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Former Olympus Chairman and President, and six others arrested over scandal

By dpreview staff on Feb 16, 2012 at 19:16 GMT

The former President and Chairman of Olympus who oversaw the financial mismanagement that has seen the company's value more than halved, has been arrested. Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and his former vice-president Hisashi Mori who has also been arrested, were only forced out of the company after ex-CEO Michael Woodford spoke out, saying he was removed for uncovering their actions. Company auditor Hideo Yamada and four bankers connected to the cover-up of billions of dollars-worth of investment losses were also arrested.

The arrests come ahead of the shareholder meeting in April at which many of the incumbent board members, present during the scandal, are expected to resign. Meanwhile, several large companies rumored to include Fujifilm, Sony and medical business Terumo are looking at pursuing a tie-up with Olympus, which is dominated by its profitable, market-leading endoscope division. The camera business, which makes up just 15% of the overall company, is forecast to contribute a loss of around $114m this year (down from a loss of $190m in 2010/2011), on the back of a 7.2% rise in sales, mainly in the Japanese market.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the UK's Amateur Photographer magazine, Woodford said his book about the scandal (called 'Exposure') will be launched in Japan to co-incide with the shareholder meeting on April 20th.

Comments

Total comments: 228
12
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 24, 2012)

This is a must-read for those who doubt Michael C. Woodford's integrity: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/the-story-behind-the-olympus-scandal-02162012.html

0 upvotes
what_i_saw
By what_i_saw (Feb 20, 2012)

More skeletons tumbling out of closet?
Olympus India MD commits suicide in a park.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/Olympus-India-MD-found-dead-in-park/articleshow/11965609.cms

0 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 19, 2012)

To Sauchiyong: Your 1:20:35 post has the ratios right, but the numbers are too optomistic due to the interpolation required of Bayer sensors (and the AA filter). The numbers you gave are exactly what I compute when I scan slides on my Nikon 5000 and also correspond to cameras with Foveon sensors. For a Bayer sensor, like the OLY, film 35mm equivalent hits at about 16MP instead of 10MP and all the other sizes you gave go up correspondingly. It took me a long time to realize that my scanner's image pickup worked more like a Foveon than a Bayer sensor. I thought there was something wrong with my eyes or my monitor when 10MP off the OLY didn't look as sharp as my scans of Kodachrome at 8MP equiv. When I got a used Sigma DP1, I instantly realized where I had miscalculated. Thanks for initiatiating an interesting series of posts.

1 upvote
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (Feb 20, 2012)

I used to use Technical Pan with Techndol developer, that was suppose to get 4x5 quality with 35mm. Techinal Pan & Kodakchrome are extreme cases. But thanks for your information on your findings. Anyways, what I am trying to say, sensor that can show what FT lens can do is not here, but is coming, when it does, we all do not have to carry that much stuffs in our camera bag.

0 upvotes
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (Feb 20, 2012)

Bayer or not, sensor technology is already here... but patents, and many other business reasons will not allow a FT sensor to have all these technology yet. But it will get there, soon.

0 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 20, 2012)

I agree. FT is about half frame of the old 35mm. A 16MP FT sensor was just announced for the E-M5 and should about equal a normal 35mm slide film like Ektachrome if not Kodachrome. Soon we 4/3 and M4/3 owners will finally reap the benefits of half frame size bodies and lenses.
Two asides: I read in Wiki that Kodachrome (they must have meant ASA25) had about 20MP equiv of info, so about 30MP with a Bayer sensor is where we need to go to equal it digitally. The color neg films I have scanned (Kodacolor, etc) have way less sharpness and saturation than even Ektachrome type slide film. So our 10/12MP 4/3 sensors already better the film that used to account for at least 90% of film sales.

0 upvotes
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (Feb 20, 2012)

FT is 1/4 of 35mm film, aps-c is about half. Kodachrome 25 used to claim medium format quality from 35mm, there r also 64 which is most popular but again slide film has little DR, but neg. have very high DR. 20MP is medium format quality. Yes, 10/12MP is 35mm qaulity, and 16MP is like 645 already, and we should be happy to know EM-5 is closer to 645 than 35mm. Every FT user should be happy be able to use FT MFT as medium format already. It is not far to move up to 6x7 quality from today technology. From the sample I seen so far ISO performance is not bad, and it is only 1 more sensor away from 6x7, and may be more few years down the road. Who need a FF then?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 20, 2012)

'FT is 1/4 of 35mm film, aps-c is about half'. Sauchiyong, if tour arithmetics were right, 4/3 would be half the area of an APS-C. Not true. 4/3 is about two thirds of APS-C area.

0 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 20, 2012)

Sensor surface areas in mm2: FF 864 APS-C 320 FT 225. Sauchiyong is much closer to the mark than I was. The old half frame was the standard 35MM movie frame from silent movie days on and would have needed a sensor area of 432.
By "half frame" I meant to refer to the crop factor of 2 for FT over 1.6 for APS-C, which is where we FT owners will get the advantages of smaller lenses. I misspoke and apologize for my error.

0 upvotes
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (Feb 20, 2012)

I just don't want to get sidetracked on what i am trying to say here. I mean aps-c is about half of 35mm FF , if you want exact numbers-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SensorSizes.svg. I hope everybody now know the size of what we are talking about.

0 upvotes
trisweb
By trisweb (Feb 20, 2012)

Hi, I haven't been here for 3 years... we're *really* still arguing about this stuff?

Sorry. Forgot all about it. I hope the people buying my prints don't care that I use a E-510 with crappy dynamic range and a bayer sensor. If only they knew.... I'd surely be out of business!

2 upvotes
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (Feb 21, 2012)

I was reading DP post since, god know when, just can't resist people keep jumping into conclusion to say FT is dead and stuff. If Olympus Imaging fold it would be a great lost to camera industry.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 19, 2012)

Wasn't this news story about the Olympus scandal? How did it turn out to become a forum on sensors and lenses?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

see, we got some bad guys but some good products ...
Mr. Kikukawa used to be a good guy, a hero of Olympus.

0 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 20, 2012)

It's a lot more fun thinking about sensors and lenses than about crimes and blunders.

0 upvotes
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (Feb 20, 2012)

Olympus is a brand that is so misunderstood even amoung pros. I feel there is a need to clear that up. I know it should be Olympus marketing people job, and they r not doing well on that. To say FT is dead is just too early to make that kind of conclusion.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 20, 2012)

4/3 is dead and it has to, a good thing for most of people including Olympus. but micro 4/3 should have a future.

when invented micro 4/3, Panasonic had a vision for 10 years, the final golden years for stills, and beyond that we are going to have videos of 30-120MPs that happen to have a still button on it if we can find a place. micro 4/3 is designed for that, too.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 20, 2012)

Of course we can be so shallow as to ignore all the wrongdoings going on in big business and go on discussing sensor size the way boys discuss other size issues. That's what *they* want us to - to be completely unaware of what happens around us. Please, good people, we need to raise our consciousness. If we keep looking the other way, we'll all become guilty by association.
Sorry if I sound like a troll, or at least an unfashionable communist, but being an amateur photographer doesn't detract from being aware of the world around me!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 20, 2012)

