New Panasonic video and stills camera to be announced at the 2015 NAB show

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Panasonic will introduce a new Micro Four Thirds hybrid photo/video camera at the 2015 NAB show (April 11-16th). Here are some of the rumored specs:

  • 4K video
  • 18MP photo
  • 16+ stops of dynamic range
  • Improved lowlight capabilities
  • Improved skintones
  • Improved highlight rendition
  • Useable ISO (almost no grain) up to 12,800
  • The new camera will basically have one of the best stills and videos images/color rendition/dynamic range compared to the competition
  • Price tag is expected to be high - similar to the  AF101: around $3k-$4k
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  • a-traveler

    If RED is any indication, 16+stops may be too much DR.

    • Eno

      Only in the hands of bad colorists.

    • I’m not entirely sure what you mean. IMO there is no such thing as too much DR. 😉 What you have to do to the RAW footage is apply a profile.

      A film negative, unlike a slide, is quite useless in its original form – you have to increase contrast in the printing/scanning stage. But nobody is arguing against the DR of the negative.

      And footage from a RED Dragon sensor actually looks okay straight out-of-camera.

    • I’m not entirely sure what you mean. IMO there is no such thing as too much DR. 😉 What you have to do to the RAW footage is apply a profile.

      A film negative, unlike a slide, is quite useless in its original form – you have to increase contrast in the printing/scanning stage. But nobody is arguing against the DR of the negative.

      And footage from a RED Dragon sensor actually looks okay straight out-of-camera.

    • hussey

      If you’re recording it straight to 8bit. If you can apply some tone curves before it gets hard coded then more will always be better. Plus more DR pretty much corresponds to better noise and ISO achievements.

  • pyktures

    The ultimate m43 camera?! that’s a sensor worth waiting for! lets hope it gets into the EM1mk2 then em10mk2 😀

  • If these specs are actually real, I can only think that the this has the organic sensor that has been rumored for quite some time.

    The rumors about it were that engineers were having trouble with heat dissipation and battery drain. A bigger video-like body could kind of deal with both these things.

    My big wonder though, when it comes to Panasonic’s video would be a Olympus’s like IBIS, this would be huge – but I don’t think will have it.

    • fjfjjj

      Spot on. If this is real then it must have a nonlinear response characteristic, probably organic.

      • Agachart Sukchouy

        agree,can not be the same CMOS sensor,
        organic or micro-spectrum that short name “light waves”

        • fjfjjj

          “Micro-spectrum”? Tell me more please 🙂

          • Agachart Sukchouy

            the last called micro-splitter-color ,no primary filters on silicon layer but separate each-color by new circuit layer,please search ‘panasonic micro-color-splitter’ that found text and image about patent.

      • It seems that this may be an AF100 successor and even that this may not have micro4/3 sensor. My biggest question is the odd 18MP count, that does that mean? If they had electronic shutter, full read out of the sensor of clean 4K without crop would be possible. But it’s just weird how a camera like this would have a better sensor than their Super35 Varicam that Panasonic launched last year.

        • fjfjjj

          Yeah, it doesn’t sound right. Breakthrough or bullshit.

        • Agachart Sukchouy

          still photo is not suitable for AF series,except they redesign AF camcorder to mirrorless.

      • Eric Calabros

        Organic, or whatever, is just an alternative, not a miracle, and not-as-good-as-cmos alternative anyway. high ISO performance is kind of advanced temporal noise reduction (thats why you dont read “12800 is no longer soft” in the list) and that 16+ DR claim is not available in full res, but probably in 2k, something like Toshiba did with their mobile sensors (combine every two rows).

  • SH*T666

    Very interesting specs, but pricing not exciting at all.

  • Eno

    I hope the humors are correct, we may see a Gh5 next year with similar specs under 2000.

    • Agachart Sukchouy

      i do not think a new GH,may be new model(last year panny will release 4K pro-entry) cheaper than GH line.

      • Eno

        The GH line has a 1,5-2 years cycle. Gh5 may see the daylight next year on this time probably.

