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Panasonic digital camera sales: not so good as expected.


Photoscala (Click here) analyzed the latest Panasonic financial report. In summary, Panasonic lost 6% sales in the second fiscal quarter and the division “Digital AVC Networks” (which includes the digital cameras) had a 7% loss compared to last years quarter.
Panasonic also announced a new group organization (Click here to download the pdf).

Editor’s note: Neither Olympus nor Panasonic are doing very well this year. But I also saw that other companies are having problems. Strong YEN, Tsunami, Fukushima and now the Thai flood. There are many reasons why japanese companies are having a bad year!

    • > ‘We’ve had everything but toads and pestilence.’
      > “The only factory that was burned during the London riots was ours. It was hard not to take it personally after a while.”

      And still technology-wise, they manage to stay on top.

      If anything else, one of the main Sony traits is the persistence.

      • Yeah, but they’ve still lost money for the fourth year in a row…

        • QuantM

          Ha-Ha, you wanted the numbers that Panny marketing sucks ?

  • Tulio

    If only they would stop sacrificing the GH2 in order to sell more “pro” Camcorders…

  • Neonart

    Both Panasonic and Olympus have the ability to make the camera, everyone’s been looking for. Rangefinder style with built-in viewfinder. Yet they’ve wasted YEARS making evolutionary updates to the same cameras they released in 2008/2009 (i.e. Viewfinderless Pens and Faux DSLRs).

    Fuji has proven the demand is there. Sony & Nikon are now in the game with the Nex7 and V1.

    With the fantastic selection of lenses for m4/3 (in comparison to NEX, Nikon 1, and NX) a camera like that could give them HUGE success that may translate to increased revenues. Doing the same thing for several more years will get them the current results up to now.

    • + 1,000,000 !!!!

    • Sorry, but please explain how you think the V1 puts Nikon in the game for the enthusiast rangefinder-like camera system we are waiting for?!

      My idea of an enthusiast camera certainly isn’t going through endless menus to change a setting like the aperture.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        Yep, menu is for things like setting date and time and selecting what front and rear dials do in A, S and M modes.
        Also NEX-7’s controls are based to cycling through control layout menu instead of direct buttons for activating change of setting.

        But it really seems that makers just either aren’t interested about making high end mirrorless system (Canikon) or design is made by marketroids fitted into older designs or for those wanting fashion. (ironically Sony A77 gets closest to what I’ve been expecting from mirrorless camera in most features)

        M4/3 would need lot more seriously differentiated bodies and could easily house them inside single system because of flexibility of mirrorless design:

        That rangefinder body for you retro and street camera whiners.

        One high end body capable to challenging DSLRs what I’ve been waiting to happen for years. (plain weather sealing could be added without extra size if you just leave out extra ruggedizing)
        – Take proper size grip (+big battery and CF slot inside it) and control layout from enthusiast/semi-pro DSLRs with rear LCD fitted to space left after controls and ergonomy instead of P&S like all space invading TV.
        – Either move EVF near enough left edge or make body end near enough lens mount so that nose doesn’t hit to body/LCD when looking into viewfinder.

        Then maybe G3 size body for small entry level DSLR form factor body.

        Couple P&S replacement bodies with possibly various levels of features depending on wanted size of the body.

        That makes five different cameras which shouldn’t be too many cameras to ask for considering Oly and Pana have managed to make 15+ (or how many it’s now?) run off the mill/dozenware versions of couple cameras in under three years.

        • Rutrem

          nice,you have just described the old Olympus E-330.

    • Alexander

      YES +1000!!!

    • Cansalt


  • FrankieT

    In this economy, that’s actually pretty good. Also, did you look at the currency results? The Yen is major strong at least against the dollar (not sure about other currencies).

    Not sure if you heard, but many people in the “western” economies are out of work, and banks are failing. To me, this is likely not a sign of product weakness, but of other macro issues.

    (oh, and don’t forget production woes from typhoons, reactor meltdowns and flooding)

    • Mr. Reeee

      No kidding. Couple that with the tsunami and Fukushima reactor disasters.
      AND the US dollar in the crapper and insane deficits.
      To top that off, China OWNS our asses!

      When can I catch the first flight to Alpha Centauri? ;-)

      • Esa Tuunanen

        > When can I catch the first flight to Alpha Centauri?
        Already getting to Mars or even Moon looks far stretched now that all available money keeps sinking to black hole called finance economy.
        (or what’s the english term for the part of economy which doesn’t consist of real production of things and services)

  • Well…MAYBE if Panasonic would listen to their international photography base and make the camera we all want …the TRUE GF1 sucessor/step-forward they would be getting more notice and be selling cameras like hot cakes!!!!!!!! “Hello, Panasonic…is anyone home? You made this AMAZING camera called the GF1…and then your company TOTALLY dropped the ball. WHY? Please take us to the next level…your share holders and your customers will BOTH be happy!” It would be your flagship camera and it would also help sell every other camera in your lineup.

    • Alexander

      + 1000 !!! But what is it that you want ?

