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Gauging the reaction to the Panasonic GH6


Andrew Reid
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1 hour ago, Marcio Kabke Pinheiro said:

Interview with Panasonic.

https://www.cined.com/panasonic-lumix-discussed-an-interview-with-yosuke-yamane-san-about-the-gh5-ii-gh6-and-more/

Like the impression that I've got in the Andrew's inteview with him, looks like no PDAF in the GH6.

"Of course, we have received various opinions from our customers, and we recognize that image-plane phase-detection AF is superior in terms of subject tracking. On the other hand, as represented by deep learning, we are improving AF performance by strengthening algorithms that utilize the video signal processing technology which we are good at.

We are currently developing the next-generation system with the aim of making it even more practical, so please wait until the day we can provide it."

I read this too. It's deplorable, the insolence with which Panasonic dismissed the whole PDAF request of the majority of users. Unless then have extra sensors (like a ToF) to fix the autofocus, its probably just a very bad decision.

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3 hours ago, sanveer said:

Unless then have extra sensors (like a ToF) to fix the autofocus, its probably just a very bad decision.

Well, this basically.

I'm not much of a techy person and I just want AF that works.

How it works, I don't much care and if it's a different system to the norm, ie, phase, fine by me, as long as it works.

I don't know about M4/3 and how it works there, good or bad, but with the full frame cameras, it's not as bad as some suggest.

For my needs anyway, it's OK. Not great/outstanding/totally amazeballs, but decent enough.

If the next gen of the GH series and S series still have DFD, I'm not going to cry about it as long as it's improved again.

Why?

For the sake of Panasonic the camera company more than anything, ie, how they are perceived rather than my own needs which are pretty much covered.

He says, with 5 back to back days of hybrid coverage starting tomorrow... 😉

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12 hours ago, sanveer said:

I didn't get this. 

Since switching from Fuji to Panny towards the end of last year, I have been building the system and despite shooting; 4 local craftspeople, 6 styled ‘wedding’ shoots, an event and a micro-wedding (stills only), it was not until a few days ago I had all the kit.

I have tested various combos and learned as much as I can about the set up with as much practice as I can, but nothing…nothing will reveal more than a real wedding filled with unrepeatable situations and moments.

I have my first 2 weddings; a 3 day hybrid coverage job and a 2 day stills only job, starting today.

It’s only during these next 3 days that I will find out with any certainty whether the AF is really up to the job I need it to do as I think it is.

I’m sure it is but there are still niggling doubts in my mind, partly due to the system, but also because I have only attended and shot 1 real full wedding in nearly 2 years.

I should have attended and shot around 50 by now since the end of my 2019 season, but nearly 2 enforced years out of the game due to Covid…

 

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Good luck with the weddings. You'll be excited but rusty at first. Speed of thought as well as reacting with the camera comes with practice. It took a couple of weddings to get up to my speed and after 4 weddings with the S5 I'm still getting used to certain differences to the GH5.

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28 minutes ago, MrSMW said:

Since switching from Fuji to Panny towards the end of last year, I have been building the system and despite shooting; 4 local craftspeople, 6 styled ‘wedding’ shoots, an event and a micro-wedding (stills only), it was not until a few days ago I had all the kit.

I have tested various combos and learned as much as I can about the set up with as much practice as I can, but nothing…nothing will reveal more than a real wedding filled with unrepeatable situations and moments.

I have my first 2 weddings; a 3 day hybrid coverage job and a 2 day stills only job, starting today.

It’s only during these next 3 days that I will find out with any certainty whether the AF is really up to the job I need it to do as I think it is.

I’m sure it is but there are still niggling doubts in my mind, partly due to the system, but also because I have only attended and shot 1 real full wedding in nearly 2 years.

I should have attended and shot around 50 by now since the end of my 2019 season, but nearly 2 enforced years out of the game due to Covid…

 

Oh ok. Thanks to China (Fauci, Bill Gates, etc too?), Covid has slowed down the world, and ensured most peoples lives are seriously disrupted. Also, the super shady behaviour of the UN (Tedros) and others is extremely strange.  

