Correction: NOT WSJ but Yahoo Finance: Olympus one of 10 brands to disappear in 2014

Started May 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Correction: NOT WSJ but Yahoo Finance: Olympus one of 10 brands to disappear in 2014
In reply to KenBalbari, May 27, 2013

KenBalbari wrote:

teseg wrote:

Hopefully Olympus is about to launch a game changer, but I see it being nearly EM-5 quality at 75% the price vs. EM-5 + with enhanced capabilities at 125% of the price.  In other words they need to establish themselves as THE entry level brand above the phone segment, which also means taking out the Nikon 1 brand in particular, no small task.

They've mostly done that already, it's called the E-PL5.  I don't think you can do better right now in the entry-level enthusiast segment.   And I think it is likely profitable for them, their losses are likely coming on point and shoot.

Down the road,  I think they will continue to be competitive in that segment.  I think you are right that Nikon One seems to be the biggest long term threat, but I think they will need to introduce in-body stabilization to really be competitive in this segment, especially in the future as Olympus's superior IS filters down into lower end models.  In-lens stabilization may continue to make sense for higher end DSLR, but for this value conscious segment, I don't think it works.

Keep in mind, Sigma is likely going to be a player here on the lens side.  I think the killer combination right now for real value consious enthusiasts is already Olympus cameras with Sigma DN lenses.  I think that could continue to be the case.

I do think Olympus does need to do better with marketing and branding.  Nikon's "One" mount is so much better named than "Micro Four-Thirds".   Only a real geek wants to know what "Micro Four-Thirds" means.   Both "OM" and "Pen" are decent brands, but it would be nicer if they had a simpler banner under which to sell the whole system.  "Micro Four-Thirds" sounds more like a line of medical devices than cameras.

I also think calling this category CSCs was a mistake in terms of branding. IMO the  category is now associated more with compacts than with DSLRs and not considered to be as capable as a DSLR. The common perception still is that if you want quality you need to get a DSLR. Panasonic calls its bodies DSLM on its web site, ostensibly to make it sound more like a DSLR and be perceived as such but I wonder if it is going to make much difference.

But in the end, I think there's a prettty wide space between small pocketable cameraphone sensors and full frame DSLR.  And I think Olympus will end up pretty well positioned in that space, for much longer than the next year.

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