(FT5) Uematsu (Panasonic) says: There will be no GH3 this year (not a surprise).

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Ok, that’s certainly not a surprise but at least it is official. Techaradar (Click here) talked with Mr. Uematsu from Panasonic and confirmed that “there will not be an upgrade to the GH2 by the end of the year“. And he also said that “Photokina 2012 would be very important for Panasonic“. All I know from my sources is that the GH3 will support AVCHD 2.0 with 1080/50p(60p) recording at 28mbit/s. EVF will be MUCH improved and the sensor will very likely have global shutter (like the Nikon J1 and V1 cameras).

The only camera we will see long before Photokina will be probably the GF PRO camera (named GF7, or GX1) which could be a sort of Panasonic L1 in Micro Four Thirds version(Click here to see that cam on eBay). The GF PRO will be announced in December/early January right before the CES event in Las Vegas.

Reminder -> Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

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  • HMR

    That’s fine with me, I’m very conditioned to waiting from Panasonic but can I pre-order it now anyway??

    • Elf

      I wasn’t aware there was any need so soon for a GH3… I’m sure Panasonic will not disappoint and offer a new GX line to compliment their other offerings…… with a new X series With a new sensor and processor…..

      Not sure why Panny bashing is so in fashion on this site. They really are the ones stepping up and innovating. When they could have churned out 3 years of 12mgp G1 clones. Nough said

    • LGO

      GH2 working very well. I can wait till next year.

      Admin, neither Nikon J1 or V1 has a global shutter.

      • Renato M.

        yeah, I think they only have electronic shutter, but not global shutter. the gh2 and g3 also have electronic shutter – when they do low res 40fps and 30fps.

  • but its a shame that panasonic does not come up with a firmware update to allow AVCHD 2.0 on the Gh2, still the Gh2 is called the flagship of video on a still camera. Other cameras already do deliver this 50p /60p format.

    • LGO

      Indeed. I had been expecting such a firmware update from Panasonic for some time now.

      I also hope that Panasonic would support via firmware upgrade the manual focus might “peaking” function now available to all NEX cameras.

      • LGO

        DxOMark results now out for the Nikon 1.

        The sensor in the Nikon 1 is better the old 12mp m4/3 sensor specially at Base ISO. But the old 12mp sensor betters it as ISO increases.

        The 18mp Sensor in the GH2 however is better. Hopefully, the GH3 should have a sensor equal in performance to the NEX-5N. A global shutter plus an improved EVF will round it off nicely.

        • Renato M.

          I think that it would be very hard to equal he NEX-5n ISO performance. maybe if they went for a 10~12MP sensor but I don’t think they would. but I think it’s possible to equal the performance of the new 24MP Sony sensor that they have in the A65/77 and NEX-7, pixel density is similar, even though it’s still a bit higher in the Panasonic sensor.

      • EddyKilowatt

        Focus Peaking seems like a natural for a firmware upgrade, since the math is already being done anyway for the focus algorithm, and it is “just” a matter of displaying the data. (I put “just” in quotes so I don’t get mugged by my software-engineer friends… I am sure it is still a formidable task, but it doesn’t seem computationally out of reach.)

        AVCHD 2.0 on the other hand is a major step up in bandwidth and processing power. It may well require new CPU hardware and not be the kind of thing that’s amenable to a software retrofit.

        I assume Sony has a patent on Focus Peaking? Otherwise it ought to appear on every manual-focus-capable camera in the next twelve months… it seems like that useful of a feature.

        • No, lots of video cameras have focus peaking and even the Ricoh GXR.

    • Jim

      i live in uk and I dont give a monkeys for 50p – 60 is where its at, the more the merrier… 120??? please :)

    • Mr. Reeee

      Yes, AVCHD 2.0 sound good to me.

      I’d also like to see some of the interface enhancements from the GF2 and GF3, like the customizable QMenu and especially the Picture-in-Picture focus assist.

      Of course, I’ll take focus peaking, too, if it’s possible to add via software.

      As for a GH3 upgrade, sometime next year is fine. I’d rather Panasonic take the time to improve the sensor… NOT by adding more pixels!!! A much higher dynamic range from the multi-aspect ratio sensor would be fantastic. Bringing back ISO100 or lower would be gravy, especially for we Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f0.95 users. The fixation on high ISO performance to the detriment of low ISO performance is a bad precedent.

