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(FT4) Upcoming X lenses will be weather sealed? (there will be a weather sealed camera too?)


Surprise! Rumors coming from good sources confirm that the upcoming new 12-35mm and 35-100mm X lenses will be weather sealed! About time Panasonic! The question now is. If Panasonic is going to announce weather sealed lenses will there be a weather sealed camera coming too? No current m43 cameras resist rain and dust. That’s why it’s easy to guess that in 2012 Panasonic will unveil the very first weather sealed cameras. What will it be? A new line of camera? The GH3? the GX3?

If you know something about the coming weather sealed camera feel free to send me an anonymous message by using the contact form on the right sidebar. Thanks!

Reminder: The new X lenses should be announced in January-February. They will have a bright constant aperture. Probably f/2.8 but I hope its’ f/2.0 like the 14-35mm f/2.0 and the 35-100mm f/2.0 Zuiko lenses.

Here are the links to the two amazing Olympus Four Thirds zooms:
Zuiko 14-35mm f/2.0 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay Zuiko 35-100mm f/2.0 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay

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

  • Neat.

    My guess: GH3 weather sealed and dust proof, f/2.8 on the X lenses.

    This offering would probably kill much of the demand on the E-5.

    I’m still holding out for a rangefinder like small body (PEN like) with a decent built-in viewfinder.

    • spam

      Demand for the E-5???

    • Bob B.

      Tobias I agree. That weather-sealed Panasonic camera will be the GH3. (with the advent of the GX1 it is pretty obvious how Pany is splitting their MFT’s into classes…it took them a while..but it is evident).
      I don’t believe Panasonic has any interest in making the range-finder style camera that we all crave.
      None at all. That is more than evident, also.
      …better to look to Fuji for that. (Canon still not a player yet though, will they follow Nikon’s lead, or take a different approach? …I bet Canon makes a camera similar to the Nikon V1. The two giants are always competing head to head).
      …so Fuji is the only game in town for a true poor-man’s-Leica (especially with the rumor of the new organic sensor). MFT to a lesser degree.

      • digifan

        @Bob B.
        Nikon and Canon NEVER compete head to head, look at the product line-up, it’s always a bit different.
        I’d say they go out of their way to not produce the exact competing product.

        • Bob B.

          The differences are academic. The new D800 will be close to the new 5D Mark III.
          No doubt. They will both be big MP cameras. Same market.
          Canon will not make a truly competitive mirrorless as they do not want to compete with their DSLR sales, just like Nikon.
          I guess we just disagree. That’s ok.

          • MJr

            When the 5DII came out 20+MP was crazy high also, so i wouldn’t be surprised to see them match 36MP with MkIII indeed. But feel free to stay at 18MP dear Canon ;).

            • Bob B.

              That would be fine with me too…actually its at 21.1 right now.(is makes beautious files!). I am betting that Canon goes to the higher number to compete with Nikon…but I would love to see it stay were it is MP-wise, with increase ISO performance and dynamic range.., have the focusing capabilities of at least the 7D and a 10-frames-per-sec. frame rate. I do not need bigger files to move! I see no point in the “more is better” outlook at this point. Hmmmm…maybe that applies to MFT too. :-)

  • Sergey

    great news!!!!!!!!!!

  • Christian

    Wow, that sounds good…

  • ReadingZ

    Sounds something good finally on the way~ Cheer up a little bit

    my guess could be the weather-sealed SLR-like GH3, it seems Panasonic has already set the GH series as the primary, but the a new coming GX may reverse this, hopefully

  • Henrik

    No current m43 cameras resist rain and dust. That’s why it’s easy to guess that in 2012 Panasonic will unveil the very first weather sealed cameras.

    Olympus once used to be good in the weather-sealed department. But i understand that you don’t even mention them here.

    • admin

      X lenses will not fit o Four Thirds weather selad cameras. Why should I mention them?

