Skip to main content

Olympus president considers using more Sony camera components to help cut costs

olympus using more sony camera components to cut costs sasa
Olympus Corp. President Hiroyuki Sasa (Bloomberg/Getty) Image used with permission by copyright holder

Check out our review of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 digital camera.

Taking advantage of its stronger partnership with Sony, Olympus President Hiroyuki Sasa said that his company is considering sharing more common components with Sony’s cameras, as it seeks to cut costs, according to the Jiji Press in Japan (via Japan Times). Sony, which became Olympus’s biggest shareholder after a major investment, currently supplies Olympus with its imaging sensors, and is also a major supplier of camera components to other companies.

New Olympus cameras like the OM-D E-M1 already use sensors made by Sony. Further sharing of parts in the future is a possibility.
New Olympus cameras like the OM-D E-M1 already use sensors made by Sony. Further sharing of parts in the future is a possibility. Image used with permission by copyright holder

Like its Japanese rivals, Olympus’s camera business has been greatly affected, seeing huge losses due to consumers’ shifting preference toward smartphones (Olympus reported an operating loss of 23.1 billion yen earlier this year, and doesn’t expect to see major growth in the near-term). Olympus has already scaled back production of lower-end compact cameras and development of new DSLRs, focusing instead on its mirrorless cameras like the new OM-D E-M1 and PEN E-P5. To further reduce its losses, Sasa said using parts from Sony is under consideration.

While its camera division is facing challenging times, there’s better news in its medical equipment business, which remains strong, Sasa said. The company is planning to boost sales of endoscopes in emerging markets, such as Southeast Asia.

Whether or not Olympus ends up using more Sony components, it shows that traditional camera companies are looking for new ways to strengthen a business that’s being battered not just by smartphones but other factors like currency and maintaining manufacturing facilities – as we recently reported. Whereas the president of rival camera maker Nikon has indicated that his company will continue to focus on camera manufacturing despite the downturn.

Les Shu
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am formerly a senior editor at Digital Trends. I bring with me more than a decade of tech and lifestyle journalism…
Sony teases the more approachable FX6 cinema camera
sony fx6 cinema teased announced line teaser

Sony’s upcoming cinema series could potentially lower the bar for entry into the category to more creators. Announced in a teaser on September 2, the new Sony Cinema Line will mix two existing but updated cameras with a new, smaller cinema camera before the end of the year. While cinema cameras are typically reserved for the high-end pros, the company says that the new line is designed for “a broader range of creators.”

The Sony Cinema Line starts with the existing Venice camera, designed for digital movie production, and the FX9, favored by documentary photographers. Both cameras are expected to see updates. The third generation of FX9 will incorporate remote control and additional lens support next year, while the Venice will see new firmware features aimed at broadcast users in November 2020.

Read more
Sony’s A7S III is the ultimate 4K video camera, five years in the making
what is sony a7siii everything you need to know a7s iii announced the iiii 10

After years of speculation with nary a peep out of Sony with regards to the much-loved A7S line (the A7S II launched five years ago), there's finally a new camera. Sony has loaded this latest iteration with some of the most impressive video-focused capabilities we’ve seen in a compact camera body. With a strong emphasis on 4K, Sony is positioning the $3,500 A7S III not just as a low-light powerhouse, but as the most capable video camera in its segment.

“The A7S II is purpose-built to make wonderful video and low light photography,” Mark Weir, the Senior Technology Manager for Sony Digital Imaging, told Digital Trends. “It shows how Sony has taken feedback from end-users to update and improve user experience overall.”

Read more
AP photographers to receive Sony cameras and lenses in exclusive partnership
sony 12 24mm f28 g master first lens of its kind fe on a7iii

Images from the Associated Press will soon be almost exclusively shot with Sony gear. In a collaboration announced today, the AP says that its journalists located in 100 different countries will all be outfitted with Sony cameras, lenses, and accessories. A Sony representative told Digital Trends that each full-time photographer and videographer will be outfitted with two Sony bodies and four to five lenses and accessories.

Prior to the agreement, AP photographers shot with a mix of different gear and brands. With the new agreement, full-time staffers will exclusively use Sony gear for both photos and video. The agreement does not affect freelance content creators, who may continue to use their own gear.

Read more