Surprise: Panasonic patent discloses a new in body stabilization system! And a rangefinder styled camera too?


The image you see here on top is a drawing from a Panasonic in body stabilization patent. That alone is an interesting news and I would be happy to see Panasonic offering such a solution. But what’s even more intriguing is that the same patent actually shows the camera that could use the system and it looks like a sort of Sony NEX-7 competitor with build-in viewfinder in the corner. Check out the pic:

“Point 60” shows what looks like a viewfinder that can be tilted up to 90 degrees! I already saw a patent like this two years ago (that’s why I know it can tilt). You can look through the EVF from top to bottom. Yeah like in old days with the Rollei or Yashica twin lens (here on eBay).

As usual with patents they are no prov at all that this could become a real product. But It’s nice to see that Panasonic is “thinking” on a camera like that :)

You readers already expressed your opinion about a sort of “rangefinder styled” Micro Four Thirds version of theLumix DMC-L1 camera:

Would you buy a high end GL1 with integrated EVF on the corner like on the picture you see on top of this post?

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The Sony NEX-7 (Click here) and the Fuji X PRO 1 (Click here) are selling very well according to Amazon ranking (Click here).
The DMC-L1 eBay (Click here).
The DMC-LC1 on eBay (Click here).

  • Yun

    Yes , this is the benchmark camera from Pana , very highend camera . I definitely will buy it subjected it provided stunning image quality .
    Body stabilization is good so it can mount Zuiko lenses , 75mm F1.8 . Just can’t wait to have a hold on that “object of desire” .

    • Guest

      Most of my lenses are Panasonic.. but even so, most of my lenses don’t have IS.

      With IS: 14-42mm X Pro, 14-140mm, 45-200mm (Of these, I only regularly use the 14-42mm)

      Without IS: 20mm f1.7, 7-14mm f4, these two get much more use than my big zooms.

      I also have a 45mm f1.8, and 25mm f0.95, also a few legacy lenses.

      If Panasonic doesn’t release something with in body IS, I’m going to have to go buy the OM-D

      • Seriously, how often do you really miss IS with the 1.7/20?

        Like using it stopped down at base iso, normal exposure, in lowish light and without a tripod on a still life?

  • pn

    Quite obviously, drawings in a patent application are not meant to resemble actual products.

    You can bet the camera housing in the diagram looks like a simple box because that takes less effort to be drawn and is good enough for illustrating the principle…

    • Duarte Bruno

      Not only that but the chances it reaches production are quite low. The way the patent system works these days is like dogs pissing around in every corner to mark their own territory…

      It’s a shame though… It’s that thing that keeps me tempted at all times to go back to an Olympus body. But unfortunately I can’t afford a GH2 for video and MF plus a OM-D for photos (especially long teles and legacy)… :(

      • napalm

        yeah, these “rangefinder-like” patents have circulated around rumor sites since 2yrs ago. no sign of them still.

      • Ernest.orf

        Yeahh i dont like at all , but maybe in some future the real thing would be an OM-D PRO !!!!!!
        And im still waiting news of the XZ-2

      • Mr. Reeee

        Nowadays, companies file patents for every sneeze, burp and fart to protect their work from patent trolls and competitors. There’s little possibility that many patent concepts will ever make it into actual products.

        As far as IBIS goes, it would be a nice addition to Panasonic M4/3 cameras, but hardly a necessity. I have 2 lenses with OIS and find it more problematic than helpful, so use it sparingly.

        • Mr. Reeee

          When I purchased the Olympus E-510, it had sensor-based stabilization. I also own the Pany Leica 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 with MEGA OIS and I prefered the in-camera—it yielded a sharper, more detailed image.

          • +1

          • HMR

            I’m not micro electronic engineer but wouldn’t a global shutter reduce the need for IS dramatically??

            • Duarte Bruno

              Yes on very long teles where the shutter induces vibration even on tripod mounted shots but on the most common case (low light / hand held) you would need to machine gun the shutter and choose the less blurred shot afterward. Even then I doubt that if the shutter speed was really slow that you could extract one sharp enough picture…

      • Bah… No cameras does it all, no lenses does it all. I have learned to desire what I already have.

    • J.O

      When the drawing is still roughly representing the design, it looks very similar to the Pentax K-01 :D

    • Narretz

      Still, they could have left out the viewfinder or the indication that you can tilt it.

    • scooby70


    • scooby70

      Yes, and as the competition offers in body IS it’s reasonable to expect it from Panasonic too.

  • Vivek

    I would like a GX-1 with a built in EVF. Does not matter if it shakes the sensor or has a pop up flash.

