VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Adjustment of the large sensor compact camera rumor

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Weeks ago we posted a rumor about a possible large sensor compact camera with fixed lens (Like the Sigma DP2 or Leica X1). This rumor came from two known sources and two new sources. That’s why we posted it with a very high FT4-FT5 value. For 3-4 days I have been talking with many sources because we are receiving conflicting reports about that camera. And finally the clouds are gone and the sky is clear:

It seems that some of the trusted sources received pieces of WRONG information. When we post a rumor with FT5 value we do that because a (trusted and reliable) source claims to have seen specs and/or the camera. That happened but apparently some of the sources made a BIG mistake. For obvious privacy reasons we can’t tell you what happened but I hope you will understand that I did post the rumor with my most honest intentions. So what did happen? Their pieces of information were correct but the combination of the single puzzle pieces have led to a wrong picture. The truth seems to be the following:

1) The LX5 is coming by the end of July and not by the end of August -> ok…that’s even better :)
2) The compact camera with large sensor will be announced early September (and not now). The compact camera won’t have a fixed lens! It is a MFT camera. And yes, it is the most nice camera Panasonic ever produced (that’s subjective…but everybody told me so!)
3) There is still a surprise going to be announced by late July…after the LX5 announcement! We are working on it, but I can already tell you that a relative compact camera with advanced video capabilities is going to be released.

Sorry again for the confusion, but I hope you understand that these things can happen when you are dealing with rumors.

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  • Javi V.

    I was right about the large sensor camera… It was the only thing that made sense to me.

    Now let´s see what Panasonic can offer us!

  • Javi V,
    Glad you are right, because releasing a fixed lens m43 goes against the idea of m4/3 and would couse uncertainty about the future of the format,
    i for once would like to see pana/oly commit to 4/3 future and investing resources in lenses as well cameras and not stand alone systems,
    that was a very illogical rumor indeed, try to imagine nikon or canon releasing a fixed lens edition of eos 550d

  • jak0b

    The compact camera, that is going to be announced in September, could it be a GF 2?
    It would make sense, right? The GF1 was released after the GH1 and the GH2 would be announced (available?) at photokina.

  • JR

    Hmmm…. I thought the term ‘compact’ camera was normally used for a small(ish) camera that does not have an interchangeable lens. So when you say “The compact camera won’t have a fixed lens” this sounds like a contadiction – do you mean that it won’t have an interchangeable lens or that it won’t have a fixed focal length lens? (both the DP2 and the X1 compacts that you quoted have fixed focal length lenses!). It would be possible for the new large format sensor compact to NOT have a fixed focal length lens but instead to have a fixed (i.e. non-interchangeable) zoom lens. However, I assume that you do really mean that it will be a compact camera with an interchangeable lens??

    • admin

      Hi JR!
      Yes, it is small….very small. And this time I do not believe I will be wrong. Panasonic officially said that they are working on it!

      • admin

        It will have an interchangeable lens mount!

  • hannes

    yeah, changeable lenses makes much more sense!

  • MK

    aww shucks admin we still love you. 4/3 rumors will always be my pimp! unless nikon makes its 17mm interchangeable announcement. do you mind sharing me with NR admin?

    • admin

      Hi Mk!

      You don’t know how much I hate to give you false hopes or false informations. I really didn’t sleep well in this days. But I also was happy that the camera will have an interchangeable lens mount. It makes more sense to me. By the way I rarely heard my sources so much excited. It will be something special…

  • JR

    That is a shame since what I want is a decent quality portable camera that will fit in a pocket when I am not able to carry my SLR. I was hoping for a four thirds digital equivalent of my old Canon Z70W 35mm camera which had the following specs:
    * Lens: 28-70mm f/5.6-7.8. Zoom retracts fully into the body.
    * Autofocusing with Ai-AF beam that uses an angle appropriate for the zoom length.
    * Shutter speeds from 2-1/590s.
    * Multiple modes (portrait, action, night, macro, spot-metering) available with mode dial.
    * Dimensions: 123×64×43.8mm.
    * Weight: 250g (with CR123A lithium battery)

    By using a four thirds sensor size instead of 35mm film and with modern lens design I guess that it should be possible to improve the speed of the lens by a couple of stops to something like f/2.8-5.6 which would be adequate if not brilliant.

