G100 Development story
1 : Catching the trend of called “vlogging” – why and how the G100 was born
Hello, my name is Takashima and I am in charge of the product planning for the LUMIX G100.
The concept of the G100 was born while searching for what kind of scenes currently require a camera instead of a smartphone, where the social media environment has changed from simply sharing photos and videos to a place for self-expression.
In vlogs, which are particularly popular overseas, users called vloggers casually upload videos of their favorite things, such as their travels and everyday life. We predict that these vloggers will continue to increase in the future, so we started a plan for the G100 for a major kind of vloggers who upload posts about their travel-based lifestyles.
Initially, for most of the people involved within the company, the word “vlog” meant Panasonic’s log recording “V-Log”. Today, you can find many articles if you search for “vlog” on the Internet, but at the time there were only a handful of Japanese websites, and there were concerns whether they were actually popular, so I had a hard time trying to get them to understand the concept.
Upon developing such an unknown product, we conducted interviews with participating vloggers in Japan and abroad. The development team actually recorded samples based on their method of use and content, and thoroughly considered the various needs from the perspective of a vlogger. During the process of checking a great deal of content, team members who previously did not have any interest in social media began watching a lot of content at home and I hear that some of their family members started to become curious about them.
What is important for a vlogger is “a sense of size and lightness that can be carried around anywhere easily”. The first mock-up design sample (full-scale model) created by the designer in charge was the size of a compact camera. Using this size as a goal, the design team worked hard to realize a very compact, lightweight and easy-to-grip shape. We were also very particular about "operability" that could reliably capture a single moment when reshooting is not an option. The red frame display when recording videos, which has been well received by everyone, is a function that was originally equipped onto the S1H. While inheriting the easy-to-use User Interface (UI) of the LUMIX, Slow and Quick video is newly installed on the mode dial and G100 offers a touch control for almost every operation.
Initially, there was also an opinion among the development team that we should focus more on videos if we were going to target vloggers. However, many vloggers have said that they use multiple social media platforms and they upload both videos and photos. Based on these types of comments, we used a center finder that could reliably take both videos and photos. Furthermore, it is equipped with a “Frame Maker” and “Send Image (Smartphone) button” to enable users to easily share. By equipping 9:16 and 5:4 aspect ratios “Frame Maker”, the former which is recently being used for Stories, and the latter which is the standard aspect ratio for Instagram, it has become easier to carry out even more social media-conscious recording. The GX880 (GF10) features a photo selfie mode, but the G100 is additionally equipped with a video selfie mode. You can enjoy taking selfies instantly by simply flipping the LCD monitor for both photos and videos.
On the other hand, the users were much more particular about the “sound quality” than the development team expected. We received a lot of feedback regarding this, including comments such as “I want to record with good sound quality, but I don’t want an external microphone attached because it would be in the way” and “I can’t record clear sounds so I hide it with the background music”. While looking for solutions for these issues, we were introduced to Nokia’s “OZO Audio” by our engineer in charge of sound. When we confirmed the demo, we realized that realistic sounds could be recorded with just a built-in microphone, and that even directional characteristics could be changed. So we made the decision to equip it onto the G100. The detailed tuning, which is another aspect that we were extremely particular about, was completed after repeated confirmations.
LUMIX Webcam Software (beta) compatibility has already been decided for the G100. Thanks to this, we have successfully developed a camera that can be used for everyday recording to recording in various scenes, such as for special anniversaries, vacations, online conferences and live streaming. Even if you feel that shooting videos is difficult, we hope you will feel free to enjoy vlog shooting with the G100.
G100 Development Story