Photokina! New mirrorless releases from Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, and more!

Photokina! New mirrorless releases from Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, and more!

Photokina is upon us and today there were loads of cameras and lenses announced today from many of the usual suspects. It seems that Canon and Panasonic are jumping on the Sony RX100 bandwagon but Panasonic did it right by making an RX100 style camera but with a full on 4/3 sensor inside which means this guy will deliver the best quality in a compact camera! So far it is my favorite Photokina release (but that silver E-M1 is gorgeous, making it my #2 fave) but there is more to come. Let’s take a look at the cool stuff being announced today!


The LX100 Compact powerhouse!


The LX100 that has been rumored forever is now official. The 1st of the so called RX100 clones (even keeping the 100 name) this one is quite nice and will present a challenge to the Sony pocket cam. Basically this little guy has a Leica/Panasonic 24-70 equivalent f 1.7-2.8 lens, 4K video, solid build, great looks, a built-in EVF and wonderful ergonomics and control. It is easy to see that this one will be popular without question.

Coming in at $899 you can pre-order it at B&H Photo HERE.  

I see this as a direct hit to the RX100III but with a larger sensor and LARGER body as well of course.  Wi-Fi, NFC and manual control rings round off this polished looking offering from Panasonic.

Amazon is also taking pre-orders for the LX100.

Even though the LX100 is priced at $899, which may be a little bit high, it is priced appropriately to the RX100III due to the larger sensor. As you can see in the image below of the camera, it is larger than a Sony RX100 but it is still rather compact. This will deliver 4/3 quality in a solid, modern, stylish and usable lens range camera. It has it most of what everyone needs and I see it as a perfect take anywhere, vacation, kids and everyday life camera. With 4K video there is not much this guy can not do (besides long telephoto of course).  An instant winner here IMO and even has ISO up to 25k!


The Panasonic GM5

Panasonic also released the GM5, a super compact micro 4/3 camera much like the old GM1. From B&H Photo: It features a similar magnesium-alloy body as the GM1, but replaces the pop-up flash with a 1,166k-dot electronic viewfinder, as well as a hot-shoe mount, creating a more full-featured camera system. The GM5 also features a 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor to produce detailed still images and a heighted sensitivity up to ISO 25600. It is also capable of recording Full HD video at 60 fps.


The GM5 is a TINY, attractive and useful powerhouse as it is pocketable but also will take any micro 4/3 lens available. If you want SMALL and a TRUE “Micro” 4/3 then be on the lookout for the GM5.

You can pre-order it at B&H Photo for $899 with a 12-32 (24-68) kit lens.

This guy with the 20 1.7 II would make for a great compact camera that would provide beautiful IQ and video.

Amazon also is taking pre-orders for the GM5.




The 7D MARK II AND G7X has arrived.


Canon has released a new 7D Mark II which for me is a YAWN. The 7D is fantastic but as you guys know I am not a DSLR guy. I could fake it and act like I am just to make affiliate sales but hey, I have to be honest. After using cameras such as all of the mirrorless option these days, DSLR’s have become un-necessary. I have done pro work with my Leica’s, with my Sony A7s and with my E-M1 and never did I wish for a DSLR. So yes, Canon released the 7DII but I am going to talk about the G7X which is yet ANOTHER camera from Canon that is 3 years behind the times. It seems that Canon just can not be innovative in the small pocket cam or mirrorless area. They want to keep their DSLR sales strong so they are afraid to release anything revolutionary (like Sony is doing many times per year). Instead they copy others and release little flops like the EOS M. This time it is an RX100 copy in the form of a G7X.


The G7X comes in at $699 but has a 1″ sensor like the Sony RX100 and Nikon 1 series cameras. Already the Panasonic above beats the Canon for sensor size. The lens has more reach at 24-100 but does not have the “Leica” name attached to it. No 4K video but it does have 1080 video on board. No EVF. BASICALLY IT IS a Sony RX100 in disguise as a Canon. Not really, but for me, nothing exciting. I would pay the $200 more and buy the Panasonic in a NANO second over the Canon.

