This has to be the biggest and most shocking news before the upcoming PMA show, Konica Minolta has today announced that it is withdrawing from the camera and photo business. They will be transferring assets related to their camera business to Sony who will continue to develop digital SLR's based around the Konica Minolta lens mount. Konica Minolta it appears will continue to work with Sony (a relationship announced last year) in the development of digital SLR's and lenses but they will not be branded as or be sold by Konica Minolta. Full announcement and details of the Sony asset transfer inside.
Related older news:
- No Konica Minolta DCs for Canada
- Konica Minolta to liquidate Canadian unit; sees no financial impact
- Konica Minolta and Sony make D-SLR announcement
- Konica Minolta cuts financial year forecast
Konica Minolta Announces Withdrawal Plan for
Camera Business and Photo Business
Konica Minolta has long been a leading company in photo imaging business covering wide range of imaging from input to output. In addition, we have provided inspiring products and services by fusing our unique technologies.
In camera business, we have expanded picture-taking opportunities by developing innovative technologies such as the world’s first autofocus cameras. In 1962, our camera, well-accepted for its high reliability, boarded on the US’s first manned spaceship “Friendship 7.” Also, ever since introduction of the world’s first body-integral autofocus SLR camera, Maxxum/Dynax series, in 1985, SLR cameras have become more popular among picture-takers, and we have succeeded in selling 16 million units of interchangeable lenses since then.
However, in today’s era of digital cameras, where image sensor technologies such as CCD is indispensable, it became difficult to timely provide competitive products even with our top optical, mechanical and electronics technologies.
In photo business, represented by the silver-halide photography such as color film and color paper, we have produced Japan’s first photographic paper in 1903, and Japan’s first color film in 1940, thus pioneering joy of photography for more than a century. In 1984, we introduced the world’s first compact washless photofinishing system known as a minilab system. The minilabs contributed to the expansion of worldwide photographic market by making photos closer to consumers and amazingly shortening delivery time.
However, traditional silver-halide photographic market is shrinking astonishingly by the surge of the worldwide digitization. In such a changing world, profits for camera and photo businesses worsened in recent years, and it became necessary to drastically reform business structure for the further growth of Konica Minolta. Ever since we decided and announced restructuring guidelines of our businesses on November 4, 2005, we have been considering practical and detailed plan, and we would like to announce our decision made today as follows:
1) Camera Business
In camera business, we have reached an agreement with Sony Corporation(Sony), having numerous image sensor technologies such as CCD and CMOS, to jointly develop digital SLR cameras in July 2005. In order to continue to have our customers use Maxxum/Dynax lenses, and to maximize possibilities of the optical, mechanical and electronics technologies accumulated through development of SLR cameras in the years to come, we came to the conclusion that it was best to transfer assets concerning camera business to Sony. Since then, we have been negotiating with Sony, and as a result, we have reached an agreement with Sony to transfer a portion of assets regarding digital SLR camera system to Sony*1. In this relation, we have decided to withdraw from camera business*2, such as film cameras and digital cameras, within Konica Minolta Group as of March 31, 2006.
Sony is planning to develop digital SLR cameras compatible with Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system, so that the current Maxxum/Dynax users will be able to continue to use them with Sony’s digital SLR cameras. In addition, we will consign camera service operations for Konica Minolta, Konica,Minolta brand cameras and related equipment to Sony.
2) Photo Business
In today’s shrinking photographic market represented by color film and color paper, we have been considering to scale back and to continue photo business at an appropriate size; however, when we foresee the photographic market, it is quite difficult to maintain profitability in this field, and we have decided to withdraw from photo business. As schemed below, we will, as much as possible, avoid causing any inconvenience in providing products to our worldwide customers in the course of withdrawal.
For color film and color paper, while considering our customer needs, we will step-by-step reduce product lineup and cease our color film and color paper production by the end of fiscal year ending March 31, 2007.
For minilab business, we will cease production of the system by the end of fiscal year ending March 31, 2006; however we will have such company as Noritsu Koki Co., Ltd to provide maintenance and customer services so as not to cause any inconvenience to our customers.*1 Please refer to the news release, “Consignment of Service and Maintenance Operations for Minilabs “, separately announced today.
