Olympus to sell off camera division


tommyk

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The OLYMPUS m4/3 system is causing Great losses and with little future left due to disappointing sales in their EM1x and pro lens like 300mm f4 etc.. Due to consumers abandoning Olympus, and continued losses, who could be a likely buyer?

1. Temasek, because they have a track record of buying into companies who are famous but past their primes, eg stanchart, ubs etc

2. Huawei, because they want a larger consumer based and can use olympus technology to improve on their own. If only The japanese are okay with selling to The chinese easily.

3. Private Equity players

4. Peter Lim

Any comments?
 

ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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Olympus is still famous for medical scoping via a tube inserted into human body.
Olympus does not depend on its camera division.
When Maitani introduced the OM1 SLR film camera in 1972 it was a sensation.
(I still keep the beautiful OM1-MD body)
Along the way film died and digital took over.
Olympus tried 4/3 Digital SLR but was not successful.
Then Olympus, Panasonic formed MFT in 2008. Had some initial success with MFT.
Over time technology improved and prices dropped. (just check how much you paid for memory cards in the past compared to now)
Sony introduced its A7 in 2013. It began to carve out a large slice of the market.
Canon and Nikon were afraid to go into autofocus full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera .
Afraid that it would cannibalise their digital SLRs.
But the rise and rise of Sony finally frightened Canon and Nikon so much, that they overcame their management paralysis.
Canon and Nikon went all out into autofocus full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera in 2019.
They had allowed Sony free rein for 6 years to monopolise this segment. It was a tactical mistake.
Bill Gates publicly admitted his biggest regret was missing the boat on mobile phones and letting Apple dominate.
By the time Microsoft tried to sell the Windows mobile phone, it was too little too late. Windows phone failed miserably.
By 2019 the writing was on the wall for MFT, as larger sensor sizes dropped in price.
Panasonic began to leave the MFT sinking ship in 2018 and by 2019 had 2 full frame mirrorless interchangeable lens bodies to sell.
MFT will not die overnight. Because there are many who have invested heavily into the system.
They insist MFT is wonderful. Better not argue with them. They have a right to their opinion.
No one will buy Olympus MFT camera division. Except for the 5 axis body IS technology, it has no other value.
Like Sony Walkman portable tape recorders, MFT will die a slow death over a few years and eventually disappear from the market.
Overtaken by the progress of technology, i.e. the ability now to sell full frame sensor digital cameras to consumers at reasonable prices.
Pricing is everything.
What is the use of state of the art world beating technology if a camera costs USD$100,000?
The ordinary consumer will not be able to buy.
Now in 2019 full frame sensor cameras have fallen in price within the locus of the ordinary consumer.
Thus after a while, say for example by the year 2025 especially for new buyers; they will not consider APS-C or MFT.
Because for the same price or less, they can have full frame.
The analogy is: Why buy a Perodua Kancil when for the same price or less, you can have a Mercedes-Benz?

Afternote:
Compare Sony A7 R IV to Olympus E-M1X. Oh, dear..... it is not looking good for Olympus.
Compare the price, size, weight, image megapixel 61MP to 20MP, sensor size, eyeAF (if any on Oly), pixel shift image size 240MP vs 50MP, resolution of EVF, AF in Video mode, dual band wifi, bluetooth NFC, ability to accept digital audio input, etc...
 

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tommyk

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The writing is on the wall in line with what you have written.
In 3-5 years time, FF mirrorless will be like $1.1.5k and gets mainstream even for most 1st time camera buyers.
Where will m4/3 be and how much can it be sold, sandwiched between the ever presence phone cameras and FF?

The question is how many new "pro-like" camera bodies will be released by Olympus before 2025?
 

leeweelee80

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The writing is on the wall in line with what you have written.
In 3-5 years time, FF mirrorless will be like $1.1.5k and gets mainstream even for most 1st time camera buyers.
Where will m4/3 be and how much can it be sold, sandwiched between the ever presence phone cameras and FF?

