Dpreview had a nice chat with Panasonic manager Yamane. The key take aways are:
– New mid range L-mount camera is coming as next
– 8K camera is not coming any time soon
– No APS-C L-mount camera is on their roadmap because they plan to keep developing MFT
In more detail this is what he had to say:
Regarding S1-S1R sales:
we have gained roughly a 10% market share, globally. That was the result we were hoping for. Over the past eight months we’ve been able to penetrate that market and we are satisfied with the sales, so far.
About the S1H:
We believe that our video features are one or two steps ahead of our competitors, and we have an advantage there. For example, with the S1H which we released a few months ago, the sales performance is exceeding our original expectations. But the video performance of the S1H was designed to meet the needs of high-end videographers and cinematographers, so for amateur or hobby videographers, the S1H may be over-specced.
L-mount and MFT:
We will keep developing cameras for both categories – full-frame and Micro Four Thirds.
Why it’s important to stick with MFT:
Some manufacturers, as you know, are making very small lenses, compatible with full-frame, but we think that to do this, they needed to sacrifice lens quality to a certain extent. That’s how they are able to make them so small. That means that those lenses are not fully utilizing the benefits of the full-frame sensor. When it comes to Micro Four Thirds, we can fully utilize the benefits of the sensor, and we believe that as a combination, the overall quality of Micro Four Thirds can be very good.
As of now, we have no plans to enter the APS-C market, because we know that Micro Four Thirds and full-frame can coexist without any cannibalization. If we moved into APS-C, there might be some overlap between Micro Four Thirds and APS-C, and between APS-C and full-frame, so I don’t think we’ll go in that direction.
Future L-mount cameras:
To prove the quality of our cameras. In the future, we’re going to introduce mid-class, and different ranges of cameras.
The number of members of the L-mount alliance may increase in the future
We will be ready for 8K soon, but we can’t tell you the timing. We need a little bit longer before we can introduce 8K cameras. It won’t be [in the very near future].