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Thread: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

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    Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    After about a year and a half in the DSLR business and promises of lots of quality bodies and lenses, Panasonic bails out and leaves it's customers holding the camera bag.http://www.photokina-show.com/0476/p...onicinterview/

    So, here were are about four years later and Panasonic has a couple years of EVIL bodies under its belt. What has changed? Personally, I found their DSLR's to be priced roughly twice as high as I figured they were worth and that holds true for most of their lenses. I think most people would agree, though not all - mostly those with more money than sense - no offense, but you know who you are

    The M4/3 are more in line, but still a bit high, compared to more experienced camera makers models, with similar features, even though they still have mirrors. I mean they still haven't figured out how to get a vertical image to automatically rotate and their auto ISO still lacks a user defined minimum setting.

    I guess that the price of the 45 2.8 macro, got me thinking and looking back over their history, to try and figure out why they would price a macro lens nearly four hundred dollars more than what other more experienced lens makers would charge for a similar lens - camera makers with decades more lens making experience. Well, I can't figure it out, so it leads me to believe that the marketing dept. is just stupid - but I mean that in a good way, sort of. I know some will say: "But it's a Leica" Leica Schmeika, it isn't any better than Nikon's, Canon's or Olympus's macro lens and maybe worse than all of them.

    Back in the L1 days, they said they were not really planing on selling a lot of those cameras, but they were just trying to break into the DSLR market. Did they sell more than a few hundred of those for 1999.00$? Regardless, they broke in, then broke right back out again and left a few dozen people holding their L1's and L10's in disbelief.

    Now I have to admit, that the M4/3 seems a bit more promising, but I have to wonder about a company that doesn't lead off with a wide angle, a normal and a portrait prime lens from the get go. I'm not talking about a fisheye and a macro. I'm talking about bread and butter lenses, like a 12 or 14 2.0 or 2.8 and a 40 1.8 or 1.4 to go along with the 20 1.7. I know there are promises of lenses in the future, but, that's what they said with regular 4/3 and that's a distant memory now.

    So, maybe if they started pricing their stuff in the realm of mortals, like Canon, Nikon and Olympus, or lower, where it belongs, then they would be able to sell enough, to sustain themselves as camera and lens makers. This try and sell high, and then bail out, when the idiots in the marketing departments plan doesn't work out, is getting old already.
    Last edited by clay stewart; 19th June 2010 at 18:09.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Go take a tranquilizer :sleep006:

    Keith

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodmancy View Post
    Go take a tranquilizer

    Keith
    I should have, but I just made a cup of coffee.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    I get what you're saying but there's a market for what they sell and everyone who buys their stuff doesn't have too much money and isn't stupid for spending the money on Panasonic stuff. It's all personal to each individual. I personally own the 20mm, 14-45, 45-200, and 45 Macro with plans to get the 7-14 as well. Yes some of the lenses are a bit more that I'd like to spend but it's what I like and I don't HAVE to adapt legacy lenses to fill voids in my lineups. There are times when I'd like to have faster Micro 4/3 lenses but I believe that will come in time. 4/3 didn't catch on for many reasons - high cost and unfamiliarity being the largest reasons. I didn't pay attention to 4/3 personally until about a year before Micro 4/3 was introduced as I was looking for a smaller replacement for my older Digital Rebel. I probably won't go back to DSLR unless I go Full Frame or Leica M but that being said Micro 4/3 is more than adequate for most of my needs.
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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Clay

    I hear what you are saying and I still don't understand what happened with respect to Panasonic's foray into the 4/3rds market. Let's face it though, the 4/3rds market itself is hardly the most frothy of all the camera markets. Which is why when I first saw m4/3rds my initial reaction was why bother?

    In fact, I only bought a m4/3rds camera as a 'platform' for my M-lenses, and then discovered the convenience and possibilities of the format in its own right.

    I think you are missing the fact that Panasonic do sell loads of P&S cameras and are very successful in that market - mainly I think thanks to the tie-up with Leica.

    LouisB

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    BH prices
    7-14/4 lens Olympus $ 1.468,--
    7-14/4 lens Panasonic $ 999,--
    So, who is $ 468,-- cheaper and 40% smaller and tested as good?

    Oh watch out I am getting into one of those what is better/who knows better discussions. STOP

    Michiel

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    you think thats bad, what did the Leica Digilux 3 market for again ? Im amazed, and I mean really amazed they sold any, but believe it or not there are people around that have 2

    Pretty much, camera companies are clueless, Panasonic made a big effort with L1 with a team obviously headed by someone who knows what photography is about and they were very proud of it. Then they saddle it with pricing befitting FF bodies with lenses available at a fraction of the price.

    We can surmise what happened at the corporate desk when it didnt sell, but Panasonic did flat out lie to us when a German publication declared Panasonic were getting out of four thirds.

