I know it’s old but we have all heard news that Olympus has sold its camera business to Japan Industrial Partners, or JIP for short. JIP is a controversial company, claiming to seek out businesses with potential to buy and improve. However, I’ve heard that they merely juice the company for what it’s worth and sell it off. Either way, Olympus is not making cameras anymore. As an Olympus user, there are a couple of concerns
Warranty is one that stands out, although seldom mentioned. It applies mainly to current owners of Olympus, with warranties that have not expired yet. Currently, the main way to extend Olympus warranty by 3 months is through their website. As my warranty still stands, there is uncertainty whether JIP will respect current warranties or not. In the best case, JIP will possess Olympus’ website along with its camera business and continue to provide online warranty. In the worse case, JIP buys Olympus but abandons the website and Olympus shuts their imaging website down, ending many owner’s warranty. If this does happen, hopefully JIP will still respect a receipt, although the extended warranty will not apply.
Next comes equipment. Olympus just announced yesterday a myriad of new lenses, including a 150-400mm f4 and an 8-25mm f4 PRO, along with an unspecified Macro lens (hopefully around the 100mm range). As Olymus secures the deal later this year, uncertainty looms over what JIP will be doing to Olympus. The 150-400mm is to release next winter, so hopefully Olympus still has some control while their inaging department is still in their hands. Olympus was struggling before the pandamic struck, with popularity limited to a small group of fans. The small sensor size did not help either. Many professionals only consider MFT as a ‘secondary’ camera, never as a primary one. Suffering from the lack of “pro” lenses already, the deal with JIP might just hit the system harder. However, I can’t say much now with all the speculation splashing the internet. The only way to tell is to wait.
A few things I hope JIP does to Olympus Camera division, and I hope they do it. No 1 is to keep the Olympus name. This is important with all the history surrounding Olympus cameras. Hopefully JIP respects that and keeps the name. No2, is to stick with Micro Four Thirds. This is really what attracts me to Olympus cameras. The MFT system is lightweight, and most of the time a big sensor causes a lot of problems, like camera shake and sensitivity. The MFT system appeals to a lot of photographers as its really a lightweight system. No 3, and last, is to stick with Olympus’ philosophy. Olympus has offered cameras (albeit very few) to most levels of photography. The Tough line is for sports, the Pen line for Vloggers and casual photogs, and the OM-D for beginners and Pros alike. Lenses are no different. The M Zuiko line offers beginner to professional lenses. Hopefully JIP continues this way of thinking.