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Featured Forum Post: 'Dear Panasonic, what are you going to do?'

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Armanius, May 6, 2012.

  1. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    I think most of us can agree that the OMD/EM5 is the biggest splash ever made in the m4/3 world since the launch of the EP1. The demand, hype, hysteria, and clamor for the EM5 has been a dream come true for Olympus.

    For whatever reason, in MY opinion, Olympus' interpretation of m4/3 has been more captivating to me than its Panasonic counterparts. Olympus' cameras have more personality. Yet, until more recently, Panasonic cameras have always had the edge from a technical innovation standpoint -- faster AF, swivel LCD on the G series, touch screen, and the 16 mp sensor [vs. the IBIS in Oly cameras].

    When m4/3 enthusiasts clamored for a "true" successor for the much loved GF1 (and groaned in pain with the launches of the GF2/3), I thought that Panasonic would surely have a winner in its hands with the launch of the GX1. Yet, even though the GX1 is a worthy successor of the GF1, there really hasn't been a lot of "love" for it.

    So it makes me wonder what Panasonic can or should do to make m4/3 users excited about Panasonic, much like most of us are excited about the OMD? Will the GH3 be something that makes us go "wow"? And if so, what should the GH3 have that will make us go "wow"? What about a GX2 with a built in EVF? Is it too soon even to be having a GX2?

    Whatever Panasonic does in the near future, I do hope that they will make a big splash. With cameras like the OMD, XPro1 and NEX7 occupying the headlines in the mirrorless world, I would love to see Panasonic come up with something that is equally newsworthy. 2012 might turn out to be the best year yet for m4/3 users.
    • Like Like x 9
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Pro body GH3 with weather sealing, battery grip, hi res EVF, 20mp, revamped jpeg engine, DSLR-like continuous AF and release it simultaneously with the 12-35 & 35-100. They also need to tout their Leica partnership to give that aura of prestige.
    • Like Like x 6
  3. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    in my mind this is the greatest strength of Micro Four Thirds - enforced competition from manufacturers within exactly the same market segment. None of the old 'users won't jump ship because they're too heavily invested...'

    If Panasonic doesn't come up with something fantastic, their users will just get an EM-5/6/7 instead - all the lenses they've invested in will still work :smile: Likewise for future Olympus models.

    I think this is absolutely fantastic for us, the photographers :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 7
  4. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    I have no idea what on earth Panasonic is going to do, but, your post highlights just why the OMD is great for the mu43 system...and for us, it's disciples.

    I have no doubt that Panasonic is acutely aware of the sucess Olympus is having right now. Panasonic need to learn from this. Style sells. IBIS sells. In built EVF sells. There are still many people waiting to see what the GH3 will bring, some perhaps even waiting for an L1 styled GX2 or GX-pro ....either way, Panasonic will need to kick some major goals otherwise they will be left behind, just as waves of Panasonic users are leaving their G's behind and buying OMDs.

    Is it about time for Panasonic to bite the bullet and develop an IBIS system ? I believe so.

    Is it about time Panasonic got with the fashionable kids and got it's retro funk on ? Yep.....retro coolness with a top machine under the bonnet sells.

    As for what I would like to see personally, perhaps all the above......and would it be too much to ask for an inbuilt ND filter like the X100 ? :wink:
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I can honestly say I am a fan of both brands. I loved the GH2, the GH1, and the G1, and I thought there was a lot to get excited about with the G3. I also enjoy my GF3 a great deal, just as much as I did the E-PM1.

    However, I think you're right that Olympus has been able to capture far more interest from the media (both with the E-P3 and especially the E-M5), and I wonder whether that is the brand, design, marketing, or all three. I don't think it is largely a matter of product capability, despite the fact that Olympus has introduced some interesting and useful capability.

    On the lens front, I'm equally excited about both companies. The new Oly 12 and 45 are both terrific, but so are the Pana 14, 20, and 25, not to mention the excellent 7-14 and 45 macro. The Pana 100-300 gets a lot more attention than the Oly equivalent. The Pana 14-42X had remarkable potential.

    At any rate, I share your hope that Panasonic can get the kind of attention Oly is getting with the E-M5 with one of their upcoming cameras. More than anything, I think it will take inspired design for that to happen.
    • Like Like x 5
  6. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Mmmmm weather-sealed and mag-alloy LC1-styled body with a better-than-EM5 sensor and built-in ND filters.

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Built in ND filters don't get mentioned much but boy would they be super useful, and less to carry in the kit bag too. I think the X100 has a 3 stop built in which would be fantastic with the 7-14.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Short Answer:
    Panasonic is an electronics company that also makes cameras.

    Olympus is an optical company with decades of specific camera experience.
    • Like Like x 5
  9. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Yes, especially if you are going to start with iso 200-- really quite fast in the bright southwestern sun if you want to use a wide aperture for creative reasons. I could leave the ND filters and step up rings home, which would please me immensely.
  10. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    GF1 was a great camera to me, and is still is but yah I was pretty disappointed with GF2, GF3 (completely different market). Then comes the Panasonic GX1 which I was hoping to be a true successor of the GF1, but to me was another disappointment too. I wanted something like the L1. I liked the GH2 - it is a great dslr style like camera. In addition to that I wanted a fun camera. Now that I got the Olympus OM-D, it is kind of late for Panasonic even if they release something like the L1. I might still consider getting a GH3 though if it has all the upgrades I want.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    The biggest splash since the EP1 was the GH1. First M43 cam to do 1080p video, and the cam that gave the Canon 5dii a run for the money for HD video which jump started the SLR mount camcorder wars. Now Sony, Panasonic and Canon all have SLR mount camcorders.

