Panasonic rumors 2024
Last year saw a gigantic shift from Panasonic, as the company has at long last accepted that phase detect autofocus is what the market demands. As such, we've seen the AF incorporated in both the Panasonic S5II and Panasonic S5IIX, as well as the long-awaited Panasonic G9 II.
So, what can we expect this year from the first manufacturer to make a mirrorless camera certified by Netflix? Here are the latest Panasonic rumors…
Panasonic Lumix G100 II
While the Panasonic G100D launched late last year, it's a very minor update with a new EVF and USB-C port. However, it's been reported that a full Panasonic G100 II is on the way.
It will apparently possess phase detect autofocus – something that was sorely, sorely missing on the original, which was marketed as a vlogging camera but often struggled to keep vloggers in focus. It will also feature the same 25.1MP image sensor as the Panasonic Lumix G9 II and boast 4K 60p 4:2:2 10-bit video, but keep the same single memory card setup.
Panasonic Lumix S1 II & S1 IIX
The flagship Panasonic Lumix S1 has been discontinued, and it's also five years old, which means that a successor is almost certainly on the way. And some wild specs have surfaced suggesting that we might actually get two successors, following the template set by the hugely successful S5 II and S5 IIX.
We could be looking at a 34MP stacked CMOS sensor in a smaller, weather-sealed, magnesium-constructed body with an active cooling system and built-in ND filters, and video that offers both 6K and 4K uncropped at 120fps.
Panasonic Lumix S1H II
There are whispers afoot that a successor to the Panasonic Lumix S1H, the company's full-frame video specialist, is on the way. It is being suggested that the camera could have a 50MP sensor, along with a much-needed bump to CFexpress for at least one of its dual memory card slots.
However, while 50MP is enough resolution for 8K video, don't get your hopes up for 8K support; as outlined below, Panasonic doesn't believe there is sufficient demand for 8K yet. Instead, the S1H will focus on oversampled 6K and 4K.
An interesting development is that Panasonic has patented a camera with built-in ND filters – something usually reserved for cinema cameras (or, bizarrely, the Ricoh GR III). That would be a killer feature in the S1H II, and would make a huge amount of sense.
Panasonic Lumix GH7
Given how very good the GH6 is, it certainly feels a bit fast to put out a replacement. However, something pretty significant happened not long after the GH6 hit the market: Panasonic finally embraced phase detect autofocus, addressing the sole technological Achilles' heel that has been holding its cameras back.
So, the company's hugely successful GH line needs this new tech. However, rather than releasing a GH6 II, it is rumored that Panasonic is looking to jump straight to a GH7 – no doubt incorporating many of the tricks introduced by the Panasonic G9 II.
Again, just don't go expecting 8K…
Still no 8K
Despite previous plans to launch an 8K consumer camera by the 2020 Olympics, Panasonic has pivoted; it has no imminent plans to join the 8K video arms race, believing that there isn't sufficient demand at the moment.
"The current popularity of 8K in the consumer market is not enough, it will be released later," said the company, dashing the hopes of anyone expecting the Panasonic S1H or GH7 to compete with the A1s, R5s, or Z8/9s of the world.
Is the company missing a trick here? The overwhelming success of the above cameras for Sony, Canon and Nikon suggests as much. We just hope that, unlike the case with phase detect, Panasonic doesn't wait too long to embrace the tech.
Panasonic Lumix S1R II
The rumored successor to Panasonic's megapixel monster has been tipped for release in the second half of 2024, according to the latest report – which also claims that Panasonic and Leica have reached an agreement that the potentially spec-identical Leica SL3 will hit the market first (check out the Leica rumors page for more on that situation).
Nothing else is known right now, though it feels that a camera with an "R" in its name needs more than the original's 47.3MP to compete with the 60MP of current resolution-oriented models.
An interesting note is that early rumblings refer to this camera as both the S1R II and the S2R. While the former seems much more likely, there's also another rumored "R camera" that feels connected to the conversation…
Panasonic Lumix S5R
Recently there has been mention of an entirely new camera: the Panasonic S5R. This is an interesting one, as it would mark a divergence from manufacturer's previous product segmentation: the flagship Panasonic S1 (recently discontinued), the resolution-focused Panasonic S1R, the video-focused Panasonic S1H and the enthusiast-level Panasonic S5.
Of course, when the Panasonic S5 II became the company's first camera to feature phase detect autofocus, it threw the wider product line into disarray – to the point where the S5 series may not be the primary point of interest.
Indeed, the Panasonic S5 IIX is so video-savvy that many question the need for the S1H II. And now, with chatter of a resolution-oriented S5R, it feels as if the market is demanding the S5 as its champion and leading Panasonic in a different direction.
Panasonic Lumix S1X
If you think the S5R rumor seems like a stretch, then you're going to love the reports of a Panasonic S1X. It feels super sketchy to us; at least there is some merit to the thought process of Panasonic expanding the newly successful S5 product line, but to introduce another new one? Not impossible, just implausible.
Much like the whispered specs, as shared by L-Rumors, which include the likes of a 49MP BSI sensor, 8.5K 48p video, 60fps bursts, 17 stops of dynamic range and omnidirectional phase detect autofocus. More salt, please, waiter…
The Panasonic verdict
It may feel like hyperbole, but now that Panasonic has embraced phase detect autofocus it really is in the hunt (pun intended). Introducing the tech to its Micro Four Thirds video flagship is crucial, but runs the risk of eroding trust in the rapidly-replaced GH line. The decision not to pursue 8K feels a bit risky to us, given the success found by Canon, Sony and Nikon – like the 11th hour adoption of phase detect, could it end up being too little too late?