Robin Wong's Ten Things OM Digital Solutions must do...

AmritR

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Maybe, but he was a bit of a prick too, if I remember well what I read about his son Edsel. And far from being always right either.
M.
True enough. You’ll find many examples like that. Very talented, groundbreaking, but also with (serious) character flaws. And sometimes just the way things were in that age and time.
 

D7k1

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The key thing that JIP has to do is drive enough revenue to be profitable. In this market that takes a lot more than just having good or great products it means on point marketing, pricing sensitivity, Product availability and more importantly how various things have greatly impacted the number of people who have a high level of disposable income. Because JIP got the Olympus Camera division so inexpensively (who knows the deal really was) the are going to have to drive operating income - Olympus Corp. proved that at current sales levels their current product lineup could not accomplish that. I don't think that unless a new model of the distribution chain and pricing that is compensatory are developed that JIP will be able to keep producing products and paying staff, let alone R&D. Financials after one year of operation will be the most important metric. Talk is cheap, financial performance is what will matter. Who knows what the market for these products will be given that the world economies (and most importantly the supply chain) are still under enormous stress. With the costs of containers (I saw yesterday where one retailer had to pay $67,000 for shipping and container use) now extremely uncertain as to cost and availability will products be in the supply chain for people who want to buy to purchase them? Reports of items having wait times for months before getting loaded into containers is severely impacting the supply chain. In the Astronomy markets people are waiting 5 to 8 months for delivery of scopes - most dealers are sold out of scopes.

If you are JIP how much of a gamble do you take with even current products in production if you don't think you can get them shipped for months? I have no Chrystal ball but if we have more waves of the virus in the summer and whole countries have industry shutdowns I am not sure there is a magic path for JIP to resurrect the Olympus line of products, and of course some other camera manufacturers could/will have similar issues and may fail.
 

pdk42

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I agree about MFT as a whole, but I'm unsure about OMDS in the grand scheme of things. MFT has the enormous advantage of being open, so any player in the industry, established or not, can cobble any kind of project, camera or lens, and benefit from the existing ecosystem.
But when it comes to photography, I feel as a whole Japan is currently being displaced much like Germany was displaced at the end of WWII. Costs are too high and volumes are too low to sustain the industry. Penatx had pretty much folded, Olympus too, Nikon is on the brink, and we're not safe from a surprise under investors pressure from either Canon or Sony.
On the other hand, China is a relatively new and as yet untapped market. They have the industrial capacity, and an open standard is a godsend. See the likes of Iowa, 7artisans, Alice...
If photography is to survive as a segment separate from the GSM, I think the future may well be with MFT - but not necessarily with the current Japanese brands.
M.
Is there a Chinese company that is yet at the point of producing a quality camera system? I know that Yi had a bash with the M1, but I see it's no longer on Yi's website so I guess they've given up on it.
 

mauve

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Is there a Chinese company that is yet at the point of producing a quality camera system? I know that Yi had a bash with the M1, but I see it's no longer on Yi's website so I guess they've given up on it.
Rome wasn't built in a day. We're absolutely not there yet, but where there's a vacuum, someone's going to fill the space - if there's a vacuum, which is a pretty big "if". With dwindling sales, the market can't support itself in western countries. Everyone's fussing about "pros need FF", but the reality is photography as a market has been fuelled by consumers of cheap low tier cameras. Olympus failed not because of MFT, but because demand for Mjus vanished. Others will follow suit. Nikon and Canon used to push compacts by the truckload at some point, when was the last time you've seen one in the wild ? Yeah, me neither. Canon won't disappear, but will they be making cameras in ten years ?
So "if" there's still demand for a mid-range camera system, the answer will come from China, and they won't bother paying royalties to anyone when there's an existing open system already. But chances are we're going to see more video oriented systems than pure photographic bodies.
That's my opinion, anyway.
M.
 
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John King

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well, being a nazi sympathizer was as far as I remember not so much of an issue. In the early 1900’s you’ll find a lot of those in all kind of variations. That happens when you look back. You get examples like Rousseau who wrote groundbreaking material on raising children, and put his own children in an orphanage.

His quote was interpreted a direct insult on the historians job. Like a burglar, getting burgled him self. Doesn’t get any worse than that.
Even worse, he was an industrialist. The university was a bit more leftisch.

But they should have checked context. A very successfull entrepreneur, early 1900.’s in the US. Today Ford’s work would be labeled as ‘disruptive’ and silicon valley would be all over it.

Learning from History is a bit of a thing. Usually people learn things from History which supports their preconceptions and biases.

