Olympus is entering Photokina week with three new cameras: the E-PM2 and E-PL5 for its PEN Micro Four Thirds lineup, and the X-Z2 as a flagship compact camera. Both PEN cameras feature a 16.1MP CMOS sensor, a max ISO of 25,600, in-body image stabilization, a 3-inch touchscreen, touch shooting, 8fps continuous shooting, photo filters, RAW files with in-camera editing, and 1080i HD video recording.
As Olympus attempts to regain its footing after the devastating financial scandal that rocked it this past year, rumors are swirling that Sony might play knight in shining armor in the saga by swooping in with financial assistance. Reuters reports that a cash for stake agreement might happen before the end of this month:
Sony Corp is in the final stages of talks to invest 50 billion yen ($646 million) in cash-strapped Olympus Corp, with an agreement expected by the end of September, state broadcaster NHK reported.
Sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters that Olympus is in talks with Sony to accept a cash injection in return for a stake.
Olympus is staying mum about these rumors. Murmurings of this potential deal first emerged back in June, when we reported that it would be worth more than 10% of Olympus. Other companies that were rumored to be interested in similar deals included Fujifilm and medical device maker Terumo.
Update: As part of the impending deal, Sony and Olympus will reportedly cooperate in promoting and developing digital camera gear. Interesting…
Image credit: Trying some new stuff by joshduffyphoto
We’ve been saying that the “compact” camera will still have a spot in the camera market, even after cell phones drink most of its milkshake, due to the fact that they can be specialized in ways phones can’t. Here’s another example: the new Olympus Stylus SP-820UZ is a super-zoom compact camera that packs an absurdly long 40x zoom lens. In 35mm terms, this lens reaches from 22.4mm to 896mm — wide angle to super telephoto. In case that’s not enough reach for you (“we need to go deeper!”), the camera also features a “super-resolution zoom” that uses digital zoom to offer up to 80x.
A few weeks ago, some friends and I went on a rafting trip. Not wanting to put an actual camera at risk, I decided to simply bring my iPhone along in a Zip-Loc freezer bag. A pretty ghetto solution, I know, but it turns out that many rafters do the exact same thing.
Announced back in May, the Olympus Tough TG-1 is a new $399 waterproof camera that’ll change the way you think about capturing dangerous-to-capture memories.
Update: It looks like the update is working on Macs just fine, even if it isn’t showing up online. Thanks to all our E-M5 toting readers for letting us know!
Firmware updates come pretty often, so they don’t typically make news unless they bring with them a particularly impressive set of improvements, like v2.0 for Canon’s 7D a few weeks back. And although Olympus’ firmware version 1.2 for the OM-D E-M5 does help improve the functionality of your camera, it’s also being talked about for another reason entirely. Read more…
Ever since their financial scandal, Olympus has been looking to bring on a big name investor to help get them out of trouble. Earlier this month that investor seemed to be Panasonic, but when that fell through everybody looked to the remaining three possible investors — Sony, Fujifilm and Terumo — to see if anybody was going to make the leap. According to Japanese business daily Nikkei, that investor is Sony. Read more…
A couple of weeks ago, reports confirmed that Olympus ex-CEO Michael Woodford would be settling with his former employer out of court rather than taking them to task for his unfair dismissal. Woodford was let go after blowing the whistle on Olympus’ financial scandal, but now it seems he will have the last laugh as The New York Times has finally put a figure to the settlement: $15.4 Million.
To make matters worse for the financially unstable Olympus, previous rumors that Panasonic would be investing in the company and becoming its biggest shareholder are being flatly denied by president Fumio Ohtsubo. That doesn’t mean Olympus isn’t still searching for an investor, but Panasonic — who just days ago seemed like Olympus’ knight in shining armor — is definitely out.
(via The New York Times and Reuters)
Image credit: Brand Reflection by J-Rod85
Due in large part to the massive accounting scandal that Olympus found itself in at the end of last year, the company hasn’t been doing that great financially. And now, according to Reuters, Panasonic is preparing to jump to Olympus’ aid by providing approximately 50 billion yen (635 million dollars) in capital. The move will benefit both parties, as Panasonic, who are struggling with sub-par TV sales, will become top shareholder in the company and hopefully add a new stream of revenue to their portfolio.
Even though, at this point, nothing has been confirmed by either company, Olympus has already reaped benefits from the rumored deal. According to Bloomberg, once the news broke, Olympus’ stock rose as much as 3.5 percent and began trading at the highest value the company has seen since March 30th.
(via Photo Rumors via Reuters)
In a recent interview with Fujifilm CEO Shigetaka Komori, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine dived into some pretty intense financial conversation. Much of what was said didn’t pertain directly to photography — discussions about Fuji’s involvement in the medical field and cosmetics for instance — but certain parts of the interview were very interesting indeed. Read more…
Just yesterday news broke that Michael Woodford — the former Olympus CEO who blew the whistle on the now-infamous scandal and was subsequently fired — would be suing his former employer over unfair dismissal for a whopping $60 million dollars. And today, in an altogether not unexpected turn of events, Olympus is said to be preparing to settle out of court for a smaller (yet still massive) amount of money — “only” $15.5 million.
The settlement is still pending approval from the new board, but all evidence points to a positive outcome for Woodford, who over the last several months has been hailed as everything from whistleblower to “boldest business person of the year.” After this settlement we could probably also add “significantly rich[er]” to that list.
Image credit: Money by 401K