    All that is done and dusted, so whats happening with Olympus....
    Last edited by Riley; 20th June 2010 at 00:12. Reason: additions

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    you think thats bad, what did the Leica Digilux 3 market for again ? Im amazed, and I mean really amazed they sold any, but believe it or not there are people around that have 2

    Pretty much, camera companies are clueless, Panasonic made a big effort with L1 with a team obviously headed by someone who knows what photography is about and they were very proud of it. Then they saddle it with pricing befitting FF bodies with lenses available at a fraction of the price.

    We can surmise what happened at the corporate desk when it didnt sell, but Panasonic did flat out lie to us when a German publication declared Panasonic were getting out of four thirds.

    All that is done and dusted, so whats happening with Olympus....
    I couldn't read through Clay's post, so, Riley, I think I will quote yours (is that a summary? Looks good. ).

    Panasonic have no credible competition at the moment.

    That is the problem.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    well they did have credible competition in 4/3rds, still they priced their gear way too high.

    Although their gear was well designed, in some ways superior to the average Olympus products, I think they had this philosophy that better bodies and lenses means more money, which on the face of it seems fair but their pricing was still way out of the box.

    Its well known to Industrial Engineers that Panasonic are leaders in batch production, and they seem to under-supply their products to keep the price expectation on demand quite high.

    IMO ts a strategy that wont ever see them go 'big' in photography equipment supply though, people are too price concious where other options exist, even (as Vivek aptly points out) if that means going for another format.

    But Im also sure Panasonic know all this, so I would expect a continuation of somewhat desirable cameras (its important they arent perfect) in low number batches where prices can be held at a premium, only to be cleared at realistic prices when the successor product comes along that is 'slightly more perfect' hence more desirable.

    We see that same strategy in play more evidently in lenses, except that they never refresh the range, where stupidly it holds them back to system oriented buyers. But I guess you dont find that out until you get there.
    Last edited by Riley; 20th June 2010 at 01:56.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Not sure how serious Panasonic take their DSLR - 43 or even M43 journeys. I had expected them to grow these businesses more and be more leading, they have lot of prerequisites, like they can design and build their own sensors, similar like Sony. But they seem (at least for me) to be sleeping WRT groundbreaking new cameras in these areas.

    The rather seem to lean towards the small sensor products, their pocket and low cost models. They never really made the attempt to move into the high end or even Pro market. Maybe this is just a totally uninteresting segment for them - at least they give this impression.

    After all I am pretty disappointed with their approach, had really expected much more from them in the mid range and high end segment. Ok - did not happen - now my last Panasonic camera purchase is some years back, guess that tells everything ......
    Last edited by ptomsu; 20th June 2010 at 02:21.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    Its well known to Industrial Engineers that Panasonic are leaders in batch production, and they seem to under-supply their products to keep the price expectation on demand quite high.

    But Im also sure Panasonic know all this, so I would expect a continuation of somewhat desirable cameras (its important they arent perfect) in low number batches where prices can be held at a premium, only to be cleared at realistic prices when the successor product comes along that is 'slightly more perfect' hence more desirable.

    We see that same strategy in play more evidently in lenses, except that they never refresh the range, where stupidly it holds them back to system oriented buyers. But I guess you dont find that out until you get there.
    Riley, Allow me take parts of your post.

    I do not see any problems with batch productions or having an unique product as long as it is done well.

    Contrast the Pana m4/3rds with that of Samsung's attempt. The difference is day and night. Sony's NEX-7 or 9 might be worth looking at as being something useful. It is unlikely that Pana are going to sit around doing nothing in the mean time.

    I do not have complaints about the Pana range of lenses. The cam is usable with thousands of lenses.

    Only difficulty lies in the wide and ultrawide sector. Here also, I do not see any problem in Pana pricing their 7-14 (though the optics- glass isn't comparable to the 4/3rds Oly equivalent) high (I am not going to buy one at these prices at all.) As for the 45/2.8 Panaleica, not for me, as it is redundant in my lens line-up.

    Besides their use in video, I think the NMOS sensor has lots of potential that goes beyond regular use. For my use- the CMOS, CCD sensored cams, etc none comes close to Pana's NMOS.

    Let them go for better quality sensors and larger ones as well. They will be pricey, but I am willing to pay for it.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    I dont know who runs Panasonic's camera div, but its clear someone in there just loves cameras. Just look at LC1 and L1, even some of the P&S have that look about them that speaks old world camera, hence 'real'.

    They proved theyre getting on their game with GH1, which rivals 7D at the pixel level, but the sensors too small to compete with APSC at every level

    Despite the improvements in nMOS the word is that Oly will go with a Kodak's, Im hoping its a pMOS with a gapless microlensed Truesense layer. That will pick up something in the order of 1 to 1.5 stops, add another 0.5 stops if they get gapless microlenses, and another 0.5 stops if they increase the sensor size. A larger sensor at 20x15mm can keep the same pixel density as E30 at 16Mp. This might be the last gasp for Olympus SLRs, so I want it to be a good one.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    It will be interesting if Olympus would go back to Kodak.

    BTW, anyone has any clear indication if Pana use any microlenses in their NMOS sensors (m4/3rds)?

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?


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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    well they did have credible competition in 4/3rds, still they priced their gear way too high.

