Olympus latest full fiscal year results

humzai

Mu-43 Veteran
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Apr 17, 2012
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410
The analysis was good but the news is not. Olympus has been hitting it out of the ballpark for the past 2-3 years and I don't what else they can do. The most obvious thing is that they need to improve their video and focus on getting into the prosumer video market. Another thing they should focus on is improved af tracking and release the pro lenses that benefit from it.
 

MarkRyan

Instagram: @MRSallee
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May 3, 2013
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856
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California
There are at least two ways to look st this, from a marketing perspective. Either:

A) Olympus is not attracting a large enough percentage of the traditional camera market. They are not eating enough of the pie.

B) Olympus is not attracting enough new camera users. They are not making a new pie.

The answer is likely some combination of both, but what Olympus focuses will be interesting.

If the former, Olympus will focus on addressing things that people on this forum and in other camera communities cite as issues. Video performance, pro lenses, EVF performance, auto focus tracking, maybe sensor size, etc.

If the latter, most of that doesn't matter. Price, form factor, features, software, marketing matter.

In either case, existing users will benefit, but in different ways. As much as I should say I prefer Olympus focus on the core, I'm honestly more interested in turning focus to attracting a new market just because I see a lot of untapped potential in camera functionality. Everyone else (Nikon, Sony, etc.) will advance IQ and the typical photo community demands, there won't be lack of that stuff.

Olympus, a small, struggling Japanese company, is not a likely suspect to break out and make big advancements in software and marketing, but I'd love to be wrong.
 

D7k1

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
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Nov 18, 2013
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Actually its not just Olympus, its the entire industry. Olympus and Panasonic are seemingly just not selling enough product, but then again neither is anyone else. It will be very interesting over the next 3 to 4 years to see who is left. The industry had a shake out before and it will probably happen again. I sent Tom an email and his take seems to be what will Japan's fiscal policy be in order to support the industry (basically watch the exchange rate). Let's hope one of the two MFT companies still produces cameras. If the rumors are true that Olympus uses the camera division for research, perhaps they can just narrow the camera's to a smaller set (2 pens, 2 OMD) and keep in the game. But as a photographer it was a depressing read.
 

uscrx

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$999 release price is too high to compete with canon rebel kit at Costco who sells for $699. I say discount it and put them in costco and sams club..then sell higher margin accessories.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Mu-43 mobile app
 

madogvelkor

Mu-43 Top Veteran
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Feb 22, 2013
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Connecticut
Actually its not just Olympus, its the entire industry. Olympus and Panasonic are seemingly just not selling enough product, but then again neither is anyone else. It will be very interesting over the next 3 to 4 years to see who is left. The industry had a shake out before and it will probably happen again. I sent Tom an email and his take seems to be what will Japan's fiscal policy be in order to support the industry (basically watch the exchange rate). Let's hope one of the two MFT companies still produces cameras. If the rumors are true that Olympus uses the camera division for research, perhaps they can just narrow the camera's to a smaller set (2 pens, 2 OMD) and keep in the game. But as a photographer it was a depressing read.
People see less reason to upgrade or buy cameras in general. Most people are avoiding P&S for cellphones, and don't see the point in a more advanced camera. And those who do have a DSLR have less reason to upgrade. I was talking to a guy taking photos of birds with a Pentax K10 and a Quantaray 100-300mm, and he was perfectly happy with the quality.
 

pdk42

One of the "Eh?" team
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Jan 11, 2013
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Leamington Spa, UK
I think it's easy to see what's happening. P&S is dead and Mirrorless is still not penetrating the consumer DSLR sector (at least outside of Japan and some other far east markets). The big volume is the low-end DSLR and u43 is simply too expensive and the wrong brand (i.e. not Canon or Nikon). If Oly could get the E-M10 to match the price of the Rebels etc, then I think they may stand a chance.
 

