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Old Sep 19, 2008, 5:06 PM   #1
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Hi Guys and Gals!

I stumbled on an interesting bit of news over at the leica forum - interviews with Panasonic on the M43 Pana G1, target market, whats in store technology wise, etc:

Matsushita takes out 'R' from Digital SLR Camera

http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english...080916/158026/

New AF Camera shoots sharper HD Video

http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english...080917/158113/

Development of a Mirrorless Digital SLR

http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english...080918/158204/

A good read in my opinion as it tells us more of what to expect from PanaLeica and Oly:

Target Market for the m43:

"Many ladies and beginners are intimidated by existing digital single-lens reflex cameras, and few of them fully utilize the camera," the company said. "We are going to change this situation."

EVF:
"We have created the world's most beautiful EVF, which was the top priority in our development," Matsushita said.

AF speed:

"According to Matsushita, while the focusing speed is approximately 0.2 to 0.5 seconds for normal phase-detect autofocus systems used in single-lens reflex cameras, that of the DMC-G1 is about 0.3 seconds, although it employs a contrast-detect system generally believed to be slow in focus speed. The 0.3-second focusing speed was realized when the focus point of a standard zoom lens was switched from infinite to 2m. "

Lenses:

"Yes. We prioritized modest price in the development of the "Lumix G lens," an interchangeable lens that we have just announced. However, we have a plan to sell Leica-branded products, which are characterized by very high image quality."

HD Video:

"Our new product will be the world's first camera that features an interchangeable lens and can use an auto focus function for high-definition movies," Matsushita said. "Auto focus functions are essential for consumer models. Even high-definition broadcast cameras are normally equipped with them because it is very difficult to adjust the focus by looking through an optical viewfinder with the naked eye.

Now all they Panaleica or OLy need to do is make a version that looks like a smaller DMC LC1 add a nice fast 14-50 f2.0-2.2 Summricon or HG ZD and we'd have a cooking street cam! Oh and Oly to fix the AF issue.

Cheers

Harj

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Old Sep 19, 2008, 5:57 PM   #2
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It'll be interesting to see how this system develops. You've got guys over in the Olympus DSLR forum wanting everything from a 14-35 f2 to f1.4 (or faster)primes...all of whichwould be higher-priced optics, while I THINK the primary focus of this system is as a bridge camera between the digicams/megazooms to the DSLR crowd, with the aim to keep things as small and affordableas possible for those who don't want to invest in a heavier/bulkierDSLR system.

If they keepthe opticstoo simple, the DSLR crowd will just yawn, and f they make it too big, the other side won't want it, and I've already seen more than one or two complaints about how it's too big, but manyfrom that sidethink digicams like the Panasonic TZ5 are too big as well, so there's definitely one group or the other that won't be happy with whatever choice they are given. I still think most digicam users would rather just buy something like the Panasonic FZ28 that is much smaller than even the G1 andhas all the focal lengths they want in one lens that they don't have to bother changing.

You'll wind up seeing people like FZ50 users replacing their camera with this. Even with the better AF speed, I don't think this is going to be a camera that can be used for subjects like sports, especially evening events where you have to both be able to track subjects as they move and shoot bursts while being able to follow the action at the same time. I know they say the tracking AF on this camera will be good, but tracking onlyis one thing....tracking AND shooting high speed bursts is another.

I wouldn't want to be the one, or in the group having to decide how much of each market gets what they want.
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Old Sep 19, 2008, 6:39 PM   #3
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Hi Greg,

You bring up some interesting points relative to who the potential buyer of this concept really is and what niche does it really fill.

From my perspectiveI see the G-1 being an ideal camera to take with you on a special vacation where you really want better quality than the average P&S digicam can produce as well as the flexibility of add'l lenses. Essentially, aDSLR but not the bulk. Actually, I bought the Olympus C-5060WZ specifically for this reason when my wife and I went on a Mediterranean cruise back in '04.

