Sony is killing it, what's the next move from Panasonic/Olympus?

Ulfric M Douglas

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I couldn't find anything about anyone actually looking up the sensor. There's just a lot of speculation.
Let us imagine the E-M1 and the e-P2 (as examples) use a sensor that is exactly 17.3mm wide
(I have not measured my sensors)
Now let us imagine the E-M5 and the GH3 use a sensor which is 17.0mm wide.
The assumption would be what they share the same sensor, right?
Otherwide one of them would be 17.3mm wide ... probably.
Hey, let's test some stuff.
I have an E-1 and plenty more bodies.
My e-pm2 sensor is narrower than my E-1's, e-600's, e-450's, G1's, G3's, e-pL2's and my e-P1's.
Lend me a GH3.
 
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On the debate about how closely linked are Sony and Olympus in their camera businesses/technology, here's an interesting link from late last year:

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-says-there-is-no-collaboration-with-olympus-on-the-camera-business-and-hints-some-medium-format-poker-face/

I know this is a rumour site reporting a Google translation of a magazine article, but hey, it's about as concrete as a lot of stuff you read on forums...

Short version - no collaboration except in medical imaging.
 
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OK, maybe slightly better than rumour - this was a (late 2014) on-the-record magazine interview with Yasuyuki Nagata (General Manager – Lens and Peripheral Business, Sony Imaging). Now they can obviously put spin on stuff they tell the press, but there is a level of corporate ethics you'd expect in public statements from a executives, maybe...?
 

T N Args

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That's right, and all we have seen on the ground so far is Olympus as a buyer, buying a sensor from Sony as a supplier. A normal business relationship. All else is words from companies that lie. Yet people want to extrapolate the sensor purchase as 'technology sharing', plus a minority share purchase in the 5-10% region, and say Olympus is effectively a division of Sony and their technologies are now common ground.
 

lenshoarder

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On the debate about how closely linked are Sony and Olympus in their camera businesses/technology, here's an interesting link from late last year:

http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-says-there-is-no-collaboration-with-olympus-on-the-camera-business-and-hints-some-medium-format-poker-face/

I know this is a rumour site reporting a Google translation of a magazine article, but hey, it's about as concrete as a lot of stuff you read on forums...

Short version - no collaboration except in medical imaging.
Which goes against what the President of Olympus has said. Also, an Olympus spokesman said this.

"The imaging sensor has already started to source from Sony to Olympus. And the lens [parts] and lens units will start to source from Olympus to Sony."

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/latest/photo-news/olympus-poised-to-supply-lens-parts-to-sony-update-29-may-9612#riLOgRKVhpTOeD0X.99

Which is inline with what DPReview reported as what did happen in their report on Sony selling half their stake as I linked to earlier.
 
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@lenshoarder - yes this all goes to show that in reality, the facts of the relationship between Sony and Olympus (with regards to non-medical digital cameras) are simply not in the public domain. It stills seems more likely to me that the relationship has been customer-supplier (possibly both ways) but I certainly can't prove it.

I have professional experience (in a completely different, much bigger, global hi-tech industry) of technology sharing, and companies rarely share their "crown jewels". We have always been extremely locked-down, even in our relationship with a firm that we owned >50% of, because we knew that there was always the possibility they might later be sold to a competitor. And any such dealings were always explicit limited sales contracts. My feeling based on my experience is that even if one camera company sold another the rights to use a particular technology (eg. IBIS), the contract would likely limit in tiny detail how it could be used (e.g. only on a particular camera model, for example, would be a possibility). My employer has sold some unique technology parts to be fitted as part of a system where a major competitor is the prime contractor, but if that tech ever showed up in one of their products they would be drowning in IP lawyers overnight!

Oh, and one last observation - in 30 years of engineering, whenever I have read media stories (even, sadly, in the well-respected specialist trade press) about things that I have been personally involved in, they almost always tend to be riddled with inaccuracies, (or else show a critical lack of understanding from the journalists) which does colour my faith in anything I read in the media. There does seem to be a lot if stuff just "made up" afaict.
 