    Although their gear was well designed, in some ways superior to the average Olympus products, I think they had this philosophy that better bodies and lenses means more money, which on the face of it seems fair but their pricing was still way out of the box.

    Its well known to Industrial Engineers that Panasonic are leaders in batch production, and they seem to under-supply their products to keep the price expectation on demand quite high.

    IMO ts a strategy that wont ever see them go 'big' in photography equipment supply though, people are too price concious where other options exist, even (as Vivek aptly points out) if that means going for another format.

    But Im also sure Panasonic know all this, so I would expect a continuation of somewhat desirable cameras (its important they arent perfect) in low number batches where prices can be held at a premium, only to be cleared at realistic prices when the successor product comes along that is 'slightly more perfect' hence more desirable.

    We see that same strategy in play more evidently in lenses, except that they never refresh the range, where stupidly it holds them back to system oriented buyers. But I guess you dont find that out until you get there.
    While their lenses are certainly expensive and they don't do 4/3 bodies anymore, I have both their 25 lux and the 14-150 zoom and both are very good lenses. I think they compare very favorably to lenses from other manufacturers. The nice thing about both of them is also the manual aperture ring which still feels good to me when shooting.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    I have seen those but are those technologies in the current m4/3rds sensors?

    The ones you link are for tinier sensors and the micrograph showing the microlenses seems to imply a gap-less microlens design.

    What makes you say they are not efficient (if they are present that is)? In comparison to older Kodak sensors that Oly were using, for example, the current crop of m4/3rds sensors are far better, IMO.

    IIRC (reading some posts somewhere), Kodak ditched Oly....

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek
    The ones you link are for tinier sensors and the micrograph showing the microlenses seems to imply a gap-less microlens design.
    yes thats true, I meant to demostrate that they used microlenses. Most of their compacts and videos use CCD. There are references around for microlenses 4/3rds chips

    http://www.dphotojournal.com/the-new-live-mos-sensor/
    http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/con...x-DMC-LZ1-.htm
    http://www.dcviews.com/press/Olympus-Panasonic-MOS.htm
    all mention microlenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek
    What makes you say they are not efficient (if they are present that is)? In comparison to older Kodak sensors that Oly were using, for example, the current crop of m4/3rds sensors are far better, IMO.
    just the difference between gapless and non gapless microlenses, gapless being the more efficient

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek
    IIRC (reading some posts somewhere), Kodak ditched Oly....
    well Im not feeling positive about how accurate that might be but, I figure that at the time E2 was cancelled Kodak held Olympus to a contractually based minimum buy for the 10Mp CCD, which Olympus then disposed of in the E400.

    At that time, Kodak had little in the way of better sensor technology

    One can dream up a 100 scenarios about what happened first last or next, but Kodak are after all in the business of selling sensors, and I cant imagine any new negotiation being any more difficult that the contract for the M9 sensor..... if you know what I mean

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post

    At that time, Kodak had little in the way of better sensor technology
    I have given up looking at their site on what new sensors they make after having spent a bit on their M8 sensor details.

    I doubt that innovations related to small (35mm and lens) sensors are there though.

    Currently, the NMOS sensored cams have the best liveview, IMV.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Yes its a mess attempting to find reliable detail, especially from Panasonic. About CCD sensors, they need to be of the Interline Transfer type (as opposed to Full Frame Transfer) to be able to provide liveview. As a type pMOS is quite new and the technology is unique to Kodak, and Truesense is just a variation on Bayer layer that anyone could commit to given licensing from Kodak (as we all know they hunt down infringements on their patents).

    I do note this about Truesense and pMOS
    http://www.dpreview.net/news/0802/08...ktruesense.asp
    http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgu...26tbs%3Disch:1


    and the rumour, which might have been triggered by things I wrote anyway
    http://www.photographybay.com/2009/0...w-pmos-sensor/
    Last edited by Riley; 20th June 2010 at 07:30. Reason: additions/corrections

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I couldn't read through Clay's post, so, Riley, I think I will quote yours (is that a summary? Looks good. ).

    Panasonic have no credible competition at the moment.

    That is the problem.
    Vivek, I gota love you, if nothing else you're predictable.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    While this thread took an interesting turn, I would like to address what I thought was the original question regarding high Panasonic pricing limiting market penetration. I will reaffirm what someone else indicated, Panasonic has kept the prices high on their products by limiting supply which they have been able to do because of limited market alternatives. My personal preference has been Panasonic rather than Olympus because of quicker AF, built in EVF and articulating LCD. Further, Olympus has not offered any EVIL cameras that compete with their DSLR's or with the G1, G2, GH1, G10.

    Panasonic may squander its EVIL lead in two ways: not improving the ISO quality of its sensors (as I understand it there was no sensor improvement from the G1 to the G2); and not competing effectively when Sony releases its rumored NX 7 and NX9. Sony has the marketing power and financial strength to flood the market and at lower prices than the current EVIL prices. At this time Sony's NX3 and NX5 market focus seems to be P&S users that want a small camera with better IQ. The NX7 and NX9, however, may offer features comparable to the GF1, G2, G10, and GH1.