      • WT21

        Like a ghost, four thirds doesn’t realize it’s dead yet. Still wandering the earth…

      • Henrik

        In theory, one could dream that Olympus – out of tradition – brings a weather sealed m43 and lenses; but they have other things on their minds.

  • Atle

    I’m not sure if i like this, how much will it affect prices? If the 12-35 will be very expensive, I am not in the market unfortunately

    • spam

      Weather sealing (almost) don’t have to affect price at all. Pentax have it on a kit zoom.

    • Andrew Howes

      It’ll probably will be around $1000 or so. The weather-proofing in itself doesn’t necessitate a much greater price, necessarily (Pentax has some cheap weather-sealed lens.) Often it’s a feature which is reserved for more-expensive lenses. Only Canon L lenses are weather-sealed, for example. (Stupidly, since it makes little sense that there’s no proper weather-sealed match for the 7d or 60d.)

      • Andrew Howes

        Never mind, looking at the lenses, they obviously aren’t zoom-by-wire.

  • “This offering would probably kill much of the demand on the E-5.”

    No- never! The primelenses Olympus is offering in the highest professional class are too good to get beaten by the lenses for m4/3. (All those lenses are not good enough for professional use – we testet last week and have been very disppaointed, because a friend of mine with a E-5 was looking for m43 for the future, he took some shoots with my Gh2 , Oly 2.0 /12 mm …etc…. His judgement: No way to change.

  • DonTom

    Cool. If I’m laying down $1000 or more on a lens, I would like it to be weather sealed. I expect my lenses to be useful longer than a camera body. I like to be out in the rain, because I live most of the year in a desert!

  • B2

    Sounds really interesting. Current Oly’s f/2.0 lenses are a bit heavy. I guess I would still like Panas to be f/2.0, f/2.8 seems to be well comprimise though. Anyway I’m becoming more and more interested in m43 but keep an eye on Fuji too.

  • Nick Clark

    Epic. A sealed 12-35/f2.8 and sealed GH3 would be a fantastic hiking set-up (a sealed 7-14 MkII would be nice too…)

  • Tomas

    What has up his sleeve Oly?

    • Renato S.

      dirty money

  • Yun

    Whether seal or not , is that really important ?
    I rather interest in how fast both the incoming lenses can go .
    Whether seal cameras ? Come on , Pana , we expect breakthrough technology in next line out cameras otherwise you are out to compete against Fuji , Sony & Leica in 2012 .

    • spam

      Are you we?

      • Andrew Howes

        Weather sealing is a great feature, it’s extremely useful and adds a lot of value. (Of course, that’s only true if they offer a weather-sealed body, as well.)

        • Jón

          Weather sealing has always given me a peace of mind. As a nature/travelling photographer mostly, I always feel a bit nervous exposing my camera to the elements.

    • (oopsy daisy)

    • Nick

      Very important to some, especially the outdoor/adventure photographers already attracted to the size and quality of m43…

    • MJr

      When traveling weather sealing is a very welcome feature. Notice the comment below the video in the previous post (readers roundup): ‘The camera has some troubles since I used it, the salt wind, rain and sea water probably reached the electronic components’.

  • > That’s why it’s easy to guess that in 2012 Panasonic will unveil the very first weather sealed cameras. What will it be? A new line of camera? The GH3? the GX3?

    My bet is on GH3. IMO it would only gain (ergonomically) from getting bit larger. And it would have to be larger to accommodate the weather sealing.

    Otherwise they would have very hard time competing against the NEX-7. Weather sealing would be a perfect reminder that high ISOs are not everything.

    I wonder if they would also release a new version of 43-m43 adapter – too weather-sealed. It’s not precisely interesting to Panny, business-wise, but would win them some fans.

  • WT21

    They don’t look like rocker switch lenses. I hate the rocker switches. Do you think they’ll have power zoom or not? (I’m thinking maybe not, if they are to be weather sealed).

    • Andrew Howes

      They’ll probably have rocker switches, since they’re X lenses and are marketed towards video users. I understand if you have no use for them, but it doesn’t really matter so long as they otherwise function normally. Unless it means that the zoom ring is zoom-by-wire, that is, which could probably be annoying. Is this the case on the 45-175?

