Is the 8K arms race about to get a new contender? With the Canon R5, the Sony Alpha 1, and the Nikon Z8 perhaps leading the way in the 8K mirrorless video camera market, it shouldn’t be too surprising to hear whispers of other manufacturers looking to develop more options as well.
From reports found on EOSHD, eagle-eyed sleuths have sussed out that the Panasonic and Leica partnership might have tipped the hand as to what sensor a potential new Panasonic S1H or S1R Mark II camera might be packing.
Using the Leica Q3 as a guideline perhaps, let’s take a look at what a S1H Mark II or S1R Mark II might be able to provide in terms of video specs, and if those might include 8K and ProRes recording.
Panasonic 8K Camera Rumors
So, the crux of this rumor comes down to the new sensor, the Leica Q3 camera, which uses quite a bit of Panasonic technology. The Leica Q3 has the same 60MP full-frame CMOS sensor that can be found in the Leica M11 as well and is capable of recording 8K video at up to 30p (along with 4K60 and 4:2:2 10-Bit, FHD ProRes HQ).
We’re not necessarily expecting a new Panasonic camera to use this exact sensor though, but if its development is based on this one, 8K video would be quite likely thanks in part to its recording rate and phase-detect autofocus specs.
There’s also a rumored Leica SL3 set to potentially come out in early 2024 that has also seen reports indicating that it will also make use of a 60MP sensor with 8K video as well.
A Potential Panasonic S1H or S1R Mark II
But what would this potential new S1H or S1R version actually look like? And which one (if not both) is Panasonic more likely to develop? Those are the biggest questions here. The rumors seem to suggest that a 60MP sensor is the most likely sensor size, although Panasonic could opt to stay with the same 24MP sensor used in the current versions, but they would be hard-pressed to increase any recording specs with its limits.
A key selling point for a potential new Mark II version of either camera could also benefit from offering dual gain 8K, which could further set the new camera apart from the rest of the current 8K mirrorless options.
Another interesting potential selling point for a new S1H or S1R would be the inclusion of ProRes 422 HQ, which would be one of the best 8K recording options on the market. There have also been speculations and hopes about a new Panasonic camera upping its game with built-in ND filters and better internal RAW codec support.
When Might We Find Out?
However, as with any rumors or speculation, you don’t really know until an official announcement is made by the company of course. It would certainly behoove Panasonic to announce a new camera here soon before the holiday season. But all indications seem to lead to if there will be any announcement, it would probably be in early 2024—perhaps by NAB time in April?
We’ll have to wait and see, but you can rest assured that while 8K might not be the same revolution as 4K was before it, it is still certainly the way of the future and it’s quite likely that every major camera manufacturer will have not one, but multiple, 8K capable video cameras on the market here in the next few years.