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Panasonic gives details of power zoom-enabling firmware v1.1 for GH2, G3, GF3 and GF2

By dpreview staff on Aug 29, 2011 at 18:03 GMT

Panasonic has provided details of a firmware update for its recent G-system cameras to provide full compatibility with the newly-announced Lumix X power zoom lenses. The firmware, which will be available at 'the beginning of October' will work with the DMC-GH2, G3, GF3 and GF2, and will provide several additional options for how the powered zoom is controlled. By a process of elimination, it seems reasonable to assume these are the functions that won't be available to older G-series users (G1, GF1, GH1, G2, G10), and possibly Olympus PEN users.

Press Release:

Panasonic Announces the Firmware Update Program for DMC-GH2 / G3 / GF3 / GF2 for Enhancing the Functions of the New Power Zoom Lenses

Panasonic announces the new firmware update program for the digital interchangeable lens system cameras DMC-GH2, DMC-G3, DMC-GF3 and DMC-GF2 of LUMIX G Micro System.

The firmware version 1.1 will be released to enhance the functions when the camera is used with the new power zoom lenses - LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-PS14042) and LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-PS45175).

The following functions will be available with the new firmware:

  • Display of the local length
    When you zoom, the focal distance is displayed and you can confirm the zoom position.
  • Step zoom
    When you operate the zoom, the zoom will stop at positions corresponding to predetermined distances.
  • Zoom resume
    When you switch the power switch [ON], the zoom positions when you last switched [OFF] are automatically restored.
  • Selectable zoom speed
    Users can select the speed of electric-powered zooming.

The new firmware program ver.1.1 will be available worldwide from the beginning of October at http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/.

The power zoom lenses can be used with DMC-GH2, DMC-G3, DMC-GF3 or DMC-GF2 if the firmware is not updated. However, Panasonic recommends all users to update it.

Comments

Total comments: 38
Robert Deutsch
By Robert Deutsch (Aug 30, 2011)

I have a G3 and will probably buy a 14-42x, but I don't care about the new zoom feature. I set the zoom so as to get the right composition, and knowing exacly what focal lenth I have it set at does not help me in this respec. (If I've reached the wide angle or the tele limit, that will become apparent without a focal length readout.) Similarly, the stepped zoom feature just restricts my options--I want zooming to be continuous. Zoom speed adjustment might be helpful, but it sounds like the default slow-then- fast control is the best compromise. Zoom resume is probably the most potentially useful feature, although this is already the case with the 14-45/14-42 if you're careful not to twist the lens barrel.

Anyway, if I had one of the cameras that did not support all these zoom features with the new lenses, this wouldn't bother me.

Bob

0 upvotes
ljmac
By ljmac (Aug 30, 2011)

I understand the grousing about the lack of support for older cameras, but I just want to congratulate Panasonic for finally making a camera work the way I want it to work, rather than way old analogue cameras work. Zoom rings are unusable for video, but the lack of the features in this firmware in past power zooms created serious usability problems as well. Someone has finally rethought how a camera should work from the ground up, resulting in greater usability, flexibility, and far greater portability. A Micro 4/3rds body with the 14-42 X lens will be the first camera to truly deliver large sensor IQ in a compact-sized camera. Until now, you either had to restrict yourself to zooms that made the cameras too big, or a single focal length pancake (something few users will be prepared to do).

0 upvotes
fcanamer
By fcanamer (Aug 30, 2011)

It is a situation of planned obsolescence. Nothing I discover, I know. But for both manufacturers do not leave out products that are very well built and designed to replace cameras even worse in order to maintain the new regime imposed by the runaway consumer society, which needs new and new gadgets. Actually it does not work again as the best, but as the last and already has a timbre that social prestige is what sells. Olympus will continue to "decline" eps, spls, epmis until you drop.

0 upvotes
Ivan Guoh
By Ivan Guoh (Aug 30, 2011)

Will these new lenses work on Olympus cameras?

