Previous news story    Next news story

Olympus denies reports that it is ceasing DSLR production

By dpreview staff on Feb 13, 2013 at 01:14 GMT

Olympus is denying reports that it is ceasing its production of DSLR cameras. In its official statement Olympus says there is no truth to these reports and the company will continue to offer DSLR cameras alongside its popular mirrorless camera range. The reports came as Olympus promised 'extensive business restructuring' in its imaging division, above and beyond the downsizing already taking place as part of its 'medium term vision.' The company announced that it expects its camera business to lose around ¥16 billion (~$170 million) in this financial year - double its forecasts.

In our recent interview with Olympus' Toshi Terada, Manager, Product Planning SLR products, had confirmed the company's commitment to its existing DSLR owners stating, 'There are people using E-400, 500 and 600-series DSLRs, we have to provide products for them to keep enjoying their photography.'

The Olympus E-5, released in 2010 is Olympus's most recent DSLR - could it be the last?

Comments

Total comments: 187
12
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

This kind of seems like something you would have to say, regardless of what is really going to happen. I'm not saying they are or they aren't, but I don't think I put much faith in what the head of Olympus is saying.

0 upvotes
paulsquatch
By paulsquatch (Feb 14, 2013)

Can't wait to replace my E-500 with a new body!

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 14, 2013)

You've missed a few already

0 upvotes
QuarterToDoom
By QuarterToDoom (Feb 14, 2013)

Some of use don't get about the new shiny. Hell I just replaced my (8+ year old) E-1 not too long ago with an E-5.

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (Feb 14, 2013)

It has to be compact-size, not yet another E-3/5 giant with a "tiny" 2X FOV sensor; it would be ridiculous. Canon's 6D carries a FF sensor, for crying out loud, and it's much smaller than E-5! The 4/3 digital system touts compactness. Let's see it on the high-end models.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Steve_
By Steve_ (Feb 14, 2013)

I like and respect Olympus, and positively adore my OM-D E-M5. But how many years can any company go on losing 170 million USD per?

1 upvote
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (Feb 14, 2013)

They are already making profit again.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gofMkB2K7BfmNZZkMYP130I-DTYQ?docId=CNG.3c07527f70ca80eaac62cd5aaac9bb3b.7c1&index=0

3 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Feb 14, 2013)

Nope. That story is outdated (Nov 2012) and this is about the latest numbers. Even in that story "The company said its $100 million half-year profit was partly due to the sale of subsidiaries unrelated to its core business, while the key medical systems unit posted an operating profit. But it added that it lost money in its camera business because of the strong yen."

0 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (Feb 14, 2013)

But Olympus as a company makes money. The camera division not because the dying compact camera business. A problem all company's face. To bad for all the Olympus haters that Olympus is here to stay for a long time, especially with m4/3 camera's en lenses.

2 upvotes
Erik Magnuson
By Erik Magnuson (Feb 14, 2013)

The number of times you can make "profits" by selling assets is quite limited. How long will the owners accept the other divisions subsidizing camera sales? Could the money losing camera division be spun or sold off (ala Pentax - twice?) Olympus the corporation will survive. Olympus the camera maker may also survive but in what form?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Feb 16, 2013)

The Olympus name will survive, just like Minolta, Sanyo, Agfa, Yashika, Contax, Polaroid, and others. Sony Entertainment will be around for a while too. Canon makes great printers too. People joke about the Canikon duopoly, but if DSLR sales flatten, might a merger of the two make some sense? What good is there if the two knock each other out?

0 upvotes
alatchin
By alatchin (Feb 14, 2013)

The effort Olympus has to put into assuring its customers that it will continue producing cameras for their lens owners is astonishing.

Not to say they havent had a few mixed messages out there, but the way the doom and gloom crew latch onto anything they say is almost amusing... almost if it wasn't so irritating.

