I sold the Leica SL for the Panasonic S1 full frame mirrorless camera, a first from Panasonic. Yes, it is quite a questionable decision. Let me say, it ‘was’. It is not anymore. I love the S1.

 

Why did I make the switch?

 

  • I am a wedding photographer primarily and an articulating screen is of immense help to shoot from different angles. I had always wished the SL had such a screen.
  • As I shoot candid, documentary/photojournalistic shots the ‘touch focus and shoot’ option on the S1 is a fantastic feature to capture candid moments without making people conscious.
  • The promise of better video features, given Panasonic’s history with video, was enticing as I get into wedding films more seriously.
  • The S1 can take all my Leica lenses and I can use my existing M to L adapter.
  • The native Panasonic lenses are going to be way cheaper than the Leica ones without compromising quality. Of course, I could use the Panasonic lenses on the SL too so this is not really a show stopper for the decision.

 

What were the surprises?

 

  • The grip of the s1 is brilliant. The SL grip was flat. The S1 has a groove and is very comfortable in the hand.
  • The Image Quality is comparable to the Leica Q which I adored. The colors are fantastic right out of camera RAW.
  • The focus speed is very good with the 24-105 f4 lens and is very snappy even in the ‘touch focus and shoot’ option.
  • The focus peaking and other manual focus aids are amazing and I get many more keepers with my Leica Noctilux on the S1 than on the SL. Focus peaking is way better than in the SL.
  • The EVF and LCD are brilliant to look through and look at.

 

What could be better:

 

  • Need more options for video (apparently coming soon). The data rates at 1080 are low for now. Not comparable to the Sony world.
  • Need more and better Codecs.
  • No Profoto support for OCF. I am a Profoto user.

 

I will have much more to talk about this brilliant camera as I shoot more. For now, here a few pictures with the 24-105 f4 and the Leica Noctilux. Leave your thoughts below.

 

Street photography using the ‘touch focus and shoot’ option with the 24-105 f4 lens.

Some shots from a recent wedding. Shot with the Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95.

Some shots with a couple of models in Austin, Texas.