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Panasonic will likely survive because it focuses on more than just consumer electronics

A credit rating agency said that Panasonic would likely survive longer than Sony after downgrading both electronics companies.

Credit rating agency Fitch recently lowered Panasonic's rating down two notches to BB, but cut Sony down three notches to BB minus. Other credit rating agencies have put them at the same level.

The reason for Fitch's credit ratings? It claims Panasonic has a "relatively stable consumer appliance business," such as refrigerators and washing machines, aside from just consumer electronics. Sony, on the other hand, is mainly depending on the extremely competitive consumer electronics market.

Right now, tech giants like Apple and Samsung have a strong hold on the electronics market, such as smartphones and tablets.

Sony's troubles largely stem from its failing TV business. It has seen eight straight years of quarterly losses, and last December, Sony decided to shake up its TV division by negotiating a buyout of its 50 percent manufacturing stake with Samsung in the LCD joint venture. It also split its TV division into three units consisting of sales of LCD TVs, outsourcing manufacturing to cheaper foreign facilities and developing future TVs.

To make matters worse, Sony reported a record annual loss of $5.7 billion USD in May 2012.

However, new Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai has been working to turn the company around since he took over in April 2012. In fact, he offered an entirely new plan for restructuring the company. A key idea behind the restructuring was to strengthen core businesses, including digital imaging, games and mobile. He also opted to take over the failing TV business, expand business in emerging markets, create new businesses and realign the business portfolio.

Just last month, Sony closed a factory in Japan and cut 2,000 jobs at its Tokyo headquarters.

While Hirai is trying to make Sony profitable again, Fitch said "most of their electronic business are loss making" and "appear to be overstretched."

Fitch said Panasonic, on the other hand, is focusing on areas other than consumer electronics like home appliances, lithium batteries, solar panels and automotive parts.

Source: Reuters

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RE: my analysis
By nikon133 on 11/26/2012 3:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
No, not really.

Out of RX100 I'm getting images of quality comparable to my good old Nikon D70.

Nikon has better per-pixel quality (less noise, mostly) but when you downsample RX100 20MP images to 6, 8 or even 10MP, noise cleans up nicely. I've been sending my friends (some of them owning various dSLRs) 6MP downsampled images from RX100 and native 6MP images from D70, both shoot in RAW, converted to JPG in Lightroom, no additional editing, and with EXIF data removed.

None of them could tell which photos were made with dSLR and which with compact.

Of course, my D70 is not latest and greatest, but I'm jet to see small sensor P&S that comes anywhere close to my D70. In fact, reason I got RX100 was that I was spoiled by D70 and disappointed with every P&S I have tried, and yet wanted to have pocketable camera for situations I don't want to drag D70 with me.

I'm still planning to buy new dSLR at some point.

So you see, I don't get your drift. You are drifting from the false point that RX100 is just over-glorified and overpriced average P&S, which it isn't. It isn't 1% better than $200 camera. It is significantly better than $200 cameras.

I'm just a hobbyist photographer. D70 still does fine for my needs, so I'm not over demanding. And I'm still finding RX100 a great value for the money. I'm confident a lot of other dSLR shooters will like it for the same reasons.

And speaking of which, why would one get a dSLR when $200 P&S can do "almost" as good? Isn't that, basically, your drift?

RE: my analysis
By rdhood on 11/27/2012 9:29:25 AM , Rating: 1
No, not really. Out of RX100 I'm getting images of quality comparable to my good old Nikon D70.

Yes, really. The issue is not what kind of picture YOU can get out of the camera. This could be the single, most fantastic compact camera in the world at this moment. The issue is that a $150 compact camera or camera phone is sufficient for about 95% of users. In the hands of these users, the crappy photographer wil take pictures just as badly with the RX100 as they do with their $150 compact camera.

You don't judge/compare a mass-market cameras by what the best photographer will do with it. Most people aren't that best photographer. If most people produce images that are more or less equivalent to images produced on a camera costing 25% as much, they will go with the cheaper alternative... and that would NOT be Sony.

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