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Official: Sony, Fujifilm and other companies ready for partnership with Olympus!


Two great cameras side by side. The Olympus E-M5 and the now in Stock Fuji X PRO 1.

Our reader Berend just sent us the link to the well known German magazine Der Spiegel (Click here). The new Olympus president Hiroyuki Sasa officially reported that he has more than three partnerships offers on his table including Sony, Fujifilm and Terumo! After months of rumors and speculations it is official that two giants like Sony and Fujifilm want to work with Olympus. I know from a poll I posted here months ago that you would prefer a Fuji partnership instead of a Sony. And honestly, I also think so!

I know Fuji is more interested in the medical business but I hope there will be a great partnership in the digital camera business too! Fuji could share his sensor technology with Olympus…that would be great! A Fuji X PRO 1 in m43 version :)

By the way, for those of you interested in the X PRO 1. it’s now in Stock at Amazon US (Click here) and in UK at Jessops (Click here). grwta camera, but with many quirks and flaws (see autofocus for example).

  • “A Fuji X PRO 1 in m43 version ”
    The only good part of the X Pro 1 is the sensor, it would make no sense to replace it with a weaker one…

    • Geoff

      I think the idea from Admin is for an upgraded E-M5 (E-M6) with the Fuji sensor replacing whichever sensor is currently being used, providing the Fuji sensor is compatible with Olympus software.

      • Zonkie

        My opinion is that both cameras shown above share the same basic sensor technology. I believe that both sensors are made by Toshiba.

        The X PRO 1 might have that new color filter array, but after seeing the samples at I’m not convinced it’s much good. The resolution is about average for a 16 MP sensor (the EM-5 will be similar or better), and it does exhibit some aliasing artifacts. It seems that the new filter might be good for preventing moiré, but bad for aliasing. And it also proves that the AA filter doesn’t take away that much resolution. It’s the color filter that takes more: compare with the samples from the Sigma SD1 where there is no bayer-like domosaicing going on and you’ll see that there the benefit is much bigger than from removing the AA filter.

        Other than that, the sensor on the X PRO 1 performs very good. Might have the best high ISO performance of any APS-C one, though the difference with the NEX-5n is just about 1/3 f-stop better. And the E-M5 has that same good high ISO performance (about 2/3 of an f-stop worse, due to smaller size).

        • Tom

          I agree that demosaicing is a weakness of the Fuji, with a 6×6 CFA it was always going to be but, I think that it’s masking the resolution boost you get when running without an AA filter! Guess we’ll find out when the D800e gets tested.
          Olympus have a great demosaicing algorithm that allows them to use a very weak AA filter without suffering from Fuji’s aliasing and colour interpolation issues, win win. I’d guess that it’s Oly’s demosaicing algorithm that’s the key to their brilliant OOC JPEGs.

          – Oh and Oly should partner with Epson, digital photography is in dire need of re-aliging itself with printing and there’s plenty of technology transfer available whilst they’re at it, OLED VFs for example –

      • Don Pope

        I would go for an m4/3 camera with a rangefinder form factor and traditional shutter speed and aperture controls.
        However, I would make the viewfinder fully electronic (not hybrid).

    • frelwa

      “the only good thing” except for Fuji’s lenses, hybrid VF, processor, …

      • Tom

        Olympus can easily match/beat Fuji when it comes to lenses and for me the hybrid VF isn’t exactly much to get excited about – non TTL optical VF married to a poor EVF!
        Their processing is good but I don’t feel that Olympus needs any help in that department anyway.
        At the end of the day the E-M5 is looking extremely promising and personally, I think Fuji would get a lot more out of a merger (or whatever) than Oly so I hope that the 2 stay parted. Hell, maybe the E-M5 will cement the company’s future single handedly?

      • E-1

        Before I call the lenses a good thing, I wait for a review. The Digital Rev preview said they were ok, but not very sharp in the corners.

  • DonTom

    I’d rather see them in JV with Terumo, keep competition going in the camera world.
    Had a chance today to handle an X-Pro 1 (very unexpected here in Qatar). It is certainly a lot bigger than my E-PL1. Lighter than expected, and that’s not a compliment. Felt like it’s made from plastic, not magnesium. No lenses to attach, so I couldn’t check the focusing speed.

    • DonTom

      Just checked the weights, the Fuji weighs 450g vs the E-M5 400g. So I suppose the E-M5 will fell more solid in the hand.

