Olympus to sell off camera division


Pitachu

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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.
The APS-C and Full Frame segment is very crowded and has very strong players like Sony. I think Olympus will not succeed. Olympus will either survive with MFT or exit the market. Olympus is doing the right thing by focussing on MFT where its strength is.

Generally, the whole Camera market is taking a beating as the huge consumer market is being disrupted with Phone Cameras.
 

sadwitch

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Dec 25, 2007
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Computational imaging/photography is what Olympus should implement in their imaging pipeline to stay ahead. Looking at what apple and google can do with night shots and super res zooms, coupled with Olympus incredible stabilising system, it can be a highly effective solution to win the resolution game.
 

Castor Troy

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Oct 28, 2009
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Most Japanese companies are hierarchal and this ultimately kills them. Certain products will fail on the market.
Examples include the Pentax K01, Nikon 1 system and the Olympus EM1x.
What can Olympus do to survive?
1. Create fixed lens m43 cameras that are compact. Pair the body with a high quality 28mm or 35mm prime lens. Or a high quality 24-70 wide aperture zoom lens while remaining compact. They've done this before with the E10 and E20. Both were not compact but were great fixed lens designs
2. The EM1 has great ergonomics. Put in the 20MP sensor into a body like that with a good grip, good battery life and a battery grip option
 

dennisc

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Oct 24, 2002
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Freezing Upp Thomson/Mandai!
Olympus sux lah what's 4/3 narrow, small sensor? Yes I have used the EM5 1 and 2, EM1 mk1 and mk2 (not to mention PENS). And now I'm using the Sony R series difference is like night and day. The thing put me off was the customer service refused to honor their EM1 series not being even a little moisture proof as claimed.
 

ricohflex

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Olympus recently had top management changes. New CFO, CTO, COO. CEO Yasuo Takeuchi remains the same. The company issued a document titled " Notice on Olympus Formulation of Corporate Strategy". The CEO gave a slide presentation. Mostly focused on the Medical Imaging/Endoscopy/Medical instrumentation. No mention of the (Camera) Imaging Division in the corporate strategy. But on Slide #26 there is a short cryptic remark.
Discontinue projects with low ROI
 

Pitachu

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Sep 18, 2019
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Olympus recently had top management changes. New CFO, CTO, COO. CEO Yasuo Takeuchi remains the same. The company issued a document titled " Notice on Olympus Formulation of Corporate Strategy". The CEO gave a slide presentation. Mostly focused on the Medical Imaging/Endoscopy/Medical instrumentation. No mention of the (Camera) Imaging Division in the corporate strategy. But on Slide #26 there is a short cryptic remark.
Discontinue projects with low ROI
That explains why there are so many conflicting messages as they have also announced some new lenses and registered another new camera likely to be the EM1 Mk3 to show their commitment to continuing with M43.

Anyway, as users, there are nothing much we can do but to hope for the best. I love this smaller format and will continue to support it by upgrading to newer camera bodies and lenses as long Olympus or Panasonic continue to produce :)
 

tommyk

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@Pitachu, you are really a loyal oly user.
Many have fled them including myself.
Their camera size is no longer small, hence to significant advantage of carrying it around.
 

Blu-By-U

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Aug 2, 2006
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Selangor D.E.
It's ok. you choose your cup I choose mine. At the end of the day, if that cup you have chosen is not to your taste, just go get another different cup. Don't go condemning the cup you just dispose of or not happy with. I may like that cup.

As in photography, it's the person that is behind the camera that matters and the knowledge of your gear. If what you have don't meet your requirements, go change to one that does. Why talk bad about it. For all you know, it's a know problem and the user may know of a work around or may not be affected by it.

So just enjoy what you have and sell off what you don't like. Complaining about it won't change anything.
 

Pitachu

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@Pitachu, you are really a loyal oly user.
Many have fled them including myself.
Their camera size is no longer small, hence to significant advantage of carrying it around.
If you are referring to the E-M1x, I agree. But I happened to talk to a Olympus staff on why the E-M1x was created. It is actually for their segment of customers who are into sports and birding. Olympus actually has mush lighter and affordable super-zooms eg. 300mm F4 and making the E-M1x with more stops in the body IS makes a lot of sense.

If you are referring to EM1s, yes they are heavier than the cameras like the Sony 6000 series. But these are mainly used by Professionals who advanced users who do not mind the weight.

But quite a large group of Olympus users like the EM5 and and Pen series which are very light.
The EM5 may be about the same weight as the Sony 6000 series but when you attached different lenses, you can see that the Olympus system is lighter and smaller.

It is perfectly OK if you see any camera system better, with the lenses and features you need. For me, I have went from went Canon 5D Mk2 to Canon 80D to Sony 6300. I almost settle down on Sony APS-C but discovered most of the lenses are not sealed (which is quite important to me as I hike and trek a lot). Hence, I settled down on Olympus, where most of my lenses are sealed.
 

sadwitch

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Dec 25, 2007
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If you are referring to the E-M1x, I agree. But I happened to talk to a Olympus staff on why the E-M1x was created. It is actually for their segment of customers who are into sports and birding. Olympus actually has mush lighter and affordable super-zooms eg. 300mm F4 and making the E-M1x with more stops in the body IS makes a lot of sense.

