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Olympus Q1 report: compact camera market shrinks. Mirrorless sales doing well.


Screenshot of the Imaging Business Q1 sales (Click on it to enlarge the image).

Olympus released the latest Quarter Financial results report. You can download it here:

It’s not a surprise that the overall results are very negative. While the medical business is still growing all other divisions are reporting losses. The Imaging Division sold less cameras mainly because of the shrinking compact camera market. The good news is that Micro Four Thirds sales increased thanks to the Olympus E-M5! Results would have been even better if the Silver kits would have been available earlier (only now in Stock at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay for example).

For the next Quarter Olympus forecast sees a return to profit. Let’s hope this is true. Below one more interesting screenshot about the digital camera world wide market:

I would say Olympus has to reduce the number of compact camera models and focus on very specific markets. The Sony RX100 is a good example of what could work (it is on top of the Amazon rankings). And than focus on Mirrorless of course…

  • The link to is broken.

  • Not at all surprised by any of this, I would hope Olympus isn’t too. They know where to concentrate now anyway and what to streamline.

  • Daemonius

    Clever manufacturer would try to break into cellphone market and improve mirrorless low-end. And scrap point-n-shoots. They will die eventually anyway. Cellphones are improving and top point-n-shoots are no match for basic mirrorless camera.

    • avds

      Higher end point and shoots (larger sensors, faster lenses and/or rugged bodies) are unlikely to fade away any time soon. This will be especially true with further advances of the Nokia PureView type of technologies which can enliven the fixed lens paradigm to such a degree that it could eventually displace the whole non-professional interchangeable lens market.

  • Doug

    I’m not surprised either though I think it has nothing to do with corporate direction.
    I can go into any number of large stores that carry cameras and see the usual offerings from the Canikon collective as well as from Pentex and Fuji. What I hardly ever see is anything from Olympus. It’s hard to gain market share when most causal buyers will never see your products in the store. Marketing needs to get their act together and get those items out to where people can see and touch them.

  • I live in Rome, Italy and I’ve never seen an Olympus m4/3s in a camera store or large electronics distributor. No ads either. Instead Canon is everywhere.

    • @Robert
      Yes Olympus and Panasonic’s bricks and mortar presence leaves a lot to be desired in some parts of the world especially in countries affected by recession….

      However more and more people are buying their cameras online especially mirror less cameras…..

  • Ab

    Now, this is just me, but… Here is what I would do.

    Streamline the point and shoots to three models, low end, high end and tough.

    Low end – small portable fun, programmable with make your own art filters etc. and filter olympus can release to put on the camera. Make it really fun, and have it connect to social media etc.

    High end – XZ-1 carry on improving this camera and keep some overlap with m43rds such as the smart port.

    Tough – looking good.

    m43rds, the market has ben saturated with deals, time to clean up OMD style. Release cameras people want. EPM1 – make it fun, programmable, social etc. – EPL5/EP5 develop a clear differentiator from EPM1. No built in EVF as too many EVF owners would have a redundant accessory.

    EDIT: actually, bring the EP3 down tot he EPL5 pricepoint and add some features. drop the EP3 pricepoint and re-introduce the EXXX model in 43rds. there. :)

    OMD – Almost perfect, ISO 100 would be nice, ISO 50 even nicer :)

    Pro model – Get that focusing solved for 43rds lenses, the 12-60, 50-200 and 14-54 11-22, 50mm etc. are excellent value propositions… the 12-60 is significantly cheaper than the 12-30, and only loses a stop by 35mm plus has excellent optics, close focussing and weathersealing. etc etc.

    E-7, blow this camera out of the park. With the IBIS, new sensor (tweaked for better performance) you can throw in the kitchen sink into that body. Add wifi connectivity, GPS, the smart port (for evf use during video), get that AF up to snuff (it really only needs some love, we have one of the best spread of AF points across the frame)… Hmm, what else…. well. you get the point. This thing should be a monster. Why should that make this? Because it is the the only body that will justifiably hold the SHG lens line.

    Well, either way, the camera market is getting tougher and Olympus has been rethinking and will continue… As long as eithe Olympus or panasonic will continue to produce bodies for my lenses I am good.


  • MichaelKJ

    It is noteworthy that this year’s April-June net sales for the imaging division were 16% lower than they were for the same period last year, despite a 50% increase in net sales of m4/3 cameras. Sales of Oly’s other cameras must have been disastrous.

    • SteveO

      Yes, I have to wonder who if anyone is still buying most of their compacts? The XZ, TG and MZ series make sense with one or at most two cameras in each; beyond that, why bother? They should have jettisoned the rest long ago, IMHOP.

    • @MichaelKJ
      Compact sales are falling for everyone…
      Nor are Olympus compact sales broken down by category eg for their tough series etc…

      Olympus are acting on current and future trends ( including forthcoming PENs, lenses and maybe an O-MD and E-7) and expect to make full profits, the current quarter would of included higher marketing launch costs for the E-M5, they’ve already said they are curtailing their cheap compacts….

      • MichaelKJ


        Nikon just reported a 12% increase in compact digital cameras–despite a shrinking market.

        • @MKJ
          yes but with operating income falling on that segment due to increased “sales expenses” in the admitted shrinking market…

          Nor does that report state what the operating profit/loss was on that segment for Nikon…

          • MichaelKJ

            True, but that doesn’t explain why Nikon was able to increase sales of compact cameras while Oly’s sales took a major hit. And, Nikon’s increase in sales of P&S cameras shows that you were wrong when you said that “compact sales are falling for everyone…”

            • @MKJ
              so what’s your theory as too why Nikon was able to increase it’s sales in that quarter of compact cameras?

              Olympus have done controlled and planned withdrawal from that declining segment so it should be a surprise that sales have declined.

              I’m pretty sure Nikon p&s sales have only temporarily increased in new developing markets as most Western and Asian markets are already saturated regarding p&s and are quickly moving to using smart phones….

  • st3v4nt

    Since the m4/3 sales increase why would Olympus still insist on releasing 4/3 camera? Aren’t they realize outside m4/3 there’s no future for their imaging division….?

  • Boooo!

    Anyone interested in knowing why the imaging division keeps losing money for years can go visit this comment:

    If they don’t stop doing that shit soon, they’ll have to back out of m4/3 as well. It’s time Oly execs realize that catering to “camera joshi” with a trillion shitty P&S cameras simply does not work.

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