Canon Business General

Consolidation of Camera Companies?

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From an anonymous source
This could be nothing more than some random person’s pipe dream. It was an interesting concept anyway.

Panasonic
– Acquisition of Leica Camera AG. LeicaRumors also posted about this.
*edit* Leica Geosystems AG and Leica Microsystems AG are separate entities.

– Acquisition of Olympus Corporation.

The acquisition of Olympus makes a lot more sense to me than Leica. However, after what Panasonic paid for Sanyo, anything is possible.

Samsung
– Currently investigating the possibility of acquiring Hoya Corporation, owners of Pentax.

Samsung keeps threatening to really care about digital photography. I fully expected them to be very aggressive after teaming up with Pentax. It never really happened. They continue to make uninspiring P&S cameras and a dslr that no one has bought (some say makes better images than the K20D). However, Samsung Techwin is the 3rd largest manufacturer of digital cameras. They have the size to take on Sony for 3rd in the market.

If this were true, it would have been easier to buy Pentax before Hoya, unless Hoya has something coveted by Samsung as well.

None of this may be remotely true, but it was an interesting read anyway and something to think about. There are too many manufacturers of DSLR’s currently, I think something has to give.

cr

12 responses to “Consolidation of Camera Companies?”

  1. I doubt Sony would have any incentive to buy Nikon… even leaving any considerations like current company value, available cash etc. aside:

    Sony “just” acquired the Konica-Minolta system not too long ago and rebranded it “Alpha” to get their entry to the DSLR market. If they bought Nikon, they would either have two systems to support (reducing the possible synergies, making it a pure investment thing), or drop one system, which they really can’t do, as it would wreak havoc for their credibility as a camera systems manufacturer:
    If they drop the Alpha/Ko-Mi system, they would really piss off their “own” current user base, some of which would probably move to Canon just as a matter of principle. If they dropped the Nikon system, the same thing would hold for the current Nikon user base: Why would Nikonians, now forced to sell their stuff at quite a loss (with it being a system without a future in this scenario) actually switch to Sony, the company that just destroyed “their” system? Most would probably rather switch to Canon then, which would have a much better “credibility” record (while not as ancient as Nikon’s F mount, the EOS/EF system is already 25 years old!).
    I guess in any market where you are selling not a product, but a system, being a believable, reliable vendor is of extreme importance.

    So Sony buying Nikon won’t happen any time soon, not even as a pure capital investment, in particular considering that Sony is not really sitting on loads of cash to spend for acquisitions right now. Maybe there will be some kind of cooperation for sensor production (perhaps even in the shape of a co-owned Sony/Nikon imaging sensor company, just like Optiarc is a merger of of Sony’s and NEC’s optical drive branches). But not more than that.

    About Panasonic buying Olympus: Now that would make a lot more sense.

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  3. Panasonice could very well take over Olympus. 4/3 was not that great of an idea. It certainly was not a digital “OM”. On the other hand the m43 idea could work but it is probably 3 years too late. So Panny taking Oly makes sense.

    Sony cannot afford Nikon. As someone else already pointed out the sensors might be the same but the system (the all important piece) is not. Sony is actually more likely to get out of DSLR cameras all together. Have you not seen how poorly they are doing as a corporation?

    To put it another way I hang out in a photogrpahy group with 185 members. Everyone uses Canon or Nikon. No one uses Sony, Pentax, or Olympus DSLR’s. We have more people using 4×5 than Sony!

  4. buying hoya would make some sense as they make lots of glass for the other companies…owning that would give them more power. Buying Olympus would make some sense but honestly I think olympus (like pentax) has just missed the boat and is going the way of old car companies that were once cool and have their loyal following but can’t compete..
    Sony and Nikon is the strange (strange like it has some amazing possibilities – not strange like wierd) one there – Sony would have to disband their Slr’s – not the other way around. They would have to admit that the minolta system was failing for a reason and put all their resources into Nikon which could mean some amazing stuff if it were to happen…

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