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News Olympus selling camera division

thomas

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Sad, sad, sad: after 84 years of producing cameras and lenses, Olympus Corporation will sell its camera division by the end of the year. Like many other camera manufacturers, Olympus struggled as more and more consumers resort to smartphones to capture pictures.

Olympus has announced it's agreed in principle to divest itself of its imaging business by transferring it to a new company that will continue to run it. The company that will run the new business is Japan Industrial Partners, and Olympus hopes that the final agreement will be made in September and the deal closed by the end of the calendar year. In a statement, Olympus says the new company will carry on making and selling camera equipment and suggests it will maintain R&D and manufacturing facilities around the world. Crucially, the new company will also provide support to existing Olympus camera owners. After three years of losses Olympus says it needs a more ‘compact, efficient and agile’ corporate structure and claims having a new company run the camera business is the only way to make it survive and grow. The company blames the rise in smartphones as a continuing factor in the decline of the camera market and says it has done what it can to reduce costs. However, further cost-cutting is to come as the imaging business is prepared for its transfer so that it can be taken on in a more ‘profitable and sustainable’ condition.




 

johnnyG

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Too bad, indeed. I never looked too hard at Olympus, but as I recall their Pen model was one I liked (from film days, once upon a time, I haven't seen the new ones). I know that Fujifilm, too, has turned hard towards medical imaging and some other things, and tho they are still coming out with some interesting cameras, it's not a growth business by any means.

(and dpreview.com is a valuable site for most anything photography-related)
 

Petaris

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Too bad, indeed. I never looked too hard at Olympus, but as I recall their Pen model was one I liked (from film days, once upon a time, I haven't seen the new ones). I know that Fujifilm, too, has turned hard towards medical imaging and some other things, and tho they are still coming out with some interesting cameras, it's not a growth business by any means.

(and dpreview.com is a valuable site for most anything photography-related)

I think Fujifilm has been having some good luck with their new X-T mirrorless line. I know a number of photographers that really like them. Canon has been struggling as well, its the same for all of them on the casual market front as, like mentioned above, smartphones have largely taken over there. For pro photography I think Canon, Fuji, Sony, and Hasselblad are all still doing well but I have heard that Nikon is struggling badly.
 
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thomas

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Here's more on Olympus' withdrawal from the camera market.

The demise of Olympus was simply a reminder the market for digital cameras, dominated by Japanese, is in dire straits and stuck in a downtrend that hasn’t hit bottom yet. Analysts say camera-makers haven’t been able to come up with a turnaround strategy and warn more companies may be forced to exit in the future. “Since the camera-makers are trying but haven’t been able to find their next move, it’s hard to say the market has hit rock bottom,” said Ichiro Michikoshi, chief executive analyst at Tokyo-based marketing researcher BCN Inc. According to the Camera & Imaging Products Association, 15.2 million digital cameras were shipped by Japan’s nine manufacturers in 2019. That’s only 12.5 per cent of the 121.5 million shipped in 2010. “Since smartphone image quality has been improving remarkably, general users only need smartphones as long as they are shooting just for fun,” said Michikoshi. “It has become very difficult to promote the merits of purchasing standalone digital cameras.”

 

musicisgood

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The photos I post here are done with a Nikon Coolpix S70. Not sure how old it is, but I bought it at the pawnshop for 2000 yen . I thought at the time ( 5 years ago ) it was an OK price.
 

johnnyG

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When was the last time anyone bought a Sony stereo?

When was the last time anyone bought a stereo?!? :)

Sony does "dominate" the camera sensor market (CCDs, also CMOS).

(I think Fujifilm uses Sony sensors in their cameras.)-
 

Davey

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When was the last time anyone bought a Sony stereo?

When I was a kid we had this nice Dolby surround system.. remember how we would watch the movie "speed" and heard the water splash on the left and the sound of the bus on the right. I always felt when I'm older I want to have a nice system at home to listen to music or watch movies. Thing is the houses in Japan aren't really sound proof for those kind of systems. Would love to buy a don't system .

Regarding cameras indeed the quality of phones have become so well that a normal camera isn't needed except for when you are a pro photographer.

Guess just the way things go.
 
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thomas

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(I think Fujifilm uses Sony sensors in their cameras.)

And so does Nikon, though they apply modifications to their Sony sensors. IIRC, Canon produce their own sensors.
 

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heard the water splash on the left and the sound of the bus on the right


Hey David, listen to Simon & Garfunkel's song Why Don't You Write Me and listen at 1:01 to the awesome sax on the left channel followed by the awesome sax on the right channel.



