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#272486 26-Jun-2020 20:06
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https://fortune.com/2020/06/24/photo-finish-crashing-sales-force-olympus-to-sell-iconic-camera-business/

 

On Wednesday the company said it planned to quit its 84-year-old camera business. The imaging giant, known for its once-pervasive digital cameras, agreed to sell off the declining unit by year's end. Japan Industrial Partners, a private equity firm best known for buying Sony's struggling Vaio computer line in 2014, agreed to purchase the business.





Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  #2514181 29-Jun-2020 00:18
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Disappointing but unsurprising. The m4/3 format was a huge strategic mistake.


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  #2514195 29-Jun-2020 05:07
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IIRC the company had a massive internal fraud or embezzlement a few years ago which nearly collapsed it - that wouldn’t have helped.





Sometimes I just sit and think. Other times I just sit.


 
 
 
 


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  #2514220 29-Jun-2020 09:02
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wow- i remember my 1st digital camera was an Olympus. Liked it too.





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  #2514252 29-Jun-2020 09:56
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bfginger:

 

Disappointing but unsurprising. The m4/3 format was a huge strategic mistake.

 

 

why was this a huge strategic mistake?





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  #2514854 30-Jun-2020 00:25
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I meant both 4/3 formats not specifically m4/3.

 

  • The 4/3 sensor was smaller than APS-C which alienated many professionals and some amateurs as it can never match the picture quality and low light performance of other brands' interchangeable lens cameras
  • The 4:3 aspect ratio: 3:2 has long been the default aspect ratio for professional photography as has the 6x4" 3:2 format for prints. 4:3 made some sense when conceptualised in the early 2000s as that's what CRTs were still using and it's possible to fit more megapixels in the same lens area. But it became less desirable when widescreen became the display standard and digital widescreen video arrived. As nearly all compact consumer cameras used 4:3 sensors the aspect ratio became associated with low end still photography.
  • By going straight to a new lens mount they had no pre-existing system to leverage off.
  • The compactness became less of an asset once people dual owned with iPhones.

 Panasonic has been more astute in pitching their 4/3s as HQ camcorders and also adopting the Leica mount. Olympus has carried on doing the same things in a declining market. 


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  #2515514 1-Jul-2020 09:19
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Disappointing given they became class leading in the sensor stabilisation area.

Still doesn't mean they'll stop, just they have new owners.  Will see in time what that translate to in real terms.


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  #2520959 10-Jul-2020 22:07
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The company that's bought their imaging division is effectively a liquidator. They'll be figuring out what to shut down, sell off, spin off and licence out. 

 

There should still be some Olympus branded cameras like PENs in the future but it may be in the form of licencing or outsourcing to Panasonic. 

 

Commoditisation of digital imaging has seen the digicam market contract by over 90% since 2010 and it will continue to contract more. A hobbyist camera can record better video than what Hollywood was using not so long ago and we can expect the same quality from iPhones in the not so distant future. Phones with multiple sensors and lenses to add optical zoom will further erode dedicated cameras. The culture around photography has changed, with the internet meaning they're no longer scarce and people mostly only being interested in taking selfies.  

 

Other companies' imaging divisions will likely follow. 


 
 
 
 


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  #2531754 30-Jul-2020 21:47
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Ricoh/Pentax might be the next to go, according to what I read on YouTube.

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  #2531765 30-Jul-2020 22:19
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I’d expect to see Ricoh ditch pentax and hopefully find another buyer.

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  #2531791 31-Jul-2020 07:20
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Ricoh has the GRIII that sounds fabulous when you read the specs but in reality the reviewers and buyers are less enthusiastic. Reviews mention the dim lcd screen & having to use a clip on evf to see what they are trying to photograph. Buyers complain about dust getting on the sensor. Big problem compared to a DSLR.
Most people would have a happier experience with any iPhone or most Samsung phones.

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  #2531798 31-Jul-2020 07:55
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Re. the evf I mentioned, more likely it was a clip on viewfinder- not electronic at all.

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