Rumours that Panasonic is slowing/postponing Micro Four Thirds gear

Mike Wingate

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Well, I shall not buy it. I don't like the flippy screen, The size, nor the weight. If panasonic can squeeze the S1 down to an S5, there is hope of a smaller top of the range mu43 with 24 plus mp. If I bought a G9 today, they would announce a better model tomorrow. This has been going on for a while. Do I blink first, or do Panasonic?
 

Hypilein

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If the G9 was the size of a GX8 or EM1 I'd have one already. The size is a dealbreaker. I hope Panasonic comes out with something for those of us who like good quality in a more compact package. The GX80 and GX9 are not quite cutting it.
 

Brownie

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All due respect, you seem to be wishing this into existence. Here's the same post from over a year ago:

If the Lumix g9 has been discontinued... | Mu-43 (mu-43.com)

If you don't like the camera because it's too big/too heavy/too whatever, that's ok. We won't hold it against you. Why not spend your time wishing away COVID?

A quick look at Amazon shows the same price as always.
 

Mike Wingate

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All due respect, you seem to be wishing this into existence. Here's the same post from over a year ago:

If the Lumix g9 has been discontinued... | Mu-43 (mu-43.com)

If you don't like the camera because it's too big/too heavy/too whatever, that's ok. We won't hold it against you. Why not spend your time wishing away COVID?

A quick look at Amazon shows the same price as always.
The G9 is a fine camera. I ordered one from Amazon when they had them at £599, but that was their website mistake. Jessops in Manchester who were clearing Panasonic from their range, have gone, closed. My loss my LCS. I was tempted to purchase on Sunday at £699. But ...Lots of my fellow club photographers from 2 groups have G9’s and are happy with them, a[art from peeling rubber off the door and grip. You never know. If Panasonic do not replace the G9 or GX9 with an improved model. A G9 owner I shall be.
 

RS86

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To me it seems GH6 will certainly come, maybe this year even.

Like I have said, and no one has been able to answer me properly, I see no sense for Panasonic to drop one of the biggest ILC systems in M43, while it still has clear strengths. And this comes through from this interview too imo.

"With much of Panasonic's recent efforts focused on full-frame camera systems, what does the future of Micro Four Thirds look like?

We will strengthen our product lineup in both full-frame and Micro Four Thirds in order to support all shooting opportunities for creators. We have full-frame for creators who want more power to capture images and videos with a shallow depth of field, and M43 for creators who want compactness, light weight, mobility, and an adequate depth of field. The product group consists of two systems with different characteristics, which supports various shooting scenes and demonstrates the creator's imagination.

Last year, we introduced the Lumix DC-S5, which has a compact and lightweight body and high performance in both still images and videos. On the other hand, in M43, in addition to the GH5, GH5S, and G9 we introduced the Lumix DC-G100, which is highly portable and allows you to enjoy vlogging, and the box-style camera the Lumix DC-BGH1, which increases flexibility in video production and has excellent video performance and customizability. M43 has a wide range of uses, and many creators have high expectations for new M43 products. We will continue to strengthen the lineup from this year onwards.

...

As for M43 lenses, we now offer 31 lenses, which are useful for various scenes, and in the future, we are planning to develop more lenses that meet the needs of creators regardless of whether they shoot M43 or full-frame.

...

Faster sensor readout would improve rolling shutter and help you further improve DFD. Will Micro Four Thirds always offer this kind of speed advantage over full-frame?


Compared to full-frame sensors, M43 sensors are easier to read out quickly, and they consume less power. This is one of the reasons why we have been able to keep our video features one step ahead. The higher the speed, the better the high-speed shooting performance, the less rolling shutter distortion, and the more potential for autofocus performance improvements. We would like to take advantage of [the potential for higher-speed sensor readout in M43] and continue to take advantage of the unique features of M43 to create attractive products that will please our end users.

...

In addition, the GH series - our flagship M43 video cameras - are being used by many YouTubers. Furthermore, the box-type M43 video camera BGH1 has also been approved by Netflix, and we are approaching a wide range of end-users by supporting scenarios such as multi-angle shooting, live streaming, and drone shooting. We will continue to develop new products that can be used for various video shooting needs by a variety of customers.

...

We cannot answer in detail, but we believe that our GH series and S1H have been highly rated for their functions / performance, such as unlimited video recording time and various shooting assist functions.

...

