WHAT’S HAPPENING AT OLYMPUS?

Last August, there was an announcement that Olympus was selling a part of their organization to another Japanese finance company and that the cameras would move to the new company while Olympus put their emphasis in medical instrumentation. Clearly there have been a few negotiations since we last had any solid news and I just read their last public announcement and it sounds to me like they are merged with another company and are keeping their cameras and lenses. The thing is, the announcements are written in such a way that when you are done reading it, you can’t figure out if they said anything or there’s something wrong with you.

Since Olympus offers not so much as a hint there’s an end in sight for the camera division, I have to think they are planning on keeping and possibly expanding their cameras while also expanding their reach in med tech.

That would be a big relief. I hated the idea of these cameras moving into the hands of a company that has no understanding of the industry. Very bad cameras are created by companies like that. So, if they aren’t selling off the camera division and this is less a takeover and more of a “merger,” this a way to raise enough money to do more with the medical devices division?

It’s a huge mystery to me. The whole corporate world is a mystery. I’m just hoping Olympus keeps producing wonderful cameras and excellent lenses.



Categories: Cameras, collections, Photography

Tags: , , , ,

11 replies

  1. just a local update; Seems my dealer here in AZ is left without a distributer source, so they can’t take advantage of any new stuff that might happen. My guy at Tempe Camera is trying to be patient knowing that many other dealers are not sure how they will access product. All I can say is that these little quirks are slowly being ironed out. They have to deal with it as I don’t see how they can ignore large dealers like B&H, Adorama, and Samy’s in LA, all of which do a brisk business with many brands including Olympus? Truth is, all camera manufacturers are suffering declines of cameras sales, in great part due to cell phones taking over where little yellow boxed throw aways lived.

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  2. That’s a classic example of obfuscation. Unfortunately, it is being used more and more.
    Leslie

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    • I had the sense that they hadn’t yet sorted the mess out. About the only thing i clearly got from reading back through news releases was that they are going to try to get much more serious about medical optics and technology. I also had the sense that they really don’t WANT to drop the cameras. They’ve been in the camera business for more than 100 years and while never the most popular camera (over here — they are the most popular ones in Japan), they have always been unique and a bit special. Let’s just hope!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They have been continuing to but out new cameras and lenses, so I am not ready to give up yet (the latest lens is only $7500… a bit out of my reach!). I read dpreview around once a week and haven’t seen anything new re: what is happening with the company itself in a while. (On 11/17 they released the 150-400 F4.5, a new OM-D E-M10 and new firmware for their EM-1X).

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    • I just got my hands on the OMD E M-1 Mark II (my friend got a Mark III) — and I recently picked up (used) their 12-200 lens and because it was SO inexpensive, the 75-300 which more or less duplicates the Panny 100-300, but has interesting quirks of its own. I like the Panasonic better, over all. It’s smoother, focuses more quickly. The only better thing about the 75-300 is that you can get closer, but for that, the 12-200 is perfect and can even shoot close up flowers and stuff like that. It’s my “all day” camera going from wide to quite long. If there’s anything wrong with it, it’s that it’s not heavy, but it is fat and a bit clunky. BIG piece of glass in it. I can’t believe I got if for so little money. It was new but used. I’ve had a lot of luck with used (but really new) lenses.

      I’m really hoping this is NOT the end of Olympus’s cameras. I checked everywhere on their sites yesterday and only found one news release (Nov.7), that they have handed over their Norfolk, CT facility to the other company and it is going to specialize in medical equipment, but not changing staff or anything else. Of course, that’s what they ALL say, having been taken over often through the years. It’s always “we’ll keep everyone” until about a year later when everyone gets a pink slip.

      Let’s hope for the best. I’m pretty invested in Olympus. At least Panasonic isn’t planning to stop producing 4/3 lenses. That’s something.

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      • The OMD E M-1 Mark II is my primary camera. I use the 75-300, but, yeah, a lot of limitations. They came out with a new lens (100 – 400), which is pretty expensive (like 1300, but not 7500!) that I might save up for to replace it. So, yes, I am very invested in Oly and do not want to see them go away!

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        • Consider the Panasonic 100-300. It’s around $700. You can probably find one used for less. ALL my lenses were technically used, but are perfect — not so much as a scratch on them. Actually, most of my cameras were supposedly used, but all of them came as new. I think they had damaged packaging or were returns, so they couldn’t be sold as new. Even my Pen F was supposedly used, but I’m sure it was new. It still had the shrink wrap on everything — original Olympus shrink wrap.

          I think it unlikely that Olympus is going to drop the camera division, at least not soon. They’ve actually expanded the camera and lens collection. They have a strong emotional allegiance to their cameras and I’ve been using them almost exclusively as my primary camera for almost 40 years. I never owned one of their half-frame cameras, though. Always wanted one, but never got one. The Pen F is so much like that original half frame (speaking of quirky cameras). Quirky in an artistic way.

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          • I might look into the Panasonic some day. I do have a 50-200 from the original four-thirds (pre micro-four thirds) that takes gorgeous photos, but it is bulky and super inconvenient, particularly when I am on my kayak. On the other hand, I do want something that is “splash proof” since I do take so many photos from my kayak – the 75-300 is not, but the new Oly is, as is my 50-200. Anyway, I have spent all of my spare money on music equipment, so I have at least a year, or more, to worry about camera equipment before I buy more…

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          • I believe that the agreement with JIP was that the camera portion of the company will not be dropped, but will continue under new management. However, JIP will not use the “Olympus” name. So the new name, so far, will be “OMD Solutions”, which in my evaluation is a bit more awkward than a typical Olympus model name. I also get from the statement that JIP will continue to develop new product and will keep the Olympus design team (this may, or may not happen?). The overall goal is an attempt at making the camera division more profitable sans the “Olympus” moniker. How they will manage to do this and still keep loyal Olympus customers, is anyone’s guess?

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