      EVF and LCD resolution at least on par with the NEX-7, I’d suspect to be a given at this point.

  • anyway admin did you trop your facebook page? I can not find it anymore…

  • Leiya

    There had better be a GF-PRO or GF7 or GX1 or GR8 or whatever coming SOON because I’m having a hard time trying to convince myself not to ditch my crummy old E-PL1 for the almost faultless E-P3 – every day is a big agony for me. I’m annoyed seeing everybody else has an E-P3 and is enjoying it; but I’m even more annoyed when people who are rich enough to get an E-P3 don’t like it very much at all. Before you guys try to convince me it’s actually not a “nearly faultless” camera, let me tell you I actually know ALL its flaws. Same sensor quality, for from being “world’s fastest AF”, electronic IS mars video, no integrated VF, blah blah blah… but it’s got everything I wish my crummy old E-PL1 has but hasn’t. I absolutely love the E-PL1, but I just wish it could be a little better in some areas, and the E-P3 fills ALL those gaps. I think that’s the second best justification for an upgrade to a new camera (first being the old “I’ve got too much spare cash, so what if I don’t care about cameras and still buy an expensive one and stick it on auto mode all the time?”) But still, even with justification as good as that, it’s too expensive – it isn’t worth all that cash. And, a good photographer should learn to work with limitations and find ways to work round the imitations (which I am doing). But I’ve gotta upgrade at some point; the E-PL1 is not designed for serious photographers – for a start, it’s got NO DIALS, what good is M mode with no dials and you have to keep on pressing the buttons like your thumb is being electrocuted (yes, I do that. That’s one of my work-around solutions)? So I’m placing all my money on Panasonic getting this GF7/GF PRO/GX1 whatever thing right. Panasonic’s AF has always been a tad faster than Olympus’s. But I’ve used Panasonic’s cameras before, the feel just isn’t quite right. Olympus is after all a camera maker with heritage, and they’ve got that PEN philosophy running all the way from 1959, pretty much unchanged – even with the seemingly and specs-wise crappy E-PL1 it’s got a certain charm that the PEN had/has. But Panasonic… is a bit like Sony who’s just another consumer electronics maker (OK, I know Panny is miles more “camera” than Sony)… So I’m still a bit uncertain…

    • E-P3 is on eBay for £610 with free delivery, UK stock. Not cheap, but MUCH better than RRP. I collect mine from UPS Camden today. You’ll get near £200 for your E-PL1 (I did) which means £400 to change. Just do it.

      :)

      • Anonymous

        If he upgrades, i am sure he will then complain about the e-p3 in one or two years when another newer pen waves at him. ;-)

        • Leiya

          Yes, anonymous user, I’ve considered that as well. But I think the E-P3 almost presents what I would call a “baseline” for what my basic needs are. So even when a better PEN or M43 comes along, I can hold off and say no. I’ll give you one example: if what I have is an E-P2, I don’t think I’ll upgrade, I’ll probably just get that Panaleica 25mm f/1.4 lens to replace/work alongside 20mm f/1.7 – lenses are always better investments than bodies. But the E-PL1 really is slightly too striped out for me. I regard myself as not a bad photographer at all, and I pride myself on my adaptability to work round limitations. Still, for me, the E-PL1 hinders some photographic opportunities. And that’s not the PEN or M43 philosophy at all. The thing with an M43 is that you get a compact, unintrusive (to you or to your subject), yet extremely powerful camera that you can take with all the time. It certainly is unintrusive for my subjects (which is why I’m phasing out my DSLR kit), but not so unintrusive for me, because no dials to change exposure and agonisingly slow AF (only with the 20mm, the other lenses are marginally fine. Of course they could be better as well) are not exactly helpful for street photography, and any spontaneous photography (like documenting travels and stuff) which I’m using an M43 for.