  • Bob B.

    Well…nothing can happen until there actually is a partnership with one of the companies…Damn the fuji looks huge next to the OM!!!

    • Geoff

      It does look huge, it could become the u4/3rds DMC L1 everyone craves for……….

    • “Damn the fuji looks huge next to the OM”

      Not from the side:,258

      • DR

        Well, I have my Fuji now, size is just right. Weight with lens is good, feels solid, but not heavy.

        If Olympus could get Fuji to design them a sensor, they’d be on a winner. I suspect, like OlyFan, the real game is in the Medical division though

      • Geoff

        It’s that damnable ‘hump’ yet again……..

        • E-1

          As stated by Olympus, the hump is needed (currently) due to size of the IBIS. I personally assume due to the gyro.

      • Bob B.

        WOW! on the Fuji is a monster next to the GX1…of course…that is without the LVF attached..still even with the LVF attached the GX1 has a lot less mass. Not that that is always a good thing! I have to say, though, on balance …I go for the lens versatility and speed of MFT compared to the Fuji. I seems like a great camera..but since I cannot own both I am definitely sticking with the MFT and keeping my full-frame DSLR also, for now. The XP1 just does not have enough depth for my photography needs.

    • Miroslav

      “fuji looks huge next to the OM!!!”

      Because it IS huge. It’s larger than many DSLRs. And the lenses aren’t small compared to NX and NEX lenses, it’s the big camera body that makes them look small.

  • Geoff
  • Yun

    Without doubt , sensor technology is Fuji winning formula . Me too , would prefer Fuji than Sony . It looks Oly not far from having new generation of sensor .

  • OlyFan

    Well, I hope this is good news for Olympus camera division. I think all the above companies are only interested in the medical systems pie. I’m not sure if this alliance would also allow Oly to make use of their sensors.

  • It’s not April 1st anymore.

  • Even if they make a JV with Fuji or Sony, it’s more likely to co-operate in the medical division rather than imaging, life science or whatsoever.

  • compositor20

    I believe the OM-D sensor is the same as the one in fuji x10 just scaled. Dxo will tell if it is or not…

    • BLI

      If you scale the X10 sensor to m43 size, you get about 49Mpx, as far as I remember. If this is what they have done, they must have merged 3 pixels into 1 pixel. This type of signal processing is possible, of course, but is it reasonable?

  • Terumo is better for Olympus and the more likely, Fuji would be good for photographers, Olympus still have the option to go it alone…

    • Yes absolute agree!

      • other good news for Olympus is that the Yen has dropped 8% against the dollar this year meaning they should make more profits :D

    • Missy

      Fuji is competitor in medical endoscopy ,not Sony and terumo.
      So the only Joint Venture can be with these 2 company.

  • Pixnat

    I don’t know if it’s a good or bad news, and I don’t know what will be the effects on camera division…
    But : a Sony or a Fuji sensor in an Olympus camera will make me more than happy :-)

  • Jorge

    I wouldn’t get too enthusiast about this. Olympus camera division is still not profitable, and neither Fuji nor Sony are interested in m4/3. There may not be an imminent risk, especially not that Olympus sales are growing, but even though I would be cautious

    • bilgy_no1

      “The company expects to make its digital-camera business profitable this fiscal year after expecting a loss for the second straight year, Sasa said. It has no plan to withdraw from digital cameras, he said.”
      (Bloomberg article linked above)

      Olympus has worked hard to turn the camera business around: 4/3 to m4/3, and improving the compact camera range. Apparently this is starting to pay off.

    • @Jorge
      Olympus imaging division were running at an operating profit for the last quarter, with the forecast on a continuing upward curve…

      • MichaelKJ

        You’ve made this claim before but have never presented any evidence to support it.

        • @MichealKJ
          whenever I stated something and it has been questioned I have ALWAYS found the links and provided them, don’t embarrass yourself.

          • MichaelKJ

            Then please do so.

  • Ken

    Let’s keep Olympus independent and innovative. Like Nikon, they don’t need to become partners to have Sony help them with sensors.

  • Keith

    No, we dont want a Fuji sensor in m43.
    What we want is Olympus focusing and IBIS in the X-pro!

    Actually what I really want is a NEX7 with the controls and GUI of a E-P3, touch Screen focus speed of a EM-5!

