CP+ 2013: Panasonic interview

 Panasonic's Michiharu Uematsu and Yoshiyuki Inoue

CP+ 2013: Panasonic is considering which cameras it needs to appeal to the different demands for Micro Four Thirds in different countries. We spoke to Michiharu Uematsu, Special Adviser, Imaging Business Group and Yoshiyuki Inoue, Senior Engineering Planner, Marketing Team, Imaging Business Group. They explain the challenges of making and marketing a high image quality compact and suggest the GH3 won't get focus peaking.

Uematsu spoke about how the market has reacted to the company's products: 'GH3 has been well recieved, especially for motion pictures. As you know we interviewed many people in the industry in Europe and North America, so it would offer what they needed - broadcasters needed bitrates above 50Mbps so we offer 50 and 72Mbps. In Europe they needed 25p, not 50i. And they're using GH3 - it's much smaller and lighter than a professional camcorder and doesn't need several people to operate it.'

However, he says, there is still one feature they're calling for. 'Focus peaking and zebra pattern. More than 90% of the requests we're getting are for these features. We haven't been able to offer it - because of the limits of resources and of the Venus Engine processor. Because it is not included in the Venus Engine, focus peaking is very hard to introduce - anything we added in software would be very different.'

Reconsidering the lineup

The story for the rest of the G lineup is less clear because different countries have embraced different models, he says: 'In Japan and Asia, the GF series is very strong but European countries it's very different. GH is well accepted everywhere - including America and Asia. In Japan the GF is our best seller but we have competition from Olympus, Sony, Canon and Nikon. We have to think about what to do next with the GF and G series - some people still require the viewfinder of the G series but it's difficult to know what we should offer in the middle of the range for customers in Europe and America.

Meanwhile, he says, the success of the GX1 means there shouldn't be the same wait that enthusiasts experienced after the GF1. 'We are considering the next GX, that's all I can say. It's been better received than the GF series in European countries. Our first thought was that the people who would want our cameras were step-up users from compact cameras. Outside of Japan this hasn't been true and some high-end amateurs have accepted the cameras. Some people still like bigness, so we have to change our thinking. We have to explain that it's not just a case that a bigger sensor is better - you also need to consider size and lens quality - that's a very difficult message.'

And this split in users has made lens planning difficult, he says: 'we have 18 lenses in production and we have professional and high-end amateur photographers requesting fast prime lenses. But we also sell many camera bodies to step-up users and they don't buy other lenses. We have to also appeal to those users, we have to educate step-up users to buy lenses.'

And, when asked what effect the arrival to JK Imaging (which will sell Micro Four Thirds cameras under the Kodak name), Uematsu seems positive, especially if it helps to increase Micro Four Thirds sales in countries such as China. 'It's not bad news for us.'

Challenge of smartphones

'It's a very difficult situation - almost every one has a smartphone. We have our LX, TZ, FZ and FT series that do things that smartphones can't. Maybe we should have a premium model, maybe with  bigger sensor. However, that takes engineering resources and you have to worry about price and the extra quality it will offer people - if we can sell 100,000 or 200,000, we will make it,' says Uematsu.

Inoue explains that making a good camera isn't enough: 'Marketing is also very difficult - selling image quality to users is complicated. Maybe 4K2K televisions, which are very useful devices to display image quality, would help, but we have to consider how to market image quality. Other people can say "we have a bigger sensor," but a combination of a not-so-big sensor and a brighter lens can be maybe better, but you have to explain F-number - it's very difficult.'

Uematsu explains the company's options: 'There are three solutions, I think: we can make a camera with a small sensor and a bright lens - like the LX7 or we could use a bigger sensor but with a slower zoom lens. Finally we could build a camera with a bigger sensor and a bright fixed focal length lens. This last option would give the best image quality - maybe better than a DSLR or mirrorless camera because you don't have mechanical tolerances of the lens mount. But that would be for a very different market - professionals and high-end amateurs. For everyone else, it's hard to explain. For normal people, you have to wonder by what percentage the image quality is going to get better - maybe the best answer is a small sensor and bright lens.' 

Comments

Total comments: 202
12
Sad Joe
By Sad Joe (1 month ago)

PLUS: Looking & moving forward with RAW 4K CONS: Silly ugly stupid add on box for GH4.

0 upvotes
John Miles
By John Miles (9 months ago)

Please upgrade the FZ50. It is unique and users of it cannot upgrade without compromise of one or other of its combination of features.

1 upvote
Paul S Churcher
By Paul S Churcher (Feb 19, 2013)

Congrats on the GH3 it's awesome to use (especially with the grip), and I was very happy with the GH2 before it. Your lenses are great too I now own about 8 of them! The GX1 lacks a built in viewfinder and it must be of hi res, don't worry about an articulated screen because it will make it too bulky, also the G5 has one so a natural step up if it is so important. I love all the brands and what is being produced these days just makes it so much fun to take photos / videos. The Lumix G Series is aimed at those of us who like to cover all bases, but not cart round heaps of kilos....especially while travelling overseas. I am looking forward to Lumix producing more lenses that are stronger in focal length, and with faster apertures and smaller in physical size..... a 600mm/f2.8 equivalent would be nice......great for sports and wildlife :-)

0 upvotes
Zebooka
By Zebooka (Feb 13, 2013)

We need LX8 with GPS built-in!
And configurable ring (not just aperture) like in Oly XZ-2
Please! :)

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
LTZ470
By LTZ470 (Feb 13, 2013)

Mr Ichiro Kitao,Yoshiyuki Inoue, and Michiharu Uematsu I support the call to upgrade the FZ50.
I will not only buy one but two no questions asked...

Sony is hitting home runs with full frame and large sensor Point and Shoot cameras...I bought not one but four of these...also two Nex-7s...

FZ50 upgraded with larger sensor and a 35-600 f/2.8 to f/4.5 Manual Zoom lens would be a home run as well...

0 upvotes
John Beavin
By John Beavin (Feb 13, 2013)

I would like to see an FZ50 with a 25 to 600mm lens, and perhps a better macro , until then I will stick,

0 upvotes
Paul S Churcher
By Paul S Churcher (Feb 19, 2013)

Check out the FZ200 with 25-600mm/f2.8 constant aperture, you wont be disappointed :-)

0 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (Feb 12, 2013)

Very sad. Sad that these old, tired Japanese executives are in of charge of young enthusiastic engineers, designers and artists.

