Interview with Olympus on DPR

WT21

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Feb 19, 2010
Messages
7,258
Location
Boston
https://m.dpreview.com/interviews/1...f-our-customers-for-their-loyalty-and-support

IMO, worth a read. A few key quotes below.

We will focus on the high-end market more than ever. High-end cameras and lenses in the ILC lineup.”


“we will continue to develop the Micro Four Thirds system [and focus on] areas where we can leverage the uniqueness of our products, for example in the fields of nature and outdoor photography.”


“We are currently developing an intelligent subject detection autofocus update for bird photography for the E-M1X. That firmware is scheduled to be released this winter. ”
 
Last edited:

c0ldc0ne

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
125
Could be me, but that still has “bigger is better” written all over it.

EDIT: after reading the actual interview, I found these quotes to be more interesting than those mentioned in the OP:

We think the transfer of the Imaging Division will have a positive effect on our imaging business.

I don’t expect that anything will happen that will not be good for our users. In all of our conversations about the transfer, ‘user first’ has been the bottom line.

The question of Olympus branding is still under consideration, but there’s no plan to stop using the Olympus brand immediately after the transfer.

Assuming that these are not flat out lies, they appear to be at odds with some of the more prevalent “sky is falling” sentiments.

Then again, each of these statements is a likely candidate for diametrically opposite interpretation but hey, hope is the last to die.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
6,497
Location
Knoxville, TN
Isn't that what Olympus has been saying for years now?

They simply cannot compete with consumer electronics companies like Sony or Panasonic. They are trying to carve out a niche as a luxury/lifestyle brand. If they can manage it, they may stay in business as a niche brand. Something akin to a Japanese Leica.
 

tiago.ereira

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
68
Well, how can we believe anyone in Olympus after what they did before? A few months ago someone from Oly said that selling image division was not on their plans and now they just have a plan in place to do exactly that.

This is what we see in big corporations all the time. Management lying and hiding information all the time to control damage.

I have never seen so much 2nd hand Olympus gear for sale and what we see now, roadmap updates, product releases (that were already planned) and optimistic interviews are all part of a big “damage control” campaign to avoid Olympus losing even more users.

The truth is that no one knows what is going to happen, not even Oly management. As soon as they close the deal, the buyers can decide to do whatever they want.

I’m an Olympus user, I was sad when I received the news about the sale and I wish all this info is true and Olympus camera gear will be around for years, however I cannot trust a word of what they said anymore.

Trust takes time to gain but only a lie to get lost and the lost my trust recently.

I will pay attention on what happens next and I will be extremely careful before I spend more money on Olympus gear.

If all of that is true, then happy days!
 

pake

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
2,481
Location
Finland
Real Name
Teemu
Assuming that these are not flat out lies, they appear to be at odds with some of the more prevalent “sky is falling” sentiments.

Then again, each of these statements is a likely candidate for diametrically opposite interpretation but hey, hope is the last to die.
Yep... Sounds good. Too good to be true? With Olympus it's hard to believe anything nowadays.

But hey, why worry? Not much you can do but wait and see. And if the world doesn't end before and they do get the 100-400mm lens on the market I will probably buy one. And if the E-M10IV has a tilt screen I might buy that as well. But lots of if's here too. Wait and see. Wait and see. And take photos meanwhile.
 

hoodlum

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
556
Location
Toronto Canada
The PEN brand is specifically included in the transfer to JIP according to this interview. There was some question if that was to occur. I think we will see an updated PEN-F soon after the E-M10iv is released.
 

demiro

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
Messages
3,238
Location
northeast US
https://m.dpreview.com/interviews/1...f-our-customers-for-their-loyalty-and-support

IMO, worth a read. A few key quotes below.

We will focus on the high-end market more than ever. High-end cameras and lenses in the ILC lineup.”


“we will continue to develop the Micro Four Thirds system [and focus on] areas where we can leverage the uniqueness of our products, for example in the fields of nature and outdoor photography.”


“We are currently developing an intelligent subject detection autofocus update for bird photography for the E-M1X. That firmware is scheduled to be released this winter. ”

Wildlife is a good niche. It's not my preference, but it makes sense to play up the net benefits of a smaller sensor. Not sure it's a big enough niche to keep the lights on, but at least it seems logical.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
382
Location
Hoher Fläming, Germany
They simply cannot compete with consumer electronics companies like Sony or Panasonic. They are trying to carve out a niche as a luxury/lifestyle brand. If they can manage it, they may stay in business as a niche brand. Something akin to a Japanese Leica.
If that would be the case, why didn't they continue the Pen-F line? The Pen-F has been mocked by many users as being an overpriced lifestyle product, which would be useless for Pros. "Serious" photographers would've been better off with the E-M5 II (which at that time was slightly cheaper) in order to get weather sealing and a larger EVF or pay much less and get an E-M10 Mk II - although in both cases the buyer had to stick with the 16 MP sensor.
According to the interview however, they are especially trying to focus on professionals and wildlife users, which pretty much seem to be the opposite of the typical "lifestyle" user.

