Rumors

After a preliminary unveiling at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, Panasonic are announcing the release of their newest flagship micro 4/3 camera – the Lumix GH4.

Like it’s predecessor, the Lumix GH3 (which will remain available), the GH4 is designed as a “Hybrid Camera” that is ideal for shooting both top quality still photos and stunning HD video files, this time with 4k capability.  Panasonic have really upped their game in the video department with the GH4, and this is no small feat considering that video is an area where they are already at or near the top of the mountain.  The 5 SDI and 2 XLR connections on the Audio/Video Interface frankly blow me away as a video shooter, and it would seem that Panasonic, with this grip/interface, are eliminating the need for 3rd party pre-amp/interfaces like those from Beachtek or Juiced Link.

The GH4 also features a revised 16MP Live MOS sensor and an all new Venus Engine IX processor to allow for 4K video.  It’s capable of shooting up to 12 fps in burst mode and up to 1080p HD video at bitrates as high as 200Mbps.

The GH4 uses a new ‘Depth from Defocus’ autofocus system, which according to Panasonic can focus as fast as 0.07 sec with less hunting. It’s equipped with a 3″ 1.04M dot fully articulating OLED touch screen and an OLED EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) with a resolution of over 2 million dots. Other great features include Wi-Fi, which I know from personal use to be outstanding, NFC (Near Field Communication – a touch to pair feature), a PC sync port, highlight focus peaking, zebra pattern, luminance level adjustment, cinema gamma presets, shadow control, and an electronic shutter only “silent mode.”

The Panasonic Lumix GH3 is already one of the best pro level video cameras that you can get in it’s price range, and with the new GH4′s video recording capabilities – which again include 4K, 1080p with support for the IPB and ALL-Intra codecs – Panasonic seem to be aiming to be the undisputed king of the mountain. Only time will tell if they will be able to knock off their competition.

Pricing and availability will be announced at a future date.  For more info, see Panasonic’s official press release, specs and photos below.

      
 
                    

Official Press Release:

The Panasonic LUMIX GH4 DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless) Camera is the World’s First* DSLM with 4K Video Recording Capability

Designed To Meet Professional Needs for Both Still and Video Capture

Panasonic is proud to introduce the ultimate still/video Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera for both photographers and cinematographers alike. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4 (GH4) is the world’s first DSLM with 4K cinematic recording capability. The image quality for both still and video is dramatically improved by Panasonic’s cutting-edge technologies.

The newly developed 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor for the GH4 excels both in sensitivity and response and suppresses rolling shutter effect even when using the electronic shutter. The Venus Engine image processor has been newly developed dramatically boosting its performance with a new quad-core CPU that allows high speed signal processing that is required for rich 4K video recording. Integrating superior noise reduction systems, the GH4 enables shooting at maximum ISO 25,600. Sensitivity, gradation performance, resolution and color reproduction are dramatically improved to achieve even higher picture quality. The GH4 boasts high speed burst shooting at 12 frames per second (AFS) up to approx.40 (including RAW) / approx.100 (excluding RAW) and 7.0 fps(AFC) to capture fast moving subjects.

The new GH4 has evolved into a professional video camera. One of the most prominent advances is unlimited 4K video recording (Cinema 4K: 4096×2160 / 24 fps and QFHD 4K: 3840×2160 / up to 30 fps) in MOV/MP4*2. The GH4 is also capable of recording Full- HD video with ultra high bit rate at 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB) without recording time limit*2. Users can freely choose the format from MOV, MP4, AVCHD Progressive and AVCHD at a variety of frame rates according to the usage. For professionals working globally, the system frequency can be easily selected between 59.94Hz (23.98Hz) / 50.00Hz / 24.00Hz. The GH4 is also capable of real-time image output to an external monitor via an optional micro HDMI cable simultaneously while recording video. For more unique video expression, VFR(Variable Frame Rate) or Time Lapse/Stop Motion Animation can be produced with GH4 without postproduction processing. In addition, a variety of practical functions required for professional video recording are newly integrated.

The high-precision Contrast AF system in the GH4 is further enhanced by Panasonic’s integration of DFD (Depth from Defocus) technology which shortens the time to focus to achieve ultra high speed AF of approx.0.07 sec*3. Not only speed but also the operability is enhanced thanks to the addition of Face / Eye Detection AF or 49-point AF with Custom Multi AF mode.

The GH4 boasts newly developed high-precision, high-speed dual OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) displays of 2,359K-dot LVF (Live View Finder) and 1,036K-dot rear monitor. Both the LVF and rear monitor adopt an OLED to achieve high speed response with minimum time lag while enhancing the resolution. Notably, the OLED for the LVF in GH4 boasts 10,000:1 high contrast for superior color reproduction.

To be tough enough to withstand heavy field use, the main structure of the GH4 is composed of a magnesium alloy full die cast front/rear frame. It also features splash / dustproof construction by sealing every joint, dial, and button. The shutter unit allows a max. 1/8000 shutter release and is also redesigned to be even more durable for approx. 200,000 actuations.*4

1. The World’s First Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) Camera Recording High Quality Video in 4K – To Meet Professional Quality and Standards

One of the most prominent advances is unlimited*1 4K video recording (Cinema 4K: 4096×2160 / 24 fps and QFHD 4K: 3840×2160 / up to 30 fps) in MOV/MP4*2. The GH4 is also capable of Full- HD video with ultra high bit rate at 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB), which does not have limit of recording time. Users can freely choose the format from MOV, MP4, AVCHD Progressive and AVCHD at a variety of frame rates according to the usage. In MP4 / MOV, high quality sound in LPCM (Linear Pulse Code Modulation) is recordable.

The GH4 is also capable of real-time image output to an external monitor in 4:2:2 / 8-bit*5 via an optional micro HDMI cable simultaneously while recording video. Even 4:2:2 / 10-bit is available which is suitable for the professional requiring serious monitoring of the footage. Users can choose to output only the recording content or the content with the menus individually depending on a display.

Plus, the VFR (Variable Frame Rate) enables recording video with slow/fast motion such as 96 fps, 4x, all in Full-HD*6. Time Lapse / Stop Motion Animation video can be produced in camera, too.

For more precise control over video image quality, the GH4 integrates Zebra Pattern to prevent white wash-out and Focus Peaking to aid with manual focusing. The GH4 even offers a Master Pedestal Adjustment with 15 steps. Gamma presets exclusively for video recording are now available in Creative Video mode – “CINELIKE D” and “CINELIKE V” for rich video expression. Synchro Scan mode is also newly available to reduce and suppress flicker. It is possible to display a Center Marker while recording.

The GH4 is equipped with functions that meet global standard for synchronous video recording. A 1KHz Test Tone and Color Bars (SMPTE / EBU / ARIB Standard) are available on the GH4. The camera also embeds SMPTE-compliant Time Code either in Rec Run or Free Run count-up methods, which makes it easy to synchronize the multiple video footage or sound source in the post production workflow. Time Code Value can be started at any point of [Reset], [Manual Input] and [Current Time]. Drop frame or Non Drop Frame time code is selectable*7. When recording the video in MOV, AVCHD Progressive, AVCHD or MP4 (LPCM), the GH4 automatically generates multiple seamless files for continuous recording. During playback, the AVCHD Progressive / AVCHD files are reproduced with seamless, interruption-free continuity.

A total of 22 LUMIX G digital interchangeable lenses offer any creative perspective according to the scene, including HD lenses allowing silent, high performance AF control suitable for video recording.

