Panasonic vows it won't sell its camera business – but remember, Olympus said the same…

Panasonic S1 and Panasonic S1R
(Image credit: Panasonic)

Panasonic's director has published a letter stating that the company has no plans to sell off the Lumix camera business. 

In the letter, Yosuke Yamane – director of Panasonic's Imaging Business Unit – also declared that it the manufacturer is committed to growing the full-frame and Micro Four Thirds camera series, and after the Panasonic GH5 II (opens in new tab) and Panasonic GH6 (opens in new tab) it intends to bring out even more impressive products. 

Published on Panasonic's channel on Chinese social media network Weibo, the letter (opens in new tab) lists three succinct points (translated by (opens in new tab) Mirrorless Rumors):

1) No intention to sell the Lumix business
2) We are committed to grow both the FF and MFT format
3) After the GH5 II and GH6 we are committed to release more impressive products

We first heard chatter that Panasonic might sell the Lumix side of the business in September 2020, when the move was speculated by YouTube duo Tony and Chelsea Northrup. Back then it looked like there was 2021 doom (opens in new tab) in store for Panasonic, which sold fewer cameras than Olympus despite releasing the high performance and relatively affordable Panasonic S5 (opens in new tab).

In May 2021 it was reported again that Panasonic could exit the camera business just like its Micro Four Thirds compatriot Olympus. In an article posted on Diamond Online (opens in new tab) and shared by Photo Rumors (opens in new tab), Panasonic officially announced it would be undergoing a “major organizational restructuring” and outsourcing TV production to TCL in China.

When the rumor first broke in 2019 that Olympus would be selling its camera division, an official spokesperson from Olympus was quick to squash it. In a statement issued to Photofocus (opens in new tab) in November 2019, Olympus said, “For Imaging, however, we currently have np plans to sell the business. The task is therefore to stabilize and strengthen its market position.” 

Just over two years later in January 2021, Olympus completed the transfer of its Imaging business (opens in new tab) to OM Digital Solutions. 

Whether or not the Panasonic rumor turns out to be true is yet to be seen. Panasonic has assured us  via on Chinese microblogging website, Weibo (opens in new tab), they have no intention to sell the business. However, it only took Olympus two years between confirming it wouldn’t sell and completing the sale transfer to OM Digital Solutions. 

Read more: 

Best Panasonic cameras
(opens in new tab)Panasonic GH5 II review
(opens in new tab)Panasonic S5 review
(opens in new tab)Best Micro Four Thirds lenses
(opens in new tab)Best L-mount lenses (opens in new tab)

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.