Press Release from Olympus about the finalized deal with JIP

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I see Fuji having chosen a similar albeit digital path with their X mount offerings. Eventhough I take few shots with the X100T and not any better than the M10ii, I thoroughly enjoy its use and I am now looking at the dial and button collection that make the X-T2 stand out despite no ibis - I want to be using such a mentality camera and it seems that no other company offers this use parlance so I do not really care of how much better photos can be taken with,say, a Sony.
 

rezatravilla

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Heck, even Panasonic is starting from scratch with FF. I don’t know which position is less enviable if the ILC market is indeed declining. FF is likely a higher margin, but what good does that do you if you are also spending a lot of R&D dollars building out those new products at the same time?

In the beginning, Panasonic has a good strategy which is the alliance with Leica and Sigma for the same mount. Same as with Olympus in m43. But....i don't see that trio really works together.
 

doady

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My Pentax ME Super from 1981 still works when I buy film and load it in a closet. I guess my EM1.2 will keep working for years to come and I doubt my skills will improve with some other camera and lens system.

If I could use a C-7070 for 15 years, no doubt I can use E-M1 II for 15 years as well. Digital imaging technology has matured so maybe the next body I buy won't be such a huge leap, but hopefully there will be a new body for me to buy, right? Digital camera bodies are very complex, especially those of Olympus, that's part of their appeal after all (e.g. IBIS), so they probably won't last as long as a film camera, so there needs to be something to replace my E-M1 II with when that time comes. And before that time maybe I want to want to invest in more lenses. Regardless of system, lenses are the smartest investment, and hopefully we will continue to be given more choices (I still want that 100mm Pro macro, for example). Either way, the system needs to stay current and keep growing and moving forward, even if not as quickly as before. The recent statements do ease some of my concerns, so I will try to be cautiously optimistic about the future.
 

SpecFoto

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Seems they will stop lens production at Nagano factory :(
But also "JIP will also seek new businesses that utilize technology for the growth of the new company."
https://www.43rumors.com/more-info-about-jip-plans-lens-production-factory-in-nagano-will-stop/

No that headline at the junk rumor site is wrong! Numerous Japanese speaking persons in the comments told the admin of the site that, but the a-hole that owns the site wants all the clicks he can get of course. What was actually printed is that there are a couple of lenses still made at the Nagano factory and the Vietnam factory does not have (yet) the capabilities to produce them. So in the meantime Olympus will make those lenses in Nagano and sell them to JIP. The actually list of lenses is not known, but most feel this applies to the new 150-400 f4.5 Pro lens due to release later this year, plus the older 4/3 lenses.

My 3 f2.8 Pro zooms all say made in China, but they are all 5 plus years old and the Vietnam factory was not built yet. Others with newer Pro lenses say that the are now labeled made in Vietnam, including the f1.2 Pro primes.
 
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BDR-529

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Seems they will stop lens production at Nagano factory :(
But also "JIP will also seek new businesses that utilize technology for the growth of the new company."
https://www.43rumors.com/more-info-about-jip-plans-lens-production-factory-in-nagano-will-stop/

The key takeaway was that that JIP expects their sales to drop nearly 50% from a level already so low that it forced Olympus to sell the whole business unit. Olympus was not able to justify the necessary investment in R&D when the sales were not there anymore.

"JIP expects annual sales of 25-30 billion yen (last years sales were 43.6 billion yen) "

Since JIP does not have the ability to cover USD160+ million loss from camera business every year with their other units like Olympus did, what kind of R&D are they supposed to fund from profits they get from operations?
 
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retiredfromlife

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The key takeaway was that that JIP expects their sales to drop nearly 50% from a level already so low that it forced Olympus to sell the whole business unit. Olympus was not able to justify the necessary investment in R&D when the sales were not there anymore.