With the stable of HG and SHG lenses which are top performers in their class, why would they simply dump the lot and try again in m43rds. It is more likely they will rethink their DSLR offering with how their success in m43rds has panned out. With more interesting body styling, maybe a bit more modularization and better performance.

When Olympus said in their annual report they would reduce their activities in compacts and focus on higher end offerings, well they have done... They didnt stop producing them. So I see them as offering 1, maybe 2 DSLRs on the market with stronger feature-sets and form.

Interesting times ahead...

6 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Feb 14, 2013)

Olympus made some great looking DSLRs. I loved the way the E-1 felt. I wish they made one with a 3-4" screen and the same sensor as in the OMD.

5 upvotes
BruceB609
By BruceB609 (Feb 14, 2013)

I haven't switched to mFT yet. I still use an E-1 (overcast conditions) along with a Nikon D7000 with Voigtlanders. I have huge admiration for Olympus dedication and innovation but am not sure they should have ever reinvented the E-1. All it needed was upgrading with more, less bulky, FT prime lenses. The E-3 and E-5 with zooms were just too much for all day street shots. It's amazing how similar the E-1 and D7000 are in size and feel but the E-1 is still of the finest DSLR designs I've experienced. There's nothing too small about a 16 MP sensor to make it an oversized body. In fact, I use the HLD2 with grip strap. Same setup with my custom modified Nikon battery grip (with Oly grip strap). They hang from my hand and I don't have uncomfortable neck strap pressure all day... or a camera bouncing around. The E-1 was perfect for it's day and still feels the best today.

4 upvotes
KrisPix
By KrisPix (Feb 14, 2013)

Good news. :-)

1 upvote
Pighood
By Pighood (Feb 14, 2013)

Agreed. Having said that, I wouldn't mind picking up an E-5 to augment my E-30 for cheap.

1 upvote
ravduc
By ravduc (Feb 14, 2013)

This is terrific news for four third users such as myself that would prefer upgrading with a dslr rather than having to move to a micro four thirds camera.

5 upvotes
Hornito
By Hornito (Feb 14, 2013)

Agreed! Canon makes nice cameras, Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic have theirs, but to me, nothing *feels* like an Olympus, and no camera I've tried, can re-create Olympus depth and color. Biased? You bet. I own brands other than Olympus, but for that special shoot that needs some soul, I grab my Oly's.

5 upvotes
Darrell500
By Darrell500 (Feb 14, 2013)

Well said Hornito, I was feeling such a loss at the thought of no more Olympus DSLR's. Olympus just feels different in your hands and the lenses well say what your want but I think Zuiko is Japan's leica. When I rented a 35-100 f2 the rental company shipped it to a camera store where I picked it up. When I walked into the camera store the guys had it out admiring it saying did yo know this thing is f2 throughout the whole range, I just smiled and said yep that's why I'm renting it. Those that bought what the camera store boy told them to buy will never know or understand what they are missing.

4 upvotes
micronean
By micronean (Feb 14, 2013)

I don't see the point of keeping around a DSLR system that doesn't sell. Mirrorless cameras are the future, and the quicker Olympus makes a professional grade mirrorless camera, the better. But, of course, the PR machine is going to say they support DSLR just to keep customers from jumping ship (heck, the E5 is still being sold) right up to the last minute before they close shop.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 14, 2013)

@ravduc- don't be too happy. 4/3rds isn't making money for Olympus. A hybrid would make far more sense.

0 upvotes
Sandy Rothberg
By Sandy Rothberg (Feb 15, 2013)

I have mounted my SHG lenes (the spectacular 7-14 and the 150 F2) on my OMD. They focus fast and on the OMD out perform the E-5 in side by side tests. Bought a 300 last week from a guy going out of business and am just blown away. Their glass is world class what ever it is mounted on. A new E-X would be nice but continued development of what's selling, the OMD, makes better business sense.The great glass works just fine on the M4/4's bodies, I would be happy if they just keep developing the OM bodies. Their stuff is so good that my Canon system (3 bodies and most of the L lenses) is going to be sold.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 187
12