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Olympus to reduce DSLR investments, focus on mirrorless instead

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Olympus to reduce DSLR investments, focus on mirrorless instead

A report in Japan is suggesting that Olympus is going to reduce its investments in DSLRs, while focusing on mirrorless cameras.

Olympus will most likely report an operating income loss for the third consecutive year. The current financial year ends on March 31st and the company is expected to announce a huge loss.

The camera maker has released only one DSLR in the past three years, the Olympus E-5. Additionally, no Four Thirds lenses were introduced on the market in the past couple of years.

Olympus E-5 is the last DSLR camera introduced by the company in the past few years
Olympus E-5 is the company’s single DSLR released in the past few years and it will remain like this as the camera maker is poised to focus on mirrorless cameras instead.

Olympus to withdraw most DSLR funding, amid strong high-end smartphone sales

The decision does not come as a surprise as Olympus needs to consider its options. Company executives are also concerned by the losses in the compact camera segment, which is affected by the increase of high-end smartphone sales. Actually, all digital imaging companies have been deeply affected by Samsung and Apple, which have sold a total of more than 335 million smartphones in 2012.

Olympus has announced that overall camera sales dropped with 28% year-over-year. The company reduced its revenue forecast with 17 billion yen, down to 740 billion yen. The film and digital camera business is expected to account for a 16 billion yen loss.

Olympus received a helping hand from Sony last year, to try and keep its business alive. At this point, it remains unknown for how long the company will receive funding from Sony.

Mirrorless business showing signs of improvement, may be the solution for financial crisis

Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer, Yasuo Takeuchi, said that the company needs to “recover” its video business urgently. As stated above, digital camera sales have dropped 28%, down to 4.8 million units from 6.2 million units during the previous financial year.

The mirrorless camera segment will most likely be considered “top-priority” by Olympus. The company is expected to release new such products in the near future. However, more details about the company’s recovery plans will be revealed after the end of the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31st, 2013.

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Olympus to reduce DSLR investments, focus on mirrorless instead