  • Mundstrøm

    I concur with pn. I can’t imagine Panasonic would restrict a new in-house stabilization to a single camera model, when they might as well add it to the hi-end cameras like the G and GH series. I for one wouldn’t want a rangefinder style camera, but a camera-body that allows me to use lenses that don’t have OIS built-in would be great, since Panasonic are the only ones who make m4/3 lenses with built in OIS, to my knowledge

  • Brod1er

    IBIS for non stabilised short primes plus OIS for longer lenses is perfect- and only available to Oly shooters!!! I don’t think Panny should be shy to copy it.

  • Jens

    A Panasonic cam with integrated IS would definitely consider… This is a clear adavantage of Oly, which makes me buy their cams.

  • Carlo

    Look like they are developing something for Leica.
    The patent says nothing about the size of the sensor?

  • napalm

    hmm… what if: Olympus made a deal with them: “give us your latest sensor tech, we’ll give you our IBIS”

    • Brod1er

      Thy thought occurred to me too!

    • OlyFan

      Doubt it. Latest sensor tech is variable. IBIS would be a one time sale. Besides, I think Pana has a lot of cash to spend on building one for themselves.

      • You mean like a remote-flash system?

      • Anonymous

        Considering how Olympus uses the same sensor for about 4-5 years, I’d say it would be a good trade.

    • Duarte Bruno

      If they were buying why would they be patenting???

      • gl

        Could be a more subtle deal: we get the sensor and we won’t sue you for developing your own IBIS.

  • In body stabilisation would be much appreciated

  • weird, i cant vote even thou never did.

    Yes i’ll buy that camera.

  • Aw man this looks sweet :D

  • OlyFan

    So they finally realised that in-body stabilization is better than in-lens stabilization? How will this work with their stabilized lenses? Nice to know there are more advanced cameras in the pipeline. Pana has always raised the bar (although lately they seem to have lost the plot a little).

    • Brod1er

      Both approaches have benefits. OIS is better over longer focal lengths. IBIS makes sense when you want to minimise lens size to eg pancakes. Nice to have the choice.

    • No way to be better, in-body IS cannot came even close to lens OIS for bigger focus distances. The only (but really strong) advantage is that you have IS with all lenses, not just with stabilised ones.

      • According to what the first E-M5 users in the German systemkamera-forum claim, the E-M5’s IS is on a par with the OIS of the Lumix 100-300 even at 300 mm.

      • OlyFan

        Well, that is your POV. There are no tests that prove one is more effective than the other. But with longer FL, you are better off with a tripod anyway since that is a specialised use case (like for birding etc).
        However, if you want to introduce improvements to IS (like the 5-axis stabilization), these incremental (or substantial) improvements are more easier to introduce if they are in-body: release a new body with the new tech. But since lenses stay with you much longer than a body, the only option you are left with is to manufacture Mk II version of the lenses. That is more expensive for the company to produce and also once you have lens with a specific FL, you are unlikely to upgrade the lens with the same FL just to take advantage of the new IS as its more expensive to do so.
        My 2 cents of course.

      • BLI

        In-lens IS *may* have an advantage if the lens is not perfectly stiff, i.e if there is some flexibility in the lens-body. But for a perfectly stiff lens, I see no reason why not IBIS could be just as good. Since the sensor most likely is considerably lighter than the lens, energy wise it must be better to move the sensor. OK — for large movements, the required moving of the sensor *may* constrain what can be achieved (the sensor will be constrained in how much it can move). Perhaps for such cases, moving several lenses to compensate *may* give better performance. you’d have to know more about lenses than I do to answer that question.

        • Esa Tuunanen

          > In-lens IS *may* have an advantage if the lens is not perfectly stiff, i.e if there is some flexibility in the lens-body.
          Neither has advantage:
          Stabilization unit in lens doesn’t have any knowledge if body isn’t moving precisely along with lens and body doesn’t know about doings of lens.
          Taking that variable into account would require actual tracking of projected image on sensor plane to keep sensor and image aligned.

  • Tadeo

    Another great camera not here yet :)

    • Brod1er

      I have placed a Pre-order for it with the 1-1000mm f1 zoom kit lens……

      • Geoff

        Settling for the slow lens hey……………. Problem is, no yet produces a UV filter that size to protect the lens front element.

      • Digifan

        Oh you did? very good, I ordered the same lens but i.s.o. yours it’s a Pancake ;-)

      • Pedro del Río

        You mean the Leica-Zeiss SFELMeZ (Super Fast Extra Light Mega Zoom)? It is going to cost over 1200 €; way too expensive.

