At the launch, GF2

Today, Panasonic Indonesia held a press event to launch the Lumix GF2 model. I’m coming as member of one of the communities (the mailing list which is not so active).

Panasonic had already released several G model earlier but without big announcement. They planned on making another larger launch for compact lines for 2011 in April, which I’ll most likely unable to attend.

First is a speech from Yamanaka-san, describing the partnership and significance of Indonesian market in their growing business. But the most important part for me is the next one, stating that from 2010, Panasonic Indonesia will put Lumix digital camera as one of the main pillar in ensuring business growth, which means more effort should be put to the marketing and hopefully succeed in building the G series as a prominent player in the prestigious professional camera brand.

They will also do a “breakfast club” to build a partnership with the press. It’s too bad that similar partnership cannot be made with the user community too, nurturing a sustainable brand loyal group. From a staff having talk with me at the end of the event (mostly nothing related to job, just between two man) the community itself is still too shy to show themselves, which made casual gathering more difficult.

Even so… the target is rather absurd in my own humble opinion. 10% market share, including professional camera. That’s like a big chunk out of any piece of the cake that Canon or Nikon didn’t already dominate, which is a far shot. But can’t argue with the managements, besides, their number is based on November 2010, before holiday shopping season and they still have time until April for their fiscal year (Japanese company).

Targeting in this press release is also aimed to clear the compact-graduate market. The company repeatedly mentioned features that are made to made life easier for rookies (but should be common among the more seasoned photographers) such as the intelligent auto. There’s also various colours, although traditionally camera is coloured black so it doesn’t stand out too much.

GF2 itself, they manage to reduce the size from GF1. I’m quite interested in the illustration because it seems like they also shave away the flange back distance from lens mount to sensor plane. Could be the sensor is planted deeper, but that’s quite a big size. They managed to keep the price of the double kit cheaper than non-official warranty GF1 with double kit lens.

The menu… I only had experience with the late Lumix Fx500, and the icon is flat and boring. But the displayed icons in the GF2 is a lot more pleasant to the eye than that. Moreover, while I don’t have enough chance to play with it, seems like the menu structure is quite acceptable. They even have customizable menu box to drag commonly used command in.

Tried several lenses displayed. The kit lens for the GF2, Lumix G 14mm f/2.5, I think this is definitely in my buying list. After the tele scoped lenses I use, the 40mm view felt rather… too lack of everything. It’s faster and sharper, but the field of view is not enough most of the time for when I really need wider view.

Anyhow, I missed the chance to register for testing the GF2.

By the way, as for this launch, they will also made pre-order for 20 units of white GF2, colour which will be very limited in the later days other than black, silver, red and pink. The most interesting part, it will be sold in package with the electronic viewfinder, that’s very overpriced IMO.

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