(FT4) Panasonic LC2 with H.264 movie recording and tiltable-LCD?


In the past days I found some rumors talking about a possible Panasonic LC2 announcement. I didn’t post anything because until today I didn’t believe them! BUT I just found a very new patent which shows a LC1 similar camera with tilting-display (which the Panasonic DMC-LC1 has not) and Video recording!

The filing date is 10/19/2009. That is the first proove that this patent is not referred to the older Panasonic DMC-LC1.
Small update: This application is a continuation of International Patent Application No. PCT/JP2008/002299 filed on Aug. 25, 2008. The entire disclosure of International Patent Application No. PCT/JP2008/002299 is hereby incorporated herein by reference.This application claims priority to Japanese Patent Application No. 2007-222395.

Also the back design of the camera is very different:

The back shows”a release button 30, a mode switching dial 26, a cross key 27, a menu setting button 28, a set button 29, a viewfinder switching button 34, and a moving picture photography button 35.

Thea most interesting part of the very long text are:
“…The display unit 20 is a variable-angle monitor with which the angle can be freely changed with respect to the case 3a of the camera body 3, and the angle can be tilted upward by means of a hinge mechanism
“…further comprising a display unit configured to display a real-time image acquired by the imaging unit in the moving picture photography mode
“…two different methods can be used for focal point detection, namely, a phase difference detection method in which the above-mentioned focal point detection unit 5 is used, or a contrast detection method based on the image signal outputted from the imaging sensor
“…The compression method can be, for example, JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) in the case of a still picture. In the case of a moving picture, MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) is used. Also, an H.264/AVC format in which a plurality of frames of image signals are compressed together can be used.

Sounds like Panasonic is really working on a the DMC-LC2! Let’s see if they will transform the drawings in a real camera :)

The “Old” Panasonic LC1 isn’t in Stock in most shops. But you can still find very few on Ebay US / Ebay UK / Ebay DE

  • Well… is it a m43 sensor inside???

  • Max

    a camera like that with a leica M mount would sell millions :D

  • misu

    the 2/3″ format as well would be fine. as a film and video guy I often wonder why these dslr cameras do not offer multiformat video recording. a 2/3″ (and S16mm) camera would be a great tool, especially in a rangefinder format.

  • Godot

    This would be a Four Thirds SLR? So L2, not LC2? (LC1 was a fixed-lens camera with no mirror box, also sold as Leica Digilux 2; the L1 was similar-looking but was Panasonic’s first SLR and the equivalent of Leica Digilux 3.)

    If true, it’s puzzling. IMHO Panasonic needs to go full-bore into getting m4/3 lenses and bodies out there (but especially lenses), not go back into SLRs.

    • admin

      It is the LC1 like I said. There is also a compact camera with the same name :)

  • Godot

    So what’s with the mirror box? Regardless of the name, is it a Four Thirds SLR?

    • admin

      it is FourThirds.

  • CR102

    There is nothing new in a dual focusing mechanism. Most DSLR these days can use CDAF when in live mode. Perhaps the innovation lies in the viewfinder, which could be bi-modal (switchable between OVF and EVF). Could be the first DSLR to enable AF during video recording.
    Anyway, I wouldn’t give this a FT4 rating.

    • admin

      The patent is true so it could be FT5. But I gave FT4 because I don’t know if they will really make the camera!

  • u.th

    If they really do in this work, Do you think how long does it take on this project?

  • lightmare

    is that a pentamirror!?!? (no.7 fig. 16). this is exciting! the L1 had such a clever design, I don’t know why it’s taking them so long to bring out a new replacement.

  • Newsed1

    Will this be the new GH2? A more serious, more rugged camera for serious users, fitted with the shutterless sensor and 1920/1080p recording you mentioned a while ago?

    The current GH1 is nice, but really not rugged enough for semi-pro use.

    • admin

      It will not be a MicroFourThirds camera! It has a mirror!

  • luis_1

    Interessted in a Panasonic DMC-LC1? Mine still looks fabulous, with second battery and bag. The style is still unbeaten. I loved using that camera, but have too many of these digital toys.

  • simon

    As usual, Japanese companies apply for patents in Japan first. It was filed there on Aug 27, 2009 (see the PDF, top right). So it’s actually rather old an unexciting.

  • simon

    Sorry, flipped the 7 and the 9: that should read Aug 29, 2007.

    • admin

      Hi Simon! The LC1 has been announced early 2004. The patent is from 2007. So it sounds definitely interesting :)

  • Frank

    If this is a thru sucessor for the Leica digilux-2/ Panasonic LC-1 with 4/3 sensor and around 10mpx,
    and Leica lens it would be a no brainer…man i love that digilux2 to bits (a tad faster would be welcome)

  • Chez Wimpy

    “The patent is from 2007. So it sounds definitely interesting” Yeah, but since Panasonic captured 3rd place in the DSLR market thanks to m43… they can’t expect to sell anything outside a handful of 43rds products at this point, and you can *bet the farm* their “plan” has changed since the watershed year of 2009.

  • Aleo

    I think it can be true, because Panasonic speak of a new design, but if it is it will disapoint the G users (or not) maybe the new G, will came later

    And about the lens, they, this LC must use the same lens of the G cameras

  • Don

    Looking at all the most recent exciting lens news on this and other web sites over f0;95 lens it is becoming more apparent that this patent may have been for a 2/3rds camera with interchangeable lens “C” mount. This really makes a lot of sense when you consider that Pany is one of the largest players in camcorder development. Huge Improvements in sensors such as back illuminated cmos are bring back the possibility of a mini Leica with all its small lenses and having an OVF or alternatively a high resolution EVF with such a system would be terrific. Pany would only have to produce perhaps one or two AF zooms around such a mount to cover the wide angel to normal and wa to tele ranges while buyers would have a whole host of existing and already in production fast primes. Looking at the lens sizes 2/3rds looks about ideal as the lens size seems to quadruple just going up to 1″ size which Nikon is reported planning to go. With all the adapters available to the m4/3 mt, Pany could alternatively produce such a 2/3rds camera using the m4/3 mount as the camera size and shape shown in patent makes that possible. Even the small lens size shown now in the diagrams now begins to make a lot more sense if viewed in this content as the mirror system to cover 2/3rds would be very small compared to 4/3rds or APS-C.

    The primary reason for going this route is video needs the very fast lenses and this would keep them very small. Pany would not have to produce the wa to normal lens as could just modify the design used for the LX3 for flange mount or bring back the LC1 28-90 lens of f2-2.4? They could also likely have a 28-400 in the works for a supertele ie the FZ60.

    What do you think?

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