Olympus is leaving the camera business

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Lou Jost
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by Lou Jost »

What horrible news! Olympus was a leader in many aspects of macrophotography, and some of their cameras and lenses are best-in-class. For some of my projcts there are few or no other brands of camera that would work. For example, their LiveTime mode lets me see the progress of my light-painting as I make long-exposure fluorescence macro landscapes. I don't think there is another brand that has this ability.

Scarodactyl
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by Scarodactyl »

It sounds like they will still be sold under the Olympus name, which might make it more like the weird Leica split? Not that that is comforting.

enricosavazzi
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by enricosavazzi »

It may not feel good, but on the other hand, this does not mean the end of Olympus cameras and lenses, but just a rebranding and/or a new management. JIP are in the business of purchasing industrial assets, restructuring them to make them profitable, and then selling them on. I don't think JIP will kill the OM-D camera line (although it is not completely out of the question) because they are one of Olympus' golden eggs. With any luck, JIP might actually do more to fill the needs of the majority of Olympus users than Olympus did lately with the E-M1 X and E-M1 III.

Even if they do kill the OM-D line, my two Olympus Micro 4/3 bodies and dozen or so Olympus Micro 4/3 lenses will continue to work even the day after that. There are enough recent Olympus cameras and lenses on the second-hand market to sell for another decade or so, and after seeing the E-M1 X and E-M1 III I somehow lost my appetite for purchasing the newest and highest models. The E-M1 II is still doing almost everything I need, and my two full-frame Sony bodies do the rest. In addition, Panasonic still makes quite decent Micro 4/3 cameras and lenses if some of my equipment needs replacing and I don't feel like stepping up to full frame Sony stuff to keep size and weight down, which is the reason I chose to concentrate on Micro 4/3 in the first place. There may be a few things that cameras other than the top Olympus models still cannot do, but they are not vital to me. Paraphrasing a common saying, there are many useful camera models, but no indispensable camera model.
--ES

Lou Jost
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by Lou Jost »

I am in a similar situation as you, Enrico. I have bodies of other brands, and no loss is fatal. But Olympus really had been the innovator in MFT, and Panasonic never seemed to really respect or understand the photographer (though they were better at video), and usually played catch-up with Olympus on the features that mattered to me. I had looked forward to the future innovations of Olympus, and the feature I mentioned (Live Time) has actually become indispensable for me.

I hope you are right that this is only a change of management and that it may even energize them.

Vish_007
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business, But Thanks

Post by Vish_007 »

Thanks for the extraordinary slew of Products ..... Over the last ~40 yeas had the pleasure of using several brands of Oly microscopes, film cams, 4/3s, macro lenses and array of macro equipment etc. Hoping the tradition will continue.......
Attachments
Oly_VBR_1.jpg
Vishnu

Olympusman
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by Olympusman »

Not surprising. I worked for Olympus for almost eight years. I know where the bodies are buried.

Mike
Michael Reese Much FRMS EMS Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Troels
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by Troels »

It looks as if the desigers and optical engeneers have been busy lately.
According to the new roadmap we can anticipate some interesting stuff before they are being "rationalized and optimized" by their new owners.
Especially a new Pro macro lens in the 100mm area will be interesting for people reading this.

For bird and wildlife photographers the new Pro 150-400mm f4.5 probably will be on top of their wishlist.

There are also some rumors about a new body, but I suppose it will be of the Pen type.
If all the items on the road map are realized, there will be few holes left in the system.
If they just continue with good support and service the sale should not nescessaryly be a great problem for all us happy users.
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
Visit my Flickr albums

Olympusman
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by Olympusman »

I was part of support and watched our presence dwindle over the years. They moved the call-in center from North Carolina to Bogota, Colombia where I trained the new associates.
They stopped repairing their own product several years ago, first farming it out to a company in Juarez, Mexico. It has bounced around since then to other companies. I would be interested how the new owners of the brand will provide tech support globally from Japan. I worked with the Olympus Europa techies, and they were very good.

Mike
Michael Reese Much FRMS EMS Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Vish_007
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by Vish_007 »

Mike,
Very interesting insight, not aware of such sloppy system Olympus camera division adapted... I guess, one should not consider their refurbished camera equipment. I also wonder about their bigger Medical Product division handles repairs and product development.... ?

Best,
Vishnu

Macro_Cosmos
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Vish_007 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:27 pm
Mike,
Very interesting insight, not aware of such sloppy system Olympus camera division adapted... I guess, one should not consider their refurbished camera equipment. I also wonder about their bigger Medical Product division handles repairs and product development.... ?

Best,
From my experience, they have local repair and service centres in major regions. However don't be optimistic. Here's what the service centre recommended an owner of a BX40 to do:
122.png
The problem was the knob of the potentiometer for brightness adjustment fell off, a common issue with the BX40 and BX50 and whatever model with that fragile mechanism.
So their suggestion was... the microscope is 20 years old, get a new one, get one of the be$t in BX $erie$ while you're at it. The knob can be replaced with a $2 part, by the way. Very simple soldering is required. It should be coming in soon, I'll be able to fix it and sell it.
Certain models also use plastic gears which is fine, but the plastic they use break very easily. Sounds and feels intentional.

Moreover, the packaging of their modern objectives is just deplorable. The objective sits on a cheap plastic platform, and wrapped in cardboard. They can't even be gracious enough to supply a plastic case!
222.jpg
The objective is sitting in a high quality $4 Amoyca RMS case on the right. The rest is their OEM packaging for an objective that costs over $3000!!

Then there's the CX line-up with many features eunuchised (excuse my language). To anyone considering a new CX microscope, please get a used BX-line.

This is the medical and industrial world after all, they don't expect individuals own these items. They expect whatever school, lab, or company to buy 100% new and replace everything when it comes to an upgrade. This sounds economically stupid... however an electrician who installs overhead wires and tag power plugs as safe is paid over AUD $200 (I get paid less as a researcher). Getting to the door, there's a fixed payment too. This practice generates a ton of e-waste yearly since it's cheaper to just replace a 99% functional unit that's maybe a 10-minute repair away from 100%. This is the reason why I like and respect surplus sellers, they are saving functional goods from landfill and supplying me quality products at affordable prices. Additionally, it's good for the environment. (Not a fan of burning stuff to retrieve copper, gold, and silver, but I stand to be corrected.)

Olympusman
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by Olympusman »

As I recall, by law a company must provide support, service, parts and repair for seven years from the product introduction. Typically, when that time ran out, Olympus would discard parts from the repair facility to remove them from state tax assesments and free up storage space at the repair facilities. We would be routinely advised about product we no longer supported and any sample models we had in inventory would be returned to Olympus Japan.
It looks like come September 3, my good friends at Olympus will be out of their jobs. The day I finally got the chop after many purges was the day they closed the Long Island repair facility and fired repair techs who had been around since the OM 35mm series.
To sell an entire product division to a third party should be interesting. People in marketing, engineering, tech support and manufacturing ( plants in Japan, China, Vietnam, Korea, Brazil and Indonesia and all of their tooling would have to be part of that package.
This is a very big event.

Mike
Michael Reese Much FRMS EMS Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

Macro_Cosmos
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business

Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Yeah, such laws are different to each nation but 7 years sounds about right. It might be longer here in Australia since our customer laws are draconian (in a good way since I'm usually the customer).

That said, the broken knob is a very common issue with the BX40 and BX50. Having a stock of 20 or so potentiometers surely wouldn't matter that much. I don't really know, maybe from a logistics point of view, it's a huge price to pay.

Anyhow, here's the replacement board that came in, free, from a good mate in NT.
olyboard.jpg
olyboard2.jpg
Now all I have to do is swap the board out. I'll ask on electronics forum for the exact potentiometer source, fix the original board, and maybe sell it or fix the second BX40 I have.
The knob just screams "easily broken" to me.

Vish_007
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Re: Olympus is leaving the camera business / More Issues

Post by Vish_007 »

Olympus DP72 Mocroscopy Cameras.jpg
Every more painful (expensive) issues we had with Olympus DP72 microscopy cameras (7- 9 K US $ a pop) which will not work with Win 10 (they have PCI card interface, Olympus told us these cannot be upgraded to run with Win 10 !). Many of these Cams in our institution are less than 7 years old, we are stuck with replacing with new ones having USB 3.0 or above interface.. very sad reflection on Oly...
Vishnu

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