Rumors (now denied): Olympus to shut down camera division in less than 8 months

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BamaBoy

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hehe, you should get a Subaru then, stellar cage rigidity and compact enough!
jokes aside, you cannot practically navigate most european cities downtowns in an american size SUV/truck - I once saw a GMC truck on the Athens integrated suburb I lived until 10 years ago and it looked ridiculously behemoth in comparison to ALL cars around it - different needs here
I think your last couple words hit the nail on the head... Different Needs. WHY does the mass market of millennials have any other needs than what phone cams offer ? Us photography buffs are a dwindling minority and all camera sales show that. Pros love their large sensors and millennials love their instant access to FB etc... Us " tweeners " with M43, fall between the cracks. So Where is the market for us ? Personally I have a 17 year old pristine Subaru Outback which I will never sell, but I am a small minority.
 

wjiang

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whumber

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We have already referenced the Bloomberg article, AND had this rumour link reposted. I'm not sure why the rumour link is getting more attention than the actual article...
Next we need someone posting a link to the post which links the photorumors article which links the Bloomberg article.
 

Pluttis

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Particularly when he (rumour site) seems to delight in any demise of Olympus.
Yeah its quite obvius, wonder why he dont published and spread similar rumors regarding Nikons situation and their statments in the finacial report for image business...their statment is no less worrying than Olympus.

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pake

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So Olympus is thinking about minimizing costs and improving their financial results. How does that differ from Canon/Nikon/Sony/Fuji/Pentax/Apple/Google/Dell/HP/Samsung/GM/Fiat/Toyota/Opel/BMW/Ikea/H&M/insert_any_brand_from_any_industry_here? :th_salute:
 
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Pros love their large sensors and millennials love their instant access to FB etc... Us " tweeners " with M43, fall between the cracks. So Where is the market for us ? Personally I have a 17 year old pristine Subaru Outback which I will never sell, but I am a small minority.
11 years and counting on our Impreza ... let’s hope the restructuring of the products portfolio works out for Olympus as well as it did for Subaru on the long run
 

Aristophanes

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11 years and counting on our Impreza ... let’s hope the restructuring of the products portfolio works out for Olympus as well as it did for Subaru on the long run
Got you all beat. I drove a Subaru Brat.

The accounting scandal from 8 years ago has still not been fully resolved and the presence on the Board of some execs still tainted simply means more (well deserved) scrutiny on the company.
 

Aristophanes

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Yeah its quite obvius, wonder why he dont published and spread similar rumors regarding Nikons situation and their statments in the finacial report for image business...their statment is no less worrying than Olympus.

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Nikon has other optical ventures like eyeglasses and photolithography, but unlike Olympus and Panasonic, are mostly reliant on their consumer and pro imaging market both for revenues and identity. They, and Leica, are the purest of photographic companies. Canon would be next, but Fuji used to be #2 until their transition about 15 years ago. The Olympus and Panasonic photographic revenues are a very small part of their portfolio. Olympus may even improve its fiscal position by not making cameras. But there are corporate DNA, cultural, historical, and egotistical reasons for hanging onto unprofitable lines that cannot be discounted. Ricoh/Pentax comes to mind. Leica was almost dead 15 years ago. A forestry magnate billionaire with a photography fetish bailed them out.

As much as these rumours are unsubstantiated, they exist because there is an institutional market concern about the photographic industry in general.
 

RS86

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Speciousness of the rumour aside, one has to wonder if m43 can support two manufacturers, certainly of stills cameras. With the transition of Olympus towards being totally dominated by its growing medical products, it may only be a matter of time before they shop their Imaging investments to Panasonic, a more natural “home” given the consumer-centric profile of the larger corporate entity. Olympus could literally transfer their Imaging segment to Panasonic for $1 simply to avoid continual losses. Every now and then rumours pop up about BlackMagic in the same context.
Now that the Olympus CEO has said that Olympus is not "hands off" towards possibility of sale anymore, we can see the sad state and reality of affairs that no one wants to buy it even for 1 dollar!!11 :frown: ... :laugh:
 

D7k1

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We are going to see the "shake out" in the industry. Perhaps due to the parent company size, firms like Panasonic, Canon, and Fuji with mixes of various sized sensors will be the last firms standing. Things do change. Look at the "die off" of the sedans in the auto industry. Even if it is just 3 companies offering various products (as there is a market, although a smaller one) that means that competition will still be in the market. I do believe that the first company that puts out cameras who can "social media" will have a great advantage, but for now realize that any gear you buy will have at least a 10 year life of use, so go out and shoot.......
 

drd1135

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a few days ago the one car manufacturer known for being The Small Car maker, FIAT, announced they will be exiting the small car segment due to too low profit margins to make it worth it - over here, that is UNHEARD OF for anybody interested in cars in most of Europe, and yes they did announce that!

hey, you, USA based reader! by small cars over here we mean something like the FIAT 500 and not the Toyota Corolla...
An American small car:

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Got you all beat. I drove a Subaru Brat.
I refuse to have a car that is not old enough to drink, vote, or serve in the military!

