Rumors about Olympus sale to Panasonic

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by JJJPhoto, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    Several sites are talking about a rumor that Olympus is negotiating the sale of its consumer imaging division to Panasonic.

    43 Rumors | Home

    I don't know how I feel about that. I'm no Olympus fanboy. I've owned a couple of Panasonic cameras and they've been great. My Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens is also my "go to" lens for my Olympus m4/3 cameras. I've also had some random Panasonic electronics in my home and they've all been good.

    However, there is something unsettling about even the remote "possibility" of no more Olympus cameras/lenses. I won't go as far as to say a sale of Olympus to Panasonic would result in me abandoning all my 4/3 and m4/3 gear, but I'd be worried ... and I'm not entirely sure why.

    Change happens, but I'm not too enthusiastic about the possibility of this particular change.

  2. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Hmm haven't seen much more evidence than an anonymous person supposedly saying something..or rumors website referring to another rumors site. Not too worried yet.

    I really hope it's not close to the truth though. While we'd make some immediate gains in the camera tech consolidation, it would be detrimental to the format due to the loss of competition and being at the mercy of one company.
  3. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I again hope its not true, I like Olympus and while I can see that the parent company might want to focus on the medical division they can't be doing too badly out of m4/3, I like the idea of competition between the two and personally the way Panasonic have gone (no proper replacement GF1) I don't see a body in their line I'd buy, I'd probably be off to the NEX system.
  4. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    I already own both m4/3 cameras and one NEX camera (NEX-3) although I view the NEX-3 as more of a toy than a serious camera, the NEX-7 makes it look like Sony is headed in the right direction.

    Yeah, if Olympus sold the imaging division to Panasonic I would seriously debate selling my Olympus gear and buying into NEX completely ... but I'm hoping this is all just pointless rumor speculation.
  5. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Its not like their "competition" has greatly expanded the lens/body options - we essentially only have duplicates with different labels (and OIS vs IBIS) right now.

    Think of all the good it COULD do. Imagine if the EP1 had come out with its JPG engine and the speed/responsiveness of the GF1 ... and that over 2 iterations off that starting point, where would it be now? My guess is something like the NEX7/PENPRO/GF7...

    Imagine where Olympus could be without the chokehold on sensor supply.

    Imagine where Panny could be with Oly engineers tuning their JPG engines.

    Imagine what lenses a room full of Zuiko and Leica-trained engineers could turn out.
  6. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    Actually, they can (and will) do what they want - a camera is only a tool, and the name on the front of it doesn't bother me in the slightest, as long as it suits my needs. As much as I like them, I'm not fanboy enough to think that Olympus is the only camera I can work with.... it would be a blip then business as usual no doubt.

    We might even get an update to the geriatric menu system should Panny buy them out! :biggrin:
  7. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    Panasonic wouldn't have to cease Olympus camera manufacturing. They could continue both Panasonic and Oly lines of gear to appeal to fans of both brands. If it happens, it may well be a good thing, though competition between the brands would be lost, which isn't necessarily such a good thing.

    For my use, as long as there are great m4/3 bodies and lenses to work with which have feature sets I prefer to use, I don't care what the brand name is. I buy mostly Panasonic m4/3 gear because they offer the feature sets I prefer, but if the cameras had the Olympus name on the front, I wouldn't be bothered by that in the least. It's all about the product itself, I don't care about the name on it.
  8. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    After the last two weeks of tech news.... anything is possible, heh.

    But this would be bad IMO. Even if run as it's own group, it's just not a good way to go if we want competition. I would argue if it happened, they'd be merged as one company, and I'd say go with olympus honestly. They have a history that they have not push enough in the camera world.

    It sounds crazy, but hey, HP wants out of the PC business and screwed up a $1.2B purchase of Palm.