 

Buntaro

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the quality of phones have become so well that a normal camera isn't needed except for when you are a pro photographer.


The thing that powered the Japanese economic miracle of the 1980’s was that many companies came up with innovative products. Perhaps the best-known is the Sony Walkman (and this may be true of Japan cameras too, although I don't know). Sadly, the three areas of electronics, cameras, and cars have not seen a high number of innovative products in the last 20-30 years (which is why Japan’s economy is suffering).
 

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When I was a kid we had this nice Dolby surround system.. remember how we would watch the movie "speed" and heard the water splash on the left and the sound of the bus on the right. I always felt when I'm older I want to have a nice system at home to listen to music or watch movies. Thing is the houses in Japan aren't really sound proof for those kind of systems. Would love to buy a don't system .
As fond as I am of component hi-fi systems, it's a tough value proposition these days when most people are fine using their PC as their home system and their phone as their portable player.

It truly is the end of an era when the Japanese camera companies start exiting.
 

johnnyG

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The thing that powered the Japanese economic miracle of the 1980’s was that many companies came up with innovative products. Perhaps the best-known is the Sony Walkman (and this may be true of Japan cameras too, although I don't know). Sadly, the three areas of electronics, cameras, and cars have not seen a high number of innovative products in the last 20-30 years (which is why Japan’s economy is suffering).

That leaves out soooo much...!

Up thru the '85 plaza accord the yen-dollar rate was well over 200, so it was a cheap currency that powered the early 80s 'miracle'. In about two years after that "agreement" the value of the yen had doubled (as had the cost of exports). ((It even went so far that two years after plaza hotel, the countries involved met again and agreed to stop it--louvre agreement.)) To compensate, there was a huge move to loose money policy in Japan, effectively causing the equally huge asset bubble (stocks, property).

Which popped. And tho the aftermath of that was muddied/bungled (too many companies saved and not allowed to fail, not enough restructuring), one of the most direct causes of the bubble--by definition destined to pop--was the plaza agreement to revalue the yen ((actually devalue the dollar, since european currencies were also revalued)).

And while there was innovation--sony trinitron TVs of the 70s blew away the competition--a larger factor in the rise of japan (which led to the plaza accords) was the early/mid '70s OPEC moves. It wasn't that Japanese cars were innovative, they just happened to be smaller and more fuel efficient than the giant land yachts of the US. They were in the right place at the right time, significantly boosted by a sclerotic US automotive industry (not only the wrong product, but major quality problems in their attempts, too--see the Ford Pinto, or Chevy Vega). In the automotive world, Japan looked so good simply because the other player (which happened to be the major player, the only other player) looked so inept/bad.

Do you remember that Japan had a phone-based internet for years before the rest of the world caught on? (which unfortunately still influences web page design here even now)

And so on.
 

okinawaholic

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Canon has been struggling as well
I don't think Canon has been struggling. They were just late to the party with Sony having first mover advantage by acquiring Olympus(?). The Canon R5 and new RF lenses put them in their place. Soon as more RF glass is brought to the market, you'll see a shift from Sony to Canon.

I'm bias with a 5D MK IV though. Plans to trade some glass for an RF lens and to get the R5, but most likely in November when they surprise us with a Black Friday price cut or body/RF L lens combo.

I'll keep my Tamron 70-200 G2 cause quality with Canon's USM II is comparable and half the price. I couldn't justify the RF 70-200 price at this point.
 

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I'll keep my Tamron 70-200 G2 cause quality with Canon's USM II is comparable and half the price. I couldn't justify the RF 70-200 price at this point.

How do you like the Tamron overall? Are you happy with the optics? I'm still using a Canon EOS 300D (Rebel, Kiss Digital) but planning on moving to the EOS 90D soon. The R family is just too pricey for my use cases and I still don't like EVF. The 90D is weather sealed so I want to pair it with weather sealed lenses and have been looking at some Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina lenses. Canon L series are just crazy expensive. :/
 

okinawaholic

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How do you like the Tamron overall? Are you happy with the optics? I'm still using a Canon EOS 300D (Rebel, Kiss Digital) but planning on moving to the EOS 90D soon. The R family is just too pricey for my use cases and I still don't like EVF. The 90D is weather sealed so I want to pair it with weather sealed lenses and have been looking at some Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina lenses. Canon L series are just crazy expensive. :/
Honestly, even though the 70/80/90D are great ASP-C cameras with a good weather-sealed body going back to the 1970s, I would either move to the Canon 6D II full-frame and focus on EF glass as it retains its value much more, aside from third-party (Sigma Art, etc.) for ASP-C at comparable prices or the R6 (comparable build with the 6D II) and get premiere quality glass with the L lineup.