      • JF

        I don’t beleive they can be both powered zoom and classic mechanical zoom otherwise there is a system like olympus 12mm f2 for AF/MF which is unlikely. If it is zoom by wire what a disappointement…

      • WT21

        You may be quite right, and that would be sad. Does Panasonic think it is only competing against Canon and their video DSLR focus?

  • George

    Great since Panasonic sees m4/3 customers as milk cows i really wonder how much a pro grade, weather sealed m4/3 camera gonna cost?

    I seriously bet it wont be under $1200-$1500 price range. But on the other hand since it will continue using m4/3 sensor it will be disaster DR performance and bad high ISO.

    And people who demand a weather-proof camera must understand that they are much much less in number comparing to people who doesnt care and never gonna pay even $100 more for a weather sealed camera.

    Since we all know Panasonic’s price policy when it compares to niches….

    Get ready to get milked.

    • Andrew Howes

      Sure, but this feature (along with shockproofing,) is pretty desirable for a pro-level camera, should they come out with one. Most people probably aren’t going to go out shooting in the rain, but a pro street photographer would probably find it pretty useful to have a compact weather/shock-proofed camera so long as it matched up in other respects.

      Look at the Sony A65 versus the A77. A65 has almost all the features that the A77 does, for way less money, but people are much more excited about the A77. Presumably because of its better controls, weather-sealing, and shock-proofing.

  • om-4

    Why should a weathersealed body grow much bigger? The lenses aren’t really big.
    Adding some rubber sealing in strategic places takes just 1-2mm in all directions.

    The Oly Mjus pocketcams were splashproof and tiny. Pana makes there own water/dust/shock proof cams that are pocketable so I don’t think a GH3/whatever will grow to the size of an E-5.

  • Miroslav

    “I hope it’s f/2.0 like the 14-35mm f/2.0 and the 35-100mm f/2.0 Zuiko lenses.”

    Not overly interested in weather sealing, but F2.8 aperture will be deal breaker for me. If 12-35 does not start at F2, I’ll make do with couple of fast primes…

  • It would be interesting what pana comes up with. Although I’d love f/2.0 lenses, i guess they would be too big, bulky and expensive to make any sense. m43 has always been about portability and trade offs.

    Last weekend i had to lug around my Canon 7d with 15-85 lens and 580EX flash…great setup, but way too heavy. It was obvious to me (again) why i like m43 so much. So, that made me think. What would be the dream m43 camera for me? Something that packed say 80% of Canon’s 7d performance (speed of operation, metering precision, dynamic range, ergonomics, ruggedness) in a body that was the size of an entry level DSLR. If panny came out with that sort of camera, that would be a dream come true. I think they can with regards to almost everything, except for the sensor, which I find lacks in DR department (a bit of over exposure and there go your highlights…). 12-16mp is enough by the way.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      >Something that packed say 80% of Canon’s 7d performance (speed of operation, metering precision, dynamic range, ergonomics, ruggedness) in a body that was the size of an entry level DSLR.

      It would be perfectly possible to fit basically enthusiast DSLR class ergonomy and controls to roughly GH2 size body: Just put rear LCD size back to correct size compared to body and suddenly there’s space for good controls which along with proper size grip give good ergonomy and allow operating camera while all the time looking into viewfinder.
      (Konica)Minolta A2 would give ready overall design only needing changes to sensor and lens mount part:

      But Panasonic is driven by marketroids instead of photographers so they’ll probably stick to marketing gimmicks and bullet-point engineering. They don’t even give any way to send comments/feedback to their camera department unlike Olympus.

      GH1’s sensor had performance decently close to Canon’s 18MP sensor for example in dynamic range but then marketing shrinked size and performance of pixels in GH2 and apparent high ISO only optimizing in G3 scrapped dynamic range to usual 4/3 level (check DR graphs of GH1, GH2 and G3 in DxOMark)
      Also Sony A-77 and NEX-7 have smaller pixels than GH2 so that level would be reachable with only good sensor tech.

