Future of Olympus


Pitachu

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Times has changed. It is not so such of a premium for a product to be made in USA or Japan.
I have a Malaysian Relative who went to work for Foxconn in China, and witness the challenges apple faces
when starting production of iPhone in China. It is not an easy tasks, but thru stringent quality control measures,
Apple manage to manufacture quality products at a fraction of the labor costs. This is the probably the same
for any other manufacturer.

Don't have this mental block that it is not possible to set up a lens factory and train Vietnam engineers already
with engineering degrees to maintain the same quality as the same Olympus or Nikon factory in Japan.

I have another friend from China working in a factory in Singapore. She told me it is a boring job as they don't
have to do anything much until the robots with AI red flagged a electronic board which did not pass the test. All
she need to do is to take out the board from the conveyor belt and send it to get the flagged component replaced.
This kind of AI assisted job can be done anywhere in the world!
 

Blu-By-U

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China based manufacturing plants are moving out. All thanks to the US setting up an embargo on China. We see Apple/Foxconn moving to Vietnam, Nikon to Thailand. Even Tesla is considering Indonesia. The list goes on. Will @ricohflex then refrain from getting anything not made in their own native country?

So even if OMD/JIP decide to move to Laos or Timbaktu, I really don't care as long as the quality is maintained.
 

JW73

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Nothing to rub in. From my own experience the made in japan Nikon 80-400mmV2 has a worst sharpness than the made in thailand 200-500mmf5.6. Many who used these 2 lenses will agree with it.

Point is, don’t believe Made in japan is always better.
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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One more thing for consumers to think about.

The company/companies claim fantastic savings that can be realised by moving lock stock and barrel from a native country to a foreign land.

It must be a huge cost saving.
Because the inertia against moving is great.
Including betraying the company's loyal employees in the country of origin.

So.

If $$$$$$$$ is saved. The company becomes rich beyond its dreams.

Then how come the consumers are still charged astronomical prices for the cameras and lenses; as though the products were still made in the home country?
For example, Japan.

For Olympus, Sony and Nikon - cameras and lenses were priced very high as though they were still made in Japan.

The savings (realised by using Low Cost Labour) were not passed on to the consumers.

If their cameras & lenses sell well, then the company can make over-the-top profits and pocket the difference.

In that case, why do consumers tolerate this?

Cameras and lenses made in Low Labour Cost foreign countries should be much cheaper.
 

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one eye jack

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For Olympus, Sony and Nikon - cameras and lenses were priced very high as though they were still made in Japan....

In that case, why do consumers tolerate this?

Cameras and lenses made in Low Labour Cost foreign countries should be much cheaper.
The reality is business is about profits take for eg. iphone are they any cheaper and do they do cutting edge R&D like Olympus?

Understandably any company would want to recover the money spent on R&D but then again it can only charge what the market can bear. I too wish it were cheaper but business is business.
 

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one eye jack

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Here is an interesting comment from an Olympus ambassador 1 week ago about Olympus being a slow cooker and the camera industry in 2020. Ultimately he said a camera is a camera regardless of the sensor format. Peace! 9 minute video.

 

Pitachu

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Yes, this is a basic business strategy.
Sony, Olympus, Nikon and any other manufacturers will always sell their latest camera at a higher price first,
simply because there are tons of people with tons of money that just buy the latest, no matter what is the price.

After about 1 year, Manufacturers will always lower the price. Look the steep discounts given by them all over the internet
during Black Friday and xmas promotions. This are for people who still prefer brand new and pay a small premium.

Of course, those photographers on a tight budget can go for good condition used equipment.
 

JW73

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Yah. New Products, there are costs on marketing, advertisement, new product launch event costs. Camera makers are not charity. Charity events also have cost actually. Zzzzz
 

swifty

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Before people run wild with their imaginations, Nikon’s Thailand plant is owned and operated by Nikon for almost 30yrs.
It’s not an out-sourcing exercise nor a politically motivated move out of China. The Chinese plant, long closed down now was responsible for the defunct 1 series and probably some P&S models.

Every single current and recent DSLR model except the D6 is manufactured in Thailand.
Every mirrorless Z camera except the original Z6 and Z7 are also manufactured there and currently Z6/7 has also completed its move to Thailand and doubtful to remain in the lineup once stocks are sold.
Effectively it’s only moving the D6 model across.

Whilst the news is symbolic, Thailand manufactured Nikons have been the norm for quite a while now for the majority of Nikon’s ILCs.
The larger implications are the concentration risks, whether environmental, political or otherwise.

Also I believe the workforce in Sendai are not being laid off. Their skills are being repurposed into some growth areas such as LIDAR.
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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People are in business to make profit. That is normal.
Where and how they perceive they can make even more profit, they go for it.

A few days ago I was in a sports shoe shop. They sell track shoes. In US they call the shoes by the name "sneakers".
I saw a pair of sneakers priced at SGD$269. Made in Vietnam.
My guess is that the total production cost (due to economies of mass production) of that shoe is maximum SGD$15.
Much of the rest is profit.