 

 

I feel the Panasonic autofocus part can be explained in 3 parts.

'Of course, we have received various opinions from our customers, and we recognize that image-plane phase-detection AF is superior in terms of subject tracking. On the other hand, as represented by deep learning, we are improving AF performance by strengthening algorithms that utilize the video signal processing technology which we are good at.

We are currently developing the next-generation system with the aim of making it even more practical, so please wait until the day we can provide it.'

1. "we have received various opinions from our customers, and we recognize that image-plane phase-detection AF is superior".

This means Panasonic know how urgently customers have been asking for AG to be improved (which for many, may be the sole thing lacking in Panasonic cameras).

2. "... as represented by deep learning, we are improving AF performance by strengthening algorithms that utilize the video signal processing technology which we are good at."

Which is corporate gibberish at its finest.

3. "We are currently developing the next-generation system with the aim of making it even more practical.."

Either they're reinventing the wheel or giving us some unbelievable story regarding DfD, which is quite unreliable, and needs to be phased out on new cameras.

If they don't fix the AF, it may be aufweidersehen for Panasonic. Which would be sad, because Panasonic seems to have gotten most other things right. And the failure of the G7, G9, G95 and others as Student Indie Cameras may mostly be due to bad marketing. 

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On 8/24/2021 at 1:56 AM, sanveer said:

Oh ok. Thanks to China (Fauci, Bill Gates, etc too?), Covid has slowed down the world, and ensured most peoples lives are seriously disrupted. Also, the super shady behaviour of the UN (Tedros) and others is extremely strange.  

 

 

I feel the Panasonic autofocus part can be explained in 3 parts.

'Of course, we have received various opinions from our customers, and we recognize that image-plane phase-detection AF is superior in terms of subject tracking. On the other hand, as represented by deep learning, we are improving AF performance by strengthening algorithms that utilize the video signal processing technology which we are good at.

We are currently developing the next-generation system with the aim of making it even more practical, so please wait until the day we can provide it.'

1. "we have received various opinions from our customers, and we recognize that image-plane phase-detection AF is superior".

This means Panasonic know how urgently customers have been asking for AG to be improved (which for many, may be the sole thing lacking in Panasonic cameras).

2. "... as represented by deep learning, we are improving AF performance by strengthening algorithms that utilize the video signal processing technology which we are good at."

Which is corporate gibberish at its finest.

3. "We are currently developing the next-generation system with the aim of making it even more practical.."

Either they're reinventing the wheel or giving us some unbelievable story regarding DfD, which is quite unreliable, and needs to be phased out on new cameras.

If they don't fix the AF, it may be aufweidersehen for Panasonic. Which would be sad, because Panasonic seems to have gotten most other things right. And the failure of the G7, G9, G95 and others as Student Indie Cameras may mostly be due to bad marketing. 

I’m more than a little suspicious that either:

A. Sony agrees to make sensors for Panny under the condition they stick to their current AF tech on chip, or-

B. Panny has unspoken knowledge that if they were to ask Sony to build them such a sensor, Sony would decline.

Sony makes great sensors, but Panasonic has a proven track record of being significantly better at utilizing those chips, and Sony I’m sure leverages their position to keep the playing field even. I suppose it is possible that there are patents on alternative AF tech which have been blocking Panny from switching, but it seems like Sony and Canon at minimum have AF well sorted, so it is surprising that Panny can’t seem to do the same.

All that being said, the various interviews in the last month strongly reinforce that Panny has zero intentions of switching up their AF tech, which is very disappointing.

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1 hour ago, Caleb Genheimer said:

I’m more than a little suspicious that either:

A. Sony agrees to make sensors for Panny under the condition they stick to their current AF tech on chip, or-

B. Panny has unspoken knowledge that if they were to ask Sony to build them such a sensor, Sony would decline.

Sony makes great sensors, but Panasonic has a proven track record of being significantly better at utilizing those chips, and Sony I’m sure leverages their position to keep the playing field even. I suppose it is possible that there are patents on alternative AF tech which have been blocking Panny from switching, but it seems like Sony and Canon at minimum have AF well sorted, so it is surprising that Panny can’t seem to do the same.

