What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

Started Apr 18, 2013 | Discussions
The A-Team
The A-Team Regular Member • Posts: 352
What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

Hello from the Canon DSLR forums. I don't venture over here very much.

I was just looking at prices of micro four thirds cameras, and I was shocked to see that you can get a Panny GX1 body for merely $275. That's insane! A lowly Canon S110 costs more than that (granted there is a lens). Meanwhile I see that the GH3 is at $1299. Is it really worth $1,000 more?

What has happened to the pricing of micro four thirds over the years? It seems the high end models still command premium pricing while the mid-level models have dropped in price drastically. I remember the GX1 was priced at $699 for body alone when it came out. Now its just 40% of that initial price. I wish that happened with DSLRs.

What has happened to the market?

-- hide signature --

www.aputure.com/blog

Canon PowerShot S110 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Loga Senior Member • Posts: 1,651
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

GX1 is an "old model" considering the lifecycle of m43 cameras. Even if it is a good camera - and t is, it has an outdated sensor, which is inferior to both Oly's and Pana's current top sensors. Oly models in the same size has not only better sensor, but in-body stabilizer as well (the user experience and body style is another question, for me, the GX1 wins here).

So YES, it is a good time to buy a GX1 if you are considering a second "go to everywhere" camera. Attaching a 20 1.7 lens (try to get a second hand), and you have a really strong combo - I bet, the image quality will suprises you. And even if it is not the latest sensor, the f1.7 of the 20mm lens makes it a very competitive combo in low light too.

 Loga's gear list:Loga's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +3 more
JCB123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,274
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?
1

The A-Team wrote:

Hello from the Canon DSLR forums. I don't venture over here very much.

I was just looking at prices of micro four thirds cameras, and I was shocked to see that you can get a Panny GX1 body for merely $275. That's insane! A lowly Canon S110 costs more than that (granted there is a lens). Meanwhile I see that the GH3 is at $1299. Is it really worth $1,000 more?

What has happened to the pricing of micro four thirds over the years? It seems the high end models still command premium pricing while the mid-level models have dropped in price drastically. I remember the GX1 was priced at $699 for body alone when it came out. Now its just 40% of that initial price. I wish that happened with DSLRs.

What has happened to the market?

-- hide signature --

www.aputure.com/blog

Over enthusiastic sales forecast. Production outstripped demand and with newer models being iterated rapidly they have to heavily discount older models in order to try and shift inventory. Its not just Panasonic though. The same is happening with other camera manufacturers. I don't know about Canon but there are Nikon DSLRs selling at 40% or more below there original price. In years gone by models would typically drop in price by around 20% over the product (sales) life.

So although the GX1 is no longer cutting edge it certainly looks to be a bargain if you looking for that type of camera.

Regards

John

 JCB123's gear list:JCB123's gear list
Sony RX100 Nikon D90 Nikon D7000 Olympus PEN E-PL5 Nikon D7100
Chez Wimpy
Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 8,924
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

The A-Team wrote:

 I remember the GX1 was priced at $699 for body alone when it came out. Now its just 40% of that initial price. I wish that happened with DSLRs.

Its a Panasonic "thang."  In the US and Japan (mostly in the latter, since the start even) a year into the life of any camera will see prices fall to under 1/2 their starting point.  The GH3 will get there... but I am thinking early 2014 at this rate.  In the fall of 2009 I got the GF1 (at release) + 20/1.7 kit for 80,000yen along with the G1 (same sensor, but a nice EVF and articulated LCD) + 14-45 + 45-200 for 60,000 yen.  Gouged on the former, but a sweet deal on the later.  Olympus prices barely budge in the home market (4/3 lenses are STILL a premium, EP2 about the cost of the EPL5), though closeout deals can be held at times in the rest of the world.

-- hide signature --

-CW

 Chez Wimpy's gear list:Chez Wimpy's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 20D Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Canon EOS 550D Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 +26 more
bluelemmy
bluelemmy Senior Member • Posts: 1,001
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?
2

It's hard to do anything but guess but so here's my halfpenny's worth.

Because of their versatility, the cameras are popular with enthusiasts, people who previously owned or would have bought a DSLR.

Instead, they buy a top end M43 to combine versatility with lightness.

On the other hand, the very versatility that makes them attractive to enthusiasts makes them appear complex to non-enthusiasts who  might want to upgrade from a point and shoot.

These photographers buy a bridge camera instead. That leaves the main sales of the GFxs and so on as second cameras for enthusiasts. That isn't a lot of sales and so the prices are reduced.

