Will Panasonic switch to phase detect AF? Latest interview hints at a rethink

Panasonic Lumix GH6
(Image credit: Jon Devo)

Panasonic cameras use a variant of older ‘contrast detect’ autofocus, which uses to-and-fro focus checks to zero in on the point of focus. Newer phase detect AF can travel straight to the correct point of focus. Panasonic has stuck with contrast AF and its own highly developed DFD (Depth from Defocus) AF tech with mixed results and mixed reactions, especially from the video community.

Panasonic makes some great cameras. The Lumix S5 is one of the best full frame cameras around right now and terrific value as a hybrid stills/video shooter. The Lumix GH6 has quickly established itself as one of the best filmmaking cameras, and Panasonic cameras have always figured highly amongst the best cameras for vlogging and even the best cameras for beginners. Yet all along Panasonic's been dogged by misgivings about its unique DFD autofocus technology.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com