For those of us that like shooting on a mirrorless camera, we’ve probably become accustomed to the lightweight and easy to manage cameras. So are the S1 and S1R a step too far on the scales?
Now that Panasonic are entering the full-frame mirrorless market, they’ve created the heaviest camera of the bunch. The S1 weighs 2.25 pounds, with the S1R weighing basically the same at 2.24 pounds. Out of the competition, it’s only the Sony a9 that comes close with 1.48 pounds. All of this is with the battery inside the camera. Here’s a breakdown:
- Nikon Z 6: 1.29 pounds
- Canon EOS R: 1.45 pounds
- Sony a7S II: 1.38 pounds
- Sony a9: 1.48 pounds
- Panasonic GH5: 1.59 pounds
- Panasonic S1: 2.25 pounds
- Panasonic S1R: 2.24 pounds
You might think that the GH5 and GH5s,would be a lot lighter being Micro Four Thirds cameras, however they’re actually a little heavier than the Nikon Z series cameras and the Canon R. Still, if you want a lightweight kit, then the smaller option is still the better.
Micro Four Thirds or Full Frame?
I’ll be comparing a kit bag with the Panasonic GH5 and also the S1 here. The most important thing to note is that the cameras are only one part of the puzzle. How much more would you need to carry if you made the switch? In this example of a kit, the lenses would achieve a similar enough focal range, but I'm obviously not equating the two.
- GH5 with a battery inside: 1.59 pounds
- Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 - 0.67 pounds
- Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8 - 0.78 pounds
- X5 batteries at 0.2 pounds each - 1 pounds
Total: 4.04 pounds
- S1 with a battery inside - 2.25 pounds
- Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 (kit lens) - 1.50 pounds
- Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 - 2.17 pounds
- X5 batteries at (guessing) 0.3 lb each - 1.5 pounds
Total: 7.72 pounds
As you can see, by opting for a basic kit with Panasonic’s full-frame camera, you’re nearly doubling the weight. Most of this is due to the insanely lightweight Micro Four Thirds lenses that Panasonic make, which are incredible at shedding weight. I’m a huge fan of their Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8 because it gives me the reach of a 70-200mm on a full-frame camera, without any of the bulk. Matching this with the incredible image stabilization, and the smaller system makes a lot of sense.
In a way, mirrorless cameras being seen as the lightweight and nimble alternatives to a DSLR is an old way of thinking. Lenses, and even the bulk of newer cameras, matters more now. Canon’s 5D Mark IV weighs less than Panasonic’s S1, coming in at just 1.76 pounds compared to 2.25 pounds.
Is anybody here thinking of making the switch? And is a compact form factor important to you?