No howling me down, please, it's just an attempt at an explanation from a person with no inside knowledge, expertise or emotional involvement with objects made from glass, silicon and metal 

-- hide signature --

David
www.dthorpe.net

 bluelemmy's gear list:bluelemmy's gear list
Olympus E-M1
slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,131
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

The technology is still advancing at a pace. The old models are not in demand. DSLR's have been around much longer. They still drop as they get old, but it's all relative.

-- hide signature --

www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T1
cfh25 Senior Member • Posts: 1,070
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?
2

From camerapricebuster.co.uk

Nikon D7000

£1098.00   18 Oct 2010

£539.00     5 Mar 2013

Canon EOS 60D

£1099.00   27 Aug 2010

£570.48     2 Jan 2013

The A-Team
OP The A-Team Regular Member • Posts: 352
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

Loga wrote:

GX1 is an "old model" considering the lifecycle of m43 cameras. Even if it is a good camera - and t is, it has an outdated sensor, which is inferior to both Oly's and Pana's current top sensors. Oly models in the same size has not only better sensor, but in-body stabilizer as well (the user experience and body style is another question, for me, the GX1 wins here).

So YES, it is a good time to buy a GX1 if you are considering a second "go to everywhere" camera. Attaching a 20 1.7 lens (try to get a second hand), and you have a really strong combo - I bet, the image quality will suprises you. And even if it is not the latest sensor, the f1.7 of the 20mm lens makes it a very competitive combo in low light too.

The 20 1.7 is exactly what I would be interested in. I didn't know about the in body IS. I thought all mirrorless cameras had that. Guess not. How does the Oly EPL5 compare to the GX1 in terms of image quality and features? It goes for 2x the price!

-- hide signature --

www.aputure.com/blog

Sunny Caribe
Sunny Caribe Contributing Member • Posts: 680
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?
1

Recently Panasonic made an announcement about their strategy which I found illuminating. the wording of it is available online but the gist of it was that, like the majors, their strategy lies in offering new and innovative bodies at or near  their cost while making their profits on lens and accessory sales. As new models are introduced older stock is sold at a further discount to entice more buyers to buy into the system.  Micro4/3 is robust enough to keep most of its converts so they will continue to purchase into the system.

I have embraced m4/3 in part because the system as a whole seems to represent a better value overall, taking both the loss-leading bodies and the profit center lenses and accessories into account, than the major manufacturers FF and APSC systems where lenses and flashes seem more like a swirling vortex of perpetual expenditure. I dont need to play that game. I have a boat for that.

This is just my reasonably well informed theory though. But it fits the facts and there are many parallels in the electronics world. Printers are one example. We've become accustomed to buying the latest and greatest high resolution multi whizz bang device for a few hundred dollars and are perfectly content to shell out a quarter or a third of the purchase price to refill it with dead simple colored liquids several times over its lifetime.

-- hide signature --

Rick
Cornmeal, gunpowder, hamhocks, guitar strings.

 Sunny Caribe's gear list:Sunny Caribe's gear list
Olympus Tough TG-3 Olympus Stylus 1s Olympus E-M1 Nikon D750 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +11 more
Loga Senior Member • Posts: 1,651
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?
1

No, the Olympus' has in-body stabilizer, the Pannys don't.

Among Olys, the OM-D has an outstanding stabilizer called IBIS, other Pen bodies have less sophisticated stabilizers - but they are still quite good. There is a life without stabilizing of course, but it may help in some situations. If you have a controlled technique, the GX1 is perfect with the 20 1.7. I spent my first two years in mirrorless photography with a Panasonic GF2, which is a GX1-like body with inferior sensor and less buttons, but I LOVED it.

So if you are looking for a good mirrorless, the GX1 is a very good choice, and for that price, it's a bargain. You can start with the 20 1.7 as a "go to everywhere" lens, and if you want, you can add later other lenses. I bet you will love it.

Not to mention the flash. You can bounce and lock it, and use as an indirect light from the ceiling. And it works quite good. Some says that it is weak, but if you find it so, you can increase ISO a bit. So I think the GX1 is a very good choice for its in-built flash as well.

The 20 1.7 is exactly what I would be interested in. I didn't know about the in body IS. I thought all mirrorless cameras had that. Guess not. How does the Oly EPL5 compare to the GX1 in terms of image quality and features? It goes for 2x the price!
-- hide signature --

www.aputure.com/blog

 Loga's gear list:Loga's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +3 more
Mathers New Member • Posts: 3
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

I just bought an e-pm1 with zoom for £180, which seemed a good price as some other sellers are selling just the kit zoom for > £180.  Seems a bit bargaintastic to me.  Seems even cheaper than the usual 'sell off' of old stock.  I shan't complain

jonathanj
jonathanj Contributing Member • Posts: 939
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

My view is that mirrorless camera makers introduce lots of models very quickly in an attempt to win mind share but don't clear enough stock at full price before the next model comes out, meaning that old models hang around for months while newer models are selling at massive premiums, which means in turn that the new models don't sell enough, and so on....

