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Olympus raided over accounting scandal

By dpreview staff on Dec 21, 2011 at 19:10 GMT

Offices and homes of executives connected to the Olympus accounting scandal have been raided by Japanese police. The move comes after a report commissioned by the company showed that losses of $1.7bn had been concealed for over a decade. However, the company did successfully file its amended accounts by the December 14th deadline imposed by the Japanese stock exchange to avoid being delisted. These restated accounts showed significantly reduced assets, and the company is now rumored to be planning to issue more shares in an attempt to raise money.

Comments

Total comments: 83
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Dec 23, 2011)

I love my Olympus C-8080, and it was made about the time these irregularities (to put it lightly) started. Maybe Olympus should have been sold off, like Pentax, to be able to start anew. Instead a culture of lying developed at Olympus. A sad end of a once brave company!

A company's board of directors that lies to its shareholders is not to be trusted at all. Calling them fools - highly paid at that - is just trying to whitewash it all.

Not surprising that the Japanese authorities suspected that organised crime was behind it all, as that is exactly what we can expect of orgainised crime: fiddle the figures, lie to the authorities, and hoodwink shareholders. And this has been going on for years and years - so not just one screen of smoke, rather a gigantic forest fire, in avoiding the truth.

When the new CEO wanted a serious, independent, internal audit he got the sack - smells criminal intent a long way.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Dec 23, 2011)

" A sad end of a once brave company!"

Olympus hasn't died you know!

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 23, 2011)

Company did not die, but this is a giant kick on their once sterling reputation. Does one really want to do any business in the future with such a disreputable outfit?

0 upvotes
Stanley Hoffman
By Stanley Hoffman (Dec 23, 2011)

This link has a good article on the scandal at Olympus:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/16/us-olympus-masterminds-idUSTRE7BF0FB20111216

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 25, 2011)

Some scary reading this one is, Stan, thanks for finding it. What a colossal bunch of crooks, OMG, this makes our Wall Street and pyramid scheme American crooks look like inept Kindergarten pupils in comparison.

A company this rotten at the very top has to be put out of its misery and out of business, ans quickly. They have no right to prevail and continue. The Olympus name will be forever tainted with this much filth.

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (Dec 22, 2011)

Chuck, yes, it's fraud, it's crime. But at least THESE crooks have left us a legacy of beautiful cameras, lenses, and in my case, a brand loyalty that is not going to evaporate overnight, as I've been using Olympus cameras more or less exclusively since my OM-1 which I bought in 1976.

You can't say the same about Madoff, Leaman's, et al ... they're just a bunch of self-interested *ankers.

Brian

2 upvotes
Chuck Lantz
By Chuck Lantz (Dec 22, 2011)

Marty: Sorry to intrude, but when management lies about the actual value of something, and people invest money based on those lies, that is fraud, pure and simple. And fraud is theft, and theft is a crime, so yes, they are indeed crooks.

0 upvotes
Dan Ortego
By Dan Ortego (Dec 22, 2011)

Yep, just like our president with Solyndra! It's a shame really, as I always admired the Olympus line.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Dec 22, 2011)

Chuck, there is no doubt that this was a crime.

Maybe I'm just splitting hairs, but I'd rather believe they were incompetent fools who were just covering up their blunders, rather than people stealing money for their own personal use.

Either way, the effect is the same for the shareholders, employees, dealers and customers. This criminal activity has harmed all, and Olympus desperately needs better and more ethical management.

And that will be achieved, one way or the other. Either by some other company buying Olympus, or by Olympus finding better managers going forward.

For me the first sign was when Woodford brought his questions to the BOD, and they told him "Don't worry about this. It's none of your concern." Then I knew these people had done something terribly wrong.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 23, 2011)

Dan Ortego, who is "your" president, I wonder? Does he own Olympus common or preferred stocks, too?

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Dec 22, 2011)

It now appears that the top tier of Olympus management weren't crooks at all. Just incredible fools. They made some very foolish investments, lost lots of money, then tried to hide it from their shareholders by deceptive financial reporting means.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Olympus that a change to better and more ethical management wont cure.

They have strong products and could have been very profitable if it wasn't for the foolish and risky financial ventures they made. And covering them up their mistakes to mislead shareholders was a very poor decision.

They have a 70% market share in endoscopes, and their M4/3 products have strong market potential going forward. This entire problem was caused by poor management practices. And that is precisely what needs to be changed.

It doesn't matter if this means being acquired by a new owner... or simply radically reforming the way they manage their finances. Either way, you still end up with a strong, competitive company.

3 upvotes
mugupo
By mugupo (Dec 22, 2011)

Panasonic would buying Olympus, access to their zuiko lens.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 22, 2011)

That would kill both Olympus and Zuiko. Panasonic never keeps the brands it buys. See what happened to National and Technics. Besides, they believe putting the name 'Leica' on ordinary lenses convinces people that they're actually buying Leica lenses, so they don't need Zuiko.
It must be said that Panasonic makes great electric shaves, though...

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 22, 2011)

Nobody bought "National" or "Technics" from anybody. They were trade names (as is Panasonic) used by the parent company, Matsushita. National was used mostly on appliances, outside North America. Technics was used to signify higher quality than Panasonic which, at the time was considered the poor man's Sony.

1 upvote
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 22, 2011)

You're right about National and Technics, AbrasiveReducer. Except they were Masushita-owned brands, not trade names (it isn't the same: trade names identify a company or a subsidiary). Still I believe that, if it became Panasonic-owned, the Olympus brand would sooner or later disappear too.
By the way, Panasonic is currently curtailing production and firing workers, having already stopped building plasmas. They may not be in a financial position to buy Olympus.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (Dec 22, 2011)

Panasonic is an interesting one - yes, the only other company to have fully gotten into bed with 4/3rds ... but why would they want Zuiko (brilliant as it is) - when they've already landed LEICA?!!

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 22, 2011)

Sorry I was a bit off in my description of trade names. It seems strange now, what with Panasonic/Leica cameras but I can recall when the first Technics turntables appeared, marked "Technics by Panasonic". Word got back to Japan that Panasonic was not synonomous with the highest quality so the Panasonic name was removed entirely and it worked. Now, if I could just remember what LG actually stands for (it ain't Life's Good).

BTW, regarding poor Olympus; why would a company (Panasonic) that has the abilty to make cameras and lenses, buy another company that makes cameras and lenses? To learn the secrets to making cameras and lenses?

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 22, 2011)

AbrasiveReducer, I don't know what LG stands for (not certainly 'Life's Good'...), but it is the south korean company formerly known as GoldStar. My father had a GoldStar stereo system, and both the amplifier and the tuner were surprisingly good!
More to the point, an uncle of mine used to have a National Panasonic turntable. I also remember when Panasonic's money served to nurture Hiro Matsushita's illusions of being a great racing driver. (He wasn't - he was Indy racing's laughing stock!)
About your last paragraph: while I don't believe Panasonic will buy Olympus, I feel they've still got something to learn from Olympus, as one of the commenters here recognizes Panny's JPEGs are inferior to Olympus's. Which is confirmed in every comparative test I've read until now. After all, and unlike Olympus, Panasonic is a relative newcomer to the world of photography.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Dec 22, 2011)

Abrasive... and that is exactly why you never see anything like "Lexus, by Toyota" or "Infiniti, by Nissan." In fact these companies require that their dealerships must be so many miles away from Toyota or Nissan dealers lots... even if the same person owns both.

The only possible reason I can imagine for Panasonic wanting to buy Olympus would be to obtain patents on things like IBIS, the dustbuster, or the jpeg engine. But those are easy enough to license. Or, perhaps just to eliminate a competitor.

Most of the Olympus cameras and lenses are duplications of Panasonic products.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 23, 2011)

Panasonic "bought" Sanyo, and is axing the entire company by March of next year. No more Sanyo, so sorry. If Panasonic "rescues" Olympus, there won't be any sign of Olympus left w/i six months. Facts of life in the business world. The BOD really did Oly in this time.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Dec 23, 2011)

Time will tell if Pentax will remain for long, now that Ricoh has bought it!