2. The Newly Developed 16.05-Megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor and Venus Engine Achieving High Speed, High Sensitivity Image Recording

Panasonic developed a new 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor for the GH4 that achieves high quality, high sensitivity image recording with quick response. Approx. 50% higher speed signal readout suppresses rolling shutter effect even when using an electronic shutter or recording video. Taking full advantage of the Live MOS Sensor, dynamic range is expanded by max.1/3 stop at low ISO sensitivity.

The Venus Engine image processor is newly developed boosting its performance with a quad-core CPU that lets high speed signal processing required for rich video recording such as 4K. The advanced Multi-process NR (Noise Reduction) applies effective noise reduction and edge processing according to each component frequency. Plus, a newly added Random Filter granulates chromatic noise to be blended into the image even more naturally. As a result, a max. ISO 25,600 has been achieved. On the other hand, optimizing the combination design of new sensor, new imaging engine and low pass filter enhances the limit resolution by more than 5% while suppressing moire. A newly adopted aperture filter is capable of controlling over a wider frequency range. It adjusts the amount of sharpness according to the frequency level, resulting in faithful stereoscopic effect. The Venus Engine also improves color reproduction with accurate evaluation of each color even if it is similar not only in color phase but also in saturation and luminosity.

3. High Speed Response Required for Professionals and Practical AF Options

All LUMIX G cameras use the Contrast AF for its focusing system. Compared with the Phase difference system AF, the Contrast AF boasts higher accuracy especially in shooting with a bright lens with a small F value. With a LUMIX G digital interchangeable lens capable of digital signal exchange at max. 240 fps, the focusing is stunningly quick and smooth. The Contrast AF system in the GH4 is further enhanced by Panasonic’s integration of DFD (Depth from Defocus) technology which even shortens the time to set focus. It calculates the distance to the subject by evaluating 2 images with different sharpness level while consulting the data of optical characteristics of the current lens. As a result, the GH4 achieves ultra high speed AF of approx.0.07 sec*8. This improvement benefits more as focusing distance increases. The burst speed of shooting is dramatically faster than its predecessor, the DMC-GH3, boasting high speed burst shooting at 12 fps (AFS) up to approx.40 (including RAW) / approx.100 (excluding RAW) and 7.0 fps (AFC) to capture fast moving subjects in-focus.

In addition, the stability of continuous focusing is improved by minimizing wobbling in both still and video recording. Together with the quick start-up and short release time lag, the GH4 never lets photographers miss fleeting shooting opportunities.

The GH4 incorporates Eye Detection AF which automatically sets focus right on the eye of human face. Focus point is increased from 23 (GH3) to 49 points for more flexible composition together with Custom Multi mode in which users can freely select the blocks needed to focus out of the 49 points. Now the 1-area AF area can be seamlessly magnified not only in manual but also in auto focus mode. Tracking AF is also advanced in the point of tracking accuracy by estimating the subject’s movement. Focus point can be set on any part of the 100% field of view. The time to show magnified image can be selectable in Pin-point AF. Focus point can be magnified either with the MF ring or with cursor key in MF Assist mode. In the Touch Pad AF, the position can be set either on absolute/relative coordinate. Together with the Eye Sensor AF which starts focusing by just looking into the viewfinder, the AF/AE lock button works for AF for quick auto focusing even when using the LVF.

4. Stunning Mobility Supported by Mechanical Advancements

The GH4 boasts newly developed high-precision, high-speed dual OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) displays for LVF (Live View Finder) and rear monitor. Increasing the resolution of display area to 2,359K-dot, the new 16:9 Wide Screen LVF boasts approx.1.34x / 0.67x (35mm camera equiv.) magnification and 100% field of view and eye point of approximately 21 mm. Thanks to the newly designed large eyecup, the visibility of LVF is dramatically improved. The image output between the LVF and the rear monitor is switched automatically with the eye sensor on the LVF, which features options of sensitivity – high, low and off – to reduce false operation during touching on the rear monitor. The 3.0-inch 1,036K-dot free-angle OLED rear monitor (3:2 aspect) with wide-viewing angle rotates 180° to the side and tilts 270° up and down offers approx. 100% of field of view. This rear monitor adopts static touch control for more smooth operation either in shooting or in playback. Both LVF and rear monitor adopted OLED to achieve high speed response with a minimum time lag while enhancing the resolution. Notably, the OLED for the LVF in GH4 boasts 10,000:1 high contrast for superior color reproduction. Now the excellent visibility comes closer to OVF. On the other hand, live view image can also be displayed in monochrome through the LVF enabling concentrating on contrast.

Even a moment’s waste matters in professional shooting, but it is possible to make target setting intuitively with the GH4. Three dials are equipped on the top and back of the camera and the main dial is now comes with a lock structure. A dedicated button allows direct reach to exposure compensation, white balance adjustment or ISO setting and max.5 settings can be assigned to the Fn button. All these external components are designed to be operated easily without taking eyes off the viewfinder.

Both built-in/external flash can be synchronized with max.1/250 second shutter speed.

5. Expandability for A Variety of Workflows

Easy Wireless Connectivity via Wi-Fi® / NFC with Smartphones
The GH4 integrates Wi-Fi® connectivity (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology camera to offer a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. With the Panasonic “Image App”, remote shooting of both photo and video is available by using the smartphone/tablet as a remote shutter with a monitor. Not only releasing the shutter, but zooming, focusing and settings of shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation are all controllable with a smartphone / tablet. All these flexible shooting / browsing / sharing styles are made possible with the GH4 and the Panasonic’s dedicated application software, the Panasonic Image App for iOS / Android smartphones / tablets. It is also easy to embed geotags in the image after shooting. For the smartphone/tablet without NFC, the camera can display a dedicated QR code on its monitor to complete pairing easily by reading the code.

Output/Input Terminals
The GH4 comes with a variety of connection terminals for more flexible shooting options. The 3.5mm microphone jack is for high quality audio recording using an external microphone and the 3.5mm headphone jack which enables monitoring the audio while shooting video real-time. It is also capable of real-time image output on an external monitor via an optional HDMI micro cable simultaneously while recording video. In addition to these, the GH4 complies with AV outputs (Audio 2ch, Composite), flash sync terminal and 2.5mm jack for remote controller.
For reliable recording of rich video, the GH4 complies with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) which is the new speed class standard of SD memory card. The UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) guarantees a constant minimum write speed of 30MB/s to respond to market needs for 4K video.

Optional Accessories
A GN58 is a powerful External Flash (DMW-FL580L) and is newly added to the LUMIX G optional accessories which allows high speed charging of approx.1.7 sec. Not only with wireless control but also LED video light function are available. The Stereo / Shotgun Microphone (DMW-MS2) which enables stereo/shotgun switch even allows more precise sound recording with selectable Super Shotgun / Lens Auto / Manual option on GH4.

6. Other Features

Luminance Level Adjustment
Just as the concept of “the ultimate hybrid DSLM camera” identifies, the GH4 supports smooth postproduction for photographers migrating to videography. In addition to the standard luminance level of 16-235*9 and 16-255*9, GH4 offers 0-255*9 which is equivalent to photo standard.

Focus Peaking
For more practical control over focusing, the GH4 incorporates Focus Peaking function that shows the peak of focus in MF and AF+MF mode. Users can see the peaking of focus while monitoring the subject in live view. It can be set to HIGH / LOW / OFF and the color can also be changed to blue, white or orange according to the color of the shooting scene during live view. Users can take advantage of this function when controlling the camera with a smartphone / tablet via Wi-Fi in both photo / video recording.

