专讗砖讬 English photokina 2012: Interview with Panasonic

photokina 2012: Interview with Panasonic

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During photokina 2012 which took place last month we had a chance to interview most of the major players in the photography industry. Today we bring to you our interview with Panasonic Europe which deals with the newly introduced GH3 as well as a look at some of the other developments Panasonic is currently working on.

During one of the last days of photokina we arranged a meeting with Mr. Sebastian Drawert – product manager for Panasonic Europe. Before the interview (which was especially open and relaxed – they are not always like that, especially not with the larger manufacturers) we had a chance to play with the GH3 with the (relatively new) 12-35mm lens. The camera was still a prototype at the time with beta firmware but we were still impressed with it despite the short time we had to play with it – especially with the very quick and percipience focusing speed for stills (not a small thing given the very harsh lighting conditions on the Panasonic booth at photokina).

The Panasonic GH3 in photokina 2012 (Credit: Ofir Iluz/MegaPixel.co.il)

For those who forgot or didn't notice the specs of the GH3 when it was announced just prior to photokina 2012 – here is a summery of some of the main points:

  • A new 16MP Live MOS sensor (micro 4/3 format).
  • New Venus VII FHD processor.
  • 200-12,800 ISO (expendable up to 125-25,600 ISO).
  • 3 inch articulated OLED touch display (614k dots resolution).
  • 1.7 million dot OLED viewfinder.
  • 6 fps shooting speed (the GH2 had 5fps).
  • AF speed: .07 seconds (according to Panasonic).
  • Dust and splash proof body (Magnesium alloy based).
  • New grip – DMW-BGGH3.
  • FHD (1080p) video recording 24/30 fps with 50Mbps in IPB and 72Mbps in All-I compression.
  • 3.5mm mic socket and headphone socket (the GH2 had 2.5mm mic jack and not headphone socket).
  • Timecode support.
  • Built in WIFI with app support (for both android and iOS).
  • New extra powerful 1860 mAh battery.
  • Weight 470 grams (size – slightly larger than the GH2 all around).
  • Price: $1300 (body only) starting from late November 2012.

Besides the GH3, Panasonic also introduced the new LUMIX GX Vario 35-100mm F2.8 Power-OIS – pro zoom lens which will complement the existing 12-35mm f/2.8 lens introduced by the company earlier this year. The new lens is relatively small (99mm long) and light (360 grams only) with 18 elements (in 13 groups) and includes an image stabilizer and should cost around $1500 starting from the end of November 2012.

The new Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 lens (Credit: Ofir Iluz/MegaPixel.co.il)

Our interview with Mr. Sebastian Drawert from Panasonic Europe (please watch in HD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53NloNaat3k&hd=1[/youtube]

A few points coming out of the interview (watch the full interview for more interesting stuff):

  • The huge success of the GH2 as a video camera was a surprise to Panasonic.
  • The development of the GH3 was at least in part the result of a great deal of feedback from pro videographers.
  • The GH3 abandons the multi aspect ratio sensor used in the GH2 in order to improve image quality according to Mr. Drawert .
  • While the GH2 was a 60% video and 40% stills camera the GH3 is more of a 50%-50% according to Mr. Drawert.
  • The GH3 we saw in photokina didn't have focus peeking – this is not a hardware issue and might be added later on in firmware (although nothing is set at this point).
  • Although Panasonic did not announce a sound grip (like Sony did with the A99) this is an option Panasonic will definitely look into.
  • Panasonic showcased two new prototype lenses in photokina 2012 – a 150mm f2.8 (300mm in 35mm equivalent) and a 42.5mm f/1.2 (a 85mm in 35mm equivalent). Both lenses should be available next year.
  • Panasonic developed applications for the GH3 for both android and iOS based devices including ones which uses the cellular device' GPS (so no internal GPS is required by the camera) as well as a remote etc.
  • It is possible to view images on the computer from the camera in "real-time" however bandwidth limitations meas that RAW image will still take 20-30 seconds to transfer.
  • Panasonic currently doesn't have plans to allow developers to create apps for its cameras but it doesn't rule anything for the future and will continue to evaluate the development of the connected camera market.

Unique picture – two Panasonic prototypes – 42.5mm f/1.2 and 300mm f/2.8 (Credit: Ofir Iluz/MegaPixel.co.il)

Panasonic GH3 – a look from behind (Credit: Ofir Iluz/MegaPixel.co.il)

In the following days we shall release many more video interviews we have conducted during photokina 2012 which you will be able to find on our photokina 2012 English coverage page.

The MegaPixel.co.il team were the guests of Leica for photokina 2012

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