          @TheVoiceoverMan: I’m currently living in Hong Kong where the second hand Market is like a steal for any camera equipment. I can get a used E-P3 (yes, there’s already used E-P3s available, HK people are a bit of “trends follower” and they quickly give up unsuitable expensive stuff that they buy off curiosity rather than necessity) for around £530. So that’s an absolutely steal. But my E-PL1 probably won’t sell, or may only get around £130. But it’s not just about the money. As many people on this forum have pointed out, the updates are too small to justify a purchase – this has always been an M43 thing. I mean look at E-P1 -> E-P2 and E-PL1 -> EPL2 and GF1 -> GF2 (which is more like a downgrade). So I’m torn between waiting for a more substantial update (fingers crossed on the GF PRO), and just to hell with that and live happily ever after with the E-P3.

          • “As many people on this forum have pointed out, the updates are too small to justify a purchase – this has always been an M43 thing. I mean look at E-P1 -> E-P2 and E-PL1 -> EPL2 and GF1 -> GF2 (which is more like a downgrade). So I’m torn between waiting for a more substantial update (fingers crossed on the GF PRO), and just to hell with that and live happily ever after with the”

            This is almost a hard rule with very few exceptions.
            It all boils down to how much you value the upgrade and how much you can afford it and how much you can wait, enjoy and desire what you already have.

            The best advise I can give you is to think about, not while dwelling forums, but while on the field or while post processing.
            Too much forum can be sickening, it makes you feel like your gear is never pro enough and every glitch is a Greek tragedy.
            Now, if that feeling does carry over on the field, then its time to consider the upgrade more seriously.
            I was happy with my G1 while using it, much less when thinking too much about it. But when I started needing video, that feeling carried over on the field. There was something missing.

            • Leiya

              Yeah, that feeling of “missing something” carries on not just on forums, but on the field, everywhere. But you see, I do a little lomography on the side as well, and that’s where it gets tricky, because lomo celebrates the limitedness of a camera and even if your end result isn’t the one you want because of your camera’s limitedness you still find a way to love your “accidental” end results too. So to put it another way, my E-PL1 is tipping over towards the lomo side, rather than a precision tool that I sometimes want it to be.

    • Mauro

      Oh man! Me too.. I am wearing out the “up” button on the Epl1.. The resale value of the camera went down and now I decided to live with it for the time being until this new GX1 comes out. But what a pain -especially the agonizing focus hunting in some cases.. But I still love it though

      • Leiya

        My sentiments exactly!!! The bothers problem is that we still love our E-PL1 so much to sell it cheap and get something not exactly a big leap forward (though the updates are necessary). I might even say I actually like wearing out the Up button (and the down and left and right when you’re in M mode :p) because I CAN

    • I feel with you. I also have an E-PL1 and used it as my always with me camera and weapon of choice for shorter trips.

      I thought about buying the E-P3 but the heavy price scared me away. You know what I did instead? I got a brand new GF1 body for less that 270€ including shipping and handling. Since my biggest pain points with the E-PL1 were auto-focus performance and lack of control buttons, the GF1 addressed both nicely.

      My personal intention is to stick with the GF1 until both Panasonic and Olympus have chosen to release a model that has the appeal of Sony’s NEX7. My personal guess is that both those cameras will be readily available in stores within 12 months. Until then, I am very much set with the GF1. The E-PL1 serves as a second body for legacy lenses with manual focus using the excellent VF-2.

      • Leiya

        Yeah, I thought of getting a GF1 to solve my problem – having E-PL1 and GF1 to work side by side. E-PL1 with my newly bought lovely sexy amazing wonderful 12mm f/2 is quick enough, and GF1 with its original match, the 20mm f/1.7, which still focuses quick in today’s standard (I think?? I’ve never handled a GF1 before). But (A) I’m a bit worried about the resale value of the GF1, and (B), Panasonic doesn’t make a decent EVF. Very often I find myself using the EVF to take my shots even when using the LCD is perfectly fine – it just gives you more feel to your shots.

        • Trust me, the GF1 is still one of the most valuable MFT cameras because there simply is no replacement.

          The auto-focus is blazingly fast compared to the E-PL1.

          For composition, the Panasonic viewfinder is good enough. The GF1 display is much better than the E-PL1’s. Also, you can use any optical 40mm viewfinder on the hotshoe for the 20mm lens. And regarding Panasonic’s EVF, it’s probably not sticking out so much from the camera body which makes it more pleasant to use as well.

