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Panasonic ready to attack the Canon and Nikon supremacy (Amateur Photographer)


Amateur Photographer posted some more info from the Interview with John Mitchell from Panasonic UK: ‘There’s strong growth globally. The market is growing by huge amounts, more than doubling year on year. In the UK we are expecting over 200,000 of our Compact System Cameras to be sold in the UK.

John also ensured that Panasonic will release some “exciting products“. In December 2010 Panasonic managed to have 11.3% share of the UK changeable lens camera market. And Canon and Nikon are loosing ground in favour of mirrorless cameras. John said the reason for the success is the “small size” of the cameras. And Panasonic doesn’t fear Canon/Nikon future mirrorless cameras because they can offer an already mature system (with 11 lenses).

43rumors note: Would be nice to know the market share in US. Should be very low considering that the Panasonic GH2 isn’t in Stock at Amazon US, Adorama, BHphoto.

P.S.: The black Panasonic GF2+14mm is in Stock at Amazon (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here). Check all the kits and colors availability at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

  • Boris

    The more I know Panasonic cameras the more I like them.

  • Bu

    Exciting products are great. But instead of ‘talking’ about it, how about showing us what they mean by ‘exciting’…

  • Panasonic has a couple of serious problems, AFAIC: no IBIS (I love old glass!), and no execution in the supply chain. That and ergonomics, which right now only Fuji is getting right ;-).

    • mahler

      Please, explain, what ergonomics the Fuji X100 has, the GH2 is actually missing. Dedicated controls – hard to believe. Don’t tell me about the optical view finder. It still remains to be seen if this one is really better than the VF of the GH2 and if a X100 finder can be applied to interchangeable lens cameras without penalties.

      • Simple. The X100 has an aperture ring on the lens (where it should be), and a shutter speed dial (I prefer OM style, but that’s just me).

        Using both DSLR and film cameras on a regular basis, the mechanical controls are vastly better. For me.

        Most of what passes for controls on most cameras these days are extraneous to the process of capturing images.Generic dials, especially ones the can be reconfigured for any purpose imaginable, are a poor substitute. Haptics matter.

      • Some more explication: Ergonomics are not just what controls are present, but how they are controlled, and where the controls are. Typical digital cameras put all of the controls on the right hand, leaving the left hand with little to do. This can get confusing, at least it does for me. On two dial cameras, I can never keep straight which dial does what. Part of the problem is that both dials have the same feel. On a mechanical camera, all of the controls have dedicated locations, and completely different physical feedback (haptics). The aperture feels very different from the shutter, which coincidentally enough are the only controls that really matter, other than WB, but that usually isn’t manually changed for every shot.

        The X100 has a dedicated control for the aperture, which can be controlled with the left hand. Shutter speed is on the top. These are very simple controls, and not something that can be reconfigured. The strength here is that the controls are clearly labeled. There is no confusion, a simple glance at the camera shows with the exposure is, without pushing a single button, or even needing to turn the camera on. This frees the mind from having to concentrate on how the camera works, rather than on what photo you actually want to take.

  • m43 system is still far from mature.

  • Jules

    Panasonic as announced 3 hot lens for year 2011, not counting the typical late 4th announcement.
    Pentax has announced a system. Nikon is not making it a secret. Canon, we don’t know.
    The head start is considerable indeed.

  • Norm

    Instead of saying how they are ready to take on Nikon and Canon, how about they actually start shipping products to prove it? I understand that this interview is in England and the cameras are more available there, but how about the US market? Maybe mirrorless would be growing here, too, if there were actually cameras to buy. I will state again that the entire Panasonic photo division marketing group in the US should be fired! They have failed completely to build market share in the US. Or, is this on purpose due to the poor exchange rate? Sell the cameras where you can make the most profit. Maybe we have the corporate leaders in Japan to blame. Not sure which it is, but it certainly does not look like Panasonic is ready to compete with Nikon and Canon, because I see the products of the other two companies everywhere.

    • twoomy

      +1. Couldn’t agree more. The only thing getting in the way of GH2 sales in the US is the fact that they aren’t available. Aside from lost camera sales, that hurts lens sales, accessories sales, and makes people think about buying other readily-available systems.

    • Miroslav

      “is this on purpose due to the poor exchange rate? Sell the cameras where you can make the most profit. Maybe we have the corporate leaders in Japan to blame.”

      No don’t blame them, just tell Bernanke to stop printing money. See today’s news:
      “Sigma increases the price of the 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II lens from $799 to $949” … “The price increase on the 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II was due to an increase in manufacturing costs and the current poor exchange rate.”

