Olympus has fallen!

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Franke07
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Olympus has fallen!

Postby Franke07 » Wed 24 Jun 2020, 13:25

A little dramatic; however they have just sold off their imaging business. At this point it is unclear where Newco will take the new business!
https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/news ... a-division
Mike Farley
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Re: Olympus has fallen!

Postby Mike Farley » Wed 24 Jun 2020, 16:53

Franke07 wrote:A little dramatic; .....

A touch of hyperbole, I agree, but it does feel seismic. There have been changes of ownership for the imaging divisions of Japanese companies in the past. I am thinking of Sony's acquisition of the Konica-Minolta imaging division (itself the result of a merger) and sale of Pentax first to Hoya and then Ricoh. In each instance, unlike now, the new owner was already engaged in the imaging business. There have been many rumours about losses at Olympus' photography business, always stenuously denied, which clearly did have a sound basis. Olympus, itself, has been re-issuing essentially the same camera for a while now so there were signs. Still, the new owner must feel confident about turning the business around, although it is debatable whether with falling sales the market is big enough for all the existing players.
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Mike Farley
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Mike Farley
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Re: Olympus has fallen!

Postby Mike Farley » Thu 25 Jun 2020, 08:16

Kirk Tuck has written a thoughtful piece highlighting how innovative Olympus has been over the years. For example, he points out that along with Panasonic, the company invented the concept of the modern mirrorless camera. Going back to the days of film, the OM system was revolutionary for its time as well. I do wonder what the future holds, both for Olympus and m43. Will there eventually be a new owner for the whole of Olympus or will it be broken up? Is anyone really going to invest wholesale in the camera industry when the market continues to contract?

https://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2 ... ympus.html
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Mike Farley
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Franke07
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Re: Olympus has fallen!

Postby Franke07 » Thu 25 Jun 2020, 21:34

Mike Farley wrote:Kirk Tuck has written a thoughtful piece highlighting how innovative Olympus has been over the years. For example, he points out that along with Panasonic, the company invented the concept of the modern mirrorless camera.

https://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2 ... ympus.html


My first digital camera was an Olympus mirrorless bridge! Despite its limitations I liked the quality of the 3mgp images
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Re: Olympus has fallen!

Postby Mike Farley » Fri 26 Jun 2020, 08:46

Mike Farley wrote:Still, the new owner must feel confident about turning the business around .....

Having read a bit more about the new owner since writing that, I am even less optimistic now. According to Ming Thein, JIP is a quasi Japanese government agency that acquires domestic brands deemed of national importance to prevent them and associated IP from falling into foreign hands. Meanwhile, another commenter (Doug Janis) has suggested that Olympus is paying JIP to take on the imaging division in order to get around its obligations under Japanese employment and servicing laws. Sadly, it looks as though decades of mismanagement at Olympus might have finally done for its camera division.

Ming Thein's article: https://blog.mingthein.com/2020/06/25/t ... more-19938

Doug Janis' comments report on 43rumors: https://www.43rumors.com/the-dark-truth ... velopment/
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Re: Olympus has fallen!

Postby Mike Farley » Sat 27 Jun 2020, 08:57

Franke07 wrote:My first digital camera was an Olympus mirrorless bridge! Despite its limitations I liked the quality of the 3mgp images

That sounds as though it might have been the C-3040z which Mike Johnston writes about in his post on the topic, which is another resume of Olympus' highs and lows. I enjoyed his description of the focussing speed "if you didn't prefocus, the sun would move in the sky between the time you pressed the shutter and the time it took the picture".

After starting with a Practice camera, I moved to the Olympus OM system and shot with that for many years. I still have the bodies, both now non working, and the lenses which I still occasionally use on digital. Most work well, although the 35 f/2.8 is a bit disappointing, but in its defence it was designed for film. In fact, I recently bought a mint OM 100 f/2 which, despite being around 30 years old, is as good as anything produced by Leica or Zeiss. The way it renders falls somewhere between the two, I would say. Olympus always knew how to make excellent lenses. I eventually switched to Canon when it became obvious that Olympus was not going to offer autofocus. Otherwise, I would probably have stuck with them.

I did eventually end up buying another Olympus, the original E-M10, during my foray with m43 when I became dissatisfied with Canon. While I cannot explain why, there was something about the system which failed to convince me, despite several attempts to like it. All I can really say is that it had nothing to do with the image quality from the sensor. Possibly it was the fact that Olympus was charging as much as anyone else. One of the benefits of a smaller sensor, ostensibly the most expensive component in a digital camera, is that it should reduce manufacturing costs. Olympus appeared to prefer competing against its rivals on the basis that a comprehensive system would be smaller and lighter yet, in the later years especially. failed to match their rivals' technical advances.

