Micro Four Thirds camera celebrates 50th anniversary of Pen F
Olympus has officially announced its Pen E-P5 Micro Four Thirds camera, one leaked earlier this month. Designed to look like the Pen F to mark its 50th anniversary, the Pen E-P5 boasts a string of thoroughly-modern components within its retro styling, including a 16-megapixel TruePic VI Live MOS sensor and a 1.04 million dot tilting LCD touchscreen on the rear.
Sources suggest E-P5 to be announced on May 9th, 10th
Images for an upcoming mirrorless camera from Olympus have leaked online. The shots of the PEN E-P5 camera have also been supplemented by a separate leak describing its specifications, including its 16-megapixel sensor being similar to the E-M5, and improvements made to its autofocus and five-axis stabilization.
Sony and Olympus partner on new medical imaging technologies
Sony and Olympus have entered into a partnership (pdf) with Sony investing $645 million in the scandal-wracked Olympus Corporation. The new ‘business alliance and capital alliance’ will see Sony seek to gain a foothold in the medical imaging segment currently dominated by Olympus, which supplies most of the world’s endoscopes. Olympus was forced into looking for partners after the biggest corporate accounting scandal in Japanese history revealed that the company was short of operating cash.
Camera builds upon the XZ-1
Olympus has introduced a new flagship point-and-shoot, the XZ-2, that serves as a successor to the existing XZ-1. The new camera integrates the same f1.8-2.5 lens as its predecessor, but adds a new 12-megapixel 1/1.7-inch backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and the same image processor as the company's OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera.
OM-D bodies continue to shrink
Olympus has introduced several products, including two PEN mirrorless cameras, a Micro Four Thirds macro lens, a body cap lens and a new color option for an existing lens. The PEN E-PL5 and E-PM2 represent the evolution of the company's compact system cameras, utilizing the same 16.1-megapixel OM-D sensor and TruePic VI processing engine as the E-M5 but in smaller bodies characteristic of the PEN series.
Two Olympus interchangeable lens cameras show with 16-megapixel sensor
Before Olympus could do it, the images and specs of two upcoming interchangeable-lens compact cameras from the company have been leaked online. The E-PL5 and E-PM2 are mirrorless and both will reportedly share the same 16-megapixel micro four thirds sensor as the one found in the OM-D E-M5 camera. Both will also reportedly share the TruePic VI image engine and a touchscreen that will incorporate a touch AF shutter, DigiCam learned.
Pet Modes, 3D photography and binoculars make appearances
Camera manufacturer Olympus has listed more cameras and a package it intends to release over the coming months. The Olympus SZ-14 DX "Big Telephoto Set" is a combined camera and binoculars bundle, where the SZ-14 camera with 24x optical zoom, multi-motion supported image stabilization and face detection is joined by the 8-21RCII binoculars with 8x magnification.
Options include camera for underwater filming
Olympus has shown off its low-range compact camera releases for the next few months. Coming out in three colors for each model, the collection includes a toughened and waterproof option, variations in resolution and zoom, and an image processing system with a number of filters usable for both still images and capturing video.
Olympus shows Google Glass challenger
Trying to push its accounting scandal behind it, Olympus has revealed an intriguing challenger to Google’s Project Glass. The MEG4.0 is a glasses-mounted head-up display that uses Bluetooth connectivity to pair with smartphones. The glasses use an Olympus ‘proprietary optical technology’ to both display images as well as give the user a clear view of their surroundings.
Panasonic isn't investing in Olympus: President
Panasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo has gone on record to say that his company isn't planning on investing into ailing Olympus with some $632m in funds, denying a recent report. The original news came from the Kyodo news agency on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources. According to the latest Reuters story, Ohtsubo not only denied the report, but also confirmed there are no plans by Panasonic to invest into Olympus.
Ex-CEO Woodford agrees settlement ahead of whistle-blowing trial
Olympus ex-CEO Olympus Michael Woodford has agreed to a settlement with his former employer. An employment tribunal due to run in London this week would have seen Woodford asking for 10 years pay as compensation for being fired from the camera maker, after he emerged as a whistle blower on $1.7 billion in fraudulent accounting practices over a 20-year period. According to Reuters, the undisclosed settlement is expected to be less than the $60 million originally believed to be requested.
Micro Four Thirds lens boasts 150mm-equivalent field of view
Olympus has outed the M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f1.8 lens for its line of Micro Four Thirds cameras. The single focal-length lens boasts a 150mm-equivalent field of view, an all-metal construction, and a f1.8 aperture into a body only 2.7 inches long. Olympus sees the lens as designed for studio, stage, and portrait photography as well as for HD filmmaking.
Japan's FSA due to issue $2.5m fine to Olympus
Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) which overseas the country's markets, has recommended to fine Olympus nearly 200 million yen (about $2.5 million) for engaging in illegal accounting practices. The scandal is the biggest in Japan's corporate history. The company and six executives were criminally charged in March in the $1.7 billion fraud.