lenshoarder

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I have professional experience (in a completely different, much bigger, global hi-tech industry) of technology sharing, and companies rarely share their "crown jewels". We have always been extremely locked-down, even in our relationship with a firm that we owned >50% of, because we knew that there was always the possibility they might later be sold to a competitor. And any such dealings were always explicit limited sales contracts. My feeling based on my experience is that even if one camera company sold another the rights to use a particular technology (eg. IBIS), the contract would likely limit in tiny detail how it could be used (e.g. only on a particular camera model, for example, would be a possibility). My employer has sold some unique technology parts to be fitted as part of a system where a major competitor is the prime contractor, but if that tech ever showed up in one of their products they would be drowning in IP lawyers overnight!
I too have been in tech since the '80s. While what you are saying is true in many cases, it's not true in all cases. Two instances standout in my career. The organizations I was with had open and broad collaborations with our partners. During these projects, their engineers were embedded with us and we had people embedded with them. During which both sides had pretty wide access to the technology of the other side. Everyone was part of the bigger team. We didn't have people hovering over their engineers when they worked at our facility, they didn't have their people keep an eye on us when we worked at theirs. In one case, I most definitely had access to their "crown jewels". Jointly we used technology from both organizations to develop something new.

There is a difference between the relationships you are describing and what I am. What you are describing is a generic buyer/vendor relationship. You didn't do any shared development with the other party. In the situations I'm describing, we did. So the question is did Sony and Olympus do any shared development. I think it's clear that it wasn't a simple buyer/vendor relationship from the fact that they spun off a joint venture together.

Oh, and one last observation - in 30 years of engineering, whenever I have read media stories (even, sadly, in the well-respected specialist trade press) about things that I have been personally involved in, they almost always tend to be riddled with inaccuracies, (or else show a critical lack of understanding from the journalists) which does colour my faith in anything I read in the media. There does seem to be a lot if stuff just "made up" afaict.
This I completely agree with. I've been involved in a project or a few that has garnered press. Many times they didn't get the basic facts right. Although, it's one thing when the press gets it wrong. It's another when the patent lawyers do. Which happens all the time.
 

drd1135

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Yes, but there is a problem when you wants some better glass - when you put 40-150 2.8 which is almost same size as 50-200 or 12-40 which is little smaller than 12-60 than your system is not so small and pocketable - only prime lens are small, for example a6000 with primes is smaller than e-m1 and primes - and a6000 is very good apsc, excellent iso and DR and better for DOF so Sigma's 19,30,60 f/2.8 would be like 14,23,45 f/1.8 primes from Olympus

so if thay put all this in new a7000 than there will be show in camera market
It's all relative. Mu43 isn't necessarily small but it's smaller. I don't expect an EM1 with the 12-40 2.8 to be pocket-able, just easier to carry around than it's FF counterpart. If I really had the need for FF I'd put up with the weight. I suspect, however, that many don't actually need FF for photographic purposes and are simple getting the "best" thing out there.
 

Turbofrog

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I think it's weird the way the E-M1 keeps getting straw-manned in these size arguments. It's a more pro-level body than anything in the A7 series yet released in terms of the things that make cameras heavy - I.e build quality, weather sealing, battery capacity, and physical size.

The E-M1 isn't the size that it is because it's the smallest and lightest they could make it. It's the size that it is for ergonomics.

If you want a smaller, lighter body that is more directly comparable to the construction on the A7, look at the GX7 or E-M5 II (which is still better sealed than any Sony mirrorless camera).

Or look at the E-M10 or GM5 by comparison if you really want a shocker...
 

pdk42

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@lenshoarder

Oh, and one last observation - in 30 years of engineering, whenever I have read media stories (even, sadly, in the well-respected specialist trade press) about things that I have been personally involved in, they almost always tend to be riddled with inaccuracies, (or else show a critical lack of understanding from the journalists) which does colour my faith in anything I read in the media. There does seem to be a lot if stuff just "made up" afaict.
This is so true. Whenever I see anything in the press covered a subject or topic I know well, it's ALWAYS wrong. 100% correlation! I now believe very little of what I read in newspapers, unless there's some other evidence to persuade me.
 

Speedliner

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The best laid plans fail, markets change, finances change, mgt changes, Pre-acquisition discovery falls short. Despite a company's intentions, circumstances often change then face-saving spin displaces those intentions. Most mergers-acquisitions fail, partnerships fall short.

Sony supplying sensors and Olympus supplying lenses would seem a good first step though.
 

Zee

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...

Oh, and one last observation - in 30 years of engineering, whenever I have read media stories (even, sadly, in the well-respected specialist trade press) about things that I have been personally involved in, they almost always tend to be riddled with inaccuracies, (or else show a critical lack of understanding from the journalists) which does colour my faith in anything I read in the media. There does seem to be a lot if stuff just "made up" afaict.
Yup. I'm in the AV field, and half the time, they can't even tell you the differenc ebetween a "Home Theater" and a "Surround System". How could you expect them to get actual technical details correct?

Z...
 

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