We round up the most credible camera rumors and review our thoughts on what the camera makers might do next
Panasonic camera rumors 2020
Panasonic brought a triple threat of powerhouse performers to the market, within the sort of its full-frame trio: the Panasonic S1, Panasonic S1R and Panasonic S1H. consistent with a recent interview, the corporate has achieved a tenth market share with the 2 stills-oriented systems, and sales of the video-focused S1H have exceeded expectations.
However, with Sony, Canon and Nikon already having staked the full-frame mirrorless market pretty extensively, Panasonic features a little bit of an uphill battle – particularly since lenses for the L-mount certainly aren’t the most cost effective .
Still, the corporate has stated that it remains committed to the smaller Micro Four Thirds format where it’s a way stronger foothold – and confirmed that it’s no place to enter the APS-C territory that would cannibalize both.
So, what can we expect this year from the sole company to form a mirrorless camera certified by Netflix?
A Japanese website apparently spotted the Panasonic S5 – said to be a smaller version of the Panasonic S1 camera.
No other information was leaked, but we all know that Panasonic has been keen to broaden its S1 series of cameras by introducing smaller, lighter and cheaper bodies – all using the L mount, and every one featuring a full-frame image sensor. The S5 would appear to be the primary release thereupon new strategy in mind.
Mid-range and entry level L-mount cameras
In a recent interview with DP Review, Panasonic confirmed that it’s performing on different tiers of L-mount systems to go with its high end (not to say high price) S1 series.
“Initially, we actually wanted to appeal to high-end users, to point out that we could make those high-end cameras, to prove the standard of our cameras,” said Yosuke Yamane, director of Panasonic’s Imaging Business Division. “In the longer term , we’re getting to introduce mid-class, and different ranges of cameras.”
“Overall, we’ve had tons of appreciative comments from high-end users. What’s hindering us within the lower-end segment is size, weight and price. So we’d like to know those obstacles, and we’re considering the event of latest products so as to penetrate into a wider market.”
A mid-range and entry level version of the Panasonic S1 is an intriguing proposition – particularly if the physical size of the cameras are often reduced. However, don’t expect an APS-C sensor to be the solution to either of those points…
No APS-C Panasonic cameras
In the same conversation, Panasonic confirmed that it’ll be sticking to full-frame and Micro Four thirds cameras – it’ll not enter the doubtless overlap-casing APS-C arena, which could cause cannibalization of 1 of both lines.
“As of now, we’ve no plans to enter the APS-C market, because we all know that Micro Four Thirds and full-frame can coexist with none cannibalization. If we moved into APS-C, there could be some overlap between Micro Four Thirds and APS-C, and between APS-C and full-frame, so I don’t think we’ll enter that direction.”
In short, while Panasonic intends to introduce an entry level L-mount range, it’ll not be APS-C. “Two different [L-mount systems] would be an excessive amount of for us!”
Panasonic GH6 and GH6S
Despite focusing its efforts on its full-frame trinity of cameras, Panasonic remains committed to the Micro Four Thirds format that brought it such prominence within the market – and that we thoroughly expect a replacement body this year.
A Panasonic GH6 / GH6S seems to be the apparent choice – especially since it recently gifted virtually all of the GH5’s key selling points to the Panasonic G9 (thanks to a natty firmware update), leaving the GH line with none killer USPs of its own. So it is time for an upgrade!
The rumblings are that the GH6 will possess a 41MP sensor, improved image stabilization, 4K and 6K RAW, and a “new generation AF system” – which we will only hope means the top of Panny’s contrast-based DFD autofocus.
It seems that the GH6 was set to be revealed at this year’s Photokina, which was obviously cancelled. It now appears that Panasonic will launch the camera at some point in August or September.
No 8K from Panasonic this year
The Sharp 8K Video Camera is due for release this year, and therefore the 8K Canon EOS R5 has just been announced, but don’t expect Panasonic to deliver a consumer 8K camera this side of 2021.
“At this point , the sole 8K camera we’ve planned is for the Olympic games, which is merely a couple of months away,” said the corporate . “Our feeling is that the 8K era may be a bit delayed. But we would like to catch that chance and that we haven’t given up our pursuit of 8K cameras.”
Much as it must be irritating to be gazumped by Sharp and Canon, Panasonic are going to be waiting a touch longer to bring 8K to the masses. “We are going to be ready for 8K soon, but we can’t tell you the timing. we’d like a touch bit longer before we will introduce 8K cameras. It won’t be [in the very near future].”
The Panasonic verdict
After throwing its eggs firmly within the full-frame basket in 2019 (leaving many questioning its commitment to its smaller sensor systems), we expect Panasonic to release a minimum of one Micro Four Thirds camera in 2020 – which is probably going to be the Panasonic GH6 / GH6S. the important question, though, is whether or not the corporate will finally give us the phase detect autofocus system that its cameras so desperately need, or whether we’ll once more need to put up with herky-jerky DFD technology…