Panasonic S1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-S1 front
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-112mm (F3.1-5.6) lens
  • 117g - 99 x 59 x 21mm
  • Announced January 2011
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Panasonic S1 overview

Panasonic S1 is Panasonic's Small Sensor Compact camera initially launched on January of 2011. It comes with a 12 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000.

The S1 is scored #187 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras and all-around #1131 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. Remember to use our Advanced camera search to get camera ratings based on your personal requirements.

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Below is a diagram of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Panasonic S1 family

The Panasonic S1 is part of a family of products. You can read the detailed list underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ10 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ10
S1 vs SZ10
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ8 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ8
S1 vs SZ8
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Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ3 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ3
S1 vs SZ3
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ5 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ5
S1 vs SZ5
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ7 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ7
S1 vs SZ7
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-S2 front thumbnailPanasonic S2
S1 vs S2
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Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ1 front thumbnailPanasonic SZ1
S1 vs SZ1
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-S1 front thumbnailPanasonic S128-112mm
Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-S3 front thumbnailPanasonic S3
S1 vs S3

Panasonic S1 Pros and Cons

Here is a checklist of upsides and downsides of the Panasonic S1 based on factors which are normally viewed as important in a camera.

built in image stabilization (Optical)
built in zoom lens (28-112mm 4.0 x zoom)
has built in flash
lighter than competition (117g)
quite wide (28mm)
very good min ISO (100)
can't use external flash
display isn't selfie friendly
doesn't have external microphone port
doesn't have HDMI port
doesn't have headphone port
doesn't have Timelapse function
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
fixed screen
lacks phase detect AF
lacks RAW files
low resolution screen (230 thousand dot)
low video resolution (1280 x 720 pixels)
max zoom aperture not good (f5.6)
MP count low (12MP)
no aperture priority mode
no manual control
no manual focus
no shutter priority mode
screen is somewhat small (2.7 inches)
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.1)
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
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Panasonic S1 Sensor features

The Panasonic S1 is run by the Venus Engine IV chip. The sensor measurement in the Panasonic S1 is 6.08mm x 4.56mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4000 x 3000 pixels using aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is superior than digital stabilization as the latter can easily produce cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 12MP and gives a native ISO range of 100 - 6400. Sadly, RAW photos are not supported so the user has less room to maneuver in post.

The picture underneath illustrates the S1's sensor size when compared to other common sizes. The S1 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.9 and is pointed out in green.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-S1 sensor size Sora from OpenAI releases its first ever music video

To get an idea of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Panasonic S1 dimensions

Panasonic S1 is 0.26 pounds (117g / 4.13 oz) and the physical size of the camera is 99mm x 59mm x 21mm (3.9" x 2.3" x 0.8"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Compact camera is 174g so the Panasonic S1 is lighter as compared with various competitors.

Photography Glossary

Underneath is a shot of the Panasonic S1 besides a soft drink to help you have a sense of its size.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-S1 dimensions scale

The top view underneath will provide the button design on the S1.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-S1 topview buttons dials

Panasonic S1 Lens features

The S1 offers a fixed lens having a focal range of 28-112mm making it a 4.0 x zoom which is not great nevertheless it will be convenient in certain circumstances.

At it's widest 28mm, the lens will have an aperture of f3.1 and that is very sluggish and not good in low light situations and you might struggle to capture good bokeh. You could also have to raise your ISO setting producing noisy files. Towards the long end, 112mm comes at f5.6 which is really slow and you may have to apply slow shutter speeds.

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Panasonic S1 Connectivity

The S1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Cameras that come with NFC and / or Bluetooth support can easily be used wirelessly through smartphones. You are able to copy pictures and at times adjust settings without connecting straight with the camera.

Several apps also give a Liveview and click the shutter in case you aren't near the camera. If the camera comes with a HDMI out, it could be connected to an external display. Many cameras enable you to recharge the battery through the USB socket.

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Panasonic S1 Video features

The maximum video resolution in the Panasonic S1 is 1280 x 720 and it can record in Motion JPEG format. 720p is awful by today's requirements. You should really try to get a minimum 1080p resolution for video recording. The body doesn't feature a mic and / or headphone jack so you get absolutely no control over your audio. It is perhaps a better idea to take a look at another model if you need better audio in your video clips.

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Panasonic S1 Weather Sealing

Panasonic S1 doesn't have weather sealing so wet conditions could damage the camera.

