Panasonic is in the process of improving some of its current cameras with firmware updates, particularly the S1, S1H and BGH1 models. The biggest winner is the $ 2,500 full-screen Lumix S1, which is about to take an internal 6K 24p 10-bit recording or a 5.9K 10-bit recording at up to 30 fps. You can also record Cinema 4K internally with up to 60 fps (4: 2: 0 10-bit, 200 Mbit / s) and 4K Ultra HD 10-bit (4: 2: 0) with up to 60 fps. Finally, the S1 supports anamorphic 4K (3,328 x 2,496) recorded internally and up to 5.9K 16: 9 (5888 x 3,312) 12-bit video recorded externally by an Atomos Ninja V-Recorder.
Currently, the S1 can only record 4K internally at up to 30 fps and externally at 60 fps. So these are some big updates. However, the new recording modes are subject to some heating restrictions, as the S1 (unlike the S1H) does not have an internal fan. You can only record 6K, 5.9K, and 5.4K videos for 15 minutes at a time before the recording stops. However, you don’t have to wait as long as you did before for other cameras (e.g. the Canon R5) to start again. Internal Cinema 4K, Ultra HD and 4K Anamorphoses have maximum continuous recording times of 30 minutes, but there are no restrictions on external 5.9K RAW recordings.
In addition to the resolution changes, Panasonic has added a Dual Native ISO setting to the S1, which should improve it for shooting in low light conditions. Suffice it to say that all of these updates make the S1 a much more useful camera, especially for videographers. If you don’t already have it, you will need to purchase the S1’s $ 200 upgrade software key, DMW-SFU2, to receive the resolution updates. However, providers often throw it in with the camera for free.
Panasonic is also upgrading the $ 3,700 S1H with up to 5.9KB of 12-bit RAW recording to Blackmagic’s 12G HDR recorder Video Assist 12G in Blackmagic RAW (BRAW) format, offering shooters an in addition to Apple RAW Another option for the Atomos Ninja V. Please note that you need the editing software Davinci Resolve from Blackmagic to be able to use the footage, or the BRAW plug-in for Premiere Pro or Avid.
Most recently, Panasonic introduced new firmware for its Micro Four Thirds BGH1 box-style camera ($ 2,000). This product was a sales success for Panasonic, especially for multi-camera setups, the use of drones and live streaming. For the latter function, Panasonic introduced IP streaming over wired LAN using the RTP / RTSP protocol, which enables gamers, businesses and others to perform high quality, remote streaming to social platforms. At 4K 60p, this can be done either with the H.264 code or with more efficient H.265 codes, both with up to 50 Mbit / s.
The BGH1 can also record Apple ProRes RAW recordings on Atomos Ninja V recorders (in addition to internal SD recording) with up to 12-bit Cinema 4K 60 fps. That should make it more useful for filmmakers who take multiple cameras or other shots.
These updates will be introduced at different times. The S1H firmware version 2.0 will be released on March 31st, the S1 firmware version 2.0 on April 6th and the BHG1 update (version 2.0) on March 24th. Panasonic also introduced minor updates to the S1R and S5 (arriving April 6) that allow users to add (or not) information about the orientation of the vertical camera and save power with an AC adapter connected.