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General thoughts about S1 and/or S1R

bensonga

Well-known member
However, once you said it's like a Fuji XH1, I questioned the S1 because I hated the Fuji design.

Also, what are Sigma L mount lenses like on the S1/r?
I meant it is like the X-H1 with respect to the larger size of the X-H1 vs the X-T series cameras. I personally prefer the larger mirrorless camera bodies. That also explains why I really like the Pansonic G9 and Olympus E-M1X vs other m43rd cameras, especially when I am using the m43 telephoto prime and telephoto zoom lenses.

I don't have any of the Sigma ART lenses for my S1 yet.

Gary
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
Thanks Gary for the clarification. I'm thinking that high ISO would be great in the S1 too because of the smaller mp's, but plenty enough for good sized prints. Interestingly enough, DXO lists many Sigma Art lenses as their top performers, albeit, in a different mount, but still same optical formula. I looked at prices on the S1 and they're pretty decent right now. As much as the Canon has me intrigued, it probably won't ship until mid summer 2020. Ok, this might work for the S1, besides I love a round viewfinder. Also, any issues with AF for stills?
 
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iiiNelson

Active member
Thanks Gary for the clarification. I'm thinking that high ISO would be great in the S1 too because of the smaller mp's, but plenty enough for good sized prints. Interestingly enough, DXO lists many Sigma Art lenses as their top performers, albeit, in a different mount, but still same optical formula. I looked at prices on the S1 and they're pretty decent right now. As much as the Canon has me intrigued, it probably won't ship until mid summer 2020. Ok, this might work for the S1, besides I love a round viewfinder. Also, any issues with AF for stills?
In general Sigma lenses that are designed for Mirrorless perform much better than the converted DSLR lenses. I’ve tried both the 45 and the 14-24 Mirrorless designed lenses and they were great. I’ve heard mixed reviews of the 35/1.2 in L mount but on the Sony it was excellent. As for the DSLR designs I hear mostly negative reviews as it comes to autofocus but I’d take that with a grain of salt until I can try for myself frankly.

As far as the autofocus for stills, I find that the S1R is mostly excellent. There are times where it may struggle but in my limited experience this is rare. When it grabs focus it does so extremely quickly and accurately. When it hunts then it probably won’t grab focus. For continuous shooting or video I just recommend people try for themselves.

I have little to no hesitation in recommending these cameras to stills shooters provided you’re prepared to learn what the camera likes and how it likes to be setup for maximum performance. In this regard I generally think the camera is excellent but still find the Sony to be easier to work with for most. With the Sony continuous autofocus, wide area mode, and real time tracking just work without fuss or menu fumbling for the best mode setting. You only have to worry about composition for the most part. The S1 is excellent for lowlight and gives up only a little in terms of DR to the Sony A7III or Nikon Z6. The best part of the Panasonic’s doesn’t show up on the spec sheet and that’s how they retain the color fidelity at higher ISO values. It’s what made me add a LUMIX S body and I’m still considering if it can become my primary system. Panasonic got so much right and if/when the autofocus becomes more reliable in the most extreme use cases I wouldn’t see any reason to not seriously consider them for every type of hybrid shooter. As of today I give the slight nod to Canon if one were starting from scratch or a huge nod to Sony when compared to what L-mount offers. L-mount is a pricier system to flesh out but Canon isn’t far behind. Sony has a wide price point. Nikon is generally affordable but uninteresting for me as I'm not a Nikon shooter. I can’t fully trust the AF of the Panasonic quite yet but I’m still learning the cameras too. It’ll get there in time though.
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
Thank you! Great points to consider. While I primarily shoot portraits both environmental/studio, I've also read that the AF on the S1/r's are not optimal because of the DFD design. Does the most current firmware mitigate this to any extent?
 

iiiNelson

Active member
Thank you! Great points to consider. While I primarily shoot portraits both environmental/studio, I've also read that the AF on the S1/r's are not optimal because of the DFD design. Does the most current firmware mitigate this to any extent?
The newest firmware was released shortly before I purchased my camera so it’s all I know. By most accounts it improved it greatly but I don’t have the prior experience to compare it to. What I can compare it to is the A7RII (plus limited experience with the A9 and newer Sony bodies), limited experience with the EOS R, limited experience with the Nikon Z, and limited experience with the Fuji X/G bodies. I will say the Sony is clearly better at continuous focus but I find that the Panasonic is every bit as snappy as the PDAF counterparts in decent to excellent light. In lower light it isn’t as good and I recommend switching to single point at that junction for more reliability.

I’m still testing and learning the camera but I recommend renting it for yourself and test how you shoot to make the decision. I don’t want to sell you the camera not knowing how YOU work. I know that it works for me but it’s my “personal” camera. The Sony cameras are my “when I need work done” cameras.
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
I’m still testing and learning the camera but I recommend renting it for yourself and test how you shoot to make the decision. I don’t want to sell you the camera not knowing how YOU work. I know that it works for me but it’s my “personal” camera. The Sony cameras are my “when I need work done” cameras.
Understand! Yeah, I never shoot with AF-C, perhaps because of my all mechanical film cameras. Another reason is devaluation. I purchased my Z7 as an OB, with a kit zoom and full warranty for $2100 last year. Now, I can sell the Z7 only for $1800/1900 and part off the rest (50mm 1.8S, battery, XQD, etc and easily make up that difference considering I sold the kit zoom right away. The S1 is $1899 and would consider Sigma Art to start off. I had a Sigma 35mm Art for a Nikon D810 and loved that lens. I like a bigger camera and really like the look of this camera and that is a major part of my relationship with any camera. But, with all things said, I would like to handle it first.
 

