Today on The Slanted Lens we’ve got Shasta with us to help us take a look at the Sigma FP VS Panasonic S1H.
Big thanks to Samy’s Camera for helping us get the lenses for this review.
Also big thank you to B&H for providing the cameras for this lesson.
Today we really want to look at video with these 2 cameras, because that’s the market that they’re aimed towards.
The FP is a small compact camera, which is great for gimbals, and it’s good for those tight shots with an excellent export.
The Panasonic is definitely more of a broad range camera – it can do more frame rates, it has different picture profiles. It was the first camera to offer 6k capabilities, so in some ways the Sigma isn’t as strong of a contender, but the Sigma shoots RAW, which is amazing cause it’s such a compact camera.
If you want to add things on to the Sigma, they have grips and adapters, but it comes pretty striped down and the price is striped down too!
IMAGE QUALITY TEST
We’re starting out here in LOG, the Panasonic V-LOG, which is kinda the strong suit of the S1H is it has the same V-LOG that their cinema cameras have, which makes it a great B cam for those.
This looks great. The red really pops and her skin looks good to me. I see a little bit of red in the shadows, but overall the color looks beautiful.
The Sigma doesn’t have a LOG profile, it’s RAW, so they’ve come out with a default gamma that they had. It’s a little hot in the skin, and I kinda wanted it to match a little better to the Panasonic. I actually matched them to each other a little bit and brought the highlights down a bit to match the S1H.
What I like about the Sigma is the subtlety in the red – I felt like in real life it wasn’t as strong of a primary red. I feel like the Sigma has a little more color in her sin and the Panasonic is a little more neutral.
DYNAMIC RANGE TEST
The way we do this is we set up basic exposure that’s properly lit and properly exposed according to a light meter and then we’ll over expose by 4 stops and under expose by 4 stops. In post we’ll try to correct the footage and see how much information we’re getting and how much detail we can hold on to in the highlights with the pushing and pulling of the footage.
We did shoot these at 2 different ISOs, the native ISO for the Panasonic is 640 – that’s a low as you can go in V-LOG and the Sigma native ISO is 100. We did expose for her face with a light meter.
When we jump 1 stop the Sigma already has major problems with the skin tone. I was curious about how the RAW files would do, but the highlights instantly clipped. Even her face at just 1 stop over it’s losing detail. We see no change in the Panasonic.
We’re at +2 stops here and the Panasonic is still holding, but now we’ve already lost the Sigma. It’s starting to posterize already. I bet the Sigma likes to be overexposed and not underexposed.
The Panasonic finally clips in the tree, but the face is still just fine! This just shows me that anything that’s overexposed in the Sigma is just going to clip.
The Panasonic is somehow just fine!
Let’s see what happens when we go to underexposure.
They both look pretty good at -1.
I feel like the Panasonic is desaturation in the skin a little bit, and I feel the green creeping in a bit. The Sigma has beautiful skin tone.
The Panasonic has gone very green and we’re getting a lot of noise in the shadows. Look at the noise in the reds on her shift in the Panasonic! The Sigma is reacting the exact way you expect a RAW image to act.
The Sigma is still usable here – you do start to see a little noise in the shadows here.
The Sigma is the only one that can do 100ISO and it looks super nice. I love the color on this camera.
640 ISO / 400 ISO
This one is a little mix matched because 640 is the lowest we could go. They both look really good at this ISO.
Now they’re on the same page and I’m noticing a bit of flicker in the Sigma!
They both look pretty clean, but you do see some noise off of her right arm in the Sigma.
Now you really do start to see the noise come out in all of the color checkr blocks. There’s not as much in the S1H.
The Sigma is getting really noisy. The Panasonic is too, but not as much.
I don’t think I would ever shoot this high, but the Sigma is definitely losing. The color still looks good in both of them.
The green in the Panasonic is all of a sudden so strong! Both are very noisy, but the color has held!
The Panasonic was cleaner all the way through, though the Sigma’s color did hold up longer.
MIXED LIGHTING TEST
We have 3 very different lighting situations all in 1 shot and we’re going to see how both cameras react.
There’s nice color separation and nice tonality, and with both these cameras, the footage is so malleable – you can really push and pull a lot of different ways.
The Sigma is a lot more crunchy. Look at this background – there’s some flickering going on back there. I mentioned it when we were doing the ISO test, with the Sigma you can see this flickering more in the shadows. Other people have experienced the same thing where the footage flickers.
Still, I’m amazing at how similar they are in how they mix the warm and the cool, but out of the box the Sigma is definitely more contrasty. The flickering is a real issue though.
Let’s talk about ergonomics. With the Sigma, I don’t feel comfortable holding it. You’d have to buy a battery grip for it. Whereas, the Panasonic I pick up as I pick up every camera. It feels comfortable, but it is a beast in comparison.
The Sigma is definitely lighter, but I don’t know if I’d consider it easier to use. The menus on the back were pretty difficult. You had to go in to a touch screen menu for everything you had to do.
We also couldn’t get the scroll on the front to change the aperture of the sigma lens we were using. I like the idea of the Sigma when it was first announced. I liked the run and gun cam, but it’s just too hard to handle. It was very easy to pull focus on this, the picture is sharp, but in the sunlight it’s a giant mirror.
We’ve loved shooting on the Panasonic because it has everything built in, it has EVF, the moveable screen, it’s hefty enough, it has great stabilization, it’s comfortable and so easy to shoot with.
That was a super interesting test. I’m really glad we did it. I feel like the Sigma lost in so many ways, but it had a beautiful image when it was at it’s peak.
Hope you enjoyed this.
Keep those cameras rolling and keep on clickin.