DPReview’s interview with Panasonic’s head of its Imaging Division showed that the firm recognizes the need for further improvements to its unique autofocus technology, but is trying to show a happy face, concentrating on the feedback coming from the more recent S5 release, which improved AF, but did not eliminate the famous Panasonic wobble.
In discussing whether it would look at different methods, the executive indicated that faster processors that can provide more performance with a lower energy envelope would likely be the strategy they’d pursue.
The interview comes just days after Panasonic’s L-Mount Alliance partner Sigma launched a camera that attempted to augment the Panasonic “Depth from Defocus” (DFD) system with the phase detect technology that just about every other mirrorless camera maker uses today. Unfortunately, early reviews indicate that Sigma hasn’t quite nipped the problem due to its immature phase technology, but the effort shows that the problem is big enough that Sigma believed a new technology had to be created.
Also of note in the interview is an endorsement of CFexpress as the way of the future. He indicated that they expect the power and heat profiles of CFexpress cards – a primary weakness – to improve significantly. Panasonic’s S1R pro camera released with an XQD card slot, but as it shares a form factor, they later upgraded the slot to CFexpress in a firmware update. That update garnered only about a 14 percent speed boost, but Panasonic’s recent comments likely indicate a native port is coming to new bodies.