You can pre-order the Canon G7X here at B&H Photo if you just love Canon 🙂 

Amazon is also taking pre-orders for the G7X HERE.


The new Silver E-M1


Olympus did not create a new E-M2 powerhouse (and frankly, I am glad they didn’t as the E-M1 is still a massive powerhouse of a camera that is capable of APS-C quality) but they did upgrade the E-M1 firmware with new features as well as release a pimped out version in Silver and black. Many have been asking why they did not originally create the E-M1 in silver like they did with the E-M5 and now Olympus has created it! I have to say, it looks mighty sharp in silver! I am a huge fan of the E-m1 and if for some reason you missed my old review of it you can see it here. 

The new firmware is pre-loaded onto the Silver E-M1 so right out of the box you get all of the new benefits and features. For those who already own an E-M1 there will be a firmware download so you too can benefit from the new features. So what are the new features?

“Features for improved performance include improved EVF display time lag. The display time lag has been reduced to 16 msec when the frame rate has been set to high-speed. New Photo Story themes “Zoom In/Out” and “Layout” have been added. The addition of a hold function has also made it possible to temporarily save a photo story while shooting, and complete it, later. Live Guide makes it possible to layer on multiple effects simultaneously*. Remote shooting features in the OI.Share™ App have been further advanced, with the addition of a self-timer sequential and interval shooting, allowing for rich variations in movement and expression. A new Scene Mode “Panning” allows you to set the optimal shutter speed automatically to match the movements of an object. “Shade” Art Effect inserts bands of shading on the left and right side of the image (or top and bottom) for a sense of wideness. A new Movie Effect “Old Film” turns your videos into flickering images with noise, scratches and dust, for the vintage look of old movies shot on film.”

em1silver2Firmware Upgrade Availability
Firmware Version 2.0 is pre-installed on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 silver model. Existing OM-D E-M1 camera owners can also enjoy the features of this new firmware by upgrading their camera using Olympus Viewer software.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The OM-D E-M1 in Silver will be available in September 2014.
Estimated Street Price: $1,399.99

You can pre-order the Silver E-M1 at B&H Photo HERE

Also at Amazon HERE. This one ships THIS month! also will have the new silver E-M1! 

The new 40-150 Pro f/2.8 Lens


Olympus has also finally released the new 40-150 Pro Zoom! This long-awaited zoom lens has been in the works for a long time now and will round out the systems pro zoom category which also includes the new 7-14 f/2.8. The 12-40 is already known to be an amazing zoom lens and now the 40-150 will give you some reach, at the expense of size and $$$. IT IS NOT CHEAP AT $1,499.00 but those who know the quality of Olympus pro glass will know that this is well worth it. For those telephoto shooters out there who own a Micro 4/3 camera, it will not get any better than this. YES this is a 40-150 f/2.8 zoom, bringing you a 80-300 equivalent! NOW THIS is an amazing lens!

You can pre-order the 40-150 f/2.8 pro zoom lens at B&H Photo HERE is also an Olympus dealer, and a site sponsor!



Sony has announced today the new wide angle FE mount (full frame E mount) 16-35 f/4 OSS lens, something many have been waiting for. This one will fill your wide angle needs for the A7 system and comes in at $1349.

You can pre-order it at B&H Photo HERE.

Amazon is also taking pre-orders HERE!

