How Does a Panasonic BS Box Work: A Comprehensive Guide

The Panasonic BS Box, specifically the Panasonic LUMIX BS1H Full Frame Box Camera, is a professional-grade camera designed for high-quality video production. It offers a full-frame sensor, which is larger than the sensors found in most consumer cameras, allowing for better low-light performance, greater depth of field control, and a wider dynamic range, resulting in higher-quality video.

Full-Frame Sensor and Video Capabilities

The BS1H features a 24.2-megapixel full-frame sensor, which provides several advantages over smaller sensors:

  1. Low-Light Performance: The larger sensor size allows for larger individual pixels, which can capture more light, resulting in better low-light performance and reduced noise.
  2. Depth of Field Control: The full-frame sensor’s shallow depth of field allows for greater control over the focus, enabling cinematic-style shots with a blurred background.
  3. Dynamic Range: The larger sensor’s dynamic range, the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of an image, is wider, providing more flexibility in post-production for color grading and other adjustments.

In terms of video capabilities, the BS1H supports various high-quality video formats, including:

  • Cinema DNG: A raw video format that provides maximum flexibility for post-production.
  • Cinema 4K: A 4096 x 2160 resolution video format with a 17:9 aspect ratio, commonly used in professional cinema productions.
  • 6K: A 6016 x 3384 resolution video format with a 17:9 aspect ratio, offering even higher image quality.

The camera can output 10-bit 4:2:2 video via HDMI or SDI, which is a higher-quality color sampling format compared to the more common 8-bit 4:2:0. This allows for more accurate color reproduction and better color grading capabilities.

Raw Video Output and Modular Design

how does a Panasonic bs box workImage source: Panasonic Ac by Dinkun Chen

One of the unique features of the Panasonic BS Box is its ability to output raw video via HDMI or SDI, which can be recorded using an external recorder. This raw video format provides more information for color grading and other post-production adjustments, giving users greater flexibility in the editing process.

The BS1H also features a modular design, with a removable lens mount and the ability to add various accessories, such as:

  • Viewfinders: External viewfinders can be attached to the camera, providing a more comfortable and precise way to frame and focus the shot.
  • Handles: Handles can be added to the camera body, improving ergonomics and making it easier to operate the camera in various shooting scenarios.
  • Battery Plates: Different battery plates can be used to power the camera, allowing for longer shooting times or the use of specific battery types.

This modular design allows users to customize the camera to their specific needs, making it a versatile tool for a wide range of video production applications.

Technical Specifications and Connectivity

In addition to the full-frame sensor and video capabilities, the Panasonic BS Box offers the following technical specifications:

  • Dual Native ISO: The camera has dual native ISO settings of 400 and 5000, providing excellent low-light performance and flexibility in various shooting conditions.
  • Autofocus System: The BS1H features a contrast-based autofocus system with face and eye detection, ensuring accurate focus on the subject.
  • Connectivity Options: The camera offers a variety of connectivity options, including Ethernet, USB, and wireless networking, allowing for easy integration into professional video production workflows.

Hands-On Approach: Setting Up and Using the Panasonic BS Box

To get the most out of the Panasonic BS Box, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set it up and use it effectively:

  1. Lens Selection: Choose the appropriate lens for your shooting needs, considering factors such as focal length, aperture, and compatibility with the camera’s full-frame sensor.
  2. Mounting and Balancing: Securely mount the camera on a tripod or other support system, ensuring it is properly balanced and level.
  3. Power and Connectivity: Connect the camera to a power source, such as a battery or AC adapter, and set up any necessary data or video connections (HDMI, SDI, Ethernet, etc.).
  4. Menu Navigation and Settings: Familiarize yourself with the camera’s menu system and customize the settings to your preferred shooting style, including video format, frame rate, and picture profile.
  5. Viewfinder and Monitoring: Attach an external viewfinder or monitor to the camera, ensuring you have a clear and accurate view of the scene.
  6. Autofocus and Manual Focus: Test the camera’s autofocus capabilities, and be prepared to switch to manual focus for more precise control over the depth of field.
  7. Exposure and White Balance: Adjust the camera’s exposure settings, such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, to achieve the desired look, and set the white balance to match the lighting conditions.
  8. Recording and Monitoring: Start recording and monitor the footage, making any necessary adjustments to the camera settings or composition during the shoot.
  9. Raw Video Workflow: If using the camera’s raw video output, set up an external recorder and familiarize yourself with the raw video workflow, including file management and post-production software.
  10. Accessory Integration: Explore the camera’s modular design by adding accessories, such as handles or battery plates, to enhance the camera’s functionality and ergonomics.

By following these steps, you can effectively set up and use the Panasonic BS Box to capture high-quality, professional-grade video footage.


The Panasonic BS Box, specifically the LUMIX BS1H, is a powerful and versatile camera that offers a range of advanced features for professional video production. Its full-frame sensor, high-quality video capabilities, raw video output, and modular design make it a compelling choice for filmmakers, videographers, and content creators who demand the best in image quality and creative control.