Panasonic plans more use of Phase Detect AF in future cameras

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Panasonic intends to continue to implement Phase Detect Autofocus (PDAF) in its future cameras following the positive response to the S5 II, a company spokesperson has said.

In an interview with French photo media site PhotoTrend, Panasonic’s Imaging Business Division Director Yosuke Yamane said that the positive response to the S5 II meant the company will 'consider' Phase Detect AF technology in both its full-frame and Micro Four Offerings.

Image: Panasonic/Supplied
Image: Panasonic/Supplied

“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,” Yamane said.

“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.”

PDAF has become the preferred autofocus technology for many camera manufacturers when compared to contrast detection systems of the kind used in Panasonic cameras. Until recently, Panasonic has said that PDAF systems, while effective, came at the cost of image quality.

Yamane says it wasn't until it was able to solve image quality issues that the company was willing to invest in the technology, with the S5 II its first camera to offer it. 

“We are working on technology development to achieve a high level of performance without compromise in terms of basic camera performance, namely image quality, autofocus, and image stabilisation,” Yamane said.

“As a result, we achieved high-precision autofocus with contrast-detection autofocus technology and DFD technology without using PDAF.”

Autofocus has long been considered the Achilles' heel of Panasonic's cameras, although it seems with the S5 II, and future cameras, the company may no longer face these criticisms.

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