Rumours that Panasonic is slowing/postponing Micro Four Thirds gear

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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https://www.43rumors.com/dclife-dou...-successor-due-to-new-strict-marketing-goals/
I know peeps don't like rumours, but it's what we have come to expect from Olympus and Panasonic to keep saying its business as usual while being reluctant to talk about future releases.
It does make sense to consolidate manufacturing, release cycle and product lines, given the market shrink, the global economy and the fierce competition from the other brands, especially the larger format as they are taking notice and releasing more compact and cheaper (compared to previous releases not necessarily cheaper then Micro Four Thirds) alternative products.
Panasonic said they will focus on L-Mount Alliance, lenses and cameras and they have been releasing mostly that. It may be that Panasonic is waiting for the industry (sensor manufacturing does not revolve around Sony only) to come with better sensors for Micro Four Thirds to release compeling successor to the GH, G, GX line.
That said maybe it's time to take a page from mobile phone industry, especially the software development, and offer the consumer an alternative to the long release cycle that's replacing what, mostly, Sony and Samsung (remember them?) has pushed the industry with yearly releases. Its just not economically and, to be honest, reasonably sound to have a new camera every 12 months, given the high cost of them. All camera manufacturers should focus on software development after releasing a new camera for its 3-4 years life cycle. If they want to keep their brands name in the consumers mind (the way mobile phone industry does) then software development and camera improvement makes a lot more sense economically and marketing.
And there are plenty of things they can do, AF improvements, AF tracking and detection, AI features like HHHR, Starry AF, Live ND, Software ND, in camera post processing (the way Carl Zeiss ZX1 does it), more connectivity and Internet access, High Resolution Stacking (almost all cameras have IBIS now), Focus Bracket, Focus Stacking, Astrotracking, Pro Capture, Pre-Buffer, and so many other video features as well.
While not my favorite brand (for many personal reasons) Apple is one of the best examples of not just one product but whole platform updates with new features and integration on devices up to 4-5 years old, iPhone and iPad mainly but with the development of M1 chip also (in the future) MacBooks and iMacs as well.

We have the examples of Panasonic G9 and Olympus E-M1X with significant firmware updates with new features, mainly AI and video capabilities, right now but why not continue the trend.
As an Olympus user I want to see Panasonic's G9 successor as much as Panasonic users, I want to see their answer to Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III capabilities, especially in the AF department. After seeing how much they improved AF with their latest Panasonic S5 (which they promised to bring the same level of performance to their entire S line).

Let's all be honest, of the entire industry its only Sony who has the $$$ to weather out the market shrink, the global pandemic and the slower camera technology development, given their huge diversification of their products. I don't want them to become a monopoly, the market to be flooded with single digit incremental performance and feature improvements. I really do hope and want Panasonic and Olympus to succeed. One single format is not the answer for everyone... Nor should it be.
 

RichardC

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It is only relatively recently that manufacturers have turned to churning out new models every year with incremental developments.

Maybe Panasonic and JIP should just get together? 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

Although Sony has more money, their core business is not imaging. Unlike say, Nikon, I doubt Sony management are emotionally attached to this shrinking market. No-one's safe.
 

retiredfromlife

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When they say
" DClife guesses the G9 successor will be “axed” from the roadmap "

Is that not in line with what was rumored well over a year ago that a single camera would be released with paid updates for specialised features for both/either still and or video ?
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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It is only relatively recently that manufacturers have turned to churning out new models every year with incremental developments.

Maybe Panasonic and JIP should just get together? 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

Although Sony has more money, their core business is not imaging. Unlike say, Nikon, I doubt Sony management are emotionally attached to this shrinking market. No-one's safe.
I don't see Sony giving UK on the camera and sensor industry, its one of their most profitable sections, going from the cinema line, to their own division of movie making (incluainf a whole TV channel) to smartphone development. And lets not forget one of the most spotlighted tech development today: self driving cars... Reliant on cameras, LIDAR systems, AI, object recognition and tracking... Then there's also VR, where (again) there's a need for camera tech, AI, object and subject recognition... AR which is pushed a lot by Apple.
Like Olympus's (old) medical devision was keeping the imaging department afloat (though not anymore) there are many divisions from Sony that need/support/pay for the imaging division. No other company has such a broad usage of cameras liek Sony does... It used to be Samsung who could rival that but not its mostly Panasonic left to compete with the giant size of Sony.

I, as well, would love to see better integration and cooperation between the OM-D Corp and Panasonic, from sensor devoplement and implementation to features integration (Sync IS-Dual IS hybrid). Right now OM-D Corp has less capital (aka value and bargain power) then Panasonic and since there's a lot of staff still remaining from Olympus we don't know if their mind-set has changed from the old one, where they were more interested in competing then sharing with Panasonic.

