Panasonic Announces Significant Firmware Updates for their LUMIX S1, S1H and BGH1 Cameras

Panasonic Announces Significant Firmware Updates for their LUMIX S1, S1H and BGH1 Cameras

Panasonic has announced firmware updates for its LUMIX cameras that will come out within the next weeks. The S1H gets support for external BRAW recording with the Video Assist 12G. The LUMIX S1 gets a huge update, which will bring the camera very close to the S1H – internal 10-bit 6K, 5.9K, C4K, and 4K recording modes, RAW output over HDMI and more. The BGH1 gets an IP streaming function and also RAW output over HDMI. The S5 and S1R get some smaller improvements, as well.

If you have purchased a Panasonic S-line camera, you definitely have something to look forward to. The Japanese camera manufacturer Panasonic has a long history of improving its cameras significantly with firmware updates over time. We saw this already with the GH5, EVA1, or with some full-frame bodies from the S-line. Panasonic has just announced a new wave of firmware updates, and it is a huge one. Let’s take a look at what is coming.

Panasonic Firmware Update Program

During the next month, Panasonic will release firmware updates for all four full-frame mirrorless cameras from its portfolio – the S1, S1R, S1H and S5 – as well as for the BGH1. All these updates will be available on the Panasonic Support Webpage, as usual. The release schedule looks like this:

ModelFirmware VersionRelease Date
DC-S1HVer. 2.4March 31st, 2021
DC-S1Ver. 2.0April 6th, 2021
DC-S1RVer. 1.8April 6th, 2021
DC-S5Ver. 2.2April 6th, 2021
DC-BGH1
LUMIX Tether for Multicam
Ver. 2.0 Ver. 1.1  March 24th, 2021  

Now, let’s take a look at each camera and see which functions and improvements are coming.

LUMIX S1H – Firmware Version 2.4

The video-centric flagship of the whole LUMIX S-line, the S1H, has already seen a few significant firmware updates. Last year, Panasonic added the 5.9K RAW video output over HDMI to record ProRes RAW with the Atomos Ninja V. The new, free firmware update v2.4 will add support for Blackmagic RAW recording with the Blackmagic Video Assist 12G. This will be available in the following modes, all in 12-bit BRAW:

  • Full-frame – 5.9K (5888 x 3312) at 29.97p/25p/23.98p (16:9)
  • Super35 – 4K (4128 x 2176) at 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/23.98p (17:9)
  • Super35 Anamorphic – 3.5K (3536 x 2656) at 50p/29.97p/25p/23.98p (4:3)
LUMIX S1H with the Video Assist 12G. Source: Panasonic

V-Log or V709 will be selectable on the Live View monitor during RAW output. Shooting assist functions including WFM (Wave Form Monitor), Vector Scope, Luminance Spot Meter and Zebra Pattern can also be used during RAW output.

Recording BRAW with the LUMIX S1H. Image Credit: Daimon Xanthópoulos

Further improvements include:

  • Users can choose to add or not to add the camera orientation information in the menu [Vertical Position Info (Video)] to prevent unintended image rotation in playback.
  • [Power Save Mode] can be selected even while the camera is powered with an AC adaptor (DMW-AC10, sold separately).

LUMIX S1 – Firmware Version 2.0

Initially released over two years ago, the LUMIX S1 was Panasonic’s first full-frame mirrorless camera. It was even selected as our Camera of the Year in 2019 – check Johnnie’s initial review and another one after the V-Log upgrade. I think it is great that they are not forgetting about the S1, and that it is included in this wave of new firmware updates. The new firmware v2.0 improves the camera’s video functions SIGNIFICANTLY – so much, in fact, that the S1H might start shaking on that top spot a bit.

Panasonic LUMIX S1. Image Credit: CineD

There are new recording modes for the LUMIX S1. These are, however, only available with the paid Upgrade Software Key ( DMW-SFU2). If you already purchased the key in the past, there is no need to buy it again – the camera will include all the new functions. The new internal recording modes are all in MOV format:

  • 6K (5952 x 3968) at 24p, 4:2:0 10bit LongGOP, 200Mbps, LPCM (15 minutes recording limit)
  • 5.9K (5888 x 3312) at 30p/25p/24p, 4:2:0 10bit LongGOP, 200Mbps, LPCM (15 minutes recording limit)
  • 5.4K anamorphic (5376 x 3584) at 30p/25p, 4:2:0 10bit LongGOP, 200Mbps, LPCM (15 minutes recording limit)
  • C4K (4096 x 2160) at 60p/50p, 4:2:0 10bit LongGOP, 200Mbps, LPCM (29 minutes 59 seconds recording limit)
  • C4K (4096 x 2160) at 60p/50p, 4:2:0  8bit  LongGOP, 150Mbps, LPCM (29 minutes 59 seconds recording limit)
  • C4K (4096 x 2160) at 30p/25p/24p, 4:2:2 10bit LongGOP, 150Mbps, LPCM
  • 4K (3840 x 2160) at 60p/50p, 4:2:0 10bit LongGOP, 200Mbps, LPCM (29 minutes 59 seconds recording limit)
  • 4K Anamorphic (3328×2496) at 50p, 4:2:0 10bit LongGOP, 200Mbps, LPCM (29 minutes 59 seconds recording limit)
  • 4K Anamorphic (3328×2496) at 50p, 4:2:0 8bit LongGOP, 150Mbps, LPCM (29 minutes 59 seconds recording limit)
  • 4K Anamorphic (3328×2496) at 30p/25p/24p, 4:2:2 10bit LongGOP, 150Mbps, LPCM
LUMIX S1 with the Atomos Ninja V. Source: Panasonic