  • Dimanche

    “The compact camera won’t have a fixed lens! It is a MFT camera”
    …I hope it is the GF2 :)

  • rewind

    Most nice camera Panasonic has ever produced, huh…. Is it nice, as in, global shutter nice???

    • admin

      global shutter? Don’t know….but I received some hints about the new Panasonic sensor that could go in that direction…

  • Jeroen

    So definitely not a Panasonic LC2 eh? That’s really too bad…

  • pfk

    That sucks. What’s the point of making a compact MFT body when the size of available MFT (zoom) lenses is far from compact/ pocketable. Unless one considers Sony NEX with a zoom lens on it pocketable…

  • Javi V.

    @Frosti7 You’re absolutely right!

    So it seems we’re getting the LX5 and the GF2… nothing really shocking or unexpeted. I hope the Wow-factor will come in the specs more than in the concept.

  • Zonkie

    Ok, so there is still one more thing that needs to be cleared, and that’s the 3x zoom lens starting at f/2.0.

    My guess is that the camera with such lens will be the LX5, right? Obviously it was not possible to make such lens for a 4/3 sensor. Samsung made a 3x zoom also starting at 24mm and it is f/1.8-2.4 (on the EX1/TL500), so I hope that even if the Panasonic one starts af f/2.0 it will not be slower than f/2.4 on the tele end.

    And then, the new and very small MFT camera with interchangeable lens, will it be released with a prime lens? Maybe that 25mm f/1.2 Leica branded?

    • admin

      Yes the 3x zoom will probably work for the new LX5. We are receiving many rumors about lenses now but I want to ask and reask all sources before to post anything. But the 25mm lens will not be rleased at photokina :(

  • rewind

    General question: if a GF2 is announced in September, how long would you think it would be before being available? I’m going away on a month long trip starting late September and if it were available that would be a great option.

  • Jan

    While i wanted it to be fixed lens and 4/3 sensor… this sounds more logical.
    I mean EPL1 and 14-42mm is 3x zoom + it is upgradable. Having only 3x fixed and at the same size and price is hard to justify…

    If it where 5x zoom… then it would sell!!!!! :-) lol

  • Carlos R B

    Very disapointed….can you at least tell us if the new camera will have a new sensor?thanks admin….

  • frank

    If your website was worth a damn you would not have to moderate posts.

  • Godot

    While I’m disappointed that the value of the FT5 rating has just plummeted, I admire you for clearing the air.

    And personally, as a Micro Four Thirds user, I am far more interested in a next-generation compact m43 camera than in a large-sensor fixed-lens camera (though I think those do have their place and we will continue to see more of them).

  • Godot

    Why so huffy, Frank? Because you’re wrong about m43?

    http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/

  • Barret

    Admin, do we know anything new about the LX5?

    Probably we are going to see it at 19-23 Jyly, next week. Because…
    LX1 – announced 20 July 2005 (WED)
    LX2 – announced 19 July 2006 (WED)
    LX3 – announced 21 July 2008 (MON)

    LX5 ???? My guess is the LX5 is going to be revealed next monday wednesday if they want to follow the pattern :D

    • admin

      Barret! You should work with me…your prediction is correct :)

  • jt

    this sucks. that fixed lens sounded very interesting.

  • … sigh. I was really hoping for some kind of optical viewfinder. But it seems, optical is outdated by now. Electronics rule.
    BTW, I saw compact 35mm, that had 3x zoom, OVF and were really pocketable, so technically it is possible, to mold the optics into a small body with large sensor. Its the markets (and marketing departments) fault.

  • Mark

    Man, I want to lecture you on the word “information (info)” and its plural form, but I’m too tired.

    • admin

      Mark…Corrected!

  • Floyd

    ……43 sensor plus fixed fast zoom lens can be a success. Pana is NO Sigma.
    Always love 43r !

  • Floyd

    ……43 sensor plus fixed fast zoom lens could be a success. Pana is NO Sigma.
    Always love 43r !

  • SLRist

    Yes, it’ll be the GF2. I’d been expecting it’s announcement in September.