How do you plan to get your cameras into the hands of younger, smartphone-first customers?


We live in an era where people all over the world have smartphones, take photos and videos, and share them. Although the camera performance of smartphones has been improved, there are limits to what smartphones can do. With digital cameras you can take expressive videos and stills that are clearly different from smartphones.

Video production by young people is increasing, and low price and easy-to-use mirrorless cameras are attracting attention.
In addition, creators want to shoot images that are more advanced and unique. By catering to this need, and strengthening the affinity between our cameras and smartphones, we hope that young people will also take digital cameras in their hands. The key to survival for the camera market in the future is responding to diversifying needs quickly.

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews...ew-we-will-strengthen-both-full-frame-and-m43
 
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Ghostbuggy

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I'm curious what they'll talk about and I'm also surprised both Panasonic and OMDS will participate at the same time. As of now, even though Micro Four Thirds is kind of a joint venture, I've seen them more of competitors rather than anything else.

At least the interview, in my opinion, was more positive and less vague than the last one. He was pretty specific about a number of things, for instance making clear as of why designing FF lenses has a much higher priority. Considering that L-Mount essentially started from scratch and just Panasonic itself has more than 30 MFT lenses in their list, that's pretty understandable.

I am no Panasonic shooter, however I've heard about a number of complains about their DFD AF system, it's good he recognized the critics and at least hinted improvements due to better hardware (processors) and further software improvements.

However I agree, a lot of words have been spoken and it's slowly getting time to actually backing them up.
 

RS86

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I'm curious what they'll talk about and I'm also surprised both Panasonic and OMDS will participate at the same time. As of now, even though Micro Four Thirds is kind of a joint venture, I've seen them more of competitors rather than anything else.

At least the interview, in my opinion, was more positive and less vague than the last one. He was pretty specific about a number of things, for instance making clear as of why designing FF lenses has a much higher priority. Considering that L-Mount essentially started from scratch and just Panasonic itself has more than 30 MFT lenses in their list, that's pretty understandable.

I am no Panasonic shooter, however I've heard about a number of complains about their DFD AF system, it's good he recognized the critics and at least hinted improvements due to better hardware (processors) and further software improvements.

However I agree, a lot of words have been spoken and it's slowly getting time to actually backing them up.

The DFD system is mostly not so good for C-AF I think. But yeah that would be something very important for them to develop, as this can be very important especially for video.

I think this world situation has slowed things down a lot by itself, and makes it understandable releases might have been postponed.

Like you say, it's only natural they will focus more on FF lenses now, as they have so good line-up already in M43. But to me it has been interesting to observe the panic people have had over Panasonic's commitment to M43.
 

AmritR

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To me it seems GH6 will certainly come, maybe this year even.

Like I have said, and no one has been able to answer me properly, I see no sense for Panasonic to drop one of the biggest ILC systems in M43, while it still has clear strengths. And this comes through from this interview too imo.

"With much of Panasonic's recent efforts focused on full-frame camera systems, what does the future of Micro Four Thirds look like?

We will strengthen our product lineup in both full-frame and Micro Four Thirds in order to support all shooting opportunities for creators. We have full-frame for creators who want more power to capture images and videos with a shallow depth of field, and M43 for creators who want compactness, light weight, mobility, and an adequate depth of field. The product group consists of two systems with different characteristics, which supports various shooting scenes and demonstrates the creator's imagination.

Last year, we introduced the Lumix DC-S5, which has a compact and lightweight body and high performance in both still images and videos. On the other hand, in M43, in addition to the GH5, GH5S, and G9 we introduced the Lumix DC-G100, which is highly portable and allows you to enjoy vlogging, and the box-style camera the Lumix DC-BGH1, which increases flexibility in video production and has excellent video performance and customizability. M43 has a wide range of uses, and many creators have high expectations for new M43 products. We will continue to strengthen the lineup from this year onwards.

...

As for M43 lenses, we now offer 31 lenses, which are useful for various scenes, and in the future, we are planning to develop more lenses that meet the needs of creators regardless of whether they shoot M43 or full-frame.

...

Faster sensor readout would improve rolling shutter and help you further improve DFD. Will Micro Four Thirds always offer this kind of speed advantage over full-frame?


Compared to full-frame sensors, M43 sensors are easier to read out quickly, and they consume less power. This is one of the reasons why we have been able to keep our video features one step ahead. The higher the speed, the better the high-speed shooting performance, the less rolling shutter distortion, and the more potential for autofocus performance improvements. We would like to take advantage of [the potential for higher-speed sensor readout in M43] and continue to take advantage of the unique features of M43 to create attractive products that will please our end users.

