Anyone been following this article/thread on Oly?

Started Feb 15, 2011 | Discussions thread
erichK Veteran Member • Posts: 5,675
Re: Olympus imaging is hardly a failure

pseudothomasmerton wrote:

RICOH -- Still making cameras the last time I checked, and doing very well for themselves.

Are they? Good to know, because I thought that their imaging section has become were a very minor player pursuing a niche market with mixed success.

YASHICA -- also still making cameras....

almost invisibly!

CONTAX -- A tiny player who perished when people stopped buying their wares.

They certainly were more than a tiny player for at least a couple of decades;

Cameras are huge capitol investment, you need lots of buyers to get ROI, or you end up like Olympus. But the parent company, Kyocera, is still going strong and doing well without having to worry about cameras any longer. Carl Zeiss is also doing quite well for themselves.

Olympus could also probably have an easier corporate life without cameras, but lets hope that they, yet again, venture to continue on the harder road.

KODAK -- Still making cameras and high-end sensors for Leica & Hasselblad. But for how much longer who knows...they are having problems finding buyers for their wares, but not for a lack of trying. They'll probably declare bankruptcy in a couple of years.

MINOLTA -- Making more money with office equipment than they did with cameras, so they sold it off to Sony, who is doing a very nice job in regards to innovation, and are now the #3 player behind Nikon and Canon.

Konica disappeared into Minolta, and Minolta was swallowed by Sony. That hardly pleased the Minolta (let alone the Konica users) I know.

OLYMPUS -- Put all their eggs in the micro 4/3 basket and in the process, completely alienated 95% of their customers in a single stroke. The imaging division is hemorrhaging cash, having invested tons of capitol in a camera system that is losing what popularity it had to rival Sony, and will need extensive restructuring just to stay alive, if it's not just shut down or sold off.

Most of Olympus' "eggs" are actually in much more important (in every way!) areas like Life Sciences, Medical Imaging and related optics and electronics, where they do very well, too.

I agree that Olympus has done some things that do, in hindsight, look like mistakess, and even a few that were stupid at the time they did them (you may want to look at my threads on The Camera Store and on Canadian distribution). Among the worst were the promotion of some real yahoos who saw Oly's future in mass marketing of slick gadgets rather than the quality optics and solid engineering that are Oly's forté. (Yes, these 5 star idiots did, indeed, manage to do a lot of damage!)

However, it is important to also recognize that Olympus has persisted in making cameras for nearly three-quarters of a century, that they have repeatedly dared to invest in major innovations, and also that even in difficult situations like the last decade of the OM series they persisted production and supported their customers as long as they could. (I can still remember taking my Pen Ft and Fv a well as my OM 1 and 2 to an Olympus photo store clinic in Basel, Switzerlnd in 1988, and being amazed by the painstaking testing, adjustment, cleaning and lubrication a two very capable Olympus technicians lavished on these already long-out-of-production cameras.)

Of course I regret the lack of a follow up to the E 4xx and the 5xx, and most especially the E 6xx series, and like many, suspect that the last case is a mistake. However, I am also grateful that they did somehow manage to get the E-5 out, and to make some it embody many moderate but significant improvements, despite the huge hit their camera department has taken.

And their innovative new compact, as well as the solid design decisions the E-PL2 suggests that there is some important research and development and even re-tooling going on, much as there was as OM 3Ti production was finally shutting down, and the first visions of what became the E-1 were starting to be discussed.

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pseudo thomas merton

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erichK
saskatoon, canada

Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.

  • W. Eugene Smith, Dec 30, 1918 to Oct 15, 1978.

http://erichk.zenfolio.com/

http://www.fototime.com/inv/7F3D846BCD301F3

underwater photos:
http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/5567

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