My 1991 Dodge Cummins pickup has many fewer problems than my wife's 2006 diesel Jetta, which seems to have "electronics rot," with some new electrical problem every month. Now, the radio stopped working. It still cycles through stations and does everything else, just no audio coming out of the speakers! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

It took five years to find the pickup I wanted. People foolish enough to spend thousands extra on a diesel will also buy all the useless (but error-prone) additions, like power windows, power door locks, power lumbar support, power 4x4.

If I want to roll down the window, I turn a crank. If I need 4x4, I get out and lock the hubs. And I live on a small island, I don't need door locks at all, power or no!

The only thing I don't like is the Dodge eats voltage regulators — a couple a year. I finally relocated it from the centre of the firewall, where you essentially have to climb in the engine compartment and lie down on the engine to change it, to the side, near the battery, where they SHOULD have put it. After all that work, I'm sure it won't need replacing for a while…
 

Eirik

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I think there are a number of reasons why they are not going to quit just yet:
  • They are very resilient, they have been in the business since the very early days, and have held on to the camera divisions through many tough times, like the transition to digital, from FT to mFT, and the accounting scandal. These sort of doomsday scenarios are not new.
  • Like stated above, the camera business' R&D is important to the medical and scientific divisions.
  • They just launched three new camera bodies this year. Some may say they are not properly new, just "new" since they are using old "guts", but they did require a complete retooling of the production line. It is highly unlikely that the board would approve of investing billions in a new factory in Vietnam, with tooling for new cameras if they planned to shut it down just months or a few years later. They also added two new lenses to the system.
  • Olympus can afford this, they are massively profitable today, and their losses in the camera business were much smaller than last year.
  • Quitting the camera business would mean admitting defeat, not only for the company, but also for their philosophy of "small and light". This is something that western companies take lightly too, but not Japanese companies, they take enormous pride in what they do.
When I read that Bloomberg article, I read that as the same thing all the camera manufacturers say, that they are going to implement measures to increase their profits, or focus on their main markets, improve their performance etc. Most likely this just means that they are working on restructuring. What will come from that is not certain, but we might see Olympus do the same as Panasonic and collapse the camera division into the general imaging business. By doing this they can "hide" their losses, while keeping Olympus visible to the public through the sales of consumer (prosumer?) cameras, while also letting the medical and scientific imaging benefit from the camera business' R&D, which they have repeatedly stated to be imperative to the rest of the business.

While I don't know what will happen, nobody does, I think this will be some sort of corporate restructuring. For the future it's not much that needs to be done, only a few new camera bodies on 3(ish) year model cycles, and consistent FW-updates. In my opinion the lens selection for mFT in general and Olympus in particular is so mature that what is launched from now on is just a bonus.

These are just my thoughts.
 
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In my opinion the lens selection for mFT in general and Olympus in particular is so mature that what is launched from now on is just a bonus.
There ya go.

I bought seven lenses in the past year. Only one was auto-focus, the superb ZD 150/2. The others were all manual focus. I didn't get into this system for the new glass I could buy; I got into it (in part) for the ease of using a wide variety of glass.

I went on a photo club walk yesterday to a shoreline wildlife refuge. Three out of ten of us were shooting Olympus! The two guys with big Canon DSLRs on huge tripods spent most of the time helping each other scroll through menus, trying to get auto-focus to do what they wanted it to do.

I shot mostly the OM Zuiko 500/8 mirror with no tripod, thanks to outstanding IBIS, and no auto-focus. I just used age-old tricks like zone focusing. Yea, I had to cull a lot of them, but hey, it's not like I'm limited to 36 exposures!

All the folks shooting Fool Frame with ~300mm tops were talking about how, "of course, I'll have to crop." With 1000mm equivalent, I don't have to crop.

I swear, I don't understand why people buy 50Mpx cameras, just to open Photoshop and throw away half the pixels! I might only have 20Mpx, but I use them all! I suspect that for anything that needs over 300mm, most Fool Frame users are actually using so-called "crop frame" anyway!

As for mirror-lens bokeh, if you don't like it, flaunt it!
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Eirik

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