This the link to Mike Johnston's article: https://theonlinephotographer.typepad.c ... s-rip.html
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Mike Farley
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Franke07
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Re: Olympus has fallen!

Postby Franke07 » Sat 27 Jun 2020, 15:24

It was the C730, it was very laggy - it took awhile to get use to objects and people exiting the frame after composing and pressing the shutter. I stuck with it and improved my technique for anticipating the shot until I switched to the Canon 20d, from there I upgraded to the 5d mkii, my next camera will be a mirrorless. My initial thoughts were on the Sony systems, but with the recent Canon announcement!!!
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Re: Olympus has fallen!

Postby Mike Farley » Sun 28 Jun 2020, 09:04

Franke07 wrote:It was the C730, it was very laggy - it took awhile to get use to objects and people exiting the frame after composing and pressing the shutter.

I looked up a review for the camera and it reminded me of something which I had long forgotten. There was a section for "Shutter Land and Cycle Times". Back in the day that was essential information about how quickly a digital camera would respond. The industry has certainly moved on since then.

Franke07 wrote:.... my next camera will be a mirrorless. My initial thoughts were on the Sony systems, but with the recent Canon announcement!!!

I am wondering which recent Canon announcement? The R5 and R6 teasers? From the heavily promoted hype I have seen, the former seems more biased towards video but we will know more soon.

Picking any camera brand at the moment is an exercise in interpreting the innards of a crystal ball. Pentax, which looks unlikely ever to offer a genuine mirrorless option, must have question marks hanging over it. As does Nikon, an optical company which has been trying to diversify over recent years but has warned investors to expect substantial losses in its next financial announcement. Sony should be safer and is developing a comprehensive system for its full frame mirrorless offerings. Its better lenses are eye-wateringly expensive, though. Canon should be safer still, but the RF range is still new and lacking maturity. I have my fingers crossed for Fuji, mainly because that is where I am invested. The camera division is a minnow compared to Cansonikon but its management handled the transition from film based products well. It is also part of a larger conglomerate, although that did not help Olympus. Reportedly its camera division lost a billion dollars in ten years. Ouch!
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Franke07
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Re: Olympus has fallen!

Postby Franke07 » Tue 30 Jun 2020, 12:09

Mike Farley wrote: Sony should be safer and is developing a comprehensive system for its full frame mirrorless offerings. Its better lenses are eye-wateringly expensive, though. Canon should be safer still, but the RF range is still new and lacking maturity.

Yes the cost of the Sony glass as you say is eye-watering, that has been one of the reasons I have held off! However I am drawn to their support model, unlike Canon they seem to rollout software enhancements to more of their older camera models even after having released a replacement model. A couple of other thing in Sony's favor, their sensors have dominated the mirrorless market other brands are still in/coming out of catchup mode, the 3rd party lens makers are also getting behind them releasing more affordable glass.
While I may have my eyes :geek: on a replacement , the good news is I'm in no rush the 5 Dii, is still delivering :) So I can take time and see what the new R6 delivers after the hype and dust subsides!
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Re: Olympus has fallen!

Postby Mike Farley » Thu 02 Jul 2020, 08:46

Perhaps a surprising announcement from Olympus in the circumstances but the release of these lenses would have been planned quite some time back.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2 ... -d-cameras

For anyone considering the purchase of a Sony A7 camera with image stabilisation, this report from LensRentals via Imaging Resource is a concern. One advantage that LensRentals has is that it can test a large range of cameras due to the size of its rental fleet. Since most seemed to be OK, perhaps there was a faulty batch of image stabilisation units? We will probably never know since, to the best of my knowledge, Sony has never responded to the report.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2 ... -to-sensor

Finally, despite Olympus' troubles, Panasonic recently stated that it would continue with m43. While the announcement predates the one from Olympus, it is unlikely that Panasonic would have been unaware of what was happening with is m43 partner. The company has a strong video offering for which it seems that m43 is well suited. Apparently the m43 sensor is similar in size to 35mm film which, when used for cinematography, is rotated 90 degrees and is the equivalent of half frame. That of course, is a very stills photography centric way of viewing it. It was Oskar Barnack back in 1913 who took cinematic 35 mm film and turned it through 90 degrees to create a larger frame for his prototype Leica camera.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2 ... -to-sensor
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Mike Farley
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