All that being said, the various interviews in the last month strongly reinforce that Panny has zero intentions of switching up their AF tech, which is very disappointing.

Interesting. What about circumventing the PDAF layer on the sensor and using a ToF/laser autofocus instead? That could as fast and as accurate as a PDAF. Unfortunately no other sensor maker seems to be making prosumer camera sensors, as widely as Sony. 

Curiously, Nikon was working on a 1inch sensor that had higher dynamic range than most full frame sensors and way faster read spreads too (I am mentioning this, since next generation sensors and newer tech should keep blurring the line between smaller and larger sensors). Not sure why it didn't develop further and, also curious whether the GH6 adds more dynamic range and low light improvements, and by how much. 

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42 minutes ago, sanveer said:

Interesting. What about circumventing the PDAF layer on the sensor and using a ToF/laser autofocus instead? That could as fast and as accurate as a PDAF. Unfortunately no other sensor maker seems to be making prosumer camera sensors, as widely as Sony. 

Dunno how various ToF implementations works, but AFAIK ToF only can do a spot-target AF like mode (our @BTM_Pix could probably enlighten us about this).

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A possible issue with Panny developing any kind of sensor tech is that although they are a massive tech company like Sony, their camera division is much much smaller?

Or at least Sony’s sales are what, 7x that of Panny, if not more?

Must dent the development budget but therein lies the Catch 22 of ‘speculate to accumulate’…

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On 8/24/2021 at 2:56 AM, sanveer said:

Oh ok. Thanks to China (Fauci, Bill Gates, etc too?), Covid has slowed down the world, and ensured most peoples lives are seriously disrupted. Also, the super shady behaviour of the UN (Tedros) and others is extremely strange.  

Please keep this conspiracy nonsense to yourself. 

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https://www.43rumors.com/ft5-gh6-will-be-released-q1-2022-and-will-include-some-sort-of-hybrid-af/

"A source told us this:

GH6 will be released Q1 2022

AND will include some sort of hybrid AF

I am sure Panasonic will share more GH6 specs this autumn but with the worldwide chip shortage it’s very likely you will get the camera in your hands by early 2022 only. I guess hybrid AF means we can expect to get both: phase and contrast detection AF!"

They're usually pretty reliable... Interesting stuff. 

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Hybrid AF could mean many things.

Perhaps with faster scanning speeds and readouts from newer sensors DfD is finally able to achieve performance like PDAF. The inherent weakness of DfD is it having to pulse focus to achieve focus. This side effect is clearly hard to hide and ugly and undesirable.

I just don't think they will get over the stigma of DfD without getting rid of the pulsing (which becomes more apparent with wider and wider apertures) and then rebranding their autofocus technology. Anything branded as DfD Version 3 has already failed in its naming alone. Overcoming the interia of years of "contrast based AF is inferior to Phase Detect AF" in almost every camera review featuring a Panasonic camera will be hard without PDAF or a massive performance improvement and a rebranding of the technology—at least in the mirrorless market dominated by Sony A7 and Canon R series cameras.

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On 9/2/2021 at 10:26 AM, Video Hummus said:

Hybrid AF could mean many things.

Perhaps with faster scanning speeds and readouts from newer sensors DfD is finally able to achieve performance like PDAF. The inherent weakness of DfD is it having to pulse focus to achieve focus. This side effect is clearly hard to hide and ugly and undesirable.

I just don't think they will get over the stigma of DfD without getting rid of the pulsing (which becomes more apparent with wider and wider apertures) and then rebranding their autofocus technology. Anything branded as DfD Version 3 has already failed in its naming alone. Overcoming the interia of years of "contrast based AF is inferior to Phase Detect AF" in almost every camera review featuring a Panasonic camera will be hard without PDAF or a massive performance improvement and a rebranding of the technology—at least in the mirrorless market dominated by Sony A7 and Canon R series cameras.

