Everybody buy an FZ200 :-)

Started Sep 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
John Miles
John Miles Veteran Member • Posts: 6,909
Re: Everybody buy an FZ200 :-)

Certainly Rudy.

Panasonic are truly focused on their lens change cameras, and have produced the FZ200 in what I perceive as a lesser state of (financial) enthusiasm. But in a tiny corner of the World, this forum, enthusiasm abounds the other way round.

The present stance by Panasonic is also flying in the face of very distinct trends in camera design, perceivable if you stand well back and look at the market overall over a period of years.

The major trend is to dispense with camera bulk in the first instance. This is pouring a host of intermediate cameras like the 4/3" cameras into the market between the original bridge camera and DSLR's. To save on size viewfinders and grips are vanishing, with optional add on bits on offer to chivvy a camera back to near serious operability for the dedicated fan.

In another trend the pocket camera has come of age. The LX is struggling. A host of good enthusiast cameras are emerging from many companies. Panasonic has lost its focus and been bitten whilst it perhaps instead was not wanting to produce a camera that would threaten its own 4/3" cameras. Well if it wasn't them, in time it was going to be someone else.

It is inescapable that big cameras are getting smaller, and that small cameras, that are getting serious, are getting bigger. Slap bang in the middle of all this is Panasonic's old home turf, where it used to dominate. Out of the melee that is the current smaller camera market, the FZ200 has risen like a phoenix. More people are looking at this camera than any previous two or three Panasonic releases put together; based on the forum traffic that everyone is witnessing. And the eyes of the DSLR owner have turned Panasonic's way once more.

So. Have Panasonic noticed that, whilst is pours favour on its GH3 etc., the rest of the industry is busting down its back wall and taking over its territory? Have they seen their phoenix rising? Do they understand that the whole market trend is toward the cameras they can plainly do best?

The trend for smaller cameras is so evident that the DSLR is breaking away. It is to become, eventually, too serious and bulky a camera for most peoples needs. Panasonic have their eye on this, instead of the big picture, and are increasing the size of the GH in pursuit. Wrong way Panasonic.

On a more personal note, I occupy a place on this forum as one of a merry band who are devoted to the FZ50. This camera is a bridge camera biased to the DSLR end of design, and is astonishingly compact with its non extending lens. It has everything. It is ergonomically perfect. But above all its design lies at the epicentre of the convergence of all these trends.

Imagine, ten years from now, the advances made to the FZ50, FZ200, ZS(TZ) and LX. What other style of camera could even begin to compete. DSLR's would be doing weddings, advertising and high end enthusiast duties still, but for the rest of us, our photographic needs would be answered. No more DSLR just so the baby photos are good.

What are Panasonic doing:
FZ50 - They are dormant - in protection of their 4/3" cameras.
FZ200 - They are back to their winning ways here. The FZ20 is reborn.

ZS(TZ) - Other manufacturers are swamping Them. The BSI CMOS sensor is a mighty challenge.

LX - They are placing too much faith in the M4/3" cameras, and need to reinvigorate the LX.

There is a spike in camera technology that is concealing the true long term domestic consumer trends. Lens design has advanced rapidly, and lens change cameras are able to re-invent often enough to maintain sales interest. There is now this page on Dpreview:
http://www.dpreview.com/products/lenses

But select any page of lenses and look at it. Stand back and look at it. As far as the domestic consumer in concerned you are genuinely looking at tomorrows redundant equipment. Ordinary people will soon have no need for cameras with separate lenses. The manufacturers are selling lenses whilst they still can. As I have said on this forum, if every new small sensor camera from now on betters the FZ200, And the following generation betters those again, what hope does any more expensive camera have of preventing sales being lost to it?

Panasonic need to find their way. Someone in Panasonic needs to notice.

-- hide signature --

The FZ50: DSLR handling of a bright Leica 35-420mm lens that's this good: http://www.flickr.com/groups/panasonicfz50/pool/show (slideshow always good). With the FZ200 performance so good, I live in hope that Mr Ichiro Kitao has triggered the update to the FZ50. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=42366095

 John Miles's gear list:John Miles's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +1 more
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