A couple of days ago, a few people reached out to me about Olympus. They knew I am an Olympus fan, and that I own and use many of their cameras. If you haven’t heard, a press release indicated that Olympus has signed an agreement with a company called Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) to sell off their camera business. I wanted this to sink in for a couple of days before I commented.
My initial reaction? Like many things happening in the world these days, I was disappointed but not surprised, so many changes happening right now, and probably much more to come. Unfortunately, many of these changes are not going to be positive. However, the situation with Olympus is not unexpected. The camera industry is in a protracted, and most likely, terminal decline. The pandemic and its impact on sales have only hastened the inevitable.
What’s going to happen to Olympus? I don’t know. Nobody does. All we have is a press release and a lot of speculation. As expected, the Olympus YouTube Visionaries and fans are optimistic, putting a brave face on an uncertain situation. Some have written the obituary. The negotiators between Olympus and JIP may share a vision, but who knows if the vision will turn out the way they expect.
In reality, for the short term, nothing really changes. The emails promoting deals from Olympus continue to hit my inbox. My Olympus cameras and lenses continue to work. In fact, for someone like me who buys old used gear — some of which are over a decade old — these cameras will continue to work. Luckily, unlike software-based subscription services that simply die when the company goes kaput, the cameras will keep on working, even if the Olympus camera division disappears.
The value of the Olympus gear may even go up over time since collectors will continue collecting. As long as the supply decreases quicker than the demand, prices will be stable.
The bigger impact may be on the entire camera industry. Olympus has been one of the most innovative camera companies. Consider they pioneered mirrorless cameras, in-body image stabilization, sensor dust reduction systems, live view, and more. Their innovations pushed the entire industry. If you survey the current players, especially the big ones, they aren’t doing many new things. They just make incremental improvements along the expected dimensions.
Read the rest of the story at: A Murky Future for Olympus – atmtx photo blog