Agreed. I'm cautiously optimistic that they've decided to go with something more than Dfd, but I am not going to get my hopes up too high. I really, really want to stay with Panasonic but we'll see. The next six months will be very interesting. 

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On 9/2/2021 at 11:26 AM, Video Hummus said:

Hybrid AF could mean many things.

Perhaps with faster scanning speeds and readouts from newer sensors DfD is finally able to achieve performance like PDAF. The inherent weakness of DfD is it having to pulse focus to achieve focus. This side effect is clearly hard to hide and ugly and undesirable.

I just don't think they will get over the stigma of DfD without getting rid of the pulsing (which becomes more apparent with wider and wider apertures) and then rebranding their autofocus technology. Anything branded as DfD Version 3 has already failed in its naming alone. Overcoming the interia of years of "contrast based AF is inferior to Phase Detect AF" in almost every camera review featuring a Panasonic camera will be hard without PDAF or a massive performance improvement and a rebranding of the technology—at least in the mirrorless market dominated by Sony A7 and Canon R series cameras.

Already saw a manufacturer (don't remember which) that used the "Hybrid AF", using PDAF in the initial stages to know what direction to go, and using CDAF in the final stages for precision (was Sony?).

Maybe this will be the "way out" for Panasonic - "we are using PDAF and DFD combined".

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Unless they are incredibly stoopid, I can’t see Panny releasing any new camera (I don’t consider the GH5ii as ‘new’) without AF that is at least competitive with Fuji & Nikon.

Fuji, who were for a long time, way behind the rest for video, pulled out the stops and jumped right up there with…was it the XT2?

Panny might just be able to do something similar with their AF.

They MUST know it’s killing their rep. and really pulling down their sales so surely MUST be addressing the situation?

 

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3 hours ago, MrSMW said:

They MUST know it’s killing their rep. and really pulling down their sales so surely MUST be addressing the situation?

How do you know that it's pulling down their sales?

In the GH5 groups I'm part of there is a steady stream of people joining who are incredibly excited to have gotten a camera that is so feature-packed as the GH5.  The group is also full of lots of people going from GH5 to S5 to get "the FF look".  Sure, the odd person goes from GH5 to Sony or some other manufacturer, but it's not common.

I think people are very quick to ask their 4 friends opinions and then declare that this is how the whole world feels about something, when obviously this is not the basis for stating facts.

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Personally I'm not that bothered about AF, but I can see it must be frustrating for some. To my eye, what comes off my S1 is far superior, IQ and colour-wise (and that highlight roll-off!) to any other camera I've owned. If I were someone to whom AF was important I'd be mighty pissed if a beast like that was off-limits to me because of the slightly inexplicable absence of that one key feature. 

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On 9/4/2021 at 5:28 AM, kye said:

How do you know that it's pulling down their sales?

In the GH5 groups I'm part of there is a steady stream of people joining who are incredibly excited to have gotten a camera that is so feature-packed as the GH5.  The group is also full of lots of people going from GH5 to S5 to get "the FF look".  Sure, the odd person goes from GH5 to Sony or some other manufacturer, but it's not common.

I think people are very quick to ask their 4 friends opinions and then declare that this is how the whole world feels about something, when obviously this is not the basis for stating facts.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that the auto focus has been the deciding factor for many people on YouTube to switch from Panasonic to other systems. At this point I think Fuji is as popular, if not more popular, than Panasonic is with that market. 

As someone that's heavily invested in Panasonic and the M43 system, auto focus is a big thing for me not because I need it (the cameras I have meet my needs) but because I'm interested in the long term health of the system. A move towards AF that is on par with the competition gives me more confidence in the viability of the system and company long term. Knowing the system I'm in has a future is important to me and my business decisions. I realize that there are people who think that's crazy, I don't really care to argue over it. 

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