The end of Olympus E-M1X 2021


Blu-By-U

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Unlike desktops and laptops, you can add fans, liquid cooling and etc. Cameras on the other hand needs to be water resistant to a point, dust sealed, light sealed and etc. As consumers, we want it to be robust, fail safe, FAST, huge MP, image stabilized, 4k video, long battery life and silent. So to give all that horsepower, it will need a super processor, and it must work fast and you need volatile memory that is fast. All that generates heat. So what do you expect? So that have to be dissipated somewhere. A vent is a no no, a fan is also a no no. you go figure out how to do that in the minimal of space, weight and cost. then proposed that to Oly. Maybe they will give you an award
 

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ricohflex

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All this may be the result of historical events. In 2011, the scandal of a US$1.7 billion fraud within Olympus, exploded into the news. Olympus almost collapsed. A white knight came to the rescue. From 2012 to 2013, Sony bought 11.5% of Olympus. Paying 50 Billion Yen. Which is about US$465 million.
In Oct 2013, Sony introduced Sony A7 and soon after in Nov 2014 Sony A7 Mk2 had IBIS. Now in 2019, Sony has progressed to A7R Mk4.
IBIS on models from Sony A7 Mk2 onwards probably came from Olympus technical know-how sharing. Maybe part of the deal when Sony saved Olympus.
Now everyone is wondering why Olympus camera division never made full frame digital cameras.
Maybe part of the rescue deal is that Olympus cannot challenge Sony in the digital full frame market - for a certain number of years.
If there was no financial scandal and no need for rescue by Sony, Olympus may have gone ahead to make full frame digital cameras with IBIS --- and dominate the market today. But too bad how things worked out for Olympus camera division. It is such a pity when you consider what might have been.
 

gbn2377

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I decided to give up bigger bodies and go with M4/3 due to compact camera with interchangeable lenses...I am a hobbyist...That is how m4/3 started with small sized prime and zooms...I think people like me were their target market when the system came out..Remember the advertisement featuring Kevin Spacey...?...But now it looks they focusing different segment...I am not sure how successful it is....Hope they have done some studies...I want them to survive and bring some great new small lenses in future :)
 

ricohflex

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See.
There is a mistake in the text of the report. 5.8% market share was wrongly attributed to Ricoh in the report. It should be Fuji.
It will get worse.
Survival of the brand does not depend on Singapore market which is too small.
And it does not depend on those who have already bought MFT in the past and who are already invested in the system.
The moment of truth is when NEW buyers go to a camera shop and compare the price, size, features, possible longevity of the format, etc...
Even if one wants to say smaller lighter is better, you can see Leica making Leica CL which is APS-C. As an alternative to their full frame models.
Leica did not choose MFT format. Shoot a photo in low light without flash using MFT and then full frame. Look at the result. It speaks for itself.
Nowadays some full frame mirrorless are only slightly larger than the MFT bodies. Most of them are smaller, lighter (and in the case of Panasonic Lumix DC- S1R, Cheaper) than the E-M1X. But with a sensor that is 3.8 times bigger.
{ I am very happy with my ABC ...... who needs that other XYZ stuff }. Well everyone is entitled to his opinion.
Deja Vu. We have been here before. When 5MP and 8MP digital compacts were introduced, owners of 3.2MP compacts passionately expressed similar sentiment.
It is like that. The human condition.
 

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Blu-By-U

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Very true ricohflex. Each brand that's still surviving today should have something to offer that is different and unique to itself. True of the FF mirrorless bodies, they are small but you cannot say the same of the focal length.

Yeah, be happy with the ABC brand that you have. Learn to compose, work around the limitations of the ABC that you own. If that ABC brand that you have cease to exist, then pray that whatever you have invested in can keep going till you get a DEF. Just be happy with what you have, enjoy photography. Don't be tied down to gears and more gears.

Just remember that whatever you buy, it's outdated and it's not perfect.
 

Pitachu

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The thing about the m4/3 system is that it is meant to be lightweight, BUT Olympus did something that no one will fathom. Developing the EM1X. In SG, this might not sell that well, but in its home ground, Japan, there could be a market for such a camera.
I have the same thoughts initially, and I spoke to a local Olympus staff about my thoughts.

He explained to me one of the strengths of Micro 4/3 is 2x zoom factor. Hence, their 300mm F4 lens is equal to 600mm F4. A Nikon, Sony and Canon 600mm F4 lenses will cost more than US$10K easy and the Olympus 300mm F4 only cost US$2350. It is also much lighter and can be used handheld allowing users to be more agile to take sports and wildlife photos.

Using a 600mm equilvalent lens handheld is not easy and the users asked Olympus for a even better camera with body IS, and hence the E-1mx. On specs, I thought the E-1mx is damn heavy, but after trying it out at one of Olympus Birding event with a 2x teleconvertor, I am shocked that I can shoot 1200mm Handheld! and the weight is really manageable. I was carrying my own EM5 mk3 with the 40-150 at the same time for 2 hours.

