Olympus still hopeful. Is MILC a serious alternative for DSLR?

Started Jan 11, 2014 | Discussions thread
CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,705
Re: It is possible ...

HappyVan wrote:

Jim Salvas wrote:

My point was that not only is the Mac still around, but Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world, despite the shortsighted gloom and doom predictions.

You don't have to take over the market to make profits. You have to market smartly.

I think Olympus has finally figured that out. Time will tell if they are right.

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Jim Salvas

... that Olympus imaging can one day be profitable. However, that Oly would be very different from the Oly with 6% market share. Or, the Oly selling less than a million cameras.

Not necessarily. There is a lot of ego-driven, andecdotal assumptions about what it will take to keep a company like Olympus active in the consumer imaging arena. Most of it is based on the assumption that Olympus has to increase percentage of sales to be profitable. There are always companies that find a profitable niche (a la the Apple example) and cruise along just fine (a la Leica) because they cater to people who will pay for their product.

From all I have seen since before m4/3 was introduced, most concerns about Olympus's future stem more from gear related angst and fears of inferiority than genuine analysis of sales and market shares. Yes, the consumer imaging division has consistently lost money over the past decade. On the other hand, much of this was not due so much to low market share as investing too much in the rapidly declining compact/P&S market.

Olympus has hit their stride with m4/3, especially as seen with the EM5 and EM1. These cameras will not lure huge masses away from DLSR systems. However, they are being purchased by a lot of people as second systems to larger formats. This is a bit of a hidden stat, as people look at sales figures of dslrs vs mirrorless in terms of everyone choosing one or the other, while there is a growing percentage of people choosing both. It's not a game making percentage, but it is still something to consider.

Another thing to consider is that the consumer imaging division has never been a big money-maker for Olympus. That has always been their medical/technical imaging division. The corporate culture at Olympus is such that they may well continue to maintain a marginally profitable m4/3 lineup long past the time when other companies might discontinue it, simply because they historically have a passion for producing consumer cameras that are more niche products than runaway best sellers.

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If, in my lifetime, I will have produced just one image that makes a real difference in the life of another, I will have achieved my highest goal as a photographer.

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