0 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Aug 30, 2011)

Yes, but some of the features, such as the ones listed in the article, may not.

0 upvotes
Razgriz
By Razgriz (Aug 30, 2011)

What worries the most is that I purchased my GF1 and a couple of lenses and the rather expensive EVF (Framing this way is just so much better)

Then discovered the GF3 loses the hotshoe and even more disturbingly, the socket for the EVF connection.

I find this appalling that such a large manufacturer, upgrades their newer models at the sacrifice of their accsessories. Batteries I can understand change,but not viewfinders, which are a fundamental accessory. Unless they bring out a more enthusiast model, the equipment I have purchased (Expensive EVF) suddenly becomes obsolete as those future models arrive, forcing me to abandon their system for another.

I have various Nikon cameras and lenses, all of which fit together and work.

Sort it......

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Aug 30, 2011)

There is a much rumoured "serious GF1" in the works so I doubt very much that the GF2 will be the last camera with a hotshoe socket.

0 upvotes
Razgriz
By Razgriz (Aug 30, 2011)

I look forward to that. I hate having to purchase new systems. I would much rather invest in new lenses with a given system.
Whats the rumour you have heard ?

0 upvotes
franz159
By franz159 (Aug 31, 2011)

I also have had various Nikon cameras and never had this sort of problems.
I have a GF1, paid about 1000$ with the 20 mm pancake just a couple of years ago.
Bought it mainly for its size. Now that a pancake zoom finally exists... my camera is considered old and it is not supported?
This is highly disappointing, to say the least!

2 upvotes
harrisoncac
By harrisoncac (Aug 30, 2011)

Why does Panasonic single out G1 and G2 users? Are we cheap users that Panasonic won't bother caring about?

I think there are more G1 GF1 and G2 users than GH2 GF2 and G3 users.

1 upvote
fcanamer
By fcanamer (Aug 30, 2011)

I have a gf1 and with this news I start feeling like Nikon and famous with compatibility between optical and bodies :deceived. So let me Nikon.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Aug 30, 2011)

Hardly, these new lenses will still work perfectly with the older bodies, you just won't get those additional features listed

0 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Aug 30, 2011)

So they are doing the iPhone thing and forcing people to upgrade after a couple of years if they want the new features, even though in this case processing power isn't an issue. Nice!

0 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Aug 30, 2011)

'So they are doing that business thing and forcing people to upgrade after a couple of years if they want the new features, even though in this case processing power isn't an issue. Nice!'

There, fixed that for ya.

0 upvotes
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (Aug 30, 2011)

This brings to mind the question, when does GH1 support life end?

0 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Aug 30, 2011)

The new lenses will work on older m43 bodies, even PENs, but the features from the article may not be supported. Not as big a deal as is being made.

1 upvote
create_an_image
By create_an_image (Aug 29, 2011)

Powerzoom lenses , good idea! Wonder about image quality though.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Aug 30, 2011)

They claim the image quality is better than even the original 14-45mm, but guess we'll need to wait for the lens tests to find out for sure

1 upvote
Wickblau
By Wickblau (Aug 29, 2011)

Video af-tracking for GH2 - please!!

and of course 1920x1080 50p

0 upvotes
SF Photo Gal
By SF Photo Gal (Aug 29, 2011)

Can't stop advancements simply because it's not backwards compatible. Otherwise we'd all still be using screw mount lenses. Power zoom would be nice during video on my GH1, but I'd rather spring for the faster lens.

1 upvote
TomasHedstrom
By TomasHedstrom (Sep 5, 2011)

Power zoom will work with your GH1 whitout firmware update. It is only the features listed that comes with the new firmware that you wan't get. So good back compatibility.

0 upvotes
W Sanders
By W Sanders (Aug 29, 2011)

Nobody has said the X lenses are incompatible. The only features that are said to not work on the older cameras are the zoom related ones listed above, which are of interest mainly for video shooters. If you shoot a lot of video and really need power zoom, you can sell your GF1 on EBay for $500 more than you paid for it and buy a GH2 ....

