Panasonic is better positioned than Olympus

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Marty4650
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,849
Panasonic is better positioned than Olympus
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In my view, Olympus might be blundering by going for the very high end of the market, while Panasonic is probably much smarter by continuing to develop mid level cameras and better video options.

Olympus has hinted at a new very high end camera for 1stQ 2019. Presumably, this would be even higher end than the already outstanding $2,000 EM1 II.

Is this new camera needed? Can M4/3 effectively compete against full frame MILC systems on image quality? Will current M4/3 users upgrade to a very expensive new camera, or will those who seek better image quality simply add a FF MILC camera to their kit?

On what level does this make economic sense for Olympus?

Well, surely it would be profitable, since it would come with a premium price. And it would also generate additional sales for their high end PRO lenses. But I am not convinced this is the best strategy for Olympus going forward because it means going against your competitors best strengths, and not their biggest weaknesses.

Meanwhile, Panasonic has done almost the exact opposite. They go against their competitors biggest weaknesses. And I think this is a much better long term strategy.

Lets look at what Panasonic has done in 2017-2018, vs. what Olympus has done during the same time period:

PANASONIC:

  • Released 10 new cameras in multiple market categories
  • Released 9 new or updated lenses in multiple market categories
  • Fully exploited the video niche at the highest end (GH5, GH5S)
  • Rumored to be planing a mid level video model (G90)  with GH5S sensor
  • Introduced the GX9, (improved GX85) aimed at mid level market
  • Strong presence in large sensor compact market (LX10, LX100, ZS200)
  • Will announce LX100 upgrade on August 23
  • Competes against Sony RX10 bridge camera line with FZ2500
  • Still in small sensor bridge camera market (FZ80)

OLYMPUS:

  • Released only 3 new cameras, and all are entry level model updates
  • Released only 2 new lenses, and both are extremely high end
  • Planning a new camera even higher end than EM1 II
  • Absolutely no presence in the growing large sensor compact niche
  • Absolutely no presence in bridge camera market
  • Very disappointing financial results for Imaging Division
  • No definite word about EM5 II or Pen-F updates

Now, I realize that Olympus still outsells Panasonic but I really think Panasonic is much better positioned going forward. Olympus seems to be putting all their chips on the high end market, and ignoring everything else, while Panasonic has much more diversified approach.

And more significantly, Panasonic is still going after their competitors weaknesses, while Olympus seems to be aiming against their strengths.

It actually pains me to say this, since I am a huge Olympus fan, as my gearlist will testify. But I really think Olympus needs to rethink their upmarket strategy. They certainly need to be in this category, but they also need mid level products too. And they are really missing out by ignoring the large sensor compact market, which seems to be doing pretty well for both Sony and Fujifilm.

Olympus really needs to go back to their strengths (features, size, weight, value) rather than trying to take on FF MILC with very expensive cameras and lenses that can only dream about "coming close" but never offering the same image quality.

It almost seems like Olympus has lost the M4/3 plot, and given up on everything else, while Panasonic is quietly pursuing multiple product categories at multiple price points.

The real competitors for M4/3 are Fuji X, Canon EOS M, and Sony FE..... and NOT Sony FE or Canon and Nikon FF MILC. And that large sensor compact market is growing and shouldn't be ignored.

I think Panasonic knows this, and Olympus doesn't.

 Marty4650's gear list:Marty4650's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 1:2.8-3.5 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +12 more
Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F Panasonic FZ2500 Panasonic GH5S Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic LX100 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
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