1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

New Entry-Level Panasonic Camera in August

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by ijm5012, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    (FT5) Panasonic to announce a new MFT entry level camera by end of August - 43 Rumors

    So is this going to fill the massive void (sarcasm) left by the killing of the GF and GM lines?

    How much more "entry level" do they want to go compared to the G7 and GX85? I'm not saying those cameras are entry level, as they're very full-featured, but what could you do to further lower the price point? Older sensor/shutter mechanism? Crappier EVF? Fixed LCD?

    I really struggle to see where the market is for these cameras. P&S cameras got squeezed by the cell phone market, so they've "upgraded" to 1" sensors, which in turn has squeezed the entry-level ILC market.

    Plus, this isn't like CaNikon where you can walk in to any Walmart/Target/BestBuy/etc. and find a T6 Rebel, D3300, D5200. Panasonic (and Olympus for that matter), have essentially ZERO footprint outside of dedicated photography stores, and then they're not carried at every store. With no footprint in brick & mortar stores, coupled with zero marketing, you're not going to get someone who walks in to a photo store and says "I need an entry level camera, but I want one from a brand I never even knew made cameras. Have anything that fits that criteria?". No, instead they're going to buy a junky CaNikon, love it for the first couple months they own it before realizing that either A.) It's a piece of shit and I should have spent that extra couple hundred bucks on a better camera, or B.) It's relegated to it's cameras bag, shoved in the corner of some dark closet, and only comes out twice a year (once for their kid's birthday party, and at Christmas), and even then it's shot on auto mode, with the pop up flash firing away ruining every picture taken.

    I just don't see an "entry level" market for m43, and I'm surprised Panasonic hasn't realized that either given the poor sales of the GF and GM lines (which lead to their discontinuation in the first place).
     
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    By entry-level - (warning stereotyping) assume Asian females and selfie Instagrammers who want to look good with nice bokeh and have the whole thing still fit in a handbag easily.

    Not a big market in the west necessarily, but that range actually does reasonably well in Asia when well executed.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Seems reasonable. Panasonic will have the new rangefinder-like entry level, Mid (GX80), and Pro (GX8). Plus SLR-like entry/mid (G7), Pro (GH). Olympus seems to be going the other way - Rangefinder-like entry/mid level (PL), Pro (Pen F), and SLR-like entry (EM10), Mid (EM5), Pro (EM1).

    That seems like a good mix for mft to me.
     
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Amazon has as much (and probably more) presence as Walmart or Best Buy and mirrorless is well represented there. Olympus is regularly selling a bunch of EM10 and EPL7 (the sub $500 market) according to the top 100 mirrorless rankings. Panasonic needs a solid offering in this area, not just a just a "smallest" offering. Besides, an entry level camera won't disrupt the mid-level market much and, as mentioned above, will sell well outside the US. Although I have no data for this, I also suspect that enthusiasts like the folks on this forum buy more sub-$500 cameras than we might expect. I know that I have just recently owned an EM10 and still have an E-PL7.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Last time I checked, you can't walk in to an Amazon store and try out different cameras. How many first-time (emphasis on first time) camera buyers do you know who are willing to go spend a couple hundred bucks on a device they're not sure how it works, without ever seeing or handling it in person? Typically, they'll want to go talk to someone who knows something about cameras to help them make an informed decision, and it typically goes something like this:
    • Buyer: (Walks in to brick & mortar store, finds a sales associate in the camera department) "Hi, I'm looking to purchase a nice camera, but don't really know what I want"
    • Salesperson: "Sure, I can help you with that. What do you want to take pictures of?"
    • Buyer: "I want a camera that will allow me to good pictures of my kids"
    • Salesperson: "Absolutely, we have a number of cameras that can do that. Let's go take a look at what we have" (walks over to camera area) "We have a lot of great DSLRs from Canon and Nikon, as well as cameras from some other manufacturers as well
    • Buyer: "DSLRs, isn't that what all the pro's use for sports and portraits and stuff"
    • Salesperson: "Yeah, they're great cameras"
    • Buyer: "OK, I'll take that one because it says Canon/Nikon and I've heard of them before"
    Seriously. People who don't know what they're looking for want to talk to someone about the cameras available, and they more times than not already have it made up in their mind that they want a DSLR because "that's what the pro's use", even though DSLRs are like a dinosaur in terms of camera technology.


    Looking at ONLY the mirrorless section is kind of skewing your results. How many first-time camera buyers that you know of say "Yeah, I definitely know I want a mirrorless camera!"?