Their 1970's mindset combined with spending all day poring over reports from bean-counters and market researchers, has mired them some place a looong way from the ultra-fast paced world that is 2013.

Little wonder that cameras, and Panasonic are amongst the most guilty here, are released in barely out of beta state, with critical design flaws both software and hardware.

Mobile phones have gone from 1.3MP plastic lensed junk to sapphire-crystal (a la Rokex etc) lenses and advanced BSI sensors with super advanced software and dedicated processing hardware, in just a handful of years.

Apart from a (measurable) improvement in noise and operational speed, how far have compact P&S cameras really come in the same time?

Not forgetting that most people never actually pay for their always-with-them and way good enough for instagram/facebook posting smartphone cameras.

This gentleman is sad proof that we may see major and serious changes in the camera market in the coming decade. With monoliths like google, Apple and Samsung sitting on billions each on cash reserves, the fast-going broke Fujis and Lumix divisions have a limited shelf life as independent companies.

Yes very sad, but can you recall seeing the Chief Executive, the big kahuna, of any major multinational corporation seeming so clueless, lost, despondent and utterly blank?

0 upvotes
Eduardo Sarmento
By Eduardo Sarmento (Feb 11, 2013)

A FZ50 evolution, with a good evf, a improved sensor, a fixed and fast manual zoom lens would be great...

1 upvote
Paul S Churcher
By Paul S Churcher (Feb 19, 2013)

Check out the FZ200 with 25-600mm/f2.8 constant aperture, you wont be disappointed :-)

0 upvotes
d10694
By d10694 (Feb 9, 2013)

I try to like Panasonic, but fail to. I've had some of the m43, nice, worked but was always annoyed because they were always short of something, which I felt was a marketing restriction to make you buy the next one (which did not work on me).

They always felt cheap and plasticy. The TZ series always felt flimsy and glitsy. The G3 had 75% of half decent grip (almost fixed on the next version).

They have lumbered themselves with a sensor which makes life difficult for themselves. The first kit lens came with a metal mount, then a plastic one. Bean counters at work. Where to? Everyone cannot do retro. I really don't know.

1 upvote
BurkPhoto
By BurkPhoto (Feb 8, 2013)

An audio in jack and a headphone jack on a GX2 or G6 would be nice...

0 upvotes
Zuzullo
By Zuzullo (Feb 7, 2013)

Everything is possible! LOL

Thats pretty much what they said :)

Come on! Make the goddamn rangefinder GX2 with EVF and same tilt-screen as GH3!!!

1 upvote
WestSeattleDan
By WestSeattleDan (Feb 6, 2013)

bobbarber wrote:
"The truth is that the "extra quality" of a larger than m43 sensor, or even a larger than 1/1.7" sensor, is often impossible to see at normal print sizes, so people might rightly wonder what they are paying for."........

But what is the "normal print size" is a 55" high definition television?

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 6, 2013)

NHK will start pilot broadcast of 8K "super-hivision" in 2016.
8K will be the standard for videos and stills (maybe 16K?),
on TVs the size of a door, and up to a wall.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
1 upvote
plasnu
By plasnu (Feb 6, 2013)

Panasonic seems to have a fundamental problem, which their marketing division controls the final product design way too much.

Let the camera designer make his own dream camera, (i.e.. X-Pro1). Otherwise NO enthusiasts will buy the new heavily-marketed GX which will be nothing but boring.

0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Feb 6, 2013)

>"Uematsu explains the company's options: 'There are three solutions, I think: we can make a camera with a small sensor and a bright lens - like the LX7 or we could use a bigger sensor but with a slower zoom lens."
----
Whoa, somebody stop that guy, he's telling the company's secrets. If people with small sensors start understanding equivalense they will stop paying 10x for those 24-70 f/5.6 and 70-200 f/5.6 in FF world -- ignorance of the users translates into healthy margins, so let's keep it that way.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 6, 2013)

but LX7 got no bright lens.
it's less dark, however, than the previous products
at a spec of 24-90mm f/7.0-11.5 equivalent.

0 upvotes
Zebooka
By Zebooka (Feb 13, 2013)

only in terms of DOF it has F:7.0
In terms of light passed it is exactly F:1.4.
The only problem here is sensor - because its pixels are smaller and gain less photons per pixel than in FF sensor.
But light passes per square cm is same as in FF camera with F:1.4

0 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Feb 5, 2013)

Panasonic Lumix. Make this soon please, show us cameras using this kind of sensors.

http://panasonic.co.jp/corp/news/official.data/data.dir/2013/02/en130204-6/en130204-6.html

3 upvotes
Photo Grapher
By Photo Grapher (Feb 5, 2013)

Yes, Please, make it fast.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 6, 2013)

is Pana going to use BSI like Exmor-R, too?
Sony Exmor-R got about two stops (6 dB) SNR improvement.
Pana's new color splitter can do one stop.

0 upvotes
Photo Grapher
By Photo Grapher (Feb 12, 2013)

I read that Panasonic is developing a new sensor with revolutionary technology for much better colors.

http://www.photographyblog.com/news/panasonic_develops_radically_new_sensor/

1 upvote
Ulfric M Douglas
By Ulfric M Douglas (Feb 5, 2013)

They could start by making their m4/3rds cameras less ugly : GF1 looks quite nice ... then ... well, GF1 still looks quite nice.

1 upvote
LaFonte
By LaFonte (Feb 5, 2013)

Wow, if it is now they just realized the smartphone may eat a big chunk from their business model they are pretty late to the party.
I thought they are already well prepared with some android lumix.

It is not that people prefer smartphones over cameras for taking pictures, it is that they already have (expensive) smartphone with them all the time and 99% also some sort of PS camera at home they don't ever use.
There is absolutely no way you can sell them on an idea to have additional regular camera, unless it is just really something catchy with apps and fluff. Samsung knows that best as it seems and is heavily trying to merge the two.