Silent Mode
This mode switches shutter from mechanical to electronic and turns all sound (AF, operation) off while suppressing the emission of the AF assist lamp and flash with just a single setting for special shooting occasions.

Highlight/Shadow Control
The Live View function is also advanced digitally making it possible to adjust highlight / shadow separately with the front/rear dial. Three patterns of settings can be customized in addition to the three presets.

RAW data development in Camera
The GH4 is capable of developing RAW images in camera. In addition to the color space setting ( sRGB / Adobe RGB ), the parameter of white balance, exposure compensation, contrast, highlight/shadow, saturation, noise reduction, sharpness or hue can be flexibly adjusted while LUMIX’s Photo Style, Intelligent D-range Control, Intelligent Resolution can also be applied.

Interface Unit (DMW-YAGH)
Panasonic offers an new optional Interface Unit (DMW-YAGH) exclusively for professional/industrial workflow with GH4 that enables more powerful video transmission. It complies with Full HD (4:2:2 / 10-bit) offering four parallel outputs and these can be used for 4K (4:2:2 / 10-bit) output – both with time code*10. The XLR input terminals (2ch) are also equipped to connect line or condenser microphone. When connecting with microphone, volume can be controlled for L and R separately, which can be monitored LED audio level display on the back of the unit. The 12V DC IN is highly compliant with large-capacity industrial battery and continuously supplies the GH4 with power*11.

Footnotes:

*For a digital single lens mirrorless camera as of February 7, 2014.
*2 Use SDXC/SDHC Memory Card compatible with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) when using high bit rate video recording mode over 100 Mbps.
*3 In AFS, With LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. or LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.
*4 Panasonic in-house testing.
*5 Setting the HDMI output picture quality
[4:2:2 10bit]:You can output the image through the HDMI connection in higher picture quality, but you cannot record it as a motion picture or still pictures. Ideal when the HDMI output is to be saved on external devices.
[4:2:2 8bit]:You can record the image while outputting it through the HDMI connection. Ideal for recording while checking the motion picture on an external monitor. When using 4:2:2 / 8-bit output, video is recorded in 4:2:0 / 8-bit on SDXC/SDHC Memory Card.
*6 In 24p playback. Effect value varies depending on the recording format and frequency.
*7 When system frequency [59.94Hz] is selected
*8 In AFS, With LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. or LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm / F2.8 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.
*9 8-bit
*10 Setting the HDMI output picture quality [4:2:2 / 10bit]
You can output the image through the HDMI connection in higher picture quality, but you cannot record it as a motion picture or still pictures. Ideal when the HDMI output is to be saved on external devices. When using 4:2:2/10-bit output, simultaneous video recording on SDXC/SDHC Memory Card in the camera is not possible.
*11 HDMI output from the camera is not possible when the camera is mounted on the Interface Unit.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 specifications

Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Body material Magnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution 4608 x 3456
Other resolutions 4608 x 3072, 4608 x 2592, 3456 x 3456, 3264 x 2448, 3264 x 2176, 2448 x 2448, 2336 x 1752, 2356 x 1560, 1920 x 1080, 1744 x 1744, 1824 x 1368, 1824 x 1216, 1824 x 1024, 1712 x 1712
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 17 megapixels
Sensor size Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor Venus Engine IX
Color space sRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
Image
ISO Auto, 200-25600
White balance presets 5
Custom white balance Yes (4 spots)
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Fine, standard
File format
  • JPEG (DCF, Exif 2.3)
  • RAW (RW2)
  • MPO
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Digital zoom Yes (2x, 4x)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 49
Lens mount Micro 4/3 Lens Mount
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fully articulated
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 1,036,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type OLED
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 0.67×
Viewfinder resolution 2,359,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 17.00 m (at ISO 200)
External flash Yes (via hotshoe or PC sync)
Flash modes Auto, auto/redeye reduction, forced on, forced on/redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync/redeye reduction, forced off
Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • Single-shot, continuous, bracketing, self-timer, interval
Continuous drive 12 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 10 secs (single or three-shot))
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 exposures in blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions 4096 x 2160 (24p), 3840 x 2160 (24p, 25p, 30p), 1920 x 1080 (24p, 25p, 30p, 50p, 60p), 1280 x 720 (24p, 25p, 30p), 640 x 480 (25p, 30p)
Format MPEG-4, AVCHD
Videography notes Supports IBP and ALL-Intra codecs; 1080p data rates up to 200 Mbps
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone port Yes
Headphone port Yes
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n, WPA/WPA2, WPS, Wi-Fi Direct
Remote control Yes (via DMW-RSL1 wired remote)
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description DMW-BLF19 lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 500
Weight (inc. batteries) 560 g (1.23 lb / 19.75 oz)
Dimensions 133 x 93 x 84 mm (5.24 x 3.66 x 3.31″)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS None

The Panasonic Lumix G5 is one of the best cameras to be released in the last year, and it would easily be the flagship model in many company’s product lines.  Had it not been for the subsequent release of the Lumix GH3, it more than likely would’ve garnered a lot more attention.  Consequently, the G5 is probably one of the most overlooked cameras of the last year as well, and according to the folks over at 43Rumors, although the G5 was only released a scant 9 months ago it appears that Panasonic are on the verge of announcing the release of it’s successor (as well as the successor of the Lumix GF5).

43Rumors Reports…

According to multiple sources, there will be a Panasonic announcement on April the 9th, and both the new GF and G series cameras could be announced on the same day. It appears that both cameras will be slightly bigger than their predecessors, the GF5 and G5. I still have no final specs, but I have been told that the build quality and ergonomic feeling is of a “higher level“.

43Rumors lists this rumor as an “FT4” – meaning that there is a 61%-80% chance that it’s true.

My 2 Cents

I too have it on good authority that this rumor is true, and I’m excited to see what Panasonic will do with the new models (a new chip and beefed up video with mic input on the G5 successor?  I hope so!).

Another indication (and side benefit) that the rumor is true is the ridiculously great deals that you can get on these cameras right now.  When it was released, the Lumix G5 would’ve set you back over $800 USD.  It may not be as full featured as the GH3 or OM-D E-M5, but it’ll give many top tier cameras a run for their money where image quality and low light performance are concerned (It was the camera they used to shoot the 2012 London Olympics for Pete’s sake!).  It’s advanced enough for a pro, but easy enough to learn and use for a beginner, and right now you can get one with a lens for only $498 USD.  While the GF5 is aimed more at those making an immediate step up from point and shoot cameras (or even cell phone cameras), it still has enough cool features to make it appealing to a interchangeable lens newbie and it’s currently selling for only $399 USD.

In my opinion, the Panasonic Lumix G5 is the best deal you’ll currently find for a high quality camera and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s on the fence.  The Lumix GF5 is also a good camera, but if you’re thinking about picking one up then I would recommend considering spending the extra $99 USD to move up to the G5, or grab a Panasonic Lumix GX1 for $399 USD with a lens – same as the GF5.

Buy the Panasonic Lumix G5, Panasonic Lumix GX1 or Panasonic Lumix GF5 on Amazon Here

 

Metabones created quite a buzz in the industry a few months ago when they announced their new Speedbooster adapters, which are purported to adapt legacy lenses to your Sony NEX and (soon) micro 4/3 cameras…  and to make those lenses faster and brighter in the process.  So it’s no small wonder that photographers are licking their chops at the prospect of getting their hands on one of these little beauties.

Also of little surprise is the latest rumor posted on SonyAlphaRumors that a copy may be in the works.