      • > They don’t even give any way to send comments/feedback to their camera department unlike Olympus.

        But doesn’t the Panny cameras come with the support? Normally e-mail support is also included. The support normally is the feedback channel.

        Or it is different for Panasonic?

  • mahler

    So it’s about time? Admin, it seems you see again some negativity in this rumor. Tell me any vendor, who has weather-sealed lenses as his first priority, given that there are not so many sealed lenses on the market anyway.

    It is rather a surprise that a m4/3 vendor reacts so early. Again, m4/3 is front runner being the first mirrorless system with weather sealed lenses, if I am correctly informed.

    Why about time only to Panasonic? Why not to Olympus, and the rest of mirrorless? This site is getting increasingly biased.

    • adam

      It’s not that the site is biased…it’s that reality is biased. Olympus is too busy cleaning house to announce any new cameras.

      • Narretz

        Don’t forget that Oly already announced 3 newish cameras this year, plus 2 lenses. Give them a break.

    • Fish

      I think the real problem is that you are getting – I wouldn’t have thought it possible – increasingly sensitive.

      I don’t read any negativity in this rumor – it sounds like the Admin is giving panasonic an attaboy for bringing out the first weather sealed lenses.

      Have you ever considered getting counselling? You are so obsessed with your own private war between Panasonic and Olympus that you can’t even enjoy good news like this rumor.

      (if admin had mentioned Olympus in this post, you probably would have been upset at him for inserting Olympus into news that has nothing to do with them, thereby stealing Panasonic’s spotlight… he can’t win with you.)

      • mahler

        You interpret more in my post than necessary. The remark “About time Panasonic” means that he expected such weather sealed lenses earlier, which is and was completely unrealistic. So there is a grain of salt with his post. While admin searches for every positive aspect in the financial desaster at Olympus, positve news from Panasonic (most notably the GX1 release) aren’t reported without some negative hints. He says himself that he prefers the Olympus product line, but that should not affect his site as much.

        • Spoo

          I think you’re the one who is interpreting more than necessary.

        • Zaph

          “About time Panasonic”

          It is about time. m43 makes a great small outdoors kit (travel, hiking, etc), with the problem that it’s not weather sealed. Dust sealing would even just be great for pocket carrying, to keep the lint out. Why make cameras that can go anywhere, and not have protection from the elements? Lots of people want a small, weather-sealed kit. So yes, it is about time. I thought it would be Olympus, given their history with the E-x series, and the Tough cameras, but from Panasonic is fine too.

  • Zuiko 14-35mm f/2.0 — $2,300 — wt. 1.98 lbs
    Zuiko 35-100mm f/2.0 — $2,500 — wt. 3.64 lbs.

    I hope the forthcoming Panasonic lenses are NOT like these! I need lenses I can afford to buy for taking actual pictures, not just to brag about in forum postings. And the reason I went to M4/3 was to reduce the size and weight of the equipment I was carrying around.

    A 24-70/2.8 and an 70-200/2.8 are the basic building blocks that most professionals buy for their DSLR systems, so it would make perfect sense for Panasonic to offer M4/3 equivalents. It would be impossible to offer equivalent f/2.0 lenses at a reasonable size, weight, and price, as Olympus already has demonstrated.

    • Boooo!

      “I hope the forthcoming Panasonic lenses are NOT like these!”

      They won’t be.

      What they will be is smaller, cheaper, at least a stop slower, and a lot optically worse.

      There won’t ever be a m4/3 lens optically better than a 4/3 lens.

      • mpgxsvcd

        Sorry there already is an m4/3s lens better than a 4/3s lens. The Leica 25mm F1.4 lens in m4/3s mount is better than the 4/3s lens in every aspect(Image Quality, weight, size, price, and AF performance).

        • Boooo!

          No, the 4/3 version has better image quality. It’s sharper, the bokeh is better and the colours are more Leica-ish.

