I was at Photokina in Cologne last fall when Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma held a joint press conference to announce their L-Mount Alliance. Uniting around Leica’s existing lens mount, the trio made a commitment to rapidly flesh out a new ecosystem of lenses for full-frame mirrorless cameras. On that same day, Panasonic also announced its first cameras for the category, the Lumix S1 and the higher-resolution Lumix S1R, both of which stood to benefit from the lens-making muscle of the new alliance. Thus, instead of confronting doubts about its lateness to the full-frame mirrorless world relative to rivals like Sony and Nikon, Panasonic made its debut with the promise of having three times as many dedicated lens makers for its system.
I’ve been testing the 24-megapixel Lumix S1, paired with Panasonic’s versatile 24-105mm F/4 L-Mount lens, for a few weeks. That kit costs an eye-watering $3,400, and has the weight and size of a classic DSLR pro shooter. So we can immediately dispense with the notion of it being a hobby camera for all but the burliest and wealthiest of photography enthusiasts. Some might even question why a mirrorless camera (a category which has always been about shrinking dimensions and heft) of such mighty stature would be appealing, and this review is going to serve as my answer to that reasonable query. After my time using the Lumix S1 to shoot the OnePlus 7 launch event in London, along with a couple of headphones, I’m professionally smitten with this unashamedly pro camera.
Latest Panasonic Lumix S1 review: the mirrorless heavyweight