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New Panasonic ‘Hybrid’ Camera Coming In April?

By Anthony Thurston on February 22nd 2015

The Panasonic GH4 is known as one of the best hybrid cameras (meaning its purpose is equally stills and video) on the market. It also happens to be one of the most affordable 4K options on the market that should even be considered by someone wanting to do professional video. If a new rumor is correct, Panasonic may have another game changer on the horizon, though this time of the much more expensive variety.


According to a new report over on Photo Rumors, Panasonic is gearing up to announce a new M4/3 camera at NAB in April. The new camera is said to feature an all new 18MP sensor capable of clean 12,800 ISO (which is nuts in M4/3 land) and 16 stops of dynamic range. It also wouldn’t be a video option without 4K, which the new camera will reportedly support as well.

The price is where many of you will scoff. According to the rumor, this new camera will be in the $3000 to $4000 range, making it (to my knowledge) one of the most expensive M 4/3 cameras on the market by quite a large margin.


Personally, with all the glowing reviews that the GH4 gets from a Hybrid camera perspective, if anyone can one up it, it would be Panasonic. Also, let’s talk about this sensor, which if the rumor is correct, would be a very impressive offering from Panasonic. A sensor like that would eliminate previous qualms with the M 4/3 format (poor low light and noisy sensors), leaving only DoF as the only real complaint against the system.

I am very interested to see this new camera. It could be one of those game changers that we talk about for years to come.

What are your thoughts on this new Panasonic Rumor? Do you think that a sensor with that capability could take the M 4/3 format to new heights? Leave a comment below and let us know!

[via Photo Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Vince Arredondo

    Thanks for sharing

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  2. stone evans

    As an owner and huge fan of both GH3 & GH4 cameras, I really like the new concept…but will never sell at the $3,000 to $4,000 range. Quite frankly, it would be a big stretch at $2,000. I honestly think the market is burned out on the GH4 concept and a slightly improved reboot will not get much play.

    The only way for Panasonic to sell a camera at that price is if the company released a revolutionary new type of technology where a m4/3 achieved true full frame sensor performance with 50MP, 409,600 ISO and filmed 4K internally at 10bit. Otherwise, Panasonic is in for a rude awakening.

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    • Dave Haynie

      So let me get this straight… Panasonic MUST replicate all of the best features of the GH4, the Sony A7s, and the Canon 5Ds, while simultaneously remaining micro four-thirds, or they’re doomed? Why doesn’t this same rule apply to Sony and Canon?

      No one needs a 50Mp sensor for 4K video. All you really need is slightly more than an 8Mp sensor, since Cinema 4K is only 8,847,360 pixels. QFHD is fewer.

      And even with that, not everyone needs 50Mp, period. A modern 16-20Mp sensor exceeds the practical resolution of just about any 35mm film these days. Plus, any time you put in that many pixels, you inherently lower the low-light capability. This is why Sony’s pushing the A7s for video, not the A7r. That 36Mp sensor would add nothing for video, and it’s a compromise in low light. Which is precisely why Sony, and now Canon, offer the same basic camera tweaked with different features for different purposes.

      But Panasonic must magically put them all into one camera? And that, plus full frame on m43, without making a gigantic camera that needs a whole new line of lenses? If you must have full frame, buy a full frame camera.. and at that point, mirrorless isn’t much of a win unless you’re shooting video on it. My Canon 6D weighs 7oz more than a Sony A7… that’s the only thing in my entire kit I’d save, weight-wise, over the Sony. Well, not entirely true — Sony doesn’t have a lens to replace all 20+ lbs of lenses in my Canon kit.

      Meanwhile, my Olympus OM-D and six lenses weights about as much as my 6D and a 24-105 f/4L lens. The point of m43 isn’t being exactly like a Canon or Nikon FF system, the point is being smaller. And it’s got more traction in video right now, once you add in the video-only options from Blackmagic Design and JVC, Panasonic’s video bodies, Zeiss and other cinema lenses, etc. The only other options for 4K ILC in video, really, are Canon EOS or PL-mount, which is basically one and two notches up in expense.

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    • stone evans

      Dave Haynie, ease up on the histrionics there buddy. I’m just guessing reading and comprehension are not your strong suits.

      I never stated you needed 50MG for 4K video…but photographers do like that sort of stuff. “….or they’re doomed”…lmao drama queen

      What you failed to “get straight” is my point…Panasonic is going to have a difficult time selling a $3K to $4K m4/3 camera unless it revolutionizes the market and the way we think about the technology.

      As much as I like my Panasonic, at the end of the day, it still just says Panasonic on the front of the camera. To command a Pro grade price, Panasonic will have to either incorporate Pro grade features and performance (which they haven’t) or go to the extremes i.e. 50MP / way better sensor for photography / monster ISO / 10 bit internal 4K.

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  3. Dave Haynie

    That’s a pretty tall order, shrinking the pixels and increasing sensitivity by a full stop. And that alone doesn’t do anything for video. If anything, I would wonder about the video quality. The GH4 does so well because either 4K mode is a clean crop of the 16Mp sensor, no resizing or line-skipping needed.

    It could just be a BSI sensor, which is going to improve the photodiode fill ratio, though whether that’s enough to offset the shrink is anyone’s guess. Panasonic was also working on a totally new kind of color in a sensor, using “micro color splitters” to split light by color and direct it to the appropriate sensor element. This gets you an array of four colors: White + Red, Cyan (G+B), White + Blue, and Yellow (R+G), without much if any light loss. Versus the color filters used today, which cut out about 75% of the light hitting the sensor. Combine that with BSI and you might see a real-world 2-stop gain for the same sized sensor.

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  4. Scottie Nguyen

    Canon should buy Panasonic

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  5. Duy-Khang Hoang

    Sounds very interesting. I can’t recall exactly, but 16 stops of dynamic range and clean ISO 12800 sound like some additional processing would need to be employed as it would appear to have exceeded what is theoretically possible with an ideal sensor in the traditional sense (given the size). Perhaps this is similar to what RED does with it’s dual exposures?

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  6. Peter McWade

    Need to wear out my A7R first. :)
    Maybe by then they will have a full frame 50 mp with super clean 12800 iso and 4k in camera.

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  7. Austin Swenson

    While that sounds awesome, I think the price would just instantly cut out a large amount of consumers

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  8. Herm Tjioe

    I’ll be sure to check it out at NAB.

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  9. Stan Rogers

    18MP and clean ISO 12800 does sound like a tall order (depending on how you define “clean”, I suppose); that’s greater pixel density than the Samsung BSI sensor with (again, depending…) a stop better noise. Still, if all of the things in my lifetime that “will never happen” never happened, the world would be a very different place.

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