How Panasonic solved the GH2 heating issue (+XZ-2 patent)


FIGS. 8A to 8F are diagrams showing a comparison of the temperature distributions of different heat radiating structures.

If you want to know how Panasonic solved the possible Panasonic GH2 heating issues than you may have a look at the United States Patent 7933516 (Click here to read the full patent at freepatentsonline). That’s the description:
When the camera body is made smaller, however, this reduces the space surrounding the electronic parts, such as an imaging element unit that includes an imaging element and an imaging element circuit board that controls the imaging element, or the main circuit board on which the camera controller is mounted, which means that these electronic parts are packed together more densely. Meanwhile, as image quality rises, the imaging element and the camera controller consume a greater amount of electrical power, so these electrical parts generate more heat. In particular, when a large amount of heat is generated by the imaging element, heat is transferred from the imaging element to electronic parts such as the main circuit board on which the camera controller is mounted, and it is possible that the heat will damage the electronic parts. With the camera controller and imaging element described below, heat damage to electronic parts can be prevented.

The main circuit board is disposed on the opposite side of the imaging element from the body mount, and includes a camera controller. The heat radiating plate is disposed between the imaging element and the main circuit board. With this camera body, even if heat is generated by the imaging element, since the amount of heat transferred from the imaging element to the main circuit board is reduced by the heat radiating plate, an increase in the temperature of the main circuit board can be suppressed. This prevents heat damage to electronic parts.
As shown in FIGS. 8A to 8F, a comparison of the heat radiating structure in this embodiment with the heat radiating structure in the reference example reveals that the temperature of the CMOS image sensor 110 and the main circuit board 142 is lower in this embodiment. The reason for this seems to be that the heat of the CMOS image sensor 110 is efficiently absorbed by the heat radiating plate 195 and the thermal conductor 196, and that heat is efficiently released from the CMOS image sensor 110 via the thermal conductor 196 extending to the front side.
It can also be seen that the temperature of the bottom face 101a of the camera body 100 is lower in this embodiment. The likely reason is that part of the heat transferred from the CMOS image sensor 110 to the main frame 154 is radiated to the outside of the thermal conduction path by the heat radiating member 198.
These results tell us that the heat radiating structure of this embodiment is effective at suppressing an increase in the temperature of the main circuit board 142, and suppressing an increase in the temperature of the bottom face 101a of the camera body 100.”


The japanese blog Egami (Clic here) found a patent which describes a possible new Olympus XZ-2 with 28-112mm f/1.8-3.8 lens.

Not a big deal….

  • Brod1er

    Seems pretty straightforward to me………! ;-)

    Seriously, indicates there is a heat penalty for higher IQ (assume we are talking pixels). Solution- no more increases to pixel count please!
    Hopefully the smaller mft sensors will be more energy efficient than larger sensors and more able to be converted to an electronic shutter (maybe this is why Nikpn are going to 2.5 crop?)

  • CRB

    I dont see a XZ-2…other compact for sure, but why a successor with the same FLenght and slower lens? its not a XZ-2 IMO.

    • Because Olympus knows so “well” what the consumer wants that they actually may use that slower lens in the next camera to make it cheaper/smaller while riding on the XZ-1 success

      For example look at the fuji F30 camera, it had class leading ISO performance but its successors all sucked because fuji wanted to make it cheaper and add more features! in bottom line all of the f30-f31 successors sucked!
      Olympus can very well go at the same slope

      • Ganec

        If the lens will be smaller (understand: pocketable, without the need for lens cap) why not?
        There are many people which buys P300 or S95 just because of compactness.

        F3.8 at the end is still better than S95/P300 has.
        CaNikon should be happy with that lens…

    • Mr. Reeee

      Tech companies try to patent nearly every idea they have. It matters little whether they use the idea or not, it’s more a matter of covering their asses and leaving options open to sue other companies that come up with similar ideas.

      Just look at the patent trolls that sue fistfuls of companies hoping to make a buck.

      So, the patent drawings here may be little more than variations on a theme and have no connection to actual shipping products.

  • That’s an XZ-0.

  • safaridon

    Trying to make sense out of these patent figures for clues of what the next cameras from Pany might be based on the sketches displayed. First the innards of what you say is GH2 look quite complicated and are what I assumed would be the next GH3 with even higher video operating speeds for the sensor with metal plates to dissipate the heat. In this case looks like transferring the heat to the front lens mount and bottom metal plate used for tripod mounting.

    Given the size of the processing board for the GH2 I see little hope of fitting those innards into a much smaller camera like a GF3 but maybe the processing board for G3 is made much smaller? What is that square shown in figure 8D just above the sensor? Is that the controller?

    The simplier solution shown in figure 7C of patent shows how the heat would be dissipated in a smaller compact camera with metal body making it a very rigid unit indeed. My hopes is this would mean that Pany will continue to use all metal bodies on their small m4/3 compacts rather than going to cheaper plastic body which would not be able to transmit the heat from heavy video use?

    It is very surprising to me that Pany or reviews have not emphasized the considerable video advantage its camera have because of the enabled longer recording time in most cases at least 30-60minutes of HD compared to most DSLRs overheating in only 12 minutes? Is this still the case?

    • Inge-M

      Camera producer, is observant on this problem, but not everyone user.

  • Ulli

    why not put a blower on the backside of the sensor….like on a intel/amd cpu

  • Rex Luscat

    Aftermarket opportunity for liquid cooling kit.

  • yortuk

    Why is this even patentable? Heat sinks and heat radiators are not novel, they’re commonly found on all sorts of electronic devices. There’s absolutely no point to a patent like this, as it could never be enforced. There’s is no way Panasonic could use this to prevent someone else from using the same type of heat management. I presume it’s just standard practice for large, wealthy corporations to patent every single detail of everything they make just to make sure nothing falls through the cracks that might expose them to patent litigation, but it’s sad that the patent office actually grants these frivolous patents.

    • Inge-M

      +1 ;-)

    • Robbie

      but sony’s a33 and 55 get overheated quite easily, esp in Asia countries

  • Inge-M

    But, Panasonic is big on produce heat pump,
    maybe GH3 have a micro heat pump in body :-)

  • MJ

    that’s pretty cool, no pun intended…
    Now they have to solve the availability problem of the GH-2.
    I’m talking about long before the tragic events of Japanese Earthquake. I’ve been trying to find a local retailer that will actually carry a GH-2 for 6 months (i bought my GH-1 from a solid local camera store). After visiting Panny’s presence at NAB 11, compared to Canon AND Sony… Panny is clearly aren’t taking this camera very seriously for motion use. That is really sad. So is the company’s response to Tester 13 and other’s work on the GH-1. Canon seems to listen and get this. Now so does Sony. I guess I made a mistake when I invested in a GH-1.

  • pdc

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