5 upvotes
eclipsevv
By eclipsevv (Aug 29, 2011)

There's a petition on iPetition about this issue:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/gf1gh1_lumixgx

0 upvotes
zakk9
By zakk9 (Aug 29, 2011)

I don't understand this. The power zoom is activated by a physical switch on the lens. Why wouldn't that work on the older cameras? I can see that the added functionality listed above would be affected, but nothing else, unless Panasonic has disabled it on purpose and made activation of the switch dependent on the firmware upgrade. That would be evil, wouldn't it?

0 upvotes
subzerohf
By subzerohf (Aug 29, 2011)

The power zoom works on all Micro four thirds cameras, even on Olympus. Only the additional functions, such as focal length dislay, require the firmware update to work. This is my take on the press release.

4 upvotes
kwa_photo
By kwa_photo (Aug 29, 2011)

Well this just plain sucks for any GF-1 or GH-1 user. Ack! The GF-1 has NOT had a real replacement at all since it was released. The GF-2 & GF-3, while having better IQ, have not really been photographer's cameras....so I stick with the GF-1 and it's analog feel. I'm very disappointed with this exclusion. The lens seems a perfect match for the GF-1. If there is a technical limitation that prevents the GF-1 from being included, I hope Panny comes out with a statement as such...othewise, I view this as a "you have to upgrade statement". If that's the case, give me something to upgrade to!!!!! Argh.

1 upvote
Jogger
By Jogger (Aug 29, 2011)

youre keeping the GF for its analog feel but want to zoom and fcous with dinky toggle switches? manual rings are far superior.

1 upvote
kenw
By kenw (Aug 29, 2011)

You don't need to upgrade, and you don't need new firmware. The new lenses will work perfectly with a GF-1 or GH-1. You'll just be missing out the four listed feature enhancements.

0 upvotes
bricci_mn
By bricci_mn (Sep 2, 2011)

I TOTALLY AGREE!
I will put my arms up and surrender only when Panasonic will state clearly with a document that my "still expensive" GF1 camera is not compatible with the new lenses that are going to come out from their laboratories hereafter.

0 upvotes
Jeffrey_Sung
By Jeffrey_Sung (Aug 29, 2011)

G2!!.... It turns out to be GF2.....

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Aug 29, 2011)

Sorry about that. I've corrected it.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Aug 29, 2011)

I couldn't care less about the features added to support the super small aperture zoom lenses. What about the 25p and AVC-HD 2.0 support that the Panasonic representative alluded to for the next firmware. Those features are far more important.

0 upvotes
Birk Binnard
By Birk Binnard (Aug 29, 2011)

Well it looks like those of us who own GH1's are left out in the cold. Booooo to Panasonic for this.

2 upvotes
oluv
By oluv (Aug 30, 2011)

that's for being a loyal panasonic customer.
after LX1, LX3, G1, GF1 and GH1 this is the price I have to pay!

2 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Aug 30, 2011)

The lenses work on older cameras.
Still feel cold?

0 upvotes
attila_feher
By attila_feher (Sep 8, 2011)

Have anyone tried them on Olympus bodies? I have an Oly E-PL2 and looking forward a pancake lens. If the new 14-42 worked properly on the Oly I would be facing a big dilemma - buy the 20mm f1.7 or the new zoom....

0 upvotes
Alxy
By Alxy (Oct 16, 2011)

GH2 is listed, but there is no updated firmware made available as of mid-October. Is it too old and last priority already?

0 upvotes
CoreMoore
By CoreMoore (Jan 22, 2012)

does anyone know if you can control the zooming from camera house buttons, or only from the lever on the lense. Asking because i 'm looking at buying the GH2 for uw-video shooting?

0 upvotes
Total comments: 38