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Old Jan 27, 2007, 7:51 PM   #1
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From DPNow:
http://dpnow.com/3418.html
(via http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=9293)

From a translation provided by a poster at DPNow:

Quote:
We do not anticipate that the price levels of compact digicams will largely further go down. Of course, features such as Mp size will improve, while the price would not go up largely, it means actual price-down (to manufacturers). So in terms of monetary value, the increase of revenues from compact digicams will, I'm afraid, slow down. On the other hand we can expect two-digit percentage growth for dSLR markets so we will focus on these markets.  
[*] For Christmas sales season, we suffered from shortage of assembly parts for dSLR's and were forced to revise our sales target for this fiscal year from 400K to 250K units. For the coming spring sales season, we will introduce 3 new models and aim at 500K units in the next fiscal year. We are determined to become a significant player in this market like the Big 2. [/*]
The Japanese press is apparently suggesting that the 3 models will be the E3 (or E-P1), a worldwide version of the E-400, and an improved version of the E-330.

That would mean no newer E-500 yet; maybe the E-400 eventually replaces it, like the E-330 replaced the E-300? Presumably the new lineup will be announced at the PMA show in early March.


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Old Jan 27, 2007, 8:12 PM   #2
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Ken-

I agree with you and believe that you have determined/discovered the corporate Olympus strategy. However, in the long run I have some real and serious doubts that this new strategy will allow them to keep up with the likes of the Nikon D-80, the Canon XTi, and the Pentax K10.

That leavesOlympus as a weak "also ran" sort of status as a DSLR camera producer. The future, again IMHO, remains seriously in doubt.

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Old Jan 27, 2007, 11:59 PM   #3
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They also have to offer us something a lot better than a 3-point AF system, even on theentry-level dSLRs. The E-1's replacement must surely offer at least a 7- or 9-point AF or it will never make "pro" status. Hopefully we'll hear about it next month.
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 1:44 AM   #4
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No one...not Olympus, not Sony, and certainly not Pentax, is going to make much, if any dent in terms of swaying anyone shooting for a living with Canon or Nikon equipment.When it comes tothe pro market I don't think the term 'also-ran" is an accurate term for these other companies, because that assumesthey were a competitorat one time andnone of those have everbeen a real serious threat in the upper tier of bodies. Pentax has the K10D some-what pro bodybut no real set of prolenses yet, Olympus has an outstanding set of pro lenses but no matching probody and Sony.....what does Sony have? I haven't heard too much about Sony since "The Big" intro of the Alpha series.

Does the fact someone isn't competing at the pro-level of bodies mean the rest of their equipment is inferiorfor those of us one or more levels below pro calibre? Quite the contrary, and I have a feeling most of us fall into that category.Even though they exist today, I have no business spending $8,000 on a Canon 1D or really even the $2,400 (after rebate) it costs for a 5D. I HAVE spent $1,700 on a lens, the Olympus 7-14 Zuiko, but that lens will last me longer than any one orfour bodies.At the other end, there's just as manybad photos being taken with Digital Rebels and D50's. If you don't think so, just log into PBase.com and pull up whatever body you want and view files being posted to that site.

Pentax, Olympus and Minolta never were really huge in terms of market share back when people were running film through their cameras and manually focusing their lenses, either. There's been no huge paradigm shift with the digital age.I can remember an article back in the mid 1980's in Popular Photography where they had a shootout between the two powerhouse proSLR's and it was the same two companies,the Nikon F3 and Canon F1, and most everyone else was shooting with Canon AE-1'sor Nikon FE's and FM's. The Olympus OM series and Pentax K models did fine in their small market shares, and I have no idea why anyone thinks these companies can't continue making do at some level of sales below what the "Big 2" have done, both today and historically.

Minolta still survives under the Sony name, and Olympus and Pentax both are working closely with their own HUGE partners in Panasonic and Samsung. They will survive in one form or another. Anyoneworried about it that much just needs to go buy a Digital Rebelso they canstop worrying. Who knows, you just might be wrong. I might be wrong, WeALL might be wrong.This isn't global warming or the end of the world we're talking about. It's cameras.

Go out and take some pictures.






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Old Jan 28, 2007, 2:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
However, in the long run I have some real and serious doubts that this new strategy will allow them to keep up with the likes of the Nikon D-80, the Canon XTi, and the Pentax K10.
I don't see why not.

I don't see them being there with the "big 2" in every segment. That comparison sounds like a bit of CEO puffery. But they should be reasonably competitve in the segments they do target.

Right now, that likely means the E-400 competing well with the D40 and XTi. And the E-330 having it's own strong niche with live view. It remains to be seen how ambitious they are with an E-330 succesor.

As for the E3, I think some will be disappointed if it isn't a step above a D-80 or K10D. I also won't be surprised if it's priced somewhat higher. That might mean to some degree it's another niche market.

