Panasonic Naming/Bloodlines

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by WT21, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Many folks have asked about this, and with Panasonic's confusing bloodlines/naming conventions, I thought I'd take a swag at how it shapes out. Some points are debatable.

    I identify 5 body types, listed in order of earliest Panasonic release in the bloodline. Again, debatable:
    • GX (compact rangefinder)
    • G (DSLR style shooter)
    • GH (video, DSLR style)
    • GF (sub-compact, entry level)
    • GM (sub-compact, shooter-level)

    GX (compact rangefinder)
    Lumix L1* (2006) - GF1** (2009) - GF2** (2010) - GX1** (2011) - GX7 (2013) – GX8 (2015) and GX85*** (2016) - GX9 (2018)
    * - as a 43 camera with a mirror/OVF, the L1 is much larger, but given what it was shooting for, I'd put it in the GX9 bloodlines.
    ** - the GF1, GF2, and GX1 had no internal VF, but are generally characterized as "range finder style"
    *** - though launched in separate years, this is still a line split as with the G2/G10, below

    G (DSLR style shooter)
    Lumix L10* (2007) - G1 (2008) - G2 and G10** (2010) - G3 (2011) - G5 (2012) - G6 (2013) - G7 (2015) - G85*** (2016) - G9 (2017)
    * L10 is, of course, a 43 camera with a mirror, but I believe it to be antecedent to this line.
    ** G2 and G10 was the first time Panasonic did a split in the same line. G10 was more entry-level than G2. G10, IIRC, was not well received, and quickly was a bargain-bin camera.
    *** WTH is with the name switch??

    GH* (video, DSLR style)
    GH1 (2009) - GH2 (2010) - GH3 (2012) - GH4 (2014) - GH5 (2017) - GH5s (2018)
    * Interesting there are no footnotes really needed in this line. I am guessing this is where Panny is making it's money. A clear vision, differentiated, market-leading, and steady.

    GF (sub-compact, entry level*)
    GF3 (2011) - GF5 (2012) - GF6 (2013) - GF7 (2015) - GF8 (2016) - GX850 (2017)
    * What's in common: the bottom of the shutter button is at level or lower than the top of the camera mount, the camera is intentionally compact, controls are intentionally simpler/fewer, there is no flash mount.

    GM* (sub compact, shooter level)
    GM1 (2013) – GM5 (2014)
    * You could make an argument that the GM series is part of the GF series, and is a split much in the same way as the G2/G10 or the GX8/GX85, but as there are many GM loyalists who would care nothing for the GF, I don’t want to incur their wrath, lol. Plus some hold out hope that the GM series will not die, though it’s not looking good.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  2. Zuri

    Zuri Mu-43 Veteran

    384
    Apr 20, 2016
    NJ, USA
    Zuri
    I don't know why but this makes me even more confused :dash2:
     
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  3. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Don't forget: Recently they have moved to G,GH,GX + single digit is top of the line, double digit is middle tier, triple digit is entry level. That is the reasoning behind the GF changing to a GX850, and the jump from G7 to G85.

    But all of this goes out the window as different markets see different naming conventions.

    And all of this goes out a bigger window when Panasonic decides to change things up in 18 months.
     
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  4. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I started to write a post making sense of your clarification around positioning, but I don't think I want to, lol. My brain started hurting.

    My OP was more about bloodlines than current positioning, but your point is well taken in that a) Panny has it's own thinking about the current line, and b) this can change anytime.

    This could explain why Panasonic's naming conventions are confounding. They aren't based at all (or designed at all) for us loyalists who look at a certain body line and want to stay in it, just with better technology (i.e. I want a GX7 with better shutter, higher resolution and better DR). Rather, it's based on whatever Panny marketing thinks are the market segments from year to year. i.e. they don't see us long-timers as a continues purchase type. They only see market segments in a snapshot in time (if that makes any sense).
     
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  5. Even if it is only relevant right now I found it enlightening so, thank you. I had figured out the G/GH split and that was about it. I think you could say that marketing could change at any moment about almost any company.
     
  6. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Even the largest brands do this. See: Coca-Cola changing Coke Zero to Coke Zero Sugar - Still tastes as disgusting, no matter the name on the bottle.
     
  7. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    True, but amongst current ILC camera companies, it seems to me (I could be wrong) that Panny is the worst in name churn. Even outgunning Sony, who is no slouch to consumer marketing.

    Certainly, for Nikon or Canon, they have been very stable. It's clear which camera is where in the Fuji lineup, etc. Even Oly is quite clean. Panny -- who knows :D
     
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  8. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    I don't agree with this at all. I see it more as them adapting over time.

    You have to have different numbers/names in different markets, for cultural reason. For example tying to sell a Chevy Nova in a Spanish speaking country. Not to mention that the market is ever changing. look at cell phones, they went from giant bricks, to tiny devices you could palm, back to something you can barely fit in a pocket and more powerful than most people will ever need.
     
  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I don't think we are talking about the same thing.
     
  10. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    So that just went out the window with the GX9. It is pretty clearly a middle tier product, but has a single digit name.
     
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  11. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    Yeah, whatever they were trying to do with their ridiculous naming convention, has already been scrapped again, although at least, this clearly sends the message that nothing higher end will come out in the rangefinder form factor. I guess, it worked in a way?:coco:
     
  12. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    The number of digits signifies where it stands in its family, not where it stand globally across all families.

    Think about it like car trim levels. Jeep for example makes 4 different SUVs and all have a Trailhawk trim level, but their is a big difference between a Renegade Trailhawk, and a Grand Cheerokee trailhawk.
     
  13. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Yeah, that's a good point.
     
  14. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    indeed ... and why the GF1 isn't in the GF but in with the GX is a bit ... well confusing really. Certinaly the GF1 is a slightly odd product in the line anyway as the GF2 wasn't really the same "philosophy" as the GF1 was
    o_O
     
  15. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    You could argue that GF and GX come from the same branch, but the GF3 was a clear design decision to move into a different segment, naming convention not withstanding.

    The GF3 and the GX1 launched the same year, but the GX1 has more resemblance to the GF1 than the GF3 has to the GF1. The GF2 was right in between there.

    Here's a diagram

    IMG_0096.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  16. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Nice diagram, I like the pen quick n dirty. Reminds me of Sun Microsystems banning PowerPoint there for a while.

    I'd put the GF1 and GF2 as different because having had both I was constantly irritated by the dropping of control over "beginner appeal", but the GX1 was like a veritable clone of the GF1

    Compare camera dimensions side by side
     
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  17. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    "These changes all signal a clear repositioning of the GF series in the market. Whereas the GF1 was unashamedly a camera for enthusiast photographers, the GF2 is now aimed much more at compact camera owners looking for an upgrade"


    "The array of buttons and dials that covered the GF1's body has been heavily culled. Gone are the mode dial and drive mode lever from the top plate, along with the AF/MF, AF/AE lock, depth of field preview and display buttons from the back."

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Review
     
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  18. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    It's been a while, but I think I remember folks barking about the GF2 being less than the GF1, which might have led to the split. But I was an Oly user back then :D

    edit - you beat me to it, lol
     
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  19. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    You can call snap and take the cards :)
     
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