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Thread: The real elephant in the room, the S1H

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    The real elephant in the room, the S1H

    Who would have thought 5 years ago that Panasonic would launch a 35mm camera that makes a Nikon D8xx seem compact. Not me.

    I haven't had the oportunity to try this beast yet, but hands-on reviews are up. There seem to be two conclusions:

    - Forget this camera if you are not very serious about video.
    - If you are very serious about video, the S1H sweeps the cowshed floor with the competition.

    Both price and size/weight are arguments against buying one for a video maker of my humble caliber. The S1 (or Nikon Z6 or... etc.) would more than cover my needs, not to speak about the still excellent GH5/S. However, there are modifications to the S1H that make it a very tempting option:

    - Tally lamps, front and rear, fully configurable (yes, I have switched the video off when I thought I switched it on and vice versa).
    - LCD that flips as well as tilts.
    - "Nikon style" on off switch.
    - Two "video on" buttons plus the shutter release.
    - Two SD cards, no XQD (yes, SD is fast enough for 6K and much cheaper than anything else).
    - 6K 3:2, that when dumped into a 4K 16:9 stream offers a range of creative editing options (needs fast computer).
    - Biiiig top LCD that changes layout depending on use, video or photo.

    It does take photos too of course, including hi-res, but it does have an AA filter, which makes sense when shooting video, not so much when shooting stills.

    It's an interesting camera, and shows that Panasonic is still leading the pack when it comes to video, while still making very decent gear for stills. It's certainly not on my budget for this year. We'll see...

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: The real elephant in the room, the S1H

    Maybe you are totally right!

    But the issue is that I was never less interested in a camera like this one!

    Maybe I am getting too old

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    Re: The real elephant in the room, the S1H

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Who would have thought 5 years ago that Panasonic would launch a 35mm camera that makes a Nikon D8xx seem compact. Not me.

    I haven't had the oportunity to try this beast yet, but hands-on reviews are up. There seem to be two conclusions:

    - Forget this camera if you are not very serious about video.
    - If you are very serious about video, the S1H sweeps the cowshed floor with the competition.
    ...
    - Two SD cards, no XQD (yes, SD is fast enough for 6K and much cheaper than anything else).


    It's an interesting camera, and shows that Panasonic is still leading the pack when it comes to video, while still making very decent gear for stills. It's certainly not on my budget for this year. We'll see...
    I agree that it is not for me, especially with the AA filter, but I hope the internal 10 bit video and avoiding the XQD cards will become standard for future cameras in this class, like the (invisible) other elephant, the SL2.

    Isn't the internal air cooling amazing? With vents on both sides, like a laptop. That makes unlimited continuous shooting possible, as long as you have external power and a place to store it all. Now we'll see if there still is a customs penalty on this for other cameras.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: The real elephant in the room, the S1H

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    I agree that it is not for me, especially with the AA filter, but I hope the internal 10 bit video and avoiding the XQD cards will become standard for future cameras in this class, like the (invisible) other elephant, the SL2.

    Isn't the internal air cooling amazing? With vents on both sides, like a laptop. That makes unlimited continuous shooting possible, as long as you have external power and a place to store it all. Now we'll see if there still is a customs penalty on this for other cameras.
    The AA filter is also something putting me definitely off.

    But also and especially the vent. Hey what is amazing about such a vent in such a camera in 2019? It would be amazing to see much more advanced processing that does not require a vent at all - even with 6K. But having that "Kaiser Franz Josef Gedächtnistechnologie" in a modern camera just puts me off 200%.

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    Re: The real elephant in the room, the S1H

    This camera is designed for cinema and not video though I imagine that some video content creators will want to include this in the kit. For cinema the AA makes a lot more sense and I don’t have an issue with the inclusion of it personally. A lot of people bought the S1 (despite Panasonic repeatedly saying it’s a photography camera first) and complained about it not being like the GH series... again even though Panasonic repeatedly said that a camera that is a “big brother” to the GH was still coming. Also many have complained about moire with the S1 so again the AA makes a lot of sense.

    Its a great camera for sure but its something of a niche product IMO. It’s designed to be an entry level cinema camera in line with the EVA1 and Varicam.
    Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

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    Re: The real elephant in the room, the S1H

    Quote Originally Posted by iiiNelson View Post
    This camera is designed for cinema and not video though I imagine that some video content creators will want to include this in the kit. For cinema the AA makes a lot more sense .....
    Could you explain for those of us who barely know how to find the video controls and reassemble the 4GB segments that we end up with, what distinguishes cinema from video when both are created digitally? I know C4K is not UHD, but the S1H has a very long list of codecs (video speeds and sizes), much more than the 30 and 25 (Europe) or 30 and 24 (US) that seem to cover multiple styles.