    The second was the GF1 and the 20 1.7 kit lens. The lens is still in short supply and there is no real Olympus alternative, to this day.

    I don't think the EP3 was anything special, in fact most people were pretty disappointed that it was not the 16mp Panasonic sensor, it didn't have a built in EVF and AF was only truly fast on the kit lenses. No swivel screen and FPS was slower than the EPL3.

    The EM5 is just what the Pen 3 should've been. It's just that for many people, moving from Olympus to Panasonic is harder than moving from Panasonic to Olympus, so you'll
    see more excitement from m43 community when a Olympus brings out a nicer body.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Not be a contrarian but...while I like the PENs I don't find them necessarily more impressive than the Panasonic cameras. They seem pretty comparable to me. The OMD is a very impressive camera but considering how long ago it was released, the GH2 is also quite impressive in its own right. If you look at Panasonic they have had some very nice products released. They have some quality glass in the 20/1.7, 14/2.5 and 25/1.4 and the new fast zooms look as though they will also be quite good. On the body side they have the classic GF1 as well as the GH1, GH2 and G3. It's easy to get caught up in the OMD euphoria ( especially it coming on the heels of the very impressive 45/1.8 and 12/2 lenses) but I think Panasonic has also been making some terrific gear.
    • Like Like x 3
  13. Panut

    Panut Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 25, 2011
    Agree on that. You can always attract a certain amount of people with new technical features, but what will make the difference for both masses and enthusiasts is the design and user experience. Just look at Apple, for example.

    Alas, I doubt if that's something Panasonic will do. I see it more like an excellent producer of technical tools than the trend setter.
  14. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Panasonic needs to revamp their camera repair as well. Trying to call and get something repaired is a major hassle and if they don't have the part, it takes forever! Your equipment gets sent to some Tex-Mex border town where they do mass repairs on every sort of Panasonic electronics.

    On the other hand, Olympus is incredibly smooth when it comes to getting something fixed. And if your item becomes to expensive to fix, they offer you a discounted refurb'ed item applying the cost of your repair!
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Vulpix

    Vulpix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    They need to resurrect the LC1 and create a LC2 for m4/3 platform. With a reasonable price.
  16. TDP

    TDP Guest




    would be most awesome
  17. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    I'm cautiously optimistic that Panasonic will respond well to the OMD. With the L1 and GF1 designs they clearly have the know-how to put together a cool camera, but for whatever reason they just haven't in a long time.

    I got a foot in both camp with a G1 and E-P1. The G1 is the far less finicky camera and rationally it's superior in almost all ways. But I have no doubt that I've probably taken at least twice as many shots with the Pen. The colours, tactile feel, and style/design make it generally more appealing. Almost in every point in m43 history I feel like there's very much a heart vs brain sort of choice. The panasonics offer way more value (uh g3 vs ep3 msrp anyone?!) and seem better on paper. But they just don't seem very exciting.

    The GX1 is solid, but certainly underwhelming without the built-in EVF. They ticked off just about every box that people could have asked for (except tilting screen and ibis I guess) but even then, it's still not that popular. And the pricing sure seems silly compared to the other models by panasonic. Yet oddly seems like a decent value compared to the Pen line.

    I'm hoping for a big splash from panasonic in 2012 but nothing is too promising rumors wise. The G5 rendering looks like another incremental tweak (I still think the g1/g2 bodies are incredibly comfy and functional)..and let me guess, small battery, no grip and even more stripping of functionality like the eye sensor for the EVF. Still uninspiring design. GH3 I don't think is anywhere close..nor the GX1 considering its age. I feel like Panasonic is running with slower development cycles than Olympus (well GF5 excepted).

    TL:D R: I want something cool Panasonic, if only to provide some competition for my dollars...I don't want the OMD to keep its price up for more than 3-6 months--I think that would be a record for Olympus bodies!
  18. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    i'm waiting for the new models from Panasonic, hopefully GH3 or G5 puts something good enough... an improved version of G3 will do it for me. I'm currently resisting the E-M5, for how long, I don't know.

    The release of E-M5 is a good news for the Micro 4/3 community, and more to Olympus itself having some corporate management troubles to overcome.

    Overall good news... while waiting for Panasonic to further strengthen the system.

  19. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Nope. I agree with the E-M5 part, but not with the E-P1 being a big splash. IM-not-so-HO the G1 was the first and biggest splash, being the first-ever mirrorless system camera coming to market, and doing a lot of things right like incorporating an excellent viewfinder and fast AF. Olympus' retro Pen styling was a marketing hit, however.
  20. p.h

    p.h Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 5, 2012
    Only time will tell, but I think it's too early to dismiss the sales potential of the GX1. It is a great camera, without the OMD people would be talking it up more. To me it wouldn't matter how good the OMD is, I couldn't afford it, and even if I could, it's possibly more money than I'd want to spend. In the UK the GX1 is presently less than half the price of the OMD, when the cashback and Lightroom offers are taken into consideration, half price! I wouldn't underestimate how big an influence that has on the mainstream camera buyer. My local camera shop tells me they're selling well, I have no reason to doubt them.
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