US availability follows Japan launch
As promised, Olympus has begun shipping its first OM-D camera in the US and other markets. The E-M5, a mirrorless camera that takes advantage of the Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens system, initially arrived late last month, however the first run was limited to Japan.
Device provides isolated special effects
begun shipping its Composer Pro special effects attachment for mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras. With it, a photographer can reproduce tilt-shift or another specific effect without having to turn to a full DSLR. The Composer Pro works with Panasonic and Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras, Sony's NEX line, and Samsung NX cameras.
Legally absolved, but told should be more vigilant
An independent panel has determined that Ernst & Young was not accountable for any misrepresentation or legal lapses in how the firm audited Olympus's books in the face of the digital imaging company's $1.7 billion financial scandal. The panel had been commissioned by the accounting firm in December to take an independent look at how the accounting firm oversaw Olympus's financial reporting practices over several years while Olympus's executives were allegedly engaged in financial misconduct. A separate panel commissioned by Olympus had also cleared Ernst & Young, as well as KPMG, which had been the company's accountant until 2009.
Camera will hit Asia first, US markets in April
Olympus has confirmed that it will ship its new Micro Four Thirds OM-D camera beginning March 31 in Japan. The OM-D E-M5 will be available in US markets beginning April 10 and is available for preorder now. The E-M5 is the first in Olympus' OM-D line. The E-M5 is a a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that borrows its retro style from the classic OM-4 film camera.
Olympus medical equipment exec will be new CEO
At its meeting on Monday, the entire board of directors at Olympus has resigned. As its last act, the the board named Hiroyuki Sasa, 56, as its next president. Former Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. executive Yasuyuki Kimoto, 63, was also selected to be the new board chairman. The appointments will require shareholder approval at a special meeting scheduled for April 20.
Internal choice comes in wake of $1.7b fraud
Scandal ravaged Olympus will appoint an insider, Hiroyuki Sasa, as its next president. The appointment, reported by Nikkei [sub. required], will be effective April 20, and comes in the wake of the resignation of its former president, Shuichi Takayama, who took responsibility for the company's $1.7 billion accounting fraud and subsequent cover-up. Earlier this month, seven former Olympus executives and their investment advisers were arrested for violations related to the fraud.
Canon lens patent confirms mirrorless camera due
A new patent application found online on Monday has lent strong support to the belief Canon is working on a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera. The patent is for an 18-45mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens explicitly meant for APS-C mirrorless cameras. Allowing for the crop factor, the lens is equivalent to 29-70mm if it were full-frame.
Olympus account fraud results in multiple arrests
Former Olympus President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former Executive Vice President Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada have been arrested in the wake of the company’s massive $1.7 billion accounting fraud scandal. Reuters reports that Japanese authorities arrested the trio on the grounds that they may have violated Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Law. Officials also took former bankers Akio Nakagawa and Nobumasa Yokoo into custody, and two others for their role in the cover-up.
Olympus looking for partner, will post high loss
When its fiscal year ends in March, Japanese camera maker Olympus is expected to post a 32 billion yen net loss (about $412 million), BusinessWeek reported on Monday. This is worse than analysts expected and largely due to writing off equipment in the Thailand factory floods that affected camera and hard drive makers alike. Company president Shuichi Takayama said Olympus may want to find a partner in order to boost capital.
Samsung Galaxy Note ad out of top 10 for most
Samsung's Super Bowl ad for the Galaxy Note may have been one of the costliest mistakes in advertising in recent memory, based on new Nielsen data from the event. The Android phone's commercial appeared neither in the top 10 most-remembered ads of the football game nor the top 10 most-liked among Nielsen's nearly 12,000-person panel. Instead, the only technology picks went to E*Trade and to GoDaddy, whose flip-flop on SOPA still left it with the ninth most memorable spot.
Olympus SZ-31MR and Tough TG-820 arrive
Olympus brought out two specialized point-and-shoot cameras ahead of the CP+ show. Leading off is the SZ-31MR, one of the longest-ranged compact ultrazoom cameras with a 24X (25-600mm equivalent) lens. The camera makes up for the blur likely at the far end of its zoom both by using a 16-megapixel, backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and two previous-generation TruePic V chips that give it better low-light performance on top of improving camera speed and image processing.
Olympus OM-D boosts MFT pro credentials
Olympus ended rumors Tuesday by trotting out its highest-end Micro Four Thirds camera to date. The OM-D is consciously styled after the classic OM-4 film camera but, in place of the mirrors and optical viewfinder, has a 1.44-megapixel electronic viewfinder instead. It's billed as one of the few mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras to have its EVF in a more natural position above the lens, rather than at the corner on a camera such as the Sony NEX-7.
