On Monday at CES 2019, Panasonic revealed two more features coming to its first full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Lumix S1 and S1R. Both will gain the High Resolution Mode found in the Lumix G9, which combines eight exposures to achieve significantly more resolution than the camera’s 24- and 47-megapixel sensors offer on their own. The announcement follows a teaser video posted to the Panasonic Lumix YouTube page one month ago featuring photojournalist Annie Griffiths talking about the feature.
High Resolution Mode is made possible thanks to another known specification of the S series cameras: sensor-shift image stabilization. By shifting the sensor by microscopic distances in a box pattern, the camera can capture additional spatial resolution as well make up for the inherent inefficiencies of the Bayer sensor design, in which a pixel is sensitive to only one color of light, either red, green, or blue. Panasonic has not detailed exactly how High Resolution Mode will work in the S series cameras or what the final output resolution will be, but the 24MP S1 could theoretically create a 96MP file, while the 47MP S1R could output an extreme resolution of 188MP.
[Learn more about Panasonic’s upcoming full-frame models.]
In addition to High Resolution Mode, Panasonic announced both S series cameras would receive a new Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) Photo mode. HLG is a tone mapping technique designed to ease the transition from standard to high dynamic range (HDR) displays, allowing the same file to be correctly displayed on each. Without HLG, separate versions of an image need to be created for standard and HDR playback. HLG is predominantly a feature of the video world, and is built in to cameras like the Lumix GH5S, but the S series will apply it to still photos, as well. Photographers who want to show their images on large 4K HDR televisions can use HLG Photo mode to do so.
The S1 and S1R will begin shipping in March, but Panasonic has yet to release the full spec sheets. Today’s announcement concerned both cameras — we do not yet know how the two models will differ from each other, aside from resolution. Other known specifications include 4K/60p video, Dual I.S. (using both sensor and lens-based stabilization), and both SD and XQD memory card slots. Video compression, burst rates, battery life, and much more remain to be seen.