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Author Topic: Panasonic dishes on S1H and future of micro four thirds  (Read 161 times)
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« on: September 04, 2019, 02:06:56 PM »

"Why did Panasonic wait before demolishing the video competition with the S1H?

I had a chance to sit down briefly with Yosuke Yamane, Director of Panasonic Corp.'s Imaging Business Unit, Smart Life Network Business Division, Appliances Company, to ask a few questions related to its development and release.

Dave Etchells:  Looking at the market for this camera, where do you see most units being sold? Will it be as second or third or fourth cameras for large productions that are using VariCams? Or do you expect to sell more into smaller production companies or individual videographers, where the S1H is the primary camera?

Yosuke Yamane: The S1H of course incorporates a full-frame sensor. The benefit of that is shallow depth of field and wide dynamic range.

Dave Etchells: Oh, interesting, so VariCam is Super 35mm?

[Ed. Note: You can probably tell that I don't know a lot about the market for high-end pro video cameras :-/]

Yosuke Yamane: Oh, yeah.

Dave Etchells: Ohhh! Yes, yes.

Yosuke Yamane: Yeah, that's why depth of field is there for artistic creation. And the form factor, of course, we can make it as compact as possible and well-balanced. That enables videographer to use special rigs for a wide variety of uses, we can provide that. And so that's why this is the perfect camera for the cinema production and bridal shooting; such various types of shooting style we can provide. Comparing VariCam and EVA1, we can provide lots of applications, lots of other uses for varieties of video shooting. We can offer to the small-sized production firms where their budget is limited.

 Dave Etchells: In terms of numbers, do you think you'll see more sales with the small production companies, versus additional cameras to large production?

Yosuke Yamane: Yeah, you're right. We are going to address to the small company rather than second cameras for large production companies using VariCam. VariCams as you know, are very top-end cameras, and requires more than US$50,000. So in most cases, these production companies rent them from rental companies. But this one, the S1H, they can purchase for their main camera. So that's a big reason why we are addressing the small companies.

Dave Etchells: Ah, I see. So you're converting VariCam rentals to S1H sales. Ahhh! Makes sense. Just in terms of total numbers, the GH-series has been very, very successful, right? Many people are using it for video production. But it's at a much lower pricepoint. The SH1 is much more expensive than a GH, but it has many more capabilities, and so I'm wondering, even though it's more expensive, do you think it maybe will sell as well or even more than GH models?

Yosuke Yamane: Yeah, [it's] possible. We're going to be very happy if S1H outsells the GH... <chuckles> But anyway, in Micro Four Thirds, the GH-series already has a good reputation, because of the small size and mobility. And it has already been used for independent movie production. But as we said, full-frame sensors provide higher picture expression with the shallow depth of field, resolution and dynamic range. I expect lots of production companies are interested in that and they appreciate the value of full frame. So I think the GH and S1H will co-exist based on the shooting scene."

As a user of micro four thirds, this interview doesn't fill me with hope.  There are rumors a plenty about the GH6 (it's now been 2 and 2/3s years since the GH5 was released), but nothing firm from Panny as of yet.  Now I wonder if they ever will, or if they do, will they "Canon-cripple" it so as to not out-pace the S1H.

Don't get me wrong, if someone gave me a S1H, I'd move the GH5 to b-cam status.  BUT, at this point the lens aren't there yet for the S1H, and of course it's crazy expensive.  Still, interesting.


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