          I’ll see if I can get permission from my friend to post links to his test photos.

          • I prefer to stay out of religious arguments.

            • Boooo!

              Okay. No sample photos for you, then. Stay delusional and keep thinking m4/3 and its lenses are superiour and the second coming of Jesus. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy my scientific comparisons, with a touch of visual preference.

              • mpgxsvcd

                Yes I would like to see those samples if they are indeed done as a 1:1 comparison.

      • A lot optically worse?!? You got a pre-production sample to test and compare or what?!?

        • Boooo!

          All m4/3 lenses are optically worse than 4/3 lenses, simply due to pesky laws of physics. If you don’t trust those, look at the prices. Better optics means better glass, which means more weight and higher production costs, therefore prices as well.

          • Care to educate us about which law of physics is involved?

    • mahler

      Not sure for what you are complaining. The small is everything and it has to be cheap faction is already served enough. Now it is the time to serve the demanding users. Heavier and a bit larger lenses aren’t that bad as long they don’t grow out of proportion. Abit of size helps with handling and weight stabilizes when shooting handheld.

  • emol

    fantastic news. Guess I will stay with m43 then. I need because it is allways raining were I am.

  • MP Burke

    Panasonic can’t really win with these lenses. If they are f2.8, some people will be saying they should be f1.4 or f2.0 to compete with 35mm lenses. If they make lenses that are f2.0 and cost in the £2000 range, people will say they are too big and expensive, they may as well purchase 35mm equipment.
    I think a fixed f2.8 is the best compromise as it is appealing to video camera users and allows an m43 lens to be smaller than the 35mm equivalent focal length.
    If Panasonic does make some weather sealed gear, it shows that it has some ambition for the m43 format and that its thought process is not constrained by also having an slr system.
    I would like to see the GH3 designed as a flagship camera with an improved sensor and a big, high resolution, high eyepoint EVF. It is logical to include weather sealing if they plan to appeal to the outdoor and wildlife photographer. Then they ought to have some more telephoto lenses… time will tell.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > If Panasonic does make some weather sealed gear, it shows that it has some ambition for the m43 format and that its thought process is not constrained by also having an slr system.
      Unfortunately their thought process is constrained by their Point&Shoot roots and marketroids.
      In its current form GH line would be strong contender in worst ergonomy with biggest body size competition by loosing badly to most entry level DSLRs.

      > Then they ought to have some more telephoto lenses
      Better to get in sensor PDAF (Nikon 1 has Aptina sensor) and all 4/3 lenses would be usable giving ready high end lens line up.

      > If they make lenses that are f2.0 and cost in the £2000 range, people will say they are too big and expensive.
      Funny thing but outdoor/wildlife shooters of Canikon pay such sums from higher end lenses when they need that kind lens… And if you look equal field of view fast full frame teles 4/3 Zuikos are actually quite decently priced and light.

  • matt

    yes! the telephoto lenses where are they panny? how long i have to wait for my lumix x 300mm f2.8 weathersealed compact prime?

    • Narretz

      Did you mean your 8 – 300 mm f1.0 pancake zoom?

      But seriously .. weather-proof lenses can only mean weather-proof bodies. Still wondering if Pana will keep the GH2 as the flagship or even introduce another series, shock-proof weather-proof (which they will of course cripple for video then).

      • JF

        with macro 1:1 please :D

      • k

        I’ve literally been waiting years for Panasonic to put 60fps video into a rangefinder body. I now bet that Sony will release a quality pancake for the 5n before that happens. Until then, I wait.

    • Heck, what is a 15cm aperture, its going to be big anyways: 2.0/300 :D

  • It would be really nice to see a weather- and shock-proof micro4/3 camera from Panasonic. They have all the technology to make one. For example, Panasonic TS3 (FT3) is one of the best rugged & waterproof compact cameras.

