« How to Pack Photo Prints for Mailing or Shipping | Main | Blog Note »

Wednesday, 24 June 2020


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it will probably ensure, at least in the mid term, that we will continue to have ‘Olympus’ cameras, lenses, etc. On the other hand, there’s always a danger that key engineers, product managers, technicians, etc., (the”guts” of the business) may not be happy with new management and the business will die, whether quickly or a slow, painful demise.

Of course, if they decide to venture in to medium format territory, I would be keenly interested.

Olympus has kind of lost its edge (size and weight) with the introduction of the newer full-frame mirrorless cameras from other companies. For example, the FF Canon RP is both smaller and lighter than the Olympus E-M1 III while Nikon's Z6 is about the same size. Granted, the M4/3 lens are smaller and lighter.

Sad to see, but understandable. There are several other large Japanese companies where Cameras are a small generally unprofitable part. If a Venerated name like Olympus can do it, others can as well.
It is still unclear if the new owners will be allowed to use the Olympus Name. Reports have only confirmed that product names are included.
Difficult times.

Sorry to see this, but I have 4 beautiful lenses and a camera body (Pen F) I can't figure out to save my soul! I always hoped that someone at Olympus would make a software upgrade I could load into the body that would make everything better, guess not now! No one's even wrote an aftermarket manual that was understandable either (unless it just happened).

Guess I'll just keep using Panasonic bodies!

Hard to claim surprise. Oly had a truly great run as a consumer camera and lens maker but let’s face it; they fell so far behind the race that at times they thought they were leading.

But life may not be over for them. PE firms aren’t liquidators. As with the recent history of Hasselblad, Oly might be made-over with new management and new strategy and then re-born as a _____.

Just last month I sold all my M43 gear to "pay" for a Z7 and a couple of lenses.

I also have some Nikon F gear, which will plug the lens "holes" via the FTZ adaptor.

I had a comprensive set of lenses that covered a fisheye, three 2.8 zooms, a macro and a 70-300. I still got a fairly decent trade in value. I guess SH values will plummet even faster now.

It was when I was looking for a replacement for my EM5 for hiking with a one lens solution, I discovered that thee EM5iii had serious problems with tripod sockets ripping out in normal use. I discovered that an EM1 with a 12-100 weighed just a few grams less than a Z7 with a 24-200 lens. The die was cast.

The fact is that my Z7 fills the shoes of my EM5 perfectly. It is light enough not to be bothersome for hiking and light enough to do tourist stuff on a hot Italian summer day.
Weight and bulk are not an issue for me. My fist low light hand held monument pictures are on another planet.

When you pick up a camera like the Z6 or Z7, M43 does not make any sense anymore. Perhaps only if you use super telephoto lenses, it is still a valid choice.

Declining market share thanks also to producing heavier and heavier "bloatware" like the EM1x or the heavy "Pro" lenses, got me thinking that the system was coming to an end. Now it is in the hands of the venture capitalists, the future indeed does not look good. Panasonics move to FF was another sign.

My EM5 was a really revolutionary piece of kit when I bought it. Sadly others caught up and recently Nikon at last made something that tempted me back for travel and hiking.

With all this debacle in the camera industry, I just placed an order for a sketch pad and a set of graphite pencils.

Maybe they should also think about their horrendous menus, which people have been complaining about for years, and their very inscrutable decisions to ramp up the weight and cost of their cameras and lenses, still with the small m43 sensor, as a way to combat cell phones and the shrinking camera market.

Sad but not a shock. Will there be more to follow?

You have to wonder how straying away from the m43rds unique selling proposition put them on this situation. The EM1X should have never happened.

The press release talks about the Olympus “legacy”, I wonder what they mean by that.

When camera companies with a lot of film history went digital they kept their lens mounts (modern Pentax, Canon and Nikon can use 50 year old lenses).

Olympus, instead, launched a whole new lens mount, the original 4/3 in 2001.
Seven years later they killed it when they launched m4/3.
m4/3 has been around for 12 years now.

If they dump m4/3 (and that’s a BIG IF) they would have effectively killed three lens mounts in just shy of two decades.

I like and use Olympus cameras, but I don’t think there’s coming back from that.

Having a large m4/3 and 4/3 kit, mostly Oly, I'm part saddened and part scared by this. The gear is fine but will support and further development occur under the new scheme, or will they wring out the still-profitable bits and kill of the balance, ending the brand and format? Panny cannot keep m4/3 viable by themselves.

I do not believe this is the last. Ricoh-Pentax and Nikon appear vulnerable as well.

I have a nice collection of Contax gear to remind me what losing a preferred brand is all about.

Sad day for the industry, the hobby and the profession.

Just before the lock-down started, I had decided to get rid of all my Olympus kit (a Mk i EM10 and a handful of lenses). You don't think that they heard about that and it threw them into a panic, do you? Nah, probably not; but if I'm not the only one...