iiiNelson

Active member
Understand! Yeah, I never shoot with AF-C, perhaps because of my all mechanical film cameras. Another reason is devaluation. I purchased my Z7 as an OB, with a kit zoom and full warranty for $2100 last year. Now, I can sell the Z7 only for $1800/1900 and part off the rest (50mm 1.8S, battery, XQD, etc and easily make up that difference considering I sold the kit zoom right away. The S1 is $1899 and would consider Sigma Art to start off. I had a Sigma 35mm Art for a Nikon D810 and loved that lens. I like a bigger camera and really like the look of this camera and that is a major part of my relationship with any camera. But, with all things said, I would like to handle it first.
Completely understand. The open box/demo deal I got on the Panasonic S1R sealed it for me at ~$2450 shipped with tax. Loved the idea of the camera but I didn’t love it enough to take that big of a chance at nearly $5k for the kit without getting my hands on it. The included 3 year warranty sweetened the deal for me.

It’s my opinion that not enough has been made of the value of the 24-105. It’s an excellent lens and very versatile with the ability to provide 1:2 magnification. It’s the only native lens I own and I’m not considering any autofocus lenses that weren’t designed for Mirrorless on this system. I’ve seen too many mechanical results that were all over the place with DSLR designs. Some better than others obviously but I think the kit lens and the Sigma 45/2.8 or the 14-24 are an excellent pairing until Panasonic introduces some faster primes. The Leica lenses are excellent as well but obviously are pricier. I’d personally wait on the new Sigma designs. I think you’d be happier with them, I believe that optically they’re fantastic, yet mechanically compromised, but most of all I don’t believe they’re optimized for the system.

As you say though... try them out. I remember that they were hit or miss even on the Sony but the new designs (35/1.2, 45/2.8, and 14-24/2.8) don’t have those issues at all.

Also check out this link... there have been two software updates since but this speaks to some of the performance.

https://youtu.be/CphwVNgX32s
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
Panasonic had a recent firmware upgrade (11/19) that apparently fixes some of the AF issues in the S series cameras. So, my understanding is regarding lenses, is that the newer Sigma 35mm 1.2 L mount is a good match as is the native Panasonic S 50mm 1.4 for the S1/R? The Panasonic S 50mm 1.4 has fantastic reviews and MTF. It should I suppose as they make most of the Leica digital lenses. I just read the s1/r is made in China? I thought Panasonic made these in Japan. What about the Pro S lenses and Leica digital?
 
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iiiNelson

Active member
Panasonic had a recent firmware upgrade (11/19) that apparently fixes some of the AF issues in the S series cameras. So, my understanding is regarding lenses, is that the newer Sigma 35mm 1.2 L mount is a good match as is the native Panasonic S 50mm 1.4 for the S1/R? The Panasonic S 50mm 1.4 has fantastic reviews and MTF. It should I suppose as they make most of the Leica digital lenses. I just read the s1/r is made in China? I thought Panasonic made these in Japan. What about the Pro S lenses and Leica digital?
Yes I’m aware of the v1.3 firmware and it’s what I’m running. From my understanding there wasn’t as big of an AF performance jump from 1.2 to 1.3 as there was going from 1.0/1.1 to 1.2. Firmware 1.2 was nearly entirely focused on autofocus performance and adding the ability to unlock V-Log. Firmware 1.3 was mostly about CFExpress compatibility, adding options to customize Sigma lenses, lens firmware updates, and minor AF improvements.

The Sigma mirrorless lenses focus better than the DSLR versions but it seems that the Sigma lens mechanical performance is all over the place right now to be honest. I’d be wary of purchasing many of their offerings without trying them. Optically they are all very good to excellent. Focus wise they still need fine tuning in L-mount. From what I understand the Panasonic lenses perform better across the board and the user ratings at various online camera stores seem to reflect this as well.

As far as the S1R being made in China, I never gave it a thought. If it’s built to spec and performs as intended then the country of manufacture is of little importance to me. It’s common for people to praise the build quality of the cameras so it’s mostly a non-issue I’d say. If it’s a deal breaker for you then there are other great options an the Sigma 35/1.2 is excellent on the A7RIV. It’s almost like they designed it with the Sony in mind and like the L-Mount will likely be improved through firmware later on.

Here’s a review of the Sigma 35/1.2 on the Leica SL2 which largely should reflect comparable performance to the S1R. Some say that one may be slightly faster to focus than the other with different lens combinations but internally they are largely the same camera.

https://youtu.be/YHZzEzXxZxs

Im not trying to talk you off the Sigma but I am saying that you may want to manage some of your expectations. The Panasonic 50/1.4 doesn’t seem to have the same issues that the Sigma experiences when it comes to focus hunting. The same can be said for the Sigma 14-24/2.8 or 45/2.8. Perhaps the performance will improve but it’s not quite there yet.
 

iiiNelson

Active member
I really appreciate your in depth comments. It's very informative. Thank you.
You’re welcome. I did a lot of research before making the decision to finally add L-Mount. For me a camera really has to add something tangibly different. The Sony system really has only a few flaws and I’d say most of them are highly subjective. Like I’ve said many times, there really aren’t any bad cameras but not every camera will work for everyone. I stress the importance of trying the cameras out for yourself and see how it is.
 
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