In line with the above scheme, with consideration to our customers and regional situations, we will step-by-step reorganize our sales offices and withdraw from all of our photo sales activities by September 30, 2007.
3) Personnel Management
As a part of Konica Minolta Group’s restructuring, we will proceed with withdrawal plan for camera and photo businesses and aggressively shifted their management resources to other Konica Minolta Group companies. While continuing this effort, in order to rationalize a number of employees, we have decided to reduce worldwide Konica Minolta Group employees by 3,700 from the current 33,000 including early retirement offering by September 30, 2007*.
The expenses to be incurred with this restructuring are already included in the forecast for fiscal year ending March 31, 2006.
Konica Minolta Group will make our utmost efforts not to cause any inconvenience to our customer due to the decision we made this time. At the same time, camera and photo businesses are our traditional businesses ever since our founding, and we wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to the worldwide Konica Minolta fans for their patronage to our products for more than a century.
Konica Minolta Group is aiming to become more powerful corporate group by swiftly meeting market changes and pursuing “selection and concentration”. We will, from now on, be concentrating our business resources on non-consumer businesses, such as the core “business technologies” field, the strategic “optics and display devices” field, and the growth expected “medical imaging” and “sensing” fields, increase competitiveness, and endeavor to further expand corporate value.
Outline of camera business
|Main business:||Manufacturing, sale, and related services of photographic equipment such as digital cameras, film cameras and lenses|
|Fiscal year ended March 31, 2005:||Net sales: 117,000 million yen (Forecast for fiscal year ending March 31, 2006 is 75,000 million yen)
Operating Loss: 7,300 million yen
Outline of photo business
|Main business:||Manufacturing, sale, and related services of consumer and commercial photographic materials, inkjet media, and related equipment|
|Fiscal year ended March 31, 2005:||Net sales: 151,500 million yen (Forecast for fiscal year ending March 31, 2006 is 110,000 million yen)
Operating Loss: 1,400 million yen
Partial Transfer of Certain Assets Related to Digital SLR cameras
Since July 2005, Sony Corporation (Sony) and Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. (Konica Minolta PI) have been working on the joint development of digital single lens reflex (SLR) cameras. Sony, Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. and Konica Minolta PI are pleased to announce that they have decided to transfer a certain portion of Konica Minolta PI ’s assets related to digital SLR cameras to Sony, and at the same time, that Konica Minolta PI will consign its customer service operation for Konica Minolta cameras and related products* to Sony. Agreement to this effect was reached today.
Under this agreement, on March 31 2006, Sony will receive certain assets from Konica Minolta PI that are necessary for the development, design, production and so forth of digital SLR cameras compatible with Konica Minolta PI’s “Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system”.** Sony will accelerate development of new digital SLR cameras based on and compatible with the Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system with a view to marketing these models this summer.
On the basis of its ongoing “selection and concentration”, Konica Minolta Group will concentrate on its core “business technologies” field and its strategic “optics and display devices” field and withdraw from camera business*** as of March 31, 2006. At the same time, Konica Minolta PI will partially transfer certain assets related to digital SLR cameras to Sony.
From April 1 2006, Konica Minolta PI will consign the customer service operations for Konica Minolta cameras and related products* to Sony, and Sony will implement service operations from that date onward.
* Konica Minolta, Konica and Minolta brand film cameras, digital still cameras, lenses, accessories etc.
** An original lens mount system to connect camera body and lens adopted in Konica Minolta Maxxum/Dynax series SLR cameras
*** Excludes production of digital SLR cameras and interchangeable lenses for Sony
|Big Steaming Pile by WhistlerOne|
from Product Shoot: Coffee
|AU4_6418_BB-35 by DaveInHouston|
LEE has released a new series of Reverse ND filters that are most opaque in the middle and become progressively clearer towards the top. This makes them ideal for capturing scenes where the sun is close to the horizon.
A former New York Times photographer is suing both the newspaper and its photography director Michele McNally for over $500,000 for age discrimination and unfair classification as a freelancer for nearly a decade.