      I don’t know why is the richest country in the world getting the cheapest consumer electronics…

  • pdc

    Panasonic’s positioning of their CSC “compact system camera” line is interesting. Take alook at page 13 of the current (March) National Geographic. The GF2, with additional lens, is shown alongside the ZS FP and FH series of compacts with nary a mention of the benefits of interchangeable lenses. So .. perhaps the GF series is going to remain firmly in the consumer point and shoot camp, and those dreaming of EVF in the GF3 will be disappointed. What is more interesting to the enthusiast are how the G series (G2/G3) and the video GH series will be positioned. It seems logical that 3 distinct market lines exist – does Panasonic see this?

  • Chris

    Do you know how they can grow their market share? Make their cameras available for purchase less than 6 months after the release date. It will do wonders for sales.

  • frank

    It suddenly became clear! The 25/1.4 is for the GH1 and GH2, so that people buy them when comparing them to a DSLR with a 50/1.4. Now the salesman can say “this is the same quality, also has the same standard vof 1.4 lens and is more portable”. A GH2 with the 20/1.7 just looks silly and no one believes it is as good as a 1.4 equipped DSLR. So they made the 25/1.4, which is bigger and has 1.4 on it.

    BTW, I think m43 is great. I just need a panasonic 12/2, 50/1.4 and 12-50/2 please :-)

    • WT21

      What Frank said (excepting the fast zoom. Don’t care about that personally, though many others want it)

  • Jakob

    From the quality of that video, my guess is that the panasonic guys have recorded it using one of these:

  • Vevia

    Panasonic are ok cameras for starting amateurs and little old ladies. Would never use Pannys for studio work or large prints. There lens are not that great hate always multiplying x2 to get right frame…

    • Mike

      Multiplying by two is so difficult. It takes advanced calculus to figure it out.

  • Mr. Reeee

    What would Panasonic’s sales figures be if someone could simply walk into a store, try any G-Series camera and lens, then actually BUY one?

    It took me about 6 weeks of constant web surfing to find a GH2. It was even difficult to find an extra battery! I’m very happy, but what a pain. It shouldn’t be this hard to give someone your money.

    • Yes, I’ve been laughing my ass off when he said they expect to sell 200.000 cameras. They must refer to the invisible stock nobody has been able to find…

  • MikeS

    What a joke. As much as I like Panasonic’s µ4/3 offerings – I certainly own enough of them – the system is nowhere near complete, especially for professionals, and it was shown unequivocally over the last few months that their distribution and marketing abilities/priorities are completely out of whack. Nikon and Canon aren’t perfect by any means, but this is just hot air from Panasonic.

    • spam

      Of course the system is not (nearly) complete. However, MFT is the most complete mirrorless system at the moment.

      If Canon and Nikon can introduce mirrorless systems that take full advantage of existing lenses (basically that AF work well) then they’ll easily leapfrog MFT for system completeness. But if they can’t get good AF with existing lenses then they have to build a new series of lenses from scratch and that will take time.

      • RW

        You have hit the nail on the head right there. If Nikon can bring a Pen sized camera body to market that autofocuses with their existing lens lineup, that will be a serious threat to m43/43. It would be hard to believe that Nikon wouldn’t build that into their plan, but maybe their plan just ain’t that good…

    • uth

      there are normal users more than pro. in this world….. ^^”

      that’s their target… i think :)

      • MikeS

        The point is that the system doesn’t do enough to please any given type of user, imo. They’re making big strides in the consumer market with the GF2, but I’d say they have disappointed enthusiasts and are unfeasible for professionals with lack of lenses and the availability of the GH2/its accessories. That’s not close to knocking Canon/Nikon off of the top of the heap. See also Thom Hogan’s recent commentary regarding enthusiasts.

        • pdc

          GH2 accessories seem more readily available – I have all mine (spare battery, AC/DC adapters, microphone, remote control) – just waiting on the camera ordered February 14 – present forecast is to ship March 17.

  • cheperico

    They have a very interesting strategy against Canon: anounce a better DSLR (I mean better in video quality) 6 months before start shipping (only a few for people like Philip Bloom).

    Waiting stock, I didn’t buy anything (once I almost buy an EP2 + TM700 or similar camcoder, but I want to use my old OM glass to shoot at 1080!). By the way, maybe Sony gives us something almost as good as GH2 but with a very simple spec: possible to buy it.

