Mr. Kitao Itirou (Panasonic) talks about the small GF2 and the next lenses…

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Mr. Kitao Itirou from Panasonic has been interviewed by DC.watch.impress. The text is in japanese and google translation does a terrible job here. The most interesting part of the Interview is at the end when Mr.Kitao talks about future products:

1) Mr.Kitao says they can design compact MicroFourThirds smaller than the Sony NEX cameras!

2) The next three lenses, the 25mm f/1.4 and the two bright zoom lenses will be both compact and high-quality lenses.

43rumors already told you the GF2 will be announced in January-February 2011 probably along the 25mm f/1.4 lens. The bright video zoom lens could be announced along the AG-AF100 in December. But that has to be confirmed by other sources…

Would be nice if one of our japanese friends could help us to translate the most interesting parts. To be sure I understood everything well…

Thanks!

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  • Do you think the GF2 will be something more high end (like leather grip, rotating LCD, and 1080p) or do you think it will be a more compact basic model? I personally would love something like the GH2 in a more compact form factor like the GF1 at the expense of the built in EVF (improved external EVF only).

    • adessio

      in fact i believe we’re going to see a ramification of the GF family, such as that that happened at the G family. we’ll have a thin line to fight against NEX camera’s, the traditional external EVF version and a compact rangefinder similar to EPL1 but with a internal EVF ;)

  • spanky

    “1) Mr.Kitao says they can design compact MicroFourThirds smaller than the Sony NEX cameras!”

    Great… Let’s fight for the right to make the most absurdly unusable camera ever! The NEX is already ridiculously sized, especially with large lenses on it. Might as well just build the camera into the lens at this point and sell the lenses themselves as self-contained cameras. The GF is already small, certainly too small for my hands. I guess that explains the line of pancake lenses they’re releasing.

    • jpydrg

      You may be right. Have however a look at these figures sales for the beginning of September in Japan:
      http://bcnranking.jp/category/subcategory_0008.html
      Now, you have the consumers answers. Panasonic is to go into that direction if they don’t want to become a marginal actor in the mirrorless cameras market by 2011-2012. Also recall that neither Canon nor Nikon is yet playing that game but that this is ought to change very soon.

      • spanky

        Two cautions about those charts:

        1. They’re for the Japanese market only. They have vastly different tastes, interests, and usage behaviors for cameras than those the rest of the world generally.

        2. Camera sales are the result of marketing efforts and robust production/distribution channels more than they are a result of actual technological prowess. That’s why you see Canon, Nikon, and Sony on that chart. They’re simply lightyears ahead in marketing their products than other companies, which leads to sales. THAT’s the big hurdle Panasonic needs to overcome.

        The problem a company like Panasonic has in being taken seriously as a camera company is that they treat their cameras as an extension of their television market. That explains their efforts on embedding good video in the GH1 and now the GH2, and also explains their push to 3D technologies for their cameras – it helps them sell TVs. That also means they don’t care as much about the stills capability in their cameras, which is evident. Maybe they know something the rest of us don’t, but it still doesn’t solve their marketing/production/distribution challenges.

      • Jules

        @spanky:

        An other caution about those charts:

        Don’t forget that NEX is fresh and new. Japanese are notorious for buying the latest. It is interesting to see how the GH-2 will figure once it hit the shelves.
        After all, G1 and GF1 scored pretty high on those same charts when they were respectively new. I don’t see why a new GF-2 would not to the same.

  • New algorithm in GH-2 to combat colour noise. In addition, 2 stops better around ISO1600 by use of a new 3D noise reduction technology.

    (カラーノイズを低減する処理が新アルゴリズムになった他、三次元デジタルNRを新規で採用することで、ISO1600相当くらいの感度設定で比較すると2段分くらい改善されます。)

    Going to higher ISOs, the effect is lessened down to about 1 stop improvement.

    (より高感度になるほど、徐々にノイズ処理による効果が薄れて1段分の改善に近付いていきます。)

    New bright zooms and 25mm f1.4 will be compact without sacrificing on quality. You should be satisfied with the quality and thin design of the new 14mm f2.8 lens as well.