Another very interesting thread. Thanks M1963. To Yabokkie: Home movies (now called videos) have always been a segment of photography that appealed to casual users more than the serious amateurs that must constitute the bulk of DSLR users. The problems with home movies are getting the soundtrack right, editing the raw footage, finding the space on the hd to store the movie and ,most importantly, finding the time to watch the movie. A lot of people shot movies they hardly ever viewed more than once. I view video on a DSLR as an accessory to bring the casual user over to DSLR from P&S and will be suprised if the DSLR becomes a primary video camera, secondary still camera.
To 1963: If OLY was a corporation in my home country, I would be very upset. OLY execs will be judged by Japanese law and cultural norms, which may well be very lenient to them. We imperialist westerners are supposed to not impose our values on other cultures.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 20, 2012)

'We imperialist westerners are supposed to not impose our values on other cultures'. Sorry, I have to disagree. History proves you wrong. The west has been doing it since oh, the greek civilization. What was Iraq's invasion if not trying to impose western values on other cultures?
I don't know enough about the japanese law system to make any assertions on what's going to happen to Kikukawa-san. If this were taking place here in Portugal, everything would depend heavily on the prosecution doing their job right (i. e. collecting evidence), which seldom happens when it comes to influent people. Even if he were convicted, he'd hire a prestigious lawyer who'd file appeal after appeal, hoping the case would expire. He might get away with it. Let's hope those samurais get what they deserve and that Olympus Imaging Corporation isn't too affected by their misdoings...
Why should this have to happen the year I bought my E-P1? Makes me feel I'm some kind of jinx ;)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 21, 2012)

I just got an E-P1 too. Last demo the dealer had. The dealer went bankrupt shortly thereafer. We're both jinxed.
Your description of the Portugese criminal justice system is probably close to the reality of the Japanese system as well.
My only concern is that OLY's camera division survives intact. I have too much invested in lenses and accessories to see them dissappear.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

many people including the prosecutors are very kind and have been doing their best for Mr. Kikukawa who had been given enough time to cover some worst things up and transfer two flats worthing two or three million US to relatives last year (an example recently reported).

0 upvotes
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (Feb 19, 2012)

There are so much misunderstanding on FT system. Frist the lenses are so great that nothing is able to show what they can do so far. Other company need to upgrade their lenses so that lenses can catch up what the sensor can do. Olympus is building their FT lens system based on the future when FT sensor can deliever what may be the application for medium format used to do during film age. Which I think is not too far away as sensor develop advance so fast these days with Foveon-like sensor and now Tran X sensors.
Pls do not compare sensor to sensor with same ISO with FF sensor, because in much smaller sensor your lenses system can have higher f/stop, (not APS and use FF lens) and can shoot wide open.
Pls do not compare lens with lens for the same mm, because they are design for much smaller sensor, and will have much higher resolusion when the sensor can deliver the performance of the lens.
As for IS, it make a lot of sense to have advance 5 axis in camera...

0 upvotes
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (Feb 19, 2012)

Let's see the IQ report on the EM-5 to tell how much better that can be. I consider 10MP is like 35mm film, and 12MP is already better than 35mm, 16MP would be like 645 on film. Tran X 16MP or 21MP would be like 6x7. D800E would be 4x5. It would be nice to walk around with a wooden 4x5 (I used to do that), but do we need to use that for all pro applications?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

> Frist the lenses are so great that

actually the lens is the single biggest problem with the 4/3 system. they are not capable enough to get good light onto the sensor and are the single reason why the image quality (in terms of SNR) is low.

on the other hand, these small aperture (diameter) lenses do contribute significantly to a light-weight system that many people want besides NEX.

there is no such thing as a high-IQ light-weight lens no matter what format you choose. higher IQ only comes with larger aperture (in diameter) thus heavier (cubic in weight).

4/3 will be a good system if we can have some good lenses.

comparison of different formats is very simple,
50/1.4 = 36mm (aperture diameter) = 25/0.7.
they produce exactly the same output in every aspect that you can expect from such a spec. the optical design should also be same or similar, together with weight, and price.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Feb 19, 2012)

I have to call you out on this again, Yabokkie. Nothing personal.

A 50/1.4 on a 135 gives you the same image as a 25/0.7 on a 43rds with regards to angle of view and depth of field, EXCEPT it does it at a faster shutter speed since it has a 2 stop speed advantage.

If you value a narrow a depth of field, and most of us do, this is a major disadvantage of a smaller sensor size, but the major advantage is that a smaller sensor means that the image circle from the lens can be smaller as well, giving you a smaller lens with no disadvantage in image quality or illuminance.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

> EXCEPT it does it at a faster shutter speed since it has a 2 stop speed advantage.

sorry to say but not at all.

there is no speed advantage because using the same ISO on cameras of different formats results different image qualities. same for both film and digital. so the two cannot be compared.

ISO 100 on 4/3 produces about the same image quality as ISO 400 on 135 format if the per area performance of the senors are the same, which is true (with small errors because of different technology levels).

this setting results same amount of light on the whole sensor (= image) regardless of the sensor size, thus image quality (instead of per area quality).

if you don't care image quality, then you can use whatever shutter speed eliminating the base for comparison.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

for example, if you shoot
... 50/1.4 ISO 400 on D700 and
... 25/0.7 ISO 100 on E-5 at the same shutter speed,
the two images will be indistinguishable unless you look at things like different WB or image processing styles other than the lens specs.

> If you value a narrow a depth of field

did I mention it? shall we concentrate on the image quality please? though the DoF and exposure related image quality are hard wired together physically (we can come back on it later but just keep things simple for now -- image quality).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Feb 19, 2012)

Nonsense, Yabokkie. Image quality at different ISOs is entirely sensor dependant and HAS nothing to do with the physical properties of the lens. Fact is, you have a speed advantage with a lower f-number, regardless of angle of view or depth of field, which is contrary to what you've written several times in these comments, and thus a 150mm/2 gives you a 2 stop advantage to a 150mm/4, a 300mm/4, or a ???mm/4.

Now, you're instead saying that there isn't a speed advantage because of noisy sensors, well, that's a SENSOR issue, and has nothing to do with the quality of the lens. This is what we've been saying all along: The sensors are the Achilles heel of the 43rds system, not the optics which are equivalent or better to what the competition offers.

0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Feb 19, 2012)

And, by the way, the sensors aren't that bad, they're just not as good as their competition.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

Macx,

your argument does not explain why 4/3's image quality is low.

> Now, you're instead saying that there isn't a speed advantage because of noisy sensors,

where did I say that? it's not noisy sensors but dark lenses. the problem of the 4/3 is that it's has no capable lens to feed the sensor enough light for comparable image quality as 35mm format.

on the sensor part, it doesn't have deep enough wells for that image quality (lower enough ISOs), but otherwise (at ISO400 and above) is as good as anyoneelse at per area level.

if the problem is in the lens it can be overcome by making better ones (simple) but if it's in the sensor, and the sensor is already as good as competitors, then there will be no cure and what system needs is a DwD.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

> what system needs is a DwD

if it's the image quality that we want. but there are other qualities, like we may want a small light-weight camera over the poor image quality, what micro 4/3 can provide (sandwiched between Sony NEX and Nikon 1, but again any can provide as good image quality with large enough aperture lenses as 35mm format).

image quality is not something 4/3 is good at, not with current lenses.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
M DeNero
By M DeNero (Feb 18, 2012)

