Introduced by Panasonic’s imaging boss Yosuke Yamane at Photokina 2018, the Panasonic Lumix S series is the latest contender in the rapidly crowding full-frame mirrorless camera race. Yamane says the Lumix S is “dedicated to the professionals” and backs that claim with a number of major promises.
The Lumix S cameras will offer image stabilization in both the camera body and the lenses, and will have the highest shutter speeds and highest flash-synchronisation speeds. The electronic viewfinder will be the highest resolution and highest precision in the industry, we’re told, coming “close to human vision.” Now, you’ll have noticed that none of these claims are backed by specific numbers yet, but that’s the nature of an announcement as early as this. Photokina is taking place in the fall of 2018 whereas the first examples of these cameras, the 47-megapixel Lumix S1R and the 24-megapixel S1, won’t be out until the spring of 2019.
Panasonic’s Lumix Micro Four Thirds cameras are one of the most popular choices among prosumer and semi-pro videographers, and the new Lumix S series will try to extend that pedigree with its offering of 4K video recording at up to 60fps and dual image stabilization. Panasonic also promises extreme durability, with weather sealing on all seams, dials, and buttons. A Lumix S camera has already been down to the South Pole, where it has “functioned perfectly” at temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius.
Any new camera system will have the challenge of establishing a lens ecosystem, which is where Panasonic’s newly announced L-Mount Alliance with Leica and Sigma comes in. The Lumix S series will adopt Leica’s L-Mount, which means these cameras will have compatibility with eight high-quality lenses from Leica right from the start, along with three from Panasonic’s Lumix division. Panasonic will start the Lumix S off with a 50mm f/1.4 prime, a 24-105mm zoom lens, and a 70-200mm telephoto zoom. Sigma will also contribute lenses through 2019, and Panasonic promises that it will have a total of at least 10 compatible lenses within a year of the Lumix S cameras’ release.
Panasonic hasn’t yet provided any indications about the pricing of its new flagship Lumix cameras or their matching lenses, though given the super high specs and abundance of professional features, we can expect the cost to be in the thousands of dollars.
Photography by Vlad Savov / The Verge