It also has the potential to be a good street camera. Again, good quality images from a diminutive camera that's easy on the back and neck when you go walking in a city all day.

As to who the buyer actually is? My guess is the current crop of DSLR users. Who understand and can appreciate the camera for what it is and the flexibiltiy it offers. Probably why your'e seeing many posts for fast primes and high quality glass. I'd love to be able to go on our next cruise armed with a G-1 and a couple of really fine lense that I can stick in my pocket. The reality is that I've already an E-510 with a sgnificant investment in lenses. If I didn't, I'd most likely get in line for one.

Most of the articles I've read say that there is a large market of P&S digicam users out there that want a small'high quality'camera that can accept lenses.I personally don't see it. Most, actually, allof the people I know, friends and relations have a simple digicam that they can take a snapshot with. And, that's all they want. I can't see them buying anything like the G-1. Especially for the price that the G-1 will be released at.

Only time will tell how this whole idea is accepted in the marketplace. Maybe it's time to buy some stock in Panasonic:idea:

Zig




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Old Sep 19, 2008, 6:58 PM   #4
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The actual body of the G1 is not much bigger than an FZ28, once the lens is added.
I think it's a good strategy to keep the lenses simple. It will reduce costs & size, and make it more attractive for current P&S users to buy this sort of camera. If people really want better lenses, they could use the micro4/3 to 4/3 adapter with best quality lenses they would like to use! To me, they have all their bases covered.

I think the HD video in the NEXT camera will end up being the clincher!! How many cheaper HD videocams with interchangeable lenses are there? Zero.
Imagine using your best lenses for HD video!!!

The other requirement is a large zoom range lens. If they can get a 14-180mm or a 14-150mm lens on the table (more likely from Olympus??), then they will capture the ultrazoom market as well.
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Old Sep 19, 2008, 7:49 PM   #5
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not sure if everyone has seen this but it's a good read on the G-1:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCG1/DMCG1A.HTM


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Old Sep 19, 2008, 8:07 PM   #6
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HarjTT wrote:
Quote:
"Many ladies and beginners are intimidated by existing digital single-lens reflex cameras, and few of them fully utilize the camera," the company said. "We are going to change this situation."
Now if only they can change their sexist attitudes!

It's shameful that a worldwide company is promoting a product like that in the 21st century! In North America that type of advertising was abolished in the early 70's; if Panasonic did that ad here there would be protests and boycotts.

Personally I know a lot of women who would be personally offended at that remark since they use large, complicated cameras that make the E-3 (with grip) look like the G1 compared to the camera they use.

What Panasonic SHOULD have said was, "it's so hassle-free even children can use it." Although I may have been a little upset since I was using a 6x6 that required using both a light meter and rangefinder when I was six years old!

Thought Panasonic was supposed to be "just a little bit ahead of its time" not still in the dark ages!

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Old Sep 20, 2008, 8:00 AM   #7
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Mikefellh wrote:
Quote:
HarjTT wrote:
Quote:
"Many ladies and beginners are intimidated by existing digital single-lens reflex cameras, and few of them fully utilize the camera," the company said. "We are going to change this situation."
Now if only they can change their sexist attitudes!

It's shameful that a worldwide company is promoting a product like that in the 21st century! In North America that type of advertising was abolished in the early 70's; if Panasonic did that ad here there would be protests and boycotts.

Personally I know a lot of women who would be personally offended at that remark since they use large, complicated cameras that make the E-3 (with grip) look like the G1 compared to the camera they use.

What Panasonic SHOULD have said was, "it's so hassle-free even children can use it." Although I may have been a little upset since I was using a 6x6 that required using both a light meter and rangefinder when I was six years old!

Thought Panasonic was supposed to be "just a little bit ahead of its time" not still in the dark ages!
It's quite possible this was a direct translation from a Japanese Panasonic spokesman. There is less political correctness in Japan, than in most western countries.
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