A Panasonic representative has confirmed that the company has cancelled the launch of a long telephoto zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras in favor of smaller lenses that fit the design of the GM1 camera.
Mirrorless cameras are doing relatively fine in terms of sales. Furthermore, the Micro Four Thirds line-up, driven by Olympus and Panasonic, has also been selling quite well during the past couple of years. However, there are voices who have expressed their concern regarding the lens line-up, which has been labeled as poor when it comes to telephoto optics.
Panasonic has been hinting that a 150mm f/2.8 lens is on its way for a long time. However, the optic is not available, yet. Moreover, a Panasonic telephoto zoom lens with a brighter aperture was said to be in development for years, but it is not available on the market at this time. According to a company representative, the project has actually been cancelled altogether therefore we will not be seeing this optic in the near future.
Panasonic telephoto zoom lens has been cancelled, although the 150mm f/2.8 is happening
The folks over at Imaging Resource have caught up with a lot of company reps at the CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show 2014 earlier this year.
The interviews are published systematically and the most recent one includes a talk with Panasonic’s Yoshiyuki Inoue and Michiharu Uematsu. The former is a senior product manager and the latter is acting as an intermediate between the company and the press.
The interview is filled with interesting details about the Japan-based company and it also includes a couple of more important claims.
When asked about a sought-after Panasonic telephoto zoom lens, Mr. Inoue has revealed that such product has been removed from the roadmap and has been cancelled.
As for the 150mm f/2.8, it is still on track to be released on the market in 2014, although we should not put our hopes very high because you never know what could happen.
Why Panasonic scraped the plans to launch a long telephoto zoom lens
The company has been considering the situation across worldwide markets and has decided that it would be best to cancel its long telephoto zoom lens.
The main reason why this is happening is the GM1, the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera. Consumers have welcomed this shooter and they are demanding lenses that are compact and lightweight in order to match the aspect of the GM1.
Furthermore, the Panasonic GH4 launch has also played a role in this situation. The company must provide bigger lenses with superior video-related features, so it is just a matter of shifting focus to other projects.
Either way, the Japanese manufacturer will not release a telephoto zoom lens anytime soon, although we should not rule out a possible launch years from now.