          I wouldn’t buy the E-P3 mainly for its price and the fact that it has no built in viewfinder. Whoever solves this best will get my money for the next PEN like MFT camera. No more compromises in the future. :)

          • Godot

            The GF1’s AF is reasonably fast in general, but the 20/1.7 is still slow to focus, especially wide open. So you might see an improvement vs. the E-PL1, but that particular lens is just not a speedy focuser in general.

            The EVF really annoyed me at first, but it’s not so bad — though a terrible deal at full price. The trick here is to buy used or refurb.

    • That Panasonic = giant electronics consumer vs Olympus = traditional small photographic company image bores me.
      Both companies have released great products as well as less so.
      When it comes to the 2.8/45 macro, the 7-14, the 1.4/25, the GH2, you never read in the same paragraph that its from a giant electronic game boy.
      Same can be said for Olympus. Never mind their desirable 2/12, 1.4/45, 9-18 or ep-3, they are never praised as being traditional with their 2.8/17.

    • Wanna save some money? Get an e-pl2. Seriously.

      Any extra money you have left over you should invested in at least one CCTV lens (25mm f1.4 , around $30USD) and a Canon FD 50mm f1.2 SSC (This will make for an *excellent* portrait lens – $300- $400) or get a standard FD 50mm f1.2 ($200 – $300). Also, you need to own the Panny 20mm f1.7. Seriously.

      These things are more important than the fancier, faster e-p3. If you had the e-pl2, I’d say wait. But, there are significant upgrades between the e-pl1 and e-pl2 which warrant the upgrade, not the least of which is the awesome LCD display and the improved controls (which pretty much carried over to the e-p3).

      What is a PEN, anyway?

      In my opinion, it best fills the niche as a modern equivalent of a manual, digital rangefinder camera.

      • Mr. Reeee

        Actually, I tried an EPL3 the other day with my Nokton 25mm. The Tilty Screen™ is very nice and well worth the price, unlike the EP3. Both cameras have the same guts, so why the big the price difference? A touch-screen?

        BTW, NONE of the non-built-in EVF M4/3 cameras are “rangefinder-style”. If you’ve never used a rangefinder camera, they have built-in viewfinders. Sadly all non-integrated EVF bearing M4/3 bodies are Point & Shoot style with interchangeable lenses. Rangefinder? Nope.

        That said, I look forward to the GX1, GFX1… whatever.

        • spam

          Sad really that they didn’t use the E-P3 screen on the E-PL3. Now you have to choose between good screen and tilting screen, and that’s why I’d rather have a G3.

          • Mr. Reeee

            Yep. You gotta wonder what they’re thinking over there at Olympus.

            The EP3 and EPL3 should BOTH have had Tilt AND Touch screens.
            Maybe hi-res on the EP3 alone for differentiation?
            The EPM1 is fine as a bottom-end unit. Still, a touch screen would have made sense for consistency… oh, but this is Olympus. Consistency isn’t in their vocabulary. A shame.

  • Sure.. guys just remember, it doesnt matter if Panasonic discovers a way to take hasselblad quality photos with M43, they WILL DELAY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS BECAUSE THEY ARE THE OFFICIAL PARTNERS OF THE 2012 OLYMPICS…as simply as that, any hot news will get x99999 times exposure if done during or just before the Olympics… they should be releasing at least a new product line just before the event.. thats for sure.

    Follow me @pipemoronv

    • frank

      A big reason for panasonic to come out with a really nice GF1 Pro and have Pro’s make pro pics of the Olympic then! I don’t like the Olympics, but I’d buy the GF1 Pro!

    • Bob B.

      So at least we can be assured that the GF PRo will shoot at least 20 frames per second to capture sporting events.
      For curling it is not so important.
      :-)

      • :)

      • Miroslav

        …and it’s a good thing they’re not sponsoring world chess championship :).

      • Leiya

        Oh, I happen to like curling. But you need an ultra wide angle to cover the whole… pitch? Do they call those things pitch? Field? Oh, hang on, isn’t curling the “icey” version of bowls that only Winter Olympics have but not the summer one?

