Panasonic has no plan to make cameras with built-in stabilization! No PRO camera(s) coming :(


The polish website Optyczne (Click here) interviewed Mister Michiharu Uematsu from Panasonic. The most interesting points are:

1) When asked why they made use of a 16 Megapixel sensor for the GH2 he answered: “Mainly it is our response to market needs. In the future we want to balance the sensor and optics capabilities.“. So will Panasonic not participate the Megapixel race anymore?

2) And here is the reaosn why you want never see a Panasonic camera with built-in stabilization: “So far, no plans to assemble in a body-stabilized matrices. When recording movies acting to stabilize the matrix generates unnecessary noise on the soundtrack, and increases power consumption, and for all of our equipment we want efficient energy consumption.

3) Panasonic is also aware that there is a need of more video zoom lenses (like the Panasonic 14-140mm) but they will NOT introduce a PRO camera :(

Correction: Gogole translation tool made a huge mistake. Panasonic will NOT(!) make a Pro camera (gogole translation tool didn’t add the “not” word).

  • If they really wanted to lower power consumption that much, they could have kept the eye-sensor on the G3…

    • alexander

      ha ha..exactly!

    • I understand that some people need it, but the eye sensor was turned off since day 1 i’ve used my gh1,
      it is really irritating when one wants to use LCD for composition from waist/level

      • Duarte Bruno

        I understand that, but if you dig deep enough on the DPREVIEW forums you should find some easy to follow instructions to reduce the sensitivity of the GH1 eye sensor in a way that it won’t fire that easily in the situation you mention.

        • Mr. Reeee

          Yes, the eye sensor can be handy, but the way I use it, it was a hindrance.

          So, I reduced the eye sensor sensitivity on my GH2, but the damn thing STILL kept shutting off at odd times when shooting at waist level, which is about 35% of my shooting. 60% I use the EVF. When I use the EVF I flip the screen toward the body.

          That said, it should have been included on the G3, since it is useful.

      • mahler

        You made a big mistake, not using the eye sensor.

        Besides that, there is no reason to drop this feature, if some some (a few) don’t like it. Especially, if you design a camera, that is even more touchscreen centric than the predecessor, the eye sensor is even more important for a camera with build-in view finder.

        The omission of the eye sensor, kept away from even considering a purchase of that camera.

        The eye sensor was the reason, I was finally convinced that the G1 was a usable camera. This brought me into m4/3.

        • Diane B

          How or when do you use the LCD if you use the EVF?? Many are unaware that if you are using the EVF and want to review on the LCD that you imply set “LCD play” to ON in menu and it automatically switches to the LCD for review as soon as you press the review button if you have the LCD turned out. . I’m as happy without the sensor and this setup as with the G1 and the sensor. Also, if you are using the EVF and decide to use the LCD, when you open it, it switches to the LCD from the EVF–automatically. Works for me fine.

          I think there are a lot of options that people haven’t explored or don’t have a G3 so don’t know they are available. I keep hearing abut no AEL/AFL button. This is a button I use all the time–I’m a longtime Canon shooter with exposure and AF separated. I would be very unhappy without this. I set my Fn 2 button (bottom) to AEL and its more ergonomically comfortable than with the top row button on the G1. Put my Q menu on the touch screen where its easier to use and not settings I change or use often. One needs to set up the camera to suit–and take some time to get the 2 Fn buttons and 4 custom settings via dial plus the touch screen optimal for individual use. I changed my settings several times until everything felt comfortable and easy to use daily.


          • mahler

            Sure there are a lot of options to configure the G3. But for AE-Lock you now have to sacrifce already one Fn button.

            With my GH2, I have configured the upper FN-button for spot metering (which I use in combination with the AE-Lock button) and the other two for other stuff, which is important to me. So, the G3 clearly has less options.

            As to the loss of the eye sensor, my feeling is that there is more need to go to the touch screen in order to change settings, such as drive mode and others. Thus, the eye sensor, would add a lot of comfort for the camera’s use. The engineers should have improved the often criticized sensitivity of the eye sensor, instead of removing it.

            The point is, if it was really necessary to omit that many features from the G3, which were the “trademarks” of the G bodies. Eye sensor and AE-Lock could have stayed without difficulty in the smaller G3 body. For people, who did not use or like the eye sensor, it was always possible to disable it.

            Additionally, the GH2 followed the G2 design. Now I am afraid thata GH3 could follow the new G3 concept.

