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Panasonic S1R vs Other Cameras for Landscape — Transition Camera for Zeiss Otus/Zeiss Milvus 'glass'?

See my commentary on the Panasonic S1R from a few days ago.

Panasonic S1R

I find myself wondering whether for landscape shooting the Panasonic S1R might be the best deal on the market. Because using its 187-megapixel multi-shot high-res mode it is at least competitive with and perhaps superior to the Fujifilm GFX100S when compared at the same pixel width.

Unlike pixel shift on Sony and Fujifilm mirrorless which are rarely usable in the field, the Panasonic S1R multi-shot high-res mode can be used for most outdoor situations with great success. You not only get capture detail exceeding what the best lenses can deliver, you get noise-free captures equivalent to ISO 6 and the freedom from white stripes or other sensor capture artifacts. Better per-pixel pixel quality than any single-shot camera no matter the cost.

UPDATE: Panasonic S1R is not free from artifacts in StdRes or HighRes shooting.

I have a full collection of Zeiss Otus and Zeiss Milvus lenses but I’ve hardly used them for 2 years now. Thinking in those terms, the Panasonic S1R with lens adapter for Nikon F lenses might be an interesting play for those with such a DSLR lens collection—better than adapting to any other mirrorless camera. While I don’t much like the hassle of lens adapters vs native lenses, some of those Zeiss lenses are very strong performers and if you have 'em already then you save a ton of money on lenses.

For myself, this approach is only mildly interesting because I have to review and shoot all brands. But were I shooting for my own purposes only, the Panasonic S1R proposition is intriguing. I’d gladly keep one on hand with the Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 APO-Distagon or Zeiss Milvus 35/1.4 mounted ready for use.

CLICK TO VIEW: Top-Flight DSLR Lenss from Zeiss

CLICK TO VIEW: L-Mount System

Kevin S writes:

Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

For travel and hiking, on the other hand, I find Sony can’t be beat for lens choice – especially quality-to-size/weight ratio. Tough on the wallet to keep two systems going, but at least the Zeiss glass won’t need updates in my lifetime …

DIGLLOYD: the Nikon Z7 II and Nikon Z7 are excellent cameras, and the Nikon FTZ lens adapter is one of the very best-made in the business. If own a Nikon mirrorless cameras, it’s a no-brainer to get the adapter.

OTOH, the Nikon Z7 II has no high-res mode or even pixel shift—pathetic here in 2021. But that criticism applies to Sony and Canon also—only Panasonic and Leica do it right (field-usable) with their multi-shot high-res mode—far superior to pixel shift.

The thrust of my commentary is about getting 100-megapixel-range captures, not about adapting lenses to a mirrorless body as just a means of carrying forward the investment in 'glass', though that too is worthwhile.

There is a hassle to lens adapters and adapted lenses, and I like some kind of reward for my trouble. I could just shoot the lenses on my Nikon D850 (equally good results as Nikon Z7) without the lens adapter.

Kevin S writes:

Yes, I know you are (and admirably so) after the best possible resolution.  But aside from that, I find the experience of shooting the Zeiss manual focus lenses to be much more convenient and accurate with a (high quality) zoomable electronic viewfinder – no comparison between shooting these lenses with my old D800 and the Z7.  I do still shoot the D800 for events with AF lenses, and thought about upgrading to the D850, but realized I’d never shoot my best lenses with it.

DIGLLOYD: agreed on the EVF, big win. But try hiking with the Otus or some Milvus lenses around on a lens adapter—really awkward and a good risk of warping the lens mount.

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