2 upvotes
tjbates
By tjbates (Feb 5, 2013)

Wow - these guys seem totally at a loss as to what to manufacture next. Maybe they are completely overwhelmed by the success of smartphones. As a consumer, I feel that we've been led down this path of ever increasing pixels and then low light ability and then retro styling etc, etc. The fact is that anyone that has a clue about what he or she are doing can get great results out of any digital camera format. The megapixel race is a smoke screen. If you're printing murals then go ahead and use a Nikon D800 but if your printing 8x10 then 4 megapixels has always been plenty. If you're cropping a lot then 16 megapixels is enough.
I use FF and m4/3. The smaller format is wonderfully light and I can't pick the "qualtiy" difference unless I'm at 100%.
Maybe what they should be saying is that they'll try and catch up with Olympus in the fast prime lens department.

1 upvote
MarcLee
By MarcLee (Feb 5, 2013)

Clearly these guys should not be running the company and the commentators here should. After all, they know so much more about every aspect.

6 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 5, 2013)

Everyone "knows" that the secret is to make the camera that suits every eccentric preference, is loaded with manual options that take no effort to learn, shoots dream pictures, offers the convenience and multi-functionality of a phone, sells for under $500 (with no taxes or shipping costs), gets unlimited user support, and can be returned after 90 days without any conditions questions asked. Easy!

9 upvotes
LaFonte
By LaFonte (Feb 5, 2013)

The difference between them and us is that they are getting totally overblown salaries and we get nothing for our comments. So they better put their act together while we can look from sidewalk and laugh.

2 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (Feb 6, 2013)

Oh, there are more differences than that.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Feb 5, 2013)

Think about this as a financial decision for a company. Why would they want to implement a feature that helps a few customers use an antiquated procedure(Manual Focusing) with lenses from other manufactures?

My guess is that management and marketing said “No” because they would much rather have the resources work on better Auto Focus tracking so they can sell more of the $1000+ lenses they are making or plan to make in the future.

The fact that he mentions resources at all indicates that they just didn’t think adding this feature was worth pulling their engineers off of something that is easy to advertise about(Fastest Continuous Auto Focusing in the World) for something that only a very select group of users will ever understand its value(Focus Peaking).

Just because 90% of the requests are for focus peaking doesn’t mean that 90% of the people want it.

5 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Feb 5, 2013)

"Why would they want to implement a feature that helps a few customers use an antiquated procedure with lenses from other manufactures?"

That was said in the same context where they have talked about zebra. The MF and the zebra are norm for the video. Focus peaking came later, but people were nagging Panny about zebra since the times of release of the GH2. And now to say that they basically forgot about all the feedback when designing the GH3?

Like you I can dismiss the management/marketing decision to push the expensive AF lenses, but lack of zebra (and lack of 4:2:2 output) to me says plain and simple that (like many other manufs) Panny simply ignores the user feedback.

I would say they choose the baby steps to maximize the profits. (And left themselves vulnerable to competition.)

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
David247
By David247 (Feb 6, 2013)

On the matter of focus peaking, be clear about what they said, without directly speaking it. Yes focus peaking is highly requested, but at the present it can't be just "added on" to current models because of the Venus engine not being designed to handle it. That doesn't mean they won't consider it for "future" models of their higher end cameras. But it will require a "new" venus engine and therefore a new model. Can't be added through a firmware upgrade. Quote: "Because it is not included in the Venus Engine, focus peaking is very hard to introduce - anything we added in software would be very different."

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Feb 5, 2013)

Panasonic-

Re introduce the DMC-L1 with a big EVF built in (upper left corner like the L1), keep the body style buttons and dials almost exactly the same, upgrade the sensor and processing etc, and introduce it with a new compact 24-90 f/2-2.8 lens w/aperture ring built in.

You can give me .05% of your sales in commission and thank me for the idea after you sell a ton of them. Call it the DMC-L2.

Rangefinders are sexy especially when they operate like one with a sensible menu system.

Go, and conquer.

Carl

7 upvotes
cnit
By cnit (Feb 5, 2013)

My dream setup would be a camera just like you described with a 25mm f2.0 lens with aperture ring. The only reasons I didn't get the L1 was the small viewfinder and the fact that the Panaleica 25mm f1.4 costs an arm and a leg and weighs about a ton!

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Feb 6, 2013)

I should clarify, introduce it with a 24-90mm *equivalent* focal range lens...

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 6, 2013)

if you mean 12-45mm f/2-2.8, which can deliver about
the same result as 24-90mm f/4-5.6, which is one stop slower
than Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4, which weights 545 grams, thus
your lens should be near half of it, maybe 300 grams, and
your lens should worth near half of it, say 400 US.

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Feb 5, 2013)

To balance the negative comments: I have bought G3 recently and enjoying it tremendously. I especially like the great viewfinder and AF speed.

Thank you, Panasonic !

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Feb 5, 2013)

it's not hard to figure out what customers want. just look at the sales, and read their opinions posted on the internet. this information is readily available now, it's not like you have to wait for letters to come into your mail box anymore. now, if you don't want to believe what people are saying...

i get the impression that they're trying to be very asian (smaller = better) and are surprised that the euro-american customers still want bigger cameras. well, why did you make the GH3 larger than the GH2? i think that they should still try to make a G or GH camera the size of the GH2.

now, if their engineers feel that they can make something with the performance of the GH3 in the body of a GF, then why not still use a GH-sized body but include a larger battery? i've used compacts for years, and i like being able to carry them around, but i've come to appreciate what a larger body can do in terms of handling. and also, a really small camera on a 1,8 meter tripod just looks stupid.

1 upvote
agentul
By agentul (Feb 5, 2013)

also, panasonic sells video cameras that have 3 sensors. i mean, really, where's the incentive to improve the video capabilities of the GH series, when they're trying to sell dedicated video cameras?

also, an universal firmware would be something really appreciated. in this day of easy traveling why would you still try to segment the market artificially?

also: multi-aspect sensors. they are awesome, make more of them.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (Feb 5, 2013)

> it's not hard to figure out what customers want. just look at the sales, and read their opinions posted on the internet.

I guess you didn't read the article. The point of the interview is that it's very hard to figure out what customers want. People want a gazillion different things, it's very hard to make everyone happy with a very limited number of models. Just look at all the comments here.