      • I agree, the eye sensor sounds like a great feature until you use it. I’ve had my GH2 since last fall and even though I set it to the lowest sensitivity, it is too annoying to leave it on.

    • I haven’t ever touched the LCD/LVF button on my G3 – despite the fact that I use heavily both the LCD and LVF.

  • alexander

    I prefer built in stabilazion!!!! Because the lenses getting SMALER! Thats why I buy m43… Anyway a second Accu is a must.

    • DanL

      Yep, that’s why I just preordered an Olympus outfit.

    • How about E-P3 can cause jelly shake on video when IS is on? Maybe firmware update can solve this problem, but I feel recording video with IS on can make more heat on sensor.

      • WT21

        Oly doesn’t use mechanical IBIS during video. They use a software crop approach for IS (so, software IS).

    • mahler

      So lenses like the 100-300mm or the 14-45mm or the PL 45mm are not small? Too big? Give me a break!

      • odsagn

        Olys are smaller. Some are collapsible.

        Its a relative statement – meaning smaller than Pannys, generally speaking.

  • I’m personally really excited for a 12.1 MP camera with good dynamic range and low noise ISO. Even if they stayed at 16.8 and just improved the sensor there it would be fine. For me though those 2 things are far more important that a few megapixels.

  • WT21

    I think that’s fine. It’s great to have two approaches in the same format — lens IS for movies, body IS for stills and more compact.

    A GH + m43 lens is still MUCH smaller than a DSLR (have you seen the new a77 beast?

    • Mr. Reeee

      I saw the A77 on display at Adorama yesterday. It’s a monster!

  • @Admin
    sonyalpharumors posted a new topic about Samyang will be sell new manual 24mm f/1.4 lens. It will be in Stock by end of this year and included Four Thirds mounts.

    • MikeH

      Is that a basketball or a prime lens attached to the A77?

  • Guy McLoughlin

    We need Pro bodies and Pro lenses as soon as possible.

    I think it’s a great idea for Panasonic to put out a M4/3 compact consumer line, and a separate M4/3 Pro line with fast IS lenses and rugged camera bodies.

  • Guy McLoughlin

    >>>A GH + m43 lens is still MUCH smaller than a DSLR (have you seen the new a77 beast? )

    I love the size of the A77 and hope that Panasonic produces something similar. We need a heavy duty pro body in the $2,000+ range, and lenses to match.

    • Pro doesn’t have to be big. Until Nikon introduced the F4 pro 35mm bodies weren’t big. In fact even after the F4 was announced a good number of pros kept on using the smaller F3. I think about the right size for a pro m4/3’s body would be something along the lines of an Olympus OM-4. Make it tough, weather sealed, super fast AF, very fast flash sync (all m4/3’s bodies so far have had really slow sync speeds), good battery life, and give the option of a battery grip for those such as yourself that want something even larger.

      • Frederick Hew

        The F3 was a very nice camera (mine had a motor drive and HP prism), but it was not weather sealed nor was it the fastest or most advanced camera Nikon had at the time. The F4 introduced AF as well as new standards for a pro body. In many ways it is the prototype of all pro SLRs to this day. It was also much more expensive.

        I think a pro Panasonic camera it will be more of a luxury item than a mean machine. It will be designed to resemble a Leica, not a Nikon F3. This is what the users are asking for, isn’t it? A Leica look alike to make them proud . It will be bundles with the 25/1.4 that bears the Leica logo, and I’m sure you will be able to get an ever-ready leather case for it, oh what fun!

        In fact, Panasonic does not have to add one new feature, just include an EVF and change the styling a bit. It will definitely not have weather sealing as none of the lenses are weather sealed (and neither are Leicas).

      • Esa Tuunanen

        Of course Pro doesn’t have to automatically mean house brick size but neither is other extreme sensible.
        Battery grip can do only very little to correct those flaws in ergonomy and controls caused by obsessively tiny size of every single m4/3 bodies. (especially when connected to oversize LCD)

        Or do you think Canon would retain its pro and enthusiast customers if it decided to stop making bodies above 600D and start calling it as their new high end body?
        Would probably earn calling name of corporative seppuku…

  • Bob B.

    It is too bad that Panasonic and Olympus do not have the same image stabilization platform…. Then the interchangeability of lenses between the two manufacturers would be more fluid and increase everyone’s choices.