SAR Report…

“Metabones created an amazing adapter called the Speed Booster [which sells for] $399 for a manual adapter and up to $599 for an electronic adapter. So if you are praying for for a cheaper alternative, then your prayers [may be answered] by the Chinese company Mitakon. I have been informed that they are going to launch a much more affordable [version of the] “speed booster” in July. Price [is expected to be] at least half of the Metabones. Of course we have to see 1) if the quality of those adapters will be as good as the Metabones 2) and how the heck Mitakon will avoid getting into a patent dispute with Metabones.”

This one should be fun to watch…

 

I’ve been trying to spread the love around with featured camera deals and stories, etc.  But honest to God, Panasonic have been offering such HUGE DEALS on some great cameras lately (I actually just received my Lumix LX7 that I snapped up for only $298 USD!) and they’re just too good to not share with our readers, especially considering that many of these deals are gone as soon as we can post them.

Here are 3 deals I came across on the Lumix GX1, a tremendous camera that sold for anywhere from $700 to $900 USD just a scant year ago, but the way the prices have been dropping on the GX1 coupled with the fact that Panasonic are rumored to be making some major camera announcements later this month/early next month makes you wonder if they’re finally gearing up to release the highly anticipated GX2.  Stay tuned…  and in the meantime, check out the mind blowing GX1 deals below:  (video review courtesy of DigitalRevTV)

Panasonic GX1 – Black (Body Only) for only $264.09 USD

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1K with 14-42mm Zoom Lens (Silver) for only $419.99 USD

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1X with 14-42mm X Power Zoom Lens (Black) for only $489.73 USD

BONUS DEALS!

Panasonic Lumix G5 with 14-42mm Kit Zoom Lens is still selling for only $498 USD and the Panasonic Lumix LX7 Compact Camera is still listed at only $298 USD!

When I read this news report, I found myself checking the calendar.  After all, April 1st is fast approaching, and when you really consider what Canon look to be doing, you are left with the feeling that you’re being punked.  Even Canonwatch seem to be skeptical as they bold the words “appears to be real” in their article.

Canonwatch Reports…

The extra-small DSLR Canon is working on appears to be real. A very trustworthy source sent me a list of specifications, and it appears that there are already prototypes out in the wild undergoing testing.

The spec list I got:

  • 18MP sensor (same sensor featured on the EOS M and EOS 650D)
  • DIGIC 5 image processor
  • Touchscreen similar to the EOS M (possibly same 3″ size)
  • 9 focusing points
  • A new hybrid CMOS auto-focus
  • 98% viewfinder
  • 6fps
  • ISO up to 25,600
  • EF and EF-S lens support
  • HD video

It looks the new DSLR will feature some of the technology that is already used on the EOS M.

(video above courtesy of TheCameraStore)

My 2 Cents (Note to Canon Edition)

Dear Canon,

I’ve said before in this space that I didn’t feel like you were taking mirrorless cameras seriously, and now I KNOW that it’s true.  When the EOS M came out, I (and I’m sure a lot of other people) had high hopes.  You make wonderful DSLRs and wonderful lenses to go with them, so I was licking my chops that you were finally going to enter the fray with a serious mirrorless offering.  Then, the EOS M was released and I soon came to realize that all you had done was to wrap a T4i in a small, bar of soap shaped package.  It was overpriced, and worse yet, it underperformed.  The result…  sales dwindled.

But you know what Canon…  I can forgive all of that.  It was your first effort after all, and there were some good things there too.  Things that you could build upon.  But if these reports are true, then it would seem that you’re scrapping the whole mirrorless idea and instead, you’re going to re-wrap those EOS M innards in a teenier, tinier T4i mini-me style body, and it looks like you’ve decided to take what you know best – DSLRs – and shrink ‘em down to try to compete with those upstart mirrorless systems based purely on size.  While smaller size and lighter weight are two of the distinct advantages that mirrorless systems enjoy over DSLRs, I feel like the biggest advantage that they have is that they are, dare I say it, technologically superior in many ways.  The design of mirrorless systems isn’t based on 60 year old film camera technology, so they don’t have that pesky ol’ mirror getting in the way of some of their advanced functions.  That’s why they have come so far, so fast…  and that’s why they can deliver HD Quality still images that are now on par with your big boy cameras and outperform you in autofocus and in the video department.   But if you’d only apply yourself, I know that you can do great things, so lose the mirror.

I still have hope for you, Canon.  After all…  April 1st is fast approaching.

SG

PS…  When is Ashton Kutcher going to jump out of the bushes?  (Oh wait, he’s Nikon).

Ever since it was announced a few months ago, the Metabones Speed Booster Adapter has been creating quite a buzz, and now micro 4/3 users are licking their chops, because the M43 version is due out in April.

According to 43Rumors…

Metabones will launch the new Speed Booster adapter for MFT in April and not in March as previously reported. There’s still no definitive word on which lenses will supported, but “I have been told the adapters will be manually only (no electronic support). Price may be around $399 (still no final decision yet).”

Officially the Nikon, Leica R, Contax C/Y, Contarex, ALPA and Rollei lenses are on roadmap, plus an OM lens adapter may come too.

My 2 Cents

If this thing lives up to it’s billing, you’ll be able to adapt your legacy glass to your M43 camera and make them wider and a full stop brighter at the same time…  BOO-YAH!

(via 43Rumors – video above from Stray Angel on YouTube)

(Video above is endgadget’s review of the original EOS M mirrorless camera from Canon – It’s here to server as a reminder of the numerous reasons why we consider the EOS M to be a very forgettable camera).

Looks like Canon may have an update their first entry into the mirrorless camera market.  Canon Rumors is reporting that a new EOS M could be in the works.

Rumored Specs Include…

  • 24mp APS-C Sensor
  • New generation AF system
  • DIGIC V
  • Removable Electronic Viewfinder (Very high resolution)
  • Optional grip attachment
  • 5fps
  • Slightly larger than the current EOS M
  • Introduced with 3 more lenses
  • $999 USD

My 2 Cents

The original EOS M was/is a major disappointment to everyone who views Canon as the top level camera maker that they are.  With it’s slothful autofocus performance, lack a quality native lenses and on body controls, it falls drastically short of it’s mirrorless peers in virtually every category and it is thoroughly outclassed by mirrorless cameras that come in at roughly half of the EOS M’s hefty $700 to $800 USD price (the Panasonic Lumix GX1 and Sony NEX 5n come to mind).

The above specs basically look like a wishlist of features that disappointed Can-fans would like to see on a new EOS M, and even Canon Rumors lists this as a ‘C1′ – meaning that it’s about as likely to happen as a blizzard in Hawaii.  BUT…  Make no mistake.  The latest generation of top line mirrorless cameras – like the Panasonic Lumix GH3, the Olympus OM-D E-M5, the Fuji X-E1, the Sony NEX 6 and even the Panasonic Lumix G5 – have opened the eyes of a growing number of pro and enthusiast photographers and videographers.  They are recognizing that the image quality gap that once existed between DSLRs and their smaller sensored mirrorless cousins has all but been eliminated.  They are also recognizing that mirrorless cameras have faster autofocus – especially in video, where mirrorless cameras shine – and advanced features like face detection that you just can’t get on a DSLR.  Hybrid Photography is coming (fast!), and so is a shift away from large, cumbersome DSLRs to smaller, lighter, less expensive yet equally powerful and technologically superior mirrorless camera systems that will be necessitated by the new art form.