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Official investigations to dig up more dirt
Ex-Olympus CEO turned whistleblower Michael Woodford expects that official investigations into the massive $1.7 billion financial scandal will yield further damaging revelations, reports Reuters. Although Olympus tooks steps to have a third-party investigate the 13-year investment losses long cover-up, Woodford expects that Japanese, British and US law enforcement agencies will dig up more dirt ahead of an extraordinary shareholding meeting scheduled for April 20. The news comes at a time when Olympus may be set to enter into a new alliance with Panasonic and Samsung.
Olympus OM-D shows face early
The Olympus OM-D had some of its details spoiled after Amazon Japan (cached) briefly posted a product page with photos. True to form, the Micro Four Thirds camera will be a tribute to the OM-4 with the retro look and tall box above the lens. Instead of a mirror system, though, this space would have the rumored 1.44-megapixel electronic viewfinder, putting it in a more natural position than the corner position on other mirrorless digital cameras.
Apple takes Mac OS X 10.7.3 live
Apple on Wednesday afternoon posted Mac OS X 10.7.3 (release notes). The Lion upgrade adds several languages, including Catalan for Spaniards as well as Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Romanian, Slovak, Thai, and Ukrainian. RAW photo compatibility has expanded to several new cameras, including the Nikon J1 and V1, Olympus' current PEN cameras, and current Sony Alpha and NEX cameras, such as the NEX-5N.
Leak corroborates earlier reports
Both Panasonic and Samsung are reportedly engaged in talks that may lead to a financial partnership with Olympus. Details posted in the Mainichi newspaper corroborate earlier leaks surrounding a potential deal with Samsung, while also pointing to separate negotiations with Panasonic and another Japanese company.
Sigma founder, CEO passes away at 78
CEO of camera and lens maker Sigma, sadly, has passed away. The 78-year-old Michihiro Yamaki succumbed in Tokyo, Japan on January 18 after a fight with liver cancer. Yamaki founded the company in 1961 and was heading up the company up to 2011, on its 50th anniversary.
Japan's Astrodesign also joins the standard
Two Japanese camera lens manufacturers have signed onto the Micro Four Thirds standard pioneered by Olympus and Panasonic. They include Kenko Tokina and Tamron, while a third Japanese company, Astrodesign, has also jumped onboard, though it makes video measuring equipment and not lenses. This should give those how have bought into the new type of camera, which allows for interchangeable lenses on digital camera bodies that are smaller than DSLRs, more options for lenses.
Olympus turns to Sony for help in alliance
Olympus and Sony are nearly ready to make a large-scale pact, Japanese business periodical Diamond Weekly reported. No specifics were known, but Olympus was believed to be hosting a news conference later this week that should have some details. The unofficial source also said the alliance would be voted on by a dedicated shareholder's meeting in April.
Olympus barely avoids stock disaster post-scandal
Olympus on Friday narrowly avoided additional threats of possible delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Officials at the trading house said they would let Olympus stay after the $1.7 billion concealment scandal but would make it pay a relatively mild fine of 10 million yen, or about $129,800. The light penalty was based on the belief that just a handful of staffers had been responsible for hiding Olympus' losses and that the core of the company was safe.
Olympus OM-D image shows quality finish
The upcoming Olympus OM-D camera, due for an official unveiling on February 8, has now been seen, at least partially. 43Rumors shared a leaked image of some of the top of the camera, which will be the first digital shooter from Olympus' flagship OM series that dates back 40 years. The Micro Four Thirds camera appears to have a high-quality metal body.
Olympus to unveil OM-D MFT camera in February?
Olympus is likely to unveil a new compact digital camera with a product called the OM-D, which was trademarked on January 3. While the camera hasn't officially been revealed, Olympus did tease its "latest Olympus masterpiece" is coming in a teaser ad. It is expected to be a modern, digital camera styled after the film OM-1 of the past and the more recent OM-2000.
Olympus seeks $13 million in damages from auditors
Olympus has announced that it has sued five past and current auditors seeking $13 million in damages, according to Reuters. The company is suing the firms after each had signed off on 13 years of fraudulent accounts. Senior Olympus officials, now mostly no longer with the company, had fabricated the company’s accounts over the same period to cover $1.7 billion of losses. Although cleared of responsibility for the fraud by an independent panel, KPMG and Ernst & Young, and other auditors remain under official review.
Samsung said eyeing Olympus, could partner
A new report has surfaced suggesting that Samsung may have its sights set on getting a slice of the scandal plagued Olympus. Olympus is currently picking up the pieces following one of the biggest corporate scandals to rock Japan after it was found to have concealed around $1.7 billion in losses through dodgy accounting practices. According to Reuters , Samsung is interested in investing in Olympus’s medical imaging arm with the company short of capital following revelations of its accounting fraud.
