Panasonic S1H Becomes Only Hybrid Stills/Photo Camera to Be Certified by Netflix

Panasonic S1H Becomes Only Hybrid Stills/Photo Camera to Be Certified by Netflix

The Panasonic S1H is a monster camera when it comes to video, so much so that it has taken its place next to far more expensive cameras by being certified by Netflix for use as a primary camera on productions.

Netflix's production guide specifies that at least 90% of the runtime of a program should be filmed on cameras on their approved list. The list of approved cameras is a who's who of expensive, dedicated video cameras, with models like the Canon C700, RED Ranger Helium 8K, and more populating its entries. Each of these cameras is oriented exclusively toward video, and most run well into five figures in price. On the other hand, at $4,000, the Panasonic S1H, while not cheap, is remarkably affordable as compared to the rest of the cameras on the approved list, making it a highly attractive option for budget productions still looking to get their content on the platform. Filmmakers using the camera for Netflix content will have to shoot in at least 4K in V-Log with 4:2:2 10-bit ALL-I (400 Mbps), along with some other requirements. It is definitely exciting news for independent filmmakers and low-budget productions. You can read the full list of approved cameras and shooting requirements here.

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20 Comments

Wes Jones's picture

Browsing through that list of high-end cameras makes my head spin. So expensive.

Chad Andreo's picture

Does this really matter when it comes to a Netflix production, since from my understanding, this only applies to films that are Green-lit or will be produced by Netflix?

Also, I recall previously reading that Indy film-makers can still create their own films using whatever camera setup they want and then sell it to Netflix if they are interested in the film.

Marcus Joyce's picture

Yeah no one watches TV thinking how much better it could have been if they used X instead of y.

Marius Pettersen's picture

Sure, but Netflix is also making money on supporting new technical innovations - like 4K HDR, and the more content they have that supports that, the better. Why pay for Netflix 4K if there was only two movies and one TV series produced with that in mind?

Marcus Joyce's picture

I've been trying to put my 3d TV to use

Marius Pettersen's picture

3D TVs has been a gimmick since day one. 4K HDR is not the same.

Marcus Joyce's picture

I'm trying to find good examples and as expected I get this super unnatural vibrancy compared to non hdr. Have you got a good example of it's use in assisting with storytelling?

Marius Pettersen's picture

I haven't adopted the tech yet, so my attention to whatever is available is limited. Stranger Things may not be the best demo if one is not in love with saturated colors.

Modern cinema cameras capture such a vast amount of data which is often 'discarded' due to consumer monitors and services not being able to show it. I think that DPs and color graders will be able to take advantage of HDR in difficult lighting scenarios - which may help the director in their vision.

Marcus Joyce's picture

Are we talking about the colour gamut?

Marius Pettersen's picture

Gamut is part of the equation. I think this demo is useful in understanding the benefits of HDR. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cLKmxbmjMY

I watch Netflix shows often thinking they should have better cameras. I thought the camera work in the first season of the OA was bad, but perhaps it was a good camera trying to look bad. When I saw the Joker preview I was in love with the camera, which as an Arri. That really made me want to watch it.

There are five other approved Panasonic video cameras on the list, too. We always hear so much about RED, Canon, and Arri, on general photo/video sites, but I don't think I've ever read about a Panasonic video camera. Do they not engage in much marketing (of their video cameras) or something?

Mike Stern's picture

Who gives a f at Netflix for this credential.

WTF cares about what Netflix has to say?

People making movies, that's who.

I though the film makers vision was what dictated which tools to use, but maybe I'm old school. And Netflix makes TV shows, not movies.

Their vision also usually includes wide distribution, too, and Netflix is a big player right now. But the BBC has similar requirements, as do networks like the Discovery Channel. What good is making a film/documentary/tv series, if nobody's going to see it?

Agreed, it is good to have many options and more content than ever before.

Sean Gibson's picture

How is Panasonic still in business. In my 6 years in photography, I have never met a single person using one. Do they have a niche market that I'm unaware of???

I'm sure film makers are relieved that Netflix has given their approval (WTF?) Are they really going to tell Scorsese that he needs to shoot on one of their approved cameras instead of film?

They're a big conglomerate, and make many other things, like the batteries that power Tesla cars. As for cameras, they mostly make high-end video cameras for things like ENG.