May 23, 2011
Posted in news

An analysis about the present and future of Panasonic and Olympus (by Thom Hogan)

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I want to focus your attention on the latest article from Thom Hogan (Click here to visit the website). He starts with the following statement: “Welcome to the beginning of the end of the digital SLR era.” The “DSLR unit sales have been flat and appear about to fall. Revenue per unit has fallen. Household penetration for DSLRs peaked some time ago, and much of the market now is replacement, not new sales.

He described the situation of all non Nikon and non Canon camera companies. I am going to copy the Panasonic/Olympus part only. Please read his article to read the full text at bythom.com.

Olympus/Panasonic: made a big bet on m4/3 taking the DSLR initiative away at the low end. Both pretty much neglected or abandoned any traditional DSLR approach to do so, which on Olympus’ side has alienated customers. Both increased their overall interchangeable lens camera sales significantly with their strategy, but at a lower price point. Still, they haven’t really blunted the low-end Canon and Nikon DSLR sales, they augmented them. Status: tenuous foothold at the low end, very tenuous above that. Forecast: continued tough road ahead.

What do you think about his opinion? I added the latest sales analysis graph made by BCNranking about the Japanese system camera market shares. As you can see on the graph (see image on top of the post) 69% of all sold system cameras are DSLR’s and 31% are Mirrorless. Mirrorless market share reached the top in December 2011 with 36,7%. But my guess is that market share has fallen because there wasn’t any real new product (only the slightly upgraded E-PL2). And the lens repertory from all current mirrorless system is still “immature”. I predict a further advancement of the Mirrorless market after the June announcements (Panasonic, Olympus, Sony and Samsung will release new cameras and lenses).

P.S.: You can see on Amazon that most cameras in the TOP 20 are compacts and DSLR cameras. Mirrorless is still not so popular as in Japan:
Amazon US rankings (Click here)
Amazon DE rankings (Click here)
Amazon UK rankings (Click here)
Amazon FR rankings (Click here)
Amazon IT rankings (Click here)

May 22, 2011
Posted in Rumors

(Downgraded from FT3 to FT2) UPDATED: Olympus E-P3 and E-PL3 to be announced on June 3? And mini Olympus model.

UPDATE: The translation from google was not correct and the webmaster from Digicam info was so kind to contact me. He also said the info is from a new source (not a trusted known source!). That’s why I downgraded the rumor form FT3 to FT2 (see the rumor classification on the bottom of the post if you don’t know what this means).

The japanese blog Digicam Info (Click here) says the new Olympus E-P3 and E-PL3 will be announced in June the 3rd. And there will be a new Olympus mini too! All three cameras will feature the same 12 Megapixel sensor and will not have any built-in viewfinder. Digicam Info was the website that posted the (correct) rumor about the E-PL1s. Anyway I would be very careful with that information. Some of my new sources are giving me “different” rumors. I am  still waiting for my trusted sources to disclose the “real” details. That Olympus will replace the E-PL2 after only 6 months(!!!) sounds a bit nonsense. And why replace it with an E-PL3 having the same sensor? Hmmm…

Digicam info also says the new Olympus mini camera will be a a mini model ideal for women! Should we expect a sort of Minox camera? (Click here to see the Minox).

As I said take all with a grain of salt!

Reminder -> Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

Via Photorumors

May 21, 2011
Posted in deals

There is one single GH2 in Stock at Amazon for the normal price…but you have to find it :)

Samy’s is currently selling two GH2 cameras for $1699 at Amazon US (Click here). That’s $200 more than the usual price. But if you click on that “refurbished” button you will find one kit in Stock for $1499. And actually it’s not a refurbished camera. It’s an open box demo in like new conditions (and with full warranty).

There are couple of deals today:
The XZ-1 price felt down to $466 at Amazon US (Click here). And the very cool XZ-1 auto lens cap is in Stock at Amazon (Click here).
Panasonic G2 body only for $349.95 on BHphoto (Click here).
And Fuji X100 preorders are back -> Amazon US (Click here).

May 21, 2011
Posted in Rumors

Working on both Olympus and Panasonic rumors (thanks for all rumors you sent to me).

It’s pretty busy here in the rumors world. I received dozens of rumors from new sources and I want to thank them all! As you can imagine I have to cross check all rumors with my reliable sources.

There are two things I have to keep in mind when I work with rumors:
1) I know the big companies often do spread false rumors
2) Sources can intentionally or unintentionally share some wrong information. Also trusted sources gave me (unintentionally) wrong rumors in the past!

There are a couple of things I am working on:

1) The Panasonic GF camera specs.
I also got a rumor from new sources about a second GF camera which will be announced in a couple of months.

2) The Panasonic 25mm f/1.4
I am trying to find out the price of the lens (hope it’s not over $700)

3) The new Olympus PEN camera(s)
So will there be one or two new PEN cameras in June? Got some more rumors from new sources and I can only say the answer seems to be more YES for teo PEN models :)

4) The new Olympus lenses
While most of the sources are pretty sure the 12mm 2.0 lens is coming there is some conflicting report about the second portrait lens. I have been told Olympus had a couple of different options. This might be the cause of the conflict.

Anyway, all that stuff is coming in June! You can expect me to post FT4 FT5 rumors at any time! Stay tuned :)

May 21, 2011
Posted in Rumors

GF2 not selling well (and where to find the GF1)

I am in touch with many dealers to talk about the present and future Micro Four Thirds cameras. We are not talking about rumors only but also about hard facts. The dealers confirmed the Panasonic GF2 is not selling as well as the older Panasonic GF1. They are currently selling more NEX cameras than GF2. Most of the dealers do think that Panasonic should make two kind of GF cameras, one ultra-compact and tiny model to compete against the NEX-C3 and a more advanced and bigger model with full manual controls and maybe built-in EVF. The current GF2 simply is neither fish nor fowl. Let’s see what kind of GF camera Panasonic will announce! In times like this I am having a lot of fun working on rumors. I really feel that some of the products we will see during June will be very much appreciated by the Micro Four Thirds folks.

And if you like me are looking for good cameras for a cheap price you have to look on current GF1 deals. You can get that camera for less than any high end compact with tiny sensor:
Silver GF1 body for 249 Euro at Foto Video Digital Mundus (Click here).
Black GF1 body for 279 Euro at Der Foto Brell GmbH (Click here).
Red GF1 body for 249 Euro at Foto Video Digital Mundus (Click here).
Silver GF1 with 14-42mm lens for 429 Euro at Foto Video Digital Mundus (Click here).

Feel free to add links to other stores if you can find come nice deal! Thanks! And stay tuned on 43rumors!!!

UPDATE: And take a look at the mirrorless roadmap at MirrorlessRumors.com!

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