      • Bob B.

        Actually if Panasonic is sponsoring the 2012 Olympics, all kidding aside, it would be the perfect backdrop to market the benefits of a global shutter if that is going to be announced. I am really in no hurry for that…I just want the L1 type rangefinder camera with a vastly improved sensor with more tonal range. Those two things are on the top of my list. With all of the pluses MFT has…the tonal range area is what Oly and Panny need to change to really compete with Sony, Nikon and all the other mirrorless cameras that are out there. That tonal range thing (blown highlights) is the one area that really needs addressing to put MFT over the top.

  • Duarte Bruno

    AVCHD 2.0 with 1080/50p(60p)?
    Great!
    Much improved EVF
    Even greater!
    Global Shutter?
    The dog’s bollocks!

    Now let’s hope they keep the MP and raise the DR and S/N ratio just a little, but sincerely if they really do the global shutter thing, then the limited DR will instantly be a non issue!

  • looks like Panny is resting on it’s laurels camera body wise , a bad habit to get into:-(

    • Nick

      Because they’re leaving the flagship on the market for 18 months?

      • @Nick
        their flagship wasn’t much of an upgrade from the GH1:
        just some extra pixels (to bring in those Nikon boys)
        slightly faster focusing (apparently)
        a bit more needless ISO
        touchscreen?
        buttons, dials and menus re-jigged hmmmmm…

  • Narretz

    Sure the nikons have a global shutter? not an electronic shutter?

  • sparedog

    the nikons dont have a global shutter. admin, please say where you got this information from,as i read that they have an electronic shutter but it is not global

    • Jim

      electronic is global – I think… its not line by line its the whole lot dumped into memory capacitors (on/under each pixel) and then read from there (maybe line by line) but the image will be captured all in one go!

      I think…. What is your understanding of electronic shutter?

      • david

        Any camera with a video mode is using an electronic shutter, but the existence of rolling-shutter artifacts shows that they’re generally not global. Since the flash sync speed of the J1 is only 1/60, it’s obviously not a real global shutter.

      • sparedog

        i think all panasonic m43 cameras use electronic shutters to capture video, the gf1 certainly does. but they are not global, hence the infamous jello effect everyone talks about.

  • I see FT5 and it evokes a Pavlov’s dog reaction. Doesn’t matter what the article is about.

    • spam

      Certainly not food

  • kesztió

    I think there are practically no chances that the GF7 or GX1 or whatever will have other sensors than the ones from GH2 or (more likely) the G3.

    Am I right, Admin?

  • Agrivar

    Hey.. I thought this is the 10th Anniversary of Lumix.. surely Panasonic will release something special

    @Admin.. you mentioned this before. Any rumors around this?

    • Narretz

      As I see it, the GF7 was planned to be announced as the 10th anniversary camera, but it was pushed back (probably because of the NEX-7). It definitely fits the bill as a special camera (as the L1 was).

  • Brod1er

    My guess is it will have the GH2 sensor to differentiate from EP3/G3/GF3. They are likely to include the improved EVF too in order to compete with NEX7. I think it will be sold with either the 14-42 X lens or the 25 Panaleica. If they get the form and controls right, this should fly. Unfortunately it seems we will have to wait for the GH3 for shutterless and new sensor tech. GH3 will be by next camera (currently GH1,GF3). the Oly 45f1.8 is mighty tempting too.

    • Steve

      I don’t think the improved EVF will be ready until the GH3 next year. I also suspect the GF7/X1 will get the G3 16mp sensor. Think of it as a G3 in a NEX7 format with better controls and it will cost a lot less than the NEX7. The key will be the manual controls and the optional kit lenses.

    • Renato M.

      I think it will have a new sensor, the least they could use would be the G3 sensor – it’s slightly better than the GH2 in high-ISO – but with multi-aspect, just like the GH2. I also think they can have those kits that you said and if they do everything right, they can ask for 1000$ for the X lens kit and 1200$ for the 25mm panaleica kit. I don’t think that global shutter would be a big deal for the GX1, if it can have at least the same video performance as the GH2, it will be fine. the one that will need to show something new in this area is the GH3. but I think they need to improve the DR and ISO performance in both GX1 and GH3.