  • Turner

    hm – but what’s about the Leica version? Leica has made a very clear announcement that they will not join the m43 market. So it is very unlikely, that this new Pana m43 camera will also be available as a Leica version. Ok, the LX5 will be rebranded as a Leica product, but what I am looking for is somethin in between the LX3 and the ultra expensive M9 – but with Leica lens quality.

    Let’s see what this new Pana will offer.

  • Miroslav

    Nice piece of rumor for me. I never saw sense in releasing two enthusiast compacts ( LX5 and the LC1 successor ). I like ILCs more.

    Couple of things are not clear yet. The Leica produced OVF – which camera is it destined for – the LX5 or the small m4/3?

    Which camera resembles Leica and was shown to the press in Sweden?

    Which model is the detachable tilting EVF for?

    Anyway, one more m4/3 body is good news.

    BTW, the “surprise” with the advanced video could be a P&S with tilting EVF, as shown in some patent here couple of months ago.

  • Turner< good point there, if the new camera will go leica then its very exiting news for m4/3 world!
    but i doubt such thing is would happen due to m4/3 Leica would eat some M9 shares

  • Godot

    Safest bet is that the Leica-to-be is the LX5 (D-Lux 5 — the numbers finally come into sync).

    But who knows. Could Leica backtrack on “no m43 for us”? Sure. But lenses are a slight problem, with so few of them being Leica-branded.

    And I don’t really want there to be more Leica m43 lenses if it means fewer Panasonic ones.

  • Clodoald

    Thanks for all these information Admin!

    But what about the “rangefinder-type optical viewfinder ” that you told us at first time? This is the real added value from Leica, along with their fantastic lenses… Is it what makes up the “most nice Panasonic camera ever”?

    • admin

      There is a camera with optical viewfinder….but I don’t know yet which camera :(

  • taco78

    I just love your website. Thank you for the exciting news. I just started following your website recently and I’ve just been hooked, I check it everyday now. I sold my GF1 w/ 20mm and 14-45mm lens recently because I thought I wanted to switch to the Sony NEX-5 because of the compactness and larger sensor, and ended up getting the NEX-3 cause I couldn’t wait for the NEX-5 to be released, only to be sorely disappointed with the cheap feel of the plastic body, so I sold the NEX-3 and was going to order the NEX-5, but then your website showed some compelling comparisons between the NEX-5 and the GF1 and it made me sorely miss my GF1. But now if the GF2 could possibly be coming out in September, you have calmed my nerves… Thank you.
    BTW don’t get me wrong about the NEX-3/5, at $550-$650, they are a pretty good bargain and are appropriate for the price, but you get what you pay for and now the GF1 +14-45mm kit + free EVF is available for $735 on amazon, it’s a steel!
    If the GF2 has Full 1080p HD video, and stereo mic/ext mic, it would just hit the technophile g-spot!

  • John

    This is a real shame, because a 4/3 sensor in a compact is just what the enthusiast world is waiting for. I suppose it was too good to be true that Panasonic would finally be the one to fill the gap between dSLR sensors and compact sensors. (Not everyone wants to carry a bunch of lenses around with them all the time.) It will happen someday, and that’s the camera I will buy — whether Panasonic makes it or not, and whether it is technically a 4/3 sensor or not.

    P.S. The plural of “information” is “information” — don’t add an “s.”

  • RayUK

    Really disappointing news as I was looking forward to a quality fixed lens compact, which to me means a silent shutter ! So far, all the small interchangeable lens cameras have too much noise from the shutter for use in the concert hall, the theatre, the rehearsal room and perhaps the street, with the Sony Nex being particularly loud. I’m reduced to frame grabbing from full HD video at the moment – although Sony’s PSB software is brilliant for that.

    What’s this “Global shutter” about ?

    The other really useful addition for my type of photography is a swivelling LCD, although the simple vertical plane adjustment on, say, the Sony HX1 is very handy for candids.

    Ray

  • DanT

    I think the surprise for the end of July is FZ60 or FZ45 … probably the FZ60 as FZ45 won’t be a big surprise (unless it features something we dont expect like a f/2.0-f/3.0 – 25-500 mm lens :), a larger sensor and a twist&tilt screen).