The most important aspect of digital is lens and sensor, just like lens and film used to be. The new Olympus digital lenses are great, but sensor implementation/noise control are almost universally weak. I give Olympus credit for anti-dust tech. Those crediting Olympus for sensor-shift stabilization forget the first of this type was Minolta back around '04. Lens-based stabilization is still superior overall in DSLRs. I also give Olympus credit for industrial design - they excel. Many Olympus cameras, especially the Pens, are beautiful to behold AND use. Of course, the MILC competition from Panasonic and Sony now outperform Olympus in image quality, because Olympus is weak with sensors/noise - always bringing up the rear. If the photographic line survives, they need to ditch the inferior "E" System and concentrate on MILC & compacts. "E" System is a fail against Canon/Nikon DSLRs. Develop a MILC that truly renders DSLR obsolete excluding advance amateur/pro. Almost there, not quite.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 18, 2012)

You are right in every respect, but remember that Olympus has a partnership with Panasonic to which terms it has to comply. In order to use the 4/3 sensors, which are made by Panasonic, Olympus is bound to use previous generation sensors, just like they had to wait until 2009 before launching the E-P1. So Panasonic is always a little ahead, although it is commonly accepted that Olympus has better JPEGs, white balance and metering than equivalent Panasonic models.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

> The new Olympus digital lenses are great,
> but sensor ... almost universally weak.

on the contrary, the performances of Panasonic sensors are only slightly lower than those from Sony, Canon, or Nikon if you look at per area.

it's the lenses that are performance challenged.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

> only slightly lower

it's difficult to compare the sensors because of different levels of RAW-cookings, and I really don't know for sure that Pana's sensor is not as good. it could be within error range.

0 upvotes
Ah Pek
By Ah Pek (Feb 18, 2012)

Olympus needs to reduce the price of its fast lenses. I mean just look at the Oly 150mm f2 vs the Canon 135mm f2. Why buy an E series camera? Not that much smaller but with much smaller sensor. The Pen on the other hand has little competition. Sony NEX just to bulky. Nikon V1, what were they thinking?? With the 45mm 1.8 and 75mm 1.8, great bokeh here we come!

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 18, 2012)

ZD150/2 on 4/3 works as EF300/4 on 35mm FF.
it isn't a fast lens in the sense we talk for 35mm FF.
in the same sense Oly doesn't have any fast lens.
they simply won't do the work.

0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Feb 18, 2012)

No, Yabokke, the 150/2 on a 43-format sensor is as fast as an EF300/2 on a 135-format, giving it a 2-stop advantage to a 300/4. You're confusing the wider depth of field with lens speed, but crop size doesn't affect illuminance. Criticising the optics department in Olympus is really barking up the wrong tree, in my opinion. They have made some mind-blowing lenses for the 43-format like the 14-35/2 & 35-100/2 pair or the 90-250/2.8, easily equalling or surpassing other pro-level offerings. The optics aren't where the system failed, it's the sensor technology used in the DSLR's that hasn't been up to scratch compared to the competition and because of the almost over-engineered optics system, there wasn't that much of a size and weight advantage as people expected there to be. No, arguing that the optics is the stumbling block of the 43rds DSLRs is completely missing the point, in my opinion. The optics of the 43rds is a major reason to change to the system, sensor be damned.

3 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 19, 2012)

You're right about aperture, Macx. It is a very common mistake to think crop factor applies to aperture, but the latter is a lens' attribute that doesn't change with sensor size - unlike focal length. There is no such thing as 'equivalent aperture'.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Ah Pek
By Ah Pek (Feb 19, 2012)

The camera is just one part of the equation. The Oly 150mm f2 is twice the price of a 300mm f4 or 135mm f2. Why? The 35-100 f2 is the price of a 70-200mm f2.8 instead of the f4 version. It is a valid comparison to equate DOF. The faster aperture is negated by the poor low light sensor.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

actually neither focal length nor aperture change. it's the output image that changes. 150/2.0 will get you exactly the same photo as a 300/4 does, in every aspect that focal length and aperture can affect, so they are "equivallent" -- equivallent results. very basic and straight forward.

> You're confusing the wider depth of field with lens speed,
no. I didn't even mention DoF and you have no base to claim that. I mean EVERY ASPECT that aperture can affect, including DoF and image quality (SNR, specifically shot noise, at the same shutter speed), together with a lot minor qualities like lens aberrations (why 4/3 lenses looks good, they have to unless intentionally made bad).

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

> faster aperture is negated by the poor low light sensor.

Ah Pek,
the sensors are about the same PER AREA. actually I tested sensors from 35mm full-frame to 1/2.3" with a single piece of lens (Nikkor 50/1.4) and looking at per area performance, the 1/2.3" ones are the best of all, and 35mm ones are not so good include D3.

but why the poor image? the lower image quality doesn't come from the sensor but the lens, that an f/2.0 lens on 4/3 can get the same amount of light on the the sensor (as a whole, no matter the size) as an f/4 lens on 35mm format.

at the same AoV, you will need same aperture size (area or diameter) instead of the same f-number to get the same image quality on all format of sensors of the same per area performance.

so it's the lens that's important, and it's the lens that all of 4/3's lower IQ (shot noise contributed) come from.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Feb 19, 2012)

No, Yabokkie, you are wrong. Lens speed has absolutely nothing to do with sensor size. You are confusing the TOTAL light output of a lens to the actual illuminance provided which is measured per AREA. So, when a lens made for 43rds is using f-stop 2, it provides as much light /per area/ as a lens made for 135 is using f-stop 2. Angle of view is completely irrelevant to the exposure.

F2 on a 43rds gives you just as much light per area as it does on every other sensor. You're obviously confusing the fact that the DEPTH OF FIELD of a f2 on 43rds is similar to the depth of field of a f4 on 135, but that has nothing to do with illuminance and exposure.

Think about it for a moment, do you input your angle of view in your light meter before it gives you the aperture, shutter speed and ISO needed? No? That's because it's irrelevant.

And thus, your conclusion is baseless. Olympus lenses aren't the weakest link, the weakest link is the higher pixel density on the sensor.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 20, 2012)

Yabokkie and Macx: do you actually feel any pleasure in taking photos? Or are you two of those who take photos just to test the gear? I don't mean to be rude, I really don't, but you are starting to remind me of a breed to which I used to belong to - audiophiles. The audiophiles are people who lost any pleasure in listening to music, instead they discuss how a 99,9999% oxygen-free cable can improve soundstage, or how their new turntable belt brings the leading edge of the notes to the fore... I gave up audiophilia when I realized I was losing the pleasure of listening to music because I was obsessed with equipment. I won't let that happen again with photography! Here's my advice: piick your cameras and lenses and go take photos just for the pleasure of it. There are so many interesting things waiting to be shot in this world!
...Please :)

0 upvotes
cleverinstigator
By cleverinstigator (Feb 21, 2012)

Yabokkie makes no sense, all olympus 4/3 lens have a 2x equivalent in 35mm but it does not change the fstop. So 150mm F2 is a 300mm F2.!... Duurrrr
You can't compare 135mm canon to a 150 Zuiko...

1 upvote
Plochmann
By Plochmann (Feb 18, 2012)

Olympus makes the sexiest cameras and lenses by far. Photographers have no style. Cannon and Nikon make the same black brick design forever. The Nikon FM and Canon AE1 both look better than today's crap, but don't hold a flame to the Pen series. :) This is really what is most important.