"CPS Platinum members will now enjoy next-day service, with equipment serviced and shipped the business day after an estimate is approved. For repairs that will take longer, Canon will offer next-day loaner equipment."
Irix is introducing a new filter system called the Irix Edge 100. The ultra-light, ultra-thin system is build specifically for wide angle lenses like Irix's own 15mm F2.4.
After conducting a series of safety tests, the FAA is recommending that all airlines ban cameras and other electronics with Lithium Ion batteries from checked baggage. The agency believe the risk of a catastrophic fire and explosion is too great.
The Pixentu jackets keep you and your gear warm and dry, offering useful features like lens and tripod pockets, in addition to some quirky ones like an extended hood to protect your camera from the rain.
Adobe gave the audience at MAX a sneak peek at some exciting new technology its developing. It's called Adobe Cloak: a highly capable Content Aware Fill-like feature for video editors.
Earlier today, Flickr moved its photo book printing service over to a third party services, and stopped offering any wall art options entirely.
The patent details a flipping rear LCD screen so large, Canon has had to hide the rear dial and several buttons underneath.
We've added a selection of extra images to our Nikon D850 gallery. As part of the process of rounding off the review we made sure a number of us had shot the camera in a variety of situations, we've added those shots to the gallery to give a broad cross section of how the camera performs.
Wiral LITE is an affordable, easy-to-use cable cam system that can do things a portable slider simply can't do, and go places no slider would dare go.
Not happy with the recent demise of Lightroom as a stand-alone, subscription free service? Macphun's got your back... or they will in 2018.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos—complete with auto-tagging and intelligent search capabilities.
The 360 Round uses eight horizontally positioned camera pairs and one upward-pointing single lens to capture and livestream panoramic 4K 3D content.
Introduced just three years ago, the Samsung NX1 was both a technological tour-de-force and a great camera to use, earning one of the highest scores we've ever awarded and winning our 2015 Innovation Award. But its short-lived run in the photo world leaves us wondering what could have been.
The Fujifilm X-E3 is styled like a classic rangefinder, but features a built-in touchscreen, AF joystick, and electronic viewfinder – truly an old school meets new type of camera. Lay some eyes on our sample gallery to see how it performs in the real world.
Like it or not, Adobe is embracing a cloud-centric, AI-rich future with the introduction of Lightroom CC. And that's a great thing, though you may not see it now, argues Rishi Sanyal.
The announcement of a more cloud-integrated Lightroom product sees the death of the company's standalone version. This need to make payments in perpetuity (whether you choose Lightroom Classic or CC), chips away at the idea that your Lightroom library is a long-term solution, argues Richard Butler.
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!
Lightroom is hogging the spotlight at Adobe MAX, but Photoshop CC got some substantial improvements as well. Find out what's new in the latest version of Photoshop CC.
The aptly-named 'Nude' app automatically detects NSFW images on your iPhone, moves them to a protected vault and deletes the original files in the camera roll and on iCloud.
The Zeiss Milvus family of manual-focus full-frame lenses just gained a new member. Meet the Zeiss Milvus 24mm F1.4: a fast, rugged new lens designed primarily for landscape and architecture photography.
Lightroom has built a brand new Lightroom CC from the ground up to be faster, easier to use, and cloud-based. The application formerly known as Lightroom CC will continue to exist, and will go by "Lightroom Classic CC."
Google Research did a deep dive on the Pixel 2 smartphone's background-blurring portrait mode that uses neural networking and dual-pixel technology instead of a dual-camera setup.
With the arrival of the PowerShot G1 X III, there are now seven Canon cameras built around the 24MP Dual Pixel sensor and Digic 7 processor. We take a look at the differences and what might prompt you to choose one over the others.
Meet the HP ZBook x2. The so-called 'world's most powerful and first detachable PC workstation,' it was built with creative professionals in mind, and is being debuted at Adobe MAX.
PDN sat down with Ahmed Fakhr, director of photography at RollingStone.com, to talk about how the famed publication is adapting to the changing photo and video needs of the modern era and how he 'evaluates the skills of potential contributors.'
Kudos to Canon. Earlier today, the camera giant announced that it had produced its 90 millionth EOS camera and 130 millionth EF-series lens.