From the Olympus Website--A little better translation than DPReview

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
John King
John King Forum Pro • Posts: 14,941
Camera companies and profitability and capitalisation

micronean wrote:

Olympus is too small of a company to support 2 lens mounts (Heck, if even Sony can't make a profit in these economic times with their lens systems, what chance could Olympus have?). And even Nikon, as well, seems limited on supporting their APS-C lenses.

It doesn't make sense to divert their cameras and lenses into two camps. Their "drastic reduction" is almost certainly to mean their going to cut something severely, and I would say it's going to be the traditional DSLR design (i.e. the mirror and pentaprism). This is a pretty bold move for Olympus, as their history is longer than Sony's in terms of SLRs (Minolta notwithstanding), and this could very well mean "drastic" in the minds of the very traditionally-oriented Japanese culture. But it may not mean the end of 4/3 cameras or lenses.

The point is that if Olympus is going to survive in the shrinking camera industry they MUST be able to have all lenses work with their cameras going forward.

If you check the figures for each company, you might get a bit of a surprise.

Olympus has less market capitalisation than Nikon by around -30%; but annual sales to March 2012 of only about 10% less sales by value.

Having said that, the financial road travelled by Olympus over the last 5 years has been very rocky, with some massive write downs due to the fraud of the board members. If one adds back these write downs (after all, they are sunk costs) and considers EBIT, the company has actually been profitable at a trading level all through the GFC. So has Nikon, but I like the look of Nikon's overall figures better as they do not reflect the corrupt practices of the previous Olympus board.

So if Nikon can manage to support a number of different lens mounts, I do not see why Olympus cannot do likewise. For Olympus in particular, the costs associated with this are also sunk costs.

Just a few thoughts, FWIW.

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