Panasonic Attacks the Full Frame Camera Market

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The Lumix S1R and S1 - World's First with Full Frame 4K 60FPS

Panasonic announced at Photokina 2018, two new mirrorless cameras which see the M4/3 manufacturer entering the full frame market.

The key features of the new Lumix products, according to Panasonic, are as follows.

  1. Expressive capabilities with high definition and high level of expression achieved with the newly-developed 35 mm full-frame image sensor and image processing engine. (Effective pixels: approximately 47M for the S1R and 24M for the S1)
  2. World's first support for 4K 60p/50p video recording in a full-frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera.
  3. World's first full-frame camera equipped with Dual I.S. (Image Stabilization), enabling handheld shots for dark or distant scenes that would previously have required a tripod or other equipment.
  4. A double slot for XQD memory cards and SD memory cards, the first for Panasonic; and a rugged triaxial tilt LCD, emphasizing ease of use and supporting professional photography and videography.
  5. Leica Camera's L-Mount, making it possible to use interchangeable lenses that meet the L-Mount specifications of the partners Leica Camera and Sigma, thereby increasing options for interchangeable lenses.
L Mount Alliance

The Leica Camera L Mount Alliance

The L Mount Alliance is a new alliance that Panasonic has joined with Leica and Sigma.

The announcement of the new cameras came as Panasonic also announced it would use the Leica's L Mount for its new cameras. The L Mount is not going to be an open standard but will continue to be maintained by Leica, who may also permit other players to join the alliance.

But why should three competitors work together in this way? Well Panasonic has worked successfully with other competitors in the Micro Four Thirds alliance and to quote the L Mount Alliance: "The three companies are competitors who manufacture and sell cameras and lenses. However, when we consider each company's standing point and strengths, there are very few areas where they interfere with each other."

Because all Alliance cameras and lenses will work equally well together, when Panasonic launch their cameras early in 2019, Leica's dozen APS-C and full frame lenses for the L Mount will be available for use with these cameras, in addition to the planned lenses that Panasonic also announced at Photokina.

Extension of Lumix Professional Services

In addition, Panasonic announced it was launching a new network for professional photographers, named Lumix Pro. This will extend the Lumix Professional Services programme it currently offers in Japan to the US, Germany, UK, France, Italy and Spain.

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