Wide-range zoom lens designed for full-frame FE-mount cameras

Constant f/4 maximum aperture enables greater consistency throughout the zoom range and benefits working in dim conditions

Features a circular that, through the use of curved blades, keeps the aperture almost perfectly circular from its wide-open setting to when it is closed for smoother, more natural defocusing highlights

Optical SteadyShot image stabilization works to minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to four shutter speed steps to benefit shooting handheld in dim lighting

Five aspherical elements, including one AA (advanced aspherical) element, and three ED elements helps to reduce chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range while also maintaining a compact form-factor

Carl Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating enhances contrast, clarity, and color reproduction by countering the effects of lens flare and ghosting

Only the middle groups of the optical system move to achieve focus, so the overall length of the lens does not change when focusing. Also, the filter thread at the front of the lens does not rotate, which is convenient when using a polarizing filter


So there are my fave releases today. For me Canon was the biggest disappointment. They have the funds and ability to create something extraordinary but they never ever seem to do it. They are happy sticking to their DSLR model. Same with Nikon. Nothing exciting at all from them besides the D750 DSLR. No real innovation from the two “Big Guns”. Sony has been constantly releasing new exciting products, Olympus has been keeping the momentum going with amazing lenses and Leica, well, they have yet to make their full announcements but I think we will hear from them by tomorrow.



oops, I almost forgot the NX1


Samsung has announced the NX1, their flagship mirrorless coming in at A WHOPPING $2799 with kit lens but that one leaves me scratching my head. The price is out there IMO. I will say that the ‘kit” lens seems more like a pro lens with a 16-50 range and a variable aperture starting out at f/2 and going to f/2.8. Still, $2799 for the set is a bit much I think. It looks like a DSLR, the lens is huge and for the money I would take the fantastic Canon 6D with a 24-105 for the full frame performance. I reviewed the 6D and loved the IQ and usability, just hated the weight with those big L lenses, but the quality is stunning. I am finding it hard to see how Samsung can sell this for $2799 with lens. Seems overpriced to me. It may be a stellar camera but not sure how many will plunk down that kind of cash to SWITCH systems. I think only some the current Samsung base will go for it.

Amazon is also taking pre-orders HERE.


  1. So should I just sell all my m43 lenses and em5 body and just get the lx100? The only benefit I see in keeping my em5 would be the IS and ability to do wide and tele (as well as accept my Nokton 17.5).

    • Tb, I am not so sure about the LX100. I just read that 1st it doesn’t have a touch screen and 2nd it doesn’t use 100% of that mft sensor..

      Of course, not being able to use any of the Noktons would be the killer argument NOT to sell the MFT system camera.

      So, maybe reduce to the special lenses and get something like the LX100 for common / lighter photography..?

      • Thanks.. Think will start offloading those mid range primes and keep the specialty glass. No point in keeping 14/25 anymore. Probably still keep the 12-40mm though since it still has weather sealing which I still need. Aside from that will keep my 7.5 samyang and nokton.

  2. The Canon EOS M is totally underrated. I have one and it’s a great little camera. As long as you’re not trying to use it for sports photography. Use it for travel photography and it’s fantastic.

  3. Hi Steve,

    Just wondering for the lx100, if the lx100 will make use of the whole sensor size to capture the photo since the effective mp is12mp and the crop factor is not 2 like other m43 system?

    • No, it uses a Multi-Aspect ratio sensor and does not use the whole sensor but if that bothers you just wait, I’m pretty sure there will be a hack that will allow the use of the full sensor.

  4. Olympus did also some great interviews and a nice press conference here in Germany. They said that they will keep 3 OM-D models but slow down the production cycle. They truly want to stand behind their products and give the user the feeling that their products are reliable, stable in their price and not outdated after a half year. So their new product cycle will be about 2 years or longer and during that they’ll update and improve their existing cameras with new features via firmware updates instead of throwing new slightly updated cameras on the market like many other companies do.
    I really appreciate that and think it’s a fantastic step more companies should follow.
    Another thing they announced is their “Service Plus”. In many countries of Europe it existed already for the E-M1, but in October they’ll start to offer this free extra service to all OM-D cameras. It includes a special hotline, 6 months of additional warranty, a pickup service for defect cameras and a repair time of max 3 days (+ delivery). An many cases I’ve heard they even shipped a replacement camera if it was really urgent.

