As we arrive at the 5-year mark since the release of the Panasonic Lumix S1, rumors are circling as about an imminent announcement of its successor – or successors, as we could see a Panasonic Lumix S1 II and S1 IIX.
The S1 series of full-frame cameras currently comprises the Lumix S1 (flagship model), Lumix S1R (resolution) and the Lumix S1H (video) – and with the advancement of market rivals and the development of other Lumix cameras, they are due for a refresh.
This seems to have been confirmed by Panasonic's activity in retail stores, offering large inventory-clearing deals for Black Friday before limiting the listings at stores such as Adorama – and it has been reported that Panasonic has discontinued the S1.
With two potential updated models in the pipeline, speculation and intrigue have been growing around camera specifications. It is thought that the S1 lineup will be reduced from three cameras to just two – the S1 II and S1 IIX – following the lead of the Panasonic Lumix S5 II and S5 IIX with one model being video-focused and the other towards stills and hybrid shooting.
A list of specifications has been doing the rounds on rumor sites such as Photo Rumors, and if true, we could see a wild improvement. Topping the list is the whisper of a 34MP stacked CMOS sensor, which would enable faster readout speeds and higher ISO capabilities. It is also speculated that the camera will be streamlined in a slim, weather-sealed, magnesium-constructed body, housing a built-in fan and ND filter!
Video capabilities are said to deliver 6K and 4K at 120fps (no crop). Panasonic has previously stated that 8K is currently unnecessary for consumer products, so these specs fit with that statement– although 8K would be a bonus for recording, even if not for output.
Improved battery life, IBIS, dynamic range, and AF with a dedicated AI chip are also rumored at a price point of approx $3,000, which would make the new S1 II models a bit of a beast!
An update you can almost guarantee is Panasonic's new Hybrid Phase Detect Autofocus, introduced in the S5 II and S5 IIX, vastly improving AF performance in stills and video. Combined with the cinema-quality video capabilities set for the S1 II lineup, it will no doubt place them among the best cameras for filmmaking in the market.
With any camera updates, especially cameras as loved as the S1 lineup, rumors of upgraded specifications are plentiful – and without any official announcements from Panasonic, are unsubstantiated. However, we may not have to wait long for an official announcement as 2024 marks the fifth anniversary of the Lumix S1 – and we can all but expect one early this year.