In the long run though, I believe a 4/3" sensor size ought to be very competitive, and might even provide some advantage to Olympus in the likely largest growing market segment for DSLR purchasers. But there won't likely be any advantage in 2007 (excepting perhaps in a small segment of the market).

And, even when there is, maybe a couple years down the road, it won't be large. There really isn't *that* much difference in size between the 4/3" and APS sensors. In theory, the Canon 1.6 crop factor CMOS sensors might be expected to have more noise than the larger 1.5 crop Sony sensors used by Nikon and Pentax. In practice, Canon has a technological edge which makes the size difference meaningless .

But, if Olympus were to flounder, I don't think the fault would be the format, or the size of the sensor.

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Old Jan 28, 2007, 2:59 AM   #6
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I can confirm all that, the origin is in a Japanese economic newspaper the Nikkei, of January 25 2007, in which President Kikukawa of the same company expresses in interview of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc in the morning edition. On verifying this I read that the president also claimed to be hunting #2 spot in dSLRs. He said they are not after volume but proffits.

http://www.camera-info.net/cic_report/news_070125.html

The claims about 3 cameras and not 1 or 2 also seem true, and the same information has appeared on numerous blogs and newsagencies.

On the market attractions, if you examine the dSLR makers of Canon, Nikon and Olympus, Nikon indeed look somewhat weaker. Yes there volumes have upheld but the are significantly smaller and with less diversification than Olympus. One good indicator is the strength of employment, where Canon employ 121,588, Nikon 19,944, and even a downscaled Olympus 33,022. Olympuses fiscal year ends in March, and they are happily back in the black after some years of going backwards. Four thirds investment is ofcourse responsible for this. Return on assets last quarter was 15.49%, against Nikon at 4.67%.

DSLR sales in FY 2005/2006
Canon: 1,900,000
Nikon: 1,340,000
Olympus: 250,000
Pentax: 100,000
Minolta: 90,000 (first half of FY 05/06)

Remember Olympus has done this with E1 out of the frame and on the backs of E300, E500 and E330, E300 having just been dropped. Since then Sony have aquired Konica-Minolta and a resurgence in sales have pushed Olympus out of the number 3 spot in Japan. But sales have since flattened considerably and Olympus are likely set to recover their number 3.

Establishing the number 2 spot indeed seems optimistic, but perhaps they sense a diversley weak Nikon, with a dependence on its new rivals sensors (Sony) Nikon may be cutoff from more rapid future developments, are a target of opportunity. Add to the mix that 4/3 is not in direct competition because it isnt an APS C, therefore you could conclude that Canon Nikon Sony and Pentax will be trading for share between each other. Advantage niche market.

There were also hints of some disatisfactions between Panasonic and Olympus, but in the translated terms that really could mean anything.

Is 4/3 a dead ball?, you would be brave indeed to make that assertion this year.

Riley
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 8:37 PM   #7
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Greg Chappell wrote:
Quote:
Pentax, Olympus and Minolta never were really huge in terms of market share back when people were running film through their cameras and manually focusing their lenses, either. There's been no huge paradigm shift with the digital age.


Actually, cameras like the Minolta SRT-101, the Olympus OM line and the Pentax model (back then they were known as Honeywell Pentax) that introduced spot & average metering made quite a dent in market share. You would need to look to the Miranda Sensomat/Sensorex line of the mid-70's, the Haminex Practika's or more recently the Yashica-then-Kyocera-then-no-more-digital-cameras line to find those who didn't make the paradigm shift very well. For that matter, the Yashica Electro 35 range-finders were a staple of the industry. I still see them around quite often. My point is, with all the talk about pro this and pro that, what exactly determines what a "pro" model is? Any camera used by someone that makes money with it? I don't think the industry has settled on any standards (which makes is simple for any companyto call a model with the most featuretheir "pro" camera). I think you summed up the whole issue best in your final line...GO OUT AND TAKE SOME PICTURES!
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 9:41 PM   #8
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Woah! What happened to your text size, Stowaway? That hurt my eyes to read.:?
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Old Jan 28, 2007, 11:01 PM   #9
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35mm was always amatuer format
you could get by witn a Nikon tho

then somewhere this side of there
Canon decided they made 'pro' cameras

Riley
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Old Jan 29, 2007, 2:04 AM   #10
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Greg Chappell wrote:
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Minolta still survives under the Sony name, and Olympus and Pentax both are working closely with their own HUGE partners in Panasonic and Samsung.
Actually, four-thirds was more than Olympus from the beginning, and an open standard, Olympus was never doing things on their own.

In the beginning it was Olympus and Kodak developing the camera...the prototype of the E-1 was actually called the Olydak (do a Google search on that name). Later Fuji, Sigma, Sanyo, Panasonic, and Leica all joined the four thirds standard.

With Panasonic and Leica now making bodies, and Sigma promising to add their whole lens lineup to four-thirds mount, who knows what the future holds for our superior cameras! :G
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