    (たとえば、新しいレンズラインナップ25mm F1.4。 Zoom light.明るいズーム。詳細なスペックを出していないものもありますが、いずれもコンパクトかつ高画質なレンズになりますよ。新製品の14mm F2.8も、その薄さと画質に満足いただけるはずです。)

    As for the GF1 successor, we don’t have anything planned right now. Ther probably will be a successor, but one thing we can say is that our 2nd generation models will all be unique. The Micro 4/3 format allows us to make a variety of different types of cameras, so we are not limited to one way of thinking.

    DMC-GF1の後継に関しては、すぐに何かがあるわけではありません。いつかは後継機が登場するでしょうが、ひとつ言えるのは、2週目(それぞれの世代の第2世代機)は、どれも面白いユニークな機種にします。マイクロフォーサーズは設計の自由度が高く、さまざまなタイプのカメラを作る事ができる。考えられる方向は一つではありませんしね。

    • Thanks for the translation, my favorite part is “our 2nd generation models will all be unique. The Micro 4/3 format allows us to make a variety of different types of cameras, so we are not limited to one way of thinking.”

      We need some innovation and no requirement to make the camera tiny. A tiny model would be nice too, but I want something highly functional and solid feeling.

    • steve

      “New algorithm in GH-2 to combat colour noise. In addition, 2 stops better around ISO1600 by use of a new 3D noise reduction technology.”

      My concern is that the reduced noise is coming at the sacrifice of detail. I am only interested in the improvements to RAW.

    • all sounds really good, thanks for the translation…

    • jpydrg

      Do agree with both reactions. However quoted these numbers because I couldn’t help being impressed by the fact that BOTH of the new camera ranges (SLT with classical alpha mounts and NEX with smaller mounts) recently launched by Sony are extremely successful. I tend to believe that the mirrorless only (small mount) approach followed by Panasonic and Olympus is a very risky one. I just hope I am wrong but cannot help of being afraid by a market that looks much more unstable than the traditional DSLR one.

  • Henrik

    “2) The next three lenses, the 25mm f/1.4 and the two bright zoom lenses will be both compact and high-quality lenses.”

    Now that is surprising, no spectacular info straight from the source.

  • Ulli

    i wonder how compact the 25 mm 1.4 turns out to be.

  • Val

    I agree with @ MARCRAM, “highly functional and solid feeling.”
    The panasonic gf1 isn;t the same as the pen-2 feel ;-) That’s for sure…

  • is Mr. Kitao Itirou the upside down guy in the middle? :p

  • Eric

    Are they going to make a better clip on EVF for the GF2? If so, will the GF1 be able to take advantage of it?

    • Catastrophile

      GF2 will have a single LCD that is used both as a rear screen and as EVF. for the latter use, you’ll have to buy an optional “eye-cup” and that doesn’t need to be from Panasonic, it can be bought with any standard eye-wash from a drugstore.

      this might be annoying to the EVF fans, but is a relief to many other parties:
      1) your eyes thanks to the eye wash.
      2) panasonic, because from now on they only need to worry about a single LCD.
      3) EVF haters, who hate having to accept the bulk/weight/cost of the EVF or any side-effects of having a port for it included in the design.
      4) the drugstore gets to sell more of the eye-wash.

  • phil

    any information about the bright video lenses? will it be the 12-75mm?

    • admin

      Not yet Phil :(

  • “As for the GF1 successor, we don’t have anything planned right now.” and “January-February” contradict a bit, don’t they?…

    • Might be another source that said so. The interview was as I translated it – nothing right now.

      • No, your translation seems to be correct, thanks for it. I just wanted to point out that we have uncertanty again :(
        I like GF1 and would like to buy it, but at the same time I do not want to spend money on it and in a couple of month, there is a new “compact version of GH2 – GF2″…

  • Dun

    It seems like they mainly relied on heavier noise reduction algorithms instead of improving their sensors for GH2.

    • Seems so – the first actual reviews will be interesting.

      • spam

        Most improvements comes from better processing. The sensors also get better, but in much smaller steps.

        • spanky

          Yes and no. Most real improvements always come from hardware. Software/firmware can only do so much given the hardware available. Panasonic engineers haven’t proven that they can make significant IQ improvements in software without washing out a lot of detail at higher ISOs (see G2, LX5, FZ100…). The focus for a new camera should always be on improving the hardware first, then using firmware upgrades to improve on that until the new model camera come out.