0 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Feb 5, 2013)

the point i was trying to make is that panasonic should have people picking up the prevailing ideas. the comments here are full of trolls asking for full-frame performance on equipment that was never meant to cover that performance spectrum in the first place.
however, if you read the Amazon product reviews for panasonic AND directly competing products (not dishwashers or dvd players) you can get a glimpse of what people might actually want. things like "a proper AC adapter for the GH2 at a decent price" or "battery packs that don't cost an arm and a leg and can work in more than one camera model". as for lenses and cameras: there is some very well articulated criticism there.
I have been on the Panasonic.com website. there are hardly any reviews there. and why should there be? they sell everything at a much higher price than other retailers and just ordering an $120 dollar item requires a lot of verification (you have to call them, etc.). that's NOT what customers want.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 5, 2013)

I see an admission that MFT can't quite compete with APSC,and the only reason they don't offer larger sensor cameras is marketing and the target market of the Panasonic brand:
"Maybe we should have a premium model, maybe with bigger sensor. However, that takes engineering resources and you have to worry about price and the extra quality it will offer people - if we can sell 100,000 or 200,000, we will make it,' says Uematsu."

1 upvote
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Feb 5, 2013)

Nah, it's just admission that they want to expand their product lineup though they're having second thoughts on its profitability. That's why he added that if he's certain to sell 200K or more of it, they would make it. I'm not even sure if that bigger sensor he's referring to is APSC since the Fujifilm X100 is already going by the Millions in sales. It seems to me that FF he's eyeing, besides, IQ difference between 4/3 sensor to APSC is little.

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 5, 2013)

I read this statement a little differently.

Why would Panasonic worry about the extra quality a larger-sensor camera would offer people, if it were a no-brainer?

The truth is that the "extra quality" of a larger than m43 sensor, or even a larger than 1/1.7" sensor, is often impossible to see at normal print sizes, so people might rightly wonder what they are paying for.

2 upvotes
Dafffid
By Dafffid (Feb 5, 2013)

You've taken it out of context - he's talking about a premium model compact with a larger sensor than a normal compact, to compete with smartphones.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Feb 5, 2013)

"since the Fujifilm X100 is already going by the Millions in sales."

Hahahahahahaahahahaha!

2 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Feb 5, 2013)

I've seen statements that X100 have sold more than 100k units, which is very impressive for a premium fixed FL compact, but far from going by the millions.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Feb 5, 2013)

Except that dxomark ranks OM-D sensor higher than EOS-M and 7D. In the future sensor tech keeps advancing and smaller formats will get better.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 5, 2013)

@DarkShift That DxOMark ranks the OM-D sensor higher than the 5 year old 18 mp sensor from the 7D only tells us that a new Sony sensor performs better than an older Canon one.

Put the OM-D against the latest Toshiba sensor in the D5200 or even the 16 mp Sony Exmor of the D7000/K5, and things don't look so rosy.

1 upvote
vodanh1982
By vodanh1982 (Feb 5, 2013)

@DarkShift: If small sensor is getting better, large sensor is also getting better.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Feb 5, 2013)

lol, i got carried away with the x100 sales numbers. yeah, just about more than 100K units.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Feb 5, 2013)

Yes, if you look at dxomark scores in screen mode (not print) OM-D seems to have very similar SNR 18%, tonal range and color sensitivity compared to D5200.

If 16MP is not enough, I'd go straight to FF and not bother with clumsy APS-C DSLR with their inferior small OVF's.

And EOS-M is not 5 years old camera btw ;)

1 upvote
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Feb 5, 2013)

@vodanh1982

Obviously yes, but in most cases 16MP is enough. For web, most portraits and press usage definitely so.

0 upvotes
Elaka Farmor
By Elaka Farmor (Feb 5, 2013)

I want a premium low-end compact

0 upvotes
zapatista
By zapatista (Feb 5, 2013)

Well, Panasonic for better or worse has decided not to take on Sony--"maybe the best answer is a small sensor and bright lens".

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 5, 2013)

Having used a high-end compact for many years, I agree with this statement.

The RX100 suffers at close distances, let alone macro. Small sensor compacts are excellent at macro, better than DSLRs in my opinion. Then you have the lack of a hot shoe.

If I were limited to one camera, and it had to be a compact, I would not choose the RX100. It definitely is the right camera for some people, who shoot at the focal lengths it is good at, and who don't ever need a hot shoe. But that person isn't me.

So many times these statements about the RX100 are made as if it is a given that it is the right choice for everybody. It isn't.

3 upvotes
R Thornton
By R Thornton (Feb 5, 2013)

I know exactly what kind of visual experience I want my images to convey in technical terms, and I do not give a rat's ass about whether I get it from a small or large sensor, this or that technology, so long as I can carry it around in one hand. In the last 13 years I have used 25 different digital cameras (type and manufacturer) and even when I was content with their function, I have never been quite happy. I am increasingly using analog cameras of forty years ago and some BW film, and lo! - the happiness is returning! And I am not a nostalgic type. This is something the contemporary manufacturers should try to analyze and explain...

1 upvote
Zamac
By Zamac (Feb 5, 2013)

So negative and evasive! I don't know if it was the interview or the way it was reported, but I got the impression they were not too sure that the Panasonic consumer camera division was going to survive. Surprised me.

4 upvotes
xMichaelx
By xMichaelx (Feb 5, 2013)

Have to agree with you. They seem to be saying, "We're going to let everyone else try lots of different, innovative cameras, and then we'll jump on whichever bandwagon looks like it pays off."

That's no way to run a company.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 5, 2013)

I think that might be something you're bringing to your reading of it.

As I conducted it, I thought it was an unusually honest reflection of the challenges of selling Mirrorless cameras when different markets want such different things.

I haven't yet spoken to any company that sounds like they really know how to respond to the smartphone threat. It's refreshing that Panasonic aren't claiming to have the magic answer. What we didn't cover was that the company's latest NFC-equipped cameras appear to be some of the easiest to use to set up Wi-Fi - so it's not fair to suggest they don't have ideas of their own.

1 upvote
EYap
By EYap (Feb 5, 2013)

This wasn't even an interview. A classic example of saying a lot and saying nothing. Either they don't know where they're going or they do but are not tellling. I'm guessing it's the latter.