    • alexander

      That is True!!!! Pana should took the in house stabilisation… ;-)

  • > When recording movies acting to stabilize the matrix generates unnecessary noise on the soundtrack

    So cameras without video/people who shoot mostly/only stills are simply non-existent?

    Panasonic, you went a long way to call many people a “nobody.”

    • MikeH

      You set up that strawman all by yourself, he said nothing of the sort.

      People who shoot stills and videos with the same device are more and more common. Remember the good old silent movie days? Yeah… Well when people could film and add an audio track, those talkies sure took off.

      • > You set up that strawman all by yourself, he said nothing of the sort.

        Yeah, he said nothing of the sort. He just bluntly implied that it is impossible to turn off the IBIS.

        Incompetent marketing talk is incompetent.

  • Rick D

    I hadn’t picked up that anybody was predicting Panny would go IBIS. That would seem like a strange reversal from their longtime preference for OIS.

    It is what keeps me on the Oly side of the ledger, however.

    • Mike

      Dual Stabilization would be great! The camera could decide which systems is more efficient depending on Video or still, focal length, shutter time and so on…

      • flash

        Using some Pan lens on the Oly you get dual or triple if you include “video”.

        • Mike

          Exactly this should be possible automatically! A Firmware Upgrade should be enough to add this function.

  • Carnage

    There is error in translation!
    They DON’T plan to introduce such product in the near future :((

    • omox

      exacly, panasonic has no plan to introduce pro body in near future.

    • Yes! Again google translation doing funny things…

      I don’t speak Polish, but “nie planujemy” can only mean that they have “no plans”.

  • I still don’t buy the whole in-lens OIS is better argument. First off, for those photographers among us, we simply don’t care about image stabilization for video. Secondly, there is a very simple solution for video; in-body stabilization has this thing called an on/off switch. What one would do is simply turn the in-body stabilization to the off position, then use a stabilized lens. It’s magic I tell you!

    They could then make a few lenses designed specifically for video with OIS, power zoom, and other crap photographers don’t need; then make all other lenses smaller and cheaper by leaving OIS out of them.

    • DanL


    • Frederick Hew

      Isn’t this just like saying Olympus should add OIS in their lenses despite including IBIS in their camera bodies? Both can be turned on and off. Sure, you could have both, but are you willing to pay for it?

      Panasonic has been developing professional and amateur video equipment way way before (micro) 4/3 ever existed. Video is definitely their top priority, but they are not doing such a bad job in still either.

      • I wouldn’t mind if Olympus created a few video specific lenses, so yes, it can go both ways. It could be a good idea to do what Canon does with some lenses, offer two versions of the same lens, one with OIS, one without. A 12-60mm f/2.8-4 would be a logical first choice.

      • I agree with Eric. At least for mirrorless systems the in-body stabilization is a great option. Not long ago Nikon explained why in-lens was better with quite irrelevant arguments (image stabilized in viewfinder was the only one that made sense, but only for DSLRs, not for mirrorless). However, they forgot to mention the cons:

        – Bigger, more expensive lenses
        – Optical compromises
        – Most of the times the lenses I like just don’t have IS! So it’s in-body IS vs. nothing.

        As for paying twice for those who prefer OIS for video, why not? They would pay for the lenses the same if they want to use it with a camera without IBIS, and cameras with IBIS have about the same price as those without of similar category, so it really comes for free.

        It is just either greed, or stupidity, or who knows what other obscure reason that keeps some manufacturers from adding IBIS to their cameras.

  • Alfons

    I always thought in-body IS would save energy, as it is only working when exposing the image.

  • Jon

    This is what annoys me about Panasonic…they put video before stills. Just market their damn AF-100 to all the videographers and give us proper still cameras.

    • +1

      I would be interested to see what percentage of people use these cameras mainly for video vs mainly for stills. I’m probably just an old fart at this point, but I imagine the vast majority are still using them as stills cameras first, video second.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        It’s lot easier to take good stills than almost useless video in ordinary situations because getting good video would require lot more planning.
        And can’t see human evolve to remove that need to plan disadvantage of video any soon so for anyone with any sense stills are going to stay as main method.

        And for possible noises of stabilization I think there are already quite efficient processing methods going in compacts for removing noise of zoom motor…
        IIRC button zoom cameras even disabled zooming during video earlier because of that noise problem. (don’t know for sure because never used such P&S toys)
        That’s if incompetence of Panasonic’s engineers is preventing them from figuring out how to enable selecting between stabilization of body and lens.