Up until now, we have not seen many indications that Canon, and to a lesser degree Nikon, have taken mirrorless cameras seriously.  If there is any truth to the above rumor, then that assertion may be changing.  Stay Tuned…

(via 43Rumors)  “Nippon Camera” published their camera roadmap for 2013, which is based on a combination of existing rumors and their own speculations.  If they’re right, then 2013 will mark the release of successors to some of the most popular cameras of the last few years – truly some exciting releases  for fans of micro 4/3 and 4/3 cameras.  It gives me the same feeling I had when I first saw the video above (for the release of the Panasonic Lumix GH3).

Nippon’s Guesses for Panasonic and Olympus:

image courtesy of 43Rumors

Olympus:

  • E-P5 in April
  • E-M7 and E-7 in August

Panasonic:

  • GF7 in March
  • G7 in August
  • GX2 in November
  • GH5 by end of the year

Side Notes

  • No surprises on the Olympus front.  These camera releases are just as expected
  • Panasonic must be making some major revisions or improvements to the GX2, as this speculated release date is a full year after last years rumored release in November of 2012
  • There must be something about the number 6 that has the camera companies skipping it the same way they do the number 4 in their model numbers
  • To me, the biggest surprise is that there will be a new GH series camera, as up until now, Panasonic have been releasing them every other year – usually coinciding with the Photokina Fair in Cologne, Germany.  But with a new OM-D coming out (the E-M7), it looks like Panasonic and Olympus will continue their game of leapfrog – good news for micro 4/3 fans – Stay Tuned!

Rumors were swirling at the end of last year that the launch of the next generation Panasonic GX series camera was imminent (early reports had targeted November).  But November came, and no GX2.  Then December.  Then CES, PMA, CP+ – and still, no GX2.

Now 43Rumors is reporting that, according to their reader Zetton who was at the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan, we may not have to wait much longer as he told 43Rumors the following…

While talking with the Panasonic staff, I have been told that  Panasonic will release the next GX1 soon

The GX1 is one of our favorite cameras of the last 2 years, and it delivers on multiple fronts (see review above by WhatDigitalCamera), which is why so many people are eagerly anticipating the launch of the GX2.  While this rumor is far from substantiated, it does make a lot of sense as the price of the GX1 is now at it’s lowest point since it’s launch.

If you’re interested in picking up a Panasonic Lumix GX1, Amazon now has it listed for only $449 USD with a Kit lens, and Only $319 USD Body Only.

But the best deal can be found at UniquePhoto, who are running a SPECIAL DEAL on the GX1 for only $300 USD Body Only.

While you’re on UniquePhoto, you might also want to check out the Sigma 19mm and 30mm f2.8 micro 4/3 lenses, which are also on sale for only $99 each.  These are excellent lenses, especially for that price, and will go great with a GX1 or any M43 camera!


We recently announced that legendary camera company Eastman Kodak are entering into a co-branding arrangement with American Camera Supplier JK Imaging to produce cameras under the Kodak moniker – and 43Rumors is now reporting that the Kodak Camera will be micro 4/3.

According to 43 >>  PConline just posted these images disclosing a new Kodak branded (and JK manufactured) Micro Four Thirds camera! It’s named “Kodak S1” and has built WiFi transmission function. The camera will be released in the 3rd quarter of this year!

Kodak officially presented the camera in a Press Conference in Peking. The bloggers at PConline also said the sensor used will be a Sony CMOS. But I don’t know if that is an official info or their guess.  (Read article on 43Rumors – video above is a demonstration of a Sony CMOS Sensor in HDR Mode, courtesy of eSato)

My 2 Cents

I have an Uncle who once worked for Eastman Kodak (their headquarters is about an hour away from where I live) who was pretty high up in the Digital Imaging Department until he retired about 10 years ago, and he used to constantly complain about the “poor decision making” (I’m being kind) of the upper management at the company (as evidenced by their sad demise in the camera world).  But if these rumors are true, then this (in my opinion) is some great decision making on Kodak’s part.

By entering into the micro 4/3 camera market, you inherit a huge supply of stellar lenses that will be compatible with your system vs starting from scratch, and Sony make some of the best digital sensors in the world, so if they do in fact use a Sony Sensor, this bodes well for them too.  Of course, there’s also some stiff competition in the micro 4/3 arena, where Panasonic and Olympus have honed their camera and lens designs for almost 5 years, but Kodak made high quality cameras in the past (I still have a Kodak Super Zoom that I got about 10 years ago and it still pops out some great images), and I’m hoping they’ll continue to do so.  Stay Tuned to this one…

 

PetaPixel posted an article stating that Fuji are touting their new X20 and X100S cameras as having the “World’s fastest autofocus”, but seem to partially retract that claim in an update at the end of the article, downgrading it to rumor status, stating that Fuji have removed the claim from their website.  (Read article on PetaPixel – video above from Oscar50Channel)

My 2 Cents

I’m hoping that the rumor turns out to be true.  Fuji make some phenomenal stuff, most notably their X-Series Compact Digital Cameras (which we have recognized as the best stills cameras of 2012), but they are somewhat lacking when it comes to autofocus performance.  If Fuji have addressed this issue, they’ll be making a serious run at King of the Imaging Hill.

 

PetaPixel are citing numerous sources who say that there may be a mirrorless successor to the Olympus E-5, thereby ending the Olympus DSLR line.  The new camera is rumored to be larger than the OM-D E-M5, but smaller than the E-5.  This would put it right in the size range of the Panasonic Lumix GH3.  You don’t suppose?…

Anywhoot…  PetaPixel ReportsIn a recent interview with Quesabesque, Miguel Angel Garcia, the CEO of Olympus Spain, dropped another “official” hint at what the camera company is cooking up to replace the E-5. The subsequent article, which initially said that the camera would be compatible with both Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds Lenses, has since been reworded to state simply that the replacement for the E-5 will be “capable of harnessing the full potential of Four Thirds lenses.”

All of the remaining details come courtesy of DSLRmagazine and previous statements made by President of Olympus, Haruo Ogawa. They’re reporting that the next iteration will be somewhere between the E-M5 and E-5 in size and come equipped with a “spectacular” electronic view finder, some very advanced new features, and a price tag that outweighs the one you’ll find attached to the E-M5. In regards to lenses, the magazine says to expect an MFT mount, and a special FT adapter that will make good on Mr. Garcia’s promise mentioned above.  (Read full article on PetaPixel – video above courtesy of PhotographyReview.  This is one of the rare times that you’ll see an unboxing video on this site as I think they are ridiculous and hope that they soon become as obsolete as DSLRs are destined to become)

Editor’s Note:  It’s not hard to imagine that Olympus are moving away from DSLRs in much the same way that Canon and (to a lesser degree) Nikon are resisting the migration to mirrorless cameras.  As a company, you always want to go with your bread and butter, and Olympus is a bonafide mirrorless giant!

Olympus and Panasonic have been pushing each other to new and greater heights since the launch or micro 4/3 cameras in 2008.  It seems that they’re constantly leapfrogging each other and raising the bar of achievement.  Earlier this year, Olympus launched the amazing OM-D E-M5 and positioned themselves on top of the mirrorless mountain with that camera’s incredible image quality and revolutionary In Body Image Stabilization, and a lot of DSLR shooters took note.  Of course, a few months ago, Panasonic launched the Lumix GH3 and knocked their pals off the top of Mount Olympus.  The GH3 is not just getting DSLR shooters to look.  The combination of it’s amazing still image and video quality catapult it to the head of the Hybrid Class, and it’s size, although larger than other mirrorless offerings, is still smaller and lighter than traditional DSLRs, bit it’s size and shape are much more comfortable to those who are accustomed to shooting with CaNikons, and many are making the move.