    I mean, Panasonic, I’ll hate you until GH2 is in stock (then, my love will depend on the camera’s quality)

    Oh! I really love OM’s shutter ring just next to the mount (instead of next to the ISO ring).

    • pdc

      Don’t wait on store stock – pre-order!

      • cheperico

        I live in Argentina, where a Panasonic G1 is as expensive as a Nikon D90, and a Nikon D90 here is as expensive as a D7000 in USA (maybe you can find a GF1, but just dream about getting a GH1 or any other PEN than the EPL1).

        I have to buy when someone I know comes from Europe or USA. Preordering may end up in waiting another 6 months, but with the camera getting old in the box.

        • pdc

          And you can’t import from an on-line store?

  • There’s a silver gh2 in stock on Amazon right now. Here’s a link:

  • It was the UK ‘Amateur Photographer’ interview and recording, who has no affiliation with Panasonic whatsoever, and by watching their AP 2011 ceremony one may notice that they foresee the Canon and Nikon changing the mirrorless ILC market as soon as they decide to make one:
    This is the same company which awarded the 2011 Product of Year to Canon’s EOS 60D (!?)
    Thus, the rather silly question about fighting with Canon and Nikon is not for nothing, even though the true enemy of Panasonic (and MFT system) is rather Sony.
    We should see this year at what direction Panasonic and Olympus will go, but at the moment I would rather bet on the MFT than on NEX, NX or rumored “Nikon Coolpix Pro”.

    • rampart

      the true enemy of panasonic is not sony. . .it’s panasonic

      • The enemy is always yourself for everything, isn’t it. For company, for human, for career and motivation.

        • Igorek7

          I agree on that, but in my comment I referred on a long history of rivalry between Sony and Panasonic.

  • They have like… two years of sales figure to grow from ? Would it sounds reasonable enough for that double growth he talked about.

    Want to see how he would say if it has decades of sales figure to grow against.

  • Nikon is not a threat. Their present lenses are all pdaf. If they release a new mirrorless system based on cdaf, they need new lenses. Furthermore, similar to mft, the adapted lenses will be HUGE on the bodies. So it’s not possible Nikon will have any advantage immediately.

    Mft is still way ahead as a system.

  • I think I may know why the GH2 is in such short supply, and it’s not the body or the sensor holding things up. It’s the 14-42 kit lens, which has proven to be surprisingly popular. I come to this conclusion because I called Panasonic about why the body only and 14-140 options are available from Panasonic direct, but not the 14-42 kit. The kind person on the other side explained that the 14-42 is hopelessly back ordered and they don’t know when they will get some more.

    Is this the reason for the mysterious shortage?

    • Cteve

      “Is this the reason for the mysterious shortage?”

      The reason is obvious marketing. That’s it.

  • Rick

    I decided in Sept of 2010 that I wanted to buy a GH1. I live in a city of 300,000 people and there are NO stores that sell it. I did get to see a G2 in a camera store and decided this is what I really want to buy. Then I couldn’t buy GH1 because it was discontinued and couldn’t buy the announced GH2 but it would be available real soon. Well, long story short I just got my GH2 with 14-140 about a week ago. I ended up purchasing it from a Canadian camera store on-line.
    That is just ridiculous. Very few people would put up with that.

  • A mature system? with half a dozen fisheyes/ultrawides, one almost-normal lens, and half a dozen long dark zooms?


    I don’t mean to diss on Pana/Oly, but I think calling M4/3 a mature system is to have delusions of grandeur.

  • Its still a small sensor. Mature to me means these things have “full size” sensors.

    • spam

      So “mature” mean a bigger sensor than the lenses are designed for? Wouldn’t that be a waste? Btw, what is Full size – 6×4.5, 6×6, 6×9 or maybe something larger?

      • Nah… It ain’t mature unless its at least whole-plate size.

  • henrik

    “Panasonic ready to attack the Canon and Nikon supremacy”


  • People still ask me what Lumix is when they look at my GH1, when ‘normal’ people start to associate Lumix to Panasonic, then yes, you can say the system it’s mature…

    If you ask a bunch of people for camera makers, in my country, people will go Canon, then perhaps Nikon, Olympus or Fujifilm…. Ask them if Panasonic makes good cameras and they will go: “Panasonic sells cameras?”

    • Miroslav

      Lumix is maybe too prominent on Panasonic cameras. Some P&S owners even do not notice Panasonic branding. A friend of mine tried to convince me those are two separate companies.

      Whether Panasonic is doing that on purpose, I don’t know.

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