That is probably why Olympus next product is the 150-400 with built in 1.25TC. With a 2x teleconverter, it can have a equivalent of 2000mm. And with the E-1mx (7 stops IBIS), users can probably shoot handheld. This is a unique value proposition to a niche group of customers who wanted it and I personally is quite excited what is coming. :)
 

tommyk

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The em1x is 1 year old now. Will be good to have some unit sales numbers worldwide and compare it with D5, 1dx etc.

Is the sales ratio like 1 :10, 1 being em1x and 10 for D5/1dx ?
 

ricohflex

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In US, the retailers have begun steep discounts on the E-M1X in 2020. A casual check on Amazon shows price is now USD$2500. That is about SGD$3376.

But recently Olympus Singapore had on its website shown 2020 so-called "promotion price" of SGD$4448 for the E-M1x body.

We sometimes pay more in Singapore for the exact same thing. Singaporeans sometimes get ripped off paying more for cameras.
This phenomenon used to be repeated in prices of Sony cameras in Singapore compared to what you pay in Johor Bahru.
This phenomenon is repeated in prices of Leica cameras in Singapore compared to what you pay in Hong Kong.

As to why the sudden steep discounts for the E-M1x in 1st month of 2020 in US? Hmm..... No idea.
Maybe the big US retailers know something that Singapore public and Singapore camera dealers do not yet know.
 

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Blu-By-U

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Strange as it may, In UK there is an announcement of price increase across the board.
 

tommyk

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Very strange to have a price increase after a camera is launched.
Is there a way to see sales figures for Em1x in key markets like Japan, USA, UK and Singapore?

I have only seen like 3 person selling EM1x on Classifieds over the last 1 year, so it could be an indicator that the sales in Sg is not great at all, maybe 20 units of EM1x was sold to locals here?
 

Pitachu

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Strange as it may, In UK there is an announcement of price increase across the board.
It is basic economics. Olympus do "dump" some of their slower moving products in Singapore by giving very steep discounts (eg. some of their lenses during last xmas).
But when the demand is relatively good (eg. EM5 Mk3), they hold on to their Retail Price (or increase from their launch price) :)

I guess different countries will have different demographics on which product is more popular.
 

wonglp

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Wow, haven't been checking this part of the forum and it's all doom and death of MFT, Olympus?

EM1X has a unique customer base, I'm actually quite surprised myself as this is not a camera for me either (size, weight and price), an uncle who doesn't social media much, but knows the specs extremely well, he's a birder and FT user. A few others I met are birders too, mostly appreciate the portability and reach they can get with 300mm F4, 40-150mm F2,8 Pro with the MC20, it makes even more sense. I visit mu43.com quite a bit and see many uses 1X for other purposes too, like landscapes etc. For sure it's not a hot selling camera, I dunno if it's selling that well enough for Olympus to launch a mkII version, but i do see mostly birders using it.

And certainly EM1.3 gets a fair bit of features like LIve ND, Handheld High res from 1X, which is nice as EM1.3 is much suited for my needs. As a system, there's nothing out there that can be as lightweight as EM1X with tele lenses of same brightness especially if you add a grip to say XT3, A7Riii, A9. And when the 150-400 is launched, the 1X would look just nice on it. It's just a different proposition, just like Canon 1DX/ Nikon D6 will be for the DSLR users. Whether the new Canon 1DX/D6 in such economic weather and choices today? I dun really know either. To have a relatively smaller camera manufacturer like Olympus to make 1X size, it's a bold statement, and certainly show their prowess in a mirrorless field.

Anyways, my 2 cts lah. 14 yrs of using FT and MFT, I am still happy with it, even if one day Olympus camera division is sold, the technologies today with it can still be used for a long time to come., for me at least.

Here's my latest effort to image making using Em1 Mark III review set. Yes it's a CS loaner set, not mine. Will find some time to do a review on CS.
Old tech, Live composite, new lens, 12-45mm Pro


New tech, Live ND, new lens, 12-45mm Pro.
 

tommyk

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"...doom and death of MFT, Olympus? "

For good products to survive or grow, they have to meet the needs or preferences of sufficient customers. Not just a few customers who love and buy its products.

There have been lots of good companies and products that have been phased out in our history, Olympus the camera company will not be the last one for sure.

While it is doom for MFT/Olympus, consumers are having a great selection of tools to use for their photos.

You have good photography skills, I am sure your photographs will look equally good if not better with bigger sensors format. :)
 

ricohflex

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When Nikon discontinued their 1 series compacts
When Olympus discontinued the Pen-F mirrorless MFT
When Samsung discontinued their entire digital camera sector

What happens to all the unsold stock?

In 2019, Olympus market share was 2.8%.
In 2020 with Covid-19 and depressed sales all around, if you are a camera shop owner, will you dare to keep new stocks of Olympus MFT bodies and lenses?
At 2.8% there will already be a mountain of unsold MFT inventory.
In 2020, will this unsold MFT inventory mountain become bigger?
The logistics is a nightmare.