"JIP expects annual sales of 25-30 billion yen (last years sales were 43.6 billion yen) "

Since JIP does not have the ability to cover USD160+ million loss from camera business every year with their other units like Olympus did, what kind of R&D are they supposed to fund from profits they get from operations?
I have forgotten the figures but Canon also expect a big drop in sales, so possibly all players are in the same boat there
 

BDR-529

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I have forgotten the figures but Canon also expect a big drop in sales, so possibly all players are in the same boat there

They are. Canon predicted that ILC sales will drop to five million units this year and if I remember correctly, they made this predition just before the corona crisis started.

All remaining ILC manufacturers are actually in such position that they could simply shut down or divest their entire camera business without taking a significant hit. Well, it would actually improve their profits and financial situation but my point was that camera units are so small part of their total business that company would not shrink to half it they let it go. (with the exception of Nikon where it's still over 40% of revenue)
 

RichardC

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The key takeaway was that that JIP expects their sales to drop nearly 50% from a level already so low that it forced Olympus to sell the whole business unit. Olympus was not able to justify the necessary investment in R&D when the sales were not there anymore.

"JIP expects annual sales of 25-30 billion yen (last years sales were 43.6 billion yen) "

Since JIP does not have the ability to cover USD160+ million loss from camera business every year with their other units like Olympus did, what kind of R&D are they supposed to fund from profits they get from operations?

JIP will scale their output and overhead in line with expected marketshare. It would be idiotic to do anything else.

They don't have to manufacture anything themselves - they can get other suppliers to do that for them provided the end product lives up to customer expectations.

We may reach a stage where multiple brands outsource their optical R&D and manufacturing to a single company such as Sigma, who could in turn would build a stronger design team made up of talented people now surplus to requirements at other shrinking camera companies.

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

We'll just have to wait and see.
 

BDR-529

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They don't have to manufacture anything themselves - they can get other suppliers to do that for them provided the end product lives up to customer expectations.

We may reach a stage where multiple brands outsource their optical R&D and manufacturing to a single company such as Sigma, who could in turn would build a stronger design team made up of talented people now surplus to requirements at other shrinking camera companies.

I have actually quite a lot of experience in outsourcing R&D and manufacturing so I can confirm that this is indeed doable per se.

It is possible to hold just the brand and buy a turn-key product from ODM manufacturer (which is exactly what JIP is doing with VAIO laptops) or split the whole project into parts and subcontract R&D, SW design, mechanical subassemblies and manufacturing to different houses. JIP did even outsource the distribution and service of their VAIO business to external subcontractor.

But here's the point: outsourcing everything to lowest bidder will not contribute anything to quality of your products or services even if it will increase your profits in short term. Olympus for one, is a brand where loyality is based on very hight quality of their products and olympus customers have been willing to pay a very high mark-up for that.

I bet that anyone over 40 here has seen what happens to once prestigious brands in consumer electronics, cars, hifi equipment of mobile phones after someone decides to make a quick profit by exploiting the reputation which took decades to develop. What JIP did to VAIO is just that.
 
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retiredfromlife

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But here's the point: outsourcing everything to lowest bidder will not contribute anything to quality of your products or services even if it will increase your profits in short term. Olympus for one, is a brand where loyality is based on very hight quality of their products and olympus customers have been willing to pay a very high mark-up for that.
This is my biggest concern, outsourcing manufacturing and service.
Being in my sixties I have been through a few company sell offs and restructures. They are never the same. Some survived but in a way lesser form. I just hope that the ongoing [if that is what they really intend] new company can / will produce to the same standards, but that may not be profitable?

Time will tell...:speechless:
 

BDR-529

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I'm pretty pleased with my Olympus Sigma 75mm f1.8 though.

And I'm likewise pleased with my Sigma Sigma 56mm f1.4 though.

This is a very good example of how far you can get by selling ODM products under your brand with ridiculously high mark-up even when the 75mm f1.8 is a very good lens by any standards. It clearly uses Sigma patent but I have actually not seen any evidence that is was fully designed by Sigma or manufactured by them.