If you are referring to EM1s, yes they are heavier than the cameras like the Sony 6000 series. But these are mainly used by Professionals who advanced users who do not mind the weight.

But quite a large group of Olympus users like the EM5 and and Pen series which are very light.
The EM5 may be about the same weight as the Sony 6000 series but when you attached different lenses, you can see that the Olympus system is lighter and smaller.

It is perfectly OK if you see any camera system better, with the lenses and features you need. For me, I have went from went Canon 5D Mk2 to Canon 80D to Sony 6300. I almost settle down on Sony APS-C but discovered most of the lenses are not sealed (which is quite important to me as I hike and trek a lot). Hence, I settled down on Olympus, where most of my lenses are sealed.
I agree. Olympus systems tends to be more than the sum of its parts if the user is willing to dive deep and take control and work within the system's limitations.

I fully appreciate their auto focus bracketing and stacking mode, super res mode, lens selections, more depth at similar f-stop which means more shutter speed and incredible stabilisation.

These functions had made producing trade exhibition wall sized prints effortless for me.
 

ricohflex

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It is not about us. Some of us are the already converted. Olympus preaching to the converted does not help it to survive. It is about whether NEW users world wide are willing to buy Olympus MFT cameras, in the face of competition from many rivals making APS-C or full frame cameras that are cheaper, smaller and lighter. No company/part of a company, can afford many consecutive years of falling sales and net operating losses. It does look like Olympus Imaging Division will be facing financial losses and falling sales for the next 10 years from 2020 to 2030. Kodak was fixated on film. Olympus is fixated with insisting on the MFT size of sensor.
Even though in both cases technology had long ago shot past the previous eras in which film or MFT sensors were successful. When once upon a time, both had large market shares. Incumbent's dilemma made it difficult to respond to changes and the company doubles down on its mistake. Kodak in 1996 introduced the hopeless "Advanced Photo System" (yet another film based business model) spending USD$1 billion; instead of spending that money to develop digital imaging products. The "Advanced Photo System" failed miserably. Likewise Olympus seems intent on introducing yet more MFT camera bodies in 2020. Olympus spent its resources making yet more MFT camera bodies; instead of spending those precious resources on creating full frame bodies at such a critical moment. The Olympus Imaging Division is like a ship on auto pilot that is unable to change course, sailing straight into the iceberg. Cash flow will cease. Credit rating will fall. Olympus Imaging Division access to funding internally or externally will become limited. One day shareholders and investors will demand to wind it up or sell it away.
 

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tommyk

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This is accurate analysis, how many non olympus users will start buying olympus's camera here at CS?
 

sadwitch

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Camera systems come and go. Companies come and go. Why worry about something that's not within our control. The market will speak. I worry more whether my skills are 'worthy' of the equipment i use.

I believe most people who got into photography as a hobby or profession will start to distill their needs through the years and i think Olympus still have the most comprehensive weather sealed interchangeable lens system camera.
 

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Pitachu

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This is accurate analysis, how many non olympus users will start buying olympus's camera here at CS?
Yes, no one will get converted reading forums.

For me, I was converted during their EM5 Mk3 launch. It happens to be drizzling on that day but the Olympus staff told us that the camera and the lens are weather sealed, so no problem. They put on a 12-200 (24mm to 400mm equivalent) Lenses for me to walk around and shoot It was pretty light for such a wide range lenses compared to my Sony RX10 (24mm - 600mm). One staff then guide me thru the basic functions and within minutes, I was shooting in Aperature Mode with 1 finger turning the Aperature and the other finger setting the Exp. Compensation, which is what I like. I just love how handy it is, take wide at 24mm, tele up to 400mm, weather sealed and so light to walk around. Perfect for my trekking trips.

I was using Canon with L-lenses so I know quality is not top notch (not to mention other brands even better lenses) but honestly, it is still very good for own use. I was sold and immediately order 1 online during the Launch promotion.
 

sadwitch

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Dec 25, 2007
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Yes, no one will get converted reading forums.

For me, I was converted during their EM5 Mk3 launch. It happens to be drizzling on that day but the Olympus staff told us that the camera and the lens are weather sealed, so no problem. They put on a 12-200 (24mm to 400mm equivalent) Lenses for me to walk around and shoot It was pretty light for such a wide range lenses compared to my Sony RX10 (24mm - 600mm). One staff then guide me thru the basic functions and within minutes, I was shooting in Aperature Mode with 1 finger turning the Aperature and the other finger setting the Exp. Compensation, which is what I like. I just love how handy it is, take wide at 24mm, tele up to 400mm, weather sealed and so light to walk around. Perfect for my trekking trips.

