What's going on with Olympus in Canada? Anyone working at Oly or in a camera store?

RichardC

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This:

And as online matures, reliance of preview and review sites for initial exposure becomes more important (influencers, etc.), verifiable customer reviews (still a weak spot...gamed), and free shipping and returns make the market.

and this:

None of my camera gear was purchased in a physical store.

I am not suggesting for one moment that it's the best way forward for the consumer - I love the experience of walking into a 'proper' camera shop and comparing one product against another. The camera stores in my area which continue to trade are the ones that have on site printing, mounting, framing, areas dedicated to printer consumables with lots of samples, sensor cleaning, education events, photo walks...................and an online shop.
 

retiredfromlife

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The camera stores in my area which continue to trade are the ones that have on site printing, mounting, framing, areas dedicated to printer consumables with lots of samples, sensor cleaning, education events, photo walks...................and an online shop.
I think this could be the future for a lot of stores, add value to what you sell, something that online sellers cannot do.
My local store does a lot of printing, and also develop B&W film for people.
 

Neil_jo

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Funny I just got an email from Olympus.com yesterday offering me free shipping on orders over $150 and a code for a $2.00 off gift card.
 

fortwodriver

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I bet they dropped London Drugs as a dealer. It wouldn't' be the first time.

In December, Henrys and Vistek got very low on stock for Olympus lenses and cameras. Now, they appear to be back in stock with most of the products or available to order.

The other possibility is that stock demand rose elsewhere in the country, and GetOlympus is pulling stock out of stores that's not moving to sell it elsewhere.
 
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doady

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Henry's and Vistek have Olympus stuff available but mostly as special order only. Very little Olympus products actually in stock at the moment. I hope Olympus doesn't disappear from all stores. I bought my E-M1 mk2 and 12-100mm from Henry's only a year ago. At the time, I wasn't sure if I wanted E-M5 mk3 + 12-40mm instead, and trying these combos out in store made the decision much easier.
 
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This:



and this:



I am not suggesting for one moment that it's the best way forward for the consumer - I love the experience of walking into a 'proper' camera shop and comparing one product against another. The camera stores in my area which continue to trade are the ones that have on site printing, mounting, framing, areas dedicated to printer consumables with lots of samples, sensor cleaning, education events, photo walks...................and an online shop.

Give it some time. In the future I think malls are going to evolve into "Brand Experience Centres". Brands will have what basically amount to places to go to get hands on with a product, and advice and support, but far less emphasis on people actually buying it at the location.
 

LowriderS10

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Thanks for the lively and informative discussion!

I agree that online is more and more the way forward...HOWEVER...there are so many things that can not be gleaned from online reviews or YouTube videos.

For example, when I ditched my Canon FF DSLR setup, I went on the hunt: Sony, Fuji, or Olympus. Oly was a distant last because of the sensor size. However, as I read up on the systems, Oly's robust lens ecosystem bumped them into healthy competition...but it was still a three-way tie until I went and handled all 3 of them. I liked Oly's build, feel, design, and EVF the best. The Sony EVF looked less natural to my eye (VERY personal preference), and the Fuji felt cheaply built (I remember it had an on/off toggle surrounding the shutter button, and the whole assembly rocked back and forth...after shooting with Canon 1D and 5D cameras for years, this was unacceptable), in addition to an EVF I did not like. Had I not been able to handle and try an Olympus in person there is absolutely no way I would have bought into micro 4/3...and now I've been a loyal user for 8 years and have owned dozens of lenses and bodies.

I almost didn't buy my Panasonic GX85 because of the rainbow tearing EVF so many people (legitimately) complained about. However...it's a spectrum: Some people see it so badly they can't use it, others don't notice it at all, and I only noticed it on the informational numbers (SS/aperture/+/-) when the background was dark...not a big deal. I was able to test one out and I bought it...had I not been able to look through, I may have just passed on it, given the number of people complaining about the EVF.

I never thought much of the Pen-F, but one came up cheap used locally, so I went to buy it just to try it...as soon as the guy took it out of the bag and I handled it, all of the sudden it made sense why people love this camera: It's gorgeous. But I did not see or appreciate that in any of the countless photos I had seen of the camera. It had to be seen and handled to be appreciated.

I know these are only one-person anecdotal stories, but I'm sure I'm not the only one. I really hope Oly will keep a presence on shelves.
 

mawz

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It looks like the new distributor has dropped the mass-market retailers across the board, but not the specialist camera stores. So no more London Drugs or Best Buy, but Henry's, Vistek and your local camera store can still get that.

