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(UPDATED) Panasonic announces new AVC-Ultra (no new m43 camcorder yet)


As you know a couple of days ago I posted a FT3 rumor (50% chance the rumor is correct) to say that there could be a new Panasonic camcorder announcement. Panasonic advertised the event as “camcorder presentation” but in fact it turned out to be more  “a look into the future discussion” than a real product announcement. Here are the news:

1) AVC-Ultra compression scheme. Panaosnic said: “So we have AVC-Intra Class 200, AVC-Intra Class 4:4:4, up to 2K and 4K resolution, and we also have a technology called AVC-LongG, which can get down to 25 Mbps. All of these are recordable on a Panasonic P2 media card.
2) Panasonic will introduce new cameras at NAB that can be upgraded to AVC-Ultra in 2013. There are not many details about the products that will be shown at the NABshow.

Source: Tvtechnology

  • Jake

    I tend to expect GH? to be the first 4K dual threat stills and video cam since Panasonic seems less concerned about protecting their video line from lesser priced stills options since their stills cameras really need something significant to struggle against all the bigger names in stills. Sony is doing well in the world of stills, but that’s partially because I think a lot of people know they are really just Minolta’s. There is an odd snobbery related to beliefs on who does optics the best and if you aren’t a very long established glass wielding OEM it seems you struggle a good bit in the camera market.

    Hopefully Panasonic starts to turn perceptions soon, but it’s really weird how few places you can find Panasonic cams compared to even Olympus, never mind Canon and Nikon which are everywhere here in the USA. And how often you see them does say a lot as I am pretty sure they would be more widely available if everyone was entering stores and asking about them. You see a good few of the cheap P&S panasonics, but you just can go out and bring home a G series panasonic real easy like at all. Particularly higher end stuff like the GH and now GX.

  • come on pana
  • I don’t understand why a 4k resolution is needed in a consumer model.

    • What do you mean by consumer model? Where in this post are any models even mentioned? Panasonic P2 camcorders on the other hand aren’t consumer products.

      • thats because the op changed the post content

    • Anonymous

      For the same reason a 12mp image scaled to 2mp size looks better than an image from a 2mp camera. 4k video scaled down to 1080p will look better than any 1080p footage ever will. Also, for less destructive editing and future-proofing.

  • Matthew Sonnenfeld

    GH series cameras do not come out at NAB. This is the National Association of Broadcasters. GH is consumer. It will happen at Photokina. 4K AVC-Ultra is not going to be consumer as it records to P2 which is far from consumer. There arent even any consumer media cards that could come close to reliably handling those data rates. It’s silly to keep wishing for a new GH anywhere before Photokina.

    For the broadcast division, they aren’t concerned about having the G series cameras be as readily available as a Canon Rebel or a Nikon D7000. They want to hit the Sony F3/FS700, and the Canon C300. All products that the average G series user would probably never even touch let alone would be available in a standard camera shop. Jake, for what you want, wait for Photokina.

    The question is will Panasonic Broadcast introduce an update to the AF100 or if they will introduce a big brother to it with a Super35 chip set for release when the 4K sensors are available. Or even better, an upgradable Super35 system. That feels like my prediction based on the linked article.

  • Elie

    I hope it’s not coupled With micro four third Lense System, There is no meaning to put little coverage lens in a big 35mm sensor, or the sensor is m43 sized, and there is no interest with a little 2/3″ sensor in 4k with the actual size of pro camera like canon c300 or red scarlett. The af101 was a big joke. (sorry for my English)

    • Digifan

      “The af101 was a big joke.”
      Huh, Do you really have any clue?
      -shakes head-

  • frip

    What a boring non-news.

    H.264 was never limited to any particular bit-rate, in fact the specification includes even a loss-less compression mode.

    So 3 years after they bothered to put a label (“AVC Ultra”) on a specific set of H.264 encoding parameters they say it will take another year until some of their “professional” equipment will make use of those parameters.

    Meanwhile, and for several years already, any personal computer owner can encode video material on his average desktop system, if required in realtime, using “AVC Ultra”-equivalent encoding parameters with e.g. the free x.264 encoder.

    And no, devices capable of recording 200MBit/s (25 MByte/s) are also not quite “new stuff”, in fact, every ancient harddisk, many USB sticks, and of course any SSD ever sold can do that easily.

    I hope Panasonic did not expect anybody to be thrilled with today’s announcements…

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > H.264 was never limited to any particular bit-rate
      Yep, just like this hyped AVCHD is just heavily bitrate limited subset of H.264

      And basically every decent CF card could do 25MB/s.
      It’s overhyped Scrappy Digital where 10MB/s (Class 10) is advertised as high speed.

      Maybe some ten years old HDDs would have problems with that speed on inner cylinders but nowadays even slower inner cylinder transfer rates are in class of 100MB/s. (outer cylinder speeds nearing 200MB/s)
      Of course if doing some random kilobyte size writes instead of sequential writing then also SSDs, or any Flash type memory, could have problems.

  • juan


  • Perret cap Joe gear photo blogger

    Does it blend?

  • haswell

    Bring it on, I say. As long as it can do what GF1 + 20mm pancake could, I’d be happy

  • I don’t know if there’s a market for M43 P2. A big gripe of the AF100 is the codec does not meet broadcast requirements. Thus, serious shooters have to add an external recorder.

    However, if the form factor remains small, M43 P2 might be welcomed. It doesn’t have to be 4k…that seems ambitious. P2 has a high bitrate codec at the expense of being inside big camcorders.

    In this crazy world of stealth shooting, small camcorders with high bitrate could enhance ENG, and perhaps avoid intrepid reporters/documentarians from being jailed or maimed.

  • Luke

    in the future there will be a better video standard.

    OK…any CAMERA news?

  • come on pana

    who knows ? maybe a hack from a 4k fireware could be retouched for work on GH3 or whatever? but again from a source GH3 is only 15.5mp…sad… so for approach 4k resolution with the quality near it has to be double : 16.5 or 15.5 x 2 =…

  • matt

    “Panasonic will introduce new cameras at NAB that can be upgraded to AVC-Ultra in 2013.”

    are you kidding me panasonic? after two years of nothing new ?
    when manufacturers like red, canon and sony are FAR ahead?

    • come on pana

      +1 but maybe they do it for see how they made etc for learn from their mistakes? yes pana is very slow and we will see the fruits at photokina before talkin’….

      • matt

        I don´t understand them..
        Is it so hard to look at todays pro cameras like FS100/FS700/F3/scarlet/C300 and offer something better?

        D800/5Dm3/nex-7 – firmware upgrade for GH2(4:2:2 8bit ,1080@50p, peaking/ or GH3
        FS100 – 1080/60p avc ultra camcorder with S35mm senzor
        F3/FS700/C300 – 4k@60p avc ultra 4:4:4 10bit and 240fps in 1080p + S35mm senzor
        EPIC/scarlet/EOS C500- panny should develop their own raw format

  • Rick Idak

    I have been hanging out for a 4K Panny camera for 2 years.I am a great P2 fan I’ve never lost a single shot or frame or had any glitches.A 4K camera is over due in my opinion.I am not a fan of RAW and would like the option of not shooting on it.What I would like and I’m sure most other cameramen/cinematographers is a 60P/4K camera with a bit rate above 400m/sec.12 bit or higher would be icing on the cake as it would pull some sweet chroma-keys.

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