There’s no question that Olympus have been one if the true leaders when it comes to innovation in digital cameras over the last few years. The celebrated Olympus OM-D E-M5, with it’s revolutionary 5 point in body image stabilization, is hands down one of the best cameras of the last year, and it got many a photog to ditch their DSLRs and move over to mirrorless. Now Olympus have launched the new PEN E-P5, which supplants the OM-D as their flagship camera and surpasses it in many aspects (see Matt Granger’s overview above), and their M.Zuiko lenses are among the finest available for any type of camera. But despite Olympus’ prominence in the digital camera world, there sre some who are speculating that the brand will not survive for much longer.
In a Yahoo Finance article entitled “Ten Brands That Will Disappear in 2014,” there’s a list of – you guessed it – 10 familiar brand names that aren’t long for the marketplace. Chief among these are highly recognizable names like J.C. Penney, Nook, Martha Stewart Living, the WNBA and Volvo.
And coming in at number 6 on the list…
That’s right… Olympus occupies the number 6 spot on the list. Yahoo Finance points to a dwindling market, thanks in large part to the advent of the smartphone “which now offer lenses and chips that capture high-quality images — as an alternative to digital cameras.”
Of Olympus, Yahoo reports that “for the next fiscal year, the outlook is grim. Olympus expects compact camera unit sales to fall from 5.1 million to 2.7 million units worldwide. But these declines are hardly a new trend.” (Read full article on Yahoo Finance)
My 2 Cents
Of the companies that I list as the top four players in mirrorless cameras, Olympus have the least when it comes to operating capital, but I wouldn’t write them off just yet. While it’s true that the market for point and shoot compact cameras is dwindling, it’s also true that there is a high demand for quality cameras like the OM-D E-M5 and the new PEN E-P5, as well as their award winning mid range offerings like the PEN Lite E-PL5 and PEN Mini E-PM2. Look for Olympus to put more focus [no pun intended ~_^] on camera systems like these. Also bear in mind that Sony and Olympus have recently entered into a “partnership” (and Sony have deep pockets), so even if the name does eventually disappear, look for the technology to live on under the Sony moniker.