Interesting is that Fujifilm was on the for front of extending the life of current and even previous generations cameras through firmware updates but recently that has slowed down a bit, I'm terms of frequency and scope (size of improvements) of the updates. Quite the opposite of what I would hope for the future.
 
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I would be amazed if somewhere at Panasonic HQ that there is not a small room with a team working on PDAF. It must concern them that the major complaint every potential customer seems to have with their recent FF Panasonic product is that the AF is not up to scratch** - particularly in a sector that is being overrun with competition such as the R5 and the Z5. Even allowing for all the positives that CDAF can offer, in a COVID-stricken and diminishing market I would be going all out to maximise the potential of the product one already produces. And if that means experimenting with a PDAF module in cameras that are all but otherwise finished and on sale, then I would certainly look very closely at doing it. If the S5 came with PDAF, for example, I would think sales would increase quite substantially

**and the fact that we Panasonic devotees aren't bothered too much by its faults
 

speedy

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I would be amazed if somewhere at Panasonic HQ that there is not a small room with a team working on PDAF. It must concern them that the major complaint every potential customer seems to have with their recent FF Panasonic product is that the AF is not up to scratch** - particularly in a sector that is being overrun with competition such as the R5 and the Z5. Even allowing for all the positives that CDAF can offer, in a COVID-stricken and diminishing market I would be going all out to maximise the potential of the product one already produces. And if that means experimenting with a PDAF module in cameras that are all but otherwise finished and on sale, then I would certainly look very closely at doing it. If the S5 came with PDAF, for example, I would think sales would increase quite substantially

**and the fact that we Panasonic devotees aren't bothered too much by its faults
I'd be amazed if there was. Panasonc, being Panasonic, will have a team working ferverishly on something different than phase detect. Either enhancements to DFD, or a new technology all together. That's how they work.
 
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I politely disagree. Put a poll up on any photographic forum and ask what is the main reason for not buying Panasonic, and poor AF will be the absolute no.1 answer. I am not saying that it is the correct answer, but for the mainstream photographic market it certainly is. I believe Panasonic's share of the market at the moment is about 4.5% and I am certain they would like it to be more.

Difficult times call for strange solutions, and I think PDAF is something the market demands, and Panasonic might have to bow to that demand to survive. EVERY review I read about the S5, for example, mentions the slow and inaccurate focusing in CAF and during video. Every video review I see has comments below it along the same lines. If Panasonic wants to make some profit in L-mount, in the increasingly narrowing corridor of profit in these times, then they need to sell a darn sight more than they do currently, and one way they could do that is to put a PDAF module in their S series. Even if they improve CDAF or invent something new, it will not be an immediate success - people are skeptical about Panasonic's CDAF and nothing will ever change that reaction in a mainstream market. There is a limit to how much of one's own nose you should cut off.....
 

Hypilein

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I agree. Panasonic needs to find a way to solve their AF reputation. They are a video company with a stills AF system. I also think that one GH6 with multiple levels of paid firmware to get all the Video features without making the stills people pay for pro features they don't want might be a really good way forward. They've done it before with V-Log.

Personally the GH series (and the G9) are too big for me. I'm hoping on improvements to the GX line (Viewfinder, WR). Basically a modern GX8.
 

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That said maybe it's time to take a page from mobile phone industry, especially the software development, and offer the consumer an alternative to the long release cycle that's replacing what, mostly, Sony and Samsung (remember them?) has pushed the industry with yearly releases. Its just not economically and, to be honest, reasonably sound to have a new camera every 12 months, given the high cost of them.
Cost has far less to do with it than the market does. Compare the number of phones sold every year to that of cameras. Then add in the competition factor. Phone companies do it because they have no choice.
 

RS86

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That said maybe it's time to take a page from mobile phone industry, especially the software development, and offer the consumer an alternative to the long release cycle that's replacing what, mostly, Sony and Samsung (remember them?) has pushed the industry with yearly releases. Its just not economically and, to be honest, reasonably sound to have a new camera every 12 months, given the high cost of them. All camera manufacturers should focus on software development after releasing a new camera for its 3-4 years life cycle. If they want to keep their brands name in the consumers mind (the way mobile phone industry does) then software development and camera improvement makes a lot more sense economically and marketing.
I wonder what you mean by these two statements together. In another thread I pointed out that there is no need to panic with M43 camera releases, as they have released their current models in under 0-3,5 years time and there is a shutdown of society going on.

Sony has a 3-3,5 year cycle for A7-series for example. Where do you get that 1 year cycle for cameras? Like I said, Nikon Z6 II being released after 2 years is not a good example, as the first camera is a totally new system. And the camera might need tweaks along with the system needing promotion.
 