Comment edited 8 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 23, 2011)

Abrasive, I just found out what LG stands for. It's the initials of former brands Lucky and GoldStar - hence LG.
Just wanted to share this precious piece of knowledge...

0 upvotes
AlanG
By AlanG (Dec 23, 2011)

Kodak bought up lots of camera makers and other companies over the years. There is nothing new about companies growing via buyouts. Leica microscopes merged with various companies before being bought out by Danaher. Danaher also took over B&L, Spencer, Cambridge and some other microscope companies and sell all of the products under the Leica name now.

I'm wondering what the police expected to find (or did find) in the homes of the Olympus officials.

On an aside, it seems that MF Global "borrowed" millions from its customer accounts to invest (risky speculation) in foreign bonds that were not properly rated. It turns out this might have been legal.
l

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
MEBEE
By MEBEE (Dec 26, 2011)

LG stands for Lucky and GoldStar ...
Anybody remembers GoldStar?

0 upvotes
irish-george
By irish-george (Dec 28, 2011)

Re: LG
It wasn't two brands...the name of the Korean company was originally translated into English and the company name was Lucky Goldstar. They used the name Goldstar as their brand name on all their video products originally. I guess they thought the name sounded either "too Asian" or "too long" and shortened it to simply "LG", like many other companies before them. (Remember, JVC originally stood for Japanese Victor Company when they were the manufacturing subsidiary of RCA.)

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Dec 22, 2011)

Sooner or later...

The long arm of the law will catch up on crooks.

Not only for Olympus, but to all in the corporate world.

Sad that a few big wigs inside Olympus have done this to the trademark. There are so many great scientists, designers and inventors within the company who produce outstanding pieces of modern techno products only to be pulled down by these twisted board members.

2 upvotes
spbStan
By spbStan (Dec 30, 2011)

Don't count on it, financial crime is the most easily skated on, with few every being prosecuted and even fewer of those which are results in any prison time. Not one banker or other crook on Wall Street which tanked the world's economy will ever be tried. They have the ability to lobby for special laws that exempt them for liability. Even in the cases of SEC fines, rare in itself, the fines are usually a small fraction of the unearned profits from the crime. Steal a billion and there is a 1/50 chance in a fine, and it will be 1 million. The changes of a poor person stealing a loaf of bread serving time is vastly greater than a financial crime resulting in 1,000,000 family bankruptcies ever being prosecuted or the responsible one even being fired.

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (Dec 22, 2011)

The tragedy is that Olympus make beautiful cameras, wonderful optics, and are major innovators because of whom everyone benefits.

Who brought you the self-cleaning sensor? Olympus. Who brought you the 10m-submersible point-and-shoot? Olympus. Who brought you live view in an SLR? Olympus. The list goes on, certainly back to when I started photography (my OM-1 and 4 prime Zuiko lenses, bought new in 1976, still works perfectly); the Pen half-frame cameras (before my time) ...

... the idea that this whole pinnacle of excellence could be brought down by a bunch of crooks that should have been working for Leaman Bros - or sold off and diluted into a lesser brand - is very sad indeed.

Brian

3 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 22, 2011)

Most information about the future of Olympus relies on rumours and paints a 'worst case scenario' picture which is not quite plausible. I don't think those scenarios will happen, but it is necessary that incumbent members of the board resign in order to restore investors' trust. Only Michael C. Woodford is in position to make that happen. I'm not MCW's fan, and I don't know whether he's the best CEO for Olympus Corp., but as I see it, he's the only alternative to the incumbent board.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Dec 22, 2011)

According to wikipedia, The first live view DSLR was the 2004 Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro, not an Oly.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Dec 23, 2011)

I read the Wiki S3 Pro page, doesn't even mention live view. But this page does http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_E330

It was Olympus's E330 the first DSLR with live view.

0 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Dec 22, 2011)

I don't see Fuji buying Olympus. They just purchased another medical image company for $995million last week. If Olympus medical imagery division stays profitable, I find it hard to believe they would sell off the camera division.
For those that are so appalled by these findings, you really need to take a good hard look out your door at all of the companies right in our own back yard that are run by crooks. Start with the banks.
Reading through the other comments, people seem to have quickly forgotten how many companies were bailed out here in our own country. If the numbers I have read are accurate Olympus employs 35,000 people. Many feel that the Japanese government will not let them fall due to how big of a corporation they are.
Here in the good ol U.S our companies are filled with crooks who mismanage their money and screwed the American people. But we saved em to prevent a bigger melt down didn't we? One way or another I think they will pull through this.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Dec 23, 2011)

Hmmm. Touche!

I think the American people need to stage a revolution or you need a good effective socialist party to represent the poor, black and disenfranchised. Now back to cameras...

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Dec 27, 2011)

To be fair though, the bailout was only 7.7 trillion. And they did charge them a reasonable 0.001% interest. And it's not like 7 trillion of that was done without even consulting Congress. And then it's not like they then used most of that money to buy treasury bonds at 3%, so they literally got free money, and got paid for it.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 22, 2011)

The cameras remain a better investment, for camera users, than they are for the shareholders or creditors. Since the central management is tainted by collusion or it "I didn't know nuttin'" equivalent, the best thing for the Olympus camera brand would be for sale to a more responsible and solvent firm. Very likely, this could either lead to use of the Olympus name to peddle many budget cameras, or else curtailing the Olympus P&S models (which face heavy competition) and confine the branding to some higher end goods. Meanwhile, some Olympus goods are available at discounted prices. People should probably not be afraid of a "good value." Five years from now, most of those cameras will remain quite functional. Based on some people's claim that they buy and sell their equipment practically every other week, 5 years are a long time.

0 upvotes
Bob from Plymouth
By Bob from Plymouth (Dec 22, 2011)

I previously owned an Olympus E-20P, an E-1 and an E-3. I still have the brilliant E-1 even though I shoot Nikon these days.

What's been going on at Olympus appalls me. Reading about the goings on in Japan is more like crime fiction than real life. I just hope they throw the wrong-doers in jail and lose the key, or maybe they'll do the honourable thing and fall on their swords leaving a fine company to carry on and salvage it's reputation.

(If a certain Olympus director has been hiding his personal wealth under other names though, It seems likely that these are not honourable men).

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
_P
By _P (Dec 22, 2011)

Would be nice to see tailored NEX-7 sensor in a mFT body. To be honest mFT sensor performance (DR in particular!) is the ONLY thing preventing me from getting into this system. I’m still sticking to Oly E-1, which I had got some 6 years ago, since there has been no camera so far from Olympus that would have significantly better DR performance then E-1. The E-450 I got for a handful of peanuts last year is just a shame with this regard and mFT are no much better :-(

0 upvotes
_P
By _P (Dec 22, 2011)

Well, to be honest even tailored NEX-5N/D7000/K5 sensor in a mFT body would be great. Better have 10k of good pixels then 12-16k of sh..y ones ...

0 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Dec 22, 2011)

I recently purchased a second Olympus E-1 for £150 with only 3756 shutter trips. Practically brand new! Together with the Olympus 14-54mm lens it is an excellent system. This particular lens is as good as my Canon 28-70mm f2.8 L that sits on my 1Ds. The E1 makes great A3 prints! I really don't need any more. Great kit from Olympus. The E-1 uses a Kodak sensor, so, yes, Olympus should source a decent sensor in their 3/4 and m3/4 cameras. I wish they would.

0 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Dec 22, 2011)

Olympus has almost 100 years of history. It would be very sad to see this august company end. I really hope it survives. I love all my olympus cameras, I have rather quite a number (mainly Pens, Pen FT, a number of Trips and M cameras and my E1, all of which I still use).

Most people are more concerned about their own camera systems and warranties instead of the more important issues. A degree of that is understandable. The difference between western and eastern thinking I suppose. Westerners are more concerned about the impact on the self. Whilst traditional thinking is more concerned about the dishonour these men have bought upon the whole Olympus family of users.

Years ago, these men would be asked to do the honourable thing, that's if they hadn't already done it by choice. Perhaps honour now means nothing in Japan as it is meaningless in the west.

I hope Olympus survives and continues to make excellent products, and with its honour restored.

4 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 22, 2011)

I understand Mr Kikukawa, Olympus' former CEO, has been putting his personal assets under other people's name, which says it all about his honourability...
I share your concerns about Olympus, yet I believe there are reasons to remain optimistic. In the meantime, the whole thing seems to be coming down to a subterranean fight between Michael C. Woodford, backed by western investors, against the incumbent board to take over Olympus' administration. I don't care who wins, as long as Olympus Imaging Corp. continues independent and making great cameras and lenses.

0 upvotes
Hide Takahashi
By Hide Takahashi (Dec 22, 2011)

According to news at yahoo Japan, Sony,Panasonic and Fuji Film are fiercely
fighting to take over Olympus. Olympus medical equipments are already well known in the industry and now Sony is seriously considering to enter medical equipments business. Whoever succeeds in taking over Olympus,they will be in good hand.

0 upvotes
rrr_hhh
By rrr_hhh (Dec 22, 2011)

I'd prefer Fuji to the other two, which are more consumer oriented. Fuji has a more ancient relationship to photography and also knows the market of pro photography.

0 upvotes
dwill23
By dwill23 (Dec 22, 2011)

...yeah so many Pros use Fuji. lol yeah right.

Also, other companies may have to be-ware, losing 1.7b is a bad business. But, always cheaper to buy a failing company than to start up a new subsidiary to enter new markets.

0 upvotes
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (Dec 22, 2011)

"Whoever succeeds in taking over Olympus,they will be in good hand."
The only company of those that you claim are queuing on their doorstep for a takeover that would keep the camera business alive would be Panasonic. Sony would bury it (eliminating internal competition against their NEX line) and FujiFilm has lost the plot a long time back... The DSLR line would anyways be dead with any of the three.

0 upvotes
irish-george
By irish-george (Dec 28, 2011)

I'm a little surprised that Philips and GE aren't in the fray for the medical products...

0 upvotes
Stanley Hoffman
By Stanley Hoffman (Dec 22, 2011)

Olympus may sell the camera side as this would be a quick way to gain entry for suiters and shed the negative revenue part of Olympus.. Read Rutgers or other news sources, this is very interesting and very complicated. This may be very serious for Japanese business forcing changes in the board room.

1 upvote
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (Dec 22, 2011)

Oly will become sick and will be taken over by some company , maybe even chinese......Japanese products are becoming history very soon , the world is already dominated by Chinese and Korean Products.......8-((

0 upvotes
stuntmonkey
By stuntmonkey (Dec 22, 2011)

Mostly procedural at this point. Imagine if police action had not been taking during the Enron scandal?

0 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Dec 22, 2011)

fun with dick and jane....

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

Olympus is most likely history, like Saab is. Question is, will there be a buyer coming forward for them, and fast? Investment-wise, it's best to stay away from Oly products until the dust settles one way... or the other. Sanyo projectors are closing down for good, Panasonic bought the company and is killing the brand early next year. It's happening all around us.

Still, I am sort of also hoping that Panasonic will be able to gobble up Olympus, or at least buy some of Oly's technology and recruit that company's brightest brains.

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (Dec 21, 2011)

why is it Americans want to crucify Olympus?

5 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Dec 21, 2011)

The Saab comparison is weak. Olympus has the dominant share of the global endoscopy market, which is far more important to the company than their cameras. Saab was never a market leader outside Sweden and has been limping along for many years.

