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Camera sales: Panasonic management try to hide facts
  • Situation with cameras and pro cameras sales is bad, according to my sources. Panasonic had multiple meetings since start of September discussing future strategy. This, of course, included m43 future and new Panasonic S system, as well as destiny of Pro division. In recent financial reports Panasonic removed cameras and pro imaging information except some automotive related, it is possible due to reorganization they made in early 2018 for exact this reasons.

    Some predictions based on information of my source:

    1. m43 will be axed, but with completely opposite public statements. Panasonic will release very few cameras, all developers now work on only one m43 camera. For now decision is to axe m43 in case of any economic trouble, like China-US real full scale trade war.
    2. m43 lenses sales will be kept at least for next 3 years. Panasonic have very big stock made for some models.
    3. S system meeting about preorders did not happened yet, but dealers are in little panic. UK and US preorders are around 3 times short of expectations, lenses are 5 times short. Actually during release and next day they saw hike in Sony orders.
    4. Pro division situation is also bad. Everyone runs like mad in US and EU but sales are generally falling outside few models. Everyone await new round of cuts in April after financial year end. Hence such abnormal activity where everyone want to show how useful they are.
  • 13 Replies sorted by
  • There will be some great m43 bargains on Ebay if this is true..... can't wait! With phone cameras displacing the sales of cheap point and shoot cameras, I think the trend will be for dedicated cameras to be "specification devices" i.e. expensive & overloaded with features.

  • Olympus has m43 on life support. Panasonic has already donated the m43 organs to Lumix S after the fatal cardiac arrest.

  • @caveport

    Huge pressure now also are rental prices (on pro stuff). Lot of people just do not buy anything and rent as they need stuff.

  • @EspenB

    Olympus has m43 on life support.

    I won't be so sure, as I told, behind optimistic shiny facade it is full panic mode inside company.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev "Huge pressure now also are rental prices (on pro stuff). Lot of people just do not buy anything and rent as they need stuff."

    In my experience it has been like this for 30+ years. In the 'pro' industry rental makes way more economic sense. The rental concept is just filtering down to cheaper productions, as the cost of equipment drops.

    The demise of m43 development is not a massive issue really. All the m43 gear won't stop working!

  • Hopefully they squeeze out a worthy GH6 before abandoning m4/3.

  • In my experience it has been like this for 30+ years. In the 'pro' industry rental makes way more economic sense. The rental concept is just filtering down to cheaper productions, as the cost of equipment drops.

    Until recent years rental had been quite normal profitable business. Now it is extreme pressure and bigger risks paired with lowering prices. Can compare prices of Alexa, Red and Canon cameras packages like 3-4 years and now.

  • The demise of m43 development is not a massive issue really. All the m43 gear won't stop working!

    It is massive issue, as we are going into situation typical for HDD, NAND and such markets, where private agreements and huge resulting profits rule. And you are paying for all this.

    Hopefully they squeeze out a worthy GH6 before abandoning m4/3.

    My source tells that they aim higher than GH5 both in features and price. Management fully aware that they can increase sales 3-4x going back into affordable zone, but this will make profits per one camera not acceptable, and it is now one of the main numbers you need to report on top. Sony full demise in smartphones business has same source - top management constantly demanded more models with top margins.

    On each stage, stupid decision made by managers seems like smart (in Panasonic case it had been destruction of their own m43 sensors development teams and later huge damage that they done to LSI team and factories).

  • What were they thinking with those outrageous price? No wonder people decide to jump to Sony after huge disappointment, my friend ordered A7III after the S1 announcement, even he is a GH5 user who are really satisfied with the camera, but the size and price of S1/lens is so outrageous he decide to get a7III and done with it.

  • What were they thinking with those outrageous price?

    Present price is considered small by top management. As they now buy sensors and soon will also start to buy LSI by Sony (as all their new sensors require only their own LSI) and yet they want to have bigger margin than Sony - they had no choice.

  • So, given that the new FF offerings are not so attractive, and your prediction is that m43 production will stop, what kind of cameras will Panasonic sell in the end? Nothing?

    PS This is an honest question; I am not trying to make a point.

  • @kinvermark

    It is significant probability that Panasonic turns into strange hybrid of Leica and Pentax. Walking dead brand attractive to similarly looking audience.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev LOL :-) So sad but more then likely to come true.