When Panasonic first released their revolutionary mirrorless Micro Four Thirds G1 camera almost exactly a decade ago, mirrorless technology was still in its infancy. It would be another five years before the world first saw the release of full frame mirrorless cameras in the Sony A7 and A7R. Sony has since reached their third generation with their full frame mirrorless cameras, and the sector very recently saw some new contenders enter the fray in the newly announced Z6 and Z7 from Nikon, and the EOS R from Canon. Numerous reports have been circulating of a Panasonic full frame camera being announced later this month, and if these reports are to be believed, that market is about to get even more crowded.
While Panasonic has found great success with their GH5 and GH5S cameras, which have been particularly popular amongst videographers, things weren’t all sunshine and rainbows for Panasonic prior to these cameras. Compounded by the fact that many people continue to dismiss Micro Four Thirds systems and what they’re capable of (yes, I’m talking about all of you in the “full frame or bust” crowd), developing a full frame mirrorless camera of their very own is a bold move on Panasonic’s part, and possibly signals that they may be moving away from the Micro Four Thirds sector.
Utilizing a larger sensor design means that the reported camera will likely see the introduction of a new larger diameter mount design, which subsequently means that we will be seeing some new lenses as well. Unlike the Nikon Z6/Z7 and the Canon EOS R, there haven’t been any real leaks on this so far aside from a looming announcement later this month, so all we can do is theorize at this point.
Despite having worked closely with Leica on a lot of their lenses in the past, Panasonic is reported to likely design a new mount of their own rather than adopting the one found on the full frame Leica SL, which should offer them more flexibility in terms of lens design and working with third party lens partners going forward despite moving away from the open Micro Four Thirds system.
It is entirely within the realm of possibility is that Panasonic may attempt to usher in a new open standard for full frame mirrorless cameras like they did a decade ago in partnership with Olympus with the Micro Four Thirds system. In doing so, Panasonic may continue to develop Micro Four Thirds cameras alongside full frame mirrorless cameras in the same way that other manufacturers have done with separate crop sensor and full frame camera lines.
What you would like to see in the Panasonic full frame mirrorless camera? Let us know in the comments below.