One of the features of the Panasonic S1 / S1R that I like the most is the possibility of almost any configuration and saving multiple configurations in memory. There is a knob at the top of the camera housing, which allows you to select the program, but also allows you to choose your own configuration stored in the memory.
There are positions C1, C2 and C3 on the knob, which would suggest the possibility of saving three configurations, but the position C3 allows you to choose – in the menu – one of up to ten different configurations, which in combination with two configurations, available under items C1 and C2, gives you a total of 12 configurations to choose from. As if that was not enough, the camera allows you to save the complete configuration on the memory card. This means that we also save the settings for the options C1, C2 and C3-1 to C3-10, and on each card we can save up to 10 files with camera configuration. 10 files with 12 configurations each – in total, each memory card can save up to 120 different camera configurations in this way.
If we do not need too many different configurations, the number of memory banks available under item C3 can be limited. By default, Position C3 provides 3 memory banks, but you can set any number from 1 (then you just have positions C1, C2 and C3) up to 10 (then you have C1, C2 and C3-1 to C3-10).
Of course, with such a multitude of configurations, the question immediately arises how to remember what is configured under which option. But this is where the option to rename individual options C1, C2 and C3-1 to C3-10 comes in handy. The name of each item can contain up to 22 characters (a character written in two bytes is treated as two characters), so the names can quite accurately describe the configuration.
It’s also nice that we have an influence on how the custom settings behave in different situations. For example: when we use a configuration saved in a memory bank, we can still change individual settings on an ongoing basis. These changes are not saved to the memory bank, and we can decide when the settings saved in the memory bank will be reapplied to remove the changes made in real time. We have a choice: when we change the camera’s operating mode, when the camera goes into Sleep mode and returns from it, or when we turn the camera off and on again.
We can also decide what exposure parameters will be saved in the memory bank: a set of “aperture / shutter speed / ISO sensitivity” and a separate white balance.
Saving your own configuration is trivially simple: use the dial to set the camera mode that you want to use in the configuration you are just creating (i.e. P, A, S, M or video creative mode, but not iA), and then set all the parameters as you want . After setting all the parameters, enter the menu and select the “Save to Custom Mode” option.
What parameters will be saved in the configuration? Generally, it can be said that apart from actions (e.g. format card) and global camera settings (e.g. way of using memory slots), all settings are saved, the configuration of which makes sense in a specific camera mode: from the total number of 294 menu items in S1 writes 215.
There is one more function related to your own configurations, also useful in some situations: after setting the desired camera mode with the dial, you can load the settings from the memory bank to the selected operating mode. Here you just have to remember that the P, A, S, M modes cannot be loaded with the configuration built on the basis of the creative video mode, and the creative video mode cannot be loaded with the settings from the configuration built on the basis of one of the P, A modes, S, M.
So far, Panasonic S1 / S1R gives me the largest and friendliest camera configuration options I have used so far.