Like the auto industry, the camera industry will change, some makers will continue and others will close up shop. I have cameras from Pentax, Panasonic and Olympus, glass from the same along with Sigma. They all have a place in my photographic heart and weather they are still in business tomorrow or 20 years from now I will continue to use their products.
If they can find a way of procuring (making?) sensors that are as low noise as Sony's they might see a revival of interest.
I shot various Olympus film SLRs for 30 years, and they were the best cameras for me that I ever had, using their top line lenses, so I have a soft spot for the company. We also used some of their industrial high speed photography equipment at work.
Unfortunately, the way to insure continuation of a business in an overcrowded market is not to sell it to a group with limited or no expertise in that technology and market. So this looks mostly like a way to put the photography division on a road to shutdown, without having the shutdown directly attributed to Olympus. It might not go that way, but in my mind, that is the most likely. Some final profits will be captured by the new groups, and they will hope to sell some of the assets at the end. Things may go otherwise, but this is probably what will happen.
"Unfortunately, the way to insure continuation of a business in an overcrowded market is not to sell it to a group with limited or no expertise in that technology and market."
I tend to agree BUT, research and development was also sold with this sale. If the new company invested in Olympus I am sure they had a good reason. I am not concerned about technology, if the new owners have common sense they will continue to let the camera division make decisions regarding the manufacture of cameras and lenses, after all they have been doing so since the onset of digital.
Nobody can predict the future. Camera sales are at a record low and the pandemic has not helped at all. What happened to Olympus could happen to other brands. I have Olympus cameras with Panasonic and Olympus lenses, I am satisfied with their performance and I will continue to use them.
I am sure my Olympus will outlive me and as a solution if everything goes wrong is the fact that the lenses can be used with Panasonic cameras.
I want to believe that JIP will do a good job and keep the quality in the cameras and lenses. But, knowing that JIP is an investment banking business, I can see them draining off cash, slimming up operations to make them look profitable and then selling the business or taking it public and loaded with debt. Investment banking is all about generating big and relatively quick returns...and seldom about truly building solid businesses.
Still hopeful, but also realistic.
One informed source has said JIP will aim at higher end photo equipment only. That sounds promising. Another rumor was that they are looking into drone manufacture. Someone else has said something about a new Pen F and new high Meg 4/3 micro sensor? Optimistic wishes. Hope?
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