The latest E-M5 III is a good example: Instead of keeping the premium materials used for other expansive bodies, they decided to use plastic - which is not a good choice if you want to market that product to people who are looking for lifestyle products featuring premium materials.
 

BDR-529

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
693
EDIT: after reading the actual interview, I found these quotes to be more interesting than those mentioned in the OP:

I was constantly confused about one thing in this interview: Who exactly is the "we" Mr. Kataoka keeps talking about?

" First, I would like to stress that the sale of the Imaging Division does not mean that we will withdraw from the imaging business. We will continue to offer unique and exciting products. "

Mr Kataoka is talking as an Olympus employee. He is not JIP employee and since the New Company is not founded yet, he can't be talking on their behalf either.

So it makes no sense when he says that "we" will not withdraw from the imaging business if he is talking about consumer cameras because this is exactly what Olympus is going to to. The part about "Olympus will continue offering unique and exiting products" is correct since 93% of Olympus revenue comes from medical and scientific imaging (sort of anyway). These unique and exiting products will just have nothing to do with ILC product lines any more. Mr Kataoka is not authorized to make promises on behalf of new owners of the camera business. They might just shut the whole thing down on the spot if they so desire.

And the same applies to the following comment: "We think the transfer of the Imaging Division will have a positive effect on our imaging business." Since Mr. Kataoka is currently an Olympus employee, this statement makes perfect sense if he is planning to stay at Olympus in the future too.

In that case the effect will be both positive and immediate since camera business was dragging down otherwise profitable Olympus. This was the very reason why they decided to sell it in the first place.

" We believe that this transfer is the best step to preserve our technologies, our products, our services and the legacy of the Olympus brand. " This statement was made few lines after he admitted that he doesn't even know who and where will manufacture these cameras and lenses in the future and whether Olympus even allowes them to be called Olympus. It was actually quite clever wording he used. He didn't say that the transfer will preserve Olympus brand but just the legacy instead...

And how about this one:

Q: Do you think that Olympus as a photographic brand will be in a stronger position in one year’s time than it is today?
W: I really believe so.

He just admitted that Olympus has not even decided to give JIP permission to lease Olympus brand " The question of Olympus branding is still under consideration ". Just OM-D, Zuiko and PEN are confirmed to be part of the deal.
 
Last edited:

hoodlum

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
556
Location
Toronto Canada
I was constantly confused about one thing in this interview: Who exactly is the "we" Mr. Kataoka keeps talking about?

" First, I would like to stress that the sale of the Imaging Division does not mean that we will withdraw from the imaging business. We will continue to offer unique and exciting products. "

Mr Kataoka is talking as an Olympus employee. He is not JIP employee and since the New Company is not founded yet, he can't be talking on their behalf either.

So it makes no sense when he says that "we" will not withdraw from the imaging business if he is talking about consumer cameras because this is exactly what Olympus is going to to. The part about "Olympus will continue offering unique and exiting products" is correct since 93% of Olympus revenue comes from medical and scientific imaging (sort of anyway). These unique and exiting products will just have nothing to do with ILC product lines any more. Mr Kataoka is not authorized to make promises on behalf of new owners of the camera business. They might just shut the whole thing down on the spot if they so desire.

And the same applies to the following comment: "We think the transfer of the Imaging Division will have a positive effect on our imaging business." Since Mr. Kataoka is currently an Olympus employee, this statement makes perfect sense if he is planning to stay at Olympus in the future too.

In that case the effect will be both positive and immediate since camera business was dragging down otherwise profitable Olympus. This was the very reason why they decided to sell it in the first place.

" We believe that this transfer is the best step to preserve our technologies, our products, our services and the legacy of the Olympus brand. " This statement was made few lines after he admitted that he doesn't even know who and where will manufacture these cameras and lenses in the future and whether Olympus even allowes them to be called Olympus. It was actually quite clever wording he used. He didn't say that the transfer will preserve Olympus brand but just the legacy instead...

I wonder if something is getting lost in the translation or maybe he is referring to the Olympus employees that will transfer to JIP. Olympus may also take a small ownership in the new company.
 

comment23

mu-43 frequent flyer
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
1,918
Location
Hampshire, UK
Real Name
Simon
I was constantly confused about one thing in this interview: Who exactly is the "we" Mr. Kataoka keeps talking about?

" First, I would like to stress that the sale of the Imaging Division does not mean that we will withdraw from the imaging business. We will continue to offer unique and exciting products. "

Mr Kataoka is talking as an Olympus employee. He is not JIP employee and since the New Company is not founded yet, he can't be talking on their behalf either.

So it makes no sense when he says that "we" will not withdraw from the imaging business if he is talking about consumer cameras because this is exactly what Olympus is going to to. The part about "Olympus will continue offering unique and exiting products" is correct since 93% of Olympus revenue comes from medical and scientific imaging (sort of anyway). These unique and exiting products will just have nothing to do with ILC product lines any more. Mr Kataoka is not authorized to make promises on behalf of new owners of the camera business. They might just shut the whole thing down on the spot if they so desire.