2 upvotes
M DeNero
By M DeNero (Feb 18, 2012)

There's no doubt Olympus makes some sleek equipment, especially the Pens, but most prefer imaging performance. The competitors' MILCs outperform the Pens. If Olympus would put a little more effort into imaging performance while still making the Pens nice to look at and use it would game over in that segment in Olympus's favor.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

> This is really what is most important.

obviously photographers choose the best gear that work for them. some that look crap may produce best images, while some others that look sexy may produce craps.

0 upvotes
Ubilam
By Ubilam (Feb 18, 2012)

Amazing how everybody forgets the 'BPs' and 'Exxons' and 'Union Carbides' and the disasters those corporations committed that actually killed people and animals doing damage to the planet. Hang in there Oly and clean up the mess.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Don Becker
By Don Becker (Feb 18, 2012)

Are you trying to compare commercial accidents to deliberate malfeasance? That's like comparing apples to mushrooms.

3 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 18, 2012)

More like Enron without the political issues.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

actually I believe there are political issues and it might be worse -- not just an isolated case but the system in whole.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Funduro
By Funduro (Feb 20, 2012)

ex-CEO Michael Woodford did not understand the cultural differences, namely the lie like there is no tomorrow, then lie about that too Japanese society. Japanese lies comes in 3 flavors. Look at the lies everyone was spewing while the Fukushima nuclear plants blew up one right after the other. The government and electric utility lied worst even then Russian Generals.

0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Feb 17, 2012)

I think Olympus has a huge problems in digital era. It have not made any good DSLR - competitors was always much better. 4/3 is a fail.
I''m a fan of Olympus because of their OM-series (I still use it), but digital is not even close to it in terms of perfection. Olympus may disappear as Minolta did, or someone will buy it and throw this 4/3 away.

3 upvotes
Ben Tomohiku
By Ben Tomohiku (Feb 18, 2012)

You're right, however in nowadays markets, Olympus can hardly compete with Canon, Nikon or Sony, 4/3 is not their favorite but the best choice.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2012)

definitely 4/3 is not a good design in any sense technically (micro 4/3 is okay), but 4/3 is a very succesful, great idea to rip customers off.

0 upvotes
Alan2dpreview
By Alan2dpreview (Feb 17, 2012)

Well, if their camera division goes down, I could trade my E-PL1 for their endoscope. Of course my landscape shots will be kind of limited.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 19, 2012)

But your landscapes will be very insightful ;-)

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 20, 2012)

definitely micro-4/3 will stay no matter what happens to Olympus, more than the Minolta A- and Pentax K-mounts because the one who invented micro-4/3 isn't this company.

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Feb 17, 2012)

I have a Olympus OM-1 in my "Museum" that still might be worth a good amount of money briefly.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 18, 2012)

a used OM-1 in good condition that works with a replaced new shutter and a standard prime worth USD 200 or significantly lower if not in good condition which is often the case.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Feb 19, 2012)

My OM-1 are in mint condition. + 50mm 1.4 + 300mm 4.5, all Zuiko Lens.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 20, 2012)

mine is a priceless junk

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 20, 2012)

Digitall, you mentioned one of the best and most pleasing to use lenses in the world: the Zuiko 50mm/f1.4. I have no end of fun using it on my E-P1(although it behaves more like a small telephoto on my camera). It's so fast, so sharp and accurate... I love it!

1 upvote
Jmmg
By Jmmg (Feb 17, 2012)

O.K. lets see...without Olympus, there are Canon, Casio, Contax, Epson, Fujifilm, GE, hp, Leica, Nikon, Panasonic, Pentax, Ricoh, Samsung, Sanyo, Sigma, Sony, Toshiba, Hasselblad, Phase one, etc. So, you are saying there are not enough competition and R & D???

How many more manufactures and brands do we need???

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
RoAlmeida
By RoAlmeida (Feb 17, 2012)

I think when you did Ctrl-C + Ctrl-V you forgot to exclude some brands that recently didn't bring anything new or interesting in the photography world... This is not the case of Olympus. Along with Panny, they created the ILC segment back in 2008... And so far, they didn't seem to be that wrong..

2 upvotes
RoAlmeida
By RoAlmeida (Feb 17, 2012)

There are people that really don't know what to think.. Don't know what to do.. And don't know what to say.. How come someone support less competition in such a high technology and glamourous business? Maybe only those who like to see boring scenarios like we had in computing for many many years (Windows)... Or maybe those who really have no clue what's the beauty in photography... Maybe one of the last resorts where we still have plenty options to choose according to our needs, preferences, traditions, etc.. Canikon systems suck... They simply bring more from the same year after year... Long live Olympus and all innovators! I hate mamma & pappa every day! For sure I'll get one E-M5 ASAP!

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Feb 17, 2012)

It's not a question of whether Olympus is/was a great innovator. The question is whether the market can support so many different brands and sadly, the answer is no. And it was no before Sony, Panasonic and Samsung got in. And it was no before this Olympus scandal. But even before that, it was the Maxxum/Dynax that signaled a decline because Olympus chose not to design an autofocus SLR system.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 17, 2012)

Opinions seem to arrange as follows:
Indifferent, whimsical: 20%
Sympathies for Olympus, but no interest in details: 20%
Sympathies for Olympus, but hostile to whistleblowers, or suspect scandal unfounded, business as usual, or part of the game: 30%
Hostility to Olympus, other firms, or everybody: 10%
Glad to see wrongdoers indicted and assume firm now AOK: 10%
Incoherent or troll: 6%
See the judicial process and company makeover have only just begun: 4%

Just imagine a corporate board, audit committee, or court jury composed of people with that distribution of attitudes.

5 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 17, 2012)

I mean, it's not like anybody is going to be MISSING Olympus as a digital camera makers once they're gone, is it? We now have way, way too mane digi-cam makers, not to mention way, way, way to many almost identical camera models polluting the stagnant marketplace. We need to do a spring house cleaning to trim the numbers down. Actually, the courts and the banks will take care of that process for us.

0 upvotes
Mark9473
By Mark9473 (Feb 17, 2012)

Well, I for one would miss Olympus, as they have IMO the best zoom lenses. Wouldn't mind if a few other companies folded so as to thin the herd though.

3 upvotes
SRT201
By SRT201 (Feb 17, 2012)

Are you actually suggesting we're better off with fewer innovators? Some of the more important changes in camera technology have come from the likes of Minolta, Fuji and Olympus! Auto-focus, wireless multi-flash control, effective imager dust reduction, innovative imager/filter designs and in-body image stabilization to name a few.

Why don't we get this stuff from the big guys? Because the smaller players HAVE to change the game to compete while the big guys are more likely to rest on their market position. That's just business. With the loss of innovators like these we ALL lose.

I sincerely hope Olympus stays afloat.

16 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2012)

think Olympus learned how to make a modern zoom 5 years ago, 12-60/2.8-4 (24-120/5.6-8 equiv.).

0 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Feb 17, 2012)

Francis Carver- still trolling.

8 upvotes
Jabberwockt
By Jabberwockt (Feb 17, 2012)

Justice for the shareholders they screwed over.

2 upvotes
Alan84
By Alan84 (Feb 17, 2012)

Jmmg, I will have to disagree. I think Olympus has been one of the most innovative manifacurer. It would be a shame to see them go.

6 upvotes
Jmmg
By Jmmg (Feb 17, 2012)

Enough is enough, can we move on yet? Don't give a Shxt about Olympus or those 7 samurai. Olympus makes crappy product anyway, I hope Fujifilm is the next of these Nippon Grant company to go down...