  • tyger11

    Too expensive (for me) for a m43-size sensor.

  • Marco –

    I’m curious to see if these specs prove true. I’m doubtful.

  • Agachart Sukchouy

    experimental camera ?

    • SH*T666

      Yes, as long as you think that camera makers use to make experiments with their customers.

  • MonkeySpanner

    lets see – increase dr, high iso, and increase resolution – all in one sensor update? sounds too good to be true.

  • Antonio

    A micro 4/3 sensor capable to produce images at ISO 12 800 with almost no grain and a DR of 16+ stops would be quite an achievement…specially if this “almost no grain” translates to “almost no noise”…
    If such specs prove to be real and offering 4K video nobody can expect it to be cheap, unless the competition fills the gap rapidly.

    • Eno

      Agree.

    • Spy Black

      No guarantee it’ll be 4/3rds.

      • Antonio

        One of m4/3 reviewers’ appointed drawbacks has always been noise and sometimes DR, “if” theirs developers really overcome them and get these rumored specs we only can talk about DoF of the format compared to APS-C or (even more) to FF.
        So the major problem will be that “if” not the sensor’s size, IMHO.

        • MdB

          That is making the assumption that whatever technology is used is restricted to 4/3’s format sensors.

          • Florian Hossfeld

            as a main FX shooter, I had to purchase a smaller M43 GX7 camera for discrete assignments. I must admit that I prefer the 43 aspect ratio for portraiture and that the camera nails the focus area so well that it is a joy to use. The lenses are absolutely fantastic and small. If I need a bright tele-lens I can easily attach any 85mm 1.4 or 135mm F2 to it with an adapter and the focus aid is extremely precise in manual focus. Besides, the results are almost on par in terms of noise vs my D610.

          • Max Huonder

            A convert, soon. It just takes some time to get into. A good M43 camera is a step into new ways of being creative. Keep your FF stuff and find out how it fades out.

          • HF

            I don’t believe this. I had m43 cameras, too and now D810 and D610. There is a clear difference in noise and DR. However, you possibly mean s.th. else or you compare specific scenarios? You simply can’t neglect the 4 times larger light gathering area. Do you account for equivalence?

          • Ed Starkey

            No one gives a $hit about equivalence. After you adjust your FF aperture so you can keep everything in focus, your’re stopped down three stops, hence, ISO increases three stops to keep the same exposure.

            I’m not talking about out of focus background either, I’m talking about keeping the subjects in focus. How deep is the focus band on an 85mm f/1.4 on a FF? Stop that bitch down to f/8 and maybe my actors can have half a chance staying in focus for a scene, or either I’ll drive my 2nd AC completely crazy trying to focus pull.

          • HF

            In stopping down to get the same DOF you use equivalence, don’t you, if you want to get a similar picture? It’s furthermore 2 stops difference, not three. DOF depends on distance, too. The further you are away the easier to use larger apertures und decrease noise on FF. Use a 35/1.4 or 50/1.4 (DOF is 3.5 m at 10m distance at f1.4) to get e.th. you want in focus by only slightly stopping down. Using a 85mm at f8 is no problem at all in my experience (I used a EM1, too, so I can compare).

          • Ed Starkey

            Point taken. What can be a benefit for photos can be a major drag for film. Eveytime someone mentions equivalence, they try to paint m43 in a bad light. But they fail to mention this equivalence as a benefit when a larger band of focus is needed wide open @ f/1.2.

          • HF

            I personally like m43 a lot, as it provides compact camera bodies with great IQ, sufficient for most. However, as my wife has a business and her clients demand a certain look to the images (shallow DOF), which we like, too. So it makes more sense for us to make our investments there. More so, because the lenses I would be interested in for m43 are not cheap (42.5/1.2, 75/1.8,50-150/2.8 etc.) and this particular field is more easily covered by FF (at the expense of weight). There is a large overlap in m43 and FF shooting conditions (equivalence). If you almost always stay there, FF doesn’t really make sense. For us, it does. And I like our D810, albeit heavy, too.

