Panasonic Lumix S1 Versus Sony A7III Is Bigger Better?

Panasonic Lumix S1 compared to the Sony A7 III, is Panasonic able to compete with one of Sony’s best selling cameras? Are they too late to enter the full frame market? And is bigger always better? Let’s find out.

I’ll try not to be biased but in the interest of full disclosure, I already own the Sony A7 III but in all fairness. I also own the Panasonic GH5 which some would consider the little brother to the Panasonic Lumix S1.

I like both brands and I watched this video with an open mind and although, I do not prefer either brand. Just purely looking at the specifications and the price of these two cameras. As well as considering the inferior auto focus on the Panasonic Lumix S1 my first thought is that Panasonic is going to have a difficult time competing with Sony. 

Especially in regards to size, weight, and value for the price considering you have to pay extra to unlock some additional features on the Panasonic. In all honesty, I have only had a few minutes to check out the Panasonic Lumix S1 at a special Panasonic launch event but I wasn’t impressed with the size, look and weight of the camera. 

panasonic-lumix-s1

My first thought was why didn’t they at least include a flip out screen like on the GH5? Also one of the main reasons people are switching to mirror less cameras is the smaller size and weight and Panasonic seems to have ignored this and produced a very large and heavy camera.

In regards to video quality, I would give a slight advantage to the Panasonic Lumix S1 but if you factor in the price and cost and availability of lenses at this time, I feel the Sony A7 III is a wiser purchase choice. You also have to consider that the Panasonic is the first generation compared to the third generation Sony camera.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, did Panasonic price this camera too high? Do you think the larger size and weight is a mistake? Let me know which camera you think is the better purchase for the money and why in the comment section below.

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14 Comments

Marius Pettersen's picture

Yes, in terms of ergonomics, weight distribution between body and lens, handling internal temperature, button size, and the layout. I do however understand that some people appreciate the smaller body size and that it's handy in some situations. (Insert: why not both meme)

JetCity Ninja's picture

"... is Panasonic able to compete with one of Sony’s best selling cameras? Are they too late to enter the full frame market? And is bigger always better?"

yes, clearly. outsell it? doubtful, but it's all just speculation until the sales numbers are revealed. however, the answer to your question, as asked, is "yes." anything other than "yes" means Panasonic hasn't sold a single unit.
no, obviously, or you'd have to count Canon and Nikon out, too. besides, "too late" for what, exactly?
no, because the use of absolutes without context is always incorrect.

on a separate note, you might want to proofread your post. engrish may be my second language but english is my first and it shouldn't have been that difficult to decipher your intent.

David Love's picture

So tired of hearing people talk about lighter cameras being a plus because your back hurts. Oh wait but you want bad ass auto focus, then you want the Canon dual pixel but oops, that camera is too heavy for you. I walk around with a mark 4, 70-200, gh5 with Sigma 18-35 in my backpack with nd filters, cleaning supplies and anything else I can jam into it. This video is not about photography or video, it's about the most expensive webcam on a stick. If you're that weak, just use your damn phone.

michaeljin's picture

I actually traded from the A7RIII to the Z7 partly because of ergonomics, but I like light gear when possible (all else being equal, which it rarely is) and it is because my back hurts. So does the back of my left leg as the pain shoots down it and it eventually goes numb.

Thanks for insinuating that I'm weak, though. Next month when I go in for my spinal fusion surgery, I'll let my neurosurgeon know that he and all of my doctors so far are just stupid. I don't have a slipped disk, arthritis in my knees, or a degenerative nerve condition. I'm just weak. They should have all just told me to go to the gym and hit the weights.

Yeah... fuck you, dude. I'll take a ban if I need to for this, but this just pisses me off. Maybe I'm just emotional about the upcoming surgery, but whatever.

I don't believe in weight reduction if it means loss of quality, but there's so much BS thrown around by people that causes companies to artificially increase the weight of gear because a uselessly heavy metal barrel (which performs no better or worse than a plastic one) is a mark of "better build quality". I'm tired of people telling me to just hit the god damned gym. Yes, maybe I eventually will have to move down to M4/3 or give up photography with a dedicated camera altogether. I don't know what the future holds for me. It might be using my "damned phone". But I do appreciate camera companies that take into consideration that not all of us are the fittest people who can carry around 40lbs of gear everywhere we go. The weight of gear (just like ergonomics) is a legitimate concern for many of us.

