Is this good news for Panasonic?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Iuvenis Senior Member • Posts: 1,325
Re: In simple terms, yes. Supply and Demand.
4

When m43 began, it was the only mirrorless system. Now there are lots of mirrorless systems that compete against it, and M43 is only the right choice for some buyers.

You can see that in the marketplace. M43 has a smaller overall market share than many other single company systems, perhaps about the same size as the Fuji X system (based on revenue, Olympus is significantly smaller, but Panasonic doesn't report its numbers). Even before the Olympus announcement, M43 was still attracting DSLR switchers, but it was also losing other users to competing mirrorless systems that were still in the course of development. Panasonic and Olympus had both given up on expansion of m43 - Olympus to cut costs, Panasonic to pursue the L mount alliance.

Because both Olympus and Panasonic sold m43 products with a least some cross-compatibility, there was too much supply for such a small market. Early on that encouraged innovation, but early on it was a growing system, so demand was increasing as well as supply. When demand stopped growing, there was an oversupply situation.

That oversupply was great for m43 users of course - look at the prices the em1ii and g9 ended up selling for brand new, or the choices you have (eg. 200 f2.8 and 1.4x converter or 300 f4?). No single brand system would have offered that value or choice.

However, it was deadly for the manufacturers involved. All that choice was spread not only across products - it was spread across products developed entirely separately. There was no shared work on IBIS, no shared work on AF protocols, no shared work on WR. Everything had be developed twice over.

It wasn't even possible to have a coherent line-up. Panasonic's jelly on the wall strategy with bodies and product lines is at least partly due to trying to avoid direct competition with Olympus where they were strong.

With Olympus unlikely to be a major player going forward (I fear worse, but that's not clear at present) many people will leave m43. However, it will be much easier to win over people invested in m43 already compared to people invested in other systems. Also, Panasonic finally have the chance to have a more rational approach to this market segment.

Say only 5 main models.A video/stills hybrid flagship with all the tech that can combine the functions of the GH5 and G9. A mid range hybrid. A low end hybrid aimed at consumer video (G100). A mid range enthusiast camera in a small rangefinder body. A pure consumer model. Most of the R&D for the more capable cameras can be shared with L mount models.

To that they could maybe a couple of specialist offerings like the LX100, GH5s or even an m43 sensor tough camera if they wash their face and help them order longer sensor runs.

 Iuvenis's gear list:Iuvenis's gear list
Fujifilm X100V Fujifilm X-T3 Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR +4 more
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