Where's the problem here then?
I paid 329€ for my Sigma 56mm f1.4 at local online camera store
Best price I can find for Olympus 75mm f1.8 is 650€ at Amazon.de

So, why would I pay 100% more to have "Olympus" printed on my Sigma lens?

I could have afforded 650€ too but I did go through a lot of reviews and they were pretty unanimous about the conclusion that there's not a single feature where Sigma isn't better than the product sold under Olympus brand. Here's one example
https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/micro-four-thirds-lenses/sigma-56mm-1-4-vs-olympus-75mm-1-8/
" For example, at the time of writing, the M.Zuiko 75mm is around $300 more expensive than the 56mm, even though it is approximately 2/3 stops slower, not quite as sharp at a distance, and lacks dust and moisture resistance. "

Even if they were equally priced the only reason to select "Olympus" over Sigma is that you are shooting these primes in such conditions where you just can't take two steps closer and absolutely must have 75mm instead of 56mm.

In the long run you can't get away with selling badge engineered products at higher price. Just ask British Motor Corporation how well it worked for them.
 
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BDR-529

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The outcome will not change by labeling even somewhat realistic evaluations as "doomsday prophets"

Olympus could sell a 75mm lens for 650€ as long as it really is an Olympus lens and at least marginally better in everything than a 330€ Sigma equivalent. A bit more premium feel and materials count as well but it can't be inferior in optical performance.

Olympus could also get away with filling a single gap in their lens lineup with one ODM model as long as it's a good product but there's absolutely no way JIP could build an entire business on this model and expect customers to pay 100% for having "Olympus" logo printed on generic products which are also sold under original brand at half the price.

I did personally pay a hefty premium for my 12-60mm "Leica" lens over an almost identical Panasonic 12-60mm one because it really is - if only slightly - better in everything. It has wider aperture, it's marginally sharper, it has better DFD autofocus and it doesn't lose focus point when zoomed in our out (I forgot the technical term for this) and it's totally silent.

The only reason I did cough up 300€ more was the fact that I use this lens for video (soccer mostly) in such conditions where I really have to push this lens to it's limits so even small improvements really make a difference. Otherwise I would have just gone for the cheaper Panasonic option because - let's be honest - both were really designed and manufactured by Panasonic. The only contribution from Leica was to allow panny to slap their logo on the other lens for a fee.
 

amit

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Maybe JIP is going to buy sony ff sensors and bring us some kind of em1-ff with killer ibis and handling and open mount for sigma tamron and samyang.
Could be quite compatitive with not huge r&d.
 

doady

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I actually think I got into Micro Four Thirds at the right time with E-M1 II as my first body last year. Of course, sometimes I wish E-M1 III came out a few months earlier and I could have got an extra stop of IS, but even E-M1 II is not likely to become obsolete or outdated anytime soon, I can just concentrate spending on new lenses instead. That was my plan all along anyways, even before this JIP thing. Maybe I'm not the only one.

I think that's why manufacturers have been trying hard to come up with reasons to get people to buy new bodies, such as full frame sensors. But what's next? Medium format? Then large format? It doesn't seem like a good long term strategy. Maybe that's all Olympus is doing here, and maybe they won't be the only one. I hope I'm wrong but it seems eerily reminiscent of what happened to the desktop computers and computer parts: the technological improvements are slowing and what's current will be more than good enough for years to come anyways. So when the industry talks about the decline in camera sales, I'm guessing it's mostly the camera bodies they are talking about, rather than the lenses.
 

hoggdoc

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No-one, other than JIP/Olympus knows how the JIP/Olympus deal will pan out. Best case scenario - it's a success. Worse case scenario - something breaks and I have to buy a secondhand replacement.
I think a reasonable person can get a pretty good idea of how this will all pan out by looking at JIP's track record with other companies they have bought.
 

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