The industry is undergoing rapid change now with the entry of "inexpensive" full-frame sensors, and it's going to affect the Four-Thirds market. I suspect pros and enthusiasts will go with full frame SLRs, leaving the Four-Thirds, maybe even the APS sensors, to the mirrorless compacts. That would be a welcome development, so we can have bigger sensors in the low end rather than the blah 1/2.3.

0 upvotes
wakaba
By wakaba (Feb 5, 2013)

Dying the Kodak way...

Frankly, they are scared s&%/ that phones have already crushed the compact and m43 market. That leaves the fullframes to move up to medium format because 4k and better displays are just around the corner. Bottom line today is a D600 and its fresh FX lenses. Everything else is 1 or 2 generations behind.

Then again they seem totally detached from the consumer and market realities. Typical corporate shills protecting a manufacturing biotop that took many wrong turns - and now they dont have phones.

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Feb 5, 2013)

What does 4K have to do with medium-format, or even full-frame? 4K is 8 megapixel, and even my APS-C mirrorless camera happily renders full detail in its 14 megapixel images.

3 upvotes
Kund
By Kund (Feb 5, 2013)

"This wasn't even an interview. A classic example of saying a lot and saying nothing. Either they don't know where they're going or they do but are not tellling. I'm guessing it's the latter."

My thoughs exactly...

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 5, 2013)

JWest - for context, Panasonic had a prototype 4K display on their stand at the show. Mr Inoue's point was that it would help customers see differences in IQ, if they don't print.

0 upvotes
EYap
By EYap (Feb 7, 2013)

The writing is on the wall: bigger sensors are getting cheaper. That means the reason for APS and 4/3 sensors is not valid anymore. Every Monday at their weekly meetings the members of the 4/3 consortium should ask themselves, "So are we still doing 4/3 this week?"

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Feb 5, 2013)

"Maybe we should have a premium model, maybe with bigger sensor. "

They should take the plunge and put up against Sony. I mean, the 4/3s sensor is huge enough for IQ but those which are not interchangeable, like a zoom and fixed lens. This market is being dominated currently by the others such as Sony, Fuji, Canon and Nikon.
The enthusiasts has a huge impact on marketing especially in today's connected world. Give the enthusiasts what they want and they will recommend it to everyone just because they like it so much. Cameras are plenty good today that it is an emotional purchase and not a rational one.

"maybe the best answer is a small sensor and bright lens."

You already got this in the LX7 and it wouldn't be any different from the IQ of a smartphone. Panny, you got to need to invest.

1 upvote
JWest
By JWest (Feb 5, 2013)

In what way is Canon, with its rather disappointing entry into the mirrorless world, dominating the market? In what world can the IQ of a smart phone possibly be even vaguely compared to that of the LX7?

6 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Feb 5, 2013)

I was referring to the quote which doesn't say mirrorless interchangeable
To me, he's referring to a camera with a large sensor with a fixed lens. Canon somehow has something in this area with the G1X. My mistake here though is including Nikon which doesn't have any premium product with a large sensor.

You probably referring to the low light performance since it is better in ISO and includes a bright lens, but in daylight, the DR and handling of highlights is not far off between a small sensor compact and a smartphone. I mean, I don't imagine myself carrying a smartphone or any compact 1.7" sensor at the same time. I should start at least m4/3s camera that is going to be with my smartphone.

1 upvote
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (Feb 5, 2013)

micro four thirds is ultimately a short term product. as the price of the full frame drops to encapsulate all DSLRs in the next 6 years, there would be no room for mid level sensors. at that time, our phones will shoot as good as today's best point and shoot. at that time why would you want to carry a phone and a small digicam.

However, since Pana is a chip maker, they'll have no problem adjusting to this and they'll most probably create a range of mid-priced FF cameras anyway.

1 upvote
Chez Wimpy
By Chez Wimpy (Feb 5, 2013)

Well that's odd. I could have sworn I got into m43 because it was smaller than my FF setup. So when FF becomes cheaper... I'll go back to another large system?

7 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Feb 5, 2013)

I doubt that. There's substantial size benefit for using m4/3 instead of full frame. As sensor tech gets better all the time, need for FF will diminish even for professionals. 16MP is enough for most portrait photography.

I don't think phones are any "threat" to interchangeable lens cameras, because they don't just offer such speed and flexibility. m4/3 lays in the sweet spot regarding lens size and IQ.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
John Carson
By John Carson (Feb 5, 2013)

They could give full frame cameras away for free and most people wouldn't use them. They are simply too big.

7 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 5, 2013)

I don't know guys... you're all going on about the size benefits of MFT...
meanwhile, Canon offers an APSC mirrorless that is size-competitive with any MFT, and Samsung offer a few... including the 20mp apsc nx20 that compares favourably with any MFT with a viewfinder (like the G3 and smaller than an omdem5), and way smaller than the GH3 which is enormous in comparison.

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 5, 2013)

There are two giant flaws in this argument:

1) You are arguing simultaneously that sensors will get better, but that photographers will want bigger sensors. How exactly does that work? It seems obvious that as sensors get better, then objections to noise, etc in smaller sensors (largely superfluous arguments in the case of m43 already) will disappear.

2) You are ignoring the cost of lenses on FF, and their weight. On m43 I can buy a 600mm equivalent lens for a couple of hundred bucks on ebay. Nikon and Canon FF 600mm lenses cost in the $8,000 to $10,000 range. Nikon and Canon could give away FF bodies for free, but many people would still buy into a smaller sensor system, because of the size and cost of FF lenses.

The biggest problem in your argument is assuming that small sensor size is a compromise. It is not. It is a FEATURE, in the same way that small car size and good gas mileage are features, not compromises, with bigger, faster cars.

7 upvotes
Zdman
By Zdman (Feb 5, 2013)

I keep hearing about the size benefits of m43. Then I look at the EOS-M, NEX and NX and they don't seem any bigger (except for those oversized NEX lenses). In fact the only reason that FF is so big is because of the mirror and we don't have a mirrorless FF yet to make a comparison. However we do have FF leica's and they're pretty small. I accept the telephoto argument for the time being but remember that once FF has the same pixel density you'll just be able to crop and get the same effect. The big point in m43 favour is cost as FF will always be much more expensive because of the size and the wasted space on round silicon wafers.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 5, 2013)

@bobbarber, not quite: as compared to FF yes, but there is no price difference related to size alone between a lens designed for MFT lens and one designed for APSC... and the new APSC mirrorless category is the biggest threat to MFT in the near future.