Anyhow, I can go on for hours about this. There are library’s full of books about the profession of historian it self. One of the first books we had to read was ‘What is history’ by Edward Carr.

luckily, this is just about a niche camera brand/system by people who still care one way or another
The eugenics movement had adherents worldwide.

Personally, I think that Machiavelli and von Clausewitz give a somewhat deeper insight into history than a turd like Rousseau.

The very fact that we are discussing these things is proof that Ford was wrong - as if it needed proof.
 

pdk42

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Rome wasn't built in a day. We're absolutely not there yet, but where's there a vacuum, someone's going to fill the space - if there is a vacuum, which is a pretty big "if". With dwindling sales, the market can't support itself in western countries. Everyone's fussing about "pros need FF", but the reality is photography as a market has been fuelled by consumers of cheap low tier cameras. Olympus failed not because of MFT, but because demand for Mjus vanished. Others will follow suit. Nikon and Canon pushed compacts by the truckload at some point, when was the last time you've seen one in the wild ? Yeah, me neither. Canon won't disappear, but will they be making cameras in ten years ?
So "if" there's still demand for a mid-range camera system, the answer will come from China, and they won't bother paying royalties to anyone when there's an existing open system already. But chances are we're going to see more video oriented systems than pure photographic bodies.
That's my opinion, anyway.
M.
I think you're right. Stills photography is dead as a viable market from what I can see. Sure, there are still older people (like me!) who do this sort of thing, but the total size of such a market is small and it's getting smaller. Commercial stills photography is all but dead apart from weddings and such like - but again, that's just too small a market to sustain the number of brands we still have. Video is probably the saviour, but I don't have a good feel for that since, frankly, I don't understand it all!
 

retiredfromlife

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I think you're right. Stills photography is dead as a viable market from what I can see. Sure, there are still older people (like me!) who do this sort of thing, but the total size of such a market is small and it's getting smaller. Commercial stills photography is all but dead apart from weddings and such like - but again, that's just too small a market to sustain the number of brands we still have. Video is probably the saviour, but I don't have a good feel for that since, frankly, I don't understand it all!
I still have hope for the stills part of photography, at least for the hobby market
To the younger generation like my daughter both still and video are dead as far as cameras go, they all just use their phones.
The only cameras they buy are those Fuji [polaroid] like ones that print postage size pictures.

The only people that I see taking videos in the consumer side are taking baby videos, on their phones as well.
I just cant see many consumers taking a lot of video. Storage and processing are just too much trouble.
You can show some friends poor quality photos, but try showing more than a few seconds of home video and everyone turns away.

I think [hope] that most of the video hype is generated by you-tube reviewers, not mainstream hobby photographers.

But then again I am mostly wrong in these things
 

fortwodriver

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You can show some friends poor quality photos, but try showing more than a few seconds of home video and everyone turns away.

But that's the point. As long as they're posting to places like facebook or instagram, they ARE only a few seconds. You don't need that much space for a few seconds of audio + video, and it forces folks to be very sharp with their video subject matter... no long-winded videos like the days of videocameras and home movies that seemed to go on and on and on and on.
 

doady

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All this gloom and doom about a shrinking and dying market, about a medium that is becoming more and more niche doesn't really make sense to me. I doubt that the average person is taking less photos or spending less on photography gear now compared to the 80s or 90s, for example.
 

BDR-529

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I doubt that the average person is taking less photos or spending less on photography gear now compared to the 80s or 90s, for example.

You are absolutely right here. Last year that average person bought a staggering 1,3 billion cameras and couldn't even ram a cheeseburger in his/her mouth without taking a picture or video clip first and posting it to social media.

The amount of images and video clips average person takes every single day has gone absolutely ballistic.

The only downside here is that companies which we consider "camera manufacturers" see none of these sales and as a matter of fact that average Joe has no need for their products because he already has a damn good hybrid camera which he will replace every (second) year with an even better one.

OK, Sony actually sells substantial share of sensors for these "cameras" which is excellent business because each smartphone has 3-4 of them nowadays.
 
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piggsy

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TBH the single biggest thing would be to rationally look at the image circles of their lenses using any available tricks, work out which are the smallest circle / lowest margin 3-5 lenses, discontinue them, retrofit weather sealing and do new versions of them, then come out with a 1:1 ratio sensor that is the largest supportable size for the lenses they want to sell.

Not even kidding, I am going to call the new management very stupid for not doing this incredibly obvious move.
 

fortwodriver

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All this gloom and doom about a shrinking and dying market, about a medium that is becoming more and more niche doesn't really make sense to me. I doubt that the average person is taking less photos or spending less on photography gear now compared to the 80s or 90s, for example.

