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News & Insight

Panasonic Needs To Do One Thing To Take All Our Money

By Wendell Weithers on September 3rd 2017

January isn’t the month you typically associate with the term “blockbuster release” but, Panasonic made a case to change that with its announcements at the outset of this year. It debuted a lineup that featured the new GH5 and a full reboot of its marquee zoom lenses. In doing so, it simultaneously set the pace for the industry in this camera cycle and redefined what we should consider a worthy camera update.

[REWIND: ENTERING BEAST MODE | PANASONIC RELEASES THE LONG-AWAITED GH5]

Panasonic came out serving specs like pancakes during an “All You Can Eat” promotion at IHOP. Your GH5 came fully loaded with the promise of more to come in short order. And yet, its most glaring weakness still remained; sensor size. No matter how much micro four-thirds sensors improve, the low light ability of contemporary larger sensor cameras has oriented our preferences to ask for more. This demand will always serve as a deterrent to a segment of potential buyers and has created an opening for third parties to profit from Panasonic’s success.

[REWIND: PANASONIC MAKES GOOD ON PROMISES WITH NEW GH5 FIRMWARE | ALL-I 4K, HYBRID LOG GAMMA, 10K ANAMORPHIC MODE]

 

Manufacturers like Metabones know that, for many filmmakers, a budget for a GH5 includes the additional cost of a speed booster. In spite of Panasonic’s best efforts to fortify their product, a hole remained in its armor and improving light-gathering ability is the best means to mend it.

It stands to reason, that if Panasonic knows a significant percentage of their customers are budgeting an additional $650 dollars to maximize the use of their product, they should find a way to persuade those customers to spend it with them.

They’ve already done this with their DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone Adapter. They know that the person who buys a GH5, whether professional or advanced enthusiast, is the kind of consumer who takes their video seriously; which means they also value high-quality audio. Every budget for a GH5 is potentially attached to an audio budget; and with this accessory, Panasonic puts their hands deeper into your pockets. With their own speed booster, they might just take all your money.

But, there are more reasons.

First, they can probably do it better. A Metabones adaptor is like your average translator who doesn’t share the native tongue of the two parties with whom he’s communicating. No matter how much the translator tries, it would be far more efficient if one of those two parties spoke the language of the other. Case in point, Panasonic can speak Canon better; whose lenses are very likely to find themselves on the front of a GH5. And even though it doesn’t possess class-leading video autofocus, any improvement Panasonic makes would be better communicated through a native device.

[Rewind: GH5 AUTOFOCUS SHOWDOWN WITH MAX YURYEV & PHOTOJOSEPH]

Second, it’s just good business. Today’s video consumer is not content with receiving only what camera brands are willing to offer. We like brands who are responsive and adapt their service and products to how we use them.

The brand that does this is the brand that earns our trust,  our loyalty, and our money. If Panasonic develops a superior speed booster, it would round out a robust filmmaking experience that is already arguably best in class.

What do you think?

Should Panasonic offer their own Speed Booster?

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If you have a better idea, I’d love to hear it!

More GH5 Related Articles

WHAT PANASONIC CAN & MUST DO TO STAY RELEVANT IN VIDEO AGAINST SONY

TOP 3 GH5 ALTERNATIVES WITH LOG | 4K FOR UNDER $2K

PANASONIC’S GH5 ANNOUNCED WITH 4K 60P AND THREE LEICA LENSES

THE PANASONIC GH5 IS SHOWING EVIDENCE OF REAL AUTOFOCUS PROBLEMS

Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ivan Ivanov

    If they make own speed booster, they’re saying – our lenses are crap. It’s very bad idea.

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  2. Shiv Naimpally

    I doubt Panasonic will offer their own speed booster, for several reasons.  Metabones is already doing a great job – this saves Panasonic from having to do the R&D, marketing, etc.  They can avoid investing in speedboosters altogether and just let Metabones do their thing.  Metabones has patents on the technology so Panasonic would either have to design around (usually leading to more expensive or bulkier options) or license it from Metabones.   Panasonic is better off trying to find ways to squeeze bigger sensors into their cameras.

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    • Ivan Ivanov

      JVC produces LS300 with MFT-mount and Super35 sensor. Panasonic can do the same, but … lenses. Should I buying Sigma’s MFT(E-Mount) lenses?

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  3. Findmeintheh Brian

    Include their own speed booster with the cam or free metabones rebate Sony does this with the FS7 and FS5

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    • Wendell Weithers

      When you say include, do you mean for free? If not, how much do you think they should charge for it?

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  4. Ken Yee

    they could do what they did w/ their new cinecam and do an EF mount for their new GH6…and add a 4/3 convertor to that.  Then they can do a super35 sized sensor…

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    • Wendell Weithers

      Hey Ken, thanks for commenting. That sounds like a lot of manufacturer gymnastics. :) I’d think they have to retain the core GH experience because it seems like what you just described is another camera line altogether.

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