    While Ricoh and Samsung has offered competing cameras, they seem to be minor players and at this time I do not perceive their products have gotten much traction in the marketplace. Sony, on the other hand, has shelf place in camera stores, discount stores, and great name recognition. I believe they are a formidable competitor.

    I think competition is great and in the future Panasonic will have to improve their products, offer more lenses, and moderate their pricing structure or risk becoming a minor player in the EVIL market that they pioneered.

    Howard

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    I think Panasonic just wanted to jump into the game without paying any dues, like the rest of the major camera makers did in the twentieth century.

    They jumped onto the fancy shirt tail of Leica and thought they would catch a ride to easy street and be able to sell a few cameras at a huge profit and by pass all the tedious selling at volume, to make a profit, that Nikon, Canon, Olympus etc had to do.

    I don't know if that was such a viable plan, as Leica, even after three generations in the digital foray, still doesn't seem to have figured it out, as far as moire goes anyway. http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16638

    Panasonic has the AG-AF 100 camcorder coming out soon, so maybe that will keep M43 alive with lenses, since I think it uses the M4/3 mount. They've been at video for a long time.

    On the other hand, maybe they will jump ship again, go to a larger sensor and leave all it's customers twisting in the wind again. The fact that they don't have a complete set of primes in the M43 mount, leads me to believe they are still not committed to the system, as does trying to sell a 2.8 macro lens in very small quantities, for nine hundred bucks.
    Last edited by clay stewart; 20th June 2010 at 09:03.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by clay stewart View Post
    I think Panasonic just wanted to jump into the game without paying any dues, like the rest of the major camera makers did in the twentieth century.

    They jumped onto the fancy shirt tail of Leica and thought they would catch a ride to easy street and be able to sell a few cameras at a huge profit and by pass all the tedious selling at volume, to make a profit, that Nikon, Canon, Olympus etc had to do.

    I don't know if that was such a viable plan, as Leica, even after three generations in the digital foray, still doesn't seem to have figured it out, as far as moire goes anyway. http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16638
    That's a perfectly viable business strategy for introducing new products to the market, and there's nothing about it that smacks of 'not paying their dues'. Companies partner with established quality leaders all the time in order to give more weight to their products. Panasonic isn't buying Leica technology as much as they're buying the Leica name for marketing purposes. The moire issue is not an issue to Panasonic.

    Panasonic has been selling P&S cameras and camcorders for a LONG time, so that certainly falls under the category of 'paying their dues.' Much like any other growing technology company, you start small with the technology you know, and grow by a combination of organic technology advancements, partnerships with established industry players, or technology acquisition.

    Panasonic's strength was small sensors, so it was natural that they'd jump into the market by taking their existing small sensors and making them larger using their image processing technology. Clearly that gave them some disadvantages, but they seem to be working on ironing those out. It's a natural progression of the business and of the technology.

    Quote Originally Posted by clay stewart View Post
    On the other hand, maybe they will jump ship and go to a larger sensor. The fact that they don't have a complete set of primes in the M43 mount, leads me to believe they are still not committed to the system, as does trying to sell a 2.8 macro lens in very small quantities, for nine hundred bucks.
    Just because they haven't launched 50 lenses right off the bat doesn't mean they're not committed to the format. No sane business model would recommend taking such a HUGE gamble as to release that many system lenses all at once. Even Canon and Nikon didn't do that, and instead built on their existing lenses they've amassed over the decades they've been at the camera business.

    It's perfectly reasonable to introduce 2-3 new lenses every year for a new system, and the pricing is simply a reflection of the demand for those products. Why would Panasonic give away their hard-earned products if they can charge a premium for them? Just because you can't afford their lenses doesn't mean others can't. You can always grab some MF legacy lenses to make do until you can get the system lenses, which is the genius of this format.

    The beauty of being first to market is that while the competition ramps up to catch up, you have first dibs at making the big profits your investors expect from the funds sunk into the R&D effort to bring those products to market. So, like Vivek pointed out, it's not Panasonic's fault for having high prices, it's the other camera makers' fault for not having introduced some viable competition to force those prices to be competitive. Once that happens, pricing will normalize.
    -Dragos
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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    well when I said 'pretty much, camera companies are clueless' this is why
    Someone just funded the idea that this is a business and its risky well, they would ahve researched this thing this way thataway and t'other way before they made a move, and quite frankly anticipating the lens suite required is about half that job.

    So in their collective wisdom, Panasonic & Olympus virtually duplicate each others lenses instead of providing for a handful of primes and 3 zooms which would have give it a real kickstart

    this stuff isnt rocket science, yet these people repeatedly fail to get it all together in a coherent fashion that helps people like us, and themselves at the same time

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riley View Post
    this stuff isnt rocket science, yet these people repeatedly fail to get it all together in a coherent fashion that helps people like us, and themselves at the same time
    When you consider that Panasonic and Olympus sell products globally to a wide range of consumer preferences, this stuff IS rocket science, and involves very complex marketing strategies and implementation. What makes sense for you or for the US audience might make absolutely no sense for the Japan market.