Call me crazy, but wouldn’t it make sense for Olympus to put out their own “Pro Level” mirrorless system that will appeal to those Pro Photo/Video shooters who are looking to move away from their big, bulky and heavy DSLR systems and into something that will allow them to more easily incorporate video into their work?  And how powerful would it be if that camera had Olympus’ rock solid 5 point IBIS built into it?

Me thinks that the game of “King of the Hill” between Panasonic and Olympus is far from over…   and Sony and Fuji are withing striking distance of the top of that hill too.

43Rumors is reporting that there could be a new Olympus Micro 4/3 Camera Launching by the end of January.  Also (and maybe by no coincidence), the popular Olympus PEN E-P3 (which has only been out for about a year and a half) is now listed as “Discontinued” on B&H Photo’s Website.

The Olympus PEN E-P3 is now listed as “Discontinued”. Could this indicate the imminent launch of it’s successor?

According to 43Rumors:  Trusted sources could confirm that one single new Micro Four Thirds cameras will be announced “soon”. They didn’t unveil any specs or other details, but It’s easy to guess that the camera will be announced in late January for the CP+ show in Japan. The only [other info that] I received from unknown (also non trusted) sources was that there will be a “completely new PEN”.  (Read post on 43Rumors – video courtesy of TechRadar)

43Rumors lists this information as an “FT5″, meaning that there’s a very strong possibility that this is true.  If I had to guess, I would say that Olympus are in fact, planning on launching a successor to the E-P3 (The PEN E-P5?) to compete with the Panasonic Lumix GX1, which also may have a successor launching in 2013.

By the way…  If you wanted to pick one up, the Olympus E-P3 is now listed at $599 on Amazon (of course, you can always get one cheaper used).  Of course, that’s the same price as the new Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5, which has the same sensor and image processor as the flagship OM-D E-M5, so I’d recommend that over an E-P3 at this point.  You can also pick up a Panasonic G5 for $599 on Amazon, or a Panasonic GX1 for $449 on Amazon – that’s a great price on one of our favorite cameras of 2012!

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Looks like Nikon is ready to throw more toys into the mirrorless pool.

Petapixel just posted an article about 2 new mirrorless cameras that Nikon are planning to launch at CES in 2013.

Graphic courtesy of PetaPixel

PetaPixel Reports:  Nikon is going to add not one, but two new mirrorless cameras to its Nikon 1 line at CES 2013.  Earlier this year we reported that Nikon was ranked fourth of the five major companies currently duking it out in the mirrorless ring, barely besting Canon who has only one mirrorless offering to begin with. Perhaps the two new cameras — a J3 replacement for the J2 and a brand new, entry-level S1 — are Nikon’s way of trying to move on up that list.

From the little we know, it looks like the J3 will be only a marginal improvement on the current J2 (featured in the video above), which makes sense given that the latter was released just 4 short months ago.

The S1, however, is bringing something entirely new to the Nikon 1 system. We can only assume the S is Nikon’s attempt to make the mirrorless market accessible to everyone. Details are thin, but the S1 is rumored to come equipped with a 10MP sensor and the most basic specs — simple and cheap.  (Read article on PetaPixel)

Our Take:  There’s a reason why Canon and Nikon are at the bottom of the mirrorless rankings, and I won’t believe that either of them is taking the mirrorless market seriously until one of them produces a serious mirrorless camera.  With the J3, it looks like Nikon are only making modest upgrades to a camera that’s already getting spanked by the competition, and the S1 just looks like it’ll be another cheap camera for Ashton Kutcher to run around with on the beach.  I’ll reserve final judgement for when the cameras are actually released, but there’s nothing in this report that would make me think that my assessment is very far off.  Nikon may be dropping to the bottom of the mirrorless rankings soon.

Ever since Sony launched the RX1 (featured in the video above), touted as “the worlds first full frame compact camera”, we’ve been wondering out loud how long it would be until they made an interchangeable lens version.  The RX1 is an impressive little beastie and the Carl Zeiss lens that’s attached to it is first rate, but with a price tag approaching $3,000 USD, this camera serves a very specialized niche – and you had to know that it was only a matter of time before Sony would incorporate the RX1′s impressive sensor technology into a camera that could use multiple lenses.

According to SonyAlphaRumors, our hunch is indeed correct.

SonyAR Reports:  

1) These last two weeks I contacted all my best sources and they now all(!) confirmed that the next Sony Full Frame camera will not be a new SLT camera. It will be a Full Frame mirrorless camera!
2) Plan of a FF SLT release in 2013 have been dropped to fully focus the development resources on that FF mirrorless camera. Sony’s main priority is to create a real High End camera. A camera that can have all the functions and capabilities of a DSLR (that means for example fast AF). Sony sees that camera as the one that should bring back some significant interests on Sony FF system.
3) The camera is still in the final stage of development. We can expect the release of the cameras by end 2013 at earliest but early 2014 sounds more likely for now.
4) The camera has some key tech not seen on any Sony camera yet. I am still working on this rumor to get some detailed info. So stay tuned!
5) The camera is a bit bigger than the current Sony NEX-7 and not that much different in terms of the design.
6) The camera has a native E-mount and both E-mount and A-mount lenses will be fully supported.
7) One of the trusted sources said that Sony is right now testing two different prototypes. One features a 24 megapixel and the other camera features a new 30-32 Megapixel sensor.

 

In summary, in about one year the NEX world will expand into the High End Pro market. And this may be a bad news for the Leica M system! I know you have many questions about lenses, specs and so on. I am working on that and as you imagine it’s not easy to get specs about a camera which features are being tested and changed every couple of weeks. So what can we expect in 2013? we will have plenty of new NEX and SLT (APS-C) cameras and lenses. And I hope Sony engeneers will manage it to announce that NEX FF by Christmas 2013! But as I said, it all depends from the development speed. As Sony stated a couple of times, E-mount FF is a “challenge”. A challenge that Sony has no worry to take!  (Read article on SonyAlphaRumors)

SonyAlphaRumors Categorizes this as an “SR5″ – meaning that it’s pretty much a done deal.  2013 is shaping up to be a great year!

43Rumors posted some tasty little tidbits about some future M43 releases from Panasonic. According to their sources, we may have to wait until next fall for the new GX2 to be released (vs this month via earlier rumors).

Here’s the skinny from 43Rumors

Yesterday Panasonic announced the new MFT videocamera. So while the rumor about an early November Panasonic announcement were correct we are still missing the release of the new GX2. There is a weird silence around that product. Back in Spring Panasonic itself said that: “We will define more clearly what GH and GX means this year, so consumers have a better idea of what their characteristics are.” (Source: Amateur Photographer). And the GX1 price fell down at the same level of the GF5 (GX1 $460 Amazon and GF5 $449 – again at Amazon).

But that weird silence may be a sign that something has changed within the Panasonic roadmap. And indeed Digicaminfo (translation here) got the info that Panasonic decided to release the GX2 in Fall 2013 only! This is not a rumor from their best sources, so it may be not correct. But according to the rumor the Panasonic decided to take time to develop the new GX2 so that it will have some features that “do not exist on current Panasonic MFT cameras“.

What these features could be we don’t know but I already spotted some patents about 1) rangefinder styled GX camera and 2) Built-in sensor stabilization. But we know, patent do not really disclose what’s coming in the near future.

