Most of the resolutions use 100Mbps or higher streams. A couple go as high as 400Mbps.

And there are variable frame rates and high frame rates of up to 120fps for 1080p. The former allows some pretty impressive high-resolution slow motion. With high frame rate recording, sound capture still works.

And all that stuff is for recording to an inserted SD card. No need to add an external HDMI recorder.

After a while, video devices have to stop to cool down. But the Lumix S1H includes a cooling fan so it can keep going indefinitely if fed by external power, and up to two hours on its own battery. Despite the active cooling the unit is still weather resistant.

Stability

Of equal use for both still and video work, the Lumix S1H features Dual Image Stabilisation in five axes allows up to 6.5 stops of more freedom from shake.

And it has modes. The first time I came across image stabilisation was in a smart phone and it was a real problem. As I tried to record video, panning across a scene, it became a stop/start mess. The stabilisation (which couldn’t be defeated) resisted movement of the scene until it got too much, then the image would snap across to the next position, whereupon the resistance would resume.

Clinton Harn hand-holds the Lumix S1H during low-light shooting, and uses an ND filter to boot!

Of course, you can switch off stabilisation in the Lumix S1H. But it also has a regular mode which allows for smooth panning, and a locking mode in which the stabilisation tries to stop all movement.

And it has several modes for anamorphic lenses.

Huh?

Anamorphic

Okay, anamorphic lenses are things that were frequently used with the advent of widescreen films in the 1950s. They squeeze the optical image into a narrower shape. That allowed the full resolution of a film to be used, instead of a mere band across the middle of the frame. In the cinema a reverse-anamorphic lens would be used to widen the image, restoring the correct proportions.

With image stabilisation the use of an anamorphic lens would result in a seemingly different amount of stabilisation in the horizontal and vertical directions. The various anamorphic modes align them for different aspect ratios.

Are you ever likely to use such a thing? I think I can say with confidence: almost certainly no. But this kind of attention to detail shows how much Panasonic consulted with professional cinematographers. Seemingly, if they wanted it, they got it.

Automated focus

Of course, the camera has a highly competent autofocus system. But it also has stuff that appeals to the video maker. One that was particularly impressive was the ability to “memorise” two or three focus points, and then have the camera smoothly slide from one to the other. Several speeds were provided. That’s a cool feature that would, until now, have required a cinematographer with enormous experience to pull off.

What else is there? V-Log/V-Gamut recording allows more than 14 stops of dynamic range. Custom Look Up Tables convert this to a desired end result.

The launch event was conducted in the weirdly hypnotic premises of the Sydney Prop Specialist (“Prop” being movie props – there were Game of Thrones thrones, phone boxes, Elvises, Spocks, swords and TV sets from all eras). Cinematographer Clinton Harn showed us what the Lumix S1H could do. There was a carefully lit drama scene, and a wild, brightly lit dance scene, and a very darkly lit rock group.