    This also made me a bit disappointed about the “normal” newspaper press. About half of the journalist left the Olympus press conference after half the time because they didn’t had new camera models and “just” great announcements for existing consumers. That such things are not worth a news or headline in their opinion is kinda sad in my opinion. As a consumer such things and new firmware Updatse for my existing camera make me more happy than a new camera model.
    There is also a new video showing the new tethered shooting application for Olympus cameras which should be released on September 24th

  5. Things to note:

    1) The Panasonic LX100 won’t be using the full area of its 4/3 sensor for imaging.


    “…the LX100 isn’t actually using the entire sensor, instead cropping it to allow for multi-aspect shooting…”

    2) The APS-C sensor in the Samsung NX1 is a BSI type.


    “With a 28MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, which is supported by Back Side Illumination (BSI)…”

  6. I’m not sure I understand the point of the recent fixed lens compacts. Are these devices THAT much more compact than, say, the Olympus OMD E-M10 with the kit lens attached? I’ve not seen any of them side by side to the E-M10, but they don’t appear to have much advantage in size any more. The E-M10 is about the same size as my old Canon G3.

    And the prices of these things are in the same neighborhood as the E-M10. Why wouldn’t I want an E-M10 (which has the same IQ as the E-M1)?

    I’m not saying these things shouldn’t be produced or that no one should buy them. I just don’t get WHY they are desirable cameras.

  7. The LX100 is perfect for me. I find m43 format (half-frame) good enough. And you practically get a lens with a body for free. 😉 Not really, because I find lens Panasonic lens prices a bit high. But that’s still a good price on the LX100.

    The Sony A7s and the Panasonic LX100 are a good combo. That’s my aim. These are exactly the cameras I have dreamed about.

  8. If you look at a fair like Photokina, you’ll see trends that are interesting and frightening at the same time.

    The compact & supercompact market has been taken over the smartphones, still there is a tremendous offer from all major brands.

    The niche of MLICs – overall not that immense in true sales numbers – is getting pretty crowded – not to say overcrowded. A “déjà vu”, and to be honest, quite a few people entering the MLIC-arena are likely over two or three years going to complain over the weight and size again just like they did with DSLRs – and not too much caring about sensor size and lenses step into the next generations of smartphones as a no-brainer. I’m pretty sure that we haven’t seen the last of what is going to happen.

    The very premium end of the MLIC-ranges is overpriced and I dare to predict that some people will discover after the inevitable retro-hyping now when you’re more serious these over-electronic conceived devices are not necessarily the most reliable and stable investment. Look already now at second prices…most of this gear doesn’t hold its premium at all, everything is sold very cheap also due to the fact that the true life of these products is extremely short and nothing of it proofs to be perfect (otherwise there wouldn’t be model after model with just minor fixes).

    Precisely this could be Nikon & Canon”s strategy to wait for a moment that DSLRs will be a more advanced /professional subject only. Why invest massively in a small MLIC market niche that will remain under a severe pressure and experience an increasing competition?

    BTW… in the above article it looks as Nikon didn’t do anything. Over the last year they released in the FF market the Df, 4Ds, D810 and D750 – all very strong cameras, and in the DX-market the D3300 and D5300. Most of these offerings is still outperforming a lot of what is being offered in the MLIC market, Yes indeed where is Canon – reading through a lot of blogs I notice quite a few of Canon-photographers that convert to the premium part of the MLIC market (say Sony, Olympus, Fuji) but I can’t imagine that anyone into serious photography and owning the very best Nikon FFs leave that path so easily. A major exception were the ones being very disappointed in the D600-debacle. Hard to imagine that is an ongoing trend, I just don’t believe it and the most recent releases are very strong products.

  9. That GM5 does look beautiful.. But I think the M.Zuiko 7-14mm might replace my 9-18 and I will have a look at the 40-150 to complete my 12-40mm. Not sure if I’d really buy it, though.

