Panasonic wants to become one of the top 3 camera makers and to build a super-thin, super-light and super-high picture quality camera


Panasonic just published the “Reports Fiscal 2010 Annual Results” and the “New Midterm Management Plan
In the digital still camera business, Panasonic aims to be one of the industry’s top three makers by achieving sales of 20 million units per year. In the digital interchangeable lens system camera business, the company strives to achieve the world’s smallest and lightest camera. Establishing a dedicated marketing structure for its single lens cameras in each major region of the world, Panasonic will target a market share of 10 percent or more in the segment. In the compact camera category, Panasonic aims to capture new demand mainly in emerging countries by strengthening its lineup through collaboration with SANYO. Further, Panasonic will advance its black-box technologies in lenses and optical image stabilizer to build a super-thin, super-light and super-high picture quality camera

A super-thin camera? Sounds good! Can’t wait to see that on Photokina :)

via: noisycamera

  • rUY

    What Panasonic said, actually making more sense and realistic than what was heard from Samsung. Panasonic made their statement focus on product and vision of the industry. rather than making big words but no solid direction.

  • ck

    From their recent Micro Four Thirds models – G2 and G10, they don’t seem to be heading to that “super thin”, “super high quality” direction. They use the good-old G1 sensor on a DSLR-like (albeit smaller) body – unlike what we see from Oly on E-PL1.

    Anyway, I believe in Panasonic and I’m hopeful that they are really committed to the Micro Four Thirds roadmap.

  • at

    Glad to hear the vision of Panasonic. Hopefully, the “super-thin, super-light and super-high picture quality camera” will be the rumored LX4 or LX5.

  • Miroslav

    I agree with ck. They better get going in making “world’s smallest and lightest” ILC, because ( if Sony NEX rumors are correct ) they are third out of four, with only Samsung behind. In lens IS won’t help either …

    I hope they will respond to Sony challenge, I always found their products better quality and better value for money than Sony’s.

  • Graphie

    I agree with;At.

    We are waiting for the Panasonic LX-4 since a long time and the most realistic is to think that it will this “super-thin, super-light and super-high picture quality camera” , not a new concept between compact and µ43.

    This new LX-4 will have probably a 1/1.3″ sensor (back-illuminated) : a intermediate size between compact (1/2.3”) and µ43. Just that is necessary to build a real compact and thin camera with a real good image quality.


  • J

    The importance of a vision statement is the ‘You can’t get there from here, but you can get here from there’ idea. You figure out where you want to get to, and then work backwards for the steps needed to achieve it. m43 is already a huge step in that direction. Compare m43 to dSLR or compact cameras. In each comparison they are achieving elements of their vision statement. Smaller and slimmer than traditional changeable lens cameras, better image quality than compacts.

    They aren’t saying they will have the ideal camera that has all those traits in a quarter or a year, or ever technically, as there will be compromises the first two goals require that limit the third goal. However its a fine vision statement to help their engineers ask the question. Is this new feature or technology moving us towards zero, one, two or all three of our stated tech goals, or is it moving us towards our goal of market share in some other way? (Lowering costs, providing better user interface).

    What I do think is interesting is the different focus on emerging countries that will require lower price points and margins most likely for upcoming line of compacts, likely simpler and lower end than some of the ones we’ve gotten used to from them.

    Anyway, have to look at these things outside our wish lists of what we think they could do better and look at it as what they are already doing.

  • Din

    How thin, light and small is enough?
    Would a SD size camera the right size?
    Probably the next Pana will have a small LCD maybe arround 2″.

    I think it is a little obsesive.

    Ergonomic, handle, confort are all together and in harmony with size.

  • Chris

    Whoa, they didn’t say they wanted to make a super-thin ILC camera, they said “build a super-thin, super-light and super-high picture quality camera.”

    I think some people here need to realize that the laws of physics limits the size at which you can build a camera with a large sensor and interchangeable lenses. Seems like a lot of people want things that are just not possible, like an LX3 with a micro 4/3s sensor with a 24-200mm lens at f/2.0 or an EVIL with a lens with an f/0.95, both of which will fit snugly into their pants pockets. It’s just not feasible… you’ll never get something like that from ANY company.

    And about the G-series… Panasonic is continuing with that body shape because of focus groups who prefer the SLR body style to a rangefinder one. They still have the GF-series they can expand on. Be patient and they’ll deliver the goods. Just be glad there is a company out there willing to make what people want while still being realistic about what photographers need.

  • Derek

    I agree. “too small” does exist. I for one will not be buying the gf replacement if it is any smaller.

  • at

    That’s right. A M4/3 EVIL from Panasonic can be smallest and lightest (especially compared with APS-C EVIL) because of in-lens OIS, but probably by trimming the GF1 and using some lighter plastic materials by a fraction only, and you can expect the product will be GF2.

    As it has mentioned about the “black-box technologies”, it will quite obvious that it is not an ILC. Therefore, it is very likely the “super-thin camera” will be the rumored LX4 or LX5, which will be a DC.

    It is totally ridiculous if we have ultra-compact body but huge lenses due to the physical dimensions and crop factor of M4/3 sensor.

  • I’m in.

  • rUY

    I cannot imagine a m4/3 at LX size and so do a lot of people have some sense of sensor, distortion or flange distance…etc. it is a question of relativity. and don’t be too science that limit the creativity. currently, m43 have rooms to make it smaller, lighter by material, smaller electronic components. but it doesn’t mean it will reduce it comfort when holding it. a better grab could be achieved by design, I believe. again, look at the statements they made, far better than Samsung.

  • Bu

    Could be interesting, shame about the lengthy development cycle we are all subject to…

  • LX3 with 4/3

    @Chris: As for the laws of physics, what do you think would be technically feasible for a LX3 successor?

    Why not fitting a 4/3 sensor into a LX3 like body, with a 28 – 85 mm, f.2.8 expandable lens? I for one starving for such a camera that fits into my pocket. What do you think would be the size of a camera with specs I listed above?

    I#m looking for a camera that is pocket sized with the capability to manual focus (with a shallow depth of field).

    I really don’t see a sense in these ultra compact 4/3 or APS-C cameras, cause when a suitable walk-around-lens is attached, you’ll loose any of it’S portability.

  • Miroslav

    Dimensions of Sony NEX, which has an APS-C sensor show that m4/3 bodies can shrink more. Not to credit card size of course :), but to 100 x 60 x 30 mm surely. No need for DSLR-sized Panasonics …

    Panasonic 17mm F1.7 shows that small fast lenses can be produced. The same can be said for ultra wide lenses judging by Olympus 9-18 mm. There is small collapsable Olympus 14-42 mm zoom, while manufacturers have not yet shown a compact ( enough ) superzoom. It’s a pity Oly has chosen not to make 14-150 mm smaller.

    So, you can make a pretty compact system at the moment, but I think there are smaller to come. That was the prime objective when taking out the mirror out of camera. If independent manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron start producing lenses for mirrorless systems, we can expect even more portability …

  • at

    It really depends on what you are looking for in-terms of the quality of lens. The manufacturer can make a smaller lens with fewer and smaller lens elements, but you know the result will be higher CA and edge distortion. I think Olympus and Panasonic aim to produce good quality lenses with reasonable prices (based on its quality comparable with lenses designed for APS-C or full-frame sensors). Everyone has different requirements between quality and portability, but more lens manufacturer will still be good to provide different optional choices for users.

  • Well they’re going about it the right way, which is one of the reasons I’m now using a GF1. Their choice of lenses, particularly with the 20mm and 7-14mm is spot on for the segment.

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