Japanese tech site Nikkei is reporting that Panasonic is jointly designing a new mirrorless camera with Leica that will incorporate the new L2 technology that the partnership is developing.
In addition, the Nikkei report suggests that Panasonic has effectively ceased production of smaller digital cameras in favor of focusing on higher-end professional and enthusiasts models.
“We are planning to release a mirrorless machine jointly developed with Leica Camera, which we formed a comprehensive partnership with at the end of May, in about a year.”
The newly formed partnership was announced in June as a business alliance that would focus on developing new products under both the Leica and Lumix nameplates. If the report is accurate, then it seems to suggest that a mirrorless camera may be the first product that both companies plan to release.
The news came from an offhand remark made by a Panasonic executive during an interview with Nikkei. The executive then went on to suggest that some of the existing Panasonic products would be ending production in the near future in favor of the new joint design. This is due in large part to the popularity of smartphones, which are now taking the place of compact point-and-shoot style cameras in the marketplace.
“Production of existing products will continue for the time being, but in the future, the company plans to concentrate on developing high-end mirrorless machines aimed mainly at enthusiasts and professional filmmakers,” the Panasonic official tells Nikkei.
Though details of this new mirrorless camera, and presumably lenses and accessories to support it, are not currently forthcoming, the mention of “high-end mirrorless machines aimed at enthusiasts and professional filmmakers” seems to suggest that companies are developing a camera for content creators, namely professionals and vloggers.
There is certainly room in the product categories that currently house such models as the Panasonic GH6, the H1, or the Leica SL2.
Sony has a solid in-between offering with the Sony FX3, which is the next step up for those using mirrorless cameras from the Alpha line. Whatever this new camera is that Panasonic and Leica will be designing, it could be with an eye to compete in that space.
Whatever the details, both companies are planning to launch the new camera within about a year, so it won’t be long before the details are known. In the meantime, one thing is certain, Panasonic and Leica is a content creator’s match made in heaven. If you can afford it.
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