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    Re: The real elephant in the room, the S1H

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    Could you explain for those of us who barely know how to find the video controls and reassemble the 4GB segments that we end up with, what distinguishes cinema from video when both are created digitally? I know C4K is not UHD, but the S1H has a very long list of codecs (video speeds and sizes), much more than the 30 and 25 (Europe) or 30 and 24 (US) that seem to cover multiple styles.
    Hello and sure. I don’t know that there’s a clear definition at this point as lines are blurred now by natural progression.

    Thia video is kinda long but it does explain some differences... but of its too long read below.

    https://youtu.be/J_h8pB_99sE

    I’m not a pro at it but I’m learning from a cousin who actually is one. As far as codecs the most important ones are LOG and RAW. Most camera shoot LOG and some professional ones shoot RAW. RAW video equates the same as the photo so you’ll understand that. LOG is an “expanded” flat profile that essentially captures what the sensor sees (or most of it anyway) with minimal processing applied to it. You have to grade it with a LUT profile (think of it as a photo preset for video) to get to the final look. Also typically you’ll expose your shot with a waveform which is more accurate but sort of a histogram for video. This video explains them perfectly well and better than I could over this post.

    https://youtu.be/hAT-mjS2kyc

    Cinema cameras are designed to make movies, documentaries, and short films primarily. Generally they have professional centered features (codecs, RAW, etc.) and audio inputs. They tend to put an emphasis on working cohesively with software for color accuracy and matching multiple cameras as well. It’s not really a price or sensor size thing anymore either. Blackmagic Design only makes Cinema and production cameras. They typically have a softer look and part of that is the lenses but part of that is EM filtering as well. IMO there’s Arri, then there’s everyone else. RED has a reputation for having a super sharp digital look and many like this as well obviously as they have tremendous success. VariCam is the closest thing to Arri (IMO) though Blackmagic has gotten closer in look with their newest products. I expect great success with the S1H for that reason alone assuming it gets Netflix certified.

    Video cameras are everything else from your smart phone to a DSLR to a camcorder. Video cameras CAN be used in cinema functions but that’s generally not the intent... for instance crash cams, B/C cams, home movies, YouTube, etc.

    I don’t doubt there will be those on YouTube that use this camera. It’s amazing but the most exciting art for me is the body diversity in L mount matching what Sony is doing for true direct competition because neither are protecting their legacy cameras or video/cinema cams with these options... though if you need the full on pro camera there’s the Varicam and Venice as a halo product.
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    Re: The real elephant in the room, the S1H

    Quote Originally Posted by iiiNelson View Post
    As far as codecs the most important ones are LOG and RAW.
    Just a slight clarification ... Log and Raw are not codecs ... Log is a color space or gamut and Raw by definition is the output of the sensor without a codec.

    Codec is a compression/decompression scheme for encoding the Raw output in a format that is easier to write to media and then use on a computer.

    https://www.streamingmedia.com/Artic...dec-74487.aspx[web

    https://www.rocketstock.com/blog/tip...e-compositing/

    So on the S1H the large number of codecs and color depths allow one to film or video in a variety of situations ... HD and low bit rate/color gives one
    an acceptable image that can be hours long with little space taken up on a card ... ideal for events and interviews. 4K has four times the information and
    usually is done within a bigger color space to eliminate moire banding and distortion ... so many wildlife and landscape videographers use it. It takes much
    more memory and processing power. 6K is again a step up from 4K. Contingent with the larger 6K space is the desire to have more colors so the chroma
    subsampling is larger for more fidelity to reality of color and contrast. The quest for the best picture quality from a camera necessitates a high bit depth chroma subsample and
    preferably Raw capture ... then a lot of post processing for color, contrast, sharpness and dynamic range. Due to the Bayer sensor ... downsampling allows for a better image quality.
    Most quote a 1.4x additional sensor size to downsample to a true output ... so 2.8k to 2K (Arri) or 5.7K to 4K (Panasonic EVA and now the S1H and BM P6K).