I was using Canon with L-lenses so I know quality is not top notch (not to mention other brands even better lenses) but honestly, it is still very good for own use. I was sold and immediately order 1 online during the Launch promotion.
To be specific it has to be modern L-lens or Nikkor for that matter if it was to match or surpass M. Zuiko pro lenses. I came from 5D and the likes too. Given its many years ago the old EF 70-200L F2.8, 17-40L F4, EFS 10-22, 17-55mm and none to my eye perform as good as Zuikos when use wide open. And not to mention their unwieldy weight.
 

sadwitch

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Also 'I think' may be unique to Olympus system, the AEL can be coupled with different metering methods which I find very useful when shooting concerts
 

tommyk

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Some time ago, there was a car company that made good cars.
They sold some cars for quite a number of years although were never a top selling marque.
Their cars even have very advanced features at that time eg 2010 like Head Up Display.
These cars were started by a very technological savvy company and they made fighter planes too before selling off the car division.
Today Saab no longer make cars, eventhough many of their clients justifiably love their fantastic cars.

That was Saab in a very competitive automotive market.

In the ultra competitive non-growing ILC camera market, there could be similar manufacturers too.

I don't want to name any of these companies, but time will surely tell the same story.
 

sadwitch

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Many years ago while buying and selling photo equipment, I met someone who has the most drool worthy equipment (to me) in his collection all housed in beautiful temperature and humidity controlled display cabinets. The legendary OM 100mm F2, OM 90mm F2 macro, the canon EF 50mm F1.0 etc... he knows all technical details of all his collections right down to how the screws are fabricated and finished believe if or not... So out of my curiosity I ask what types of photography themes he is into and does he have his works on exhibition or display, his reply was he's a collector and can't imagine bringing out his precious gears out for risk of damage...

From that day onwards something clicked in me

I decided to discard/sell off all my lens protector filters or skylight or haze filters... And just let the lenses do it's job without babying them or put glass in front that inevitably degrades the quality.

In the end it comes back to "Worry less, Play more..."
 

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ricohflex

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Also 'I think' may be unique to Olympus system, the AEL can be coupled with different metering methods which I find very useful when shooting concerts
It is NOT unique to Olympus.
In Malaysia, there is a supporter of Olympus who claimed that "EVERYONE" copied several innovations (about 6) by Olympus.
If so, then Olympus would have taken action on copyright infringement. But there was not any.
By definition, Innovation is when one does something (convert an idea into reality) that was not possible before.
Wright brothers innovated a plane that was heavier-than-air, manned and powered, able to take off and land under its own power.
One cannot later claim that the Wright brothers innovation does not count as an innovation, because their 1903 plane was not as good as the other manufacturers' planes that followed years after that first flight. For example, Boeing cannot (and did not) claim to have "innovated" air planes because their B17 in the 1930's was better than the Wright brothers' plane. Thus claims that Olympus was the first to innovate Live View in a camera is wrong.
It is even worse when the absurd claim is that "EVERYONE' copies Olympus in these innovations.
In-body sensor based image stablisation (2 axis) was innovated by another company. Later Olympus picked up on this idea and made their own 5 axis IBIS.
Olympus cannot (and did not) claim to have innovated sensor based stabilisation.
In 1998 Sony already made a camera with built-in special picture effects in their Sony Mavica MVC FD81:
Monotone, Negative Art, Sepia, Solarization. It is obvious that such in-camera-body picture effects was NOT innovated by Olympus.
This was a camera that captured digital images onto a 3.5 inch floppy disk.
Olympus later took this idea and put art filters into their camera bodies.
Some one in Malaysia claimed that "EVERYONE" copied Olympus innovation of art filters.
As long ago as 1988, Konica made the Konica Genba Kantoku 28WB (Off Road series of film camera) and it was weather sealed.
Thus it is astounding that in 2019 some one dares to claim that "EVERYONE" copies Olympus in this particular innovation of weather sealing a camera.
In so far as weather sealing is concerned, it is a matter of degree. Rubber Gaskets and O-rings deteriorate over time. Heat and Humidity are the most difficult to deal with.


Afternote:
There was also a claim that "EVERYONE" copies Olympus in Computational Photography. Huh? How can this be?
The term "Computational Photography" was coined by Canadian inventor and engineer Steve Mann in 1995.
Marc Levoy is a professor of Stanford and he is a pioneer in Computational Photography. He gave a talk at SIGGRAPH 2007 (total 19 papers) on New Techniques in Computational Photography. That was even before MFT was announced by Olympus and Panasonic in August 2008.
Other notable researchers in Computational Photography were Shree K. Nayar, Ramesh Raskar and Jack Tumblin.
Dr. Ren Ng founded Lytro, Inc. in 2006. Lytro sold a pocket-sized camera, capable of refocusing images after being taken, on 29 Feb 2012.
Olympus did not (and dares not) claim to be the innovator of Computational Photography.
Someone else made this nonsensical claim on behalf of Olympus and worse - accused "EVERYONE" of copying Olympus in computational photography.
 

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sadwitch

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Dec 25, 2007
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:) I dunno who's that nor do I care about those claims someone else makes if they are not from the horses mouth.... but we should always question marketing materials from manufacturer and hold them to their claims instead. All these posts are just for entertainment, click baits... Etc. when we are not shooting or working and have spare time to read.