The question is how many new "pro-like" camera bodies will be released by Olympus before 2025?
unless full frame go very small, if not i believe m4/3 will still be here. I have thought of selling off my stuffs to go full frame. But weight is still a major consideration. Bright lens are also considerably cheap on the m4/3 compare to the full frame and it compensate for the ISO.
 

felixcat8888

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There are people who use FF cameras, BUT don't carry it overseas for a family holiday. Here, some will use a lighter weighted camera, like the m/43 system. There are enough lenses to suit different types of photographers and it is not to say that Olympus does not have many choices of lenses. What they have currently will suit the different types of users.
 

leeweelee80

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There are people who use FF cameras, BUT don't carry it overseas for a family holiday. Here, some will use a lighter weighted camera, like the m/43 system. There are enough lenses to suit different types of photographers and it is not to say that Olympus does not have many choices of lenses. What they have currently will suit the different types of users.
Yeah, like me, i only use it for holiday. i am not a professional anyway...
 

Blu-By-U

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Aug 2, 2006
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Those who think the system is dead, please sell out. Why bother shouting it out here? The MFT system is too small, light and too little MP for your use anyway. BTW, how many prints do you do out of every full memory chip you fill up? And if you do print, how big do you really print? AO?
 

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Pitachu

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Generally, MFTs fits into a niche for users who still prefer a proper camera with a few lenses light enough to carry around most trips instead of just using a compact camera or mobile phone.

I have a MFT with a few lenses and bring it around for most trips. I have a Canon 5D with L-lenses too, but use it for work only. It is really a pain to bring ta Dslr system for a holiday.

Anyway, most camera makers except for Sony are in trouble. IF MFT dies, it is not because the system is not good, but overall, the whole camera market is shrinking as more and more ppl just shoot with the mobile phone, as their main purpose is to share on social media.
 

gbn2377

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Those who think the system is dead, please sell out. Why bother shouting it out here? The MFT system is too small, light and too little MP for your use anyway. BTW, how many prints do you do out of every full memory chip you fill up? And if you do print, how big do you really print? AO?
I came to MFT from bigger bodies for its convenience and image quality ..What I lost is "bokeh"..Forget about those megapixels and dynamic range.I am still not convinced...I am happy and not intended go back to bigger bodies...Even though some brands bodies are smaller but their lens are still big...What's the point in having a small body except for marketing.....
 

ricohflex

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This is not a rumour anymore. This time it is for real.
Olympus share holders want to make money and now the camera division is persistently losing money.
NEW buyers of cameras are not buying enough MFT to sustain Olympus.
NEW buyers who have not yet gone on to buy and build a system, have plenty of alternatives which are either APS-C or Full Frame.
Small and light?
The Leica CL (APS-C) is smaller and lighter than Olympus OM-D E-M1X. But with a bigger sensor.
Similarly for Fuji.
 

Castor Troy

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I've stopped using the EM1 since getting the Canon G1xM3.
Paired with Any zoom lens, the OMD series is bigger but with worse image quality.
Is it cheaper?
No.
The EM5 M3 has inferior image quality but is more expensive
 

tommyk

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In general, Olympus camera's has stagnated in development in comparison to other brands.

It also means there is not many reasons why a newbie will choose Olympus.

Just waiting for the curtain to drop on a camera company which has far lasted it's longevity.
 

ricohflex

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In an era of NVMe M. 2 SSDs, can a computer manufacturer continue to make and sell computers equipped only with 3.5 inch floppy disks, just because "my existing users like it that way"? It may be an exaggerated example. But that is the drift.
Likewise for camera manufacturers. In a distant past era of very expensive but yet technically inferior sensors, a camera with a minute sensor made economic sense - for manufacturers to make and for consumers to buy. Fast forward to 2020, the world has much better, bigger, technically superior --- and cheaper sensors. The world has changed. And will continue to change at an even faster pace. Olympus with MFT was good in the distant past era. That ancient era has long passed us by. When a technology company clings on to an obsolete past paradigm, it is practically a self imposed death sentence. Like digging a hole for oneself and continue to keep on digging that hole deeper, until one cannot climb out of it and is trapped forever. One other company made that type of mistake. Kodak clung on to the concept of film and could not let go, even as the world changed. The collapse of Kodak has lessons for Olympus camera division.
And as for the other argument:
{Who needs such a large X number of megapixels? I am happy with my Y number of megapixels camera. I don't print large photos anyway}.
Well that was probably said by owners of 3.2 megapixel cameras, at a time when cameras with 8 megapixels ...and later 12 megapixels were introduced.
People quickly get used to technical superiority and after a while cannot tolerate inferior specifications of products being offered for sale.
 

