DPReview conducted an interview with Panasonic’s Michiharu Uematsu, Special Adviser, Imaging Business Group, and Yoshiyuki Inoue, Senior Engineering Planner, Marketing Team, Imaging Business Group. The following is some highlights from that interview.
The GH3 has been well received…
In reference to Panasonic’s new flagship micro 4/3 camera, Mr. Uematsu said the following…
‘the GH3 has been well received, especially for motion pictures. As you know we interviewed many people in the industry in Europe and North America, so it would offer what they needed – broadcasters needed bitrates above 50Mbps so we offer 50 and 72Mbps. In Europe they needed 25p, not 50i. And they’re using GH3 – it’s much smaller and lighter than a professional camcorder and doesn’t need several people to operate it.’
He went on to say that focus peaking may not be on the horizon any time soon due to the difficulties of incorporating that feature into Panasonic’s new Venus processing engine.
Reconsidering the rest of the lineup
Since different countries have embraced different models, Mr. Uematsu says that the story for the rest of the G lineup is less clear…
‘In Japan and Asia, the GF series is very strong but European countries it’s very different. GH is well accepted everywhere – including America and Asia. In Japan the GF is our best seller, but we have competition from Olympus, Sony, Canon and Nikon. We have to think about what to do next with the GF and G series – some people still require the viewfinder of the G series but it’s difficult to know what we should offer in the middle of the range for customers in Europe and America.’
Is there a GX2 Coming Soon?
In regards to the popular GX1…
‘The success of the GX1 means there shouldn’t be the same wait that enthusiasts experienced after the GF1. We are considering the next GX, that’s all I can say. It’s been better received than the GF series in European countries.’
Does (sensor) size really matter?
‘Some people still like bigness, so we have to change our thinking. We have to explain that it’s not just a case that a bigger sensor is better – you also need to consider size and lens quality.’
Later in the article, he goes on to say that ‘we have to consider how to market image quality. Other people can say “we have a bigger sensor,” but a combination of a not-so-big sensor and a brighter lens can be maybe better, but you have to explain F-number – it’s very difficult.’
Speaking of lenses…
‘we have 18 lenses in production and we have professional and high-end amateur photographers requesting fast prime lenses. But we also sell many camera bodies to step-up users and they don’t buy other lenses. We have to also appeal to those users, we have to educate step-up users to buy lenses.’
What about JK Imaging (Kodak) and others who will make M43 cameras?
Uematsu is upbeat about the new arrivals to the micro 4/3 party, especially if it helps to increase M43 sales in countries like China. ‘It’s not bad news for us.’ (Read full article on DPReview – Video above taken from the Lumix GH3 booth at CP+ by betterphotoindia)
My 2 Cents
Panasonic are currently one of the companies that offer the best in mirrorless imaging. They’re also one of the companies who have been pushing technology forward (witness their new Micro Color Splitters). Although they make some of the best cameras in the mirrorless market, some of them are also the most underrated (i.e. the Panasonic Lumix G5 and the Panasonic Lumix LX7). Consequently, these cameras also represent some of the best deals you’ll get on a mirrorless system.
Check out our favorite Panasonic Cameras Below
(some of which are the best deals to be had on mirrorless cameras today)
Panasonic Lumix GH3 – Best in Class for both stills and video, Pro Level Lenses and Wi-Fi make this the Best Hybrid Camera on the Planet today.
Panasonic Lumix G5 – One of the best mirrorless camera values today. Delivers many pro level features and performance at a mid level price.
Panasonic Lumix GH2 – The former flagship of the Panasonic camera lineup remains one of the best choices (and values) for pro and indie video shooters
Panasonic Lumix GX1 – Top level performance in a small, go anywhere body (SPECIAL DEAL – Get the GX1 for only $300 USD Body Only)
Panasonic Lumix LX7 – Dollar for dollar, one of the best fixed lens compact cameras on the planet today.