...

In addition, the GH series - our flagship M43 video cameras - are being used by many YouTubers. Furthermore, the box-type M43 video camera BGH1 has also been approved by Netflix, and we are approaching a wide range of end-users by supporting scenarios such as multi-angle shooting, live streaming, and drone shooting. We will continue to develop new products that can be used for various video shooting needs by a variety of customers.

...

We cannot answer in detail, but we believe that our GH series and S1H have been highly rated for their functions / performance, such as unlimited video recording time and various shooting assist functions.

...

How do you plan to get your cameras into the hands of younger, smartphone-first customers?


We live in an era where people all over the world have smartphones, take photos and videos, and share them. Although the camera performance of smartphones has been improved, there are limits to what smartphones can do. With digital cameras you can take expressive videos and stills that are clearly different from smartphones.

Video production by young people is increasing, and low price and easy-to-use mirrorless cameras are attracting attention.
In addition, creators want to shoot images that are more advanced and unique. By catering to this need, and strengthening the affinity between our cameras and smartphones, we hope that young people will also take digital cameras in their hands. The key to survival for the camera market in the future is responding to diversifying needs quickly.

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews...ew-we-will-strengthen-both-full-frame-and-m43
Interesting interview. Would prefer to see deeds (concerning m43) instead of words though.

Panasonic could probably wrap up the entire m43 market if they don’t wait too long. They‘ll out manoeuvre Olympus (I’ll just keep using the name Olympus, until they come up with something that sticks)
 

RS86

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Interesting interview. Would prefer to see deeds (concerning m43) instead of words though.

Panasonic could probably wrap up the entire m43 market if they don’t wait too long. They‘ll out manoeuvre Olympus (I’ll just keep using the name Olympus, until they come up with something that sticks)
Like I have said, I think many are making too fast conclusions in these tough times, but I understand the fears. Death of M43 has been prophesied since the Antiquity.

I can't see so much sense for Panasonic to release many cameras when many parts of the world have been in lockdown, no traveling and people's finances are at great risk.

In any case, I think they need to slow down M43 camera releases. So why not develop/wait for some more great tech at this point, rather than rush anything to this market. There was also the big fire last year in the factory from which many camera makers get their chips etc.
 

AmritR

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Like I have said, I think many are making too fast conclusions in these tough times, but I understand the fears. Death of M43 has been prophesied since the Antiquity.

I can't see so much sense for Panasonic to release many cameras when many parts of the world have been in lockdown, no traveling and people's finances are at great risk.

In any case, I think they need to slow down M43 camera releases. So why not develop/wait for some more great tech at this point, rather than rush anything to this market. There was also the big fire last year in the factory from which many camera makers get their chips etc.
Panasonic being a stock exchange company is probably unlikely to publish false promises.

Slowing down M43 releases. All these cam companies should imo have their Steve Jobs moment, and cut everything back to a few models:
(this is not unique of Steve Jobs of course, but it’s a good story)

‘ When Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, it was producing a random array of computers and peripherals, including a dozen different versions of the Macintosh. After a few weeks of product review sessions, he’d finally had enough. “Stop!” he shouted. “This is crazy.” He grabbed a Magic Marker, padded in his bare feet to a whiteboard, and drew a two-by-two grid. “Here’s what we need,” he declared. Atop the two columns, he wrote “Consumer” and “Pro.” He labeled the two rows “Desktop” and “Portable.” Their job, he told his team members, was to focus on four great products, one for each quadrant. All other products should be canceled. There was a stunned silence. But by getting Apple to focus on making just four computers, he saved the company. “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,” he told me. “That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.”

https://hbr.org/2012/04/the-real-leadership-lessons-of-steve-jobs



And yes great tech, but at the same time as little as possible of it please:


Fallacy 5: The more features we put into a product, the more customers will like it.
Product-development teams seem to believe that adding features creates value for customers and subtracting them destroys value. This attitude explains why products are so complicated: Remote controls seem impossible to use, computers take hours to set up, cars have so many switches and knobs that they resemble airplane cockpits, and even the humble toaster now comes with a manual and LCD displays.

Companies that challenge the belief that more is better create products that are elegant in their simplicity. Bang & Olufsen, the Danish manufacturer of audio products, televisions, and telephones, understands that customers don’t necessarily want to fiddle with the equalizer, balance, and other controls to find the optimum combination of settings for listening to music. Its high-end speakers automatically make the adjustments needed to reproduce a song with as much fidelity to the original as possible. All that’s left for users to select is the volume....
https://hbr.org/2012/05/six-myths-of-product-development



I actually don’t care that much about systems, m43, FX, APS-C, brands, whatever. Except of course regarding my own limited funds preventing switching at a wim.
But I find the business and productmanagement side of it all very interesting. Also because I see a lot of the same subjects in the company I’m working.

Panasonic not quickly taking advantage of the downturn and uncertainty Olympus is in, is imo a mistake. Regardless of Covid and all it’s consequences.
 

BDR-529

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Atop the two columns, he wrote “Consumer” and “Pro.” He labeled the two rows “Desktop” and “Portable.” Their job, he told his team members, was to focus on four great products, one for each quadrant. All other products should be canceled. There was a stunned silence. But by getting Apple to focus on making just four computers, he saved the company. “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,” he told me. “That’s true for companies, and it’s true for products.”

Just a reminder: Olympus is a publicly listed company too but this didn't stop them from promising four times in a row that they will not sell the camera unit during last six months before the sale. Last time they did this was in May 2020, just one month before the deal was published. “We can clearly say that we have no plans to sell our business, despite the rumors". As a matter of fact, listed companies have strict rules about insider information and they must systematically deny all rumours especially if they are true because important information can only be released to all stockholders at the same time.

Panasonic on the other hand has apparently done this SteveJobs-exercise but they have hard time figuring out which quadrant belongs to FF and where does MFT fit in. Or does it? This is the main reason why Panny has only given vague lip service to MFT future for over a year. Last April Mr. Yosuke Yamane, Director of Imaging Business Division did actually explain in clear terms how they see the split between FF and MFT in the future:

"There are two categories of users: one who appreciates mobility and the other who wants to have the best photo and video quality. These people are divided between the Micro 4/3 and the full format. The Micro 4/3 is still a very important format for us and we must continue to promote it for now.
The basic requirements of a camera for a photographer are its small size, lightness and mobility. These needs will not go away for camera users and we are trying to strengthen our advantage in the global market. For this purpose, we want to energize the Micro 4/3 as much as possible.
Regarding size, if a full-frame hybrid camera is smaller, combined with a lens, the total size remains large. On the other hand, the Micro 4/3 allows lenses and a whole much more compact than in full format. We will improve the functions and the quality of our Micro 4/3 ecosystem, please wait for future developments.
"

Remember that this interview was done just before Panasonic released S5 which was not only lighter but also smaller in all dimensions than GH5 (and in some dimensions smaller than G9.) During last year new light and compact L-mount lenses have been announced but MFT has still advantage in telephoto.

So how is Panny going to solve this equation? They obviously can't make MFT body that has higher overall IQ than their FF lineup but it's also a tall order to make one that is significantly smaller because Panny bodies must have best video specs in their class and this demands cooling. Panny did provide one answer by releasing BGH1 which definitely has unique specs squeezed in a compact package but it's open to debate whether this is a "MFT camera" as such.

What they could still do is to top current FF video specs by releasing a 8k MFT body. It doesn't even have to be lighter and smaller than FF because target group is the one that must have "best video quality" and by definition they are not sensitive to size and weight. Sure, there are already 8k FF bodies but GH6 would the only sub $3000€ model.
 
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RS86

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Just a reminder: Olympus is a publicly listed company too but this didn't stop them from promising four times in a row that they will not sell the camera unit during last six months before the sale. Last time they did this was in May 2020, just one month before the deal was published. “We can clearly say that we have no plans to sell our business, despite the rumors". As a matter of fact, listed companies have strict rules about insider information and they must systematically deny all rumours especially if they are true because important information can only be released to all stockholders at the same time.

Panasonic on the other hand has apparently done this SteveJobs-exercise but they have hard time figuring out which quadrant belongs to FF and where does MFT fit in. Or does it? This is the main reason why Panny has only given vague lip service to MFT future for over a year. Last April Mr. Yosuke Yamane, Director of Imaging Business Division did actually explain in clear terms how they see the split between FF and MFT in the future:

"There are two categories of users: one who appreciates mobility and the other who wants to have the best photo and video quality. These people are divided between the Micro 4/3 and the full format. The Micro 4/3 is still a very important format for us and we must continue to promote it for now.
The basic requirements of a camera for a photographer are its small size, lightness and mobility. These needs will not go away for camera users and we are trying to strengthen our advantage in the global market. For this purpose, we want to energize the Micro 4/3 as much as possible.
Regarding size, if a full-frame hybrid camera is smaller, combined with a lens, the total size remains large. On the other hand, the Micro 4/3 allows lenses and a whole much more compact than in full format. We will improve the functions and the quality of our Micro 4/3 ecosystem, please wait for future developments.
"

Remember that this interview was done just before Panasonic released S5 which was not only lighter but also smaller in all dimensions than GH5 (and in some dimensions smaller than G9.) During last year new light and compact L-mount lenses have been announced but MFT has still advantage in telephoto.

So how is Panny going to solve this equation? They obviously can't make MFT body that has higher overall IQ than their FF lineup but it's also a tall order to make one that is significantly smaller because Panny bodies must have best video specs in their class and this demands cooling. Panny did provide one answer by releasing BGH1 which definitely has unique specs squeezed in a compact package but it's open to debate whether this is a "MFT camera" as such.

What they could still do is to top current FF video specs by releasing a 8k MFT body. It doesn't even have to be lighter and smaller than FF because target group is the one that must have "best video quality" and by definition they are not sensitive to size and weight. Sure, there are already 8k FF bodies but GH6 would the only sub $3000€ model.
I'm still wondering would their FF having 8K be enough and can they get 12-bit video into the next GH camera. This would be a unique selling point similar as 10-bit video was for GH5.

I'm not buying the idea that they have to get 8K into the next GH with some 44MP+ sensor and as such ruin their low-light capabilities. Of course they could handle it in other ways such as different GH-models with different sensors.

"Most viewers won’t be able to tell the difference between different bitrates. Bitrate matters most during production, especially when it comes to creating visual effects. “If we’re doing any sort of visual effects, we ideally aim to film in a higher bitrate, such as 10- or 12-bit, and at a larger picture resolution, like 4K or higher,” says Leonard.

The human eye might not be able to tell high bitrates apart, but the hardware and software used to make CGI certainly can. “If you were to show me an 8-bit and a 12-bit image I may not be able to look at it and tell the difference,” says Leonard. “But when I go in to do something like color or grading or keying and compositing, all that extra information is crucial for me to manipulate it and end up with a clean image.”

Video bitrate matters very much when visual effects artists work with a green screen, as well. Effects artists need to pull what’s known as a clean key from the green. That is, they need to be able to eliminate that specific green color effectively in order to replace it with visual effects. A higher bitrate means better video data, which allows for visual effects artists to more precisely eliminate that color green, and that color green only. When they do, they can replace it with visual effects that look much more convincing because they’re built on a good foundation of digital visual information.

There is no ideal bitrate, but it’s wise to use the highest bitrate your technology, budget, and capabilities will allow. “The rule of thumb that I think every DP (director of photography) or cinematographer will tell you is that you can always downgrade footage, but you can never upgrade footage once it’s shot,” says Leonard.

“Whenever you’re shooting something, you want to think of it as your foundation,” says Hara. “If you start with a lower-quality image, you’ll never be able to go higher than that. You always want the highest quality to start with.”"

https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/video/discover/bit-rate.html
 

RAH

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The human eye might not be able to tell high bitrates apart, but the hardware and software used to make CGI certainly can.
Concerning 8K vs 4K video, if a person is that into video that they need or want that higher quality video, wouldn't they want an actual video camera anyway? It has always kind of mystified me that still-image form-factor cameras have to be video cameras too. OK, the market demands it, but even for high-high end video? Can't we draw the line and say "you want that, buy a real video camera"?
 

RS86

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Concerning 8K vs 4K video, if a person is that into video that they need or want that higher quality video, wouldn't they want an actual video camera anyway? It has always kind of mystified me that still-image form-factor cameras have to be video cameras too. OK, the market demands it, but even for high-high end video? Can't we draw the line and say "you want that, buy a real video camera"?
Yeah, I don't understand this 8K hype for other than cropping video. This is because of the limits of human vision.

I think even Matti Haapoja and Cameraconspiracies have said 1080p is good enough for YouTube.

I don't know very much about video, but I think 4K or 6K 12-bit video would be quite good.
 
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