  • joe

    i hope they release weatherproof bodies and lens. my vacations tend to get a bit adventurous

  • snowflake

    I am really excited to have a weather sealed camera system.
    Those of us who are primarily nature photographers, or involved with sports, this is great news.
    One of the advantages of the m4/3 system is the dramatically lighter weight, a real advantage for anyone who carries an assortment of lenses, and or a backup camera. my camera bag is 5 lbs or over 2 kilograms lighter with a telephoto with a bigger reach than I would normally carry in the past. After a day of lugging, this reduction of weight is no small matter.
    Dealing with rain, wind swept waves, melting snow, falling over into small brooks, dripping paddles, is a constant worry. I have killed a several movie cameras and have spent never racking hours resurrecting my “still” cameras. (I have resorted to forgoing my “good stuff” and using lower quality waterproof cameras.)
    What I hope for is that the lenses are somewhat fast, f2 would be great for the wide angle, and f 4 for the telephoto would be a good compromise between weight verses adequate focus control and low light situations. I doubt if the lenses will be this fast since the market push is for lighter weight.
    Also, I hope Olympus comes out with a waterproof camera, as I would like to add an in body stabilization camera to my bag but if Panasonic is first, that is what I’ll buy first.
    Keep up the good work, Panasonic and Olympus.

    • Joey

      I agree bro. Alot of times I resort to bringing my ts-series cause I worry about water. Hey, its wet in the tropics. Im really looking forward to this. Unfortunately, I have a trip in january. i guess, gh2 with ts3 backup will be good for one more trip.

      • Christian

        How true, weather sealed mFT is probably the most attractive option for those, who like outdoor activities. It might probably attract FT users, that are using E-3 and E-5, but also people from the Canikon area.

  • safaridon

    Very interesting news especially if the weatherproofed lenses are connected to the other rumor of an other GX1 model with inbody EVF and swivel screen whatever you call it. Such a model would indeed be competition with the NEX7 and Fuji X model.

    • With those two bright zooms and Panasonic competes even more, nothing more, nothing less and no matter against who. Their products are fine, they don’t need to be complexed against Sony NEX.
      As much as some are jealous that Sony’EVF is off-centered, you have NEX by the thousand that are jealous of those two zooms, even if htey won’t admit it. Let’s not talk about the rest of the line up…

  • Just believe it – these lenses CANNOT be anything like f/2 if Panasonic wouldn’t make them just about as huge and heavy as the existing FT Zuikos, even if they’d leave optical corrections to the software. It’s physically impossible!

  • Oitszek

    A 12-35 2.8 is a 24-70 f5.6 in ff. Bbbbbboooorrriinggggg!!!!

    • admin

      Wrong! It has the depth of field of f/5.6. But it still gets the light of an f/2.8!

    • Get an ff then, sheesh!

    • What a typical response. As admin said, aperture doesn’t change, only effective DoF.

      Actually, this would be better than your typical FF 24-70/2.8, at least for my uses. At 12/2.8 for example, this would be great for landscape and in/out-door architectural stuff as it would be bright but have more DoF; no need to stop down to capture more detail and risk under exposure, motion blur, etc, as you normally would with a FF 24-70. Also, at 70/2.8 on FF, DoF is very thin so focus will be hard to acquire when you just shoot n’ run on the street, but not so with this.

      Shallow DoF is not everything!

      Then there’s the weight: the Nikon/Canon 24-70/2.8 weighs more than 2lbs. Have fun carrying that all day, while hiking and so on! Would rather having this so called ‘boring’ lens.

      • emol

        I agree. I like nice clear bakgrunns even for portraits

      • emol

        I agree. I like nice clear bakgrunns even for portraits.

  • ans

    Do we know when the 12-35mm will be purchasable by US consumers?

  • Ben

    Cheaper (800-1200) and lighter 12-35 f/2.8
    Expensive (1500-2000) and Heavy 12-35 f/2.0

    Which one do you prefer?
    Well, how about 12-35 f/2.4? :)

  • stev

    I have been looking forward to this for a while now. If they can make a compact weather sealed system I would finally be willing to switch

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