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    Olympus stops camera activities and sells brands to investment fund

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    Olympus post to stop the camera business, Brands Brands to Investment Fund first appeared at Digital Photography School. It was written by Jaymes Dempsey.

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    Olympus leaves the camera business.

    After three years of financial struggles, the company has decided to sell its camera division to Japanese Industrial Partners (JIP), a company known for its ability to successfully restructure nonprofit businesses.

    In recent years, Olympus has invested more in other aspects of its business, and while the company has been trying to advance its camera division, it has struggled to compete with players on both ends of the spectrum. Smartphones have made a profit from hobbyist cameras, while APS-C and full-frame cameras have kept an edge over Olympus’ semi-professional and professional models.

    Subsequently, last fall, rumors of a closure of the Olympus camera division were denied by the CEO, although it is clear that the company was on a firm downward trajectory; As indicated in the official announcement, Olympus was hit hard by an “extremely tough digital camera market, including a rapid shrinkage of the market due to the evolution of smartphones.”

    And while Olympus’ mirrorless lineups have been praised for their compactness and sharp lenses, the company struggled to find a habitable niche, especially as’ small but powerful ‘became a common chorus of Google Pixels, iPhones and more. And the release of more expensive models like the OM-D E-M1 Mark III and the OM-D E-M1X was not enough to take more serious photographers away from leading brands like Nikon, Canon and Sony.

    So what comes next?

    JIP plans to acquire Olympus camera brands by the end of 2020. The announcement indicates that a “final agreement” will be signed on September 30, with the two companies aiming to “close the transaction by December 31, 2020”.

    JIP will then “succeed and maintain the research and development and manufacturing functions worldwide … to continue to offer high quality, highly reliable products.”

    This is technically good news for Olympus photographers. In any case, JIP will try to rebuild the Olympus camera department for the benefit of current consumers. But if the camera market continues to bleed, it may be impossible for JIP to turn things around, leading to a more permanent end for the brand.

    And here’s another important question:

    What does this mean for the camera industry as a whole? Is Olympus an anomaly? Or is the first of many? Right now, even leading camera companies are struggling to gain a foothold, which makes me wonder if we’ll see the fall of a few more camera brands before the market stabilizes.

    Now to you:

    What do you think of Olympus’ decision? Will it affect Olympus consumers? And are we seeing the decline of other major camera brands? Share your thoughts in the comments!

    Olympus post to stop the camera business, Brands Brands to Investment Fund first appeared at Digital Photography School. It was written by Jaymes Dempsey.

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