The other info is that the GF6 and G6 will be released in Spring. That is definitely not a surprise. Panasonic is known for releasing the G and GF successors in Spring (Read Article on 43Rumors)

Our Take:  The rumor about the GX2 may or may not be correct.  It’s only listed as a “FT3″ by 43Rumors, meaning there’s only a 41%-60% chance that it’s true.  What makes us think that the GX2 will be released sooner is that the price of the GX1 has come down so much…  it’s a great camera that was selling for $800 – $900 USD just a year ago (depending on which kit lens you went for), and now it’s virtually half price (the GX1 is a STEAL at $460 USD!).  Since we’re already a week into November, I guess we’ll know pretty soon if the rumor is true or not.

As for the G6 and GF6, this a pretty exciting news as well.  The G5 is one of our favorite cameras of 2012, and it too just had a $100 price reduction ($699 USD with the kit lens).  We can’t wait to see what Panasonic is cooking up for the next generation (Wi-Fi, mic input, HDMI Live Out?).

Check out the Panasonic GX1, GF5 and G5 Here

According to 43Rumors, there may be three new micro 4/3 cameras unveiled in the next several months.  The first is pretty much a foregone conclusion as the price of the Panasonic Lumix GX1 has dropped dramatically over the last few months amid speculation of the impending launch of the new GX2, maybe as early as November.  43Rumors list this as an FT4, meaning that there’s a 61-80% chance that this is true.

Here’s what 43Rumors has to say:

I am working on the next bunch of rumors and all I can say for now is that it is very likely that we will see up to three new Micro Four Thirds cameras within the next 4-5 months. As you know one of them should be the new Panasonic GX2 that is rumored to arrive before the end of the year. Not a surprise seeing that the GX1 ($469 with lens at Amazon).  This costs less than the GF5 with the same lens. The new GX2 should have the same GH3 sensor, and a new design (built-in EVF?).

The real challenge right now are the two other new MFT cameras that are supposed to arrive from Olympus! These are scheduled for a release in early 2013. And both are rumored to be different from the cameras we have seen until now and both are made for the enthusiast amateur or semi pro photographer. I am working to get some double-triple feedback from other sources and I will give you some reliable news as soon as I can! Stay tuned!

P.S.: Successor coming or not…the GX1 sells well at that low price according to Amazon ranking (Click here).

The Panasonic GX1 is one of our favorite cameras of the last year. It produces crisp an clean images – both stills and video, it’s easy to use and it’s size and form factor make it extremely easy to carry (the video above is a GX1 video test taken by ePhotozine. The quality of the images and audio from the onboard stereo mic almost make you feel like you’re right there watching the fireworks). When the GX1 first came out (only about a year ago), it sold for $800 to $900 depending on which kit lens you chose. Now, it’s only $469, with a lens… and at that price this great little camera is a STEAL!

Check Out the Panasonic Lumix GX1 Here:

EOSHD got their hands on a pre-production model of the Panasonic Lumix GH3 and had a lot of interesting observations when comparing this camera to the ones that were displayed at Photokina 2012 just weeks ago.

EOSHD reports:
Thanks to a chance encounter I was able to very briefly try a GH3 this week in Barcelona. The camera was on loan from Panasonic and not available to the public to try, it was part of the private beta test program but they very kindly let me give my impressions of it after a brief 20 minute play with the camera behind closed doors. Again this was not the final camera but it had some interesting tweaks compared to the models Panasonic brought to Photokina last month.

Remember, nothing is final until the camera ships – this is a report on a pre-production model.

The camera is looking in great shape.

First change, I felt that the buttons were more tactile and grippy. Seems like a more rubbery material was used on this model. If memory serves me correctly the Photokina models had smoother more slippery plastic buttons. The click wheel on the back was easier to turn as well, not as stiff or as slippery as the older version.

Codec was the same as at Photokina and once again this was PAL / NTSC switchable between 24/25p.

I noticed a dummy menu was now present containing around 3 or 4 manual focus assists. As the text on these menu options simply stated ‘dummy’ I have no idea exactly what Panasonic have in mind for these – but it raises the possibility that peaking might be one of them? I hope so.

The picture profiles were now more operational than before and you can dial them all the way down to -5 (gone is the -2 / -5 work-in-progress menus). Changing contrast did change the image but not to a very great extent. Hope that changes. I am sure it will.

Hitting record in AVCHD mode didn’t seem to do much of a gamma switch but in MOV mode that was still there. Hope they fix that in line with how the 5D Mark III live view works – zero change between judging your exposure and composition in live view to rolling upon record button press. This is very important to judge perfect exposure in movie mode.

Unlike on the more incomplete Photokina models, in this version 0.5 camera the ex-tele mode changed the framing of the live view display to reflect the cropped field of view – but still seems to be work in progress because the framing in live view doesn’t quite match what you see when you hit record and the quality needs to be far better. When you hit record the resolution is pin sharp on the lovely new OLED screen but like with the GH2 it is mushy in live view whilst you compose the shot.

I’ll be sending Panasonic my feedback and hopefully can get a rare camera to try soon. This model (v0.5) was apparently the only one in the country.

The Panasonic Lumix GH3 is one of the most highly anticipated cameras to come along in the last several years, and for good reason. After all, it’s predecessor, the Panasonic Lumix GH2 has been one of the most celebrated cameras since 2010, especially for video shooters, where it has become a favorite in the indie and even pro circuits, and acquitted itself VERY well in the 2012 Zacuto Shootout, where this little (at the time of this posting) $679 (body only) wonder recently stood up to, and even bested, some major competition as it’s video quality was chosen to be better than pro-cam giants like the RED Epic and the Arri Alexa by none other than Hollywood legend Francis Ford Coppola (among others). We at Mirrorless Central also watched the videos and took the test ourselves, and sure enough, the GH2 was one of our top 3 choices (which were in no particular order). So, it’s no surprise that the GH3 is one of the cameras we are personally most excited about as well. The GH3 is set to start shipping in November, so stay Tuned for hands on reviews from our contributors…

In the meantime, check out the Pansonic Lumix GH3 and it’s predecessor, the GH2 (which is now a GREAT OPTION for those on a budget) below:


43Rumors reports that there may be a new Black Magic Micro 4/3 Camera coming out next year that will feature full electronic support. In other words, all the power features on your Micro 4/3 lenses will work with the new camera! 43Rumors labels this one as an FT4, meaning that there’s a 61-80% chance that this is true.

Here’s the skinny from the 43Rumors Report:
I got multiple mails from different sources saying that Black Magic is working on a new version of their Micro Four Thirds mount camera. Unlike the current model (available here on BHphoto) this one will have “active m43 mount” which means it supports electronic contacts for zoom, aperture and focus control. It will also have phantom XLR, larger capacity battery and an external battery mount. And that’s not all! There will be an improved RAW coded and a slightly different design.

The camera should be announced in early 2013!

Editor’s note: This is a rumor based on “non-facts”. There is no official news from Blackmagic. So go for the actual Blackmagic M43 model if you want it. Don’t base your shopping intention based on rumors. If the current model is good enough for you buy it. If you absolutely need to have electronic contacts and support than wait and let’s hope the rumor turns out to be true!

This is GREAT NEWS for all you serious video producers out there. Check out our post on the BMC Micro 4/3 camera and you’ll see that this little beastie produces incredible quality, spanking the 5D Mark III for about the same price. We’ll keep our eyes on this one!

Looks like there are more and more hints about a possible release for the new Panasonic GX2, as early as this November (2012).

43Rumors.com lists this as an “FT4″, meaning that there’s a 61-80% chance that this is going to happen.

