Is the LUMIX S1H Good for STILL PHOTOGRAPHY?

Is the LUMIX S1H Good for STILL PHOTOGRAPHY?

January 12, 2020 28 By Peter Engel


Hey everybody, PhotoJoseph here and I want
to talk about the differences between the S1H and the S1 one for still photography. Odd thing to talk about, but this is actually
based off of a user question that came in. So here’s the, here’s the basis for this conversation. The S1 and the S1R both lack the low pass
filter on the sensor, which means that you get a slightly sharper image than if you had
the low pass filter, but what you lose is moiré protection. So with the S1 and the S1R you risk getting
moiré in your photos but you have a slightly sharper image. And this has been going on in the Lumix cameras
since I think the GX8 I believe was the first camera that dropped the low pass filter and
it gave you a effectively higher resolution image. That’s a great thing. Now on the on the S1H, the low pass filter
is back and the reason that it’s back is twofold. One is to eliminate that moiré, which in
the world of cinematography is generally something that you do want to try to avoid. It’s a little bit harder to knock out I think
on a video shot than it would be on a still, but it also gives you the side effect of making
the image slightly softer, which in general isn’t something you would think you would
want, but when you’re talking about cinematography, that ever so slightly softer image tends to
look a little bit more filmic than something super sharp coming out of the S1. Okay, great. So that’s why we want to compare them for
still photography. Now it’s interesting; in the media recently
there’s been quite a few articles about using the S1H as the ultimate hybrid camera, which
I love to hear, but as a $4,000 camera that is really designed for cinematographers, it’s kind of funny to think that a still photographer
would want to use this, but as a user who wrote in pointed out they can’t afford to
buy both. They would like to have just one and they
would love to buy the S1H but use it for still photography as well. Is there going to be a significant difference? Is the image so much softer that they would
not be happy with it, whereas they would be with the S1? So that’s what we set out to find out. So what I did is I took a couple of pictures
of basically just this focus chart, of this shirt actually because it’s got a very fine
mesh to it; I thought maybe it would make a moiré pattern — spoiler alert, it didn’t,
but — and then this little rag thing and a couple other little things just to try and
figure out if there was a difference in sharpness and if we could even see the moiré. So let’s have a look. Also, I should point out that the screen recording
you’re about to watch is recorded in 4K on an ultra HD monitor. And so to really see and appreciate the differences
here, you’re probably gonna want to watch this on a 4K monitor too. If you can’t, that’s okay, I’ll walk you through
the differences and you might see them in there, but it is all recorded in 4K. Here are the photos that I made to compare. So six photos, three of each camera. You can see the camera indicated in the lower
left corner, so S1 and S1H and so on. The only differences between these is where
I was focused. On this shot, it was focused on the focus
target. On this pairing it was focused on the shirt
and on this pairing it was focused on the red scarf. So let’s go ahead and start by comparing these
two and we’re gonna go in 100% into the focus target itself. And at first glance there doesn’t seem to
be any noticeable difference. What I’m going to do is zoom in 2:1 here and
if you look very closely along the edge of the paint here… now the one on the left
is the S1 photo and the S1 photo without that low pass filter, we can see this jagged edge
in here. [Music] If we look over here at the S1H file, we don’t
see that. So that tells us that this is ever so slightly
softer, very, very slightly to the point where it’s actually blurring that together. So it looks cleaner. Ironically, this photo on the right actually
looks a little bit better than the one on the left. Of course, that’s just because it’s a photo
of this particular target, but, but there you go. Okay. Let’s go ahead and look at the second pairing. And again, this pairing is focused on the
shirt, so let’s go ahead and zoom into that. And on this one it’s a little bit harder to
see the difference. There is a slight color difference, which
is curious, but looking for sharpness. Again, the one on the left is the S1; on the
right is the S1H… it is very hard to see any appreciable difference in sharpness or
anything like that and there certainly is no moiré on either one. Let’s go to 1:1 and I don’t see a moiré there. If I zoom out to fit, I don’t see a moiré
there. So interestingly, I’m not getting a moiré
pattern on those. Finally, let’s look at the last ones here. Again, we’ll compare those. Zoom into the handkerchief here and you tell
me, but I am really, really having a hard time seeing a difference. I don’t know. What do you guys think? So there you have it. The difference is negligible. I would say that if you are considering the
S1H as a photography camera, you’re going to be just fine. You’re not going to be saddened by the ever
so slightly softer results that you would get from the S1. You’d have to be doing some pretty critical
work to see that difference. Maybe if you’re reproducing paintings or something
like that where you want every last little fragment of detail, then you might want to
stick with this. But I think that for general photography,
you are going to be perfectly fine with the S1H. Tell me what you think in the comments. Did you see something that I missed? Was there something I was not noticing that
you noticed? Let me know! Tell me what you think.