    As a strategy for migrating advanced P&S users into the interchangeable lens cameras, coming out with a range of zoom lenses initially was perfect. Most common users of DSLRs end up keeping their kit lens on regardless of the options they have for adding more lenses. They basically treat their DSLRs as large, expensive P&S cameras. They take photos of family and events in their everyday lives, and don't go into photography as an art.
    -Dragos
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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by clay stewart View Post
    I think Panasonic just wanted to jump into the game without paying any dues, like the rest of the major camera makers did in the twentieth century.
    Clay, Your point about the Panaleica is valid and I appreciate that. You may be right about Pana not wanting to pay their "dues".

    They did something impressive with the G1. That makes them a player.

    Liveview and mirrorless cam technology is theirs and they are the best at the moment.

    As Riley pointed out (not in these words), what has stopped Olympus from bringing out decent (not "high quality") lenses- primes or zooms?

    I look forward to the Pana 14/2.5 and the 8mm fisheye. I know they will do very well at least for IR.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Who said anything about 50 lenses, there Dragos, I was talking about two primes - a wide angle and a portrait prime, to go along with the 20 1.7. And yes it does mean, to me anyway, that they are not committed to the format. I'm not going to buy any of their high priced specialty lenses, if I don't know if there will even be a new body for it in a year or two, when my current ones stop working.

    I find it really funny to hear people that are in the marketing business try to explain why large corporations are doing the right thing, because that was what they leaned in school. All the marketing savvy in the world isn't going to help you sell a product to a consumer that doesn't trust you.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by clay stewart View Post
    Who said anything about 50 lenses, there Dragos, I was talking about two primes - a wide angle and a portrait prime, to go along with the 20 1.7. And yes it does mean, to me anyway, that they are not committed to the format. I'm not going to buy any of their high priced specialty lenses, if I don't know if there will even be a new body for it in a year or two, when my current ones stop working.

    I find it really funny to hear people that are in the marketing business try to explain why large corporations are doing the right thing, because that was what they leaned in school. All the marketing savvy in the world isn't going to help you sell a product to a consumer that doesn't trust you.
    So based on the simple fact that Panasonic hasn't released TWO lenses that you think they should have (what's wrong with the 7-14 for wide angle and the 45 for portrait?), you don't trust them as a company, and you question their commitment to the format? That actually sounds crazier than thinking that because they didn't come out with the 50 system lenses I mentioned .

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not judging your lack of trust of Panasonic. That's your right of course. I'm simply wondering if your lack of trust is truly warranted given that Panasonic looks very much like they're spending time and resources on this format while sacrificing their 4/3 camera system. That sound like commitment to me. In time they will release some other primes to satisfy users like you, and some of those primes are on their lens development map.
    -Dragos
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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by clay stewart View Post
    Who said anything about 50 lenses, there Dragos, I was talking about two primes - a wide angle and a portrait prime, to go along with the 20 1.7. And yes it does mean, to me anyway, that they are not committed to the format. I'm not going to buy any of their high priced specialty lenses, if I don't know if there will even be a new body for it in a year or two, when my current ones stop working.

    I find it really funny to hear people that are in the marketing business try to explain why large corporations are doing the right thing, because that was what they leaned in school. All the marketing savvy in the world isn't going to help you sell a product to a consumer that doesn't trust you.
    I know "you" want two specific primes and so do many others. However since September 2008 we've gotten

    14-45
    45-200
    14-140
    7-14
    20
    45
    14-42

    There will soon be
    fisheye (not sure why)
    100-300
    14

    Perhaps not the lenses that you wanted but certainly a lot more lenses in a short period of time than any other manufacturer around.

    Can always fill in a focal length you need with just about any lens ever made.

    This not meant to be a defense of Panasonic but I guess I'm missing your point.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    As a point of reference about pricing, I bought my DMC-L1 kit brand new in November 2006 for $1399, which seemed a fair enough price to me at the time. And I bought my DMC-G1 kit brand new for $549 in November 2008, which also seemed a fair enough price. Of course, I paid $899 for my GF1/20mm combo, which I thought was a bit high, but I paid it anyway because by then I had several 4/3 lenses to use with it, so the cost of buying into any other camera system would have been quite a bit higher still...

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    What's my point?
    1. I don't want to use manual focus lenses, to make up for the shortcomings of Oly and Pany. I like AF, that's why I bought an AF camera.

    2. Since I've been dancing around on this planet, camera makers have always had somewhat fast wide, normal, and short tele primes. (not counting macros and fisheyes)

    3. Since the beginning of regular 4/3 neither Oly or Pany has accomplished that standard prime line up. Panasonic bailed out of regular 4/3 and I bet Olympus will follow soon, both without the standard prime lineup. This could be read as " why bother making wide angle and portrait primes, if we are just going to ditch the system anyway. No need to waste R&D funds."

    4. I don't want to pay nine hundred bucks for a macro lens that's maybe worth five hundred bucks, so I can have a slow portrait length lens. This leads me to suspect that they don't want to waste R&D funds again, on a portrait prime, for some silly reason.