Here’s what they have to say:


Months ago I already published rumors about a possible GX1 successor coming after Photokina. Now rumors are getting stronger. According to multiple anonymous sources a Panasonic announcement is scheduled for the first half of November. One of the sources said that the GX2 has some “major differences” from the current GX1 and has “the same PGH3 sensor“. The current GX1 got multiple price drops during the last weeks. The GX1 with kit lens costs less than the “supposed to be cheaper” GF5 with same lens! I am still not sure if the camera will have a built-in viewfinder like the DMC-L1 or not.

P.S.: I also heard that there will be no new lens announced along the GX2.

We agree with 43Rumors that all signs are pointing to a GX2 launch sometime soon. The video above of course, is for the GX1, which was one of our favorite cameras last year, and you can now get it at a steal of a price. In fact, we’re now listing the GX1 along with the GH2 as two of our “Biggest Bargains” with their prices dropping so low since the launch of the GH3 and with impending launch of the GX2.

Check ‘em out below:

Photokina is just a few days away, and the highly anticipated launch of the all new Panasonic Lumix GH3 is rumored to be this Monday, Septemeber 17th!

The GH3 is probably the “hottest” new Micro Four Thirds product. Numerous sources have reported that this is an incredibly nice camera, and very likely the first [mirrorless] camera that can be considered as “pro” level camera. It is aimed to compete against all high end DSLR, APS-C cameras like the Nikon D7000 or Canon 7D. We’re looking forward to the first hands-on impressions that should be coming next week. Stay Tuned to MirrorlessCentral.com for the latest updates! :)

Here are some of the specs for the Panasonic GH3 that were leaked last week:
- 16 Megapixel “Wide dynamic range” CMOS Sensor.
- New Venus 7 engine
- electronic shutter
- ISO 100-12.800
- 6fps
- Fastest AF of any interchangeable lens system camera.
- Video Bitrate 50Mbps (72Mbps ALL-I)
- 30p/25p in MP4, MOV and AVCHD
- 3.5 Mic in
- built-in stereo mic
- Audio out
- Pc control
- Time Code
- 1740k OLED LVF, Touch Monitor OLED 610k.
- external battery grip
- Wifi with remote control through iOS and Android Applications
- external XLR accessory
- Focus Peaking
- Interval shooting and slow motion. Slow Movie extension (40%, 50%, 80%) Fast 160/ 200 / 300%
- Magnesium alloy body. Body is bigger than the Panasonic GH2.

We can’t wait to get our hands on the new GH3 as it’s predecessor, the GH2 is such an amazing camera (especially for video work). If you’re looking for a pro-level camera and maybe can’t afford the new GH3 or an Olympus OMD, etc. – Then you might want to look into picking up a GH2 as the prices are coming down dramatically with the impending launch of the GH3. Check below for the Best Pricing:

Will Crockett of DiscoverMirrorless.com discusses what he sees as a shift in the Pro and Enthusiast Photography World. Are DSLRs on the way out in favor of smaller and less expensive yet highly sophisticated mirrorless camera systems with BIG Image Quality and HD Video Capability?

Will writes…

We have been nice and busy here working on a few really inspiring consulting projects with the “new breed” of camera systems. We are mezmorized by their small size+low cost+BIG image quality. Dunno if you have noticed, but the mirrorless (aka Compact System Cameras) are making impact with consumers and starting to get the attention of the pros. Hop into a Best Buy store and look at the CSC’s to see how Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung are getting ready to pounce on the photo marketplace. We are leading the charge on how to use these cameras and are writing a few DVD scripts for us to produce in March. I think the HDSLR as we know it today (Canon 5Dm2, Nikon D7000) will be replaced by the Sony NEX 7, and the Lumix GX1 style cameras in just a few years. Well, these cameras are basically hybrid photo+video cameras, very female friendly, and they are “flashless”, meaning that are designed to capture photo and video using available light – and they do it extremely well.
So, please take a peek at this video I made for you and let’s cook up a few ideas?

Your guy:
WC

At the date of this posting, Photokina 2012 (the Big Photography Trade Show that’s held every 2 years in Cologne, Germany) is only a week away, and many new and exciting camera systems from the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji, Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Samsung, Leica, Ricoh, etc. Be sure to check back to MirrorlessCentral.com each day for the latest news, updates and video reviews about some of the new cameras and gear launching soon, including the SONY NEX 5R and NEX6, The Olympus PEN E-PL5 and the highly anticipated Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3, which could be a DSLR slayer.

From 43Rumors

Both, Olympus and Panasonic will announce their new Micro Four Thirds stuff on Monday September 17th. Yes, exactly in one week (and one day before Photokina, 2012 in Cologne, Germany)!

Panasonic will announce the GH3 (full specs here), the 35-100mm f/2.8 X lens and very likely show 2-3 more prototype lenses behind a thick glass. One of them should be a fast tele lens.
Olympus will announce the E-PM3 and E-PL5 PEN cameras with same E-M5 sensor. There will be a 15mm f/8.0 lens-cap, the 60mm macro and a 12mm Black limited edition lens. May more prototype lenses will be shown.
More m43 stuff is coming via Sigma, SLRmagic and other third party companies.

43Rumors categorizes this information as “F5″, which means that it’s 90 to 100 percent accurate!

On the competition front we know that:
Pentax will announce an unexciting new Q10 camera this week (more info here).
Sony will announce the NEX-6 and three new NEX lenses on Wednesday September 12th (more info here).
Samsung will surprisingly not announce any new NX stuff (more info here).
Nikon and Canon will have no major mirrorless related news. The only interesting thing may be their cheap FF DSLR which will set a new mark on the price of FF bodies (more info here).
Hasselblad may announce a large sensor mirrorless system camera on September 18th (more info here).

OK…  The video above is actually for the Panasonic Lumix GH2, which to this day is still one of the most powerful film-making machines on the market, and the camera of choice for numerous pro and indie film makers.  This is all the more reason why we are so excited about the imminent launch of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 (expected to launch at or before Photokina, September 18th in Germany).

43 Rumors has obtained some specs for the new camera, and it looks like it’s going to represent a great leap forward in Hybrid Imaging!

Check out the specs below:

(FT5) Hot: New Panasonic GH3 specifications!

Photokina is getting closer and the new Panasonic GH3 is probably the “hottest” new Micro Four Thirds product. [Numerous] sources have contacted me saying that this is an incredibly nice camera, and very likely the first [mirrorless] camera that can be considered as “pro” level camera. It is aimed to compete against all high end DSLR, APS-C cameras like the Nikon D7000 or Canon 7D. But as we know well…we’ll have to see it to believe it

At least I finally I can share the Panasonic GH3 specs. Many trusted sources confirmed that these are correct. So here they are:

- 16 Megapixel “Wide dynamic range” CMOS Sensor.
- New Venus 7 engine
- electronic shutter
- ISO 100-12.800
- 6fps
- Fastest AF of any interchangeable lens system camera.
- Video Bitrate 50Mbps (72Mbps ALL-I)
- 30p/25p in MP4, MOV and AVCHD
- 3.5 Mic in
- built-in stereo mic
- Audio out
- Pc control
- Time Code
- 1740k OLED LVF, Touch Monitor OLED 610k.
- external battery grip
- Wifi with remote control through iOS and Android Applications
- external XLR accessory
- Focus Peaking
- Interval shooting and slow motion. Slow Movie extension (40%, 50%, 80%) Fast 160/ 200 / 300%
- Magnesium alloy body. Body is bigger than the Panasonic GH2.

We’re looking forward to the launch of the GH3 with great anticipation.  Be sure to check back to MirrorlessCentral.com for the latest news and info on the launch of this all new system.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a pro-level camera now, the prices on the GH2 are coming down dramatically with the impending launch of the GH3.  Check below for the Best Pricing: