New Report States That Only Canon, Nikon, and Sony Will Survive in the Camera Market

Dalton

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Read this five years ago...

These predictions are not new...
Olympus has done a lot in the last two years to trim waste and recent corporate statements are predicting a camera division recovery to profitability later in 2014. There is reason to believe based on the market's incredible reception of the E-M1 that things are looking a lot better. Olympus appears to be selling a large number of profitable lenses and accessories as well.

People don't get too excited about the stories written about how wonderful a company is doing. The writers write sensationalism to capture an audience and get some "buzz" going whether the content of the story is factual or not. I'll bet many here have browsed to the site where the story was published driving "click-throughs" and therefor revenue for the site.

Take a deep breath and relax. Try this out for some comfort...Do a search for best camera of the year 2013 and see what results you get. Olympus E-M1...That's most of what you will get. Olympus has an investor which sells Olympus a fabulous sensor and has an interest in seeing Olympus succeed...Sony.

Again...Relax. Grab a nice beer and ring in the New Year! :drinks:
Dan
 

robbie36

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You are right. Olympus is loosing money from ILC sales in net profit. In gross sales profit terms, they are making money. Is this fact alone that kept these Japanese guys in Olympus on the "HOPE" mission that some day they will turn a profit.

I likened them like the NICE guys who let their women treat them like door mats, meal tickets and so forth in the hopes getting laid. Who are the jerks who get laid? Well none other than Canon and Nikon.

You see that these companies will maintain market share at a loss because they are clinging to hope that one day they will actually make a profit, so they are looking at the wrong picture. They are looking that production wise, they are making money but overall loosing money as with the whole operation. These guys are no different than the Nice Guys trying to get laid and though the girls like that. Nice guys finish last I'm afraid. Sadly the shareholders are the nice guys.
Yes indeed their gross margins are very good. 44% in the first half, higher than Canon 40% and Nikon 36%. But the reality is these 'mirrorless' companies gave up competing with Canon and Nikon a long time ago on DSLRs and moved into 'mirrorless' because they believed that it would take over from DSLRs. So Olympus rightly says that it will breakeven at 1m units and presumably make quite a bit of money at 2m units - the problem is that it will never get there. Mirrorless is in fact doing badly everywhere not just in the US where it is around 10% of the ILC market. Even in Japan where camera sales are doing very well and mirrorless is 30% of the market, mirrorless is lagging DSLRs = DSLRs are up 40% this year, mirrorless 13%. And quite frankly by the time mirrorless does take over, I think it wil be dominated by Nikon and Canon (so I will be buying Sony!).

Incidentally for those who think that Olympus is doing really well because they like their OMD, I actually think that Olympus's ILC sales will drop next year. The problem that Olympus faces is this. In Japan - a very big mirrorless market - the Pen series has a very large market share - over 25% of the market (the OMD E-M5 accounted for less than 2%). Now it seems to me that these sort of numbers for the Pen series are not sustainable - the Pens are facing a lot of competition from Panasonic (GM1), Fuji (XM/XA), Canon, Nikon and Sony. And I just dont think the Pen series are overwhelmingly strong products to maintain their market dominance.
 

bikerhiker

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Yes indeed their gross margins are very good. 44% in the first half, higher than Canon 40% and Nikon 36%. But the reality is these 'mirrorless' companies gave up competing with Canon and Nikon a long time ago on DSLRs and moved into 'mirrorless' because they believed that it would take over from DSLRs. So Olympus rightly says that it will breakeven at 1m units and presumably make quite a bit of money at 2m units - the problem is that it will never get there. Mirrorless is in fact doing badly everywhere not just in the US where it is around 10% of the ILC market. Even in Japan where camera sales are doing very well and mirrorless is 30% of the market, mirrorless is lagging DSLRs = DSLRs are up 40% this year, mirrorless 13%. And quite frankly by the time mirrorless does take over, I think it wil be dominated by Nikon and Canon (so I will be buying Sony!).

Incidentally for those who think that Olympus is doing really well because they like their OMD, I actually think that Olympus's ILC sales will drop next year. The problem that Olympus faces is this. In Japan - a very big mirrorless market - the Pen series has a very large market share - over 25% of the market (the OMD E-M5 accounted for less than 2%). Now it seems to me that these sort of numbers for the Pen series are not sustainable - the Pens are facing a lot of competition from Panasonic (GM1), Fuji (XM/XA), Canon, Nikon and Sony. And I just dont think the Pen series are overwhelmingly strong products to maintain their market dominance.
I agree with you that Sony is a viable player. Currently their new full frame mirrorless is lacking the well developed system of the m43, but I think because Sony is a chip player and that they can afford to play this game longer and hopefully have a more developed system. I know Canon and Nikon are brewing new products to stave off stagnant sales. Nikon has a history of making fantastic evolutionary products, so I don't doubt they won't this time and so is Canon. Which is why I agree that when the dust settles, Canon and Nikon will come out somewhat unscathed. Your views on the other things are in line with what we in the industry know.

Thanks!
 

robbie36

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These predictions are not new...
Olympus has done a lot in the last two years to trim waste and recent corporate statements are predicting a camera division recovery to profitability later in 2014.
Dan
Actually it is Olympus's prediction that are nothing new. The imaging division has lost money 5 years in a row. Olympus has never issued an official forecast that says the imaging division will make a loss 'next year'. In fact they have always issued forecasts saying it will make a 'profit' next year and it always makes losses. The company is forecasting 660k ILC sales this year (1H 250k) and 1m next year in its official forecasts. It is, however telling analysts that it will now only do 600k this year and they dont expect to breakeven next year or possibly the year after.

As for 'trimming waste' and cutting costs it is all relative. Olympus imaging division revenues have fallen from US$3.2bn in 2008 to US$800m this year. In not one of those years of revenue fall have they reduced their overhead costs by as much as revenues have fallen (in percentage terms). As a consequence their cost ratios are way higher than in the past and are currently quite insane. So dont believe what writers are telling you is fine but dont believe what Olympus is telling you because the Division has missed every forecast ever made by them.
 

bikerhiker

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Actually it is Olympus's prediction that are nothing new. The imaging division has lost money 5 years in a row. Olympus has never issued an official forecast that says the imaging division will make a loss 'next year'. In fact they have always issued forecasts saying it will make a 'profit' next year and it always makes losses. The company is forecasting 660k ILC sales this year (1H 250k) and 1m next year in its official forecasts. It is, however telling analysts that it will now only do 600k this year and they dont expect to breakeven next year or possibly the year after.

As for 'trimming waste' and cutting costs it is all relative. Olympus imaging division revenues have fallen from US$3.2bn in 2008 to US$800m this year. In not one of those years of revenue fall have they reduced their overhead costs by as much as revenues have fallen (in percentage terms). As a consequence their cost ratios are way higher than in the past and are currently quite insane. So dont believe what writers are telling you is fine but dont believe what Olympus is telling you because the Division has missed every forecast ever made by them.
Enron? -- people seemed to be way too gullible to trust companies like Olympus. Haven't they learned from Enron or Bear Stearns? Blackberry burned a bunch of their own ******s with Thorsten Heins too.
 

Dalton

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Actually it is Olympus's prediction that are nothing new. The imaging division has lost money 5 years in a row. Olympus has never issued an official forecast that says the imaging division will make a loss 'next year'. In fact they have always issued forecasts saying it will make a 'profit' next year and it always makes losses. The company is forecasting 660k ILC sales this year (1H 250k) and 1m next year in its official forecasts. It is, however telling analysts that it will now only do 600k this year and they dont expect to breakeven next year or possibly the year after.

As for 'trimming waste' and cutting costs it is all relative. Olympus imaging division revenues have fallen from US$3.2bn in 2008 to US$800m this year. In not one of those years of revenue fall have they reduced their overhead costs by as much as revenues have fallen (in percentage terms). As a consequence their cost ratios are way higher than in the past and are currently quite insane. So dont believe what writers are telling you is fine but dont believe what Olympus is telling you because the Division has missed every forecast ever made by them.
I cannot recall a single instance in the last five years previous to this recent Olympus forecast where Olympus has predicted a return to profitability in the next year let alone your "always".

Can you please post a link to an instance in the last five years other than this year where Olympus corporate made such a prediction as you are asserting? Your Olympus official prediction of "always" statement has me scratching my head.
Dan
 

Gary Ramey

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http://www.olympus-global.com/en/common/pdf/brief146PA_5.pdf This is the latest Olympus financial report. As you can see, the successful piece of the story is the mirrorless cameras whose sales only declined 3% overall. Nikon and Canon have both adjusted forecasts down as stated. Both are the Goliath's of the industry. Either could come out with a very innovative mirrorless design that deals another blow to Olympus but as of right now, none of their cameras compete. Olympus has put two flagship products out that that I have used. I would be very surprised if both these lines aren't profitable by the end of 2014.
 

Gary Ramey

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http://nikonrumors.com/2013/02/06/nikon-cuts-their-anual-profit-forecast.aspx/ Nikon is trending the wrong direction and has been for several years. Again, we can simply go back in history and look at industry leaders who sat on the lead and did nothing innovative. Right now, Canon and Nikon are simply making tweaks to old technology and are followers into the mirrorless domain. If I'm an executive in those companies, that would concern me. They need to look no further than Nokia who once owned the mobile phone industry a few short years ago.
 

speedandstyle

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I don't put a huge amount of credence into the notion that Olympus and the others will fail completely. They may have to reorganize or merge and for sure need to change how they do some things. They have already lessened or stopped production of entry level cameras which were not much better than the cameras built into smart devices. They are also making much better compacts often that fill some niche{for instance ruggedized/waterproof}. Then there is the Sony QX cameras. They aren't perfect but the concept is a good one.