      • MORE mechanical controls, all new sensor with improved dynamic range and better high-ISO output (it can be 12MP as far as I am concerned), faster frame rate, faster state-of-the-art focusing, new high-rez in camera range-finder-like viewfinder OR a well-designed, small optional hi-rez LVF (I am fine with either). Also, solid build quality..just like the original. If you guys want a vid cam like the GH2, with tilt screen etc….buy one of those as its already available, (and a great camera), that is what the GH line is all about.. just don’t mess with my GF sucessor basic premise!!!!) The original design was AWESOME …just take it forward and make it betterer!!! :-)

  • Berneck

    Aren’t consumer cameras a small part of Oly and Panasonics business?

    • babbit

      Yes. Cameras are a very small part of both Olympus and Pansasonic. However, both company’s camera division is struggling mightily compared with the rest of the company. That’s usually no big deal unless the losses are sustained over a long period of time. If that happens, then the board of each company will have no reason to continue funding the camera division and instead focus on businesses that are both growing and profitable.

  • Alexander

    Other good news for Pana/ Oly: (hope you take this chance/offering)

    “Warehouse express UK say they will not be filling the pre-order lsit and have been told by Sony they will not be getting NEX-7 until begining March 2012.

  • I think that the underlying issue for all of these companies is that they are, at heart, very Japanese. That is obviously working against them.

    Truly, it was the official explanation for Woodford’s dismissal from Olympus that had me worried, not the possibility of corruption. They said that he wouldn’t respect their need to represent Japanese culture.

    What? What?! No. Wrong answer. There is no culture. There is good business, and that’s it. Obviously, representing Japanese culture does well in Japan, where both Panasonic and Olympus do very well in every market in which they sell products. But outside of Japan, they are hurting.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Panasonic does have a partnership with Leica, so one would think some good, solid, German design sense, especially where cameras are involved, might rub off on the Panasonic team. Then again, it sure doesn’t look like it from here.

    • jake

      extremely well said as a Japanese , I agree entirely , they dont know business. they are stupid people and always mix up culture or tradition or emotional things with business deals and that damages all potential businesses that they ‘ve got on imo.

  • Panasonic needs to stop making so many products that are so similar to each other. Make 1 (GH2) level camera, make 1 (G) level camera, then make 1 pocket point and shoot.

    make those the best they can be.

    The should do this across their product lines..

    Having so many options just makes it confusing, and when they cripple the technology to have these variations is just insulting to the customer.

    Keep it simple, and the best.

    • jake

      yeah right on that, and I wonder if they actually do any user base survey world wide or only in Japan or in Asia?

      I think if they do serious survey in US, EU,etc , they should have known what we want from them and you know that may change their policy or marketing strategies.

      It is obvious they(Japanese) dont understand what type of cameras we want or like to own, the GF1 was a good start point but the GF2 ,etc really changed the image of Lumix line in very negative way.

  • Simon

    For Panasonic the flatscreen/tv department produced a big financial loss. Panasonic just announced it will stop producing flatscreens. Philips and other companies struggle in the tv market as well and announced the stop of production or new joint ventures.

    Digital cameras are not the reason for losses for Panasonic, so dear Admin this headline is a bit misleading to link financial loss to m43 : )

  • Ryan

    If panasonic would create a rangefinder style camera of the gf1…im pretty sure those sales would skyrocket.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Surely among the few dozen people here who are crying out for a true rangefinder style camera, it would. Elsewhere, who knows… ;-)

  • Brod1er

    So to sum up- it’s a quiet news/rumors day.

  • at

    More innovative products, fast primes and zoom lenses, better PQ including dynamic range and noise performance. Develop something asked by consumers rather than features wanted by Japanese Engineers and marketing department only. This will make profits for the company.

    • jake

      yeah right but I guess all those Panny engineers are not so photography obsessed people and they dont understand what real photographers want from MFT.

      I think they should employ MR of Luminous Landscape as a product designer or a supervisor.

      MR can tell them exactly what they need to get out at least one usable camera in the field.

      • Anonymous

        So, what will they sell next year that will top this year’s model ? Surely there must be a new “this year’s model” announcement to keep the product new among competitors.
        What will become a compelling reason to upgrade if the implementation already outpaced what innovation can bring ?

        I mean, winning the race by 10 seconds now is great, but when the split is becoming only fraction of a second, things looks… blah.

  • Rich

    Surprised no one has mentioned the long delays for product availability after introduction as a contributor to Panny’s fiscal issues in this area. How many months did most folks have to wait to get their GH2? And some will argue the point, but the lack of zooms with f2.8 or better above the 100mm equivalent holds back the whole system. This many years in, that’s unforgivable.

  • Sales not so good? Well no sh!t Panasonic. Maybe pull the crap from your ears and try listening to your customer base for a change?!?

    When you have a passionate customer base that is willing to spend the time and risk hacking their cameras to get the quality out of it that is BUILT IN the hardware in the first place it should tell you something.

    Oh why bother its not like you read either.

  • ILO

    Did anyone notice that Kodak is getting into bankruptcy and it is not even get mentioned in this forum and Pana has a one rough year because of natural calamities and there is already panic. How about American companies (or Western companies in general) not understanding what people need? It looks like Japanese engineers have a much better understanding of customers expectations than Western counterparts. Almost everything which contain engine, electronics or optics that people find useful is designed, perfected and manufactured in Japan (or Korea).

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