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Thoughts on Olympus, and Sony’s Investment in Olympus

Sony is shaking up the industry with new cameras like the A99, RX1, and RX100.

Olympus has had its “issues” this year, and Sony has made a half-billion+ dollar investment in Olympus (figures seem to vary), for a stake of 11% or so.

Sony and Olympus will form a joint venture to develop and manufacture endoscopes and other medical devices, the companies said in a statement. Olympus controls about 70 percent of the world’s market for medical endoscopes.

The two companies will also consider cooperating in digital cameras, they said.

What does this mean for digital photography?

Sony’s current sensors seem to be the cream of the crop— low noise, great color, high resolution. Some thoughts—

  • Might we see an Olympus OM-D E-M6 with a Sony sensor, perhaps 20 or 24 megapixels? The Sony RX100 makes me think that this would be a nice step up.
  • Might we see an Olympus OM-D with an APS-C sensor? Perhaps one that has an APS-C native size, and a Micro Four Thirds crop mode, etc.
  • Might we see other cross-pollination, such as the Olympus image stabilization (much superior to that of Sony) appear in NEX? Or more lenses (Sony NEX has a serious dearth-of-good-lenses problem).

The outcomes are all likely to be good ones going forward.

On a related note, I expect that we will see an Olympus “pro” body appear that will make native use of the superlative Olympus SHG lenses.

Nikon and Canon, are you AWAKE?

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