I am so fearful over weather-sealed as I shoot outdoors in high humidity and downpours that I can't fathom losing a $700 lens (let alone a $2000-3000 body) in a 2-minute dribble of rain that I have two Tamron's that'll I'll keep (alongside a Canon 24-105 F4L): The Tamron 70-200 G2 and the SP35mm 1.8 for astrophotography (but looking into Irix Blackstone 15mm f/2.4 [that registers as 2.8]) for the build quality as well as the wide-angle to give me more long shots without star trail (Milky Way season is coming up and all that extra light will drastically improve if following either the 500 or 200 rule at 15mm).

The 70-90D cameras are tough bodies, but you're limited in a lot of aspects. I would trade it in and go with the 6D II myself to take the first step. Come November (Black Friday), I'm sure the $1200 price-tag will be reduced to $1000-1100 which is comparable to a 90D.

As far as optics go, Tamron is pretty decent when compared to first-party releases, at 1/2-1/3rd the price (used in AA/AB [and even C if you don't mind minor scratches on the body, not effecting the optics whatsoever] quality). With a little post-edit tweaking, I don't think many could tell I shot on a Tamron 70-200 over a Canon 70-200 when you fiddle with it.

The EFV is pretty good in the R5 when compared to the 2 million pixels in the R6 and mirrorless M50. The articulating screen will help a lot more with angled shots than using the EFV. That said, the R5 is I believe 5 million pixels while the "rival" to the R5 will have 9 million on Sony's A7IIIs.

And while the L's are expensive, look back on history dating to the 1980s with manual focus. They are insanely expensive with the technical aspects because the glass is just so incredible (too bad they discontinued the Canon 50mm f/1 [I believe]) as that has more value than a newer f/1.2. Take the L over the comparable 24-105 that isn't weather-sealed at $400~ and you'll regret not even getting a $500 used F4L in "bad shape".

PS: My backup camera is a Canon T6i (Kiss x8i). While it's good in the light, the ISO is horrible if you need to bump it up (even at f/1.8) and you get swiss cheese at like 3200-6400 whereas I can bump up to 20000 on a 5D without issue.

I'm more of a hobbyist photographer, but, I like to have pro gear that can stand up to the elements. I feel safe taking it down a river trek in the middle of a downpour to capture waterfalls, etc. and a 10-minute wipedown plus throwing it in a dry box (on my purchase list) will ensure that it'll last the 6-years in release cycles.

But yeah, completely agree. Photography is expensive and you have to decide on what type of shooting you want to do and not really lean towards a multipurpose lens like the 24-105 F4L as the 24-70 is much sharper and the 70-200 picks up with that sharpness.

These are just my opinions though.

Consolidate your gear to trade up and go with the 6D II if the $2400 price tag of the R6 is too much and a fine prime (or general-purpose lens) of high caliber and enjoy yourself without limitations (look at the sensors on them, etc.
 

Petaris

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Thanks for the very informative post @okinawaholic!
Unfortunatly I have more than one hobby so I can't go too crazy with the camera. I actually did look at the 6D Mk II but couldn't justify the expense, the onboard GPS is nice though. FF would be cool, for that matter getting a Hasselblad and shooting medium format would be cool too! :D But I figure moving from my 300D to a 90D is still quite an improvement. My buddy says I should go Fuji and get the X-T4 (He is a big Fujifilm mirrorless fan, switched from Canon about five years ago). Alas, the poor battery price and still expensive ($1600) for the X-T4 mean that it is out of my price range as well.
 

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I just bought my first new lens in about 20 years last week. Actually it was just a replacement for the 75-300mm USM IS lens I bought in Japan about 20 years ago. I think it was about Y80,000 then. The last 5 years or so the image stabilizer started acting funny but not all the time. But finally am sick enough of it to get the latest version of the lens which was about $450. I almost never use an SLR but on epic vacations I still bring it. (Planning to go to Alaska next month.) The body is probably 10 years old. Rebel T3i (EOS 600D).
 

thomas

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I just bought my first new lens in about 20 years last week. Actually it was just a replacement for the 75-300mm USM IS lens I bought in Japan about 20 years ago. I think it was about Y80,000 then. The last 5 years or so the image stabilizer started acting funny but not all the time. But finally am sick enough of it to get the latest version of the lens which was about $450. I almost never use an SLR but on epic vacations I still bring it. (Planning to go to Alaska next month.) The body is probably 10 years old. Rebel T3i (EOS 600D).

