Industry News: Olympus to sell imaging business by the end of the year

Canon Rumors Guy

Canon EOS 40D
CR Pro
Jul 20, 2010
Olympus Corporation (“Olympus”) and Japan Industrial Partners, Inc. (“JIP”) hereby announce that today, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding to carveout Olympus’s Imaging business to a new company (“NewCo”) and subsequently transfer its shares to a fund managed, operated or otherwise handled by JIP (the “Transaction”).
After the due diligence and further discussions and negotiations, the parties are aiming to sign a legally- binding definitive agreement for the Transaction (the “Definitive Agreement”) by September 30, 2020. We will promptly make a further announcement if any matters relating to the Transaction that needs further announcement to occur.

1. Background and Purpose of the Transaction
Olympus’s Imaging business began with the manufacture and sale of a camera using the photographic lens Zuiko in 1936. Through innovative technology and unique product development capabilities, Olympus has developed and launched various products, aiming to contribute to...

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Mar 25, 2011
Some of the early Olympus digital point and shoot cameras in the 1990's were great cameras for the time. Then, they seem to have lost their way. I wonder if a private equity fund can convince photographers that they are in business for the long haul.

I expect more camera manufacturers will fail this year.
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Jun 29, 2017
I still don't know what Olympus's unique selling point is (was). But betting on small format without anything unique hastened their doom. I will however give them credit for their wonderful OM cameras and lenses from yore.

Olympus has been an innovator when it comes to professional imaging in all-weather, or water proof designs. I am currently working to adapt their weather-sealed macro flash for use on my Canon bodies, because no one else has bothered to make such a system.
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So once JIP or NewCo gets the camera division, what will Olympus have left?
industrial applications, mostly various microscopes, borehole scopes, etc.

On the medical side they are one of the primary most well used supplier of endoscopes and the tools that support them. Very valuable.
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If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
Southwest USA
Dang! Got an Oly Tough about a year ago to replace my well used Canon D10. Figured it was time for a more versatile little camera to use on the beach and in the water with he grandkids. Serves the purpose, can do RAW (with some menus) and yields "OK" IQ. Never gonna use this as a replacement for my DSLR but it is good for what I need.
The sadder issue is the potential loss of the Micro 43 format.
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I know a bunch of Oly shooters that are loving the lenses and Micro 43 format for bird photography and some macro work. Seems to be a great little set up especially for some of the older members of the group as it is a very light setup and seems to work better than my Fuji XT3 setup.

I will talk to them in a few weeks and see what their reaction is. I am sure it is not a big impact in the short run but I am sure they will be sad to see no future roadmap for most of the products.
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CR Pro
Mar 22, 2012
Olympus - yes sad to see. They made beautiful looking cameras. I've had a few and they look great.
The lens tend to be excellent. Lovely and small.
They just couldn't get around the limits of a micro 4/3 sensor.
They were innovative with their pro mode and moving sensor. Focusing was also pretty good.
Camera's and lens are small and compact (except the E-MX).
I've just about used all systems at this stage and their menu system was by far the worse. Too many options, simple things too hidden in the menu system.
The sensor just counted cope with medium to high ISO. They seemed unable to produce a better one.
When you see what phones can do with a smaller sensor they probably could have done better.
For sure useful for travelling. If the price collapses I might be tempted to get an OM-D E- M1 Mark II or Mark III(that's another thing - crazy naming system - you couldn't even tell another photographer what camera you had).

I have a soft spot for them but I think they never got over their financial scandal
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