dpreview has posted their CP+ interview with Panasonic. The main topic is about Panasonic’s full frame mirrorless cameras: S1 and S1R, and L-mount lenses: Panasonic S-line lenses, Leica L-mount lenses and Sigma L-mount lenses. You can see the full interview here.
This meeting was a mixture of briefing and interview, which is why some of the answers are quite long and detailed. The upshot of this is, perhaps, that you don’t have to read quite so closely between the lines to see the message Panasonic wants to send. My own interpretation of it would be ‘we’re not just an electronics company: we care about even the most subtle aspects of image quality.’ Or maybe that’s just my response to hearing the word ‘cameraness’ again.
The thing I haven’t been able to capture in the text is the slide Panasonic showed me about the autofocus hit-rate they measured when shooting their cameras side-by-side with phase-detection-based rivals. The testing protocol wasn’t fully disclosed, but it showed their products delivering a hit-rate comparable to some pretty good cameras, and even out-performing phase-detection systems when the subject gets close to the camera.
My own interpretation of it would be ‘we’re not just an electronics company: we care about even the most subtle aspects of image quality.’
This is something we’ll be looking at as we test the S1 and S1R, because the general perception of DFD is that it’s flat-out inferior to phase-detection. This isn’t helped by the visually disturbing ‘flutter’ as the cameras try to maintain focus on moving objects (an effect made more dramatic by the high res viewfinders and shallow depth-of-field of the lenses on the S cameras).
Overall, though, it’s clear that Panasonic wants its S1 and S1R to appeal specifically to professional stills photographers. When it comes to video, the company’s plans seem less well-developed. For now, at least, it seems that Panasonic sees the GH series as its main video/stills camera platform.