    • Mr. Reeee

      So which Panasonic M4/3 camera isn’t a proper stills camera? So, Sony, Nikon,Canon, Olympus, Pentax cameras aren’t legitimate because they also do video?

      Video is a popular, big selling feature today. To ignore it would be just plain dumb. Whether you like it or not is another issue. Device convergence has been happening in almost every area of computing, electronics, audio and video. Look what our computers can do vs. 10 years ago. Look at everything iPhone or iPad are capable of. Look at cameras from dinky P&S to full-frame DSLRs.

      Panasonic rightly touts their long history of producing video cameras. Panasonic also has a partnership with Leica which in some respects legitimizes and gives them major stills cred. Both these things have clout with more than a few potential customers.

      If someone is interested in doing some video along with shooting stills, wouldn’t better quality video, video codecs and more efficient file formats be more than a little appealing to quite a few customers? Maybe not all, but I think so.

    • Dang! So my GH-2 is improper for stills after all!

  • sam

    Good, I really don’t see the point with stabilisation except with extreme telephoto lenses, especially if having it built in means constraints placed on far more useful features as outlined in the statement.

    If you are shooting video at 1080p handheld and you need stabilisation just do it in post and output at 720p. Or shoot on a tripod or steady camera.

    I really want to see what the GH3 and GF1 mk II will bring to m4/3. I do have to say Panasonic seem to know what they are doing with the system but they are far better at being proactive rather than reactive.

  • Luke

    excuse me admin, but what does the (s) mean after camera in the title? Is there going to be ANOTHER “pro” camera besides the gf7?

  • Christoph

    admin, I see different “filters” at work here for FT and mFT…

    If Olympus says something (especially regarding FT) it’s interpreted in the worst possible way and questioned or just dismissed.

    If Panasonic says something, instead of “they don’t give us more MP” it’s interpreted in a positive way. (I don’t know about the translation error regarding the pro body)

    New FT lenses (even if MF) aren’t even mentioned anymore? :(

  • Miroslav

    What a stupid reason to dismiss IBIS. Those managers should know better. Anyway, for me it’s still no IBIS = no buy. On the other hand, kudos to Pana’s effort on the lens front.

    • +1
      I shot 4/3 both without and with IBIS , the difference was substantial.

      In Micro when one works with unstabilised pancakes, or legacy lenses it is even more important. With shorter lenses my camera becomes too light, and I don’t generally use the EVF, so pictures are inevitably spoiled by handshake.

      That IBIS wastes energy and generates heat, might be true, but by a miserable extent, since it kicks in only before a shot.

      I suppose therefore that the choice happened because of Panny’s video culture. But for stills, nothing can replace it.

      Note too that when reviewers berate Olys sensitivity to low light, they always forget to mention that in many shots, IBIS provides a 3 stops difference with cameras that are not stabilised.

      That is one of the reasons why experienced Oly shooter never worry too much about High ISO and noise.

    • ha

      Looks like Panasonic isn’t counting on you…

      Pana looks at it this way:
      – IBIS isn’t very suitable for video (and Panasonic knows the video stuff)
      – IBIS needs space
      – IBIS needs power and produces heat
      – Power and heat are a problem in a small body
      So adding IBIS without drawbacks would be hard and costy.
      And of course all Panasonic cams are OIS, so they would need to create IBIS for m43 line just to please very few people. So buy Oly, it’s cheaper for them if Oly sells these cams.

      • Perhaps you are unable to read or to understand an argument before replying?

        I also deduce that you have no experience whatsoever of Oly cameras. An illiterate fanboy is just what we need.

        Why do they always come from the other camp? Did they even go to school?

        Perhaps they buy Panny because they think that they are simpler cameras? :)

        • Frederick Hew

          An aggressive response does not make up for not having anything sensible to say. Actually he was right – Panasonic emphasizes on video, this is where the company comes from. With that in mind OIS makes more sense.

          IBIS is perfect for stills, but so so for video. It doesn’t so much generate heat as prevents the sensor to be coupled to an efficient heat dissipation system by means of sinks or pipes.

          Oly, with its focus on stills photography, did well to add IBIS to all its cameras. The only problem is not all their design choices make as much sense. This is a kind way to say that they seem to be releasing one flawed product after another… very disappointing when considering it was a company that represented innovation and excellence in engineering and design.

      • Miroslav

        Look short sighted their “no IBIS because of video” philosophy is: when they make bright standard zoom with OIS, I’ll have video lens for my Olympus body and won’t ever look at their camera range. And I’m not the only one.