          • David Barkan

            It’s absoluteky how I feel about my GH4, I don’t know if you use it, but the Speedbooster really brings these M4/3 sensors to life, it’s amazing.

          • Antonio

            Not necessarily but overcoming those problems leaves no reason to say “it is a m4/3 sensor” as at the end of the day what will matter will be IQ and size of the final print and 18Mp on a m4/3 can produce a considerable one.
            If other format sensors get the same capabilities it will only widen your choices, but those will be made by different reasons than some of the ones taken into account nowadays.

        • Eno

          The shallow DOF is not a problem, with a speed booster you get similar DOF to a super 35mm sensor, optimal for video.

  • Neopulse

    This definitely will cause problems in the 4k market. Can’t wait to see this sensor come to life.

  • aungaoo

    If it’s weather-sealed and IBIS, 3K-4K is OK!

  • aungaoo

    If it’s weather-sealed and IBIS, 3K-4K is OK!

  • David Barkan

    Higher megapixel count, higher and cleaner, ISO sensitivity… sounds contradicting. Take the A7s as an example. Also one of the high points of 4K in the GH4 is the 1:1 sensor readout, which is the reason behind the 2.3x crop. More so… a Micro 4/3 camera at such a high price point I suspect will be kind of a niche product… it would have to be stupidly amazing, even so, it will be hard to convince Canon/Nikon professionals to switch. I love technology advances, but again, this sounds far off.

    • Eno

      A lot of Canon video shooters already switched to Gh4, if this rumors is correct the rest will follow. Canon has absolutely no intention of giving good video quality in their DSLR cameras, it only want to force users to buy it’s super expensive Cxx series.

      • David Barkan

        Absolutely, but I talking about photography in this case. Otherwise what’s the point of a hybrid of not great for both functions?
        Btw, lately I think that the GH4 has been kind of ignored in comparison and reviews… seriously underrated as a photographers tool.

        • Eno

          Gh4 was ignored on photo side because there are better options at that price. And I totally agree, for that amount of money man can buy a FF camera ether from Nikon, Canon or Sony.

          • David Barkan

            What better options? I bought my GH4 last October… I really needed a Stills Video hybrid camera because I work in both fields, i actually make money (not much at this point) but I do both in photo and video. I didn’t want any DSLR, because I think the video quality on any of them is crap, and I owe a set of Contax Zeiss lenses and we all know that manual focus on modern DSLRs suck. I also had been using a GH3 for most of my work from a friend, the Gh3 has amazing 1080p video quality and for stills is pretty damn great as well…
            So I roughly had two options:
            – GH4, a mature M4/3 camera, fast, solid system with plenty of glass options, and of course internal 4K.
            – A7S, a FF camera with expensive AF glass, a body with terrible ergonomics, more expensive, but FF and with a clean High ISO but no internal 4K.
            For the kind of work I dom 4K capture is awesome for reframing and for general quality, really…
            It was a no brainer.

            But, a A7s II with better ergonomics, faster system overall, and internal 4K… it’ll be a tough competition for whatever Panasonic comes out with.

            Now, if I needed only a stills camera… I’d probably go for a Fujifilm XT-1, it’s an amazing tool, a true photographers camera.

          • MonkeySpanner

            I think you are mixing up ideas. Eno (and previously you) were talking about a tool for photography ONLY. Then you came back and said you needed a tool for photography AND video – which is a different beast – and yes in that case a GH4 would be OK. But ENO said there are better tools for photography ONLY. A D610 is in the same price category as the GH4 – and for photography only – it is better than the GH4 or XT-1.

          • David Barkan

            I was using my needs as a professional for example.. But I stand by my argument that DSLRs suck for Manual Focusing, and in my case that I owe a big set of Contax Zeiss lenses, I wouldn’t want one. I absolutely need a camera with a decent EVF, and amongst all at this price point. I’d pick the XT-1 without question. Combined with the Metabones Speedbooster Ultra for that full frame FOV and DOF.