Panasonic S1 Display and Viewfinder

The Panasonic S1 comes with a 2.7 inch fixed display having a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Sadly the display is not a touch screen.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-S1 screen and viewfinder President Biden pushes bill mandating TikTok sale or ban

The View Finder details regarding Panasonic S1 are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

In those sunny outdoor situations that make the camera screens washed out and difficult to view, viewfinders are pretty valuable.

Panasonic S1 Shutter features

The maximum shutter speed is 1/1600 seconds.

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Panasonic S1 Flash and Hot shoe features

Panasonic S1 boasts just in-built flash with no external flash ability.

Panasonic S1 Autofocusing features

Panasonic S1 boasts only Contrast Detect Autofocus and is missing Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is more quicker & accurate as compared with Contrast Detect focusing.

The Sensor comes with 11 focus points to pick from. Panasonic S1 doesn't have manual focus. Manual focus ability is good for low light situations or you need more accurate depth of field control.

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Panasonic S1 Battery life

The battery for the Panasonic S1 is built to last for 240 photos based on the CIPA requirements making it similar to its competition. The general Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 has got the highest possible (470) battery life for this type of cameras.

Listed below is a list of Small Sensor Compact cameras which have the best battery life:

Panasonic S1 for various kinds of photography

The following diagram gives a analysis of the Panasonic S1 for various kinds of photography. To view more, go to the specific paragraph underneath.

Panasonic S1 Portrait photography details

The Panasonic S1 receives a points total of 21 which is lousy, meaning that it is not really acceptable to use for portrait photography. Photographing portraits leans heavily to sensor dimension, support for RAW photos plus the potential to utilize external lighting.

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lack of manual focus
no manual exposure
external flash not possible
resolution not great (12MP)
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format

Panasonic S1 Street photography features

Getting a very good rating of 63, the Panasonic S1 is a good option to use in street photography. A decent street photography camera provides a perfect balance of picture quality and portability.

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has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than average in class (117 grams)
no moving screen
very small sensor (1/2.3")
lacks RAW support

Panasonic S1 as a Sports photography camera

A lousy sports photography points tally of 27 suggests the Panasonic S1 is not really acceptable for photographing sports. A camera needs to have great tracking plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

Photography Glossary
has image stabilization (Optical)
lack of shutter priority mode
low MP (12MP)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
lacks phase detect autofocus

Travel photography with Panasonic S1

Weight is super crucial in picking a travel camera. In general, the Panasonic S1 gets a above average 62 for a travelling camera which makes it a fine fit to take on your holidays.

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lighter than competitors (117 grams)
has built in flash
fairly wide (28mm)
lack of Timelapse recording
resolution not great (12MP)
display isn't selfie friendly
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.1)

Panasonic S1 Landscape photography factors

In case you're planning to pick a digital camera for landscape pictures, the biggest factor will be image quality. The Panasonic S1 at it's lousy grade of 32 as a landscape camera is not really acceptable among its competition.

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really wide (28mm)
image stabilization (Optical)
lack of manual focus
can't change lenses (fixed lens mount)
slow max aperture (f3.1)
tiny screen (2.7")
manual mode not available
megapixel count low (12 megapixels)
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
does not have RAW support
doesn't have Timelapse recording

Panasonic S1 Vlogging highlights

A vlogging camera should have a articulating display screen, mic port and ideally image stabilization. Taking all things into account, the Panasonic S1 is not really acceptable as a vlog camera as it receives a lousy score of 31.

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fairly wide (28mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competitors in class (117g)
slow max aperture (f3.1)
display is not selfie friendly
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pxls)
no microphone port

Panasonic S1 Alternatives

If you are in the market for replacements to the S1, here is a list of the highest ranked cameras that fall into the class of Small Sensor Compact.

The chart here gives you an overview of the S1 vs it's highest ranked rivals mentioned previously.

There are a bunch of cameras you may see as alternate options. To browse through a full comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S1
Small Sensor Compact
Body design
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Venus Engine IV
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.08 x 4.56mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW files
Maximum native ISO
Lowest native ISO
Manual focus
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Autofocus multi area
Live view autofocus
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
28-112mm (4.0x)
Max aperture
Macro focus distance
Focal length multiplier
Display type
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
2.7 inches
Resolution of display
230 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Display tech
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
8 secs
Maximum shutter speed
1/1600 secs
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
3.30 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction
External flash
WB bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
117g (0.26 lbs)
Physical dimensions
99 x 59 x 21mm (3.9" x 2.3" x 0.8")
Battery life
240 photos
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Storage media
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal
Storage slots
Retail price