    Video ... Cinema ... subjective terms that vary depending on esthetics and art. A cinematic grade is anything but realistic ... usually entails a softening of the image, color shifts
    to impart a romantic feeling to the scene ... like orange/yellow highlights and blue/teal shadows and lessened contrast range. Here the Arri cameras succeed with a sensor and electronics that
    excel in capturing a great dynamic range, soften highlight rolloff similar to film and as they have historically been large photo site low count sensors are inherently a bit soft
    which makes for beautiful skin tones. Their color science is treasured as it has been the standard for most professional cinema capture with digital sensor cameras. The Panasonic
    Varicam and Canon color science comes close but lags according to the pros. Fuji has made great strides in color ... understandable as they had so much experience with film color
    emulsions. Arri also sets a standard for build quality ... if a film production has a budget in the 10s of millions ... even an hour downtime due to camera malfunction is costly.

    Video is seen as too sharp, too contrasty, too processed ... sort of like an oversharpened JPG.

    Blackmagic Design has been one of the standard setters for post process image manipulation with their Davinci Resolve Studio ... many of their consoles for studio color manipulation
    are common in professional settings and preferred by many colorists. Naturally the color science they have used with their cameras is stellar ... v4 now rivals most of the other top
    color sciences.

    There has been a move to match camera colors across the spectrum with the ACES workflow:

    https://www.cinema5d.com/the-aces-wo...digital-color/



    https://www.rocketstock.com/blog/tip...e-compositing/

    Raw ... while referring to the output from the sensor ... is presented in a variety of forms depending upon the camera manufacturer. It usually has some compression
    which can be visually lossless or lossy ... Blackmagic Design has 3:1 5:1 8:1 and 12:1 compression that can be set by the user. It also has a Q 0 and Q 5 which vary the
    quantization rate and hence the data rate of encoding ... Q 0 having higher quality and rate.

    RED has had a patent on compressed internal Raw recording that has stymied many camera manufacturers from providing internal Raw ... at anything greater than 6:1
    compression. Apple has decided to contest the patent:

    https://gizmodo.com/why-is-apple-fle...ove-1837302653

    The S1H is of interest from an number of perspectives ... it has great dynamic range, multiple codecs for any situation ... hopefully gaining Raw output at some point, wonderful internal
    color subsampling and bit depth, adequate battery life, immunity to overheating issues with the fan whilst being somewhat splash and dust tolerant. Add IBIS, a mount and flange distance that allows for almost any lens to be adapted, and the Vlog gamut from the Varicam line which should give great color fidelity ... it all adds up to a camera that can work on a professional set as a B camera to one of the larger more expensive cinema cameras or as a single A camera for a one person documentary shooter.

    Sorry for the run on but it is a compelling camera for video ... which offers the option for adequate stills when needed.

    As an aside ... MF may be Dante's entry to hell ... video is probably one of the inner circles ... way more ways to spend your paltry sums when the big studios set
    the going rates on equipment and talent.
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    Re: The real elephant in the room, the S1H

    Just a note on video/cinema postproduction: Hardly more than ten years ago, a DaVinci room was one of the, if not the, standards for color correction in film-to-digital and digital-to-digital post production. It cost ~$500K to build such a room, or more, depending on how many "power windows" the room was capable of. Each power window, sort of equivalent to an intraframe adjustment limited by a geometric shape, required a very expensive processing board. I believe the base room came with two windows?

    Today, the Davinci room has become a piece of software. It comes in a free version or the super professional :-) Studio version. The free version is free :-) and the Studio version costs $299. The free version has most of what the average user needs, minus noise reduction, resolutions higher than UHD and such things as stereoscopic editing. The only caveat is that Davinci Resolve requires a decent computer to run and in particular requires good GPU power, the more VRAM the better.

    Some film makers still prefer to shoot in film but pretty much everyone, everyone, converts to digital for post production, i.e., editing, effects and color grading. One exception I can think of was Chris Nolan (?) who in recent years color-timed a film in the old, analog style using colored filters. A very unusual occurence.

    So, there is a film look and a video look. The film is softer which is why professionals will tell you to turn the sharpening down or off on your TV set if you want a more cinematic experience. Also, film tends to a traditionally slower frame rate, thus different motion characteristics, blurrier pans, etc., although high frame rate movies have been popping up now and then. This matter of frame rates: I don't know that any Leica camera can cover the frame rates necessary for all film or video uses. You need at least 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 and then double those #s to cover all uses.

    Just some rambling thoughts from an ex- post-production guy who stills works a bit.
    Ed Rudolph, Colorist Society International
    Last edited by erudolph; 4th September 2019 at 14:07.
    Ed
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