Panasonic Interview: Their Latest Updates and a Quick Glimpse of What the Future Holds

February 27th, 2024 Jump to Comment Section 15

CineD was present at the CP+ 2024, and we had the pleasure to interview Toshiyuki Tsumura-san, Executive Vice President of Panasonic and Director of the Imaging Business Unit, who gave us some insights about the brand movements regarding cameras, lenses, and the upcoming fusion between the consumer and professional divisions. 

Panasonic users eagerly await the release of new lenses and cameras, especially after the company announced the fusion between their professional and consumer divisions. The new versions of the LUMIX S1 and S1H could be around the corner; we will know in the next few months. If it serves as a clue, B&H launched an insane discount on the LUMIX S5II including the LUMIX S 85mm days ago.

"Colors of LUMIX" at CP+2024.
“Colors of LUMIX” at CP+2024. Credit: CineD

Panasonic’s new lenses and plans 

The Panasonic booth at CP+ was under the theme “Colors of LUMIX: find your colors”, and it focused on the S5II and S5IIX from the S5 series, the recently released full-frame lenses (100mm macro and 28-200mm zoom), and the G9II from the G series. The booth offered color-themed seminar stages and workshops, and a space for creators to use the Real Time LUT function.

At the Panasonic booth, CP+ 2024
At the Panasonic booth, CP+ 2024. Credit: CineD

During the interview, we asked about the new LUMIX S Panasonic 28-200mm F4/7.1 MACRO O.I.S Superzoom, and Tsumura-san told us that the brand wanted to offer creators the experience of having a wide range of focal lengths in the size of a standard prime lens. The 28-200mm uses aspherical lens technology to miniaturize the optical system and is the smallest and lightest high-magnification full-frame zoom lens. Its portability and wide range of focal lengths make it ideal for users who are looking for a kit lens that can perform in a diverse amount of scenarios. 

Panasonic has put a lot of effort into growing their LUMIX S line of lenses, and we asked Tsumura-san the reasons behind that decision. As the S5 series was so well received, the brand wanted to develop a line of lenses that matched the small S5 bodies, offering a high level of performance while being compact and lightweight. The LUMIX S 100mm Macro lens, launched in February, weighs only 298g/0.65lb and fits those characteristics. 

The company’s philosophy is to “always walk together with creators”, breaking the boundaries of photography and video to grow with them. In that sense, Tsumura-san refers to the real-time LUT function available for the first time in the S5II as a tool to expand creators’ needs and go beyond the traditional Panasonic picture profiles by breaking the photo-video barriers.

Toshiyuki Tsumura-san
Toshiyuki Tsumura-san. Credit: CineD

Cameras: full-frame and Micro Four Thirds.

As the LUMIX G9II entered the market with outstanding features and PDAF, we asked Tsumura-san about its reception and whether its popularity affected the LUMIX GH6 sales. In his own words, sales have remained steady in the G9II for photography and hybrid users. At the same time, the GH6 has maintained its popularity thanks to its video features and codec options, even after the G9II was released. The company sees these cameras as tools with different personalities and target users. 

As you may know, we recently published a poll about Panasonic full-frame vs MFT cameras. In that regard, when asked if it made sense to continue with the MFT line instead of focusing on full-frame due to its success, Tsumura-san answered that the company’s strategy is to meet the needs of a wide range of customers by offering options in both mounts. According to him, MFT cameras deliver quality while broadening their use scenarios. For example, for hikers and mountain climbers, the G9II combined with the 100-400mm enables 1600mm super-telephoto shooting. For a full-frame camera to achieve that focal length, the weight and investment would make it much more difficult. The value of MFT cameras resides in providing these experiences more easily than a full-frame model would do. 

Panasonic LUMIX at CP+ 2024
Panasonic LUMIX at CP+ 2024. Credit: CineD

Integration and collaboration with creators in mind

Tsumura-san, as the director of Panasonic business, brought together the professional and consumer divisions to work closely by integrating them. The reason behind that decision was that the consumer and professional photography and video worlds are becoming borderless. That is also happening with the equipment, so merging both divisions will allow the company to make new proposals for both customer types and for the new needs that arise in between. This philosophy is reinforced by increasing the number of partners and collaborating with other brands like LEICA.

The Panasonic motto ‘Motion. Picture. Perfect.’ responds to the erasing of barriers between video and photography. Panasonic wants to give users the freedom of creation in both areas by offering gear with superior value more than any other system and allowing creators to change their works’ personalities depending on the situation. 

Panasonic LUMIX. What will the future look like?
Panasonic LUMIX. What will the future look like? Credit: CineD

Panasonic interview – some words about the future

We conveyed our followers’ inquiries to Tsumura-san regarding the potential release of a successor to the EVA1 camera or the continuity of the Varicam camera line. According to Tsumura-san, the brand listens carefully to their customers while also grasping the market’s needs, but he did not mention anything about any specific camera. 

Regarding Panasonic’s collaboration with Leica, the first results are visible in the S5II series and the G9II, all equipped with Leica image creation and Panasonic processing technology. The G9II also features the Leica monochrome profile, whose certification was difficult to obtain before the collaboration. In the future, the brand will keep the partnership alive by offering new value and ‘revitalizing the camera industry’. 

What do you think of Panasonic’s latest moves? Is there any camera/lens from the brand that you would like to see in the future? Let us know in the comments below!


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