Olympus is selling its camera business to the company that bought Sony's VAIO division

midian182

Posts: 5,780   +46
Staff member
What just happened? Olympus is a well-known name in the world of photography, but despite previously denying it would get out of the camera business, that’s exactly what it’s done. The company has announced that Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), the same firm that bought Sony’s VAIO computer segment, has signed a memorandum of understanding that will see it acquire the division.

The increasing photographic power of smartphones has seen fewer consumers buying digital cameras. They’re still used by hobbyists and professionals, but the number of everyday users has dropped as handsets become more advanced.

The smartphone problem is something Olympus acknowledges. The company wrote that it “implemented measures to cope with the extremely severe digital camera market, due to, amongst others, rapid market shrink caused by the evolution of smartphones.” But these steps weren’t enough, and it “recorded operating losses for three consecutive fiscal years up to the term ended in March 2020.”

The last decade wasn’t the best for Olympus, which has been one of the leading manufacturers in the Micro Four Thirds category. In addition to the rise of smartphones, it had to deal with a $1.7 billion accounting scandal back in 2013.

Olympus CEO Yasuo Takeuchi suggested last year that a sale of its camera business wasn’t an impossibility, but the company later tried to downplay his comments, claiming it definitely wouldn’t be selling.

As was the case with VAIO, JIP says it plans to streamline the business to make it “more compact, efficient and agile,” which often translates to layoffs. It will also sell existing models and develop new ones under Olympus brands such as OM-D and Zuiko. Olympus, meanwhile, will be concentrating on the larger part of its business—supplying medical equipment.

“During the ongoing discussions, Imaging will continue business as usual. Sales, service and marketing departments will continue to work hard to support customers passionate about photography with great products and services,” said Olympus.

The deal is expected to be concluded by September 30. How much JIP paid for the acquisition has not been revealed.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,098   +5,453
"It blames smartphones for damaging the digital camera industry"

While Olympus always made a good camera, they were never really out in front as far as innovation so when smart phones leaped ahead, they got left behind. It's always a shame when we loose a competitor in a very competitive marketplace but this one won't really shake the world ....
 

BadThad

Posts: 281   +203
The writing has been on the wall for over a decade now. They just need to only make high-end, professional cameras and forget the middle and bottom.
 

mctommy

Posts: 341   +77
The writing has been on the wall for over a decade now. They just need to only make high-end, professional cameras and forget the middle and bottom.
Agree though they face stiff competition in that category with the two mainstream behemoths in Canon and Nikon (with Fuji and Sony having some in this segment) as well as the luxury ones like Leica.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,320   +2,773
Agree though they face stiff competition in that category with the two mainstream behemoths in Canon and Nikon (with Fuji and Sony having some in this segment) as well as the luxury ones like Leica.
Sony is actually surpassing nikon and cannon and in some countries. Most people still using cannon and nikon are people who have already invested a lot of money into their lenses. Nikon has been having some serious, and unnecessary issues in recent years. Frankly, I see two types of cameras when I go out, Cannon and Sony. The only photographers I know who use Nikon are doing it because there is some level of undeserved prestige that goes with it and they can't afford Leica cameras. The place I see cannon cameras the most is actually in astrophotography. As far as Sony goes, I see many people who are entering the amateur photography space and wanting new equipment going for Sony. Essentially, if you want to buy a used DSLR, you get a cannon. If you want a new camera, you get a Sony. When I wanted to get into photography back in 2014 I got a Sony a6000 and have been thrilled with it. I keep telling myself year after year that I'm going to upgrade so a Sony A7(I like to shoot video) but my a6000 keeps performing to the point that I always end up putting it off. Well, more like spending that money on PC components or mountain bike upgrades, but same difference.

but hands down the greatest thing I've found about Sony Mirrosless cameras is that you can get an adapter for any vintage lens and use it, this isn't true with modern DSLRS. that means if you actually take the time to learn how to take a picture, you get extremely high quality vintage lenses for next to nothing on ebay or in thrift stores.
 
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p51d007

Posts: 2,423   +1,694
I've been taking pictures, since I was a kid in the early 70's. Got my first SLR in 81. Canon AE-1 (not the program version). In 1999 I bought a Canon EOS Rebel, which I still have. I entered the "digital" world with my first d-slr in 2010 with a starter camera, Nikon D5000 and upgraded 3 years ago to a D7200. My "main" lens is a Tamron 100-400 that I use about 75% of the time. I just use my phone, for "snapshots" for things at work. It's a toy for my use. I don't like all of the automatic garbage on smartphones. Yeah, you can turn them off but it's too much trouble. I've never really used auto mode on a camera, because "back in the day" there wasn't any. You learned by trial and error what worked and what didn't, it's now just as fast for me to set the shutter & f/stop, iso for how I want the photo to look not what the camera thinks it should be.
 
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Reehahs

Posts: 886   +565
It would be nice to have a camera that you can point and shoot without having to turn it on, old school style. This is one of the drawbacks of digital and smartphone cameras. Sometime you just miss the moment.