@Zdman, indeed. and the FF is just for a different market, period. I see it being for professionals, whereas APSC is successful for a wider range of users, spanning from the high end of MFT all the way to the low end of FF markets.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 5, 2013)

Noise, dynamic range, etc. are more closely related to pixel density than sensor size. So if FF sensors are as pixel-dense as smaller sensors, what advantage would they have? That throws the argument back to size and weight.

There will always be arguments for FF sensors and mirrors, but as smaller cameras become more capable, those arguments become fewer and less convincing.

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 5, 2013)

@TimmBitts

You're splitting hairs if you're concerned about IQ differences between APS-C and m43. It just isn't there, as far as I can see. You can't pixel peep a print. If you do the equivalent, which is standing next to a billboard-sized print with a magnifying glass, then you can't see the print. Any look which gives you the whole picture, as it were, is essentially identical between m43 and APS-C.

I see m43 lasting longer than other mirrorless formats simply because of the consortium. I got burned by Olympus with 4/3 DSLRs, and I feel better about m43 than I do NEX, Canon, Nikon 1, etc. The consortium is starting to pick up some momentum, at least it feels that way.

2 upvotes
Zdman
By Zdman (Feb 5, 2013)

Actualy noise will be the same per pixel on a FF with the same density as m43 but for the same area on the final printed picture the FF will have many more pixels to average the noise. Its true that at normal photo sizes you can't see a difference but once ISO climbs past 1600 you definitely can see more on m43 as apposed to FF (or APC). Just arguing that point as I think m43 is more than good enough for 95% of users but those same users also think canikon.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Feb 5, 2013)

@Zdman

You left out lens size from the comparison. MFT lenses are on average much smaller than lenses available for APS-C be it mirrorless or not. DSRL requires retrofocus design for wide angles. OTOH NEX has so short flange that lenses suffer from mediocre corner sharpness.

DxOMark shows that OM-D's sensor beats both EOS-M and 7D which is quite amazing IMHO. The difference between MFT and APSC is quite small and nothing to worry about.

0 upvotes
Maverick_
By Maverick_ (Feb 5, 2013)

MF3 is a failure and I use a GH series. Here's why.
Although it has been selling to the enthusiasts, it has failed to attract the attention of pro photographers.

It is however an acceptable pro video tool.

There are two points here.
1) the full frame price is dropping and in the next 6 years, all DSLR's most probably be full frame.

2) the advancement of cameras in our phones will over shadow the digicam market. In the next few years, the digicams (point and shoot) market will be non-existent.

Adding to all that, since MF3 is a pro-photographer's failure it will not last into the future, specially as full frame prices drop. It is possible to make a more compact FF. Sony did it. Think ahead a few years, the future is only FF and cell phones cameras. no in between.

1 upvote
Zdman
By Zdman (Feb 6, 2013)

@ DarkShift

Smaller but not quite a quarter of the size which is what they should be when shrinking the sensor by 4 (in three dimensions they should be an eigth of the size). There are APC lenses like the Samsung 16/20/30 that are just as small as m43

Canon uses the same 0.5um process that in first used in 2004. Sony is using a 0.18 process on the N800. Once Canon brings it 0.2 process online for image sensors it will be just as good as m43. Anything that can be done on a m43 sensor can be done on APC and FF so any process advantage will dissappear and the laws of physics will give you less noise on a bigger sensor (with less depth of field by the way for the same exposure).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
speculatrix
By speculatrix (Feb 6, 2013)

whilst the sensors in smartphones might be getting better all the time,the same technical advances will apply to larger sensors too.
The key thing is no matter how good the sensor, you can't beat the laws of physics and make a good camera with a small sensor, small lens and small front element.

However, smartphones have killed the bottom end of the compact camera market, the sub $75 market, and are nibbling away at the 75 to $125 ranges.
The premium compact, bridge, mirrorless and APS-C camera makers will have to work harder to explain to consumers that they offer a worthwhile upgrade.

0 upvotes
sik_photos
By sik_photos (Feb 5, 2013)

Ive posted my rant about

-------the forces of marketing in the design of cameras-----

over at News and Rumours, for those who cannot limit themselves to 900 charachters :) and would love to have others weigh in on that topic in light of this article

0 upvotes
jbwong
By jbwong (Feb 5, 2013)

1 inch sensor, 24-72mm f2.0 leica, NFC, full HD touchscreen, wifi, 120fps 1080p or 240fps 720p and make it pocketable and there you go you beat the RX100 and can sell a million piece+

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (Feb 5, 2013)

Uh no. It's a better sensor, *and* much brighter lenses.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 5, 2013)

what is?

0 upvotes
George Paulides
By George Paulides (Feb 5, 2013)

Sounds like Panasonic are trying to be all things to all people when it comes to their planning. They need to focus on a segment and execute. Look at what Fujifilm are doing. It is paying dividends for them.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
thx1138
By thx1138 (Feb 5, 2013)

Like he said it's difficult to know which segment to indulge. Fuji sales are a small in the scheme of things and they appeal to a harder core group of enthusiasts. Panasonic is in financial trouble and needs to also consider addressing markets that will give them good return, whether through very high sales at modest profits or lesser sales at much higher profits.

I'm glad they see that there is no one size fit's all approach hopefully won't try and shoehorn us all into what THEY think is the correct camera. It's wise to target the lower end, but also wise to placate the high end users that expect and demand high quality lenses and sensors based on their DSLR experiences.

Any way I thought this was a good frank interview and much more useful than the one from Canon even if it doesn't give anything away.

2 upvotes
raven900sx
By raven900sx (Feb 5, 2013)

If pentax could introduce focus peaking as a firmware upgrade on the wee Q, why can't panasonic do it on the GH3? Kinda makes panny look a bit sad

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 5, 2013)

Requires a new sensor, and they just didn't allocate the development funds for that. Comes down to a business decision.

0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (Feb 5, 2013)

I think there are 2 reasons we will never get focus peaking and zebra pattern. First, they simply don't want those features in the product and second, I'm pretty sure they don't have the resources now. The product is out and they don't want to spend the money to pay one of their employees to implement it within 8 hours and to test it for a couple of week in the field. They are done with the GH3 as it is for a long time already.