People are taking far more photos than they ever have in the history of photography. Except they're doing it with their phones, not dedicated cameras. So the doom and gloom is not about taking or making pictures, it's about what people are using to take or make pictures - mainly by people who insist that the only way you can take a good picture is with a box called a camera, made by a camera manufacturer.

I saw an interesting quote the other day:
Oren Harari said: "Electric Light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles."

In this case, smartphones with imaging and sharing capabilities are the disruptive tech.

It's almost a certainty that whatever OMDs does, it will likely have to be something very un-camera like unless they plan to only play in the traditional camera field - which could be their niche.
 
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PakkyT

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then come out with a 1:1 ratio sensor that is the largest supportable size for the lenses they want to sell.

Not even kidding, I am going to call the new management very stupid for not doing this incredibly obvious move.

Except it is not an incredibly obvious move since this only gives you maximum resolution of your sensor if you stick to the 1:1 crop. As soon as you go for a non-square crop (which for most of us would be most of the time) then I think you are now getting less resolution out of your sensor than you would had you used a non-square sensor to begin with.

Or put another way, a 4:3 ratio sensor will give you more pixels than cropping 4:3 out of a 1:1 ratio sensor of the same size. But now I need to run some math and see if that is true.

Edit: Ya, if I did my math right, a 4:3 crop out of a 1:1 sensor would only give you about 78% of the sensor area than if you used a native 4:3 ratio sensor. If your native 18mm x 13.5 mm 4:3 sensor is 20MP, then with the same pixel density, your 4:3 crop out of a 1:1 sensor (15.9x15.9 mm) would give you less than 16MP.
 
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BDR-529

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People are taking far more photos than they ever have in the history of photography. Except they're doing it with their phones, not dedicated cameras. So the doom and gloom is not about taking or making pictures, it's about what people are using to take or make pictures - mainly by people who insist that the only way you can take a good picture is with a box called a camera, made by a camera manufacturer.

I't actually funny to see that some people are in such denial mode that all they can do is scream "doom-monger" each time someone merely copy-pastes publicly available facts.

Like the fact that 1300 million cameras were sold last year, some 8 million of which were ILC:s
That gives a tad over 0,6% market share for proper manufacturers of boxes which are called cameras.
https://petapixel.com/2020/09/18/he...irrorless-cameras-top-brands-shipped-in-2019/

Why can't they think about the potential upside here. If few billion humans simply can't go to toilet anymore without starting a livestream of the event for their friends&family, some of them are bound to believe at some point that said audience just can't fully experience the performance without proper 12bit 8k RAW quality captured through $2000+ Leica or Zeiss lens.
 
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RS86

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I't actually funny to see that some people are in such denial mode that all they can do is scream "doom-monger" each time someone merely copy-pastes publicly available facts.

Like the fact that 1300 million cameras were sold last year, some 8 million of which were ILC:s
That gives a tad over 0,6% market share for proper manufacturers of boxes which are called cameras.
https://petapixel.com/2020/09/18/he...irrorless-cameras-top-brands-shipped-in-2019/

Why can't they think about the potential upside here. If few billion humans simply can't go to toilet anymore without starting a livestream of the event for their friends&family, some of them are bound to believe at some point that said audience just can't fully experience the performance without proper 12bit 8k RAW quality captured through $2000+ Leica or Zeiss lens.

You don't even often reply to my arguments or questions, and keep repeating the same doom & gloom over and over. So I don't scream anything, but try to ask and argue, but you have your style.

Thom Hogan article said that the mirrorless camera market will likely be 4-5 million per year in the future, and similar estimates have been put out by the manufacturers. Why should ILC market be compared to phones market? Makes no sense.

Phones are very clumsy to use as cameras, and have limitations. That won't likely go away even with Alice, if that will ever even be popular.
 

AmritR

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You don't even often reply to my arguments or questions, and keep repeating the same doom & gloom over and over. So I don't scream anything, but try to ask and argue, but you have your style.

Thom Hogan article said that the mirrorless camera market will likely be 4-5 million per year in the future, and similar estimates have been put out by the manufacturers. Why should ILC market be compared to phones market? Makes no sense.

Phones are very clumsy to use as cameras, and have limitations. That won't likely go away even with Alice, if that will ever even be popular.
smartphones and traditional cams might probably converge at some point in the future. Competition is fierce in the smartphone market, and the camera modules continue to expand. At some point if might be an option to include a camera module with a lensmount to expand sales into new territory and gain some extra marketshare.

