DPReview’s Richard Butler did a thoughtful dive into Panasonic’s much-maligned DFD autofocus system, wondering just how did the new S5 become so much better, and what does this suggest will happen for the future of the line?

The quick answer: they sped up the code. That pretty much did it. Butler notes that this has interesting implications, as with the inevitable improvement of hardware speed, if this has a similar direct effect on AF effectiveness, Panasonic’s faith in their DFD system may someday not be misplaced.

In previous camera generations, Panasonic relied on the fact that their cameras – particularly their cheap-and-cheerful video hybrids – offered a lot more for similarly priced models of other brands. But now that all the manufacturers, even Canon, seem to be letting loose with the spec lists, it’ll be important not to have a major system disadvantage.