1 upvote
DVT80111
By DVT80111 (Feb 5, 2013)

'Focus peaking and zebra pattern. More than 90% of the requests we're getting are for these features. We haven't been able to offer it - because of the limits of resources and of the Venus Engine processor. Because it is not included in the Venus Engine, focus peaking is very hard to introduce - anything we added in software would be very different.

I don't get it. I can get this feature from the freeware Magic Lantern on 4 years old Canon model, and Panasonic engineers can't figure it out.

7 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Feb 5, 2013)

I don't believe they can't. I think they simply don't want to.
Reasons are obvious. :(

4 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 5, 2013)

Referring back to the quote, when it's in software it harms performance. It is desirable to have it implemented in hardware.

0 upvotes
Steve Wilson
By Steve Wilson (Feb 5, 2013)

I just wish Panasonic would make some nice single focal length telephoto lenses. There are already more than enough lenses in the 14 to 300 range, but there is a whole market segment above 300mm that is totally unserved at this time.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Paul S Churcher
By Paul S Churcher (Feb 19, 2013)

Hey Steve, if you have not tried one already, have a go of a Lumix 100-300mm/f4.5-5.6, it is the equivalent magnification as a 200-600mm on a FF camera but retains the same aperture of f4.5-5.6. I use it for sport, it is optically stabilized and takes great shots handheld even without a monopod. It is not expensive....about $799 AUD.

0 upvotes
baogiang
By baogiang (Feb 5, 2013)

Boooooooo Panasonics

1 upvote
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Feb 5, 2013)

To be worth my reading time such Article need to deliver clarity. Instead all I found was confusion and blah blah on such a bad level, that it even impacts the reputation of dpreview as a place to find great content.

I am always reading about other cameras and makers to see if I can find something new which could be used in my creative work. If the marketing folks of Panasonic ( read leaders of development of future Panasonic camereas) are so confused where they want to go, then I can strike Articles / reviews of Panasonic Products from my reading list.

As for dpreview I am shocked that such a confusion has been published. Lets hope this is a single slip and not a hint about what q

1 upvote
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Feb 5, 2013)

The editing time-out could be longer, then my posting would have been more gentle :-)

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Michael Jardine
By Michael Jardine (Feb 5, 2013)

I felt the same way after reading both this article, and the Olympus one. It was almost as if both were setting us up for a disappointing year.

My needs are simple: a E-PL5 sized camera with a small EVF, not the giant rock of the EM5. Sony has already accomplished this with the Nex-6, but they don't have the lenses and don't have the touch screen.

2 upvotes
HubertChen
By HubertChen (Feb 5, 2013)

@ Michael
Consider using the NEX with Pentax Primes with adapter. They are very small & very sharp. This might be a solution for you as long as you do not need auto focus. I am using this setup and for me it is a joy to use with excellent image quality.

1 upvote
mpix345
By mpix345 (Feb 5, 2013)

I'd like an article with more clearly defined details as well, but I think the point being communicated is that the consumer camera market is in total flux and to some degree these companies don't know what the hell to do. I take that to mean we could see them veering off in all sorts of directions in the short term, and that some things may not be supported for very long.

It is a great time for photography because of the pace of technical advancements, but that also makes it somewhat unpredictable. Not a bad trade-off imo.

4 upvotes
CabSav
By CabSav (Feb 5, 2013)

In defense of dpreview I think it is quite informative to have an insight into the state of the mind of photo companies’ business leaders – regardless of the actual condition of their minds.

2 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Feb 7, 2013)

@Hubert:
I rather want an article that is a bit confusing to read but at the same time very honest instead if the usual marketing gibberish.

0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (Feb 5, 2013)

How about remaking the LC-1 with similar fixed lens and design and a slightly larger next gen. sensor.

They do sound confused (or at least the market is confused).

0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (Feb 5, 2013)

I hope this will never happen.

0 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (Feb 4, 2013)

Peeking and zebra will be in GH4 next year only.

1 upvote
ageha
By ageha (Feb 5, 2013)

In 2 years.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 5, 2013)

it will no longer be pertinent, as other larger sensor cameras will make it lose it's video edge during that time (the only edge it's got)

0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (Feb 4, 2013)

What a foolish market analyze!

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Feb 4, 2013)

What a load of BULL!!!:

"We haven't been able to offer it - because of the limits of resources and of the Venus Engine processor"

Who do they think they are fooling?
Any camera engine that can do lens correction in FullHD could do Focus Peaking (FP) at the same resolution 10x as fast. FP can be trivially implemented by building a contrast map with a first order filter (like sharpening) and a saturation XOR with the original picture. You don't even need memory bandwidth for that as this is easily done locally.
Before anyone calls me on this, I have to say I've put it in terms that any layman understands about 4 years ago: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/32667860

My point is: This is BULL and there is no FP because Panasonic DOESN'T WANT it to be there. They have an upper market to protect. Even the OMD users have already found an artisan path to FP on a camera that has a much less powerful engine.

That or these guys are technically clueless, which I find very hard to believe.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (Feb 4, 2013)

Thank you, duartix.
You are a smart cookie :-)

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Feb 5, 2013)

But do they do lens correction for Live View?
Also for video, while you want focus peaking in viewfinder, you don't want it in the video written to the card. So it should be done by the same processor which outputs extra information like current aperture, which is obviously not powerful at all.

2 upvotes
steve_hoge
By steve_hoge (Feb 5, 2013)

It may well be that the microcoded image pipeline in Venus VII does not allow separate processing for output to EVF vs storage media simultaneously (remember, the application is video.) But they also mentioned "resource" constraints - even if possible in the hardware, it might well be a v. significant effort to recode the engine to provide this split output.

3 upvotes
Nikolaï
By Nikolaï (Feb 5, 2013)

Tom Hogan has a post about this

http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/the-dpreview-interviews.html

2 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Feb 5, 2013)

Tom Hogan may be right.
Peevee1 may be right (even though FP should be possible at least for photos).
I could even buy the limits of resources (but what resources? camera? programming?) but saying it's also because of "Venus Engine processor" limits isn't being serious. I reiterate that FP isn't more demanding than most art filters /image modes.

