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
You might remember the Olympus marketing stunt from a few weeks ago when they sent a box complete with two walnuts and a note that simply read “coming soon” to a few different tech blogs. Since then we’ve seen the release of the new TG-1, but apparently Olympus isn’t done with either their new releases or the marketing stunts that go along with them.
Sadly, their most recent note to TechRadar came without finger food, but instead simply read:
“A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound.”
This time around we won’t speculate as to what the note is hinting towards (although some believe it’s a 75mm portrait lens that’s been in production for some time) but feel free to deliberate away in the comments down below.
It’s usually a bit anti-climactic when a company unveils a product that was all but completely leaked beforehand, but the new Olympus TG-1 iHS is still a very exciting addition to the rugged camera market. In the end it’s about quality, and on that front Olympus are delivering in big ways, prompting some to say that the TG-1 is probably the best rugged camera on the market. Read more…
The world of photography is full of “nuts,” but these are the first we’ve seen that you could actually crack open with a nutcracker. For its latest photography marketing stunt, Olympus has been sending out a box complete with two walnuts and a note that simply says “coming soon.” TechRadar received one, and PhotographyBlog received another.
The Olympus OM-D EM-5 generated quite a bit of buzz when it was first announced due to its retro OM-inspired styling, but now reviews of the camera are suggesting that its potential as a camera are on par with its sleek form. DPReview has published a comprehensive review of the camera, giving it glowing marks and calling it the best Micro Four Thirds camera yet:
The E-M5 is, without question, the most accomplished Micro Four Thirds camera we’ve yet seen and, given how well established the system has become, it vies for the title of most capable mirrorless option yet. It’s not entirely without flaws and, predictably, most of those relate to continuous autofocus. But, for the most part, the E-M5 is simply an awful lot of camera in a compact and attractive body. It’s a nice camera to use and the images it takes are just as enjoyable. Without any reservations whatsoever, it deserves our Gold Award.
Looks like Olympus is doing a job good of shaking off its recent financial scandal.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review [DPReview]
I’ve always been fascinated by pancake lenses. It just amazes me that something that small can actually function. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we’ve been taking things apart to determine where and how (and sometimes if) the lenses can be adjusted optically. So, I decided to do two pancake lenses for mirrorless cameras side-by-side to see how they differed (the Sony 16mm f/2.8 E mount and the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 micro 4/3 mount). I wasn’t sure there would be much we could do with pancakes (and there wasn’t), but I still found the look inside rather interesting.
Former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford has gotten his wish: the entire Olympus board resigned this week in the aftermath of the company’s epic financial scandal and stock tumble. They did, however, pick a new president and chairman before handing in their letters of resignation. Hiroyuki Sasa from the company’s medical equipment marketing division was picked for president, while banker Yasuyuki Kimoto has been chosen as chairman. The changes are expected to be finalized at an April 20th shareholders meeting. Sasa has promised to both win back public trust and to prevent another scandal from every occurring.
(via New York Times via Engadget)
Image credit: Olympus Film Camera by Matt Cunnelly
An update to the financial scandal over at Olympus, which has quieted down quite a bit in recent days: former Chairman and President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa has been arrested with six other people (including three former executives) for “suspected violation of Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act”. As you might remember, Kikukawa replaced ex-CEO Michael Woodford after Woodford’s abrupt dismissal and stated that the move was because Woodford — who’s from the UK — didn’t fit into the company’s culture. Less than two weeks later, Kikukawa himself stepped down as the company found itself in an international financial fraud case.
Olympus Ex-Chairman Kikukawa Arrested With Six Others After Payment Fraud [Bloomberg]
Update: Apparently Michael Woodford has being approached by Hollywood to discuss making a movie about his whistle blowing and the ensuing scandal.
Today Olympus finally announced its OM-series Micro Four Thirds camera, the OM-D E-M5. In chrome and without a battery grip, the camera actually looks a lot better than the leaked images we saw a couple days ago. Styled like an old school SLR, the E-M5 is a 16-megapixel camera with blazing 9fps continuous shooting, RAW capabilities, weatherproofing, 1080i video recording, the “world’s fastest autofocus” on any camera, 5-axis image stabilization, a 3-inch tilting LCD screen, an ISO range of 100-25,600, and a 1.44m dot electronic viewfinder. It’ll be available starting in April — though it’s already available for preorder on Amazon — at a price of $1,000 for the body only, $1100 when bundled with a 14-42mm lens, or $1300 when bundled with a 12-50mm lens.
Here are the first full photographs of Olympus’ new OM-D series Micro Four Thirds camera, the EM-5 (with an optional battery grip attached). The images were published to Amazon Japan before quickly being taken down. The camera is expected to become official on Wednesday, so we’ll have a full spec list in a couple days.