    I'd almost rather see Canon buy Olympus. And join m43, using olympus as their mirrorless market and maintaining their EOS DSLRS for larger sensors. No new lens lineup to develop. Decently loyal fanbase. Strong sales. They'd probably sacrifice their rebel sales a bit, but I think they could more than make up for it.
  9. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I'd love to see this, have Panasonic keep the Olympus name and position the brand as the enthusiast brand. They can infuse Olympus with the capital and technology they need (GH2 sensor? EVF?) to make a real NEX-7 competitor.

    Panasonic can have their Lumix line be for P&S upgraders and video geeks.
  10. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I know this is a more speculative rumor, but interesting to think about. It does seem like there is not a lot of overlap, and each name could live on, with products geared to their strengths... maybe all rangefinder style bodies would be Oly, for example.

    One of the big attractions to m4/3 for me, though, was the fact that two vendors building bodies to the standard, and potential for others to join on bodies (e.g. Fuji) as well as glass.
  11. JohnMoeleker

    JohnMoeleker New to Mu-43

    Aug 25, 2011
    I would be very sad!
    In the 70's I had a Pen. Now I have one of the first Pen's in the Netherlands (with 2 oly lenses and 1 pana)
    It is great for my trips and weekends (for serious work I use a Nikon with 7 Nikkor lenses)

    If the Pen stops, I would change to an other small camera
  12. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm even surprised Olympus stayed around this long. They've so far have survived from all the original Japanese camera brands, and have made a niche with m4/3rds. Only problem is that they still have 4/3rds to worry about. Even with inroads with the PEN series, if they can't further develop the standard 4/3rds system it's going to pull them down. It's a shame too, those 4/3rds lenses are very good.
  13. scotth

    scotth Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2011
    Olympus is a bigger company than just cameras, they make medical equipment and microscopes and stuff too. If a division is losing money though, most corporations are going to do something about it.

    I've said it before, I am not sure I like where panasonic is headed with their new releases, and panasonic purchasing Olympus would be concerning to me. I am guessing it would definitely be the end of the 4/3rd standard (not m4/3rd) as well.

    It will be interesting to see what happens.
  14. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Panasonic buying Olympus would not mean the Olympus brand disappearing. if that were the case, why would they buy it?

    if managed well, having two brands, but sharing resources, could be to our benefit.
  15. robertmwilliams

    robertmwilliams Mu-43 Regular

    I hope this turns out to be false.
    With the trend in Panasonic cameras (except for the high end GH series) being 'dumbed down' in the controls department with each new model, I would hate to see this 'inovation' moved to PEN bodies.
    Also Panasonic seems to be moving to only 2 types of lenses; the P&S type 'X' and the uber expensive PanLeica.
    I doubt a lens like the Olympus 12mm or upcoming Olympus 45mm f/1.8 would have been developed under Panasonic rule. At least not in the sub $1000 price range.
    It could be that I am just jaded from all supply problems (even prior to the Japanese disaster) and absurd lens price fluctuations back when I owned a Panasonic m4/3.
  16. scotth

    scotth Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2011
    It all depends how the merger is handled. Panasonic could discontinue the olympus lines to reduce overhead. It is hard to say.
  17. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I disagree. I think that's an easy call: buying this portion of Olympus will not be cheap. They would be buying brand and ability. Brand is so much more than a name. Close down the Olympus lines and you lose the brand, and waste money.

    That makes no business sense in this scenario.
  18. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    Have to agree - BMW didn't stick their badges on Rolls Royce cars when they bought them. They wanted the brand, not the engineering....
  19. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    Or use Olympus to fill out their line:

    GF series becomes the entry point

    G series and EP series merge into the mid-point with Nex-7 like viewfinder (and hopefully IBIS).

    GH series is high end photo and video (getting same viewfinder)
  20. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    It's also though to say how such a merger would be handled in terms of the brand names. When Konica purchased Minolta it became "Konica Minolta" and when Konica Minolta sold the camera business to Sony the Minolta brand name was abandoned completely. When Hoya bought Pentax the Pentax brand remained in place but it's too early in the sale process to know whether Ricoh will keep the Pentax brand name.

    Again, I hope this rumor is false, but if true there's no telling whether the Olympus brand name will survive.