Olympus may yet fold, but I believe the scandal news is finally becoming more positive. They met the delisting deadline, they appear to be making credible financial statements for a change, and they're working on legitimate sources of funding. I have no hesitation about buying Olympus m43 products.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 22, 2011)

The Saab comparison is plain foolish. Saab had been bought by General Motors, Olympus never belonged to any group. When GM decided to slim down its portfolio, it killed Pontiac and Saturn, and put Saab to sale. And GM was not hit by a scandal, it was a victim of the financial crisis that had to be bailed out by USA's administration.
And why would anyone want Panasonic to buy Olympus technology and recruit its brains? For God's sake, Olympus makes cameras, Panasonic makes vacuum cleaners!
It's true, though, that if Panasonic were to buy Olympus, they'd kill the brand - just like they did to National and Technics. Mr. Carver, who seems to have some bitter feelings against Olympus (God knows why), would apparently love it to happen. I wouldn't - and I guess I'm not alone.

1 upvote
WT21
By WT21 (Dec 22, 2011)

@youdidntdidyou: Why do brits continually make ignorant, blanket statements about Americans. (I hope you see the irony in that statement, but I suppose there's no guarantee you do)

5 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Dec 22, 2011)

Kikukawa and is collaborators wrecked Olympus, not foreigners, not even that irrascible Brit so many people strangely blame more than the fraudsters. It's chilling how many people will hug or condone crime or think it a grand thing to keep a Ponzi rolling.

0 upvotes
HIScamera
By HIScamera (Dec 22, 2011)

@M1963, if you think Olympus stands alone in this, YOU are plain foolish. It is most likely Olympus belongs to either Mitsubishi or Mitsui Keiretsu. If Kikukawa was embazzling Olympus funds, then he had to be doing it with some other people from that Keiretsu. In Japan, it is impossible for one company to take action without support from his brother companies within that Keiretsu structure. Some people in Japan are viewing this as an attack on the Keiretsu Olympus belongs to, possibly as a retaliation of some sort. As they been saying in Japan for the last hundred years, Business is War. By the way, there is a strong indication that Panasonic belongs to the Keiretsu Olympus is part of.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 22, 2011)

HIScamera: it is obvious you misread my comment. What do you mean 'if you think Olympus stands alone in this...'? Where did you read that? I was talking about shareholding and company ownership, an unrelated subject.
Maybe you should have read my comment carefully before getting enraged about something I didn't write and personally insulting someone you've never met. Your comment is deplorable.

0 upvotes
HIScamera
By HIScamera (Dec 22, 2011)

@M1963, so when you call someone foolish, it's okay because it's you, huh? That's no insult, I suppose. You did say, and I quote, "The Saab comparison is plain foolish. Saab had been bought by General Motors, Olympus never belonged to any group." Carefully research when you make such remarks, because Olympus DOES belong to a group. Since Panasonic belongs to Mitsui Keiretsu, and Panasonic has shared resources with Olympus, they are already linked through mutual financing provided by Mitsui. The whole thing is exactly like GM and SAAB, in that they are linked economically, but not really because the whole structure is lateral not vertical.

Really, 'deplorable'? What are you, a British?

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 22, 2011)

HIScamera, it was the Saab comparison I called 'foolish', not the person who made it. You threw it directly at me. Can you see the difference? If not, give me your e-mail address and I'l send you a drawing.
And no, I'm not british.

0 upvotes
HIScamera
By HIScamera (Dec 23, 2011)

You called that SAAB "comparison" is foolish, comparison made by a person. When you remark that a statement made by a person is foolish, you in turn imply that person to be foolish. I know, it's just too hard when you have to make all the connection, but it's true. When someone says I hate to eat Broccoli, and you say 'that's a foolish thing to say,' there, you just called that person foolish. See how it works? You're no man enough to own upto calling someone foolish, that's fine. Foolish, but fine. I call failure of educational system. It's really not your fault.

You're gonna tell me you draw, too, now? What kind of drawing you gonna send me? Something in crayon, I hope not.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 23, 2011)

Okay, okay, it was none other than ME who has made the wretched "Saab comparison" in the first place. Apologies to everyone. Tempest in a teapot, guys. Long live Olympus, too!

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 23, 2011)

OK, perhaps the word 'foolish' was a bit on the heavy side, but I didn't mean to offend anyone. I enjoy arguing with Francis Carver - he has a sarcastic style that prompts me to respond -, but I never meant to take it beyond the bounds of good education. HIScamera is altogether a different story, though, and I won't dignify his remarks with replies anymore.
That said I wish everyone a merry Christmas, Hannukah or whatever one celebrates this time of the year. And don't forget to take many, wonderful, pictures - whatever camera-lens combo you use. Taking pictures is more important than discussing photographic technicalities.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 24, 2011)

@ M1963: yes, I have an acerbic style, sorry. You need a healthy dose of sarcasm here with these cameras and optics, less we would have a fist fight over every little thing. But sometime, one has to scratch one's head as to what of these manufacturers were really thinking, and what were their bean counters thinking when the cooked up the crazy prices. It takes a lot of thinking and figuring to ascertain what is really a good deal and what is just overpriced hype.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 24, 2011)

You are so right, Francis. Manufacturers - or rather their shareholders and executives - aren't looking after our best interests, they're after huge profits. Sometimes at all costs, as we've seen with the 2008 financial crisis.
In what concerns photography, a few months ago I decided I'd turn my back on overrated and overpriced lenses; I turned my attention to the OM-series lenses - yes, I have an Olympus, more exactly an E-P1 -, which I can buy for peanuts here in my country. So far I've bought the 28mm/f3.5, which you'll probably find a tad too dark and slow, and the 50mm/f1.4 (how much faster can it get?). That was when I began to understand the legacy of Olympus and its role on the photography world. And now I found the company was ruled by crooks. Can you imagine my disappointment?
Still I believe Olympus will make it through. And, if we are lucky, they'll turn to more serious products, as the OM series was back then.

0 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Dec 21, 2011)

The news media announced the raid a week in advance, so anything incriminating is most likely long gone.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

MADE IN JAPAN.

0 upvotes
James Wages
By James Wages (Dec 21, 2011)

As well all very well know, Olympus does have some very competitive cameras in the mirrorless market. Panasonic would be well served to buy up this company on the cheap so they can learn how to make decent in-camera JPEGs. (As a GF-1 owner, I know how JPEGs suck raw eggs. In-camera JPEG may not be important for pro users, but my wife hates to shoot RAW, so having stunning Olympus-style in-camera JPEGs would have the net effect of making some of the photos that exit my Panasonic cameras look better.) If Panasonic doesn't do something, in light of the amazing NEX-7, SONY will capture the mirrorless market before we know it. I have bought heavily into the GF-1 / µ4/3 world, but having been a Minolta SLR film camera user a decade ago, the NEX-7 compels me to put those old lenses to good use. If this news spells death for Olympus, it will be interesting to see how things in the compact mirrorless market pan out over the next year.

0 upvotes
drwho9437
By drwho9437 (Dec 21, 2011)

The bulk of their business is not cameras. Buying a few firmware engineers out of the company is a lot cheaper than buying the whole company...

1 upvote
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 22, 2011)

James, it may come to you as a shock, but real pros shoot mostly JPEG. Photojournalists can't be bothered with files taking ages to carry into the memory card, and life's too short for the kind of time-consuming processing Raw implies. (Trust me - I heard this from a pro at a workshop.) And what about wedding photographers? They can't afford to wait for the image to get into the card. It takes forever.

1 upvote
CarlPH
By CarlPH (Dec 22, 2011)

M1963, this will not shock you, but real pros don't make blanket statements on how other pros do their work. You don't even have to trust me on this. Its just what it is.

1 upvote
blinsc
By blinsc (Dec 22, 2011)

M1963 - If that was sarcasm, bravo, that was hilarious. If, on the other hand, you are serious... you should get a refund for that workshop immediately.

2 upvotes
rrr_hhh
By rrr_hhh (Dec 22, 2011)

Pro shoot both jpegs and raws depending on what their needs are. I'm not surprised to hear that PJ are shooting jpegs and raws as a back up if something goes wrong.
Wedding photographers are showing jpegs quickly to their clients, but will work at least on some raws for bigger prints.

Speed and efficacy matters for pro and if jpegs can do the work, faster and good enough, they will go with jpegs. It depends what kind of photography they are doing.

4 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Dec 22, 2011)

You all seem to know lots of pros. How lucky you are. This reminds me the audiophile vs. studio pro debate in audio. Audiophiles like to spend $20000 in cables, sound engineers don't give a damn about wires. The same in photography: pros value speed and out of camera IQ rather than post-processing. Note, however, that I wrote 'mostly'. I know that pros who work in publicity use Raw, HDRI and all that, but that doesn't account for the majority of professional photographers.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 24, 2011)

"You all seem to know lots of pros. How lucky you are."

@ M1963: That is correct indeed, Mon Kapitan. She probably knows more pros first-hand than you have heard of, I venture a wild guess. Why -- just how many do you know? And just what does any of that has got to do with the Olympus scandal, anyhow?

I guess it is you who speaks for the world's pro-class photographers, and nobody else here, correct? Good to know, thanks for the heads-up on that, M1963.

FC 2012

0 upvotes
HIScamera
By HIScamera (Dec 21, 2011)

Outcome of this event will all depend on who is the head of Zaibatsu/Keiretsu that controls/influence Olympus Corporation. You have to consider that, in Japanese corporate environment, you are dealing with several companies at once, rather than one single company. It's hard to remember for rest of the world that in Japan, there is no such thing as Anti-Trust law. So if Olympus is at fault, then you can bet that there are other companies which had dealings with event as well. And ultimately few top executives who gained the most from it, although they will NEVER be revealed to the public, willingly by the Japanese police. Japanese police usually do not dig too deep into Keiretsu scandal, because it tends to get too big and too damaging for everyone.
Wait a few months, and it will be back to business as usual. Sure some people, being presented to the public as upper management of Olympus, will be incarcerated, and probably be serve some time, but that would be it.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Aaron MC
By Aaron MC (Dec 21, 2011)

*Nelson Muntz laugh*

0 upvotes
Tim F 101
By Tim F 101 (Dec 21, 2011)

Sad to say, this is one reason why I bought a GH2 over the EP3. I love my E-P1 but I have no idea what kind of warranty or repair support I can expect a year from now. I hope like heck that Oly makes it through this (and with different management), because their optical division truly does make excellent and innovative products.

1 upvote
OnTheWeb
By OnTheWeb (Dec 21, 2011)

Thus begins the death spiral...

0 upvotes
olympian_dp
By olympian_dp (Dec 21, 2011)

I just bought my second E-5 (hate switching those lenses) will buy the EP3 when I can. That 12mm F2 on the EP3 sounds like a dream street camera.

Let's just hope they punish the executives and not the hapless shareholders who can't do anything about management anyhow.

1 upvote
drwho9437
By drwho9437 (Dec 21, 2011)

That is pretty silly... But if enough people are silly it could hurt them. Having shot for 20 years and never had a camera repaired by the factory... Just buy a used one in a year if yours fails... Normally the deprecate rapidly.

4 upvotes
Virginia Bill
By Virginia Bill (Dec 21, 2011)

Let's try to think clearly for a few moments. Camera bodies are not investments; they're superseded by a new model (or someone else's new model) every 18 months or so. And every Olympus m4/3 lens also mounts on a Panasonic body. So buying an Olympus m4/3 body with a few lenses is pretty safe. The body will almost certainly last as long as you need it to last before you voluntarily replace it with something else, and the lenses will transfer to a Panasonic body without a hitch. The Pen cameras are delightful designs (though a little overpriced). If you really want one, buy it unafraid.

4 upvotes
sderdiarian
By sderdiarian (Dec 22, 2011)

E-PM1 over-priced at $400 with the kit lens? What are people's expectations, that they will simply give them away for free? Oh yeah, they actually already did that with their promotional stunt a few months back ;) .

At these prices ($400 range) one can certainly take the risk should the company fail (unlikely IMOP). Well built cameras with great JPEG's, IBIS, etc.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 83