      • Jim

        my money is on a G3 sensor – although I personaly reckon the GH2 is a tad better then the G3 sensor… It just keeps more detail at the top ISOs…

        • Mr. Reeee

          Yes and the multi-aspect aspect is a great feature!

          If only Panasonic could figure out a way to feature it in one of their kawaii photo chick ads. ;-)

          • Jim

            To illustrate high ISO performance I guess they would have to put it where the sun don’t shine…

    • Narretz

      But especially for the range-finder / NEX style camera, Panasonic needs a competative evf. And why not develop it for the camera that needs another implementation anyway? I bet my left ass cheek that they postponed the GF7 also because of the EVF. Let’s just hope that does not mean the sensor is (even more) outdated. I hope for improved GH2 sensor or a new 14 MP high dr sensor.

  • Leendert

    I’m an Olympus (Olympus e520) user but I’m almost certainly that my next cam is a Panasonic (I like the features of the G3).
    Hopefully I can buy a GFX1 in spring 2012. (With Panasonic 14-42mm X, 45-175mm X, 20mm F1.7 and new 45mm X pancake?? or m.Zuiko 45mm F1.8)
    When the GFX1 is a G3 with better EVF and design like the NEX 7: I’m very happy!

  • Renato M.

    I’m just wondering what they were able to improve on the GX1 within this 2 or 3 months delay. because before the NEX-7, Panasonic was almost ready to announce this new camera, but since the NEX-7 announcement they back it off a little bit. so I wonder what changed?

    • spam

      It was supposed to be called the “GX1 Pro” so they made a sticker to cover the Pro part of the name. There’s also a new real leather case that will make the sticker almost invisible.

  • Brod1er

    Maybe they are waiting for the new 12-35 lens – but more likely this will be launched with GH3. I suspect the delay was to re-engineer the EVF to match the Sony.

  • ArKersaint

    “I suspect the delay was to re-engineer the EVF to match the Sony.”

    Would be great !!!

    But would imply the “new EVF for GH3” being already achieved and, very unlikely be the right – small – size…

    I would rather see some sensor / processing improvement ?

    • safaridon

      A couple higher definition EVFs have been produced by other independant companies so no reason Pany could not get similar 0.5″ size 2.3MP EVF that Sony is using for both their NEX5N hotshoe mounted model as well as the inbody one for the NEX7?

      I would take a slightly smaller EVF with higher resolution than the present GH2 if that enables a much smaller space and EVF body in a mini L1.

  • @Admin: so, are you saying that the rumours concerning the GF7 and the GX1 are actually about the same camera?

    • Brod1er

      …….strangely they have never been seen together at the same time, which raises my suspicions. I reckon they could have got away with it if it wasn’t for you pesky kids!!! Yikes! let’s get out of here before I go 100% Scooby.

  • The Other Chris

    DAMNIT! WE NEED A NEW CAMERA BODY EVERY 6 MONTHS!

  • Stopkidding

    What does AVCHD 2.

  • Stopkidding

    What’s does AVCHD 2.0 give you that you already do with the current version? Will it improve you skills or abilities? For the 0.1% of the gh2 owners that actually shoot serious video on the gh2, it may be a dealbreaker but for the rest of us shoot crappy videos of ourkids and pets, AVCHD 2.0 will make absolutely no difference. This lust of checklist features must end

    • Then, GH1 or even G2 is enough, too.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      AVCHD was stone age old already in its birth with all that interlacing crap.

      Actually those moving targets are exactly the ones which need high enough progressive frame rate for smooth good quality video.

  • anon

    avchd 2.0 standardizes 50p and 60p for 1080p.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Too bad we’ll still need Vitaliy to hack cameras for getting reasonable bitrates because these consumer electronics crap standards seem to be made just for making sure consumer products don’t give too good video quality to endanger selling of lot more expensive dedicated (but with mostly same hardware inside) video cameras.
      Blu-ray doesn’t even include 50/60p, which doubles the size of image data to be compressed, but goes to 40Mbps while AVCHD 2.0 increased max bitrate from lowly 24Mbps only to 28Mbps which is even lower for the amount of image data.

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