    5. Kit zooms are not fast primes and they do not make up for them. Saying that Panasonic has 10 kit zooms doesn't make me feel like they are addressing the issue, just that they are skirting it.

    6. If Panasonic wants to charge big boy prices, then maybe they should offer what the big boys offer, like a complete set of primes. Even their Jedi Master, Leica, does that.

    In a nutshell, I don't really trust anyone that does a half *** job and still wants top pay. Makes me think they are getting ready to quit. Not making a complete set of primes like the film equiv. to 28, 50, and 85 mm, is a half *** job.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Ask a Nikon person how many primes need a serious update. ask a Nikon D40/D60 user how many primes they have available?

    The 50 macro for 4/3 will AF on the G2/G10. The 25 lux will AF on all m4/3 cameras.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by clay stewart View Post
    What's my point?
    1. I don't want to use manual focus lenses, to make up for the shortcomings of Oly and Pany. I like AF, that's why I bought an AF camera.
    I bought an AF camera because there is frankly no MF camera available.

    2. Since I've been dancing around on this planet, camera makers have always had somewhat fast wide, normal, and short tele primes. (not counting macros and fisheyes)
    And why is it you bought into the only system not having these lenses?

    (...)

    I understand your frustration. I understand it, up to a certain point. But there is too much of those *** signs in here, and if I have to guess what your point is...

    In a nutshell, I don't really trust anyone that does a half *** job and still wants top pay. Makes me think they are getting ready to quit. Not making a complete set of primes like the film equiv. to 28, 50, and 85 mm, is a half *** job.
    ...it is not that Olympus and Panasonic hasn't released those lenses yet, but that you bought into the system as it is and now regret your move. You trusted the companies to fulfill your personal dreams, also if they weren't mentioned on their lens roadmaps. That make your whole thread a half ***job.

    Now, I'll certainly ditch my Panasonic gear as soon as there is a FF LIVE camera available. But, that's an entirely other story.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Ask a Nikon person how many primes need a serious update. ask a Nikon D40/D60 user how many primes they have available?.

    The 50 macro for 4/3 will AF on the G2/G10. The 25 lux will AF on all m4/3 cameras.
    Yup, I know, I've been there, thank god for the D90 and d700

    I don't have a G2 or a G10 and after using the adapter with my 11-22 and 25 2.8, I don't really feel like the adapter is keeping to the M4/3 philosophy of smaller and I didn't like it. Sounds like you are happy with everything, Terry, so I'm happy for you.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
    I bought an AF camera because there is frankly no MF camera available.



    And why is it you bought into the only system not having these lenses?

    (...)

    I understand your frustration. I understand it, up to a certain point. But there is too much of those *** signs in here, and if I have to guess what your point is...



    ...it is not that Olympus and Panasonic hasn't released those lenses yet, but that you bought into the system as it is and now regret your move. You trusted the companies to fulfill your personal dreams, also if they weren't mentioned on their lens roadmaps. That make your whole thread a half ***job.

    Now, I'll certainly ditch my Panasonic gear as soon as there is a FF LIVE camera available. But, that's an entirely other story.
    Man, I asked for this. I should have known better than to speak my mind on the Internet.

    Jonas I bought into 4/3 for the small size of the 420 and the 25 pancake, thinking they would make more primes. I bought into M4/3 for the small size, live view and the 20 pancake, thinking they would make more primes.

    I see now with 4/3 that there wasn't ever a plan for more primes, at least from Panasonic and maybe not from Olympus as well. Now a couple years into M4/3 and still not much in the way of primes and it does make me wonder if I may have made a mistake again, which is sort of the point of this thread. Though I'm thinking this thread may have been and even bigger mistake.

    By the way Leica makes a manual focus digital camera.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Clay,

    I sure hope that Panasonic introduces additional fast primes. Until they are introduced I assumed they don't exist. I waited and waited for Kyocera to introduce a digital back for the Contax G2. That never happened; worse they discontinued producing the Contax brand. As for me, I have to accept what they produce and put pressure on Panasonic to produce what you want. The success of 20mm f1.7 at $399 indicates that very good fast primes sell. I do not know the sales of the 7-14mm, but I have not seen any price drop which leads me to believe that supply is restricted. If the price dropped, I might buy the 7-14mm but at $1,000+ I am not a buyer. Maybe there are many Panasonic owners like me that are price sensitive. Same for the 45mm macro, at $900, I'll use my adapter, manual focus my Canon FD50mm f3.5 macro. As for a portrait lens, I'll manual focus my Contax 45mm f2 lens and save the $900 for the 45mm macro.

    If Panasonic produced other very good, fast AF primes like the 20mm at a similar price point, I would be a buyer and might retire my legacy lenses. Until then, I'll use and enjoy my Panasonic lenses and fill in the gaps with legacy lenses.

