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Sony - Olympus Partnership

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by krugorg, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    It looks like Sony might be Oly's savior?

    Report: Olympus In Final Stages Of Negotiations To Partner With Sony | TechCrunch

    I did not see this one coming (of course, assuming the rumor is correct)... maybe a defensive measure by Sony to keep Oly out of Fuji or another competitors hands?

    What does this mean long term for Oly gear? Sony m4/3 sensor (seems highly unlikely given Panasonic)? Oly glass for Nex E mount?
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Fingers crossed for a Sony designed sensor instead of a Panasonic...

    System crossovers seem very unlikely though, because that makes no sense from business or marketing or even tech perspective. Most likely this is loosely related to cameras at best, and just a standard corporate investment/co-bailout deal. Microsoft saved Apple in such a maneuver when Jobs resumed control of the company years ago. Remember that cameras do not compose a majority of either Oly or Sony's business.
  3. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    It makes great sense. Sony has the sensor technology that can make Olympus truly competitive, because m4/3 right now just doesn't have it. The Nikon D7000/ Pentax K-5 use a Sony sensor, as does the iphone 4s. Sony has the golden touch when it comes to cameras, and as they've shown with the those DSLRs, they aren't above putting competitive R&D into their direct competitors' hands (they could have denied Nikon and Pentax the sensor, since it is also found in a Sony SLR, I think the A55 but don't quote me on that. If m4/3 is able to stop using the same tired sensor across multiple cameras, they will keep from losing customers to competitors.
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I would love to see a Sony 4/3 sensor, but there's precious little reason for it to happen now any more so than last year. Sony's business is divided into fairly autonomous divisions and there's no reason to conclude that either Oly Digital Cams or Sony Imaging will dramatically change their business plans just because of a new investment deal coming from business HQ.

    Oly already uses Sony sensors in other parts of its business, anyway. I suspect that they don't have sufficient volume to convince Sony to do a 4/3 sensor. And there's also the rather interesting question of where the new OM-D's sensor came from...
  5. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Would not surprise me if there was a sony designed sensor in the new OM-D
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    That would be cool. I can't argue with that!

    I didn't like what Sony did to the Minolta system, but they do produce great sensors! Sensors (currently sourced from Panasonic) are Olympus' biggest problem at the moment, so a partnership such as this just may be the answer...
  7. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Since Olympus is primarily a medical imaging device manufacturer perhaps that's what Sony is interested in. Sony's consumer products are hurting and further diversification might be appealing. Endoscopes with Sony sensors and electronics?

  8. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Again, don't expect changes on the tech side. If it were an acquisition then it might be conceivable, but this is going to be strictly business and financial stuff.
  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Ah, good call Promit. I didn't read the news carefully, this says nothing about their imaging departments, just that the two in general are working together. In that light, I wouldn't hold my breath about their consumer imaging departments working together.
  10. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Even if this partnership started today, we probably won't see any changes to the sensors for awhile afterwards. I'm pretty sure it's the Pany sensor in the OM-D.
  11. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    The Nikkei newspaper says Sony has offered to take up to a 30% stake in Olympus. This kind of minority investment between companies is not unusual and in this particular case could work out quite well. If Sony actually took 30%, they wouldn't be a majority shareholder. But it is possible they could end up with a controlling stake in the company as the single largest shareholder.

    EDIT: It also appears that Fujifilm Holdings is still in the running as well as Sony... and so is Terumo Corp., a smaller maker of medical products, which already has a small stake in Olympus. This is far from a done deal yet. We still have to wait and see.
  12. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    +1 Biro.

    Cross ownership of companies is very, very common in Japan. In fact, most large companies own shares of their suppliers and vice-versa. It's possible this partnering is more than that, but there's also a good chance that it's a financial arrangement only.
  13. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Yeah it's way too close to release time for the OM-D to have it secretly use a sony sensor..with no leaks yet. I'm sure it's financial investments only.
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