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Photokina Predictions and Rumors: Panasonic

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    With Photokina fast approaching, we will soon learn about some new cameras and lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus.

    Recent announcements from Panasonic have included the G5 and GF5 prior to that. Our sources tell us that the GH3 is coming soon and that the changes from the GH2 to GH3 will be more substantial than we saw in the GH1-GH2 transition (R1). In a February interview with Amateur Photographer, the director of Panasonic’s digital stills camera business Ichiro Kitao said "I want Panasonic to be known for very high-quality cameras, and we are currently restructuring the range of products that we offer to include a very high-end model" (1).

    In a more recent interview interview on the Taiwan-based website ePrice.com, Panasonic representatives indicated that they consider the G5 to be a GH2.5, ahead of the current flagship (2, 3). Taken together, these statements portend a very strong GH3, which I suspect will include weather sealing, significant AF improvements, and a new sensor, along with a complete body redesign. One source indicated that the AF system will be the major new technology introduced with the GH3 (R2).

    On the lens front, here's the current Panasonic lineup:


    The latest addition was the 45-150mm zoom, which is the most compact lens in its class. The 35-100/2.8, a lens which is massively important to our system, is expected to be available for purchase this year.

    With the upcoming announcements, I expect we'll see more Panasonic zooms re-invented with power zoom toggles incorporated. I've also been told to expect an affordable weather-sealed zoom (R3).

    A new source told me to expect a fast and compact Panasonic 50mm lens to be announced soon and that this lens will not be Leica branded (R4). That would make perfect sense given the current Panasonic primes at 8 (fisheye), 14, and 20mm.

    Additional gaps in the lineup which could potentially be filled include a supertelephoto prime (eg, 300mm f/4) and an ultrawide (eg 10mm) rectilinear prime. None of my sources have suggested that either of those is likely in the near future, but I'd love to see them.

    Olympus predictions and rumors coming up next...

    Rumor Grades: R1,R3:B; R2,R4:C

    Rumor Evidence Grading System:
    A = Proven source, rumor extremely likely to be correct
    B = Good source, rumor likely to be correct
    C = New source, rumor plausible

    1) Panasonic plans high-end CSC to fend off Canon threat | Photography news - Camera news, photo news and photography events | Amateur Photographer
    2) Eprice via Google Translate
    3) Panasonic says: “G5 uses a different sensor than the E-M5″ | 43 Rumors
    • Like Like x 1
  2. nianys

    nianys Mu-43 Regular

    It sounds all good for the GH-3, but Panny needs to offer an equally high end option for people not wanting DSLR form. A GX Pro with built-in corner VF and focus peaking technology would be killer. I'm also expecting a lot from the "new improved AF", since Panny is already king of the hill for AF speed/accuracy, so a real improvement could only come in the form of a PDAF/CDAF hybrid system (which is said to be awesome on the Nikon V1)... It would lift the last m4/3 hurdle by allowing capable tracking continuous AF. Bye bye DSLR for good ;) 
    • Like Like x 3
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I wouldn't complain about weather-sealing, but I'm not exactly excited about power-zoom.

    I'd be a lot more interested in seeing them redesign their 14-50/2.8-3.5 for m4/3 (sans Leica branding). But I guess that's about as likely as adding IBIS to the GH3...

  4. bongestrella

    bongestrella Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 2, 2011
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    The GH3 is almost surely to have a weathersealed body, given that they already released a weathersealed lens. As for AF improvements, unless they incorporate a hybrid AF ala Nikon 1, I think it's going to be marginal, at least compared to the em-5.
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    This has been requested countless times in forums and by reviewers since the G1 was introduced. I wonder why neither Panasonic nor Olympus have seen fit to deliver such a product?

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Mu-43 App
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Other than pancakes, I expect all power zooms to also have mechanical zoom like the 45-175.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Mu-43 App
  7. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Almost makes you wonder if we could be overlooking something in regard to why that camera isn't being offered. :smile:

    I don't see Oly doing it, as I assume the E-P line will remain sans VF to keep differentiation from OM-D line, and the OM-D isn't going to lose the pyramid on top. But Panny could/should clearly see it as an opportunity to compete with the OM-D and even the Fuji X line. $1000 + mirrorless body with integrated VF and retro range-finder styling. That would sell, wouldn't it?
  8. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I'm really looking forward to seeing the new GH3 release, and the 35-100 zoom too. The GH3 is also rumored to have a new battery grip which could be a big plus if the ergonomics are good.

