$156 million vs $150 million Locked

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OP Doug Janis Contributing Member • Posts: 860
Re: $156 million vs $150 million

cba_melbourne wrote:

Doug Janis wrote:

Micro 43 is dominated by Olympus and their volume buying sustained the format. Many would leave for larger sensors if the mount was unsupported. Even with Panasonic, it’s mostly a side product in the video offerings. It’s likely that sensor tech won’t advance and along with that, no new Panasonic development. That’s pretty much a dead format because no one will buy new bodies if the the competition sensors are way, way ahead. Panasonic went FF because that’s where the money went. The longer term fate of the 43 sensor is tied to Olympus.

Surely, Panasonic were the very first company, that Olympus asked to take over their Imaging division, and that already some long time ago. Obviously they passed the offer. But this is likely the exact reason, that prompted Panasonic to setup the L-mount consortium with their long time partner Leica. Panasonic could not risk to be left alone with m43, and potentially go under with Olympus or just a couple years after.

Paradoxically, we now must all hope that the L-mount succeeds. Because only this will enable Panasonic to keep supporting the declining m43 mount for the coming years. The alternative would likely be Panasonic leaving the stills camera market. Leaving m43 orphaned.

In the short to medium term, Panasonic sales will definitely suffer badly from the Olympus inventory being liquidated at big discounts well below cost. Olympus cameras and lenses may sooner than we like show up on Banggood and AliExpress alongside the Yi and Kodak m43 liquidation offerings.

Mostly what I have heard is about JIP being the worst sort of company for Olympus consumers and those invested in the mount for the long term. JIP isn’t about tweaking firmware, or arranging a new sensor design with a Sony, or promoting NewCo products through Visionaries. JIP specializes in stripping assets from a company. They have no physical plants, in-house engineers, research or even marketing. This is based on what they’ve done with other company assets they’ve acquired. JIP is not interested in running an optical photography brand. This isn’t like Sony taking over Minolta, or Ricoh Pentax. This is the end of the bulk of Micro Four Thirds.

Speculative talk here is that Panasonic isn’t really investing in the mount anymore as well. They won’t push a new sensor and there is no evidence Olympus offered them the Imaging unit. All the talk is that this is the dissolution of Micro Four Thirds because a company like JIP hasn’t the resources and isn’t the type of company that cares about the underlying tech and the mount as a major consumer alternative. In a shrinking market you would think that the 2 main players would consolidate, but when you see a JIP in the equation, it undermines the whole case for the lens mount. JIP is a dead end.

I’ve heard nothing about Olympus shopping the unit elsewhere. What I have heard about is the loss of talent leading to a loss of production and that this has been going on for half a year and if it continues, there will not be much left to continue the Micro Four Thirds effort. No one has faith that Panasonic has enough market to support the mount for longer than a year or two if Olympus craters. There’s just too few customers. The press releases mention nothing about a commitment to the Micro Four Thirds consortium. This is all about Olympus having severe financial issues with this unit and sales falling unsustainably. Once they fall to zero after this news, Micro Four Thirds loses all its buying power and most of its customers. My photo club friends believe this is likely the end of Micro Four Thirds. It may stagger on for a few years, but JIP is definitely not the company to bring any commitment. That’s not what they do. It’s quite sad in photo circles because Micro Four Thirds is popular. People do grumble about its pricing, though, compared to larger sensors. Compactness may be a virtue here, but value is still critical. There is no doubt that sales in the red in Japan for Olympus has a lot to do with larger sensor formats falling in price and Micro Four Thirds being too costly. Walk into any camera store here and that’s the discussion over the counter.

 Doug Janis's gear list:Doug Janis's gear list
Ricoh GR III Olympus E-M5 II Olympus E-M1 II Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +3 more
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