Panasonic squashes rumors on scaling back cameras, confirms some changes

Panasonic GH5
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

A report by Japan’s business news company, Nikkei, had the rumor mills churning about Panasonic downsizing its camera division earlier this week, but a statement released by the company says that, while changes are in the works, the move is designed to “strengthen” camera production, not dismantle it.

The report says that Panasonic is re-arranging multiple branches of the company in a round of restructuring the company’s unprofitable segments. The information was based on a proposal from the company’s planning department and that plan suggests moving the digital camera segment under the umbrella of a larger branch, with headcount reductions. The article suggested that, while the company returned to profitability after axing the production of plasma TVs in 2013, further changes would be needed to get to the company’s higher profit goals.

Panasonic, however, says that the report refers to its internal structure and that the digital imaging segment is not being dismantled. The company’s camera production, instead, will be moving as the company puts all consumer electronics under one division.

“The aim of this change is to further deepen our relationships with customers, strengthen our product capabilities, and continue to firmly develop and promote our business,” Panasonic told Digital Photography Review.

While Panasonic said the company’s camera division wasn’t going to be dismantled, it did not comment on whether or not the change would result in an employee reduction as the Nikkei report suggests.

Camera sales, as a whole across multiple manufacturers, have continued to decline, affecting compact cameras more than their interchangeable lens siblings. Panasonic’s approach to the changing trends has been to focus on creating cameras just as capable with video as with stills, introducing a number of cameras that boasted industry firsts, including the first mirrorless camera with 4K and the first mirrorless camera with 4K at 60 fps. Panasonic’s latest cameras have also included features like post focus and built-in focus stacking by using 4K video capabilities for still photos.