Panasonic Lumix Execs Come to Bozeman
Panasonic Lumix Execs Come to Bozeman. Two days ago was a big day for us at Natural Exposures and Polar Bears International. Three executives from Panasonic’s Lumix division came all the way to Bozeman, Montana. Mr. Yasuhide Yamada is actually stationed in New Jersey, but two of his colleagues, Shinji Watanabe and Henri Nishikawa, came all the way from Osaka, Japan. Our meeting was a chance to sit down and discuss future lens development for the Panasonic Lumix camera system. As most of you know I had some thoughts.
Before they came I wrote a blog post titled: Panasonic Lumix Future Lens Development – Add Your Voice! Many of you did just that. I also posted the topic on the DPReview website asking for the same input. We received a huge amount of feedback from both posts and I was incredibly surprised AND humbled by so many comments and the gracious appreciation many of you extended for my offer to get others involved by way of the internet. My office staff saved all the comments in two separate PDF documents, one from DPReview and one from our blog, and these were passed on to our Lumix friends for further review. We even went through the lengthy text and highlighted the specific lenses you all requested or talked about.
As you can imagine, I can’t relate specific details about what might be coming. But I can say that Lumix does have a lens in development that’s nearly ready to go. It will be a huge leap forward and something I’m extremely excited about and I’m confident others will feel the same. Equally important as the knowledge of this new lens was our discussions regarding ideas for future optics.
Again, without any details, I can tell you that we spoke about the entire range of lens choices a professional photographer or serious enthusiast requires to truly hone their photographic craft. There were even a couple of lenses they suggested I hadn’t thought about that were very exciting. I came away from the lens discussions feeling very positive that the Lumix brand has no plans of letting Olympus garner all the attention. Thank you Panasonic Lumix team.
Finally, because we share an office with and have a long term commitment to Polar Bears International, I was able to incorporate my two dear PBI friends, Krista Wright, Executive Director and BJ Kirschhoffer, Field Operations Manager, into the meeting. No, they weren’t there for the discussion about lenses so don’t think BJ may have insider info you can quiz him on 🙂
PBI was included due to the importance of our working relationship and the commitment we both have to photography and multimedia. I felt their inclusion was very appropriate due to Panasonic being a world leader in new sustainability technology to help reduce the world’s carbon footprint, or what many of us call global warming.
Additionally, BJ was able to show them the amazing technology behind Buggy One, cameras for the Maternal Den Studies in Alaska and other high tech uses of cameras and lenses PBI employs on a regular basis. We would love to get Panasonic onboard as a major corporate sponsor of Polar Bears International.
It was a great meeting and when it was done, we took them for lunch to my all time favorite dining establishment, Ted’s Montana Grill. For those who don’t know about Ted’s, it’s owned by world class conservationist Mr. Ted Turner of Turner Broadcasting fame. All of our Panasonic guests ordered big Montana bison or beef steaks and there wasn’t a scrap left on their plates. They loved it!
After lunch I took them to both of Bozeman’s world-class photo stores. Yes, our tiny little town has TWO of the best camera stores I’ve ever been in. Bozeman Camera is one of the newest Lumix dealers in the nation. Marshal was there to meet all the Lumix executives and I think he may have been a bit surprised when we came through the doors to say hello.
Next on the list was F11 Photo where we had a chance to see long-time friend Marsha Phillips, who was the dealer I bought my first Lumix from in 2009. F11 Photo let their Lumix dealership go awhile back, but I’m hopeful we can get her back onboard at some point.
So that’s how this amazing meeting all transpired. To say I was honored to have such a major company send three of their very best here to Bozeman, Montana to talk shop, is an under statement.
I was humbled to say the least. Panasonic is definitely in this game for the long run and I’m hopeful I can help them become a major player. It won’t be easy, but then again what else does a photographer who’s tired of carrying large, heavy, expensive equipment have to do?
Below is a slide show with more photos from the day.