          • adessio

            the release of GH2 talks about a new sensor technology…

          • spam

            I think we mostly agree, but Panasonic has improved their noise processing tremendously since their worst period with FZ50. Today I’d say they are among the best at noise reduction. The results are not pretty at 100%, but scaled down to a normal print size they look at least as good as the competition. The FZ100 is an exception, the IQ is not as good as on the FZ38, but that’s likely because of the switch from CCD to CMOS which seem to cause problems on allmost all small sensor cameras.

            Also, improved noise reduction is also a function of faster/better hardware as it permit better processing.

  • Tell Mr.Kitao that we don’t want a petite girly camera like the NEX5 (no bashing, this post was written in humor, partly)

    • girl

      +1

    • shutterwill

      Exactly.
      The gf1 is small enough.
      I actually like gf1 form factor more than the NEX, since there is more room for better electronics, and most importantly, the popup flash.

      • +1. GF1 is a perfect combination of size and option. Though I would not resist a GH2 in GF1 body :)

        Nex is nice to have with you, but seems that not very nice to operate.

        • spam

          There is no perfect size. Olympus/Panasonic should IMO also make one model as small as they possibly can. Obviously that would be smaller than the NEX-5 as the sensor is smaller, and the lenses are already smaller. They have the potential for building the smallest interchangeable lens camera, and it’s always a market for that.

          That doesn’t mean that they should stop making something GH-sized or GF-sized. I could certainly see myself buying a GH2, but not a GH2 and a GF1. A GH2 and something really small would be tempting though.

  • kaine

    Hey Admin, had any rumors on a m43 teleconverter or a m43 full frame focal reducer? Also any news on Canon Lenses working with aperture and autofocus on m43 bodies? Cheers

    • adessio

      i don’t know why they haven’t thought of that yet!

      • spam

        The MFT lenses you’d want to use a TC on is mostly so slow that a TC will make them next to unusable.

        • kaine

          You could use the teleconverter with any camera system lens mount, Nikon, Canon, Leica etc. I need a telecovnerter to replace my 4/3 teleconverters that do not work with M43. If they want to attract the pro market at any point they will need teleconverters.

  • Mark

    Where do they talk about the small GF2?

  • dts

    two new bright lenses, well this at least means f2.8 or better, maybe even the rumored f2.5??? good news as long as they don’t forget OIS and keep the price reasonable ;o)

  • Jesper

    Why do they keep using “bright”? Is it because of the japanese translation?

    • Jesper

      or maybe don’t want to get mixed up with af speed? Fast VS Bright

    • Archer

      Just a common way of talking about lenses.

  • Kosta

    Yeh i think they refer to the lens as bright as the large aperture lets in more light, as opposed to allowing a “Faster” shutter speed. And to not confuse with af speed etc.

    i like the gf1 size body, i wouldn’t want much smaller for an ILC. The Nex felt so unbalanced in my hand it would be so difficult to do one handed shooting with that zoom lens on it!
    I hear great things about the NEX and i think Sony are just really clever at designing something people will want, because it’s different. M4/3 (other than the E-p1/2 designs) don’t look much different to slightly smaller slrs. That’s why the Japanese market share compared to NEX and dslrs doesn’t appear that great.

    but from an E-pl1 owner’s point of view, it’s nice to see the e-pl1 as the top m4/3 camera in Japan. (I love Japan!)

    on a side note – would be nice to see a firmware update to do AEB shots +-2EV! that should be an easy fix no?

  • Steve H

    I want the GH2 sensor and video capabilities in the weather sealed E-5 body with the TruePic5+ engine, open firmware, and wireless capabilities.

    All the technology is there… Someone build it! In a body that can use my 12-60 and 50-200 SWD lenses. Hell, and the 14-140 video lens as well.

  • George

    at the end of the day when you decide to buy a camera price becomes probably the most important factor. Does Panosonic really think that they can compete with nikon d7000 with almost for the same price???
    I can’t believe they keep doing and doing such stupid things.
    2 years passed since g1 release and we still do NOT have a 45-50mm fast prime.
    I preordered gh2 couple of days ago but canceled it today. I realy need to think. I am a huge fan of m4/3 but man i feel i am getting ripped of by Panasonic

    • Jesper

      I agree, some may say, hey Panasonic’s M4/3 is still growing, which leads to the crazy-pricing, margin etc. But look at Pentax, that’s is a small company which knows how to put nice gadget in a camera and at the same time a nice pricetag on it. Panasonic stop being so snobbish, low the price let more ppl in, lenses are the real milkcows

      • Kosta

        Agreed. They should hang on to the hardware a little longer and put out some good lenses to take advantage of the hardware they havE! rather than just push out new hardware that people want better lenses for. they will saturate the market with bodies so that when the lenses come out the demand is high and they can charge whatever they want.
        i hope this is not the case!