    I can’t wait to see news about the Voigtländer 10.5mm 0.95 and first pics of that lens <3

    Oh, and somehow I wish Olympus would have come out with that E-M1 Silver earlier. Most of my lenses are silver and look somewhat akward on the black E-M1.. With the silver edition it wouldn't matter whether the lens was black or silver. On the ther hand, they perform well no matter what colour ,-)

  10. You missed the most important and the most frustrating product announcement, the Canon EF-S 24/2.8 STM. More than 10 years after the introduction of their first consumer APS-C DSLR Canon responded to the need for a compact, wide-angle/standard prime lens. That lens three years ago would have saved me a lot of money, rather than jump on the mirrorless bandwagon.

    I would have preferred 22mm and f2.0, but by choosing 24/2.8 Canon likely avoided the hassle of a retrofokus design and was able to achieve a very compact lens.

  11. The LX3 is the camera that introduced me to real photography (before that, I was ‘snapping pictures’). Since then, I have aquired a dslr, a Nikon V1 and a GH3, while I’m still using the LX3 occasionally when I want to travel light. It seems like the circle is round, and my next camera will be the LX100. I didn’t like the feel of the lighter LX5/7 so it seems that the hefty LX100 will be exactly my feel. The large sensor, button lay out and that Leica lens makes up a very serious camera! Not to mention the 24p 4K video. Jaw dropping. I didn’t see this one coming! (I was expection a 1 inch sensor).

  12. Hey Steve, just F.Y.I. the high price of the new NX1 is largely because of the internal 4K video using h.265. h.265, by the way, is a next generation video codec that captures 4K video at ProRes quality (500Mbps) at much lower bitrates like 15-35Mbps. This camera’s internal 4K is potentially bigger then the GH4’s offering. But I guess we will see.

  13. What about all the new Sony lenses added to their roadmap?

    The Sony/Zeiss 35/1.4 is high on my list and that little 28/2 looks promising. It appears that Sony is answering the call for fast primes.

  14. Just my opinion, but I think camera makers who are not pushing the envelope with compact full frame, or even medium format cameras – need to get their R&D departments working on a Smart Camera – that has a built-in phone! Camera makers have already lost the majority of their market share to the likes of Nokia, Samsung, and iPhone … why not make a Nikon, Canon, or Fujifilm SmartCam + Phone?

    I’m only being a little ironic and facetious here … I think ultimately, there will be two factions of photographers:

    1. serious photographers who want a real camera, capable of high-res, low-light, high ISO, full frame, etc …
    2. people who snap photos with their phones.

    A new mirrorless ‘this’ … a 1″ sensor ‘that’ … and a silver bodied ‘whatever’ must have had the crowds on their feet at Photokina.

    As always, love and appreciate your reporting Steve – and I agree that the A7-S is Best In Show so far this year (wish I hadn’t bought the A7-R before the S came out!)

  15. Is the Leica version of the LX100 coming as well? I’m sure sooner or later it will and will be nothing short of drop dead gorgeous, but will also be double the price :/
    This photokina gave me some serious GAS. Will be checking your site later 🙂 and can’t wait enough for your reviews!

  16. hi Steve,
    I think it would be great to mention that
    1. Olympus has also released a 1.4x teleconverter for the 40-150 lens, which will also work for the upcoming 300mm f4 lens.
    2. Panasonic released the Lumix DMC-CM1 smartphone with 1-inch sensor!!! I know you are an iPhone guy, and so am I, but I think that’s pretty impressive.

    I don’t know about you, but Photokina has been fantastic. Some very exciting products. Would love to get the LX100 for my girlfriend for birthday, but I know for fact she will LOVE the black+red GM5. And I would love to have the LX100 with waterproof casing. Would be fantastic for diving! 🙂

    • Yes, impressive to put such a sensor inside, but the design leaves me cold. And hopefully that lens doesn’t move out inside your pants. Still, good for them and it seems much better than what Samsung has done to combine the two. Nokia Lumia 1020 idea is more attractive to me. Yes, not that great noise performance, but scaling down that 41 MP pictures leaves you with very sharp pictures.