      • You will have to wait while they reinforce the road to take the truck delivering the lens.
        How much is crane hire?

        • Esa Tuunanen

          Maybe it comes with some Soviet surplus tracked vehicle as platform like self propelled howitzer…

  • DrThrash

    The in-body-stabilization is fantastic news. For me, MFT is a compact 2nd system next to Nikon DSLR, and hence, I’m focussed on small primes which have no IS (and where it is the more logical choice to build IS into the camera body).

    The bad thing, OTOH, is that Panasonic apparently considers copying this terrible retro design approach from Olympus. I would definitely buy a Panasonic camera with IS built into a MODERN DESIGN camera. Please, Pana, let Oly do this retro nonsense. I bet I’m not the only one who does not like this terrible retro style which completely ruins the OM-D E-M5.

  • Befürworter

    I won’t buy such a camera, cause I’ll soon get my OM-D and i think that camera wil make me happy!

    • +1

    • Franky S

      It’s only the Oly fanboys flapping about all over the place over the E-M5. The photographers amongst us are waiting on a real camera.

      *grins mischievously*

      • E-M5 is for real.
        Image stabilization is overrated, but even without that 5 axis thing, its a darn cool piece of camera if you ask me.
        I won’t ebay my GH2 for it, but if I had to buy, that probably would be my choice now.

        • southbymidwest

          I just eBay’d my GH2 for the OM-D I have on pre-order. Got $660 for it with the extra battery. Not bad resale actually.

          I usually shoot film and send it off to be developed. What I get out of the camera is what I use. I hated having to tweak the RAW files on *every single* shot with the GH2. Everything looked so flat out of the camera to me. I also have an E-P2 and found myself reaching for that one 9 times out of 10 because I could just shoot with it and be done. Once I heard the OM-D did stabilization in video (with my primes!) I decided to sell the GH2. The GH2 is still a great camera and technically outperformed my E-P2 (and possibly the OM-D). But if you add in the required computer time, it just wasn’t as fun for me to shoot with…

        • Befürworter

          Yeah, you’re absolutly right. The OM-D is not a real camera. Oh man… this is rubbish…

          • Franky S

            Oh dear. The *grins mischievously* part didn’t give it away then hmm? There’s an analogy about a hook, line & sinker I could throw in here, but I wont.

            Instead please accept my sincerest apologies if I upset you. My comment was in jest. The E-M5 is a sensational camera and I wish I had one myself.

            • You did fool me too :D

  • my name

    Built in new EVF on the left! side in a GF1 sized body with multi aspect ratio sensor = big trouble for my pocket. Definately WILL BUY.
    Just do not keep it small (like GF2, GF3 and GX1), please.

    75/1.8; new zooms (if f/2.0) = I need some more money :)

    • Digifan

      No man, GF1 is way to BIG!!! Give me GF5 with VF, IBIS and buttons all over it’s body ;-)

  • Farrukh

    This in a GH3 would provide me with an incentive to move away from Olympus – but I doubt it will be realised anytime soon.

  • Anonymous

    If the OM-D already has it all, why do I still have to consider this over the Oly made ones? Just because of its style? Plus the fact that there has not been any sign for it to exist… (I remember Pana’s staff saying they chose not to include EVF in the range-finder styled body because you can choose to add it on as an accessory?)

  • Ben

    Leica is going to release their mirrorless interchangeable lens, evf camera this year. My bet is that it will be made by Panny. I think Panny will release their version first. This may be the camera we are getting hints about.

    • Mr. Reeee

      An X1 that doesn’t break the bank? ;-)

  • fan_guo_lai_xiang_xiang

    It looks sweet… a range finder style camera in Pana (non-retro) design and with integrated IS would be amazing.

    I think Oly is drawing away Panasonic costumers by handing out great (but unstabilized) m4/3 lenses that work better with IBIS… so Pana has to answer with some sort of IBIS too, or their bodies will become unattractive for owners of Oly lenses.

  • Admin,
    I like you but you are becoming a troll on your own website and that’s a pity. First of all, we’ve seen these drafts many times before here. Second time… well I’m sorry but you just can’t whine every second day about wanting a Panasonic a la LC1 rangefinder styled body and f/2.0 zoom lenses. I’m afraid we’re mostly coming here for news and not to read your ramblings. I mean… you might as well configurate an automatic posting of a post saying “Panasonic, I want a revamped LC1”. If you want to build up a campaign, do it on a separate web space and have a module on the right side of you site link to it. But not this. Please. Sorry for the rant but you’ve been asking for it…

    • napalm

      there’s a reason why he keeps on mentioning cameras. if you want to find out, click on the links ;) he has to do that to survive, webhosting aint free, you know

    • admin

      No problem! :)

      • MIilt

        If Admin wants a new L1 style camera, Thats ok. And if he wants constant 2.0 zooms, thats ok too. Heaven knows Panasonic is past due for a competitor with the many other rangefinder style cameras with internal EVFs on the market – NEX7, E5, etc, etc.