My girlfriend recently bought a Panasonic G3, not the newest camera and certainly not the best, but on sale for $250 (USD). Is the OM-D or GH3 really worth a $1,000 more? Almost certainly not, in my opinion...

It means I think any newcomer to the market (i.e. I'm not talking about experienced users who want to upgrade and already know exactly what they want) would be foolish to pay full price for the latest and greatest body. If you have a limited budget, there are so many excellent MFT lenses that your money would be much better spent there...

It's not just MFT, by the way, Nikon 1 pricing is similarly crazy. As is Samsung to a degree (I bought a heavily discounted NX10, but paid near full price for an NX20), but I suspect that most retailers outside of Asia don't order many Samsung cameras, so they don't have to drop the prices quite so much to shift leftover stock. Exception to the rule is probably Fuji, who don't seem to be aiming quite so much at the mass market.

 jonathanj's gear list:jonathanj's gear list
Sigma dp1 Quattro Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Sony Alpha a7R III +11 more
Kuppenbender
Kuppenbender Senior Member • Posts: 2,127
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

JCB123 wrote:

The A-Team wrote:

Hello from the Canon DSLR forums. I don't venture over here very much.

I was just looking at prices of micro four thirds cameras, and I was shocked to see that you can get a Panny GX1 body for merely $275. That's insane!

Get them while you can.

What has happened to the market?

Over enthusiastic sales forecast.

Panasonic's timing for the GX1 was very unfortunate. They missed the crucial Christmas launch date, then three or four months after stock finally arrived in the shops, Olympus announced the OMD. Although the OMD was in a higher still price bracket it offered a number of compelling advantages over the GX1.

Production outstripped demand and with newer models being iterated rapidly they have to heavily discount older models in order to try and shift inventory. Its not just Panasonic though. The same is happening with other camera manufacturers. I don't know about Canon but there are Nikon DSLRs selling at 40% or more below there original price. In years gone by models would typically drop in price by around 20% over the product (sales) life.

Dramatic price reductions are not unusual, but aren't necessarily inevitable, either.

So although the GX1 is no longer cutting edge it certainly looks to be a bargain if you looking for that type of camera.

It's a steal!

 Kuppenbender's gear list:Kuppenbender's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +3 more
Chatokun
Chatokun Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

The A-Team wrote:

The 20 1.7 is exactly what I would be interested in. I didn't know about the in body IS. I thought all mirrorless cameras had that. Guess not. How does the Oly EPL5 compare to the GX1 in terms of image quality and features? It goes for 2x the price!

-- hide signature --

www.aputure.com/blog

A few things affect the pricing here: The EPL5 is newer, so it hasn't had time for a significant price drop. While it doesn't have the same excellent 5-axis IBIS of the OMD(still has a good IBIS), it does have the same sensor as the OMD. This means it has higher dynamic range, color depth, and ISO performance over the GX1. I haven't used the EPL5 yet, so I'm not sure on it's features, but many people using it along side or in place of the OMD are very satisfied.

Compared to the GX1, the only downside I see for a portable camera of its size is no built in flash. Still, the GX1 is a great deal, and it was the camera I used before the OMD. It was very comfortable in hand, and with the 20mm 1.7 quite compact and easy to use. Even without IBIS I often used it at 1/15-1/25 shutter speeds and only had issues occasionally at the lower speed (though I did have the EVF which added another spot I was pressing it against me for control). It's a good camera with very good IQ, even if the EPL5 does beat it.

 Chatokun's gear list:Chatokun's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panasonic LX100 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Olympus OM-D E-M5 +13 more
peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,145
no "Gillette model" in the camera business

Sunny Caribe wrote:

Recently Panasonic made an announcement about their strategy which I found illuminating. the wording of it is available online but the gist of it was that, like the majors, their strategy lies in offering new and innovative bodies at or near  their cost while making their profits on lens and accessory sales.

I'd be interested to see the statement you're referring to, if you can provide a link. If Panasonic said that, it would surprise me. It's not a recipe that works in the camera business, and it's certainly not the strategy that Canon and Nikon are pursuing.

