Olympus


oldhat

Link Posted 24/06/2020 - 20:20
It has just been announced that Olympus is to stop producing cameras.
Olympus have blamed the rise of cameraphones as a significant factor in their decision.
I have always had a soft spot for them and my first two cameras were Olympus including a rather strange one that claimed to be a panoramic one, which it wasn't!!
So much for media predictions that Pentax would be the first to fall.

Benz3ne

Link Posted 24/06/2020 - 20:30
That is a shame. They produce nice looking gear and clearly have a fan base. I wonder if itíll postpone anyone elseís decision to throw in the towel.

ilovesaabs

Link Posted 24/06/2020 - 20:37
They've just sold the camera division to the people who took over VAIO from Sony (VAIO is doing well in the far east)...could still be life left in the brand.

It was a nice looking system - just a shame I dislike EVFs.

The demise of Pentax has been predicted since the mid-80s.
AKA Welshwizard/PWynneJ
Assorted Pentax/Nikon/Mamiya stuff

RobL

Link Posted 24/06/2020 - 22:37
They put the blame squarely on camera phones, have tried moving up towards the pro end of the market but are hampered by being stuck with the M4/3 format whereas the likes of Sony compete with larger sensors in compact bodies. Personally I donít get the appeal of camera phones but too many photographers only want to put their snaps on Instagram to collect likes rather than produce decent prints.

jeallen01

Link Posted 24/06/2020 - 23:02
Frankly, I never liked the M4/3 format, nor did I ever like any "square" format (e.g. the Rollei 6x6cm or 4x4cm formats) - much prefer the trad 36x24 or similar 3x2 formats.
K-3 II, K-3 and a K-70 from SRS (having now relegated the K-30 /"K-50" to a backup body), & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)

HarisF1

Link Posted 24/06/2020 - 23:33
Pentax doing just fine with their approach I see. They're playing it safe (perhaps some think it's too safe) but they're still around alive and kicking.

fatspider

Link Posted 25/06/2020 - 00:49
It's possible the brand will survive. after all Pentax Survived the takeover by Hoya and Ricoh.
My Names Alan, and I'm a lensaholic.
My PPG link
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MrB

Link Posted 25/06/2020 - 06:39
Compared with others (e.g. Olympus) perhaps the users of certain systems (e.g. Pentax) are of a demographic less likely to transfer their photographic activities to their mobile phones?

Philip

Jetsam1

Link Posted 25/06/2020 - 08:40
Gives me something to think about. I do have an Olympus M43 set up where everything works for the moment, however as it is a little long in the tooth I would worry about any repairs..... Yes the form factor is very appealing and not since the K-01 has Pentax come close to the sort of thing. The Q was out there on its own as unique! Only Fuji seem to do something similar. And support their products strongly.

So has it gone to a Private Equity Firm? In that case writing is likely on the wall as they will want quick returns and maybe that will be the end of it. Asset Strip and let die. QC and R and D cost to much money and only bring returns later and not now.

I think we should be very pleased Ricoh came in for Pentax as stability is always under rated.
K5, K200 and several film Pentax cameras!

Jetsam1

Link Posted 25/06/2020 - 08:46
MrB wrote:
Compared with others (e.g. Olympus) perhaps the users of certain systems (e.g. Pentax) are of a demographic less likely to transfer their photographic activities to their mobile phones?

Philip

What stops me taking out the Pentax gear is actually simply the size of DSLRs (and Pentax is on the compact side) and the weight of lenses etc. The M43 kit is much lighter and smaller and with a kit of lenses can go in a reasonably compact shoulder bag. Pre kids and when I was still living in the UK I was using Pentax film cameras a lot of the time for much the same reasons. Just too expensive for the processing at the moment. Hopefully once the disasters of the last couple of years are behind me I can start looking to use them again.

I digress. I use a smart phone a lot for quick shots of the kids and for the minimal sharing I do it is very convenient to have everything on one device. The smart phone is my internet, camera, phone, basic computer, gps, and so on all in a pocketable device. There are good reasons why they are so prevalent.

If I want really good pictures a good camera is still the way to go, but in the past how many people really had a top level SLR? Or just a compact P and S?
K5, K200 and several film Pentax cameras!

Lubbyman

Link Posted 25/06/2020 - 10:01
I can remember picking up a DSLR for the first time and thinking 'Who'd want to carry that weight around?'. It's still a factor, that's why I've got a Q as well as DSLR. But look at what TV reporters are doing with smart phones. When something so capable can be carried in a modest-sized pocket, and as Jetsam1 says, it's also internet, basic computer, gps, and so on (and even occasionally a phone), there's got to be a good reason to spend £££ on a separate camera. I've got my reasons, you've got yours, but most people don't and never will have. So the camera manufacturers have got to concentrate on people who are prepared to spend £££ on a 'real' camera will actually buy and shape their business to the reduced market.

Will Olympus camera division survive under a private equity company? Well, the assets are mainly the camera-related IP, and it's a Japanese buyer, so asset stripping and shutting down is unlikely IMHO. The big questions are whether the buyer can make Olympus cameras profitable and, if so, who will buy a small but profitable specialist camera company in a few year's time? Well, Ricoh did it with an unprofitable one a few years ago and it's still here... Anyone fancy speculating on whether they might add a specialist in small MILCs after a few more years??

Steve

Jetsam1

Link Posted 25/06/2020 - 10:09
Lubbyman wrote:
Anyone fancy speculating on whether they might add a specialist in small MILCs after a few more years??

Steve

Naughty!!
K5, K200 and several film Pentax cameras!

johnriley

Link Posted 25/06/2020 - 10:42
I think it goes to show that speculations are often totally adrift. I have lost track of how many doom-ridden opinions there have been about Pentax, and yet here we still are, thriving quite happily.

Other marques will make their own way in the world, or not, and the fortunes of a few of them go up and down all the time.
Best regards, John

Jetsam1

Link Posted 25/06/2020 - 11:18
johnriley wrote:
I think it goes to show that speculations are often totally adrift. I have lost track of how many doom-ridden opinions there have been about Pentax, and yet here we still are, thriving quite happily.

Other marques will make their own way in the world, or not, and the fortunes of a few of them go up and down all the time.

One day I will have a KP....! Somehow, maybe.

In all seriousness Pentax have a niche it seems and are able to hopefully stay functioning and release updated models every so often. I am not even sure if a new model upgrade every year is really a great strategy. I have a K200d that still works great I bought new in 2008. The K3ii actually scares me! It is very, very good. Only issue I have now is the DA* Zooms. Good but huge.
K5, K200 and several film Pentax cameras!

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 25/06/2020 - 12:28
MrB wrote:
Compared with others (e.g. Olympus) perhaps the users of certain systems (e.g. Pentax) are of a demographic less likely to transfer their photographic activities to their mobile phones?

Philip

Real photographers??

I believe the Olympus brand will likely survive in some form as whoever it gets sold to will buy the brand name for that use, in exactly the same way as the Pentax brand was sold to Hoya and then Ricoh.

I have always felt that the four thirds standard was a poor choice at the outset, not because of the aspect ratio, but because of the sensor size. They have been unable to sufficiently differentiate themselves from compacts and then smartphones, when it comes to image quality or other advantages. Four thirds (and micro four thirds) aren't cheaper than APS-C, they're not significantly smaller or lighter than APS-C, they're not faster... Panasonic have differentiated themselves to some degree by having strong video features but that's not inherent to the smaller sensor and others are rapidly catching up. Frankly, it's impressive that it has survived this long.

Although it's sad to see a company exit the market, it does mean that in the future people are less likely to go m4/3 and are therefore more likely to go to another system such as Pentax, though I suspect they will be few. More will go to Fujifilm or Sony.

It's funny, I see very few Panasonic cameras around and yet they seem to be doing OK. When I was in Japan I saw a lot of m4/3 cameras but 90% were Olympus.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses
Last Edited by Jonathan-Mac on 25/06/2020 - 12:29
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