And no, this does NOT appear to be an April Fool’s Day joke.
Legendary firmware hacker, Vitaly whose team has made the Panasonic GH-2 one of the best video cameras for a dSLR-like camera, has announced on March 31st 2012, that he has entered into a partnership with Panasonic.
We will need to await the NAB 2012 in 2 weeks time for new features to be revealed given the non-disclosure agreement he has signed, but a few of his comments on his blogs are as follows:
- his team will still be able to make hacks for certain cameras – presumably the GH-1 and GH-2 as a minimum.
- his next firmware will be “revolutionary”
- “Venus Revolution is code name for new LSI, as well as name for the team who works on it’s design and related software libraries. It’ll be used in upcoming cameras.”
- “Due to new features, new cameras won’t be in direct competition to GH2”
- his team is now “Already working on firmware v2.0 changes. Some companies will be very upset with their $5000 cameras.” – there will be “drastic changes in v2.0”
- for “selected Panasonic cameras, they won’t have new “hacks” released, but will have firmware that incorporate much much more.”
- “None of new cameras will write in AVCHD container anymore. None will support interlaced modes. And all will support >2Gb files, no spanning”
- “After NAB 1080p60 will be considered past tense” – perhaps the new cameras will be 1080p120 for super slo-mo capability?
There has been mixed reactions to this partnership from the hacker community, most welcome the opportunity to have the potential for Panasonic’s cameras to have higher functionality and capabilities thanks to Vitaly’s input, but the cost will be Vitaly’s team will not be able to hack some “selected” cameras and thus in these cameras, although the firmware may be brilliant, it will not have some features currently availability in hacks such as the hacks to get longer than 29min 59sec recording time – a limit to avoid higher tax rates on the cameras in some regions.
Nevertheless, this is great news to Micro Four Thirds users who already have one of the best compact cameras designed for photographers needs – the Olympus OM-D E-M5, and will have access to some of the highest HD video quality available in the sub-$1000 camera bracket thanks to the Vitaly-Panasonic partnership.
I am very much looking foward to the forth-coming Panasonic GH-3 – will we at last get a global electronic shutter for incredibly fast and silent burst rates, as well as fast flash sync?