I don’t know how open therese lensmounts really are. Would the L-mount or m43 consortiums allow for example Oppo to morph the L / m43 mount with one of their smartphones?
 

RS86

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smartphones and traditional cams might probably converge at some point in the future. Competition is fierce in the smartphone market, and the camera modules continue to expand. At some point if might be an option to include a camera module with a lensmount to expand sales into new territory and gain some extra marketshare.

I don’t know how open therese lensmounts really are. Would the L-mount or m43 consortiums allow for example Oppo to morph the L / m43 mount with one of their smartphones?

I'm not sure if this will have tilt/articulating screen. Or if this will succeed.

"Why Micro Four Thirds? Isn’t it dead?

Alice uses the Micro Four Thirds lens mount because it is a (relatively) open standard, it is the most compact of the popular professional systems both in terms of lens size, lens weight and camera thickness, and there is an extraordinary variety of lenses available at a vast range of costs, focal lengths and speeds. We believe that many (though not all) of the disadvantages of the system compared to full-frame systems can be compensated for using computational techniques at a lower cost and weight."

https://alice.camera/
 
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doady

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People are taking far more photos than they ever have in the history of photography. Except they're doing it with their phones, not dedicated cameras. So the doom and gloom is not about taking or making pictures, it's about what people are using to take or make pictures - mainly by people who insist that the only way you can take a good picture is with a box called a camera, made by a camera manufacturer.

I saw an interesting quote the other day:
Oren Harari said: "Electric Light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles."

In this case, smartphones with imaging and sharing capabilities are the disruptive tech.

It's almost a certainty that whatever OMDs does, it will likely have to be something very un-camera like unless they plan to only play in the traditional camera field - which could be their niche.

Again, how many dedicated cameras were people buying in the past, how much money were people spending on dedicated cameras back then, especially interchangeable lens cameras? Either in terms of volume or revenue, are the sales of interchangeable lens cameras actually lower now compared to 10 or 20 or 30 years ago? I don't see evidence of a shrinking market for m4/3 or ILCs in general.

Photography has grown exponentially since digital replaced film, since the darkroom was replaced by computers, since smartphones replaced crappy point-and-shoots cameras. As the medium of photography continues to grow, as smartphones and other mobile devices continue to improve, both as cameras and as computers, it seems like another opportunity for camera makers to continue to grow and improve their products as well.
 

JonSnih

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Why can't they think about the potential upside here. If few billion humans simply can't go to toilet anymore without starting a livestream of the event for their friends&family, some of them are bound to believe at some point that said audience just can't fully experience the performance without proper 12bit 8k RAW quality captured through $2000+ Leica or Zeiss lens.

I hope that OMDS will not follow that 8K hype with the new 4/3 sensor. It would be a wasted potential 4/3 sensor has, I guess. 20MP is fine, 24-28MP would suffice for very long time if you know what you're doing (= a proper framing). 4K is slowly becoming a mass video format. You want more for editing? What about 5K (15MP) or 6K (18MP). The same with bit depth: 10bit for video could be a good compromise between quality and file size (you can enable 12bit RAW as they did with the 1iii and the 1X for those who really need it).
 

Lcrunyon

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We all know the vast majority of people take photos with a cell phone. It’s been this way for a long time. However, if you enjoy photography as a hobby, if you shoot genres that cell phones cannot do, or if you are a professional photographer, shooting with a cell phone will never compare to shooting with a dedicated camera. It has nothing to do with how good computational photography is becoming. It has to do with the process, the feel, and how the added capabilities of a camera transform the entire experience. As long as there are enough people who fall into these categories as we do, the industry will continue.

But, we also all know that the photography industry will never be comparable to the cell phone industry. Not only is the demand side of the market many times smaller, people don’t replace their photography gear every few years, like they do with smart phones. But no one is saying that the camera industry has to be as large as the cell phone industry. Yes, it’s pretty apparent that the camera industry as it is now is too large, and will probably shed a few players. So, a camera company has to distinguish itself to stay in the business.

This is why OMDS’ strategy is already very good. Instead of suicidally moving to the oversaturated full frame segment, they are sticking with the smaller format of M4/3. The format still has plenty of advantages, especially for the genres OMDS is focusing on, and its so-called disadvantages are negligible. Yes, there are some well-known things that the OMDS needs to do better with than Olympus had; and yes, the brand will need to continue to evolve. But if we look at the history of photography, Olympus has always been right there at the front of the pack when it comes to pushing photography forward. It only really changed when Olympus corporate leadership stopped supporting it.
 
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