Whereas being in Japan I had the possibility to speak to Yosuke Yamane-san, director of Panasonic’s Imaging Unite concerning the launch of the GH5 II, the upcoming GH6, and extra. I hope that a few of Yamane-san’s solutions will fulfill your curiosity and urge for food to study extra concerning the ever-evolving movie trade.
What would a go to to Japan be with out taking the chance to assessment new cameras, focus on new gear, and meet individuals accountable for creating and manufacturing a few of the gear all of us use every day? Exactly, why I’m so comfortable to have met once more with Yamane-san in Osaka at Panasonic’s HQ.
With out additional ado, here’s a transcription of our pleasant dialog, in case that you just don’t have the time to look at the interview. (Yamane-san’s solutions have been translated from Japanese to English.)
Johnnie: Very first thing first. I see that Panasonic is now strongly pushing their cameras underneath the LUMIX model identify. Is there a elementary choice to maneuver away from the identify “Panasonic” and market all future cameras underneath that identify? Asking as Panasonic did this sort of advertising transfer earlier than in different fields with Technics and Nationwide simply to call just a few.
Yamane-san: Now we have constantly promoted the LUMIX model because the launch of the digital digicam enterprise. Within the 20 years because the enterprise was launched, we’ve got bought greater than 80 million items, launched many world’s first merchandise as a challenger within the digicam trade, and have been supported by many purchasers.
Any further, whereas maintaining this model picture, we’ll proceed to tackle new challenges as a model that intently helps creators, who create works with explicit consideration to each video and nonetheless photographs.
Johnnie: Speaking about advertising, I do know that for some it would look a bit unusual, however how ought to we identify the brand new GH5 digicam. Is it GH5M2, GH5 II, GH5 Mark II? Asking as from an editorial perspective it is going to be priceless to have a single unified product identify.
Yamane-san: With the intention to emphasize the place as an orthodox evolution mannequin of the GH5, the advertising identify is unified with GH5 II, pronounced “GH5 Mark 2”. I’m assured that this mannequin, that inherits the DNA of the GH5, which has many followers on account of its excessive video efficiency, and has developed many performances, is not going to solely entice GH5 customers however may also domesticate new clients.
Johnnie: Speaking post-pandemic, is the scarcity of digital parts and better world transportation charges affecting the LUMIX mirrorless division?
Yamane-san: The worldwide scarcity of semiconductors and hovering transportation prices are affecting the digicam trade, and we aren’t any exception. I personally negotiate straight with suppliers every day, and at Panasonic as an entire, I attempt my finest to soak up the influence and never trigger any inconvenience to clients.
Johnnie: OK, let’s focus on the brand new digicam itself. What was the principle motive for creating such a digicam? Is it due to the various methods we at the moment produce content material, or, Panasonic is attempting to fulfill many with one single product?
Yamane-san: The GH5 is utilized by a variety of customers, from skilled video manufacturing to private video streaming resembling Youtube. In contemplating the successor mannequin to the GH5, we grasped the wants of many creators from the taking pictures websites, utilization scenes, and workflows. With the intention of getting extra creators use it, we got here to the conclusion that the optimum mannequin and optimum perform are required for every utility and due to this fact proceeded with the event of two fashions, GH6 and GH5 II.
The GH6 is a flagship mannequin geared up with a newly developed picture sensor and a newly developed picture processor that allows cutting-edge video expression.
The GH5 II is a mannequin that, whereas enhancing the fundamental efficiency as a digicam, permits simpler and better high quality reside streaming so as to reply to the quickly increasing video streaming demand. With these two fashions, we’re assured that much more creators will be capable of use LUMIX in comparison with GH5.
Johnnie: The unique GH5 was a legendary digicam that provided filmmakers rather a lot for a really aggressive worth. The place do you see the energy and positioning of the brand new GH5 II?
Yamane-san: The strengths of GH5 II are video capabilities, reside streaming perform, and reliability. Cinema 4K 60P 4:2:0 10 bit recording is realized, and V-log L can also be pre-installed in order that it may be used even in skilled settings. As well as, it’s also geared up with L. Basic Neo and L. Monochrome S, which have been first put in in Cinelike D2, V2, and S5, and it possesses prime quality even when taking pictures with out post-production. Moreover, we’ll meet the rising demand for reside streaming by a brand new wi-fi reside streaming perform put in for simply performing reside streaming with excessive picture high quality. On high of inheriting the DNA of the GH5, it’s geared up with a USB charging/energy provide perform (Energy supply suitable) that helps long-term taking pictures along with limitless video recording time. It inherits the taking pictures help capabilities of our full-frame digicam S1H and is a digicam that’s intently supporting creators.
Johnnie: Did you and your staff take into account at any stage in the course of the growth of the digicam to merge the GH5 and GH5S cameras into one profitable product and supply lowlight functionality subsequent to a nice stabilization system? If sure, why it didn’t materialize on the finish?
Yamane-san: In fact, we’re contemplating all potentialities. Right now, we’ve got developed the GH5 II together with the 20 MegaPixel Picture sensor, which might present high-resolution movies and pictures in a hybrid method whereas responding to new demand for reside streaming. We thought that this would supply the UX of this GH5 II to a variety of use circumstances, particularly to new clients.