David Love's picture

Are you a vlogger or youtube person judging cameras on weight more than substance? Doesn't sound like it so your response is misguided. Sony fanboys hyping about auto focus and weight while they walk around filming themselves like it's a go pro. Canon has better autofocus, Panasonic has better video features but Sony wins for lightest camera. That's not a review. But based off your profile, you've got bigger mental issues than how heavy your camera is. Bye troll.

michaeljin's picture

1. "So tired of hearing people talk about lighter cameras being a plus because your back hurts."
2. "So tired of vloggers and youtube people talking about lighter cameras being a plus because I happen to believe that they're using them improperly."

One of these two seems to describe what you're trying to convey. Unfortunately, it's not the one you actually wrote.

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"judging cameras on weight more than substance"

Reaffirming my assessment that you don't believe that weight is an issue of substance when it is to plenty of people with physical limitations.

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"But based off your profile, you've got bigger mental issues than how heavy your camera is. Bye troll."

Marginalizing people with mental health issues along with people with physical limitations. Keep it up. You're doing great.

Oh, and I have actually been diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety and have suicide attempts in my history. I do see a therapist weekly and take medication for it. Unfortunately sometimes bullshit like what you spewed appears in-between sessions. That's my excuse for being sensitive about the subject. So I guess it's YOUR turn to enlighten me as to why you're an insensitive dickhead.

David Love's picture

"Michael Jin Photography
michaeljin.photography
Photographer
I don't care about you. I don't care about your photos. I don't care about your community. I'm not here to contribute anything meaningful and you'll find nothing in my words or photos that does anything of the sort. I'm just a random guy passing time.

You will not know me nor will you remember me. In the end, I'm as unmemorable and unremarkable as the shit you flush down the toilet after a run-of-the-mill bowel movement. Then again, so are you.

You will accomplish nothing. Your photos will accomplish nothing. All of the hard work you did to make sure that you followed archival standards to make your prints last hundreds of years will just go into the trash along with your rotting corpse and your children and loved ones will be the one to put it there.

Oh, did you think that you were a unique little snowflake? So did all of the millions of others that fell out of the sky only to melt away into a sewer to join the shit and garbage. Hell, now that I think about it, I guess we're all unique little snowflakes.

Hi, unique little snowflake. How are you? Take any good photos lately?"

michaeljin's picture

Logical Fallacy - Ad Hominem:
Short for argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.

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Dat grade school education, yo... and people say that it isn't useful.

So what were you saying about your dickhead comments again? Are you trying to say that they were not dickhead comments due to the substance of the comments themselves and the supportive reasoning, or are you saying that they are not dickhead comments because they are directed at a reprehensible person (in this case, me)?

I'm not entirely sure what your defense theory is.

As a side note, since you took the liberty of looking at my profile, I took the liberty of looking at yours. You are a very skilled photographer. Good job. It does make me sad that we're not going to get along. Oh well... C'est la vie, right?

Will Murray's picture

You really are a bit of an asshole.

Goddamned edgelords.

michaeljin's picture

It's ergonomically better. In terms of in-body tech, it's inferior.

Keith Meinhold's picture

Spend a day or more with a smaller lighter kit and you realize that is in itself is a substantial ergonomic advantage. I can fit my a6000, 35/f1.8, 50/f1.8 OSS, 10-18/f4, 18-105/f4, and Manfrotto PIXI in a shaving kit bag.

Will Murray's picture

Right there with you. My landscape kit, including tripod, now weighs 1.5kg.

Keith Meinhold's picture

Four lenses, body, two batteries, two chargers, pixie tripod, cards/filters and a padded shoulder bag. Wonderful to travel with.

Does SIZE matters? YES. Does some people like it BIG? YES.
Like you stated, I quote "Also one of the main reasons people are switching to mirror less cameras is the smaller size and weight and Panasonic seems to have ignored this and produced a very large and heavy camera." That statement rings true at the birth of mirrorless technology. However, mirrorless have passed it's toothing stage and is transiting as the main platform of enthusiast and pro camera. What Panasonic understood and a lot of our pro reviewers fail to note is that people are going to start buying mirrorless just as they would Nikon D5 and Canon EOS-1D X. Undeniably, size will matter to a segment, just as resolution or other parameters will matter to certain individual.
I've been shooting relatively small size since I've known cameras, from my dad Pentax ME and MEsuper when I was in high school to my Sony A7, A7R, A7ii, A7iii, and then to Olympus EM1MII when I felt my Sony wasn't balanced with my big distagon and GMs.
The Panasonic S1 was ergonomically moulded for me, the balance with the lens was splendid. The buttons placement amazing. This was same for my friends, nevertheless, I understand it might not work for everyone, and hence the variety and segmentation is a welcome development.
Personally, in the technical department, I feel almost all modern cameras are a technological marvel, capable, and even an overkill in some task. Am more interested in my glass, the artistic design and comfort of using my gear. Thanks for your review 👍