Canon has announced the imminent shutdown of its main factory, the Zhuhai Factory based in Southern China. The factory was in operation for 32 years and was responsible for the manufacture of digital cameras, sensors, and lenses, the only such production base in the country.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many camera companies are experiencing delays and temporarily shutting down factories. Japan’s newest financial incentives stimulate manufacturers to move their productions out of China. And since most major camera companies are Japanese, this could change the industry immensely.
Rumours were flying earlier this month out of Japan saying that Olympus wasn’t having a great time right now. In fact, they suggested Olympus was having such a bad time that they were considering leaving the digital camera market.
Well, now, according to a report on SankeiBiz, the Olympus president-elect, Yasuo Takeuchi, has stated with a pretty emphatic no, that Olympus will not be closing down its imaging business.
According to the latest reports, Olympus is doing badly. And it’s so bad, that the company could even leave the digital camera market. Reportedly, the company’s activist shareholders could force Olympus to exit the market and go into a different direction.
A few weeks before Christmas my best friend’s husband rang me:
Daniela, I want to buy M a camera. What should I get her?
I asked the standard questions: how much does he have to spend and what sort of photography does he think she’ll be doing. He tells me there’s £500 in the kitty and she’s been making murmurs about taking more landscapes and getting better photos of the dog. I suggest that maybe he wants to look at an Olympus PEN. They fall well within his price bracket; they’ve a good frames-per-second rate and lots of AF points for capturing their off-his-rocker dog; and they’re pretty light. Given that my best friend lives close to the Alps and walks a lot, this is a bonus.
However, I add my usual disclaimer. ‘For that money, no one is going to sell you a bad camera. It’s more important to find the one that best suits your specific needs.’
Most camera manufacturers run ambassador schemes. They vary in their numbers and the precise ways in which they’re run, but the principles seem similar enough: pick a range of photographers who use their gear to promote them to the public. But I’ve a feeling that they could do better.