        • Miroslav

          That should start with “Look how short…” :)

  • The Eye

    Never trust gogole. ;-) So, all that talk about a Panasonic pro model in the pipeline just went up in flames?

    • Frederick Hew

      comment deleted

  • anonymous

    It’s not the first time google translate japanese to complete contrary meanings.

    I suggest you use babylon (I can’t recall correct name) to translate japanese

  • spam

    Panasonc are saying exactly what they’ve said and done since MFT was launched. Still people are discussing PRO models and IBIS all the time.

    Of course they wont make a pro model in the foreseeable future. They can’t compete there and Panasonic know this, hopefully Olympus kow it too, or at least understand it before they waste a lot of money on some expensive and gigantic mft camera with superb weaterproofing and the same old 12MP sensor they like so much.

    No pro model don’t mean that Panasonic and Olympus wont make some higer spec MFT camera though. IMO they could and should offer something with a bit higher build quality. A real GF1 replacement, metal body GH3 and a E-620 MFT replacement from Olympus are some options that seem logical for me.

  • The common feature that users have been asking for in many sites from O&P is a built in EVF in the high tier camera. I think that the X100 showed the way. Imagine when the ILS version is introduced.

    So assuming that O&P will respond the problem becomes: how to keep the camera small and rangefinderish? The X100 lives on because of its optical component, the electronic part is much smaller than the VF-2. Will therefore a smalller version be used without spoiling the size of the new camera?

    And what is the price people are prepared to pay? IMHO even the X100 price would dampen many enthusiasms.

    And yet for the advancement of m4/3* as a whole* (trolls forbid) such a camera must be attempted. Then we’ll see the difference between those who brag, and those who are really prepared to fork good money.

    Say more or less the X100 price, for a camera which cannot be much larger. As a reference try to visualise a suitable body for the 12/2 or the 25/1.4, They could be the kit lenses.

    • $1200 is a perfectly acceptable price for an enthusiast camera. Heck, I just paid $800 for a single lens. Nikon sells a ton of D7000’s for around $1200. The catch is a m4/3’s enthusiast/pro camera better offer exactly what the D7000 does in a much smaller body if they expect people to pay over $1000.

    • Mr. Reeee

      $1200 wouldn’t be all that expensive for a higher-end M4/3 body. The GH2 gets pretty damn close at $900. Higher res EVF and LCD, like what’s been rumored in the NEX-7, would be great. I don’t really have much preference of body style as long as it does what I want, has an EVF and articulated LCD.

      For me, the lenses are what the system is about, at least as much camera bodies. Yeah, I have a couple of $800+ lenses, too, but that’s beside the point. I buy lenses for the long haul, like SLR bodies used to be. Digital cameras seem more like temporary purchases.

      BTW, the EVF in the X100, VF-2 and G3 are all 1.44 megapixels (800 x 600). The GH2 EVF if 1.55MP (860+/- x 600)

  • Daemonius

    No pro camera from company that made L1? Thats a HUGE mistake..

    • spam

      L1 was a Olympus E-330 in a better quality body, and it came with a good kit lens. I wanted one for the unique manual controls, but featurewise it was entry level and image quality wasn’t even competitive with the cheapest Canons of the time.

  • popeye

    what does it mean? “not pro camera ” mean that no more GF7 in the future? or not an big pro dslr camera? i’m a bit confused .

    • spam

      Pro isn’t a clearly defined class, but many review sites, manufacuteres, magazines etc would call Canon 7D and Nikon D300s the low end of the pro category. Some would include Pentax K5 and maybe Olympus E-5 too. There are also some difficult to define cameras like Leica M and S, medium format models etc that definetly is pro models.

      There are also models that can compete with the pro ones in some areas, but lack the complete feature set that defines pro models. One example is GH2 which can compete well on videofunction, but lacks the frames per second, AF-tracking, buffer size, build quality etc of a typical pro dSLR. Another example is Sony’s A55 which support pretty high frame rate and have a good video mode, but not much else.

      IMO the GF1 was a typical, but fairly low end enthusiast model. A replacement for that, GF7 or whatever with or without built in viewfinder would still be an enthusiast model. I really can’t see what Pansonic could do to change that.

  • beavis

    GH2 is good enough for me. I don´t need “professional” price. I need video optimised 20mm/1,7 pancake with faster autofocus and really flat picture profile for video postproduction.

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