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I think all 'cycles' will be thrown out the window over the next few months. This new variation of contagious COVID that's appeared in the UK is going to be a beast if it gets into heavily-populated countries in Asia. Every industry in the world is going to enter a new phase of deconstruction and it may be that in six months time that distribution by the air industry and sea cargo will be a bitter remnant of what it was in normality. Hobby industries will hit an all time low, both from production viewpoints and distribution viewpoints.
 
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Canon finally got mirrorless FF ,so then it makes sense to upgrade to the R lenses. And the mirrorless AF is great. The entry R6 is great and not that expensive. And you old lenses work. With adapter. If Panny or Oly comes out with FF ,all old lenses are garbage. I think Canon did a very jolly good business at Christmas.
 
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Sony and Canon will be fine. They are large enough and diverse enough that even a bigger downturn in the camera business wouldn't be an issue. They have large professional and cinema businesses, and smartphones will never be able to do that work.
Panasonic, in some ways is probably better positioned than Olympus, as it has such a high-profile on the video side of things, which with social media like TikTok and youtube, is really where growth is these days.
But some tighter collaboration on the m4/3 front between the two main players would seem to be a welcome thing, as it would help drive the sector forward.
 

RS86

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Canon finally got mirrorless FF ,so then it makes sense to upgrade to the R lenses. And the mirrorless AF is great. The entry R6 is great and not that expensive. And you old lenses work. With adapter. If Panny or Oly comes out with FF ,all old lenses are garbage. I think Canon did a very jolly good business at Christmas.
In Finland that camera costs 2900 €. Personally I think that is expensive for a camera. My opinion is that 1500-2000 € for a professional level camera is "not that expensive", but this is much more.

But I guess that is totally subjective depending on one's wealth, so anything goes.
 

threeOh

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Odd, I just bought a Fuji X100V. It’s my 4th X100 so I sorta knew what I'd be getting. Now I hear Panasonic's AF is not competitive. It has to have PDAF. Well, my Fuji has PDAF. Other than with the P20 mounted, my GX9 crushes the Fuji's AF. I’m thinking my ancient GM1 is quicker as well. In any event, both are quick enough for me.

This is a mature and shrinking industry. To expect businesses to invest in such an environment is asking a bit much. I intend to continue my focus on photography, rather than gear. My 10+ year old cameras, as well as my brand new cameras, don’t seem to be all that different in supporting my hobby.
 

Robstar1963

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I would be amazed if somewhere at Panasonic HQ that there is not a small room with a team working on PDAF. It must concern them that the major complaint every potential customer seems to have with their recent FF Panasonic product is that the AF is not up to scratch** - particularly in a sector that is being overrun with competition such as the R5 and the Z5. Even allowing for all the positives that CDAF can offer, in a COVID-stricken and diminishing market I would be going all out to maximise the potential of the product one already produces. And if that means experimenting with a PDAF module in cameras that are all but otherwise finished and on sale, then I would certainly look very closely at doing it. If the S5 came with PDAF, for example, I would think sales would increase quite substantially

**and the fact that we Panasonic devotees aren't bothered too much by its faults
When I was researching buying into FF recently I ruled out Panasonic because and only because they are still only using CDAF - if it were not for this quite frankly ridiculous situation I would now be in the Panasonic L mount system - partly because of my experience with using their M43 equipment
Panasonic is definitely losing sales to potential (and previous M43) buyers

Its one thing accepting CDAF only on their M43 system but it’s another accepting it when looking at FF - this should have been their opportunity to look again at their outdated decision making process with AF and making a new start to maximise the potential of their newly conceived range and sales opportunities.
AF is nowadays one of the main driving forces behind positive reviews and buyer choice
I really don’t know how a company like this in the modern highly competitive climate with severely declining sales could have conceived such a plan !
 
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I've no doubt that if it came to streamlining, Sony's sensor business would be the very last thing for the chop.
Odds are your smartphone camera sensor is a Sony sensor. That’s their $$$

Whether they need or want the dedicated camera biz is another issue, but Sony is big in pro and commercial video production. The stills photo industry is becoming a niche subset of the far larger and more lucrative video industry, itself a subset of the computer electronics industry.
 
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Canon finally got mirrorless FF ,so then it makes sense to upgrade to the R lenses. And the mirrorless AF is great. The entry R6 is great and not that expensive. And you old lenses work. With adapter. If Panny or Oly comes out with FF ,all old lenses are garbage. I think Canon did a very jolly good business at Christmas.
I've been trying to decide what to switch to from my Pentax KP. Certainly looked at the R6. It's very nice and I was tempted. But can't see where it qualifies as "not that expensive". It's $2500 here in the US, which is $1000 more than the Olympus M1.3, and $500 more than the Z6II. The only things more than the R6 are the bodies that basically qualify as the top of the line models.
 
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