Camera manufacturers are attracted by the same Extra-Ordinary Profits from this Low Wage foreign factory business model.
Likewise some High Fashion Brand clothing manufacturers who pay low wages to Bangladeshi garment factory sweat shop workers.
And sell the fashion products at extreme high price $$$$$$$$ in US and European boutiques.

The success is predicated on 1 condition - Provided many consumers want to buy the products at the high price.

Sometimes you win.
Sometimes you lose.

Olympus Camera Division tried that business model and it failed miserably.
You cannot run away from the scientific fact that MFT sensor is about 4 times smaller than a full frame sensor.

Sony Camera Division tried the foreign factory model and it succeeded so well that Canon and Nikon panicked.
Nikon tried the foreign factory model and is not doing well. Wait and see what happens to Nikon.

Olympus adopted a marketing strategy of contracting a large number of paid flatterers to sing its praises on the internet.
From the dismal failure of Olympus, you can see that this plan backfired.
Consumers are not stupid and the army of PAID social media "influencers" began to sound predictably boring and prejudiced.
Sometimes they go over the top and accuse EVERYONE of "copying Olympus camera innovations".
It is such overdone Youtube videos that turn prospective customers OFF.

So why did Sony succeed while Olympus failed?
Both made AF mirrorless ILC. Both made their cameras in foreign factories. Olympus in Vietnam and Sony in Thailand.
The difference was one was MFT and the other was full frame.
Sony benefited from many years of free rein 2013 to 2018 - when Canon and Nikon foolishly refused to go AF ILC full frame mirrorless.

But just as it occurred in USA after 2016, at some point the hollowing of Japan's factories will attract the ire of Japanese population.
Aspiring Japan politicians will attack the scheme and turn Japanese citizens against companies/brands that moved its factories off shore.
If one of those are voted into power then the new Japan administration may take punitive measures against some Japanese companies/brands.
 

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one eye jack

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Olympus Camera Division tried that business model and it failed miserably.
You cannot run away from the scientific fact that MFT sensor is about 4 times smaller than a full frame ...

Olympus adopted a marketing strategy of contracting a large number of paid flatterers to sing its praises on the internet.
From the dismal failure of Olympus, you can see that this plan backfired.
Consumers are not stupid and the army of PAID social media "influencers" began to sound predictably boring and prejudiced.
Sometimes they go over the top and accuse EVERYONE of "copying Olympus camera innovations".
It is such overdone Youtube videos that turn prospective customers OFF.

So why did Sony succeed while Olympus failed?
Both made AF mirrorless ILC. Both made their cameras in foreign factories. Olympus in Vietnam and Sony in Thailand.
The difference was one was MFT and the other was full frame.
Sony benefited from many years of free rein 2013 to 2018 - when Canon and Nikon foolishly refused to go AF ILC full frame mirrorless.

Richoflex you are no less an unpaid fullframe influencer..haha. While I agree wirh you on the stategy for maximum profits by companies moving to low cost countries, your analysis of the failure of Olympus is a little narrow in the sense that it is not only about sensor size but the inability of Olympus to counter the negative bias against the m43 format. The perennial outcry by the competition citing image quality.

Mostly this criticism is from professional usage from fashion and beauty publishers who frequently need to touch up or edit the faces or product where a fullframe image is easier which is a valid point but it is well known from a magazine publisher quality standard that to print a A4 size magazine cover at 300 dpi you only need 8mp. image if framed correctly during image capture. Even older m43 16 mp. sensors have more than enough resolution.

Also in sports and wildlife dslr is still prefered over fullframe mirrorless camera because the viewfinder blacks out thus preventing photographer from following the action but this is improved in Sony A9 series where there is no longer this major viewfinder blackout flaw. I think this is the major reason that Canon and Nikon took seriously as a threat to their dominance in the sports and wildlife photography.

The rest is history. This is a very niche section of customers. You also have the amateur wanna be people who fancy being able to shoot wildlife ala national deographic style. Especially old people retired who want to have such a hobby and don't need the size and weight. Olympus em1 series do just that too.
 

Pitachu

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@ricohflex ,
1) Which products are you comparing with when you say that Olympus products are over priced?
2) You seems to imply that paid influencers and brain wash consumers and Olympus users are dumb?
I don't know about you, but after watching some reviews, I usually try to get my hands to test it first. I am not sure whether the reviewers of the Sony A7c are paid or not, but after reading some rave reviews, I went to a Sony shop to test it and I was really disappointed with the pan-cake lens bundle.
3) The Sony A7c with the 28-60 kit costs USD$2000.
The Olympus EM5 Mkiii + 12.40 F2.8 Costs USD $1750 and beats the quality of the A7c kit.
For the Sony A7c to beat the Olympus EM5, you need to pair it with a Sony G-Master lenses, made the whole setup much more heavier and cost a few times more, which then would not be a fair comparison (The Sony A7c + Sony GM 24-70 costs US$4000!!!!!)

I have in all my posts opted for a lighter setup as I really do not have a need for resolution beyond 20mp and I hardly post process. My photos are for keep-sake and I prefer to use a SLR so that it is easier to input some creativity eg. Aperture and Shutter Speed Control etc.