  17. Ok here are my comments. 😛

    LX100, whoa, very very interesting camera. I have been toying with the idea of having a compact (or at least even more compact then my EM1) on the side for those days where I just want to bring something simple with me to have fun and shoot with my kids. Its funny that after using Canon DSLRs for so many years that I still want something smaller then the EM1 ha! Anyway this one definitely has my attention because of the nice speedy leica brand glass. I love my 25mm 1.4 Panny/Leica so I am very interested to see some results from this camera. Steve, are you planning on reviewing this one? 😀 Please? 😀

    GM7 is the camera that I thought would be my choice but with the LX100 I have to take pause. Definitely there are advantages of using my existing M43 glass with the GM7 but… considering the application I am looking for, an all in one with leica quality glass might be a better choice. Will look forward to comparing the 2 to see how they stack against each other. I am assuming it will come down to a detachable lens system or not.

    Oly 40-150mm. Cost is about what I was expecting. This should be a no-brainer for your M43 super-tele needs. A year ago I thought it would be mine as soon as it hit the street however, I have grown to love my compact lenses so much that this one will probably be farther down the road then I thought. Though I am confused, did they release the 7-14 as well? that trifecta kinda seems like it would be all the glass you could every want/need for your Oly minus adding a super fast normal or 35 equivalent. Just wow.

    Sony 16-35 F4. Is it me or is the F4 speed kind of a bummer? I was hoping for 2.8 constant. oh well. Still looking forward to see some shots from it. Maybe I can be swayed?

    Disappointed in Canon. They were my brand of choice for the last 10 years. Times are a changin’.

    Samsung, interesting but I think they need to show me some more consistency in their quality and a little more insight to their approach before I would invest in their system. Still, they do seem to have some good ideas out there. I played with their smartphone meets smart camera for a day (I forget the model) and I actually enjoyed the experience. The shots were mostly ho-hum but that could have just been me. I think most people will be hard pressed to spend that kind of money on a Samsung camera. If I was on their marketing team I would be focusing more on ultra compacts with 4k video capable features. Something that differentiates them from a standard Camera manufacturer.

    Once again thanks for your wonderful site and the time you take pulling all this info for us! You rock Steve!

  18. The samsung makes me curious:
    1/8000 shutter, 1/250 flash sync, 15 FPS, 4K video, large BIS sensor on the market with 28MB and a 16-50 2-2.8 lens does not look overpriced……

  19. A big bummer for the LX100 is not having a built-in flash, that doesn’t really make sense for an “all-in-one” compact type of camera. Installing the flash on the hot shoe makes the rig huge plus who wants to carry around a flash unit?

    And yes, using flash does come up when out and about even with low-light capable cameras. Especially with a compact camera. That’s the reason why any cameraphone that doesn’t have built-in flash is a joke and not taken seriously as a camera.

  20. Canon needs to just stop making these little cameras if they aren’t even gonna try. Look at that thing! It looks like a terrible, half hearted attempt to copy the RX100. I remember when Canon made some of the best, and surely best selling, pocket cameras several years ago. For $700 why would anyone buy this over an RX100, any version. (I just picked up the original, brand new for $349) The majority of their camera business may be in DSLRs, but if they aren’t careful they are going to go the way of Kodak in the not too distant future.

    • Okay, I’ll bite.
      The GX7 has that the others do not: 24-100 1.8-2.8, touchscreen (can pull focus), click control ring, 31 point AF

      • I agree. The G7X actually looks like a much more appealing camera than the RX100. A viewfinder is nice, but realistically not something I am likely to use on a camera like this. The touchscreen for focus is a huge benefit.

        The LX100 is in a slightly different class, as you can’t even pretend it’s pocketable at that size.

      • It’s all about the click control ring for me!

        I love it on my Canon S90 and it really adds to experience when shooting manually. The lack of this feature stopped me from upgrading to the RX100, so this new GX7 sounds sweet!

      • Agreed, the G7X is actually quite a good camera. I love my Sony RX100 and if it were to die, I would rather upgrade to the G7X instead of the RX100III, if I had the cash that is.