Jay86

Mu-43 Veteran
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Dec 26, 2012
Messages
477
Olympus is dying... :frown:

Maybe Olympus should just focus on the prosumer market and give up on the entry level... I mean things are bad as it is, it would be worth a shot.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
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Southwest Virginia
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Steve
I think it's easy to see what's happening. P&S is dead and Mirrorless is still not penetrating the consumer DSLR sector (at least outside of Japan and some other far east markets). The big volume is the low-end DSLR and u43 is simply too expensive and the wrong brand (i.e. not Canon or Nikon). Of Oly could get the E-M10 to match the price of the Rebels etc, then I think they may stand a chance.
Your last point may be the key one.
 

Jonathan F/2

Mu-43 Legend
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Aug 10, 2011
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Los Angeles, USA
I have a friend who probably represents the demographic of suburban buyer who knows little about cameras, but is always looking to buy the best deal. In fact he was so excited when the $199 E-PM2 deal hit, despite not knowing anything about mirrorless, sensor size or image quality. No offense to my buddy, but I don't think I want to to rely on those type of consumers to save the photo industry. I say focus on the core, but at least keep an entry EVF-less and built-in EVF option for those who want in, and then focus the rest of the line on the enthusiast. I believe that's what Fuji is doing and they seem perfectly content releasing what their consumers are asking for. M43 is still a strong system, sharing two manufacturers, having the biggest and most diverse lens and camera line-up and also having some of the most unique technologies (IBIS, 4k video, etc.). Micro Four-Thirds still has an impressive resume. I'm sure the other camera brands are salivating to poach the Olympus and Lumix camera divisions if they ever fold! For example, if Sony got a hold of 5-axis IBIS, that would be an amazing technological advantage over the big two (though I doubt they'd leverage such an advantage :tongue:).
 

jurgen

Mu-43 Regular
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Jan 27, 2014
Messages
120
Anecdotal, but - I'm a member of a photography club at a large northeastern United States university and a shooter for the newspaper. Of the ~40 or so camera/photography people I interact with fairly regularly, only one other person shoots mirrorless (an E-M5).

The problem is many-fold, but I think a no-brainer for Olympus would be to substantially up the quality of their video offering. As it stands, there's really no excuse for only offering 30p/low bitrate video, especially when the IBIS works as well as it does for run-and-gun shooting. I moved from Olympus to Panasonic because of the quality of the video, and if I had to start over from scratch (as I did recently anyway), it would be really hard to justify and E-M5 or 1 over a GH3 or 4. Giving video some more love would open up their products to an entirely new type of user.

That said, I love the E-M10 and think it's brilliantly priced. I am eager to pick one up soon, and hope they continue making budget-priced (but not budget-performance) OM-D cameras.
 

Ramsey

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Jan 9, 2013
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Zagreb, Croatia
I think their camera division will stay around. They will just shift some stuff around and hide the losses.
http://www.43rumors.com/olympus-considering-to-merge-medical-and-imaging-division-by-april-2015/
not the sustainable approach but hey, i'm for anything that gets me better and cheaper cameras/lenses.

i think mirrorless is here to stay, the industry (Oly and Panasonic) just has to weather the storm. crisis effects will vanish and people will start buying electronics and gadgets. By that time, more word of the mirrorless will go around the block, and soccer moms (not dissrespect to anyone) will start to ditch the D4s they have lying around (and using it once in a blue moon bcs it's too heavy) and actually start to take pictures with the lighter, cooler looking camera. The lens lineup is phenomenal, and continues to rise.

As far as improvements go, there is plenty to be done and Oly and Panasonic will need to start implementing the community recommendations or they will lose their consumer base. IBIS can get you far but without better tracking, noise handling, video capabilities, pro lenses (and supporting environment - flashes, sync speed etc) things will eventually fold.

Also, EM-10 is a step in good direction, a show of good faith if you will, seeing as the EP-5 (although a wonderful machine) had a ridicilous price point (for a camera without an EVF).
 

cptobvious

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Jan 8, 2013
Messages
320
I'm not a financial guy, but if you look at Oly's financials posted for the past few years, their SG&A expenses have gone from 41% in FYE 2012 to 51% of net sales in FYE 2014. Their sales are falling and it seems they are still paying out more in advertising, salaries and bonuses this year than last. And that's on top of dealing with a 28 billion yen lawsuit from Japanese banks for the accounting scandal
 
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