The Panasonic S1 shows markedly better ISO performance than even the GH5S
posted Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 1:25 PM EDT
One of the lingering questions we still have regarding the Panasonic S1 after our very brief time with them last week is how well it performs in low light. Though we were able to discuss how the S1 can lock onto subjects in darker scenes (read more about that here if you're interested; spoiler: it does a good job), we weren't yet able to really dive deep into anything involving the quality of the sensor due to restrictions placed on us by Panasonic (the firmware was not complete, thus we were barred from really dissecting imagery). Luckily, Panasonic Ambassador Griffin Hammond has uploaded a video to do just that. Comparing the GH5, GH5S and S1 side by side, he shows just how much you can push the sensor in video capture.
Hammond states that he stops using the GH5 at ISO 1600 (I personally think you can push it to 6400 but to each his own) and the GH5S is good up to ISO 12,800. But the S1 Hammond is comfortable using up to 25,600 and I even argue that its max ISO of 51,200 still looks really outstanding. What isn't surprising is that the S1 outperforms the GH5S, seeing as the S1 has a lot larger sensor to work with. But what may be surprising is how much better it performs.
There is quite a bit more testing to do with this camera in the coming weeks as we approach their public launch, but this video gives a lot of credence to the S1's ability to be outstanding in low light.