Sometimes a product was "good" in its era. e.g. 2008
After more than a decade has passed, technology changes and improves by 2020.
Prices drop and alternative products (full frame sensor bodies) previously out of reach are now affordable.
The previously "good" product constrained by a 2008 design parameter, can continue to be used by those who have heavily invested in it in the past.
But NEW buyers may not want to purchase the product. Because they have better alternatives in a different era 2020.
 

ricohflex

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In 2011, Olympus scandal in which a US$1.7 billion (S$2.3b) fraud within the company was exposed. The share price of Olympus went into free fall.
Sony saved Olympus by injecting money to buy 11.5% stake in Olympus for 50 billion yen in 2012-13.

The Olympus Camera Imaging Division did not start to lose money only yesterday. As early as Feb 2012, Olympus forecast a US$410 million full year loss due largely to its ailing camera operations. Olympus Camera Imaging Division lost US$157 million in 2019. It seems Olympus Camera Imaging Division has been incurring massive losses since before or from 2012 all through to 2020 and expected to lose more big sums of money for the foreseeable future.

So what is the point of saying all this?

If Olympus is mentally prepared to lose big sums of money each year for many years, then why not just drop MFT and join one of the full frame mounts (L, Z, RF)?
For example, the Leica L mount. After all, Olympus is already mentally prepared to lose phenomenal amounts of money each year, so why are they afraid to take this risk?

Technically it then becomes NO risk.
Because at the very start, Olympus Camera Imaging Division already accept losses of a few hundred million US $ each year.
What has Olympus got to lose?

Olympus got nothing more to lose, so why not take this step to drop MFT and adopt L full frame mount?
Olympus is mentally ready to lose a lot of money anyway, so what is holding it back from taking this risk?
At least if Olympus takes this risk, it has a chance to turn things around.
Continuing with MFT is proven since 2012 to be not profitable.

Instead of cementing itself to only the MFT format, Olympus should simply have stated its guiding principle is:

To make small, light cameras & lenses (whatever is the format).

That means if Olympus adopt full frame mount, it will seek to make small and light full frame cameras.
 

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Pitachu

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Looking at Olympus financial reports, its Imaging Revenue is about 40 Billion Yen out of the groups total 780 Billion Yen (5.1%).
Olympus could easily treat US$157 million lost as R&D and Marketing expense, which the current CEO has mentioned before.
Olympus Imaging Division death will not be because it has no more money, but from any change of management decision.

For Olympus to go to Full Frame, it need to crave out a niche, and I don't think it has found one yet, unlike Panasonic,
who has some foothold in video and its L-alliance for high quality lenes.

As you all know, I am quite loyal to Olympus, but for its M43 format only.
If Olympus is to move to Full Frame, I definitely will prefer other brands like Sony or Canon!
And I believe this is true for a large percentage of M43 users too.

We choose M43 because the body+lens system is smaller and lighter.
If Olympus is the same size as Full Frame, then it really has to stand out from the rest
for users to continue to choose them. If not, why not choose more established and
proven systems already available.



In 2011, Olympus scandal in which a US$1.7 billion (S$2.3b) fraud within the company was exposed. The share price of Olympus went into free fall.
Sony saved Olympus by injecting money to buy 11.5% stake in Olympus for 50 billion yen in 2012-13.

The Olympus Camera Imaging Division did not start to lose money only yesterday. As early as Feb 2012, Olympus forecast a US$410 million full year loss due largely to its ailing camera operations. Olympus Camera Imaging Division lost US$157 million in 2019. It seems Olympus Camera Imaging Division has been incurring massive losses since before or from 2012 all through to 2020 and expected to lose more big sums of money for the foreseeable future.

So what is the point of saying all this?

If Olympus is mentally prepared to lose big sums of money each year for many years, then why not just drop MFT and join one of the full frame mounts (L, Z, RF)?
For example, the Leica L mount. After all, Olympus is already mentally prepared to lose phenomenal amounts of money each year, so why are they afraid to take this risk?

Technically it then becomes NO risk.
Because at the very start, Olympus Camera Imaging Division already accept losses of a few hundred million US $ each year.
What has Olympus got to lose?

Olympus got nothing more to lose, so why not take this step to drop MFT and adopt L full frame mount?
Olympus is mentally ready to lose a lot of money anyway, so what is holding it back from taking this risk?
At least if Olympus takes this risk, it has a chance to turn things around.
Continuing with MFT means 走死路.

Instead of cementing itself to only the MFT format, Olympus should simply have stated its guiding principle is:

To make small, light cameras & lenses (whatever is the format).

That means if Olympus adopt full frame mount, it will seek to make small and light full frame cameras.
 

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ricohflex

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Because Sony saved Olympus at a moment of corporate life and death, there may be a written or unwritten agreement for Olympus to never challenge Sony in the full frame arena. If Olympus did so, it may look ungrateful.
That may explain why Olympus did not make its move in the years after Sony introduced A7 full frame in 2013.
If that doctrine persists in Olympus in 2020 and beyond, then adopting full frame L mount is out.
But Olympus can sell Camera Imaging Division to Sony or any other Japanese company.
Olympus may not want to sell to a China investor (even at a higher price), in order to keep important camera technology within Japan.
That is not wrong. It is just nations wary of losing their competitive technology advantage.