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Panasonic S1R Enroute for Testing

See my L-mount mirrorless wishlist.

See Is L-Mount in Your Photography Future? for thoughts on the significance of the L-mount alliance.

The Panasonic S1R is due to show up at my door tomorrow April 4th. My review will proceed immediately, with my first interest being just how good the camera performs, e.g., focus stacking, pixel shift and sensor quality, on top of everything else a new full-frame platform deserves.

I expect to spend a great deal of time on the Panasonic S1R, since I wish to cover all the native-mount lenses, as well as various Sigma DG HSM Art lenses as well as Leica SL lenses and Leica M lenses*.

L-Mount alliance coverage will likely become quite extensive. For now, L-Mount coverage will remain under diglloyd Mirrorless (but table of contents for L-Mount Mirrorless is split onto its own page). It will be partitioned off at an appropriate time as its size grows (access for current subscribers to Mirrorless will remain intact).

* Leica M lens coverage on any platform goes into diglloyd Leica.

Panasonic S1R

Reader Roy P writes:

Both Panasonic and Sigma come out as big winners from the L mount alliance. Panasonic now has a huge array of mass-produced and competitively priced lenses, instead of having to rely on low volume sales of boutique lenses from Leica. Sigma has a totally green field to recycle all of its lenses, with no competition from Sony, Zeiss, Voigtlander, Tamron, Tokina, etc.

Sigma now also has the financial justification for the cost of developing and marketing a full-frame Foveon camera, as well as a readily addressable target market of L system users. Sigma can also do this without pissing off Panasonic, since a Foveon camera will be a boutique / niche product, and won’t sabotage the S1 / S1R.

So two out of the three in the alliance are laughing all the way to the bank. What does Leica get out of it, other than a few coins tossed into a tin cup strategically placed on the steps of aforementioned bank?!

My guess is three things:

1. Legitimacy and affirmation for the L mount. It will be reassuring for long-suffering Leica fans that Leica won’t abandon the SL in a crater.

2. Finally, Leica has a source for high res sensors, and likely, good pricing, too! For the relatively low volumes Leica would have accounted for, I don’t think Leica was getting much respect from Sony in terms of availability and price of sensors. If you remember, even Nikon had to wait in like to fulfill D850 shipments, waiting for sensors from Sony. Leica now likely have a guaranteed availability of sensors at a reasonable price baked into its L mount alliance.

3. Potentially, new customers. Out of the installed base of Panasonic customers, sooner or later, there will emerge a few well-heeled customers who will aspire to rise above the peasant class. They will initially get a Leica lens or two (e.g., 50 Summilux or 90 APO Summicron), then perhaps decide launch themselves into a higher orbit by getting an SL II.

Not bad… Everybody is happy in the end. For once, Leica seems to have done something right.

DIGLLOYD: interesting times.

f11 @ 1/60 sec handheld IS=on, ISO 100; 2019-04-04 13:19:43
[altitude 500 ft / 152 m, 60°F / 15°C, magnification ~1:5, LACA corrected]
Panasonic S1R + Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS @ 39mm

[low-res image for bot]
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