An article on Planet5D talking about Panasonic potentially dropping the Micro 4/3 system (except for the GH4) also mentions the possibility of Canon acquiring Panasonic’s camera division. We’ve heard various things in the past about Canon acquiring camera technologies and companies, but nothing has ever come of it. It’s usually been focused around medium format companies or print technology companies such as Kodak.
I heard from some very reliable sources that Canon is about to take over the Panasonic camera division. And that Olympus retreats from MFT too.
I have no idea what Panasonic has that Canon would want, perhaps there’s some video technology or patents that are of interest. I am reminded of a few articles I’ve read about the camera industry needing a giant shakeup. One of the suggested shakeups is less camera manufacturers. Panasonic, while making some very good products in the industry, seems to relegated to a niche market of budget conscience videographers and photographers.
Whether or not this is true doesn’t matter, it’s a telling reminder of the state of the industry. Some companies are going to be leaving the camera marketplace in the coming years, there just isn’t enough growth to keep companies profitable. Canon and Nikon are safe, though the latter isn’t exactly a profit machine. Sony seems content of giving it their all to find a place in the photography world and Fuji is making some cool niche products and are profitable. Leica has become a lifestyle brand, and the Louis Vuitton customer will continue to purchase the high margin German cameras. The rest? I’m not sure how much longer we’ll see Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung and Ricoh/Pentax in the game, I expect at least 2 of those names will be moving onto other things.