    If you take a step back and look at the best seller list of ILC's in general, it paints a much different story:
    1. Canon Rebel T5 + 18-55 kit lens (garbage) + 75-300 kit lens (garbage) + a bunch of crap people think they need but really don't [$519]
    2. Canon Rebel T5 + 18-55 kit lens (garbage) [$399]
    3. Sony a6300 + 16-50 kit lens [$1,150]
    4. E-M10 + 14-42 kit lens [$400]
    5. Canon Rebel T5 + 18-55 kit lens (garbage) + a bunch of crap people think they need but really don't [$420]
    6. Nikon D3300 + 18-55 kit lens (garbage) [$547]
    7. Nikon D750 (body only) [$2000]
    8. Sony a6000 + 16-50 kit lens [$698]
    9. Canon Rebel T6 + 18-55 kit lens (garbage) + 75-300 kit lens (garbage) + a bunch of crap people think they need but really don't [$599]
    10. Canon Eos 80D (body only) [$1199]
    11. Canon 5D Mk.III [$2599]
    12. Nikon D810 [$2797]
    13. Nikon D3300 + 18-55 kit lens (crap) + 55-200 kit lens (crap) + camera bag [$697]
    14. Canon Rebel T5 + 18-55 kit lens (crap) + 75-300 kit lens (crap) + camera bag [$449]
    15. Nikon D3200 + 18-55 kit lens (crap) [$400]
    So when you look at ILC cameras in general (what people are looking to purchase when they say they want a "good" camera), it's still completely dominated by DSLR's, most of them low-end crap like Canon's T5/T6 and Nikon's D3200/3300. What makes these cameras sell better to the droves of mindless sheeple? MARKETING! IN-STORE PRESENCE! PERCEPTION! Panasonic can crank out as many $400 bodies as they want, but if you put a $400 Panasonic body next to a $400 Nikon body and $400 Canon body and ask first-time camera buyers what they would purchase, how many do you think would buy the Panasonic? Hint: NOT MANY. Why? Because people perceive the DSLR's to be better because they're larger, they've heard their names before, seen their commercials on TV, etc.

    If Panasonic/Olympus want to increase their sales of their cameras to first-time buyers, they need to actually get the physical product in front of people at stores they regularly visit (Walmart/Target/Best Buy), and start advertising so that people know the advantages to these cameras when compared to the dinosaur DSLR's from CaNikon.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Welcome to the 21st century and the Internet. There is just simply not a market for photography stores in most places. We don't need to go pick up some films before a walkabout anymore. And if you think Best Buy or Walmart employees know anything about what they are selling.... Good luck with that.

    But we have the Internet, with review sites, and wonderful forums full of people looking to talk about what they love.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  7. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    (My mistake as I meant to say ILC and not mirrorless.) I understand what you're saying but I think many of these companies have simply written off the US market as already "lost" to Canon and Nikon and don't see much return on investment trying to get into the big brick stores. I don't really know how Europe and Britain works in this regard, but Olympus and Panasonic do have store presence in many Asian markets. This seems like enough to make a "$500 or less" model viable.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    I love my E-M10, I see no reason to upgrade until Olympus fits a significantly better sensor into a box that size. So far, we haven't seen that, IMO. Right now, I get the same image quality out of the E-M10 as I would an E-M1.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I'd argue the point that we as photography enthusiast and professionals do need/want camera stores. The problem is that your average mother who buys a Rebel T3 with 18-55 kit lens and never buys another lens again doesn't, and it's very difficult to financially justify a dedicated photography store outside of major cities like New York, LA, etc.

    I agree there. But then again, you can't expect someone to be knowledgeable in depth about a camera, while also being able to tell you when the next Justin Beiber album will be released, and what isle baby formula is in...

    I agree with this, but on the other hand every photo forum you visit is going to claim that their system is the best, and how their system is better than the competition. So if a rather clueless buyer visits and Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji, Sony, Canon, and Nikon forum, and each forum is saying that their camera system is better than the others, how can you expect someone to make a decision? More times than not, they fall back to the industry standard CaNikon because they think "well all of these systems must be good, but I've heard of these before".

    It's like if you have $10,000 to spend on buying a car, will you buy a Daewoo or a Toyota? More times than not, people will pick the Toyota because they've heard of them, seem them, etc.
     
  10. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Veteran

    393
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    @ijm5012@ijm5012

    I think you need to consider location and generation.

    For example Pittsburgh is a large enough city to support a brick & mortar camera shop. I live in a mid sized metropolitan area 250K people, and if i want to visit a camera shop I'm going to drive 2+ hours to Chicago, Indianapolis, or Saint louis.

    Generations are completely different. My parents and my wife's parents are baby boomers, and are the type who want to walk into a physical store. They both have cameras they are less than pleased with because they where best buy specials. My wife is an early millennial, and she buys almost everything online, even expensive obscure stuff. I'm an xer, and i buy a lot of stuff online, but I'm a researcher, because i don't trust people/companies to not rip me off.

    I have a feeling this entry level camera is going to be small, probably a little bigger than a gm-5, and be in the $300-500 range.
     
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Because these are still the #1 selling large-sensor cameras in the world and they are there at Costco or Best Buy for $399:

    rebel-t5-dslr-ef-s-18-55mm-is-ii-zoom-lens-3q-d.
     
  12. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    You'd think Pittsburgh is large enough to support a B&M camera shop, given all the great scenery we have here to photograph, right? Well, the only dedicated camera store in Pittsburgh stocks CaNikon almost exclusively. They carry a VERY limited amount of Sony stuff. Zero Fuji. Zero Pentax. Zero Panasonic. Zero Olympus. For all intents and purposes (for me at least), it's useless. I can drive 3 hours to Midwest Photo Exchange in Columbus, OH where they carry all brands, but that's the closest fully-featured camera store to Pittsburgh, at least that I'm aware of.

