While Polarizing, the Lumix S9 is Already Outselling Panasonic’s Expectations

Four Lumix cameras are displayed on a wooden surface, each with different colored bodies: black, blue, green, and red. A clear vase with an arrangement of greenery stands to the right against a light-colored wall.

There is no better word to describe the public response to the Panasonic Lumix S9 than polarizing. The loudest voices on social media hammered the camera for its stripped-down approach but that hasn’t hurt its popularity.

Panasonic has started accepting pre-orders for the compact camera and says that even with the bad press related to the use of stock images on the Japanese web page for the S9, pre-orders are outpacing the company’s expectations.

“Thank you for your continued patronage of Panasonic products. We would like to sincerely apologize for the great concern and inconvenience caused by the inappropriate use of images from a stock photo service on the Lumix product website,” Panasonic reiterates on its Japanese website.

On May 28, it was revealed that Panasonic Japan used some images to advertise the new compact camera that weren’t captured with it; they were instead stock photos. Worse, one of those photos was captured by a Nikon Ambassador.

Later that week, Panasonic explained that the company did so because it relied on a “dated” marketing mindset, and apologized.

“Regarding the above, we have started accepting pre-orders for the new LUMIX DC-S9 full-frame mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera, which is scheduled to be released on June 20th, but we have received more pre-orders than we expected. Therefore, some customers who have pre-ordered may not be able to receive the product on the release date. In addition, for customers who make pre-orders in the future, it may take some time for the product to be delivered from the release date.”

It’s not unusual to see a note like this from a Japanese camera company as publicly traded entities there are required to make such a statement if there are any hiccups or shortages in product availability. It is notable in this case, however, because of the online conversations surrounding the camera. If a photographer were just to base expectations for sales on social media discourse, the assumption would be that this camera would sell poorly. That is clearly not the case.

The $1,500 Panasonic Lumix S9 was expected to start shipping in “late June” — which is now more specifically June 20 — but given its popularity, those who are interested in the camera may want to put in orders sooner rather than later. While it probably won’t be as popular as the Fujifilm X100VI, that camera has been out of stock since launch and many who placed pre-orders the week it was announced report they still have not received one.

Image credits: Panasonic