And to think that, only last year (in May), they were making a fuss about 100 Years of Olympus.

I shoot lots of amateur bicycle racing with weather/dust sealed 2nd hand Olympus bodies and m4/3s lenses. I'd hate to see Olympus go away completely as I could not afford to replicate this functionality and small size in either APS/C or full-frame. The sensor size and pixel counts are more than adequate to the task. The full-frame weather-sealed bodies out there are big and heavy and I'm not even certain that there are weather-sealed APS/C bodies. I'll have to look that up.
Luckily, Oly won't be going away immediately and there is new and used gear out there to keep me going for a while.
(A weather-sealed Nikon 1 system would have been so nice.)

My m4/3 gear went to KEH last fall and I just finished a nice selection of manual focus F mount lenses for my D7100 (24/35/50/105/135) so while I hope that Olympus continues, it's not where I have any real interest any more.

Bummer! I've loved the EM5i body, and personally don't need to use the menus much (YMMV). I was willing to be patient for the upgrades to the sensor, electronic viewfinder, the processor (for handheld hi-res), and maybe even an in-between series of prime lenses, not f1.2, not f1.7/f1.8. Now I will wait to upgrade to something, or maybe just grab one of the latest bodies for a steal and carry it for a little into its sunset. I suppose I've been on the fence next to Fuji for a while, and this knocks me over.

I'm also particularly used to Olympus's handling of color and highlights, a look that I've grown fond of despite the limits and the quirks. I've shot subjects and situations accordingly, knowing how they'll be rendered. It'll be interesting for me to go through the loss of their particular processing engine. With digital, you aren't just losing the camera bodies. You can also be losing a beloved "film."

In one of the releases I read describing Olympus' rationale, it said something to the effect "Having done their best to overcome the onslaught of camera phones they even took their offering upscale to more professional cameras, and even that wasn't enough"
Words to that effect, ---they really believed that keeping the same sensor and making heavy more full featured cameras was the answer.

If there is any truth to that, it is a good measure of how out of touch they have been. There was no one who could fill Maitani San's shoes.

While it could be bad news, Sony purchased Minolta and that didn't turn out so badly.

Leaves me with the opposite of GAS.

Despite other temptations and experiments I always return to my OMD EM5 kit (now built around an EM5ii), so compact and so much like the film cameras I grew up with. The constant in my photography and good for what I do most, travel and landscape photography.

So here I am not really wanting another system but forced to think about one.

Let's hope the new owner's will focus on Olympus strengths. Light weight package with a modern sensor with hand held high rez will go a long way towards success. Their lens capabilities are good.

I say get used to it. Unless camera makers begin to add features that all smartphones have these days, they will not be in the game very long. Smartphone photo apps and hardware technology are increasing rapidly to the point where there is no advantage to traditional cameras in almost any situation. They are doomed to be a niche product unless they adapt.
Just ask Olympus!

Early this year, I bought one of the best - and most enjoyable to shoot with - cameras I have ever owned - a Pen F. I love that camera.

Ironically, the camera I love and bought was discontinued by its manufacturer in spite of many accolades because, I assume, they just couldn't sell enough.

Which may be the nature of the metaphoric beast we call Photography - quality does not always translate to or equate with quantity. But I'm hoping and assuming that my Pen-F has many, many more productive years in it. And, when one reads all those threads about "What do you want in a Pen F II?", my answer was always boringly simple: NOTHING. It's perfect the way it is.

In some monarchies, when a ruler dies, his death is mentioned in the same sentence as a presumed rebirth of the royal line. Along those lines, all I can say is: Olympus is dead - Long Live Olympus!

I used both original and mkII E-M5s extensively, mainly because I got tired of hauling around cameras like the Nikon D800 all the time. There really were great cameras and felt like a revolution to me with the small size and image stabilization, but it always stuck in my mind how much resolution and dynamic range I was giving up - a bit like 35mm vs medium format.

But now a Z7 with 24-70mm f4 lens is nearly the same size and weight as a E-M1 with the 12-40 f2.8 lens. And the Z 50mm is bigger, but all the detail in the files...

M43 is great for casual telephoto, though. The cheapo 40-150mm is really small and surprisingly good. And I’ve always recommended a 2 lens E-M10 kit to casual users as superior to cheap DSLRs.

I'm just in the process of writing a long-term review of the EM1x and, by extension, the whole Olympus system. I switched over from Nikon DSLR about two years ago and haven't looked back (mainly for the simple fact that it made my total kit weight less than 1/2 of what it was). It's a versatile system and still does some things that other's don't or can't (I do a lot of light painting and Olympus has the best features for this). I think there is still a lot of potential for the system and hope this represents an opportunity to trim loose ends and grow the company instead of dicing it up.