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Pitachu

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I've stopped using the EM1 since getting the Canon G1xM3.
Paired with Any zoom lens, the OMD series is bigger but with worse image quality.
Is it cheaper?
No.
The EM5 M3 has inferior image quality but is more expensive
The Canon G1xM3 is a recent model and probably have a more advanced sensor than the EM1 (about 7 years old I think), so it is not really a good comparison.

The Canon G1xM3 has a much newer sensor and probably takes better quality pictures if you are using the EM1 as a point-and-shoot. But you cannot attach a Prime lenses or Macro Lenses to the G1x. With a Prime Lenses on the EM1, I am quite sure the image quality will be better than the G1x, despite having a lower resolution.

It will be great if you can share with us which camera is cheaper and more superior than the EM5 M3 so I may consider buying that model one day :)
 

Pitachu

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This is not a rumour anymore. This time it is for real.
Olympus share holders want to make money and now the camera division is persistently losing money.
NEW buyers of cameras are not buying enough MFT to sustain Olympus.
NEW buyers who have not yet gone on to buy and build a system, have plenty of alternatives which are either APS-C or Full Frame.
Small and light?
The Leica CL (APS-C) is smaller and lighter than Olympus OM-D E-M1X. But with a bigger sensor.
Similarly for Fuji.
The Bloomberg news is 2 months old...... you can google the updates from Olympus. Anyway, I knew what Top Mgt says is always politically correct but may not always be true :)
 

tommyk

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Its outdated news by bloomberg.

I already mentioned here at CS in July 2019, and that is why CS is so well known with very early news :)

Happy new year to all!
 

Castor Troy

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The Canon G1xM3 is a recent model and probably have a more advanced sensor than the EM1 (about 7 years old I think), so it is not really a good comparison.

The Canon G1xM3 has a much newer sensor and probably takes better quality pictures if you are using the EM1 as a point-and-shoot. But you cannot attach a Prime lenses or Macro Lenses to the G1x. With a Prime Lenses on the EM1, I am quite sure the image quality will be better than the G1x, despite having a lower resolution.

It will be great if you can share with us which camera is cheaper and more superior than the EM5 M3 so I may consider buying that model one day :)
The G1xM3 is smaller and has better image quality.
Dynamic range and resolution are superior to ANY m43 camera currently available
The D750 and D7500 are both cheaper with better image quality than ANY m4/3 camera.
 

tommyk

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Once the camera division is sold, likely to a unexperienced camera player, it will still grow itd customer base? Or demise?
 

ricohflex

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If Olympus has a change of heart, then it can announce that it will be making full frame cameras and giving up the MFT format. But even so, during the transition period, Olympus will continue to lose money.
The shareholders and investors of Olympus decide whether to tolerate losing money. Not us ordinary people making a few comments here and there.
As more full frame cameras are made cheaper + better, if Olympus clings on to MFT format, it will surely die. Later, if not sooner.
At the lower end, the 1 inch sensor (smaller than MFT) has emerged as cheap travel camera alternative.
At the other end APS-C has emerged as the viable alternative format for those not wanting full frame. So MFT is squeezed at both ends.
MFT has been made irrelevant by APS-C and Full Frame. Panasonic saw the tidal wave coming and changed course to also make full frame.
Historically MFT will join Kodak Disc Film, Advanced Photo System, 110 film format, Kodak Instamatic film cartridge 126 format in the dustbin of history.
It was a good try while it lasted --- for a short while of a few years from 2008 to 2020.
 

Pitachu

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I recently fell in love with my EM5 Mk3 and I felt I have a duty to put Olympus and M43 format in the right perspective for non Olympus or M43 users.

There is no point banging on the fact that M43 image quality is not as good as APS-C or Full Frame. It is like saying Point & Shoot Compact cameras has a poorer image quality than a DSLR. Large Sensor usually means better image quality and dynamic range. No one including myself is arguing against that.

I believe most M43 users like myself choose this format because we really want our gear to be lighter while the image is still very acceptable. After all, if you use pro lenses on a Olympus and a full frame SLR, without using a computer to blow up the image to pixel peep, it is not easy to tell the difference in quality, especially if you only look at the image one at a time and not side by side.

Also, the cost of the camera body is only a small part of the whole system. For me, I have 2 prime, 1 Fisheye, 1 Macro and a few zooms, which would definitely cost a lot more if I were to use Nikon, Sony or any other brand.