Panasonic Lumix S1 gets new 6K video powers, with a few catches

Panasonic Lumix S1
(Image credit: Panasonic)

The Panasonic Lumix S1 will soon be getting a serious boost to its video shooting powers thanks to a new firmware update – but many of the features will only be available as a paid upgrade.

April 6 is set to be a big day for the full-frame mirrorless camera, as it’ll get a sizable firmware 2.0 upgrade that includes new video recording options, including that headline 6K mode, and enhanced compatibility with the Atomos Ninja V external recorder. 

Videographers can expect the Panasonic Lumix S1 to get 5.9K/C4K and 4K60/50p 4:2:0 10-bit internal video recording as part of the upgrade, as well as 5.9K, 4K and Anamorphic (4:3) 3.5K 12-bit raw video data recording over HDMI – if you have an Atomos Ninja V attached to the Panasonic Lumix S1. 

The catch? These new video options don’t come for free – Panasonic Lumix S1 owners will have to pay for the DMW-SFU2 software upgrade key to make use of the new 6K video features. The maximum recording time for the 6K mode is also only 15 minutes.

The software key can be bought for $199 / £159 / AU$250, but if you have it already, then you’ll be able to shoot in 6K when the update arrives on April 6.

Panasonic Lumix S1

(Image credit: Future)

Next-level videography

If you’re not up for paying for the software key, though, the firmware update also introduces new features for the Panasonic Lumix S1 that won’t come at a cost. 

These include a new anamorphic mode and timecode functions, and a selection of quality-of-life features like being able to manually toggle Dual Native ISO, the extension of the power save mode to the DMW-AC10 AC adapter, and a new orientation lock.

If you own a Panasonic BGH1 or a Panasonic S1H, you’ll be happy to know that those cameras are also benefiting from firmware upgrades – albeit ones that aren’t quite as extensive as the S1’s. 

From March 31, the S1H will support two raw video formats, adding the ability to output 5.9K videos in Blackmagic raw to its existing Apple ProRes raw support. As for the Panasonic Lumix BGH1, it’ll be getting support for IP streaming via PCs and Apple ProRes raw video output over HDMI with Atomos peripherals, when its update lands on March 24.

If you own one of these powerful Panasonic Lumix cameras, it’s well worth putting those dates in your diary then – you’ll be able to download the firmware updates from Panasonic’s official support page when they land in the next month. 

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.