        The brand new prices for these 1″ sensor cameras and for the LX100 are pretty ridiculous, IMO. I could get a Ricoh GR for less than $700, get a bigger sensor than the LX100, and still have a truly pocketable camera. With my style of shooting, sneaker zoom works just fine.

  21. I think the Canon G7X is actually a pretty good product. Sure, its similar to an RX100 but it has a few advantages. F2.8 at 100mm is pretty good and it is the same size as RX100 iii. I don’t really see an EVF as necessary in a pocket camera like this. It’s not an innovative release but does add some good features. The Panasonic LX100 is nice but it is a fair bit larger. The competition in the large sensor compacts is nice. Hopefully the prices will start to come down as there is more selection

  22. My favourite release so far has to be the GM5. I’v been considering a GM1 to pair with either my 20 1.7 or 14 2.5. But this seems even so much better with the EVF and hot shoe, would be perfect to always bring in a coat pocket!

    • “Be interesting to compare it to the Leica X Vario?”

      No need. Leica will have their own version of the LX100 in short order. It’ll be identical, sport a red dot, and sell for twice the price. 😉

      Oh, and it’ll come with a copy of Lightroom (sorry, forgot about that).

    • Samsung doesn’t understand photographers yet. I say “yet” because it took a while for Sony to figure them out, but now they are killing it. Maybe – and that’s a big maybe – Samsung will eventually figure it out too.

      Samsung tries to make everything: phones, computers, TVs, appliances. They even make cars. They build cameras the way they make computers: impressive specs on paper, but lacking in the controls and subtleties that appeal to users. Samsung cameras are gunning after Sony, but they’re a few years behind. I don’t see them catching up anytime soon. They still see cameras as just another electronic device.

      BTW – I live in Suwon, South Korea, where Samsung’s R&D and marketing offices are located. On the street with my X100S, I have often been asked, “Why did you buy a Fuji camera? You should buy a Samsung.” I explain that Samsung doesn’t make anything like the X100S. They inspect it, and then say, “But you should always buy Samsung.” I just shake my head.

      The fierce brand loyalty in their home country, coupled with the popularity (dominance?) of their TVs and smartphones worldwide, gives them a false sense of confidence when it comes to making cameras.

      So who will buy the overpriced NX1? Wealthy Koreans who don’t know much about photography. Though it’s worth noting that Nikon still dominates the pro and enthusiast market here.

      • Indeed. I know a couple of Korean guys and their kitchens and living rooms are stuffed with anything Samsung, LG, etc. and they obviously drive KIAs and Hyundais. Their brand loyalty to Korean makers is almost amusing and the historically and politically based rivalry with Japan only reinforces it. You make a good point about photographers being a rather peculiar group that is sometimes hard to figure out. They tend to like traditionalist, almost nostalgic elements on their cameras that help them to bond with what would otherwise be just another soulless electronic device. I think Panasonic cameras suffer a bit precisely because Panasonic is perceived as a consumer electronics brand, desptite the fact they make excellent cameras. It took me a while to figure that out too 🙂

        • Sony has been working very hard to shuck their “electronics” image and become a respected camera company.

          And there’s no question as to why Panasonic uses “Lumix” as their camera brand name 😉 Though I’ve liked the Panny M4/3 lenses I’ve used.

          To be fair, I’ve used a couple Samsung mirrorless cameras (NX line) and they didn’t seem much different from Sony’s NEX cameras. They both just feel like tiny computers to me. Image quality was good.

          What’s crazy is that Korean products like Samsung and LG are MUCH MORE expensive in South Korea than they are in the US or Europe!! The reason is brand loyalty (and tariffs) give them an artificially high market share here. Samsung laptops are almost as expensive as Apple laptops in Seoul! It’s ridiculous.

          Pride is part of the reason Koreans buy Korean brands, but there is also a strong sense that it’s necessary for the economy. Samsung alone constitutes 20% of South Korea’s entire GDP.

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