    • The Real Stig

      It would make a lot more sense for the sensor to go where the lenses are. Your wishes are bizarre.

  • Marck

    I’ve had in hand a X-PRO1 and an E-M5 last weekend in the Rome’s photoshow and I can tell you that there’s really no compare.. the E-M5 is way more confortable to handle. Also the XPRO1 hybrid EVF/OVF didn’t convince me a lot, while I really liked the EM5’s EVF and all other nice features.

    Just keep the XPRO1’s sensor, in case, and put it in new E-M5 mkII and E-5 mkII (regular 4/3) bodies and we’re set! In alternative let’s study a universal 4/3 – m4/3 body with P-AF and C-AF so you can tell all 4/3 users to switch to it without losing any regular 4/3 body’s feature and getting a new exiting image quality.

    We don’t need anything else than new sensors Oly!!!!

    Thank you.

    • BLI

      And what resolution do you want? The X-Pro1 will give *way lower resolution* than 16 Mpx. What is acceptable? The NEX-7 sensor has high pixel density, yet would only give ca 14Mpx if scaled to m43 size. The 16Mpx X-Pro1 sensor would scale to 14*16/24 = 9.3 Mpx. Would you be happy with a 9.3 sensor in your pro OM-D/E-M5 mk II?

      • E-1

        +1 – I’m also not sure why anyone would want the Fuji sensor in m43

        • Mr. Reeee

          Because it wouldn’t be made by a company that doesn’t make “real” cameras. Y’know, Panasonic. ;-)

  • ght

    Fuji pricing is ridiculous. Don’t like them having a say in Olympus cameras.

  • MichaelKJ

    The fact that Oly has announced this suggests they are seriously considering a partner. IMO, a partnership with any of the three companies won’t have any effect on the camera division–at least for the time being. Oly will be concentrating on the medical division. If the camera division is profitable, I don’t see it being changed.

    • @MichaelKJ
      you remember Hogan saying that Terumo couldn’t be a potential partner?
      you also remember Hogan saying that the only way Olympus could raise capital was by selling assets?
      or are you going to choose to forget?

      • MichaelKJ

        Please don’t confuse with with a blind Thom Hogan fan who believes everything he says. Can you find any instance where I indicated that I agreed with Thom about Terumo?

    • A company that can hide (read cover up) such massive losses in one area, must be highly profitable in other areas. If the problem is now in the past, does Olympus really need a partner?

  • Riley

    if it means sharing endoscopy they wont do it unless they absolutely have too. The endoscopy market is their best chance for survival, chopping it in halves gives them half a chance at survival.

    Olympus have just proven for themselves that they can get an enormous reception with potentially 100k’s of sales by clever marketing and a competitive product. Just six months ago Sony had its chance and shirked, now WTF do Olympus need Sony for ?


    • MichaelKJ

      The decision about partnering will be made by Oly’s large creditor banks.

      • Riley

        banks are exerting pressure, but they’re not idiots, stock prices dipped today on this reception of this news, principally on the concerns of foreign holders. Competing management pressures within Olympus think that they can manage without these deals, which really would spell the end of the end for Olympus.

        The stockholder meeting will soon be within sight, management factions will be taking sides on this and other issues. Nobody is going to make this call until the expiry of the shareholder meeting.

        There’s aways to go while this cools it off and time for the numbers to be crunched. In the cold hard light of day it will not seem attractive to step outside the established keiretsu that even the banks are a part of just to give the business to someone else, another keiretsu.

        This is why its their culture, not yours….


  • Missy

    Fuji is comperitor in medical endoscope, so maybe Sony or terumo!!

  • camerageek

    Sorry been away shooting with a real camera and had no time to read these pipe dreams you micro four turdists have started again! I hope Fuji will buy Olympus as well! They will take the medical division and then flush that pathetic joke of a camera division down the toilet and rid the world of such photographic abominations like the EM-5 and it’s other Micro Four Turds brethren!

    Bwahahahahaha!!!! Go Fuji!

    • How is that box brownie going now? With Kodak gone you will have to think about who will maintain it.

  • Riley

    AP know you spend your free time like this ?

  • rogerml

    ” …that would be great! A Fuji X PRO 1 in m43 version :) ”

    . . . or a Oly ‘E-M6’ with a Fuji X-Pro1 sensor, :)

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