In addition to revealing new details about the Panasonic S5 IIX full-frame mirrorless camera and the 2.0 firmware update for the S5 II that unleashes Blackmagic Raw (BRAW) and ProRes RAW video recording, the Japanese camera maker has announced an aggressive repositioning of some of its popular full-frame lenses.
A mirrorless camera and accompanying lenses suitable for professional video productions can cost an arm and a leg. Prices seem to be rising as camera technology improves, despite the current tough economic climate – so Panasonic’s price cut on key lenses is a breath of fresh air.
Three of Panasonic’s leading full-frame lenses will now cost up to 28% less and are as follows;
- Panasonic S Pro 24-70mm F2.8 £2199 > £1799
- Panasonic S Pro 70-200mm F2.8 £2599 > 2009 pounds
- Panasonic S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 MACRO OIS PLN 1259 > £899
The 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses are a staple for wedding and event photographers and filmmakers. Prior to these price cuts, brands had a similar odds (with the exception of Canon), as can be seen in the table below.
|Row 0 – cell 0||24-70 F2.8||70-200 F2.8|
|Sony||£2,099 (Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II)||£2,599 (Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II)|
|Canon||£2,629 (Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM)||£3,059 (Canon RF 700-200mm F2.8L IS USM)|
|Nikon||£2,299 (Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 VR S)||£2,599 (Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S)|
|Panasonic||£1,799 (Panasonic S Pro 24-70mm F2.8)||2009 £ (Panasonic S Pro 70-200mm F2.8)|
Sony’s rivals Canon and Nikon – none of which are known to be “cheap” – are now in a price-competitive dilemma and really should follow suit.
Nikon runs promotions on lenses, as does Canon from time to time. However, these are usually temporary offers, while Panasonic has permanently changed the price point of these lenses. We’ll see if other brands follow Panasonic’s lead or if Panasonic extends this price change to other lenses.
Not only are some Panasonic lenses now costing a lot less in Europe (we’ve yet to hear whether these price cuts will be rolled out in the US or Australia), but its cameras also need to be taken very seriously.
With the S5 II, Panasonic has finally implemented phase-detection AF, making continuous autofocus in movies a match for competing systems. Now, a new supercharged version for video production – the S5 II X – with class-leading video recording modes, puts the similarly priced Sony A7 IV in the shadows.
For now, the price cuts are a promising move, and we can hope to see more of the same across the board. It’s also Panasonic putting up another gauntlet – its camera system should be taken seriously, and we can reasonably expect more first-time buyers in video production to choose Panasonic over its rivals.