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
SRT201
By SRT201 (Feb 17, 2012)

Yeah... those innovators like Minolta, Olympus and Fujifilm... who needs 'em. It'll be great when they're all gone! We didn't really need those passing camera fads like auto-focus, wireless multi-flash control, effective imager dust reduction and in-body image stabilization.

We're much better off with a virtual monopoly.

Clueless...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 15 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2012)

Fujifilm makes funny consumer cameras but very good lenses for broadcast video. we can go without Fuji or Oly but they do add some value to the consumer market, low value is still value.

0 upvotes
The_cheshirecat
By The_cheshirecat (Feb 17, 2012)

There is good (right) and bad (wrong) in all walks of life.

To those questioning why DPR posted a picture of the person responsible, I say why not. Pictures of other criminals (and alleged criminals) are all around us. Whatever “harm” may result from the picture posted could never approach the real harm this person’s actions had on thousands of others.

Those shouting snitch and whistle blower should think about what they are saying. (It may also provide insight into their personal morals.) These people are advocating people not to come forward when they have knowledge of a crime. How would they feel if their neighbors knew who stole all their camera equipment and emptied their bank accounts, but refused to disclose it. Theft from business is NOT a victimless crime!

At least ex-CEO, Woodford, brought this to light. Nobody else raised it. Many others must have been aware, but never reported this. This was not a small amount and should have been recognized and reported long ago.

9 upvotes
SRT201
By SRT201 (Feb 17, 2012)

Good for Woodford...

And to those yelling "snitch!"... Only liars hate those who tell the truth.

8 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2012)

to many, the sad thing is that Woodford raised the question just after they finished it and a decade of hard work came to nothing.

1 upvote
Ibida Bab
By Ibida Bab (Feb 17, 2012)

This news just makes me want to run and buy an Olympus...

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Feb 17, 2012)

Why put a pic of the arrested guy here?

Is it because I want to cross the street if I see him or is it because dpr cannot think straight?

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 17, 2012)

Kikukawa may be back on the street before people imagine. Japanese courts seldom give long sentences to fraudsters, and the ex-CEO may make the judge weep and be lenient if he can portray himself as a loyal company man who hid losses and kept secrets to protect the honor of a senior predecessor, perhaps one betrayed by foreigners (etc).

Anyway, some may want his autograph or want to ask where all the money went. He'll probably never need to work again, but a picture will help the public visualize the author of what was otherwise an "invisible" feat.

3 upvotes
The Photo Ninja
By The Photo Ninja (Feb 17, 2012)

That's just sad news to photography enthusiasts. I hope Olympus cones put on top and continues their tradition of producing photographic equipment. Competition is good for all of us.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
10 upvotes
Michele Kappa
By Michele Kappa (Feb 17, 2012)

Couldn't agree more.

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Feb 17, 2012)

Well, anyone who thinks it is any different in other big companies the world over, had better think again. It's a dog-eat-dog industry, and everywhere the highest ranks are chock-full of "legal criminals" trying to gain more solid foothold in the never-ending mercantilistic alpinism that our sorry civilisation has become.
In the meantime all cater to the uncaring, spoiled and half-illiterate who are pampered in believing that cameras do photography, and if there is no special program mode for something, then that theme does not exist.
Education has always been an important tool to expand the power of trading, by the principle "keep it low to sell more".
And obviously, it works on all levels.

1 upvote
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 17, 2012)

You may be 'Old Arrow', but you hit all the marks :)

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 17, 2012)

So you're saying "business is crime" and "only those who shoot cameras in manual mode will enter heaven"?

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 17, 2012)

No Cy, he isn't saying that at all. Read again.

0 upvotes
Nigel CheffersHeard
By Nigel CheffersHeard (Feb 18, 2012)

Spot on. Incidentally, not a single person here has got to the nub of the matter; WHERE and WHY did the money go. You're supposed to be photographers, people. Open your eyes.

1 upvote
Antony John
By Antony John (Feb 17, 2012)

So the 'bankers' were on in it not to mention the Internal Auditors.
Why am I not surprised?
As this has been going on for years the external auditors must have been aware (or very dumb) too.
There's no abating the world's financial circus is there?

Hopefully Olympus will drag themselves through this and emerge even stronger for it.
The world needs Olympus' expertise.

3 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Feb 17, 2012)

Yup, maybe Woodford (or proxy) will be first in the queue.

0 upvotes
JohnHoppy
By JohnHoppy (Feb 17, 2012)

The acrimony that goes down in these columns beggars belief! Some respondents are in for the kill on Olympus like Cassius and Brutus on the Ides of March! Why? How has Olympus hurt YOU? If Olympus, one of the prime innovators, folds or is subsumed into another company and their technical expertise diluted, it would be a great pity. An industry needs competition to drive forward innovation, which then benefits us, the consumers. Yes, the crooks have been caught with fingers in the till, and one hopes will be punished, but they are a handful and many good people remain to design, engineer and manufacture products a lot of us want. What some idiots here fail to understand is that if all the competition disappears and you are left with, shall we say, just Canon and Nikon, development will stagnate and prices will remain higher. Is that what you want? Be positive, for heavens sake, and stop baying for Olympus’ blood, let’s hope Olympus recovers for the good of all photographers.

12 upvotes
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (Feb 17, 2012)

Very wise words, and well put!

0 upvotes
Zachawry
By Zachawry (Feb 17, 2012)

They weren't crooks with their hands in the till.

What differentiates this white collar crime from US white collar crime is that these executives took personal risk to do what they thought was best for the company (even though they were wrong). They were not doing it to enrich themselves.

They did not benefit personally. At all. (As opposed to the US, where white collar criminals steal from the company to enrich themselves.)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
JohnHoppy
By JohnHoppy (Feb 17, 2012)

You may be right, and “crooks with fingers in the till” is just an expression for brevity. I am sure boardrooms around the world reek of malpractice and financial greed and seldom get found out. But I can’t believe those Olympus directors acted out of an altruistic vision of benefits for their employees, rather that they sought to paper over the cracks of their misdemeanours. They have been arrested and we should await the judgement of the law, but their actions have brought a noble company name into disrepute and jeopardised the jobs of many good employees. If Olympus were selling mediocre product, these developments could easily be its ruin: fortunately, they are not.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 17, 2012)

Zachawry: "They weren't crooks ... these executives took personal risk to do what they thought was best for the company (even though they were wrong). They were not doing it to enrich themselves."

How is it "good for the company" to hide losses and report false profits? As for enrichment, were the CEO and Board performing their roles for free? Didn't the false books prop up the share price? Were the pay, bonuses, and other benefits somehow exempt from the fraud? Would you give Kikukawa a medal, reinstate him, and punish the Brit loudmouth? And exactly were did all the money funnelled through the Cayman shells go?

What "US white collar crime" to you refer to? Weren't the MF Global and Madoff fiascos also instances of Ponzi accounting and acccount manipulation to fend off collapse?

2 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 17, 2012)

1. I've been following this affair as closely as I can and the news accounts of what happened just don't make sense to me. Until it's sorted out and clearly explained, I can't believe that the OLY execs only took a fall for the company. Rather, I suspect that at least some of the money stuck to some executive's hands. That, of course, is garden variety theft.
2. The Japanese court system isn't anything like the US or British systems. That's fine: the Japanese can have any court system they feel comfortable with (within obvious human rights limits). But we shouldn't expect the Japanese courts to issue either an explanation or a verdict that's satisfactory by western standards.
3. We who have invested in Olympus equipment need a strong Olympus or our investments will be wiped out in a few years just as if we were Olympus shareholders.
4. Schadenfreude and venom have no place in a forum devoted to digital cameras and it saddens me to read it.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
RoyGBiv
By RoyGBiv (Feb 17, 2012)

a bunch of luddites angry at Oly for killing off their precious OM lenses, & of course marginalizing 4/3 lenses if not outright killing them. "What has Olympus done to you? Some people have a lot to say about that. IMO, they don't deserve the stage they get, but that opinion matters little too

0 upvotes
Nigel CheffersHeard
By Nigel CheffersHeard (Feb 18, 2012)

Ah... this thread is getting there and asking the right questions!

0 upvotes
Wye Photography
By Wye Photography (Feb 17, 2012)

Nice to see all the pessimistic negative doom sayers are out in force. Armchair experts who know better Eh! I hope Olympus continues and survives to make really good cameras.

All the best Olympus.

1 upvote
Ah Pek
By Ah Pek (Feb 17, 2012)

What other companies will be eyeing is the Pen series. That has been and is an outstanding success. The camera division losses are mainly due to the e series dslrs and to a certain extent compacts.

0 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Feb 17, 2012)

The success of the Pen series was in part due to the quality of the DSLR's, though. They may have never turned a profit, but they taught Olympus a thing or two about how to build a camera, and they convinced customers that Olympus was good at it.

Regardless of market share, the E-series SLR's are quality products (with some fantastic lenses) that didn't sell as well as they could have because of spotty marketing and strong competition. Go to the Nature & Wildlife forum and you'll see a disproportionate number of great shots from E-30's, E-3's, and E-5's.

1 upvote
taktak91
By taktak91 (Feb 17, 2012)

Olympus will survive as a corporation. But as a camera manufacturer? Don't bet your life savings on it. Just be happy that 4/3 won't be phased out any time soon. It'll simply be exclusively Panasonic.

1 upvote
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 17, 2012)

Well, as for me, if Olympus' camera division disappears, I'll be looking beyond micro 4/3. Maybe Fujifilm, or even Canikon DSLRs, but never Panasonic. I can't stand the idea of my camera bearing the same badge as my mother's vacuum cleaner.

1 upvote
Delacosta
By Delacosta (Feb 17, 2012)

Your mother has a LUMIX vacuum cleaner?

1 upvote
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 17, 2012)

lol, Delacosta, but I think you know what I mean. At least I do know what you mean. Aren't we subtle...?

0 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 17, 2012)

I have a Panasonic razor that works great. I have Panasonic cameras that work great and "Leica" badged Panasonic cameras that work even better. From tape decks in the 1960s to now, I've never had a Panasonic product that didn't work great. There's nothing wrong with the "Panasonic" brand name and nothing to be ashamed of in owning a Panasonic camera.

0 upvotes
Delacosta
By Delacosta (Feb 17, 2012)

I wish I had a Fulvia Zagato!

1 upvote
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 17, 2012)

Not a matter of shame, FulviaZagato. What I meant, and another reader was clever enough to aprehend the subtlety (I don't mean you're not clever!), is that Panasonic's cameras and lenses, no matter how good they are, lag somewhat behind Olympus' equivalent propositions. Not by much, mind you, but Olympus is an optical company established since 1918, and Panasonic is a newcomer to photography (at least compared to Olympus). Olympus m4/3 cameras have always had the edge thanks to its superior processing (better colour accuracy, white balance and metering), more sophisticated JPEG engine, in-body IS, etc. And that comes from its expertise, which Panasonic largely borrowed. Not forgetting that Oly's m4/3 cameras could be even better if they weren't contractually bound to use previous gen sensors.
As rich as it may be, Panasonic (or Lumix) can't buy prestige and experience. Plus they need Olympus to develop their cameras and lenses.
BTW, I like your nick. I'm into italian car design too :)

0 upvotes
Delacosta
By Delacosta (Feb 17, 2012)

I have a LUMIX FZ50. Its nothing like your mother's vacuum cleaner. It doesn't suck at all ;-)

1 upvote
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 17, 2012)

Nice pun, Delacosta ;)

0 upvotes
Delacosta
By Delacosta (Feb 17, 2012)

Actually, I could never buy a Leica. My mother has a Hoover. Same badge.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 17, 2012)

Tienes que explicar mejor esa comparación, Delacosta. Me no get it :( What do those brands have in common?

0 upvotes
Delacosta
By Delacosta (Feb 17, 2012)

El logotipo, el punto rojo.

I once heard of a guy who gatecrashed a meeting of Leica owners in England. He'd disguised his camera to look like a vintage Leica to get in. But he couldn't find a real Leica badge to stick on it. So he took the badge from his Hoover vacuum cleaner. When the esteemed members of the club examined his unique camera more closely, they saw the name on the red dot logo was Hoover. I gather he was invited to leave.

Que tengas un buén fin de semana ;-)

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 17, 2012)

Gracías. No conocia esa historia, es deliciosa :) Buén fin de semana.

0 upvotes
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 18, 2012)

to Delacosta: I've had my Fulvia Zagato since 1973. Aluminum body (first 912 out of 7000 made were aluminum). Bought it as a normal used car back then. Kept it up since.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
FulviaZagato
By FulviaZagato (Feb 18, 2012)

To M1963: I agree that Panasonic is following Olympus in 4/3 and M4/3. I also agree that the OLYs have superior color and JPEG engines and that the OLY in body IS is superior: that's why I stick with OLY on 4/3 and M4/3.
My uncle has the latest Pana M4/3 camera and I used it for a while and found it quite nice. But without in body IS, one must use only the Pana OIS lenses, at least in long focal lengths. I don't have enough experience to say that the Pana M4/3 lenses are better or worse than the Oly M4/3 lenses. My experience with OLY is that their M4/3 lenses are not as good as the 4/3 counterparts on corner sharpness and CA, probably due to the compromises needed to shrink the lenses to M4/3 size. Pana seems to have compensated for some of these M4/3 lens problems with software in the camera, and I read that Leica wouldn't put the Leica name on the Pana M4/3 lenses because of this. Your other notes about the Pana/OLY relationship were new to me and most interesting. Thanks.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (Feb 17, 2012)

Olympus is running at an operating profit has strong cash flow and funds to last until 2016.
Olympus imaging have had a rise in sales in many other countries part from Japan.

Michael "the donut" Woodford said: 'If they [Olympus] move in that direction, what happens to Olympus's camera business?" Like he ever cared and knows anything about photography or it's consumers.

"Olympus whistleblower Michael Woodford is being pursued by Hollywood for the rights to make a movie " who's going to play him, who's going to be the love interest, is it being shot in 3D????

1 upvote
Jonathan F/2
By Jonathan F/2 (Feb 17, 2012)

Woodford is a little man with a Napoleon complex.

2 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Feb 17, 2012)

Press Ad hominem, press Kill the messenger... Combo! You reached Fanboy Level 99!

10 upvotes
Charrick
By Charrick (Feb 17, 2012)

Nice to see that whistleblowers who expose corruption totaling billions of dollars get what's due to them - scorn.

I think you just brought sweet tears of joy to ol' Bernie Madoff's eyes.