And the same applies to the following comment: "We think the transfer of the Imaging Division will have a positive effect on our imaging business." Since Mr. Kataoka is currently an Olympus employee, this statement makes perfect sense if he is planning to stay at Olympus in the future too.

In that case the effect will be both positive and immediate since camera business was dragging down otherwise profitable Olympus. This was the very reason why they decided to sell it in the first place.

" We believe that this transfer is the best step to preserve our technologies, our products, our services and the legacy of the Olympus brand. " This statement was made few lines after he admitted that he doesn't even know who and where will manufacture these cameras and lenses in the future and whether Olympus even allowes them to be called Olympus. It was actually quite clever wording he used. He didn't say that the transfer will preserve Olympus brand but just the legacy instead...

And how about this one:

Q: Do you think that Olympus as a photographic brand will be in a stronger position in one year’s time than it is today?
W: I really believe so.

He just admitted that Olympus has not even decided to give JIP permission to lease Olympus brand " The question of Olympus branding is still under consideration ". Just OM-D, Zuiko and PEN are confirmed to be part of the deal.
I think you’re reading too much into it. Partly translation and partly because of a mix of present and future tense with a future not 100% clear even to those involved. I would suggest in most cases the ‘we’ is probably referring to the imaging division itself rather than mothership Olympus.
 
Last edited:

comment23

mu-43 frequent flyer
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
1,918
Location
Hampshire, UK
Real Name
Simon
The editorial at the end is a bit disappointing, if not unexpected:
the professed benefits of M43 such as lower size and weight, excellent in-body stabilization, and relatively small telephoto lenses...

...few of these things are (or need to be, or in some cases ever have been) unique to Micro Four Thirds.

You can’t have it both ways DPR. Physics can’t give FF an inevitable advantage in IQ (dynamic range and resolution) and at the same time not give smaller sensors advantages in size, weight and IS.
 
Last edited:

BDR-529

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
693
i think you’re reading too much into it. Partly translation and partly because of a mix of present and future tense with a future not 100% clear even to those involved. I would suggest in most cases the ‘we’ is probably referring to the imaging division itself rather than mothership Olympus.

Nope, he is making very un-japanese comments in this interview. He sounds more like an american marketing VP who is already hanging on a golden parachute.

Mr Kataoka is making forward looking statements about the New Company that will buy the entire Olympus camera business despite not holding any role on JIP board.

In essense he is making explicit promises about things he is not really authorized to talk about. Like this one:

Q: Do you think that Olympus as a photographic brand will be in a stronger position in one year’s time than it is today?
W: I really believe so.


Note how explicit the question was. In one years time there will no longer be Olympus camera business. JIP will own what used to be Olympus cameras and Mr. Kataoka just said himself that Olympus is still considering whether they ever even allow JIP to use their brand so there's a fair chance that in one years time there will be no Olympus photographic brand.

For all that we know, JIP could simply shut down the whole thing and sell all assets to highest bidder.
 
Last edited:

comment23

mu-43 frequent flyer
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
1,918
Location
Hampshire, UK
Real Name
Simon
Q: Do you think that Olympus as a photographic brand will be in a stronger position in one year’s time than it is today?
W: I really believe so.


In one years time there will no longer be Olympus camera business. JIP will own what used to be Olympus cameras and Mr. Kataoka just said himself that Olympus is still considering whether they ever even allow JIP to use their brand so there's a fair chance that in one years time there will be no Olympus photographic brand.
Or he’s making the reasonable inference that the question is about the imaging division, in whatever form it takes in the future.
 

RS86

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
971
Location
Finland
Real Name
Riku
I'm not going to try to read too much into this. As @tiago.ereira pointed out. Olympus execs previously said they'd never sell the imaging division. But, I will take it as a ray of hope and hang onto it. Because I want to!

I have to correct that they never said they will never sell it. Just that it was not in their current plans.

Which any listed company has to say if not already done or so, because of certain regulations I think.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2013
Messages
160
Location
South Florida
I think that they are attempting to stop the "Osbourne Effect" before it kills them. things were bad enough when they made the announcement and I can't imagine that said announcement did anything to improve those sales.
 

tiago.ereira

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
68
I have to correct that they never said they will never sell it. Just that it was not in their current plans.

Which any listed company has to say if not already done or so, because of certain regulations I think.
Well, so they change their plans too quickly. If you have no plans to sell part of your company this month, but in 6 months time it’s for sale, so you are not planning properly.
Companies should plan for years not for weeks.

This means they are bad managers or liars (or both).

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that we should not believe what is said in these kind of interviews. I would trust easily rumour sites these days.

I will be waiting for the 100-400 reviews and probably it’s going to complete my kit (for a few years).
 

CO_yeti

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Messages
94
Location
Denver, CO
Most likely this isn't a complete sale and Olympus has some sort of long term plan to stay involved. I think they know the global landscape is not condusive for what they are offering. This move is meant to refocus back to the JDM, which is much different then the global market in terms of the types of products that successfully sell. It's actually not an uncommon strategy for Japanese companies to use and appearently Olympus cameras do very well in the JDM.

Just my two cents.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom