Why do Panasonic prices fluctuate so much?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Jonathan F/2, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've noticed it's really hard to gauge Panasonic equipment prices because they seem to fall quickly or liquidate at prices far below market value. Olympus seems to have better control of their equipment prices. I almost feel like it's not worth buying Panasonic camera/lenses until they go on sale which they inevitably all do. Any idea why this is the case with Panasonic?
     
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  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Funny, how Panasonic was specifically mentioned!
     
  3. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I'd like to sell my 20/1.7 in favor of the 17/1.7, but there are a ton on the market right now and resale prices are quite low.

    At this same time last year you couldn't get a 20/1.7 for love or money.
     
  4. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    Fluctuate? Do you mean drop like a brick when they are old.or unpopular? :)

    I am not really seeing this with lenses, with exception of some unpopular models like 45-175x. Bodies do drop once new ones are announced but Olympus does that too with exception of the higher end models like Omd and Ep.
     
  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I agree that Olympus bodies, with the exception of the OM-D, drop too. Try selling an E-PM1 right now!

    The difference between Olympus and Panasonic is that the decline tends to be longer and more gradual with Olympus. They don't seem to mind having stores with an inventory of cameras that have been out of production for several years. Panasonic is much more aggressive about getting old models off the shelves in preparation for new ones.

    I also agree that this isn't really an issue with lenses. Some lenses, notably the kit Olympus lenses, don't hold value, but most do.

    The 9-12 month replacement cycle absolutely destroys the secondhand market.
     
  6. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I don't think it's Panasonic specific. The days of cameras holding their values over time are over. Back in the film era, the image quality coming out of a brand new camera or a camera that was 30 years old wasn't that different. Cameras are tech now. Tech generally cycles a generation every 6 months. Thus camera prices fall like tech prices. A $2000 laptop I bought 4 years ago, I should only expect to get $100 for it today. When I say camera, I'm referring to the body. Lens prices tend to hold up.

    It's a tradeoff. You can stay current and pay the price, or wait for things to get cleared out and save a lot of money. Personally, I'm waiting for things to get cleared out and save a lot of money.
     
  7. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    My experience is that going back to at least the early 90's the standard price curve for consumer electronics is a drop of 1% per week. Sometimes it's faster or slower based on the specific item's popularity, but that marketing target has been in place for quite a long time.
     
  8. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    I guess Panasonic, being a consumer electronics giant, maybe has a different approach to pricing and inventory compared to Olympus. I can't say I am complaining having picked up a Gx1 when it was on its downward price swing. :smile:
     
  9. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    333
    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    I don't know why, but I bought when price was down

    Lets see, I think it was early January when the price dropped on the G3. I was afraid that the camera was going away, and I went and bought it right then and there. A month later the same kit cost over $50 more. No idea what happened. At the time, you paid more to get the camera with out a lens than with one. I do know this, the G3 is the best camera I have owned to date, and I have been a shooter since 1959.

    I just checked online at B&H. The current price for the G3 is $389 without a lens and $399 with a kit zoom lens.

    Images for books, magazines and calendars | photosbypike
     
  10. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Makes you wonder what they cost to make if the camera makers are willi tomliquidate for these prices. I agree with the article..huge over supply issues. How many people really need snything more than a cell phone camera..how many bodies can each enthusiast own??

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
  11. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Okay so *if* Panasonic has over-supply issues....
    Then why is there an abundance of Olympus refurbs and/or display models meanwhile there are slim to none of these?

    And again I question over-supply. Just look at the Lumix 20mm and how hard that thing was to get for YEARS.....

    Doesn't sound like an over-supply issue to me....
     
  12. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    When comparing Pana to Oly bodies prices we need to take into account the cost of making the body, the Bill Of Material (BOM) for Panasonic is lower. Panasonic is using in house sensor and LCD while Olympus is outsourcing those two expensive components. We also need to add to the equation that Olympus body because of the IBIS have larger BOM that adds to the cost. Electronic companies derive the list price by the equation of BOM X 7. If a company can get the multiply higher then 7 then they have higher margins. I think that Panasonic are in the >7 region, most of their models have similar BOM within the product family. The GF2,GF3 and GF5 have the same BOM while the GF5 is double in price.

    The decision made by Panasonic to put the OIS in the lens is a smart one. Panasonic customers are forced to get stabilized lenses from Panasonic when they go to the mid to long end. This makes the cheap body a honey trap. Customers who want to add telephoto lens are forced to buy Panasonic lenses, while Olympus customers can buy any. This is probably the reason why Panasonic have in the short telephoto 5 products that address the low end to the high end markets.

    All in all the BOM and the ability to make money from lenses bring us to the decision made by Panasonic to dump bodies into the market and still make money.
     
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  13. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    It is sad that camera makers seem to be caught in this vicious circle, although I can certainly see why it is happening to camera bodies. Technology is evolving so quickly these days, that today's latest and greatest camera become outdated in 6-month's time and obsolete in 2 years. Prices have no choice but drop like a stone... On the other hand, people often say lenses are built to last. What I don't understand is why Panasonic drop prices of their lenses so quickly too (like the $200 price drop of the 12-35 within a few months of its launch)?! Seems like Panasonic, in particular, has some serious issues with its marketing/pricing strategies...
     
  14. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    Where do you see the price drop. The P12-35 is 1299 all over the major resellers (Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama). You can get 200 price reduction when bundling this lens with an high end Panasonic body. This gives high margins to Panasonic since you get the expensive body with the expensive lens.
     
  15. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    The Panasonic 12-35 is 71,000 yen or US$890 at Amazon Japan independent of any camera purchase.
     
  16. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    The P12-35 was priced at $1,499 at launch, but quickly dropped to the current $1,299.

    $200 price drop on Panasonic 12-35mm X lens at BHphoto. | 43 Rumors
     
  17. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    :eek:
     
  18. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    The 1499 was the price for early adopters, when there was limited supply. This is the only time when the street price match the list price. I am quite sure that Panasonic have targeted the P12-35 to be sold at the 800-1000$ street price range.
     
  19. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    It is certainly not common for a lens maker to announce the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of its product to be a certain amount (in this case $1,499), and then quickly reduce the MSRP by $200 within a few months. I am not even talking about the street price here...