Concerning your proposed mixture, I can’t say something concerning the future. We are going to proceed to discover completely different potentialities whereas keeping track of trade traits, market reactions, and wishes.
Johnnie: Lots of our followers would like to know why Panasonic isn’t shifting away from “distinction base AF” to “Part-detection AF” particularly in video mode. From the skin it appears to be like as if Panasonic is absolutely conscious of the necessity to implement a dependable AF system in its mirrorless cameras by dedicating LOTS of assets to realize this, but, clients (Particularly single operators) would like to have an much more dependable AF system inside LUMIX cameras. Why the transfer to “phase-detection AF” isn’t taking place?
Yamane-san: As you’ll be able to think about, we’re persevering with to analysis varied focusing approaches, however distinction AF with DFD know-how nonetheless has technological potential to offer sensible efficiency to our clients.
Within the first place, from the perspective of distance measurement efficiency, distinction AF with DFD know-how covers an arbitrary space in all the display screen in comparison with the image-plane phase-detection technique that measures the gap from section distinction pixels organized at a specified location on the display screen. Since it’s attainable to measure the gap, I feel it’s attainable to offer correct focusing whatever the place of the topic. As well as, because the distance is measured from the video sign itself, the picture high quality potential of the picture sensor could be maximized with out worrying about pixel loss, and the efficiency in darkish locations is adequate. Moreover, it’s extra probably that we can supply the identical stage of efficiency to as many fashions as attainable additionally by way of worth, no matter the kind of picture sensor.
In fact, we’ve got acquired varied opinions from our clients, and we acknowledge that image-plane phase-detection AF is superior by way of topic monitoring. However, as represented by deep studying, we’re enhancing AF efficiency by strengthening algorithms that make the most of the video sign processing know-how which we’re good at.
We’re at the moment creating the next-generation system with the intention of creating it much more sensible, so please wait till the day we will present it.
Johnnie: Subsequent to the GH5II Panasonic additionally made a growth announcement of the GH6. Logically considering, this new digicam should have a “deal-breaker characteristic(s)” so as to differentiate itself from the GH5 II and extra ever, take the M4/3 system an enormous step ahead so as to hold it related in at present’s onerous competitors. Is there something you’ll be able to expose already so as to set off the creativeness of filmmakers?
Yamane-san: Sadly, I can’t provide you with extra info right here than we’ve disclosed, because the GH6 continues to be within the growth announcement stage, however I’m assured that some elements will encourage these individuals’s creativeness. We’re additionally working onerous on growth, so please look ahead to it.
Johnnie: Most different respected digicam producers have already got 8K cameras available in the market. Final we spoke, you indicated the 2020 Olympic Video games as a attainable time to current a brand new LUMIX 8K digicam. Are you able to please be variety and share with us the place Panasonic is with that particular plan?
Yamane-san: Once we met final time, I talked about attempting (to ship) 8K on the timing of the Olympics. Now we have been creating the know-how with the intention of reaching this, however trying on the present scenario, I feel the truth is that the penetration of the 8K tradition itself has stagnated. We are going to take into account the timing of commercialization after anticipating the rising wants of our clients for 8K.
Johnnie: One query relating to lenses…Inexpensive anamorphic lenses are very onerous to seek out. (In addition to one firm, we don’t actually know of any others doing so). Panasonic is continually bringing new inexpensive fastened focal size L-Mount lenses to the market, however did you ever take into account doing anamorphic lenses too? In spite of everything, it can provide an enormous push to the L- Mount system altogether!
Yamane-san: Panasonic gives capabilities that assist taking pictures on the physique facet, resembling anamorphic mode and anamorphic de-squeeze show, for creators who shoot works utilizing anamorphic lenses.
However, an anamorphic lens itself requires engineering design know-how and manufacturing know-how which can be considerably completely different from abnormal lenses, so we want to take into account what sort of worth Panasonic can present along with market wants for full-frame anamorphic lenses.
Johnnie: Lots of our followers are questioning what has occurred to Panasonic’s skilled digicam line. Do you continue to plan to launch new Varicam or EVA-like cameras within the close to future, or, for now, the trouble of the division is to boost and strengthen the LUMIX line of mirrorless cameras”?
Yamane-san: Since my division develops LUMIX, sadly, I can not reply, as a result of Varicam and EVA are completely different classes.
With a distinct form than Varicam or EVA, LUMIX plans to additional strengthen its merchandise, which can be utilized for skilled functions resembling cinema pictures.
Listening rigorously to what Yamane-san needed to say, it appears as if Panasonic is working onerous to ship succesful instruments for all types and ranges of content material creators. Additionally, it’s attention-grabbing to see that Panasonic is much from giving up on its present autofocus system as they consider it may be improved even additional for higher efficiency. Final however not least, we should always in all probability not watch for a Panasonic 8K digicam anytime quickly.
Guys, what’s your opinion concerning the LUMIX line of cameras? Is there one thing you might be lacking and need to see of their subsequent batch of fashions? Please share with us your ideas within the remark part beneath.