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    OLYMPUS selling off camera division
    #1
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    A sign of the times I guess! Giving the development of smart phones being the reason for quitting.

    Chris Young

    https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/24/2...ision-jip-vaio


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    #2
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    How surprising... not! I mean, let's face it - phone cameras are getting so good, mostly due to software, that the need for cameras from the general public has pretty much collapsed into insignificance. That leaves the pros - and how many camera companies are there that address that market segment adequatly? What does Olympus have that the pros really need and can't get from one of the big guys? I mean they make OK lenses - and note, plan on continuing with that - but otherwise...?

    I think there needs to be even more of a shakeout - there'll be few survivors. Remember how Samsung got out of the business? For a reason. And I'll be honest - camera EOMs are really way behind in general, because the biggest progress is being made in data processing and software... this is where phone companies are ahead of the curve and the cam companies are playing catch-up, badly and losing. They have the hardware, but otherwise are dinosaurs. And the hardware is becoming deprecated except at very elite levels. It's the era of software in photography and image processing in post. What does OLYMPUS bring to the table? Nothing. Same goes for quite a few others, sure they all have a camera here and there that's a hit with the prosumer, but that's not enough to sustain a business. I'm expecting all of them to go bankrupt, get sold off and disappear - with maybe 2-3 survivors who can live off of niche applications and elite users.


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    #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCorpse View Post
    How surprising... not! I mean, let's face it - phone cameras are getting so good, mostly due to software, that the need for cameras from the general public has pretty much collapsed into insignificance. That leaves the pros - and how many camera companies are there that address that market segment adequatly? What does Olympus have that the pros really need and can't get from one of the big guys? I mean they make OK lenses - and note, plan on continuing with that - but otherwise...?

    I think there needs to be even more of a shakeout - there'll be few survivors. Remember how Samsung got out of the business? For a reason. And I'll be honest - camera EOMs are really way behind in general, because the biggest progress is being made in data processing and software... this is where phone companies are ahead of the curve and the cam companies are playing catch-up, badly and losing. They have the hardware, but otherwise are dinosaurs. And the hardware is becoming deprecated except at very elite levels. It's the era of software in photography and image processing in post. What does OLYMPUS bring to the table? Nothing. Same goes for quite a few others, sure they all have a camera here and there that's a hit with the prosumer, but that's not enough to sustain a business. I'm expecting all of them to go bankrupt, get sold off and disappear - with maybe 2-3 survivors who can live off of niche applications and elite users.
    Like your viewpoints. Would have to agree in general. Sad to see in a way though. The OM1-4s were such great market leaders in their day. Really enjoyed using them.

    Chris Young


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    There have been several posts on this topic in the "Canon sales plummet" thread on the Industry News forum.


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    #5
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    I am and still am an Olympus visionary.

    But I’d also add I was an Olympus shooter from way back when they first made a digital SLR. I still have three E-1s. After Contax was no more I was looking to buy my first digital camera. The E1 was the first digital camera I’d tried that didn’t have a massive delay from when you pressed the button to when the picture got taken.

    What did Olympus give us ?

    How about the first ultrasonic wave cleaning sensor. While everyone else was plagued by sensor dirt and dust I never once cleaned a sensor on any of my Olympus cameras all the way back to the E1.

    They were the first to have “live” view back in the day.

    Legendary weather proofing ?

    At various times they’ve had the fastest AF. They started doing AI where the AF could recognise what kind of object you are tracking. Face tracking with eye selection has been standard for a few models now.

    60 FPS RAW shooting for as long as your media can keep up.

    A record buffer so you can take a user selectable number of photos from BEFORE you push the button.

    A series of pro lenses with primes that had the same physical size (for fast gimbal re-balance) fast 1.2 aperture and common filter ring and a unique mechanical clutch for MF with actual hard stops. Weatherproof too naturally.

    Optics are their core business. The 1.2 primes in particular are special but they have made many legendary lenses. The 14-35 F2 and 35-100F2 zooms for years where the fastest stills zooms long before sigma did the 1.8 zooms and naturally just as weatherproof.

    Image stabilising. Consistently the innovators in In-Body stabilising and easily the best, a generation ahead of others. Also means any lens can become a stabilised lens. Even the PL cinema lenses I used with them. Even Canon are finally introducing it.

    Olympus are great innovators. Without fanfare they focused on smaller bodies, more portable cameras and making them high performing. Even their flagship cameras are still compact for what they do. That was their MO. I only became an Olympus visionary in the past few years because as an Olympus shooter I was frustrated by their lack of attention to Video, and kept on sending off emails to the product managers.

    I visited the R&D facilities a few times in Japan and still regularly communicate with their senior management.

    Eventually they brought me in to consult on video. The EM5 Mk2 was my first camera post my official involvement and I’m especially proud of where the optics have ended up for video use.

