Panasonic to Provide Olympus With Up to 50 Billion Yen in Capital (Reuters)

For months now we are reading rumors about possible Olympus partnerships. But the latest news we got from Reuters sounds a bit more…” serious”. Reuters reports that “Panasonic Corp is making final arrangements to provide up to 50 billion yen ($635 million) in capital to scandal-hit Olympus Corp, Kyodo news agency reported on Wednesday, a move that will make Panasonic the company’s top shareholder.
The reason why Panasonic is interested in such a partnerships is that “Panasonic aims to secure a new source of revenue by forming an alliance with Olympus in its mainline operation, Kyodo reported, quoting unidentified sources. Olympus, it said, would get access to funds for its restructuring as well as to marketing resources.

I still hope Olympus can find another way to keep his independence…

Oh no! Panasonic 12-35mm lens shipment delayed?

Panasonic US isn’t really famous for the punctual product delivery. But I hoped they would not repeat the mistake on the juts announced and very expensive 12-35mm X lens. My hopes are gone when 43rumors readers sent me that message from Amazon US:

Due to a lack of availability, we will not be able to obtain the following item(s) from your order:
“Panasonic H-HS12035 LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH X Series Lens”
We’ve canceled the item(s) and apologize for the inconvenience. If you see a charge for the canceled item, we will refund you within 1-2 business days.
If you are still interested in purchasing this item, it may be available from other sellers. Please visit the detail page for this item below:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00843ERMW

Amazon (Click here) even removed the preorder option. Damn :(

Here are some other preorder possibilities: BHphoto (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Panasonic store (Click here), Amazon Japan (Click here), Digitalrev (Click here), Amazon UK (Click here) and eBay (via Japan reseller).

P.S: Many other current m43 lenses and cameras got discounted: Panasonic camera rebates list at BHphoto. Panasonic lens rebate page at BHphoto.
1) The 3D lens is in Stock for $49 only at BHphoto and for $67 at Amazon.
2) Panasonic GF3 with 14mm lens for $369 in White at Amazon and BHphoto.
3) Panasonic 14-140mm for $499 at Amazon and BHphoto.
4) The Panasonic 45-175mm X lens is now in Stock for $299 at BHphoto. For $282 at Samys.
5) The 14-42mm normal lens (not X!) is in Stock for $99 at Amazon and BHphoto.
6) The 14-42mm X lens is in Stock for $328 at Amazon.
7) The Panasonic 45-200mm lens sells for $199 at Samys.
8 ) The Black GX1 with X kit lens is in Stock for $739 at Amazon and BHphoto and $619 with the 14-42mm lens at Amazon and BHphoto.
9) Panasonic GF3 lens with 14mm pancake for $379 at Amazon.
10) GH2 body for $749 at Amazon. GH2 with 14-42mm lens is in Stock for $799 at Amazon. GH2 with 14-140mm lens for $1,179 at Amazon.

 

Olympus to cut 2,500 jobs?

Like so many other Japanese companies also Olympus may have to cut jobs in order to save on costs. Reuters reports that “The job losses, equal to about 7 percent of its total workforce, will come mainly from Olympus’s loss-making camera business and by consolidating its overseas plants, the Nikkei business daily said. They would be revealed on June 8, it added. Sony and Panasonic are the leading contenders to pump fresh equity in Olympus, the Asahi newspaper said, adding that the successful

There were so many rumors about possible partnerships that we really have to be careful with those kind of news. I for sure hope it will not become true. I Cross the fingers for all Olympus employees!

 

P.S.: Not all companies are facing hard times. Fuji is doing well and I posted about that on MirrorlessRumors.

Olympus announces a new E-M5 double kit.

Most of us still didn’t get their preordered E-m5 cameras that Olympus just announced the new E-m5 double kit (via DC.watch). It will be released in July.

More E-M5 news:
ThePhoBlographer posted the full E-M5 review: “Olympus took what many have said about them and their sensors for years and threw it upside down on its head. The new sensor is terrific and renders images with low noise at higher ISOs. But to be honest, all of their fast primes allow you to not need to shoot at such volcanic ISO settings. The RAW file quality is just like film…nuff said.
An E-M5 test by Rob Knight. A new handmade E-M5 leather case on eBay (Click here).

E-M5 (Pre)order links (Click on store name): Amazon, Adorama, B&H, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon Japan and Digitalrev.

The E-M5 keeps to be present in the Amazon Bestseller list(changes hourly!):
USA: E-M5 on position 5/13/15/20 (Click here)
UK: E-M5 is on position 5/13 (Click here).
Germany: The E-M5 is on position 2/13 (Click here).
France: not available (Click here to see rankings anyway).
Japan: E-M5 on position 11 (Click here).

Olympus refused the Fuji partnership proposal?

The German journal “Frankfurter Allgemeine” interviewed the Fuji president Komori. He admitted that Fuji send a partnership offer to Olympus. He says literally that “we were” (and not we are!) interested in Olympus. He uses the past because he said that Olympus is trying to remain independent and to solve their financial problems in house instead of joining a partnership. Komori adds that he “understands” Olympus decision. Anyway, nothing is over yet, the new Olympus board has still to meet in June and decide if it’s possible to avoid any partnership that would kill their independence.

Of course Fuji’s main interest is the Olympus medical division. Just yesterday Olympus announced the world’s thinnest industrial videoscope, packs HDR (video on Engadget). Also Sony and Panasonic are candidates for a partnership (latest news here at Marketwatch).

P.S.: Meantime the battle between Michael Woodford and Olympus is over. He settles with Olympus for a rumored amount of £10m (Source: Telegraph).

New Panasonic APP for the FX90. A small step today, a big step into the future?

Panasonic just released the new “Lumix Remote” APP for the FX90 (a $240 compact camera). You can find it here on iTunes and here for Android. This is an amazing APP that “allows the Live View screen from LUMIX DMC-FX90 digital cameras equipped with a wireless communication function to be displayed on a smartphone screen, and enables users to perform zoom and shutter operations on the smartphone screen.” Those are the main features:
・ A remote view function that allows users to check the same image as that on the camera’s Live View screen
・ A remote shutter function that allows users to set the zoom level and shoot a still picture
・ A self shot mode function that is useful when shooting a self portrait

This may be a small news today but I really hope Panasonic will “expand” these app to all Micro Four Thirds camera!!!

Do you think such kind of Application for Panasonic m43 cameras would be useful?

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Something else: A great idea for our mirrorless cameras at Kickstarter.

Financial report: Olympus keeps losing money, but sells more Digital Cameras.


Olympus released the latest Q4 financial report (Click here to download the pdf). Olympus lost 49 Mrd. Yen (491 Mio. €). While Olympus Camera Business can’t still bring any profit Olympus managed to sell more digital cameras (+0,6%). Results would have been better without the Thai Flood that affected the whole camera industry production.

Olympus didn’t release any forecast but my very irrational feeling says that things will go better for Olympus this year. It cannot go worse than last year or not? :)

UPDATE: Thom Hogan analyzed the Olympus financial results on Sansmirror.com (Click here).

One more thing: Michael Woodford sues Olympus for $60m (The Telegraph). Damn is that a long going story!