    • Ernest.orf

      No way , ADMIN is working really hard for the website,and has his thoughts , and he and all repect all kind of opinions , u need to do the same , i really love pana too , but my wish is a 12-60 2.0 for m4/3 ^^

    • Elniorg,

      There used to be another poster (can’t remember his name) who made similar demands of the admin. I am once again amazed out how classless some people can be to try and dictate the content of someone else’s hard work.

      Why don’t you take your own advice and go start your own site where you are free to write (or not write) whatever you want??

      You obviously never learned manners when you were younger. When you are a guest in someone else’s house, you don’t tell them how they should run it.

      • What, am I being a selfish spoiled brat? ;)

        Alright alright… but you know that’s the price of success: famous personalities, brands, websites etc., however private they might be from a legal standpoint, “belong” to their public, or at least that’s what the public feels. Denying it is delusory. By the way I did start my website but it’s nowgere as good as this one ;)

  • Miroslav

    Put IBIS in G3 or GH2 and I’ll forget E-PL1 the moment it is available. Come on Pana, you can do it :) !

  • chris

    Panasonic needs something that stirs up a lot of talk and these retro designs are really taking the pre-order frenzy to a new level, if it gives Panny the sales smash and creates a passionate brand identity then good for them. I for one hope this is the GH3, IBIS and some of the best video around – hopefully better DR and improved stills as well.

  • I am very interested in that type of camera and own several m43 lenses – so YES.
    At leat if it comes with a new sensor generation. It should have much improved tonal range and mayybe removed AA-filter.
    There is already stiff competition from Sony and Fuji and maybe Leica and Canon.
    To me, my G3 is too small. An optimal camera should be 400 – 450g and large enough for good ergonomy. The EM-5 “smallishness” being a very important factor in the design, is too small for my taste.
    That points at the Fuji X-pro1 as a camera that would suit me. If Pana want me to buy their next camera they have to show it at Photokina latest – be similar to the X-Pro1 in form factor, quality feel, features and performance.
    But I am only one customer….

    • chris

      The EM5 is much larger with the vertical grip. If the new Panasonic isn’t until photokina, we’ll be lucky if we have the camera in hand by the end of the year. I’m going EM5 for now and when the new Panny is finally available I’ll give it a look.

      • Chris: Right! If it turns out the sensor of the EM-5 is nearly as good as that much discussed TechRadar test indicates, the EM-5 with grip will be on my radar as well :-)

    • somebody

      Buy a normal DSLR, then. Better everything (focus speed, lenses, IQ, you name it).
      The whole point of mirrorless is size.

      • The points of mirrorless is size and weight – and the possibility to have the lens closer to the focal plane/sensor. The later makes better sharpness compared to DSLR.
        This was one of the reasons (in the film era) that SLR never got as sharp as Leica and other mirrorless cameras. (+ lens design and tolerances in manufacturing)
        Personally I believe that the m43 concept enables design of high performance lenses with a relatively resonable price.

        • Esa Tuunanen

          Point of mirrorless design is getting rid of that analog era moving mirror and allow seamless live view and integration of video. Just remember how out of DSLRs only Sony SLTs have as seamless video integration and they aren’t pure SLRs.
          Rest of body design freedom is bonus.

          And instead of automatic image quality boost short flange back distance in relation to sensor size is challenge because unlike film digital sensor doesn’t like light hitting it in highly oblique angle.
          That along with high MP count sensor’s higher than usual optical requirements for APS-C is why NEX-7 is having such hard time in corner/edge sharpness.

  • Red Indian

    In body stabilization is not new to Panasonic. Their earlier FZ series cameras like FZ-30, FZ-50, all had in sensor shift OIS and very good OIS. Lens IS is makes more commercial sense as then manufacturers have captive market for lenses and also they get forced brand loyalty.

  • The rudeness of this Elniorg character! Go away or learn to live among the civilized…

    As Admin said I consider it a very strong change of heart from Panny. If the had both IBIS and tiltable built in EVF in a RF body, I could even consider them for the first time.

    In the end having a dual brand format is sweet because all solutions get explored.