          • MonkeySpanner

            Agreed – DSLRs suck for manual focusing. Fortunately for me – I shoot very little video.

          • David Barkan

            The great thing about EVFs is that I’ve been able to shoot photos with manual focus, beautiful timeless glass on an actual professional set with a model and clients… It opens up a world of possibilities and if it makes my photos stand out, even if just a bit more, then it’s all worth it.

          • Roger Martin

            For me, the A7s is very UN-intuitive while Nikon’s and my GH4 are pick up and shoot.
            I want to buy the AG-AF1000 if it meets the rumored performance but would have to sell a lot of stuff to fund a $4k CamCorder.

      • Ed Starkey

        I know I left Canon for the GH4, specifically for video performance. But to my surprise, the damn thing ain’t a half bad stills shooter either.

        • Eno

          Agree.

        • Roger Martin

          I upgraded from the GH3 mostly to get better AF when taking stills.
          Now I will probably be upgrading to the AF1000 to get better low light Video

  • David Barkan

    Higher megapixel count, higher and cleaner, ISO sensitivity… sounds contradicting. Take the A7s as an example. Also one of the high points of 4K in the GH4 is the 1:1 sensor readout, which is the reason behind the 2.3x crop. More so… a Micro 4/3 camera at such a high price point I suspect will be kind of a niche product… it would have to be stupidly amazing, even so, it will be hard to convince Canon/Nikon professionals to switch. I love technology advances, but again, this sounds far off.

  • I wonder if this sensor is the result of the Fuji and Panasonic collaboration. Looks like the next gen Fuji’s will be killer if true.

  • Narretz

    Contradicting info, really. More DR is easier to get in video than for stills (see Blackmagic’s DR), but you don’t need more megapixels if the maximum is 4k anyway. Anyway, I assume it’s a AG / AF style camera, maybe a little slimmed down, rather than a DSLR like body. It probably has all the YAGH stuff built in then too, which would explain the price.

    • Ed Starkey

      Panasonic already did this same thing with the LX100. I don’t know why people assume that just because the mount is M43, that the sensor has to be standard M43 also. JVC did this by using an S35 sensor that can take S35/FF glass adapted or M43 glass with a crop factor, since it didn’t cover the entire sensor area. It’s really brilliant if you think about it.

  • DouglasGottlieb

    Is this the Fuji-Panasonic sensor at last?

  • Oberoth

    What I am waiting for (or if anyone could suggest) is a 4k simple point and shoot camcorder that records at 60p.

    My girlfriend records my football games and then i edit them and put them on YouTube for people to view, i need 60p to do 1/4 speed slow mos with some degree of smoothness and 4k would let me zoom in of certain areas without losing too much quality when viewed at fullHD.

    The Panasonic HC-X1000 is way over the top for what i need and i have also only read mediocre reviews about it. I want 60p in a Panasonic HC-WX870 or Sony FDR-AX100, if the electronics for 4K at 30p can fit into a tiny GoPro then there is no reason this can’t be done.

    I guess i will simply have to wait for next years releases and hope 60p is the addition that helps to separate them from the previous year. H.265 should also be wide spread then so data rates shouldn’t be an issue.

    • Robert

      Samsung NX500

      • Oberoth

        Thank you for your suggestion Robert but to the best of my knowledge the Samsung NX500 is limited to 30fps when in 4k mode.

        Also, I have found using a camera as a camcorder has its drawbacks, smooth zooming and battery life are the main two.

    • Roger Martin

      I regretfully sent back my HC-X1000 because it could not handle low indoor light well enough.
      It was a real joy to use and is dropping in price as we speak.
      Speaking of which, the AF100A just took a – $1k hit at B&H.

      • Oberoth

        Hi Roger, thank’s for the feedback. The X1000 seems to get pretty mediocre reviews. It is a little too professional/large for what i would use it for most of the time. I guess i have to wait for the refreshes next year before 60p at 4k becomes standard.

  • aungaoo

    Earnestly wish Panasonic to come with IBIS and better weather-sealing like Olympus OMDs.

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