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The Panasonic camera line-up I'd like to see


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Panasonic is doing some really cool things, but I feel like their lineup isn't fully realized. The GH series is awesome, obviously. And the new Varicam has features that have simply never existed before, like a sensor with 2 native ISO ratings. All the technology is there. All they need to do is fill out the middle of their line-up.

This is what I'd love to see from Panasonic:

Tier 1 - DSLR style B Camera - GH4 - It already exists. It's awesome. It's the only DSLR that I don't actively hate shooting with. It's got 4k internal, a super versatile mount/sensor combo, v-log, it can fill the memory card without stopping the recording (I can't believe that's a feature nowadays), and don't forget my favorite feature, the insane battery life.

Tier 2a - The "News" Camera - DVX200 - It already exists. From what I can tell, they ripped the guts out of a DVX100 and replaced them with a GH4. That's a great idea. The m43 sensor size is perfect for this style of camcorder. It's big enough to get a nice looking image, but not so big to be constantly searching for focus. The DVX form factor is battle tested with XLRs, ND filters, timecode I/O, AC power options, you know, everything video cameras used to have. It's not going to be adopted by the "micro-budget film" crowd, but plenty of people shoot news, docs, and events. If I shot more of that stuff, I'd buy a couple of these in a second.

Tier 2b - The "Pro" GH4 - AF200 - Everyone was bummed out by the DVX200's fixed lens. I have to imagine Panasonic is going to release an AF200 which is basically the DVX with the lens ripped off. Sell it for under $4,000, and I'll buy 2. Rigs suck. Recording audio to a zoom recorder sucks. No timecode I/O sucks. No ND filters suck. Please Panasonic, just release this camera and take my money.

Tier 3 - The "Shoulder" Camera - Varicam35 Mini - I would love to see this camera. It would be Panasonic's answer to the FS7. I imagine a shrunk down Varicam35, designed for a single operator. It would have a similar 35mm sensor, but with a m43 mount (like that JVC camera), 2 native ISO's, 4k, high frame rates in HD, ND's, XLR's, V-lock batteries, ENG style viewfinder, v-log, and great LUT integration. They can keep the RAW capabilities. As far as I'm concerned, if clients are asking for RAW, they've got budget for a rental. Give me a solid 10-bit 422 codec, and I'll be happy. Price it anywhere from 10-15 thousand, and it'll give the C300/FS7 crowd another great option.

Tier 4 - The Rental - Varicam35 - It exists. It's an extremely well thought out camera. Panasonic may have been a couple years late with it, but they didn't cut any corners. Rent one. The LUT integration is really awesome. And let me repeat, 2 native ISO's!?!?! The traditional thinking would say my proposed Varicam Mini would cannibalize sales, but as long as they hold back that one high-end feature (RAW maybe?), it won't cannibalize the high-end projects that the Varicam is aimed at anyway.


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Agreed. Makes sense.

And then personally I'd love to see something for the minimalistic run-n-gunner. What could Panasonic do with a concept like the Olympus E-M5II. Highlights should therefor include: sensor stabilization during video recording, high bitrate recordings with 24, 25, 30, 50 and 60p options, a vari-angle touchscreen, audio I/O (or mic-in on the body and a battery grip headphone jack) and a nicely layed out double dial (thumb/index). (Yes, 4K would be awesome, but not a must. I'd rather take 1080p and V-LOG than 4K and then having to lose features in order to still being able to sell the G and GH lines) And please, for the love of god, do not co-locate the SD-slot at the battery compartment. Anyways. The GX8 has already been put through Wi-Fi certification, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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