Olympus did not fail because of wrong format or over-pricing. It probably failed because most consumers and hobbyists like me switched to mobile phones. The remaining market are professionals, which probably prefer full frame format.
 

Blu-By-U

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Or they could be like @ricohflex , brainwashed into thinking FF is the best. :rolleyes:

Bro @one eye jack , there are settings in the oly mirrorless that have minimal blackout. For starters, you can set that preview to OFF, The shutter to full electronic (silent)
 

ricohflex

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Don't have to wait long to know the future of the divested camera division. (which is the topic of this thread)

JIP boasted that it will turn the company around to profitability within 1 year.
1 year from when?

1 Jan 2021 - transfer the Olympus Imaging business to JIP.
Transfer of 95% of the shares of the New Imaging Company on January 1, 2021, to OJ Holdings, Ltd., a special purpose company established by JIP.
So 1 year from that date, JIP promises to turn the divested camera division to profitability.

1 Jan 2022. On this date you will know.

So far have not heard of any camera branded "OM Digital Solutions" or "JIP" being put on sale.

JIP comprise mainly of accountants. JIP has a core skill. JIP is expert at absorbing poor performing assets and break them into components.
JIP is NOT good at turning companies around from massive losses to making massive profits.
Japan has strict labour laws.
In Japan, if a company wants to reduce workforce, cut pension and slash salary - it has to pay a heavy price.
This is the Reason For Existence of JIP.
To absorb assets and sell the pieces and circumvent the Big Company's legal obligations to workers.

Thus if "OM Digital Solutions" cannot become profitable in 1 year, you know what will happen.

It is a popular misconception that Olympus lost money only in the last 1 or 2 years.
According to a post in Photo Rumors, Olympus Camera Division had been losing money for many years.
It lost money for 10 years and made money in 2 years.

If this is true, then the Olympus parent company is to be admired for its good heartedness, magnanimity, patience, ability to forgive and astounding tolerance.
Olympus Camera Division was mismanaged and bleeding a sea of red ink for so many years.

Credit: photorumors.com
 

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Blu-By-U

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If JIP decides to fold the venture, then it's shopping time for me. I may pick up a few bodies as throw away when it dies and those super high grades stuff that I cannot afford now.
 

Pitachu

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Olympus did say JIP can continue to use "Olympus" in the foreseeable future.

JIP will be using the outsource model like EPSON and HP, where the inkjets printers are manufactured in batches.
Once the stocks are depleted, they will manufacture a new batch. This helps any manufacturers to cut down a lot of costs
(eg. thousands of workers salary every month while waiting for the goods to be sold).

If the batch can no longer be sold, then the manufacturer will move on to manufacturer other models or products
which can be sold, just like most camera manufacturers stopped making compact or tough cameras.

Olympus / JIP is probably struggling to find digital imaging products that still have a niche and can be sold.
Same for Nikon, and probably Panasonic and Pentax too.
 

Mrwind

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If JIP decides to fold the venture, then it's shopping time for me. I may pick up a few bodies as throw away when it dies and those super high grades stuff that I cannot afford now.
agree hehe, yesterday checked the price, em5 iii and em1 ii is same price now @SGD 1599. The shop guy told me lot of selling for em1 ii recently.

waiting for promotion and the price drop to 1200 hehe

if same price which you go, em5 iii or em1 ii
 

Blu-By-U

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agree hehe, yesterday checked the price, em5 iii and em1 ii is same price now @SGD 1599. The shop guy told me lot of selling for em1 ii recently.

waiting for promotion and the price drop to 1200 hehe

if same price which you go, em5 iii or em1 ii
I go for the EM1. ii. It's suppose to be the same sensor, but the advantage is the better weather sealing, the twin SD slots and bigger battery.
And the news I am getting of the tripod point failure of that EM5 iii points to a design failure.
 

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Pitachu

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I am a EM5 mk 3 user. I have mounted my EM5 on a tripod less than 10 times so I would not know if there is any issue.

Honestly, there is not many occasions where one need to use a tripod with DSLRs nowadays as most recent SLRs
as Image Stabilization of about 5 stops, unless you are using it for some creative special effects.

I do suspect that those people with issue with the tripod mount probably mounted heavier lenses without collars on it
when mounting it to a tripod. The EM5 is rather unbalanced with large lenses.

But I chose the EM5 because of its weight (414g). I go on long walking trips (8 to 10 hrs per day) where every 100g makes a difference.
The EM5 iii features is quite close to the EM1 ii except for a few (you can google the comparison).
 

swifty

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agree hehe, yesterday checked the price, em5 iii and em1 ii is same price now @SGD 1599. The shop guy told me lot of selling for em1 ii recently.

waiting for promotion and the price drop to 1200 hehe

if same price which you go, em5 iii or em1 ii
They largely perform the same, with some minor differences.
I’d go for the 1.2 if you plan on using long lenses. The extra grip makes it ergonomically more suitable for the larger lenses.
The 5.3 makes for a very small package if you pair it with a couple of small primes.
For everything in between you could go either way. You need to try it in person b4 deciding.