes around each face, signifying a focus lock-on. In this case, it seems the camera picked the "groom" as the main subject, as his face is most in focus. (Capture info: 70mm at f/4.5, 1/40s, ISO 1600)
Plenty of detail at 100%, as you can almost make out individual pores despite the make-up applied!
Finally, here's a look at a High-Res shot developed in Adobe Lightroom. The actual image captured was a 81.1MB RAW file (RW2 format) that we converted to a JPEG. (Capture info: 38mm at f/8.0, 1/10s, ISO 3200)
And here's a 100% crop of the image. As you can see, there's certainly a lot of detail to the picture, so the function can certainly be useful to landscape/still-life photographers who require the insanely high resolution.
All in, we're quite impressed by this first offering from Panasonic. The camera is certainly large, but it's covered by a good spread of dials and buttons that make it a breeze to get to any setting on the camera. The feature set is also very extensive, and it's clear the camera is made for professionals, with the aim of maximizing the potential of mirrorless rather than just to join the full-frame bandwagon. Now to see how quickly the lenses are released to match it!