Panasonic GH3 Made In China, Am I Being Old Fashioned To Be Disappointed ?

Started Feb 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
plevyadophy
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Re: Mixed feelings Re:Panny GH3 Made In China,Am I Being Old Fashioned
In reply to MichaelKJ, Feb 14, 2013

MichaelKJ wrote:

plevyadophy wrote:

MichaelKJ wrote:

plevyadophy wrote:

MichaelKJ wrote:

plevyadophy wrote:

jkrumm wrote:

Seriously, the fit or finish of these products has nothing to do with being made in China. Those are design choices, just like it was a design choice for U.S. auto makers to build cars in the U.S. with terrible quality back in the 1980's.

My iPhone and new iMac both have what feels like tremendous quality, shipped straight from China.

Well, like I said in my original post, that's because some western brand owners keep a tighter rein on their Chinese operations.

Apple's products are made by Foxconn, which is a Taiwanese owned company that is not an Apple Chinese operation. What is key, as others said before you weighed in, is that that Panasonic insist on high quality manufacturing.

Well, certainly in terms of manufacturing I would regard Taiwan as a Western company; certainly a more modern production culture than that of mainland China.

It doesn't really matter what Panasonic insist on. Rather what matters is whether they keep a tight rein on their Chinese operation. Many a Western company have good reputations but then farm out to China, get a little complacent with keeping an eye on things, and then you get the typical sloppy manufacturing rolling off the Chineses production line.

Regardless of where a product is manufactured, any company that subcontracts is likely to have quality problems if they don't take responsibility for monitoring their subcontractors.

While there are obviously lousy products being made in China, the Chines are also becoming increasingly competitive in making high quality products. Lenovo is just one example of a mainland Chinese company that has done very well since buying IBM's line of PCs.

In actual fact, they don't actually own it outright in terms of control. If you investigate, you will find that IBM still have an interest in the company. In other words, IBM are acting as gatekeepers to ensure that the ThinkPad name, and associated IBM brands, is not sullied. I doubt very much that Lenova would have had a chance in hell of maintaining IBM's excellent standards had IBM sold everything lock, stock and barrel and washed their hands of it all. The situation may be somewhat different now, given that Lenova have now had a good few years of building to IBM's exacting standards perhaps they can go it alone and build wonderful products. (In actual fact, as I write, and without doing a Google search, I am not actually sure whether IBM have still maintained their interest in the company, or whether they have gradually reduced their interest; in any event, the ThinkPad and other product names would have been worthless had IBM not kept an interest in the company when the deal was initially done with Lenova).

While I'm sure that Lenovo has benefitted from their alliance with IBM, I think the basic gist of your response indicates a bias against the Chinese. The fact that China is infamous for producing shoddy goods doesn't mean that they aren't also producing high quality goods on their own. For example, it isn't just Samsung & LG that have put the Japanese TV makers on the ropes. Consumers are opting for low cost Chinese TVs because they are competitive with those made by Sony & Panasonic. Three years ago, I bought a 40" TCL as second TV that has proven to be comparable to my Samsung. The 48" TCL currently has a 4.5 star rating for 344 customer reviews on Amazon. While China's economy continues to grow, albeit at a slower rate, Japan just reported another year of declining GDP. Olympus just doubled their projected losses for their imaging business. Sony's only profitable division for the third quarter was gaming (Playstation).

No, the punters are buying the Chinese sets because they are cheapskates (they wanna pose off to their friends and fam that they got some huge flat panel tv in their front room but they can't really afford to live the life so they buy the cheapo Chinese version to keep up appearances).

As for reviews on Amazon, irrelevant!!

Are they professional reviewers? Have they dismantled the tv like that website Fixit do with electronics? Have they examined the components inside, or checked the quality of the soldering? Have they the ability to test colour accuracy (do they even know what AdobeRGB is?!). In answer to those questions, I would say I doubt it VERY much. The only thing, as far as the tv's are concerned that I would take note of Amazon reviews for is the user experience (feel, size, weight, features etc).

I will stick to Samsung and Panasonic thanks very much; and if I can't afford one, I will save up and buy the original rather than a Chinese knock-off.

And like I said in my original post, there was a MARKED difference in buid quality between my Made in Japan Panasonic G1 and the later model that was made in China. So I doubt Panasonic were doing much insisting on high quality manufacturing at that time; or perhaps they were insisting but not ENFORCING.

Yes, companies are likely to have problems if they fail to insist on high quality. However, your experience represents only a single camera, so it provides little information about Panasonic's monitoring of their Chinese subcontractors. While the Japanese are know for high quality products, their quality isn't perfect as evidenced by the large number of D800s that had to be returned because of focusing problems.

No my experience does not represent just one camera. My experience represents years of being a consumer covering a wide range of products for example the year in year out of watching and/or reading the public announcement of our Trading Standards Authority (in the U.K.) as they warn consumers about the hazards of buying Christmas lights from China. To be blunt: you buy Chinese lights and you die!! (fire hazards). There are similar dire warnings about fireworks too. And of course we have the regular Customs seizures of dodgy Chinese goods (again, being blunt, dodgy as in "this rubbish may kill you!")

And yes, you are correct, buying Japanese is no GUARANTEE that a consumer will have no problems (neither is buying German e.g. Leica M8 sensor's infamous infrared problem) but the balance of probabilities are such that if you buy German or Japanese rather than Chinese you will have far fewer problems.

As I'm sure you know, Made in Japan used to imply low quality. Currently, Made in China is a mixed bag, but moving in the direction of high quality. We are living in a rapidly changing global economy in which conclusions about the quality of a country's goods and services based on past experience are increasingly likely to be wrong.

Yes, I agree with you. But for now, I and the OP aren't wrong about China (maybe in 10 years time we will be but not for now).

So as far as I am concerned that Made in China label is cause for concern (which may well, we'll have to wait and see, turn out to be nothing to worry about ............. hopefully).

If you want to protest stuff being made in China, I'd do so because they have crappy working conditions caused by a government that doesn't allow independent worker unions to exist, and our companies are taking advantage of that.

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John Krumm
Juneau, AK

Yes, well said. Valid point.

Regards,

plevyadophy

I would note that working conditions are improving in China because companies such as Apple and HP have put pressure on their suppliers.

Yes, indeed.

Regards,

plevyadophy

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