Panasonic S1H vs Sigma fp L
The Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H and the Sigma fp L are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in May 2019 and March 2021. Both the S1H and the fp L are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Sigma provides 60.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H and the Sigma fp L? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic S1H and the Sigma fp L. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sigma fp L is considerably smaller (54 percent) than the Panasonic S1H. Moreover, the fp L is substantially lighter (59 percent) than the S1H. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic S1H||151 mm||114 mm||110 mm||1052 g||400||Y||May 2019||3,999|
|2.||Sigma fp L||113 mm||70 mm||45 mm||427 g||240||Y||Mar 2021||2,499|
|3.||Fujifilm X100V||128 mm||75 mm||53 mm||478 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,399|
|4.||Leica SL2-S||146 mm||107 mm||83 mm||931 g||510||Y||Dec 2020||4,895|
|5.||Leica SL2||146 mm||107 mm||42 mm||953 g||370||Y||Nov 2019||5,999|
|6.||Nikon D780||144 mm||116 mm||76 mm||840 g||2260||Y||Jan 2020||2,299|
|7.||Nikon Z6||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||310||Y||Aug 2018||1,999|
|8.||Panasonic S5||133 mm||98 mm||82 mm||714 g||440||Y||Sep 2020||1,999|
|9.||Panasonic S1||149 mm||110 mm||97 mm||1017 g||400||Y||Feb 2019||2,499|
|10.||Panasonic S1R||149 mm||110 mm||97 mm||1016 g||380||Y||Feb 2019||3,699|
|11.||Pentax K-1 II||137 mm||110 mm||86 mm||1010 g||670||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|12.||Sigma fp||113 mm||70 mm||45 mm||422 g||280||Y||Jul 2019||1,899|
|13.||Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499|
|14.||Sony A7 III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|15.||Sony A7S||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||489 g||380||Y||Apr 2014||2,499|
|16.||Sony A7R||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||465 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The fp L was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the S1H, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the fp L is 2 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 60.2MP, the fp L offers a higher resolution than the S1H (24MP), but the fp L has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.79μm versus 5.94μm for the S1H). Yet, the fp L is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 9 months) than the S1H, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Sigma fp L implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the fp L for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 47.6 x 31.6 inches or 120.9 x 80.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 38.1 x 25.3 inches or 96.7 x 64.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 31.7 x 21.1 inches or 80.6 x 53.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic S1H are 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
Unlike the fp L, the S1H has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (96MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
The Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sigma fp L are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 6-102400.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Panasonic S1H||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||6K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Sigma fp L||Full Frame||60.2||9520||6328||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Leica SL2-S||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.2||14.1||3504||95|
|5.||Leica SL2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Nikon D780||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Nikon Z6||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||3299||95|
|8.||Panasonic S5||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.1||14.5||2697||94|
|9.||Panasonic S1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.2||14.5||3333||95|
|10.||Panasonic S1R||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/60p||26.4||14.1||3525||100|
|11.||Pentax K-1 II||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60i||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Sigma fp||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|14.||Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
|15.||Sony A7S||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||1080/60p||23.9||13.2||3702||87|
|16.||Sony A7R||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the S1H provides a higher video resolution than the fp L. It can shoot video footage at 6K/30p, while the Sigma is limited to 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the S1H has an electronic viewfinder (5760k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the fp L relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the fp L can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-11. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic S1H and Sigma fp L along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Sigma fp L||optional||n||3.2||2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|11.||Pentax K-1 II||optical||Y||3.2||1037||full-flex||n||1/8000s||4.4||n||Y|
|13.||Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|14.||Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
One feature that is present on the S1H, but is missing on the fp L is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.The S1H has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the fp L does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Panasonic S1H and the Sigma fp L both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the S1H and the fp L write their files to SDXC cards. The S1H features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the fp L only has one slot. Both cameras support UHS-II cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H and Sigma fp L and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Sigma fp L||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||-|
|11.||Pentax K-1 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Sony A9 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A7 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Panasonic S1H (unlike the fp L) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the S1H and the fp L are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Panasonic and Sigma. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Sigma websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic S1H and the Sigma fp L? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H:
- High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (6K/30p vs 4K/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2330k vs 2100k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 240) on a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More solid recording: Has a full-sized HDMI port for a sturdy connection to an external recorder.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2019).
Arguments in favor of the Sigma fp L:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (60.2 vs 24MP), which boosts linear resolution by 59%.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x70mm vs 151x114mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 625g or 59 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.2 vs 3.1).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 9 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the S1H is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic S1H and the Sigma fp L place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the S1H or the fp L perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic S1H||..||..||90/100||..||..||May 2019||3,999|
|2.||Sigma fp L||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2021||2,499|
|3.||Fujifilm X100V||5/5||+ +||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2020||1,399|
|4.||Leica SL2-S||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Dec 2020||4,895|
|5.||Leica SL2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2019||5,999|
|6.||Nikon D780||5/5||..||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2020||2,299|
|7.||Nikon Z6||5/5||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||1,999|
|8.||Panasonic S5||4.5/5||+ +||88/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2020||1,999|
|9.||Panasonic S1||4.5/5||+ +||88/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||2,499|
|10.||Panasonic S1R||4.5/5||..||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||3,699|
|11.||Pentax K-1 II||..||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|12.||Sigma fp||4/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2019||1,899|
|13.||Sony A9 II||..||..||90/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499|
|14.||Sony A7 III||..||+ +||89/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|15.||Sony A7S||4/5||..||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||2,499|
|16.||Sony A7R||5/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Panasonic S1H vs Sigma fp L
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic S1H||Sigma fp L|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica L mount lenses||Leica L mount lenses|
|Launch Date||May 2019||March 2021|
|Launch Price||USD 3,999||USD 2,499|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic S1H||Sigma fp L|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.6 x 23.8 mm||36.0 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||847.28 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||42.8 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||60.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||9520 x 6328 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.94 μm||3.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.83 MP/cm2||6.97 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||6K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 204,800 ISO||6 - 102,400 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic S1H||Sigma fp L|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||5760k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||2330k dots||2100k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic S1H||Sigma fp L|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||9 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/8000s||up to 1/8000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II||UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic S1H||Sigma fp L|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1||USB 3.2|
|HDMI Port||full HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Panasonic S1H||Sigma fp L|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||240 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
151 x 114 x 110 mm
(5.9 x 4.5 x 4.3 in)
113 x 70 x 45 mm
(4.4 x 2.8 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||1052 g (37.1 oz)||427 g (15.1 oz)|
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