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Olympus to stop manufacturing V-series compact cameras

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Olympus to stop manufacturing V-series compact cameras

Olympus will stop manufacturing the V-series cameras, consisting of the lowest point-and-shoot range in the company’s lineup, says report.

Olympus and other camera makers are no longer selling devices like they used to do several years ago. However, it seems like Olympus is the first to show signs of giving up, although the changes are for a better future.

Olympus VR-370
Olympus VR-370, one of the low-end point-and-shoot cameras, will be axed along with all V-series shooters.

Olympus will no longer make V-series point-and-shoot cameras

According to Wall Street Journal report, Olympus has announced that it will stop manufacturing low-end point-and-shoot cameras because sales have been dreadful over the past year.

WSJ says that the Japanese company will continue to manufacture higher-end mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses, but the V-series will be scrapped indefinitely.

It appears that 5.1 million digital cameras have been sold over the past 12 fiscal months by the Japan-based corporation. This fiscal year, Olympus is predicting that it will sell merely 2.7 million units, almost a 50% decrease when compared to last year.

The cheapest point-and-shooters are the V-series, which are available for amounts lower than the $200 point. The reason why the company has decided to do so is the weak demand for these devices.

Since customers no longer buy these cameras, Olympus will stop manufacturing them and it will focus on mirrorless shooters, like the PEN E-P5 and E-PL6, which have been launched recently.

Additionally, Olympus is expected to launch three new cameras over the next months, including the OM-D E-M6 that will support phase detection autofocus system.

Why consumers no longer want entry-level compact cameras

Instagram has announced that more than 100 million users are accessing the social network each month. Additionally, Facebook, its parent company, features more than 1.11 billion registered users.

Instagram can only be accessed on mobile devices (browser users can see feeds, but cannot upload photos), while a large chunk of Facebook’s users are accessing the service from their smartphones and tablets.

Internet access is an important factor. As stated above, consumers spend a lot of time on social networks and entry-level cameras do not support WiFi or 3G data.

Smartphone cameras are getting better

As the mobile market is rising, the demand for compact cameras is declining. Although image sensors found in smartphones are not as powerful as those found in cameras, the difference has been reduced dramatically in recent years.

Consumers no longer feel that it is necessary to buy a cheap camera. A $600 budget can bring you a low or middle-entry smartphone and a low-end camera. Canon has previously stated that low-end shooters will most likely “be wiped out of the market”.

Moreover, people would have to carry both around in their pockets. As a result, they choose to spend all their budgets on a high-end smartphone with a good camera, which is probably the best decision they could make.

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Olympus to stop manufacturing V-series compact cameras