Additionally, the LUMIX S1 will now be able to output 12-bit RAW video signal over HDMI, just like the S1H. It seems like this will only work with the Ninja V for ProRes RAW, at least for now. The RAW output will be available in the following modes:

  • Full-frame – 5.9K (5888 x 3312) at 29.97p/25p/23.98p (16:9)
  • APS-C – 4K (4128 x 2176) at 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/23.98p (17:9)
  • APS-C Anamorphic – 3.5K (3536 x 2656) at 50p/29.97p/25p/23.98p (4:3)

Finally, the S1 will also support Time Code function.

With the firmware v2.0, there are some new improvements even for those without the paid upgrade key. These include:

  • [Dual Native ISO Setting] function has been added.
  • Users can choose to add or not to add camera orientation information in [Vertical Position Info (Video)] menu to prevent unintended image rotation in playback.
  • [Power Save Mode] can be selected while the camera is powered with an AC adaptor (DMW-AC10, sold separately).

All in all, for its price, the S1 offered great features even before this update. With v2.0, it gets even better.

LUMIX S1R – Firmware Version 1.8

The photographers’ flagship from the S-line gets the following improvements:

  • Users can choose to add or not to add camera orientation information in [Vertical Position Info (Video)] menu to prevent unintended image rotation in playback.
  • [Power Save Mode] can be selected while the camera is powered with an AC adaptor (DMW-AC10, sold separately).

LUMIX S5 – Firmware Version 2.2

Panasonic LUMIX S5 no lens
Image credit: CineD

Panasonic’s latest full-frame mirrorless camera, the S5, gets the same two improvements as the S1R.

LUMIX BGH1 – Firmware Version 2.0

The BGH1 is Panasonic’s latest Micro Four Thirds camera, featuring a box-style form factor (watch Johnnie’s BGH1 review here). With the new firmware v2.0 it will support IP streaming function with PC connection over LAN cable (RTP/RTSP protocol) in the following modes:

  • 4K/60p(3840×2160)H.265:50 or 25Mbps, H.264:50 or 25Mbps
  • 4K/30p(3840×2160)H.265:25 or 12.5Mbps, H.264:25 or 12.5Mbps
  • FHD/60p(1920×1080)H.265:20 or 16Mbps, H.264:16 or 8Mbps
  • FHD/30p(1920×1080)H.265:12 or 6Mbps, H.264:6M or 3Mbps

Especially the H.265 codec option is quite useful for keeping the quality, while reducing the bitrate to half when the bandwidth is not broad enough.

LUMIX BGH1 with the Atomos Ninja V. Source: Panasonic

Furthermore, the BGH1 will be able to output a 12-bit RAW video signal over its HDMI port. The output will be compatible with the Atomos Ninja V to record ProRes RAW in the following resolutions:

  • Micro Four Thirds – 4K (4096 x 2160) at 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/23.98p (17:9)
  • Micro Four Thirds Anamorphic – 3.7K (3680 x 2760) at 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/23.98p (4:3)

V-Log or Rec.709 is selectable on the Live View monitor during RAW output. Shooting assist functions including Luminance Spot Meter or Zebra Pattern can be used during RAW output. A LUT (Lookup table) exclusively designed for RAW video recorded on NINJA V is available on the Panasonic Customer Support Website to better match colour grading with V-Log/V-Gamut footage.

Further improvements include:

  • Synchronization status can be shown on the external monitor connected with HDMI or SDI when the camera is under Genlock synchronization.
  • It is possible to format the SD Memory Card from the camera menu on the live view display of LUMIX Tether while the camera is connected with the PC.
  • Users can choose to add or not to add camera orientation information in [Vertical Position Info (Video)] menu to prevent unintended image rotation in playback.

LUMIX Tether for Multicam – Version 1.1

Last but not least, Panasonic will release a new version of the LUMIX Tether software. Once released on March 24th, it will be available on the Panasonic Support Website, as well. The improvements included in the new update are:

  • Settings and controls over the BGH1 during IP streaming are available
  • Rec.Quality options corresponding to RAW video data output will be displayed when [Menu]>[Video]>[Image Format]>[HDMI RAW Data Output] is turned ON
  • It is possible to start/stop recording on the external device with the BGH1 during HDMI/SDI output
  • When [HDMI Recording Control] and/or [SDI Recording Control] is/are ON, Rec button is available even if the SD Card is not inserted. The connection method, either HDMI or SDI, is also displayed

What do you think about these new firmware updates announced by Panasonic? Do you use one of the LUMIX S cameras or the BGH1? Let us know in the comment section underneath the article.

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