One thing I think the camera companies ought to do is work with the phone makers. Image an iPhone with an interchangeable lens camera built in or at least one with a better sensor and true zoom lens. The other thing that they need to do is advertise better, at least in the USA. It does not have to be traditional advertising. Fuji has already figured this out and has ads on Hulu. I have also seen a few google type ads on webpages for Panasonic G series cameras. If they can also get into mainstream sellers like Walmart and Bestbuy then sales will go up here in the USA.
 

speedandstyle

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Again, we can simply go back in history and look at industry leaders who sat on the lead and did nothing innovative. Right now, Canon and Nikon are simply making tweaks to old technology and are followers into the mirrorless domain. If I'm an executive in those companies, that would concern me. They need to look no further than Nokia who once owned the mobile phone industry a few short years ago.
KODAK! Once one of if not the greatest photography company, the inventor of digital cameras but now they are gone! Of coarse trends change and even companies who respond well don't always survive.
 

robbie36

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I cannot recall a single instance in the last five years previous to this recent Olympus forecast where Olympus has predicted a return to profitability in the next year let alone your "always".

Can you please post a link to an instance in the last five years other than this year where Olympus corporate made such a prediction as you are asserting? Your Olympus official prediction of "always" statement has me scratching my head.
Dan
Look the only reason you cant remember is because you have never looked up the data. Dont be so lazy and go to the www.olympus-global.com website and look it up for yourself.

Let me give you just one example. This is from the presentation of March 2012 results forecasting a profit to March 2013 on sales of 149bn yen.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Now in the event - actual sales were 108bn (so they missed their sales forecast by 30%) and the business lost 23.1bn - so they missed their profit forecast by US$250m. Now if they are forecasting a profit for a year they reported record losses, it wont really surprise you that they also always forecast a profit when losses werent so heroically bad. Anyway you have data goin g back to 2008 there so, you have plenty of opportunities to show me that Olympus ever forecast the imaging division to make a loss in the 'next financial year'. Good luck.
 

iso640

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I think part of the problem is price point. In America, often times, bigger is better wins out. So people see a DSLR for less than a mirrorless camera, with lens and think, that's gotta be better...plus it's cheaper.

Hell, I sometimes scratch my head and wonder why I bought the EM-5 when it cost more than my Nikon D5100 kit (without lens) and I bought the EM-5 used. Of course, I'm getting things from the EM-5 that I can't with my Nikon but your average consumer doesn't know this. I think if mirrorless retailed nearer the $300 MSRP, they'd sell better in America--of course, that doesn't help with the profit-loss these companies are already experiencing.
 

RT_Panther

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What's interesting is that the biggest & most DSLR-like Micro Four Thirds bodies (E-M1/E-M5/GH2/GH3) are the ones winning most of the awards.
 

fredlong

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What's interesting is that the biggest & most DSLR-like Micro Four Thirds bodies (E-M1/E-M5/GH2/GH3) are the ones winning most of the awards.
That may be because they're all big enough to hold comfortably in your hands rather than your fingers. IMO the EM5 barely qualifies although I still want one.

Fred
 

RichDesmond

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It's always funny how much emotion these sorts of threads generate. :) It's like people take it personally when someone predicts that a company they've purchased a product from might go out of business.
I certainly don't view it as unreasonable to think that the mainstream photography market might consolidate to 2-4 companies. Or it might not. Or cell phone cameras could get so good that they become the entirety of the mainstream. Or some new company could come along with a product and vision that sweeps all the existing companies aside.
I don't really care what happens, as long as tools exist that allows me to take the pictures I want to take.
 

zapatista

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Yeah, predictions are facts. Does this mean that Panasonic will pay me to get a G5 when they inevitably "get out of the camera biz."?
 

yakky

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Sad fact is that camera systems are going the way of the horse and buggy. You can still buy a horse and buggy, but there are very few left in that market. Cell phones are taking over, getting better and better. That is the trend and its here to stay. The rest is speculation.
 

Fred S

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Sad fact is that camera systems are going the way of the horse and buggy. You can still buy a horse and buggy, but there are very few left in that market. Cell phones are taking over, getting better and better. That is the trend and its here to stay. The rest is speculation.
I have to agree here
Most people just want to take pictures, and to them an OK picture is good enough
 

Jonathan F/2

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Cell phones aren't going to take over photography. Even people with decent cell phone cameras still manage to take crappy photos. Just going by my own friends on FB, I'd say photography amongst the general populace is getting worst!
 
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