Dean O'Brien's Blog

Brand extortion on the compact camera market…Don’t be fooled.

with 3 comments

As some of you may know from my earlier post, I have recently been looking at compact cameras again after a break.  Things have certainly changed.  Even people such as Leica are launching a camera for under £500.  But just hold on.  Before you all start sprinting off to grab one please take a look at what you are actually buying.  Or more to the point….what you are paying.

Take a look at the two cameras below.  Yes the colours on the body and badging are slightly different, but they are the same camera.  Panasonic and Leica have been collaborating for years.  Leica provide the glass and Pansonic probably the rest.  Thats not a problem.  Many manufacturers do this.  Ironically, to keep the cost down of the finished product.

Now dont get me wrong.  This is a brilliant camera.  It has a zoom range of 25-300mm.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Impossible to believe in a camera so small.  Its certainly ideal for modern day street photography.  That zoom could pull in some ‘cant be bothered to move from my chair’ results.  Oh yes, the old lady picking her nose across the road is no longer safe.  Grab yourself a comfortable seat outside Wetherspoons along with a pint of their ‘£1.80 finest’ and thats you set up for the day.  Street photography from the seat of your chair.

This has proper quality glass as well.  Leica’s finest.  Given the choice I know most people would sooner be showing off the Leica red dot any day and if the price difference was £20 that would be fine.  But the price difference is double!!  How that comes about is anybody’s guess but as with all situations such as this.  Use your head, common sense and vote with your feet.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

August 10, 2010 at 8:22 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Hi Dean,
    My 2 cents, I had a similar Leica D-Lux 4 / Lumix dilemma a year ago. Bought the Leica.
    I didn’t use it enough as the camera was too small for my hands and I just prefer using film.
    The M9 was out of my range at the time, so In the end decided the Leica glass was better…and erm…It felt good and just looked so much ‘cleaner’ than the Lumix!
    Not very logical, I know.
    BUT, Point to note: The resale value of the Leica outweighed the initial outlay over a Lumix.
    In the end I used it, sold it…. and made a profit!

    Harpreet Khara

    August 11, 2010 at 8:53 am

  2. Mmmm…..I can’t see many purchasing the Leica at double the price of the Lumix. As I said, the Pansonic has the Leica 25-300 glass. Its an identical camera just badged differently.

    We are living in tough times financially. Double the cost is just to much of a mark up in my opinion. I honestly can’t see people going for it.

    As for resale on these. The minute you try to sell a Leica you will get people saying “Hold on, I can get the Lumix for blah, blah, blah’ You wait and see if I’m right!

    Dean O'Brien

    August 11, 2010 at 9:05 am

  3. Good points, but when I sold it on ebay I had 15+ people fighting over the damn thing. 😀
    So I’m Happy!

    The cameras are marketed at different demographics.
    Just shows the power of ‘the brand’…

    Harpreet Khara

    August 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm


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