    They’re a very conservative company and actually quite small. While they knew they wanted to do more video they also didn’t want to take their emphasis away from putting small compact high performing cameras in photographers hands. I still hope they’ll get around to 10 bit and a raw output.

    I hope that they continue to quietly innovate the way they always have, and perhaps get some better strategic thinking. Because even though they were never the first choice for video shooters, they have had a huge influence on photography and image making over the years. I think You always want diversity and competition and they were never imitators. They always have done their own thing.

    JB
    John Brawley ACS
    Cinematographer
    Los Angeles
    www.johnbrawley.com
    I also have a blog


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    #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Brawley View Post
    I am and still am an Olympus visionary.

    But I’d also add I was an Olympus shooter from way back when they first made a digital SLR. I still have three E-1s. After Contax was no more I was looking to buy my first digital camera. The E1 was the first digital camera I’d tried that didn’t have a massive delay from when you pressed the button to when the picture got taken.

    What did Olympus give us ?

    How about the first ultrasonic wave cleaning sensor. While everyone else was plagued by sensor dirt and dust I never once cleaned a sensor on any of my Olympus cameras all the way back to the E1.

    They were the first to have “live” view back in the day.

    Legendary weather proofing ?

    At various times they’ve had the fastest AF. They started doing AI where the AF could recognise what kind of object you are tracking. Face tracking with eye selection has been standard for a few models now.

    60 FPS RAW shooting for as long as your media can keep up.

    A record buffer so you can take a user selectable number of photos from BEFORE you push the button.

    A series of pro lenses with primes that had the same physical size (for fast gimbal re-balance) fast 1.2 aperture and common filter ring and a unique mechanical clutch for MF with actual hard stops. Weatherproof too naturally.

    Optics are their core business. The 1.2 primes in particular are special but they have made many legendary lenses. The 14-35 F2 and 35-100F2 zooms for years where the fastest stills zooms long before sigma did the 1.8 zooms and naturally just as weatherproof.

    Image stabilising. Consistently the innovators in In-Body stabilising and easily the best, a generation ahead of others. Also means any lens can become a stabilised lens. Even the PL cinema lenses I used with them. Even Canon are finally introducing it.

    Olympus are great innovators. Without fanfare they focused on smaller bodies, more portable cameras and making them high performing. Even their flagship cameras are still compact for what they do. That was their MO. I only became an Olympus visionary in the past few years because as an Olympus shooter I was frustrated by their lack of attention to Video, and kept on sending off emails to the product managers.

    I visited the R&D facilities a few times in Japan and still regularly communicate with their senior management.

    Eventually they brought me in to consult on video. The EM5 Mk2 was my first camera post my official involvement and I’m especially proud of where the optics have ended up for video use.

    They’re a very conservative company and actually quite small. While they knew they wanted to do more video they also didn’t want to take their emphasis away from putting small compact high performing cameras in photographers hands. I still hope they’ll get around to 10 bit and a raw output.

    I hope that they continue to quietly innovate the way they always have, and perhaps get some better strategic thinking. Because even though they were never the first choice for video shooters, they have had a huge influence on photography and image making over the years. I think You always want diversity and competition and they were never imitators. They always have done their own thing.

    JB
    john-

    [ have been an Olympus fan dating back to the film cameras.

    sorry to read of their leaving the camera business.

    a sign of our troubled times.

    stay well.

    rob
    smalltalk productions/nyc
    the story is never black & white
    it takes Smalltalk to reveal the color

    smalltalk.productions


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    #7
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    Olympus has had money troubles since the Plaza Accord in 1985. The halved dollar cut into their income, because they relied so heavily on exports. Desperate, they turned to risky moneymaking schemes well outside their area of expertise. This went okay until 1991, when the bubble burst. The 90s came to be known as Japan's Lost Decade.

    Olympus swept its losses under the rug, but they were discovered in 2011. "By 2012 the scandal had developed into one of the biggest and longest-lived loss-concealing financial scandals in the history of corporate Japan; it had wiped 75–80% off the company's stock market valuation, led to the resignation of much of the board, investigations across Japan, the UK and US, the arrest of 11 past or present Japanese directors, senior managers, auditors and bankers of Olympus for alleged criminal activities or cover-up . . ." --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_scandal


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    #8
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    Brief discussion on diglloyd about the demise of olympus and outlook of other companies: https://diglloyd.com/blog/2020/20200...-business.html


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    #9
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    Looks like Olympus is announcing new camera products, including an 8-25mm f/4 MFT zoom (cool!)

    Still going under new ownership?

    https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/a...tware-and-more


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    Off the comment section, it "may" be vaporware. The final paperwork on the sale to JIP isn't finished either.


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