This is just my reasonably well informed theory though. But it fits the facts and there are many parallels in the electronics world. Printers are one example. We've become accustomed to buying the latest and greatest high resolution multi whizz bang device for a few hundred dollars and are perfectly content to shell out a quarter or a third of the purchase price to refill it with dead simple colored liquids several times over its lifetime.

Many businesses do indeed work as you describe -- it's what's called the "Gillette model" where you sell the equipment (the razor) at cost in order to make money on the consummables (the blades, which must be constantly replaced by the user). The printer business also works that way, as you point out.

But the camera manufacturing business doesn't work like that. For many decades the ratio of lens to body sales has been about 1.5 lenses per body worldwide. (This information has been published annually by CIPA for years.) And the total value of lens sales annually is lower than the total value of body sales (usually around 75-80% of body sales). In other words, there are no consummables in the interchangeable-lens camera business. In order to make money in it, you must also make money on your camera bodies.

When film was the recording media, certain aspects of the photography (not camera) business did work on the Gillette model, because film is, of course, a consummable. The consumption of film was, in fact, the underlying profit engine of almost all camera retailers in the U.S. in the 1980s and 90s -- they did indeed make little or no net profit on the hard goods in their stores. They made money on film developing -- gobs of it. Profit margins in the range of 90% before labor costs.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,192
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?
1

Far too many companies making far too many cameras with too little life before obsolescence with far too many different types of lens mounts chasing too little spare money from people's stagnant or non existent wages.

Something has to break soon as it cannot continue.

The A-Team wrote:

Hello from the Canon DSLR forums. I don't venture over here very much.

I was just looking at prices of micro four thirds cameras, and I was shocked to see that you can get a Panny GX1 body for merely $275. That's insane! A lowly Canon S110 costs more than that (granted there is a lens). Meanwhile I see that the GH3 is at $1299. Is it really worth $1,000 more?

What has happened to the pricing of micro four thirds over the years? It seems the high end models still command premium pricing while the mid-level models have dropped in price drastically. I remember the GX1 was priced at $699 for body alone when it came out. Now its just 40% of that initial price. I wish that happened with DSLRs.

What has happened to the market?

-- hide signature --

www.aputure.com/blog

cptobvious Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

The A-Team wrote:

What has happened to the pricing of micro four thirds over the years? It seems the high end models still command premium pricing while the mid-level models have dropped in price drastically. I remember the GX1 was priced at $699 for body alone when it came out. Now its just 40% of that initial price. I wish that happened with DSLRs.

I don't see this as too different from the Canon world.  The low-end Rebels get blown out when they are discontinued too.  Last year I remember the T3i selling with the kit lens and the 55-250mm for $600 at B&H after the T4i was announced.  This was down from its launch price of almost $900 for just the body and kit lens a year earlier.  Nikon is the same way with their D3X00 and D5X00 cameras.

s_grins
s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 12,058
Re: What happened to micro 4/3 pricing?

What has happened to the market? Nothing in particular has happened. If you follow stocks market, you can find even more amazing and crazy ups and downs.

-- hide signature --

Looking for equilibrium...

 s_grins's gear list:s_grins's gear list
Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / Power O.I.S +3 more
Cy Cheze Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Hurry while it lasts: G5 with kit lens for $399

Saw that price on Amazon today.  Several months back, the G3 with kit lens was offered for $299.

Panasonic may be breaking even at $399, but take a loss at $299.

Lenses are discounted less frequently, or selectively.  In March, there was a promotion that included a $250 150mm lens for $150.  The fast pancake lenses tend to remain premium priced.  But the company can't sell enough of those to make up for what it does not earn, or even loses, on the rest.

The company has no good handle on its overall P&L.  But, if marketing needs to clear inventory to make room for new models, it must cut prices.

As smart phones crowd out cameras, and as enthusiasts find fewer reasons to upgrade, the prospects become bleak--unless Joe Consumer can be convinced he needs a 4k UHDTV and a video camera to go with it.  Eventually, he may, but only when a Taiwanese firm offers a $800 model that undersells the $8,000 Japanese version.

walkaround Senior Member • Posts: 2,551
uh, then march of "progress"

The A-Team wrote:

What has happened to the pricing of micro four thirds over the years? It seems the high end models still command premium pricing while the mid-level models have dropped in price drastically. I remember the GX1 was priced at $699 for body alone when it came out. Now its just 40% of that initial price. I wish that happened with DSLRs.

What has happened to the market?

Newsflash: The GX1 was announced in November 2011. The fact that it's even still a current model says a lot about its quality and usability, to spite the price drop. I happily bought one at $275, and Panasonic is smart because now I want their $500 25mm lens.

I also picked up a Canon 5D (the first model) for $700 this year. What has happened to the FF market?

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads