In an interview with Yosuke Yamane, Panasonic’s Imaging and Business division director, Phototrend confirmed that Panasonic plans to implement phase detection autofocus into the Micro Four Thirds product line. According to Yamane, Panasonic now has “all the AF technologies” and will choose “the optimal autofocus method each time”.
This suggests that it may not be available on all future Micro Four Thirds cameras. There’s no word yet on exactly which bodies it will come to, though. PDAF was notably lacking from the Panasonic GH6, but I think it’s probably a safe bet to say that it will almost certainly be coming to the hypothetical Panasonic GH7 and whatever Panasonic eventually releases to replace the Panasonic Lumix G9.
Panasonic finally introduced phase detection autofocus into their mirrorless cameras with the recently released Panasonic Lumix S5 II. Panasonic certainly took its time to add it, but they say they wanted it to be perfect before implementing it rather than rushing and doing a substandard job. This is what they feel they’ve done with the S5 II. When it comes to future cameras, Phototrend asked specifically about Micro Four Thirds:
Q. Can we now imagine the integration of hybrid autofocus on the next Lumix cameras, including the Micro 4/3 side?
A. With the adoption of phase detection AF in this new model, we have all the AF technologies. For cameras released in the future, we will adopt the optimal autofocus method each time, while evaluating the target users and customer benefits.
We will consider adding phase detection AF to our cameras depending on the model characteristics, not only for full-frame cameras, but also for Micro Four Thirds. And on this last point, I invite you to stay tuned for our next announcements.
Being invited to stay tuned to announcements and highlighted the last point about PDAF in Micro Four Thirds, so does this mean we’ll have an announcement coming soon? If we do, it’s unlikely to be a GH7. It is, perhaps, possible that we might see a GH6s. Something akin to what the GH5s was to the GH5. Or, we might even finally see a successor to the popular Lumix G9.
I think that last option might be the leasy likely, if Panasonic’s push towards video is to be taken as read.
[via Photo Rumors]