Following the launch of the L-Mount alliance, Panasonic has revealed a pair of full-frame L-Mount mirrorless cameras, the 47-megapixel Lumix S1 and 24-megapixel S1R. Both have built-in image stabilization, a large, high-resolution EVF, triaxial tilt LCD for both selfie photographers and vloggers, and double slots for SD and XQD cards. Both models are set to arrive next year, with further specifications to be revealed later.
To take on its larger rivals, Panasonic is not going it alone. It has partnered with Sigma and Leica, and will be using Leica’s existing full-frame-L mountSL system. That’s a practical move, as Panasonic and Leica have worked together in the past, and Leica unveiled its first SL camera in 2015. As such, it has nearly a dozen SL lenses and adapters, and the mount is compatible with its APS-C TL lenses, too.
Leica lenses are already available, but those are are very costly, to say the least. As such, Panasonic announced a few of its own, including a 24-70mm, 70-200mm and a 50mm f/1.4 prime, and will have up to 10 lenses by 2020. Sigma will also develop lenses for the system, including a line of its highly-rated Art lenses.
Much like Nikon did with the Z7/Z6, Panasonic has created high- and medium-resolution cameras to take on Sony’s A7R III and A7 III, respectively. With 4K 60fps, 10-bit 4:2:2 video the S1 and S1R cameras will be equally suitable for photography and video.
Spec-wise, Panasonic’s S1R and S1 cameras appears to trump both Canon and Nikon, and even bettering Sony’s A7R III and A7 III mirrorless cameras in terms of video. On the other hand, Sony’s cameras are proven quantities and Canon and Nikon will release their cameras in October. Panasonic’s new models, meanwhile, will arrive at an unknown time next year.
Since the new Lumix-S cameras are still a ways off from release, Panasonic was careful to affirm its support for the current Lumix Micro Fourth Thirds models, announcing a 10-25 mm F1.7 lens “that will achieve the world’s first zoom with a constant aperture value of F1.7.”
A lot will depend on the quality of the sensor, particularly since it’s an all-new model. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to scrutinize the image quality and autofocus during our time at Photokina. The full-frame mirrorless field is now crowded, so Panasonic will have a lot to prove if it wants to compete with its rivals, especially Sony.