    A super telephoto prime would be very cool... I'm pretty sure that could replace my 100-300 zoom, as it almost always gets used at 300mm anyway.
  9. uray

    uray New to Mu-43

    Mar 22, 2012
    Czech republic

    I don't understand why still missing 200mm/2.8 or 300mm/4 ... 2xCorp and the size factor is the biggest advantage m43!
  10. nianys

    nianys Mu-43 Regular

    As of today numerous users of both E-M5 and GX-1/G3 have documented the (slight) Panny supremacy for AF, which is equally fast but MORE accurate, and notably better in low-light. So indeed, unless an hydrid AF system is introduced, improvement should be minimal. Which makes me hope, that such an hybrid system could come to m4/3 at last. After all, I'm sure Panny is well aware this is the very last area of performance that is still lagging behind DSLRs. If you remove it, then m4/3 becomes a very compelling system for ALL kind of shooters.
    Regarding a RF designed camera with corner VF, I also think Panny has one in mind, if not up their sleeve yet. I'd definitely buy one at a 1K $ pricepoint, especially if it had that new AF...
  11. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I would think so. It certainly would get a lot of buzz like the NEX-7 and X-Pro1 have gotten. However, we and the review sites are a sort of echo chamber, and it's possible those Panasonic folks understand something about the larger market. I have no idea :confused: .

    I agree that the opportunity is a big one. I don't know if a 300mm f/4 lens for MFT would be much smaller than a 300mm lens for larger formats; but if the lens were sufficiently sharp, our smaller pixel pitch would give us an effective reach advantage. 200/2.8 would also be excellent and perhaps preferable to 300/4 for an initial offering. Stay tuned for Olympus rumors :wink:.
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    In extensive use of GX1, GH2, E-M5, and E-P3, I haven't noticed any advantage whatsoever for Panasonic AF in good light. In low light, the Panasonics hunt less and have a real advantage.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Maybe because the people who populate forums like this one aren't really representative? And there really isn't that much of a demand for such a camera? No one makes a real mass-market camera in this format (Fuji's pricing keeps it out of the mass-market, IMHO). If there were really a large demand for it, someone would be building it. Okay, I guess Sony is, but I don't see the Nex-7 dominating anyone's sales charts, do you?

    As far as the GH3, I just hope Panasonic doesn't price it too high for the category. If it's in the 7D price range, I think it's going to be a tough sell to most potential buyers compared to full featured DSLR system cameras. But I sure hope it has dramatically better C-AF and an EVF much better capable of following moving subjects, especially in burst mode. Otherwise, I'll just hang on to my GH2, and maybe buy a G5 as a backup.

    Oh, speaking of the G5: I can't consider this a GH2.5 without a multi-aspect sensor. Since I frequently shoot 3:2 ande 16:9, the lack of the multii-aspect sensor is a negative on every m43 camera other than the GH bodies. Yes, I know I can select different aspect ratios on other cameras, but that's just throwing away pixels. I might as well crop in PP.
  14. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    A true 300 2.8 is going to be big no matter what you mount it to. It could maybe be a little smaller for m43, with digital correction and the smaller exit pupil helping a little, but it would still be big. But a 300mm equivalent would be nice. A true 150mm f/2.8 would be a real nice lens, especially matched to good AF-C, and could be reasonably small.

    I'd still like to see a native m43 version of Sigma's 50-150 f/2.8 zoom, with IS.
  15. mike_hessey

    mike_hessey Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2010
    IBIS for GH3

    Ah, IBIS ... Love the Panas, and have several, since the first G1. Great overall system(s), but Olympus wins hands down on IBIS, while Panasonic wins hands down on ergonomics and controls, at least for me!! Olympus seems to have the advantage on displays at present, and perhaps on sensor performance (is it really a Sony sensor?), but Pana has fully articulatable (is this a word?, whether it is the proper term or not, the way you can move the screen on the Panas is vastly better) screen, and the Pana definitely has much better control of video.
  16. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    What that shows is a comparison of a camera with a built-in EVF and flash vs. one with no flash and not even the option of an add-on viewfinder (no accessory port.) For the same size body, any high-end Panny camera will have a smaller screen than the NX210, because it will have either a built-in viewfinder or an accessory port for an add-on one.

    Having taken apart an LVF-1 and seen how much of it is excess plastic, wiring and mechanics required just for it to be hinged, I can make a reasonable guess at how much (little) of the LVF-2 would actually be needed for a non-tilting built-in EVF. I would forgo the pop-up flash (provide a small one like the E-M5 and EOS-M) and the accessory port (unless they plan on releasing other accessories that need it.), leaving a lot more room for the viewfinder. So, take a GX1, remove the popup flash and accessory port, raise the body from the far left side over to just right of the hot shoe by about a 1/2", then stick the LVF-2 internals in the space that is created. I'm quite confident that it could be done without making it unwieldy.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I don't know how many times I've said I want a GX-2 that is RF styled.
  18. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    This is what I don't understand... the sensor size seems identical to the GH2. Why in the world isn't multi-aspect part of the G5 spec?!

    More importantly, what isn't this standard operating procedure by now?
  19. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I would guess that this is a feature Panasonic has decided to limit to the GH line as a differentiator.
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