    One additional point, I believe that most of the Panasonic G line up has been been a success. I think that Panasonic may have been surprised the success of their G cameras. I guess, but have no factual basis for it, the best seller in the G line up of cameras is the GF1. I think that the G series was marketed as a step up camera from point and shoot. What may have surprised Panasonic, is that they got many sales from DLSR users that either wanted a lighter setup or a light back up. Panasonic may still be trying to figure out how to satisfy the demand from both market segments. My guess is P&S step up people represent the larger market share and these people want zooms (and pancakes) and probably do not care for very good, fast primes.

    Howard
    Last edited by Howard; 20th June 2010 at 12:08.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by clay stewart View Post
    Yup, I know, I've been there, thank god for the D90 and d700

    I don't have a G2 or a G10 and after using the adapter with my 11-22 and 25 2.8, I don't really feel like the adapter is keeping to the M4/3 philosophy of smaller and I didn't like it. Sounds like you are happy with everything, Terry, so I'm happy for you.
    Never mentioned once that I was happy with everything. However I went into it with an open mind that it was a brand new system. At the same time I feel like I have a pretty full set of lenses.

    My M4/3 kit includes:
    Panny
    7-14, 14-45, 45-200, 14-140, 20, 45
    Oly
    14-42, 17

    4/3 Lenses with AF
    14-150, 25

    Manual Lenses
    Leica M
    50 f1.4, 75 f2
    Leica R
    180 f2.8
    Konica/Hexanon
    40 f1.8
    Voigtlander - have but don't really use.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by clay stewart View Post
    Man, I asked for this. I should have known better than to speak my mind on the Internet.
    Well, you clearly asked for it. Maybe we can put that aside.
    Jonas I bought into 4/3 for the small size of the 420 and the 25 pancake, thinking they would make more primes. I bought into M4/3 for the small size, live view and the 20 pancake, thinking they would make more primes.
    I bought into 4/3 for the LIve View, the viewfinder (G1) and the lens mount. Like you I'm disappointed, but for another reason. I was pretty sure there would be no problem finding a fast, manual and very good normal lens for the G1, at least an f/1.4 and about 25mm. I was wrong there.

    Like many other "advanced amateurs" or at least "experienced enthusiasts" I sometimes think Panasonic and Olympus don't understand what they created. If you ask me what it is holding them back from making a series of premium prime lenses and a couple of semi-pro bodies, well, I have no idea.

    I see now with 4/3 that there wasn't ever a plan for more primes, at least from Panasonic and maybe not from Olympus as well. Now a couple years into M4/3 and still not much in the way of primes and it does make me wonder if I may have made a mistake again, which is sort of the point of this thread.(...)
    A year and a half... well, I wonder as well.
    I sure wish they had made a super 45/1.2 lens instead of all those kit lenses.
    I sure wish they made a 12/2.0 instead of that 14mm.
    At the same time I don't see the point in whining and cursing. Maybe the companies respond better to well thought out wish lists.

    By the way Leica makes a manual focus digital camera.
    Got me.

    /Jonas

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    @ clay:

    Eh. So what?

    Getting all hyped up on what some multinational mega corporation "ought to do" is mostly a waste of time and energy.

    Panasonic's made some very good still cameras, same for lenses: all of the ones I've owned have been very good performers for their cost and class. And they've been consistent and reliable. All of them have earned me good money. All of them have made excellent photos for me and my clients. I hope Panasonic keeps doing that.

    But if they don't, someone else will ... And what I have now will continue to do the job anyway until I need something else. I could care less what name is on the camera. I care what the camera does.

    Why sweat the "woulda/shoulda" rumination?

    ..."Equipment often gets in the way of Photography." ...

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    I'm afraid I have to agree with Godfrey/Vivek here, what's all the fuss? as soon as there's a credible alternative go with that.

    I'm very happy with every Panasonic body / lens I've ever bought... nothing has ever felt like a let down - we're in the realm of throwaway technology these days anyhow - it's not like you're getting married to the brand!

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    . . . . . what company is not fly by night?

    If it's not making money its gone. . . . .

    If it is making money then its sold to someone else or spun off or whatever.

    Technology changes so quickly what you buy today may be obsolete tomorrow.

    The GF1 that I bought works AF with a 3/4 25mm f/1.4 and a 14 - 50mm Leica D Vario lens. It also has an AF 7-14 and a 20mm f/1.7 in m4/3. It can adapt to use Leica lenses from 1951, 1954, 1960 and 2004 that I own. Manual sure but at least they built in the capability to be backwards compatible. Also some Voigtlander and Zeiss lens as well.

    A lot better than other companies out there . . . . .

    Lots of choices out there. I am very happy with mine.

    Having fun with the GF1.

    When I am not having fun anymore, I'll get something else.

    Corporations are capitalistic, they are formed to make money, some may care about the customer, some just the customers money. Those who own stock in a company only want it to pay dividends. If they don't, they dump the stock.

    Choices, you got to love the free manket!

    Life is Grand!

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    ~

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    @ clay:

    Eh. So what?

    Getting all hyped up on what some multinational mega corporation "ought to do" is mostly a waste of time and energy.