They are selling via Amazon still though. I'd suspect the cost of dealing with mass market retailers no longer has the sales to justify it, and relying on their online store and Amazon make more sense. Amazon will stock the full line unlike London Drugs or Best Buy which would only have the low-end bodies and a couple lenses (if that)

I get the sense that OM Digital Solutions is moving the brand positioning to a more niche-focused market leaning towards rough conditions, and the market as a whole is moving away from the low-end mass market bodies that the mass market retailers prefer. Note the E-PL10 is the only remaining body in the line based on the ancient 16MP sensor and it's not even available in all markets.
 

Carbonman

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In Vancouver LD doesn't carry much Olympus anyhow and never has. Best Buy has never carried enough Olympus selection to whet anyone's appetite. Both LD and BB don't have knowledgeable camera sales people except for a small handful of the supervisory staff.
Henry's and Kerrisdale Cameras are the 2 places you can actually find a real selection of Olympus bodies and lenses. I think the new distribution model is based on a quota system; a lot of luxury goods manufacturers and distributors use this model.
 

Mike Wingate

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You have to appreciate your local stores. They have experience, are good for a chat. A source of info. As well as sometimes being able to sort out problems and offer you a feel of the products.
 

fortwodriver

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You have to appreciate your local stores. They have experience, are good for a chat. A source of info. As well as sometimes being able to sort out problems and offer you a feel of the products.

Henry's pushes product just like Best Buy does... They just don't sell appliances, as well. Many of the staff are not really all that familiar with the cameras and options hidden in the menus.
 

doady

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When I was trying out E-M5 III + 12-40mm and E-M1 II + 12-100mm at my local Henry's, I decided to buy the latter combo, the salesman told me not to buy it because Olympus was about to go out of business or something. So I wouldn't say Henry's pushes product, at least not Olympus product.
 

Mike Wingate

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Anything is better than nothing. There are very few specialist shops around. Just places that push boxes, if we are lucky.
 

ABFoz

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No estoy listo para esto todavía.
Personally, I'm not too worried about it...I have bought a lot of Oly stuff online and haven't had any issues. I was more worried about Oly's overall future if it disappeared from stores altogether.
They may actually just be restructuring their supply and distribution chains. When that is done, those with bigger markets will take longer vs smaller markets like ours. Here in NZ, since our market is tiny, the transition from Olympus to OMD was seamless. The Oly repair centre is still in Christchurch but the base is now in OZ.

The problem my local photo store is experiencing now is supply. When I was looking at a new E-M5 III, even though I wasn't going to buy, they only had the one in the shelf and they have a huge online back order. They say they can't explain the surge in sales. Robin Wong, maybe? Haha.

In our appliance stores except Harvey Norman, there are camera sections that have cameras that usually get stale as videographers and photographers usually go to proper stores. When I the camera sections of nearby major appliance retailers, I noticed new Olympi and A7C alongside old stock from other brands. It was rather unusual.

None of my camera gear was purchased in a physical store. On top of that, its hard to find m43 gear in stores. At least here. I only know of one camera store in my area that even sells m43 gear.
That's interesting. I though it would be much easier to get MFT gear there because of the size of the market but different states may have different demands.
 

mawz

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Henry's pushes product just like Best Buy does... They just don't sell appliances, as well. Many of the staff are not really all that familiar with the cameras and options hidden in the menus.

My experience with Henry's is that most of their rank & file staff doesn't stick around long enough to become really knowledgable. A handful do and are worth their weight in gold.

I mostly deal with a different local shop (Downtown Camera in Toronto) whose staff tends to be far more knowledgeable as they are mostly long-term employees. I've been dealing with the same couple of reps there for almost 20 years. But Henry's does have a solid used inventory and good service when there's an issue so I do still deal with them
 

turbodieselvw

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the Henry's where i bought most of my things had very knowledgeable staff whom i got to know well. that was one of the stores that was closed for good. i hope the guys who worked there were transferred to the other stores and not let go.
 

turbodieselvw

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i was told by the folks at camera canada that olympus switched suppliers in canada. they're now with a smaller outfit and they've been slow at getting items to the stores
 

mawz

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i was told by the folks at camera canada that olympus switched suppliers in canada. they're now with a smaller outfit and they've been slow at getting items to the stores

Olympus Canada is now only distributing the medical products and OM Digital is using a local distributor (not sure who at this time).

Similar changes happened in pretty much every market where Olympus had a subsidiary handling both medical and photographic equipment.
 

fortwodriver

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Olympus Canada is now only distributing the medical products and OM Digital is using a local distributor (not sure who at this time).

Similar changes happened in pretty much every market where Olympus had a subsidiary handling both medical and photographic equipment.

I thought Canada was still being handled by Nadel Enterprises. Olympus Canada hasn't been distributing Olympus cameras since (I think) 2010ish.
 

hoodlum

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I thought Canada was still being handled by Nadel Enterprises. Olympus Canada hasn't been distributing Olympus cameras since (I think) 2010ish.

Nadel only dealt with the small retailers. The larger retailers were still buying direct from Olympus which is where most of the volume was.
 
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