Olympus panel may ask for tougher measures
An independent panel investigating Olympus might issue much harsher recommendations than its early investigation. The Kyodo News Agency had heard that the panel would advise the company suing over 10 existing and former executives for a total equivalent to $1.2 billion for hiding losses for 13 years. The move might also see current president Shuichi Takayama, who had only take over from the disgraced Tsuyoshi Kikukawa in October, resign by the end of January.
Woodford takes legal action on Olympus scandal
Ousted Olympus CEO Michael Woodford fild suit against his former employer for allegedly firing him unfairly. He contended in a presentation that there were "no grounds whatsoever" for his being let go and that the real reason was to cover up the $1.7 billion scandal of deliberately hidden finances. He took the route after being rebuffed in attempts to have large-scale investors ask for a change in the board.
Canon G1X to carry large sensor and wide aperture
Wells Fargo has leaked virtually every camera designer's plans for CES and PMA next week but has provided unusually large amounts of detail for major Canon releases. The PowerShot G1X is Canon's long-awaited if indirect response to mirrorless rivals and carries a large, 1.5-inch, 14.3-megapixel CMOS sensor to let it take in more light and detail than most compacts. Although the 4X, 28-112mm equivalent lens is still non-removable, it now has a wider maximum aperture of f2.5 (better than f2.8) to improve low light and soften backgrounds.
Olympus to intro weatherproof camera in February?
A new rumor originating from 43rumors maintains that Olympus will release a new weather-resistant Four Thirds camera with an integrated viewfinder next month. Next week's CES will be skipped altogether and the camera will instead be revealed between February 6 and 11. That same week is also supposed to mark the reveal of a new Fujifilm camera system with a recently patented integrated viewfinder and an organic sensor.
Olympus faces Japanese government raids
Police, regulators, and prosecutors raided Olympus' headquarters and the homes of key executives on Wednesday local time following an independent panel's determination that it had hid $1.7 billion in its 20-year-old accounting scandal. The Tokyo area raids, which included former chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa's home, were part of an unusual joint investigation. Their actions were part of an official look that could result in formal charges if the accounting shuffles had enough of an impact to make the company liable.
Olympus meets deadline, stays on the TSE for now
Olympus has successfully met the December 14 deadline of filing financial results and relisting the last five years of earnings. The company earlier delayed these numbers after admitting to covering up losses. It had been cleared of immediate criminal claims but risked being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. While exonerated from claims of a yakuza link, Olympys was found o have hid nearly $1.7 billion through advisor fees and takeovers.
Report on Olympus blames outsiders as well
The full text of an independent report (PDF) finding that Olympus hid $1.7 billion dollars has blamed not just the company but outside auditors and banks. While focused on VP Hisashi Mori and internal auditor Hideo Yamada, it also blamed external auditors Ernst & Young ShinNihon and KPMG AZSA for seeing Olympus try to mask losses but doing nothing to stop it. The root was still senior leadership at the camera maker, however, which was not corrupt but showed an endemic problem in Japan with companies where loyalty is more important than ethics, even if staff underneath are honest.
Olympus panel clears execs of criminal acts
Olympus won't face as grave a consequence as suspected, an investigative panel slipped out early Monday. The Reuters contact explained that the the independent team found executives had covered up about $1.67 billion, or considerably less than the possible $4.9 billion rumored earlier. Checks had also ruled out a connection to the yakuza.
Olympus short on time to account for mismanagement
Japanese camera and endoscope giant Olympus has only two weeks left to report its actual financial results for the past five years, according to Reuters. After being sensationally exposed by the company’s ex-CEO Michael Woodford, who uncovered that the company had been cooking its books, Olympus must meet the deadline or face being automatically deregistered. The accounting malpractice at the company, to cover securities losses, extends back to the 1990s.
Ex-CEO Woodford plans Olympus leadership challenge
Ex-CEO of the scandal rocked Olympus, Michael Woodford, has announced that he has quit his position as a board member in order orchestrate a wholesale leadership change. Woodford has told Reuters
that he does not want such a move to be aggressive, but driven by the shareholders. To this extent, he has called on the current board to initiate a shareholder meeting by at least February in order to put his plan to a vote.
Company considering significant restructuring
Olympus is reportedly considering a number of significant restructuring strategies, which may bring the company to find a buyer for its consumer camera division. The Japanese company is currently reviewing its business structure in an attempt to survive an accounting scandal that is believed to involve as much as $4.9 billion in hidden losses.
Key Olympus execs resign rather than face meeting
Olympus saw an upheaval in its corporate structure Thursday after three board members quit in the wake of its ongoing loss cover-up scandal. Chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who fired the CEO after he uncovered the mismanagement, resigned in sync with auditor Hideo Yamada and Executive Vice President Hisashi Mori. They quit just a day before they were to confront ousted CEO Michael Woodford at a board meeting.