  • marilyn

    thats not a crappy news… wow news for me clap clap for panasonic….
    BOOHoho for Olympus….

  • Bright zooms? Great.
    But where is my bright 50mm lens?

  • Ulli

    Miklos….its on the Olympus roadmap…hopefully next year :-)

  • fullbeam

    There are enough weeny cameras around. Make the GF2 slightly bigger if it includes a viewfinder like the Fuji X100!

  • BBernhardt

    I think it would definately make sense for panasonic to build the smallest ILC. It will sell, and really push the name!
    I see it also as a broadening of the GF line. The GF2 being the small LX5 type camera packaged with 14mm lens, and then a GL camera that includes integrated EVF and flash, in a more GF1, rangefinder style, most likely marginally larger. Hopefully with a little more retro flare aswell, aka X100!
    This would be awesome on both counts!

  • Milt

    I agree with BBernhardt. A tough choice between those two kinds of cameras. Would want both!

  • gekopaca

    NOW WE DEMAND A FUJIFILM X100 WITH A MFT MOUNT or something like that…
    AND QUICKLY!!!!
    OTHERWISE WE WILL GET ANGRY!!!!

  • Imagine if the rumor of a 12-75mm, f/2.5 to f/3.3 lens were to ever become true. I still don’t think it possible to make such a lens small enough to be in line with other Micro 4/3rds lenses but this would definitely be a very, very big accomplishment.

  • dts

    “12-75mm, f/2.5 to f/3.3” with OIS priced under 500dollars and you’ve got the perfect allround lens ;o)

  • Garland

    12-35mm f2.0 –> 24-70 f2 35mm equiv will be a serious headturner from DSLR crowd. Panasonic needs to step up their Intrigue Level. They have created a market sector with serious possibilities. The other focal lengths that I like to see:

    150mm f2.0 (35mm equiv ; 300mm f2.0!!!)
    Imagine what would this do. Mount this on a compact GF1 with upgraded frame rate 5-6fps. Would sports people lug around their 3kg 300mm prime anymore?

    100mm f2.8 Macro (35mm equiv 200mm Macro)

    300mm f5.6 (35mm equiv 600mm f5.6)
    For wildlife & birding crowd

    Ultrawide zoom crowd is already pleased with the truly excellent 7-14mm
    At last, no more soft corners at f4! I love my 7-14mm. Bravo Panasonic!!
    I’ve had enough waiting for Canon to fix their lousy ultrawide lenses with soft
    corners!

    The upcoming 25mm f1.4 would make low light/portrait shooters jubilant
    Thanks you Panasonic !!! I almost certainly will get that one, for sure, 100%
    confirmed.

  • Great Dane

    Garland: You can already get a quite small 300mm f5.6 lens albeit with manual focus for Canon FD format… It is a nice lens and using such a design with the added bulk of AF and OIS would make for a nice lens… Now they then only need to do something really serious about AF speeds to bring it in line with more professional systems and we have a winner…

  • visitor

    yes please make something, anything. i hope to see more cripples from Cannot next year. I’m ready to switch to panasonic.

  • Kitao Itirou from Panasonic has been interviewed by DC. The text is in japanese and google translation does a terrible job here. The most interesting part of the Interview is at the end when Mr. Also recall that neither Canon nor Nikon is yet playing that game but that this is ought to change very soon. Japanese are notorious for buying the latest. I am only interested in the improvements to RAW. I just hope I am wrong but cannot help of being afraid by a market that looks much more unstable than the traditional DSLR one. Most real improvements always come from hardware. If they want to attract the pro market at any point they will need teleconverters. And to not confuse with af speed etc. they will saturate the market with bodies so that when the lenses come out the demand is high and they can charge whatever they want. A tough choice between those two kinds of cameras. Panasonic needs to step up their Intrigue Level. They have created a market sector with serious possibilities. i hope to see more cripples from Cannot next year. You can also create an account. She ask you to stop filming many times. I am not interested in lenses that. Please visit their official websites by typing the specific brand name and adding . All trademarks and brands belong to their respective owners.Hey i do like the post it is very nice . I do read this and enjoyed it let me know if you post any new.

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