I think they need to 'polarise' the offerings more and have the quite high end gear as well as the most basic offerings rather than spreading things out thin with the 10 and 5 series that sort of compete with the 1 and 1x at the top and the EPL on the consumer side. Focus on the strengths of what can be done best rather than try to do it all for everyone.

I’ve been thinking that it’s about time to get my circa 1965 pen F camera an oil job before everyone who knows how dies. The meter is pretty hopeless but that lens and that snick sound of the spinning foil shutter, and the all important vertical framing. To quote George Taki, “oh my”.

I think the current product lineup is in the really nice compromise in between the cameras you really want which is not really a great place to be. Unlike 30 years ago nobody needs a second camera anymore.

I recently purchased the EM-1.II on the Oly refurb site for $840 & I still had the 12-100 Oly zoom. This is a great combo for my event & indoor work. I tend to stay about a generation behind to get better pricing, but this does not help Oly profits.

However, I also use the Nikon Z-50/Tamron 18-400 zoom for my outdoor action and adventure photography, and it's size is similar to my EM-1 setup. Smaller sized cameras used to be Oly's advantage but recent models are larger. For now, I will continue to use both systems and hope for that Pen F.II to come out.

It's a sad but inevitable news, other companies like Pentax, Nikon & Hasselblad, are also struggling as the camera market continues to shrink, & one or more of them could be the next casualty.

I have several Olympus digital cameras going back to first digital Pen. I haven't sold any of them, I just use the older ones less as more full featured cameras were brought to market. My medium term hope is that I can continue to get batteries for the cameras. But what I liked about the system was the lenses. Small, light, optically good -- they were the answer to the "Oh my aching back" problem for me. I will continue to use them, of course. It does seem likely that the pace of innovation, the "road map," if you will, will slow as a result of this sale.

I agree wholeheartedly with the comment above that the success of this spin-off, from the photographer's point of view, is whether the technical folks who made the rendering "engine" (whatever goes into the image/color quality of RAW and jpg files) successfully move into the new venture. Olympus always seemed to get it "right." At least to my eye.

For those not familiar with JIP, they are take over scammers. They know nothing about photography. Companies like them buy distressed companies (read Olympus) then break them apart and sell off pieces for a profit. This will not end well for OLY. I hope I am wrong.

I have always admired Olympus' products. And despite the crap about "full frame" and equivalence and that other nonsense, the µ4/3 format allows for amazing photography. I have met serious birders in places like Colombia who switched to µ4/3 because the long lenses were smaller and lighter. I certainly hope the new owner continues development of the Olympus brand.

JIP acquire Japanese businesses of some renown and some do continue, e.g VAIO (ex Sony). In a shrinking camera market and the current stress due to SARS-CoV-2 one may wonder where camera things land down from the Olymp. But then the German saying "Totgesagte leben länger" ...There's life in the old dog yet (translates Leo).

I also regret this as I largely switched to Oly 2 years ago. What a great system. I think those who are smug now about their choices may well find the same thing happening to them in a few years time. Who will survive? It seems to me that only Canon and Sony are assured. In the meantime, I am not concerned as all my Oly lenses work fine on Panasonic cameras and they are still going...for now. I do agree with the person above who said that Oly probably had too many camera bodies which must have been expensive to keep current. The E1MX probably was a mistake, as it was not quite the camera they hoped it would be, perhaps they should have just waited for the OMD1 mk 111. They are not alone though, most seem camera makers have way too many bodies, Canon in particular. I remain surprised that Ricoh are still here

With 20/20 hindsight, it now makes perfect sense why Panasonic recently opted to put most of its resources in its new (L-mount) partnership. The writing for m4/3 was probably on the wall for some time now. And Panasonic being another Japanese conglomerate (and m4/3 partner with Olympus), Panasonic also surely would have been aware of the presumably high number of Olympus imaging professionals jumping ship and non-Japanese staff being let go.

At least there should be some great bargains later in the year and in 2021 for those still dedicated to m4/3.

I’ve always had a fondness for Olympus cameras so I’m saddened by this news, but I'm going to refrain from giving an "If only" eulogy. I'm more curious about how JIP will go forward with this acquisition.

I understand Sony's VAIO laptops have been diminished to two models intending to appeal, seemingly, to port nostalgia. If that's any indication, JIP may trim the OM-D collection to an E-M1 or 5, and a 10. Maybe they'll follow what Panasonic is doing with their G100, and market OM-D to vloggers. I'd give their offerings consideration if they keep the tilting monitor, as I dislike the vari-angle monitors.

Oh well, the worst-case scenario for me is using my current OM-D until it's irreparable and move to a Sony APS-C.

Love the EM1X so much I bought a second one as backup. Best digital camera Olympus ever made. Hope to see more AI algorithms in the future.

Coincidentally, I found this:


Page 52

Two days after my initial comment, and I’m almost 100% certain Olympus is dead.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007