    Panasonic's made some very good still cameras, same for lenses: all of the ones I've owned have been very good performers for their cost and class. And they've been consistent and reliable. All of them have earned me good money. All of them have made excellent photos for me and my clients. I hope Panasonic keeps doing that.

    But if they don't, someone else will ... And what I have now will continue to do the job anyway until I need something else. I could care less what name is on the camera. I care what the camera does.

    Why sweat the "woulda/shoulda" rumination?

    ..."Equipment often gets in the way of Photography." ...
    I was starting to worry about you Godfrey, thought something happened to you. I'm glad you're OK.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel Schierbeek View Post
    BH prices
    7-14/4 lens Olympus $ 1.468,--
    7-14/4 lens Panasonic $ 999,--
    So, who is $ 468,-- cheaper and 40% smaller and tested as good?
    there might be other differences ... like dustproof and splash proof sealing.

    but smaller than the Olympus the Panasonic surely is



    I hear photographers who specialise in sailing like the Oly series ... don't count on your Panasonic lasting the year out in those conditions.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Howard

    Quote Originally Posted by Howard View Post
    I sure hope that Panasonic introduces additional fast primes.
    mind if I ask what you'd wish for and why you'd like it?

    speaking as a person who favours just 2 lenses when traveling 24mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.8
    Last edited by pellicle; 20th June 2010 at 16:23. Reason: fix stupidity in quoting

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by clay stewart View Post
    After about a year and a half in the DSLR business and promises of lots of quality bodies and lenses, Panasonic bails out and leaves it's customers holding the camera bag.http://www.photokina-show.com/0476/p...onicinterview/

    I guess that the price of the 45 2.8 macro, got me thinking and looking back over their history, to try and figure out why they would price a macro lens nearly four hundred dollars more than what other more experienced lens makers would charge for a similar lens :
    That Leica association costs a lot. Nikon's 60mm macro will make mincemeat out of the second-rate 45mm Panasonic. A real fumbled ball. Now, the other Leica-based Panasonic lenses have been exceptionally good. This one off should be sent back for a redesign.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    When you consider that Panasonic and Olympus sell products globally to a wide range of consumer preferences, this stuff IS rocket science, and involves very complex marketing strategies and implementation. What makes sense for you or for the US audience might make absolutely no sense for the Japan market.
    some consideration of 'systems thinking' would be closer to 'rocket science', but duplicating each others kit lenses is pretty dam far from that view.

    http://managementhelp.org/systems/systems.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42
    As a strategy for migrating advanced P&S users into the interchangeable lens cameras, coming out with a range of zoom lenses initially was perfect. Most common users of DSLRs end up keeping their kit lens on regardless of the options they have for adding more lenses. They basically treat their DSLRs as large, expensive P&S cameras. They take photos of family and events in their everyday lives, and don't go into photography as an art.
    Well clearly I dont agree, what I do agree with is Jonas approach where he says:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas
    Like many other "advanced amateurs" or at least "experienced enthusiasts" I sometimes think Panasonic and Olympus don't understand what they created. If you ask me what it is holding them back from making a series of premium prime lenses and a couple of semi-pro bodies, well, I have no idea.
    I dont think they understand the market either, where there are two approaches, the compact converts, and the experienced users looking for smaller lighter kit.

    Panasonic have left it to the hackers to give video the performance it should have had in the first place. Meanwhile Olympus actually state in their marketing that Pen makes an ideal back-up system for pro's, well then they should consider those needs are somewhere beyond a bunch of kit lenses and add a few lenses that are of good quality while being compact,

    .........just the sort of thing they should have done for 4/3rds before the 'tribe had spoken' and that sunset began. Now theyre asking a whole new bunch of users to be patient and wait for a complete system to arrive, something that in my experience they have no right to ask.
    Last edited by Riley; 20th June 2010 at 21:36.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    It seems like one complaint here is focused on the cost of Panasonic-Leica 45mm macro. I guess you assume all manufacturer's will produce a "consumer grade" $500 macro and a "professional" grade $1000 macro. Panasonic appears that they decided to make only one, and it is very good. I personally think this lens was worth the money. Also, look at pricing in Canon lenses lately, they have gone up significantly in the last two years.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    there might be other differences ... like dustproof and splash proof sealing.

    but smaller than the Olympus the Panasonic surely is

    I hear photographers who specialise in sailing like the Oly series ... don't count on your Panasonic lasting the year out in those conditions.
    Oh yes, of course that is the difference but you need a bigger boat though.
    BTW Most of the time I don't sail.

    Michiel

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Howard


    mind if I ask what you'd wish for and why you'd like it?

    speaking as a person who favours just 2 lenses when traveling 24mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.8

    Speaking for myself, I would like to get hold of the 14/2.5 and the 8/3.5 fisheye.

    I would not mind seeing a 10/1.8 either.

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    Re: Panasonic: A "Fly By Night" Camera Company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel Schierbeek View Post
    BTW Most of the time I don't sail.
    me neither (so I don't have that lens either) ... but still, my point was it wasn't just a simple comparison of 50% more for nothing significant.

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