12 upvotes
sunhorse
By sunhorse (Feb 17, 2012)

@YouDidnt

Those old cronies got what they deserved and maybe less than they derserved. They have damaged Olympus and harmed all stake holders - employees, shareholders & customers. Yes even customers.

If they had spent that money on R&D instead of speculating in shady investments, they could have produced even better products today.

So what do you do? You attack the whistleblower. Nice.

9 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 17, 2012)

YouDidntDidYou: "Olympus is running at an operating profit has strong cash flow and funds to last until 2016."

Ain't so. Check the companies IR section of its own website. Equity is depleted, there is $8 B in debt, and only the medical division appears to be turning a profit. Falling prices, competition from phone cameras, and the geometriic increase in R&D needed to yield modest amounts of product distinction make the camera busines tough in general.

Yet some people can be fooled all of the time.

2 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (Feb 18, 2012)

@sunho
their motivation was to protect all stake holders - employees, shareholders & customers, what was Woodford's motivation and yours?

1 upvote
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (Feb 17, 2012)

Is Oly up for sale ?? Anyone .....

0 upvotes
Jonathan F/2
By Jonathan F/2 (Feb 17, 2012)

Woodford should be arrested as well. He probably was in on the whole thing and bailed when things got hot.

2 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Feb 17, 2012)

Great.
But the best yet is that you are not judge, jury, and executioner.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 17, 2012)

If you had been in Woodford's shoes, and it became clear that Kikukawa was looking for a foreing scapegoat to take ownership of the fraud before the auditors caught up, what would you have done? Whether or not Woodford was a "saint" (they don't exist in the corporate world!), his choice was to set things right or to end up in jail (instead of Kikukawa) when the Ponzi unwound. Justice does depend, much of the time, on imperfect people trying to protect their skin. If a whistleblower is presumed to be equally guilty, no one will ever be able to denounce wrongdoing, and crime will fester even more.

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Feb 17, 2012)

Quick! Before Steven gets into it!

Somebody get the movie rights to these Seven Samurais!

$$$

2 upvotes
max metz
By max metz (Feb 17, 2012)

To believe that just seven people are culpable for the billions of dollars involved in this Japanese cover up, particularly over such a protracted period, would seem naive in the extreme. One wonders what goal drives the camera division within this Olympus culture, profitability would appear inconsequential.

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Feb 17, 2012)

It's quite plausible. These companies are run by a very small, insular group. The (illegal) scheme to hide the losses was considered to be in the best interests of the company, and implemented by just a very few highly trusted individuals.

What's actually interesting is that 1) they got caught and 2) they were not let off with just having to make the proverbial "sincere apology". It looks like the Japanese authorities are not just willing to persue the company, but are going the extra mile to make examples of them.

I dunno, maybe Olympus was behind on it's payments to the Yakuza or something, because it seems like they really made some enemies in powerful places.

0 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Feb 17, 2012)

If only the corrupt politicians and big business people got the same swift treatment we would not have the circle jerk we have today.

12 upvotes
mauritsvw
By mauritsvw (Feb 17, 2012)

I really hope that the Olympus camera division weathers this storm. Although I've never owned any of their equipment, I've always held it in high regard. It would be sad if another player leaves the camera business, making for less choices and less innovation.

5 upvotes
Roger Knight
By Roger Knight (Feb 16, 2012)

It is excellent news that there have been arrests which may go some way towards vindicating Michael Woodford in this affair. It remains to be seen if the Japanese judiciary are as currupt as we are led to believe.
Perhaps the court system will also do a thorough audit of all company officials to back up their case which will at the very least keep the wrongdooers in prison for some more time at least.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 17, 2012)

think 7 is the minimum after an orchestrated damage control by the Kasumigaseki (bureaucratic administrations), the Kabutocho (Tokyo Stock Exchange), the Keidanren (business community, banks and the audit firms), as well as the prosecution and police departments. all of them know the scandal to a certain degree for many years.

they had been given enough time and opportunities to cover things up and transfer wealth out. then the expected arrests come.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (Feb 17, 2012)

Michael Woodford will never be trusted to be a CEO ever again.
I'm pretty sure the Australian judiciary isn't lily white either.

Glad to know the Nikon D4 will be a failure.

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Feb 17, 2012)

The judiciary is not corrupt. The courts are impartial. It's in who get's caught, arrested and charged, and who does not, that the shady flow of favors and influence can be observed.

0 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Feb 17, 2012)

YouDidntDidYou is clearly a robot.

4 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Feb 17, 2012)

YouDidntDidYou is the very definition of "fanboy".

3 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (Feb 18, 2012)

@Richard Murdey
from the Nikon robot eh?

1 upvote
tonywong
By tonywong (Feb 16, 2012)

Looks like the Japanese are looking to save Olympus by looking the other way. How could the rest of the board be clean when such a massive scandal happened in the first place, and then when Woodford hit the red panic button the ENTIRE board voted him out without going through the merits of Woodford's inquiry.

Following that, the old board members get to choose the new board members for coming election. Corruption on all levels of Japanese management, all in the name of 'saving face.'

At least none of the actors in this play were looking to make a fast buck, but the end result still screws the company and the shareholders.

1 upvote
Neil Morgan
By Neil Morgan (Feb 16, 2012)

Doesnt sound good for the olympus camera division if its posting such huge losses.
If any of the other companies buy olympus, they would surely close the camera section or sell it off to keep the medical section with these sort of massive losses.

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (Feb 17, 2012)

Olympus is running at an operating profit and has strong cashflow which is a better guide to it's future...

1 upvote
Neil Morgan
By Neil Morgan (Feb 17, 2012)

Quote from above -The camera business, which makes up just 15% of the overall company, is forecast to contribute a loss of around $114m this year (down from a loss of $190m in 2010/2011), on the back of a 7.2% rise in sales, mainly in the Japanese market.

The camera business is running at a $114million major loss. Olympus as a company like any company, will dump the loss part of the business. It how businesses survive.
Of course if they deem it necessary like a form of advertising or they can regain the profit back then thats another story.
Unfortunately though, with losses and scandal, it may get sold off and become another minolta.

2 upvotes
broxx
By broxx (Feb 16, 2012)

Olynmpus is an inoavator for a long time losing this independent co. The loss of thing will mean less alternatives to the market. So the company should survive because they some the best optics.

0 upvotes
mandm
By mandm (Feb 16, 2012)

I do hope the Olympus camera division survives, but the economy is against them & the above news will make serious Oly users delay purchases or may find them looking elsewhere. Bankruptcies over the last ten plus years have hurt Oly more than the others. Wolfs Camera was the first big one, yes all suppliers to Wolfs lost out when the court OKed Ritz purchase of Wolfs, including the inventory, but none of the liabilities. Olympus demanded Ritz pay them for that Wolf inventory or send it back. Ritz said No, and the law is on Ritz side! Oly pushed hard, too hard to get paid & Ritz dropped Oly from their 1000+ stores, so now the largest dealer in the USA doesn't sell Oly!
A few years latter, Oly gets back into Ritz, great news for Oly, right? Stocking all the stores is a big order & Ritz wants extra time to pay. Before payment, Ritz files for bankruptcy, the next week Olympus lays off 95% of it's sales force in the US! Another major $ loss for Olympus Camera in their largest market.

2 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (Feb 17, 2012)

I guess no one was prosecuted at Wolfs Cameras or Ritz on either occasion is this legalised theft in the USA???

Don't blame Olympus and Panasonic for not bothering with the USA.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 17, 2012)

Life's a b*tch, ain't it? RITZ CAMERAS today does not carry Canon and many other brands, either. You've gotta go to B&H or Adorama or 47h Street in NYC to get all the makes.

0 upvotes
mlew
By mlew (Feb 18, 2012)

@YouDidnt
See 11 U.S.C. 365. The bankruptcy code allows the rejection of executory contracts, subject to certain restrictions...and it's fairly common knowledge that suppliers etc. can get royally screwed in bankruptcy (or administration, depending on the jurisdiction). And from the sound of it, Ritz's purchase of Wolf was done pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 363, which allows for the purchase of assets free and clear of the bankrupt estate's liens and encumbrances.
By the way, it's my understanding that under English law (Insolvency Act 1986 as amended), the administrator of a company in administration can conduct repudiatory breach, damages for which are unsecured claims. This isn't terribly dissimilar, from what I gather, from a 365 rejection that leaves the creditor with an unsecured claim for damages.
Not sure where you're going with what you said - wherever a company goes bankrupt, counterparties can get completely screwed. It's simply one of the risks of doing business...

0 upvotes
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (Feb 19, 2012)

"Better cover our as* with the lost... we can not face our investor with that kind of lost... dam white people... just don't know how to deal with them... Let's hire a white people to deal with white people"
"Dam white people just blown our cover... dam"

0 upvotes
GreatDivideImaging
By GreatDivideImaging (Feb 16, 2012)

Sony BetaMax? It doesn't really matter how much we rant and rave here, as the business metrics will determine the future of our beloved Oly systems. After thousands of dollars and several years of shipping pro Canon equipment back and forth for calibration, never to get AF corrected between the L lenses and bodies, I dumped all of it. Stumbled across a Leica Digilux 3 and found myself photographing without regard to equipment limitations once again - freedom. This lead me to the four thirds system, a Lumix L1 and the Oly E-5 and 6 lenses and I continue to be free of thinking about the equipment. I got in on this in the midst of the decline and simply don't care. When this stuff all wears out, there will be something wonderful from Sony, Pentax or Panasonic hopefully. I do, however, hope Oly can hold on as the innovation and precision are above par. Compare lenses from an unbiased lab at www.lenstip.com if you don't agree. Four thirds will be gone soon. I'll go down with the ship!

0 upvotes
OM1978
By OM1978 (Feb 16, 2012)

Judging by some of the comments about Oly's future, perhaps Mr. Woodford should modify the title of his book to be, "Short Exposure: the Shutter Closes on Olympus."

I bought the OM-1 in 1978 as my first SLR, and I've been a loyal customer ever since. I certainly hope that Oly will continue as a camera maker for all the positive reasons already mentioned by others.

2 upvotes
Glenn
By Glenn (Feb 16, 2012)

Nobody involved in this is even thinking about the Cameras. everyone wants the Endoscopes.

7 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Feb 16, 2012)

so are these people just looking to get probed?

4 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Feb 17, 2012)

Darn right everyone wants the Endocopes.

0 upvotes
Earthlight
By Earthlight (Feb 16, 2012)

I hope that Sony will buy the Camera business, make the OM-D a little bigger, a proper size camera, slap a full frame sensor in it and sell sell sell those in huge numbers.

Nikon and Canon need even more competition. Instead of Canikon we would have Casonykon.

1 upvote
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (Feb 16, 2012)

Sony's cameras are already to superior to Olympus's. There's no reason to buy them.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 16, 2012)

Listen, folks. If another camera maker BUYS Olympus, they will do so only for the singular reason of KILLING IT OFF IMMEDIATELY.

Bye-bye Olympus, in other words.

Anybody here went to B-school? :-))

0 upvotes
GBC
By GBC (Feb 16, 2012)

Interchangeble cameras need lenses.

2 upvotes
Melbourne Park
By Melbourne Park (Feb 16, 2012)

Earthlight, its unlikely Sony would buy Olympus.

If people think Olympus is in trouble, their issues are peanuts compared to the forest that is engulfing Sony.

Olympus's share price has fallen a lot, certainly. And mostly due to the political ramnifications of previously hidden losses.

But Sony's radical share price downgrade is due to massive losses. Sony's net capital worth was over $US100 billion two years ago. It is now worth $US18 billion. Sony predicted profits this year have now become losses. The group has lost, in the past three years, over $US 5 billion. It it getting out of TV screen manufacture entirely, having sold its half LCD ownership with Samsung (to Samsung). Its TV business has been killing it, despite closing factories around the world. Its Playstation business caused credit card damage to many loyal customers, hence Sony has hurt a major franchise with credit risk that could last for years.

I'd be surprised if Sony bought Olympus.

6 upvotes
Earthlight
By Earthlight (Feb 16, 2012)

I know that Sony already is superior to Olympus. They do not need any technology from them as far as sensors go. But I think they could introduce such a retro body themselves.

Maybe Olympus also has some optics patens that could be had dirt cheap?

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Ariston
By Ariston (Feb 17, 2012)

how about Sony getting an idea how to build pancake lenses? because Sony sucks at it.

0 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Feb 17, 2012)

Sony is superior to Olympus? Really? In what way? Because they threw about a bunch of #%*@ to see what sticks? Sony seems like a company with no direction, or should I say every direction. Olympus glass is still superior to ANYTHING Sony has out. People still get so hung up on spec's they refuse to look at the bigger picture, like REAL LIFE use and results. I've been an Olympus shooter since I bought digital. Your going to have to pry my Olympus out of my dead hands. I'd be willing to bet if you could shoot with a Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Pentax without knowing what camera is what. No names or distinguishing marks. A lot of the Olympus, small sensor, 4/3 bashers would be very surprised to find out just how much they like the Olympus when the makers of said cameras are revealed. But so many are programed to think the BIG names they see on T.V are superior in every way.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 17, 2012)

Who cares which camera makers has "superior" products? That is not how business is conducted today, folks. In fact, it makes almost no difference.

Those firms making excellent products are the ones usually being undercut in price and heading to the corporate graveyard. There is nothing in writing that would guarantee that an Olympus, a Sony, let alone a Sigma or a Pentax would survive.

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Feb 16, 2012)

If olympus goes the Kodak way in completely stopping camera productions then I think congratulations are in order for Panasonic for being the only micro four thirds camera developers then.

1 upvote
DB Custom
By DB Custom (Feb 16, 2012)

I also felt that Olympus was on a serious downward spiral, initially. Then I found out that the camera industry is only about 15% of the company, they're very well known for their endoscopes, medical grade surgical instruments and highly acclaimed for that...a great many hospitals use Olympus endoscopes daily. This alone will fairly easily keep Olympus afloat and new management may actually help the camera side of things start turning a profit...after many years of multi-million dollar losses with consumer grade cameras.

1 upvote
Canadianguy
By Canadianguy (Feb 16, 2012)

Or they could just dump the consumer camera business.

No other corporation wants their consumer camera business.

3 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Feb 17, 2012)

That remains to be seen. I suspect Panasonic would happily buy the camera division at the right price.

0 upvotes
pcworth
By pcworth (Feb 16, 2012)

Hopefully, these guys will get to face an appropriate Japanese punishment and the company can get back to making an XZ-1 upgrade!

0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Feb 16, 2012)

I may be wrong, but I doubt that any of the arrested people were personally involved in creating the XZ-1. So it's not like the company has to wait for them.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
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