    Now if we also had competition between sensors m4/3 would be even healthier :)

    • Anonymous

      Says someone who keeps calling people monkeys/apes and wishing they died and went to hell…?

  • Elf

    @amalric: You of all people …… an OLY fanboy. Should understand Elniorg\’s journey.

    And his rude behavior is miniscule and darkened by the shadow of …. your intolerant,arrogant, self indulgent drama queen,Oly fanboyism.

    Disclaimer I shoot Oly e510,e520,e620, and epl-2.

    Amalric I find your Oly fanboy troll act embarassing.

  • avds

    Tiltable built-in EVF’s were already present on Minolta Dimage series half a decade ago (along with a tilting lcd and relatively large sensor), so this is hardly patentable by itself.

  • NineFace

    no dial?

    • Pedro del Río

      If it is a patent about a body stabilisation system it does not need to show all details of the camera. What is needed are all the details of the stabilisation system, which has to differ from all previously patented systems.

  • Someday, all capturing systems will have in-camera stabilization!

    • pn

      Someday, all capturing systems will be able to read out their sensors quickly enough and have global shutter, so instead of taking one a shot at 1s/100 you can take three shots at 1s/300 and have the processor compute one motion compensated / stabilized image from these three shots.

      Software doing such is already existent, now it takes only the read-out rate and the global shutter to be done.

      And when it’s done, you won’t need _any_ mechanical moving parts for image stabilization anymore!

  • nxp3

    Geez, I’m still waiting for my e-m5. BH suppose to ship it today but no word at all. Maybe I should wait for this panasonic model. :) If i get the e-m5…I hope the panasonice comes out 5 years later, becuase I’m not planning to get another camera at least that long.

  • SF

    Need to stop reading 43rumors, since I bought a E-M5 last week, which
    should make me happy for a long time without looking to other cameras…

  • safaridon

    Admin – Thanks for this new patent news. Any chance you could also post the link to the patent so we can read the details as done with previous patent rumors? When was the patent originally filed or is this a more advanced one?

    Looks like the swivel EVF is hinged differently than previous camera patent and we get a look at the rear where the LCD could still be either swivel screen or tilt screen configuration.

    • Yes the source (was it pushed AT you) and timing of this patent along with the give away price of the GH2 may be simply a Panasonic blinder against the e-m5 dominating the m43 top end.
      IBIS was my reason to go to Olympus over Panny in the first place.
      One thing I dooooooooo like is a tiltable viewfinder. I was using my ep2 yesterday with the vf2 and thought I would miss the tilt with the E-m5, would that be acceptable to me?
      Ok I can use the vf2 on the e-m5 but I will need to sell the EP2 or ‘She who must be obeyed’ will disturb my peaceful existence.

  • safaridon

    The part of this patent which shows the greatest detail is that for the IBIS system. Interesting to compare that with the new IBIS for the E-M5. Looks like that for E-M5 is designed for EVF in middle of the camera while that shown in Pany patent is for EVF on far left side so unlikely it would be used with a typical G or GH design?

    Hope indeed that Pany produces this model then we will have a choice between the larger E-M5 with EVF hump or the smaller more portable GP1?

    • Milt


  • Pete

    The flash solution looks very nice, to have both options is perfekt


    DAMMIT. I’m throwing money at my screen, but nothing’s happening!

  • ArKersaint

    Congratulations Admin, one single unsignificant troll among 78 encouraging appraisals… For these nice news…
    Remarkable 78 / 79 nearly 100% signal to noise ratio !
    Great site once again

  • These are all good news because they mean that m4/3 is becoming the new standard of decade. People will learn that they can expect a built in EVF and stabilisation on all lenses, of which they can expect many, at all price levels.

    Having trolls is just a natural consequence of jealousy, they can’t accept of having invested in the wrong system and have to sell their lenses.

    Therefore I salute you trolls, just bend your knees and KMA. :D

  • matt

    I never cared about IBIS in olympus cameras.. but after seeing what that EM-5 IBIS can do I must say I WANT IT BADLY IN MY FUTURE GH3.. IBIS/no ois= cheaper and smaller lenses and it´s far better for smooth those shots with those cheap steadicams would be.. or even multicopter cinematography with less jello and better stabilized footage..

  • 43shot

    Now all the EM-5 owners will be selling for the next GH.

  • Sid

    I sure hope this isn’t the GH3.

  • Ben

    I would LOVE in camera IS for video! It would make using all the MF primes a dream come true!

  • T N Args

    Within 14 months this became the Panasonic GX7, complete with IBIS. And well-spotted to the site owner for noticing the 90-degree tilting EVF!

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