I think they just don't want to give it to us. The reason is pretty obvious: eating up sales of professional video cameras and auto-focus lenses.

1 upvote
Mike Ronesia
By Mike Ronesia (Feb 5, 2013)

Maybe because of the Venus the code rewrite would be complicated and require much more time and manpower then some might think.

1 upvote
Justtimthen
By Justtimthen (Feb 5, 2013)

I wouldn't go as far as to say Panasonic don't care what their customers want but it could be argued they don't care as much as the other major brands and for me, this rubbish illustrates exactly their problem. I would have gone Panasonic m43rds, I wanted the most compact system and they were providing it But living in Japan the menu only offers Japanese Unlike Olympus where I could download the English option. Isn't that crazy?

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Feb 4, 2013)

dpreview seriously needs to hire some photographers to take these headshots. I've seen police mugshots that look better.

5 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (Feb 4, 2013)

a) they do it on purpose so people want to buy cameras and do it better or
b) they are stiff by nature of education and culture and wouldn't recognise themselves if shown being alive

0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (Feb 4, 2013)

Don't complain.

We all know DPreview stuffs don't know how to shoot other than test charts.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 59 seconds after posting
1 upvote
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Feb 5, 2013)

Clearly the head shots were taken in a trade show booth under booth lighting. Maybe next time you can volunteer to carry a complete, powered portrait lighting kit with large diffusers, through tight show floor crowds, for 8 hours.

10 upvotes
aftab
By aftab (Feb 5, 2013)

@graybalanced
Exactly. People don't even think before complaining.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 5, 2013)

I think the portrait is fine for one done without a softbox and proper lighting gear.

But you were so subtle in your criticism of it, perhaps DPR will hire you, since you clearly know how proper portraits are made. Any examples?

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Feb 5, 2013)

agree manual and baxter .. also what's the purpose of seeing a perfectly composed photo of pany md, anyways?

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Feb 4, 2013)

The summary is; Panasonic want to re-invent the wheel under the Panasonic brand but want it in square form. They sound very confused to me and following on this particular point most Dpreview forum writers appeared to be confused too. If a compact camera is going to do the job buy that, if a m4/3 will do the job buy that why everybody including manufacturers like Panasonic want to convince people they don't need bigger sensors than what they have or make. If I want to work with 35mm format-for obvious reasons-I'll buy that. Some smaller sensors maybe almost but not as good as the next bigger sensor but, for example, the camera size difference between G/GH and most modern APSc cameras isn't huge and can be negligible if you take in to account the sensor performance. Again the users of APSc and G/GH series cameras are likely to be amateurs who can make reasonably informed choices on cameras.Panasonic want enthusiasts behave like compact users and be happy with what Panasonic offer.

1 upvote
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 4, 2013)

Stop worrying about selling image quality and F-numbers and make something sexy. Your cameras are for old people.

1 upvote
LWW
By LWW (Feb 4, 2013)

Yeah! great idea, whipper snappers love a cool accessory, makes up for all the shortfalls and misgivings of the inexperienced. And put a decent base driver in it at the same time - DOOF DOOF DOOF DOOF DOOF, so as the blind ole' dudes will notice also.

5 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Feb 5, 2013)

Yes. Hello Kitty cameras for everyone, please.

0 upvotes
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Feb 5, 2013)

If they were selling Hello Kitty cameras, they'd probably have enough money to do what I was thinking: update their old L1 as an X100s competitor, for starters.

1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (Feb 5, 2013)

Pink Barbie cameras too. NOT.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 5, 2013)

Their slightly retro but not too retro designs are one of the good things they've got going for them! If they offered APSC I would buy a Panasonic design.

Is your idea of "design", the absence of design like an S100, perhaps?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (Feb 5, 2013)

Timmbits, my current camera (a silver Olympus E-P1) completely fulfills my design ideals. Its design is head and shoulders above anything else bar Fuji's CSCs and the Leica Ms. The Panasonic CSCs aren't slightly retro, they're either shrunk DSLRs or inflated point-and-shoots. They'll never win design accolades.

0 upvotes
Thomas Kachadurian
By Thomas Kachadurian (Feb 4, 2013)

Here's an idea for Panasonic, get some stock to the USA market. You can't sell what you don't ship.

7 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 5, 2013)

No worries... plenty of people on ebay unloading them (used, AND new overstock) - there's one with your name on it. :p

0 upvotes
vodanh1982
By vodanh1982 (Feb 4, 2013)

Now I understand why people are still making small sensor cameras with slow lens. Most DPReviewers are high end users and they feel bad about it. However, the manufacturers view are to sell the most to the population which are "point and shoot" users. They want a non-blurry image for a whole frame (they have no idea about bokeh), not too much noise, and an affordable price. Yes, it is difficult to satisfy all.

5 upvotes
ChrishsChan
By ChrishsChan (Feb 4, 2013)

If you were the owner of Panasonic, will you do the same, make more money. If Panasonic thinks what you think, the company will go bankrupt :0(

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 5, 2013)

Sounds like Casio.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 4, 2013)

If limitations of the sensor prevent the GH3 from offering focus peaking or zebra, perhaps this is why the 5D and 1D don't either. Meanwhile, various camcorders that sell for a lower price offer both.

4k video is hard to sell if the monitor costs $15k, if commercial 4k content is scarce or expensive, and if home video shot hand held looks very shakey and is impossible to share via FaceBook.

Good cameras do things that phones can't, but phones do far more things that cameras can't, and cameras with big sensors or glass aren't going to be in people's pockets all the time.

If you make a camera that captures video at 72mbps, geared to production criteria quite remote from most consumers' needs or ancillary gear, sales volume may be too low to recoup R&D and other costs.

Not an easy prospect. Good luck.

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Feb 4, 2013)

The good thing for Panasonic is that the GH3 can shoot Production ready 24 FPS video, or excellent 1080p @ 60 FPS, or even very good 720p video at a more sharable bit rate.

It has a ton of features like weather sealing, image stacking, wireless, time lapse, and HDR that most novice uses wouldn't understand how to take full advantage of.

However, in the end it takes incredible pictures and even better video that anyone can appreciate. It is truly a great and versatile all around camera.

9 upvotes
Total comments: 202
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