I'm using a similar setup: Kiss X6i (EOS 650D outside Japan and 8 years old) + EF 70-300mm F4-5.6L IS USM. Good enough for my type of shooting. I officially switched to Nikon four years ago because I thought I'd need a full-frame camera. I'm happy with the D750 and my set of Nikon glass but probably should have waited and invested in a 5D Mark IV. Or in an iPhone 11 Pro. 😄
 

mdchachi

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I'm using a similar setup: Kiss X6i (EOS 650D outside Japan and 8 years old) + EF 70-300mm F4-5.6L IS USM. Good enough for my type of shooting. I officially switched to Nikon four years ago because I thought I'd need a full-frame camera. I'm happy with the D750 and my set of Nikon glass but probably should have waited and invested in a 5D Mark IV. Or in an iPhone 11 Pro. 😄
Canon to Nikon or vice versa is a big switch. I also have a 28-70mm f2.8 L lens that I bought around the same time when I was rich (single). Even though it's not a big investment compared to serious hobbyists it's still too much for me to consider switching.
 

okinawaholic

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I'm using a similar setup: Kiss X6i
I'd be happy to sell you a T6i (Kiss X8i) that Kitamura offered me (plus shipping): 25,740 yen with the used sales price of 46,000 yen.

However, once they noticed it was the T6i and not the X8i (as they "can't repair an 'American' camera"), they knocked it down to 15,740 yen, which I, of course, walked away from. Maybe I should list it for sale in the classifieds here, as it's a nice starter camera and I've upgraded to the 5D IV, with the R5 in mind. The shutter count is only about 5000 and a bit more features to play around with.

Either way, it's a keeper cause I'm gonna get me a Tamron 2x teleconverter, instead of the 150-600 G2, first as I can have a 140-400mm on my full-frame which would work nicely with my Tamron 35mm to make 70mm and a nice portrait lens without dropping another $1500 (even though I'd like to keep that f/1.2-2.8). Or, attached to my T6i (1.6x crop factor), I could get 224-640mm... just the ISO would be very limiting and I'd need some good daylight for shots.
 

okinawaholic

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5D Mark IV. Or in an iPhone 11 Pro. 😄
I would go with a Samsung S20 or Note 9+ (or Note 20? as it'd have 5G like the S20). The reason behind this is that both shoot RAW in pro mode, while I think you need an App on iPhone to shoot RAW, and I don't understand much about that, and if it is even RAW or a HEIF converted to a RAW file. Additionally, Apple just made a contract with Samsung to supply lenses for all new phones and potentially previous phones, so you know their lenses are good (if not better) than Apple's was.

Apple to anything else is a hard transition to make, but I'll never go back after my Apple Air crashed with all my data on it. Unrecoverable unless I send it in to get repaired. Apple, even with insurance, wanted $400 to replace the 128gb hard drive when it was a 2015 model in 2019 that sold used for $400 with the 256gb drive. I never went iPhone as they don't allow torrent apps in their store. Yes, torrents can be used for illegal downloads, but they can also be used to distribute stuff without a centralized location too.
Those are practically in the same price range! LOL :p
Not necessarily in the same price zone, but with how good of a deal I got one new for, it was close enough (maybe Pro++ with 512GB or 1TB[?]). I don't know if I told the story here, but they had a body only at the base exchange and I told the manager that they would never be able to sell it because they don't even carry lenses. At the time, it was $3400 on Amazon, but marked down for a bit to $2800 for some reason. I told him that I would use my STAR Card (a military credit card for store use only, unless you upgrade to the MasterCard) if he'd make a deal with me. Since I put it on my STAR Card, I was also awarded with 2 points for every $1, so I got two $20 gift cards (as they only send out gift cards for every 2000 points).

I got him down a bit below the Amazon price of $2800, but as everyone wanted to go home due to a typhoon approaching and I was the only customer left, contemplating that... I took a shot and offered $2000 if I bought the supplemental $100 4-year insurance plan. Guess who walked out with a $2100 Canon 5D MK IV and the rest of the staff locking up behind them? ;)

It now sits at $2500 new, so I think I got a pretty good deal, ya think?
 

Petaris

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I just replaced my Samsung Galaxy S7 with the OnePlus 8 Pro. I haven't played around too much with the camera yet but I'm going to. The first couple shots I have taken are not too impressive quality wise but the conditions were poor. At the moment I feel like maybe the S20 would have been a better way to go but its still too early to really say. I always felt my S7 took nice pictures but it started having issues so it was time to upgrade and the 1+ 8 Pro was a lot more bang for the buck than the S20.
 
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