Olympus, one of the world’s most recognized still camera brands, will soon be leaving the still camera segment to focus on its medical systems division.
The news has been made official by the company’s CEO in a statement, in which he indicates the intention to sell his camera division to the Japanese investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, the same one that at the time acquired the VAIO laptop division. from Sony six years ago.
The company expects to reach an agreement before the end of next September with the Japanese investment fund to close the operation before the end of the year. JIP intends to continue bringing photographic cameras to the market under the Olympus brand, including current models along with future models that it also develops, for which create a new company that integrates the photography business.
This fact occurs after three consecutive fiscal years in losses, and despite trying to improve the cost structure, in the end the company has not been able to face strong competition from the mobile photography segment, where we increasingly find mobile phones with more than outstanding photographic capabilities, something that has caused that many users have abandoned independent cameras.
It also doesn’t help that the company was plagued by a $ 1.7 billion accounting scandal in 2013.
According to the company:
Olympus has implemented measures to cope with the extremely severe digital camera market, due, inter alia, to the rapid market shrinkage caused by the evolution of smart phones.
But despite all efforts, the company has noted that it has recorded operating losses for three consecutive fiscal years up to the term ending in March 2020. With the abandonment of the camera segment, goes after 84 years of history.
Olympus bet, like Panasonic, for cameras with micro four-thirds sensors, compared to the competition, which makes use of APS-C and full-size sensors. Its flagship camera is the O-MD E-M1 Mark III.
At the moment it is unknown what will happen to the current users of Olympus cameras, and it is left to what the Japanese investment fund decides.