Panasonic cuts prices of full-frame lenses – here's why Sony, Canon and Nikon should be worried

Panasonic Lumix S5 II camera on a table with close up of the S5 II badge
(Image credit: Future)

Alongside revealing fresh details about the Panasonic S5 IIX full-frame mirrorless camera and a firmware update 2.0 for the S5 II which unleashes Blackmagic Raw (BRAW) and ProRes RAW video recording, the Japanese camera maker has announced an aggressive repositioning of some of its popular full-frame lenses.

A mirrorless camera and accompanying lenses fit for professional video productions can cost an arm and a leg. Prices seem to get higher and higher as camera tech improves, despite the challenging current economic climate – and so Panasonic slashing the prices of key lenses is a breath of fresh air. 

Three of Panasonic’s leading full-frame lenses will now cost up to 28% less, and are as follows;

  • Panasonic S Pro 24-70mm F2.8 £2,199 > £1,799
  • Panasonic S Pro 70-200mm F2.8 £2,599 > £2,009
  • Panasonic S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 MACRO O.I.S £1,259 > £899

The 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses are the mainstay of event and wedding photographers and filmmakers. Before these price reductions, the brands were on a similar playing field (except Canon) as you can see in the table below. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Rival lenses
Row 0 - Cell 0 24-70 F2.870-200 F2.8
Sony£2,099 (Sony FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II)£2,599 (Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II)
Canon£2,629 (Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM)£3,059 (Canon RF 700-200mm F2.8L IS USM)
Nikon£2,299 (Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 VR S)£2,599 (Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S)
Panasonic £1,799 (Panasonic S Pro 24-70mm F2.8)£2,009 (Panasonic S Pro 70-200mm F2.8)

Rivals Sony, Canon, and Nikon – none of whom are known for being ‘cheap’ – now have a competitive pricing dilemma, and really should follow suit.

Nikon does run promotions on lenses, as does Canon from time to time. But these are usually temporary deals, while Panasonic has permanently shifted the price point of these lenses. Whether we will see other brands follow Panasonic’s lead is to be seen, or if Panasonic will extend this repricing to other lenses. 

Not only do some of Panasonic’s lenses now cost a lot less in Europe (we're yet to hear if these price cuts will be rolled out in the US or Australia), but its cameras are to be taken very seriously too. 

In the S5 II, Panasonic finally implemented phase detection AF, which brings its continuous autofocusing for video up to speed with rival systems. Now a new supercharged version for video production – the S5 II X – with class-leading video recording modes, leaves the similarly priced Sony A7 IV in the shade.

For now, price cuts are a promising move and we can hope for more of the same across the board. It's also Panasonic laying down another gauntlet – its camera system should be taken seriously, and we can reasonably expect more first-time buyers in video production to opt for Panasonic ahead of its rivals. 

Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.