  • Jeffrey D

    No surprise – the specs for the rumored compact 4/3rds were obviously impossible. I’d love a Full Frame DSLR with a 20x zoom range and that could fit in a coin purse, but I know it’s never going to happen.

  • Joe

    I’m sure the optical viewfinder is like the one they sell now for the D-Lux 4 only it will have markings for wide and tele. I doubt it’s built into the camera.

  • Rich

    I saw someone up there mention the FZ45, and saw the leak of it on the Panasonic website. Do we know anymore about it, or how it’ll compare to the FZ35? I’m thiiiiiiis close to buying a FZ35 for $300, but not sure if I should hold off for the official FZ45announcement, (a) to see if I should wait and buy it instead of the 35, or (b) to see if the price drops even more on the 35. I know (b) can be tricky, it’s sometimes a very small window to be able to take advantage…

  • don

    These latest rumors changes a lot of projections for many and clears the air a little but this is what I predict:
    1. The LX5 will be the LX3 replacement with the rumored 3x 23-72mm/f2-f3 lens previously thought for the fixed lens 4/3 sensor camera. It will come with a new back illuminated sensor possibly 1/1.3″ size I expect the rumored optical finder is for that model and the Lecia version will have the same. I would expect that model to add ACVHE lite & touch screen.
    2. The believe the second slightly larger model designed for video will be the previously rumored 24-140/f2-f3 lens but with same new sensor as the LX5. This camera may be very similar body to LX5 only with hot shoe mounted tiltable EVF. I would hope that Pany provides aswivel screen or at least a tilting one for this model.
    3. The mystery m4/3 camera could either be the GF2 with built in tilting EVF or a very small m4/3 model much like the NEX5 or EX1 size & shape only with very small interchangeable 14/2.5 lens standard. I think the later to be the case as Pany has several times said they are making a smaller model the GF1 and more affordable and that does not fit the description given to the GF2 with built in EVF. To be very thin, lightweight, and very small means the mount would project outside the camer body as does the NEX5. I would guess the new small model will have hot shoe optional high resolution EVF like that on EP2 but possibly little smaller. Pany is producing this camera to compete more directly with the EPL1 and the NEXs.
    4. Pany is also expected to release the FX45 or FX35 replacement at this time. I only hope they do not reduce the speed of the existing lens if they increase its tele range some. I would hope they provide a swivel screen? This new model is expected so would not be the surprise.
    5. I would expect both the GH2 and GF2 specs will be announced at Polytech at end of Sept with new gapless low noise high ISO sensor but GF2 possible not avaiable till later.

    I too will be disappointed if Pany does not introduce a small fixed zoom lens camera with large 4/3 sensor as previously rumored as I think such a model the only way you will get a small very fast zoom lens in a larger sensor format and create or fill a new niche and could still be very compact for a travel camera.

  • Mike

    Admin,

    Have any recent reliable GH2 rumors / release dates been heard?

  • I.M.Feoyon

    If Panasonic come by compact 4/3rds, camera hope i Olympus E-XA1 come later also.

  • ggweci

    Looking forward to see what improvements the GF2 has to offer.

    But, where are all the Oly Pen rumours? It seems like Panny is the only one talked about these days.

    I’d like to see an E-P3 with the following additions:

    – Built-in Flash w/ commander mode
    – High res 920K LCD (or at least 460K like the GF1)
    – Faster AF

  • Milt

    I just bought a G1, which I am enjoying. But with the 14-45 lens, it is quite large for an old point and shooter like me, and not even a big pocket camera. The even bigger zoom lenses would make it gigantic from my perspective (although not that of DSLR users I realize) The 20mm pancake lens would help. However, I plan to buy either the GF2 or the possible smaller companion noted in these posts, whichever one has a decent EVF up to G1 quality. Then I can do less obtrusive and more handy photography on the street etc, and use the pancake lens on the G! as well..

    The problem is that we don’t know – maybe Admin does – whether the 20mm will be the kit lens on the new camera(s). Will have to do without it until the new cameras are announced unless we learn what their kit lenses will be.

    Milt

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