    I'm 27 years old, so well within the "millennial" generation. When I first got in to photography ~3 years ago, I knew I didn't want a DSLR. So I started looking at mirrorless options and really looked at Canon (EOS-M, what a turd) and Sony (NEX-6). In the end, I bought a Sony because the images I saw from the camera looked amazing, Sony was a reputable brand who I'd heard of before in photography, and the camera was pretty good.

    After using the camera for ~ 6 months, I started to realize the importance of lenses. That's when I started doing more research, and discovered m43 (I was drawn to the system for Panasonic's f/2.8 zooms, which I eventually owned, and have now sold in favor of the 12-60 SWD and 50-200 SWD).

    The point I'm trying to make is that when I was doing all of my research, being new to photography, I didn't realize how crucial a good lens catalog is. People naively assume it's the camera that makes the shot, but really it's the lens. So for a camera newbie who reads online about APS-C vs FF cameras (god forbid they consider one of those tiny m43 sensor cameras), more times than not they're going to go with a brand they've heard of before, which is likely Sony, Canon, or Nikon. Had a local camera store that stocked various types of cameras been around, I definitely would have visited it to try a variety of gear and see what I really liked, talk to someone who is knowledgeable about photography, etc.

    While many people bemoan the pain-in-the-ass of having to go to a physical store, there are still instances where actually handing a product prior to purchasing it is useful. I wouldn't buy a car online test driving it in person...
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    661
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK
    I think the lower end of M4/3 has a fairly good store presence here in the UK, at least in the stores I visit. It's not as comprehensive as Canon's or Nikon's, but you'll find Oly and Panasonic products in most of our national chain stores. My G2, G5 and many of my M4/3 lenses were bought over the counter. I can't remember the last time I saw a TV ad for any manufacturer though. That doesn't mean we don't have any, I just don't watch a lot of TV.
     
  14. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    564
    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
    While I do not know about other states, Olympus and Panasonic have decent presence, not a full line but good representation, in the Best Buy stores here in Arizona. (In fact while the last full service local camera shop here in my area, does carry Olympus, they do not carry Panasonic.) Though he had a Sony attached to his belt at the time, the Best Buy sales person who first demonstrated the M10 to me about 1.5 years ago was quite knowledgeable about the camera which led me to purchase that first M10 from them even though I did not know I was in the market for a camera. While full service camera stores are folding up faster than umbrellas in a Chicago wind storm, sales of what cameras continue to be sold will probably move to the big box stores such as Best Buy which unlike single location camera stores, have the ability to buy in quantity, stock their warehouses and then distribute to multiple locations around the city.
     
  15. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Veteran

    393
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    Yep, and that's what my mother in law has, she apperently loved it at first, when she was using it several times a week. However, now that the new car feeling has warn off she doesn't like it, because she thinks its to big, and overly complicated for her needs. She likes my G7, because it's smaller than hers, and better than her cellphone.

    I think Panasonic is going after her, people who want something that more capable than a cell phone or PS, but smaller than a FF or crop sensor body.

     
  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The sad thing is that 1" cameras (even lower end ones like the G9X) are a much better choice for most "Auto-mode and Kit lens" DSLR users. But it's hard to undo 20 years of SLR marketing. In most people's mind, SLR= high quality and a compact = not much better than a phone.
     
  17. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Veteran

    393
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    I was born in PA (Lewisburg, good luck finding it on the map), but I also spent time living in Easton & Johnstown (not to far from you). Pittsburgh used to have a Ritz, but a quick check says its closed now.

    I refuse to buy anything Sony, to me their products are always overpriced for what you get. The last Sony product I purchased was an early 90's discman.

    DPReview?
     
  18. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 Veteran

    393
    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    I think a lot of people aspire to be more than just point and shoot users, but get overwhelmed by all the options and loose interests. If Panasonic can come up with the right blend of size, usability & features, it might sell well.

    IF it's decent, I might buy one for my wife, who likes to play with my camera but wants something simpler & smaller.
     
  19. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I think they also figure out that they are going to need more than just the kit lens to get the results they envision and aren't willing to invest or carry more gear. That's why I think the 1" compact market should really take off, if they can convince people to look closely at it.

    On the other side, I think more and more people are finding smartphones to be more than adequate. I have a sister-in-law that consistently outshines me on Instagram and she is only using an iphone 6+. Sure her pics aren't going to print 12x18" or have shallow DOF, but she is really great at timing, composition and processing. And camera phone pics look nearly as good as big sensor cams on phone screens and printed up to 5x7. (Man I hate people with talent. I had to spend $3000 to achieve my level of mediocrity... :))
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  20. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I will guarantee that a camera like an RX100M4 will deliver better results in the hands of a mildly experienced photographer compared to a T6i + 18-55 in auto mode in the hands of a newbie. But like you said, CaNikon is a marketing machine that has ingrained in the mind of less knowledgeable individuals that if you want quality, buy a CaNikon DSLR.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1