Well it’s happening. The sale of Olympus’ camera business is moving forward, on schedule, as of this morning. If you remember, back in June 2020, Olympus signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Japan Industrial partners (JIP) to sell their camera division to JIP, with the finalization expected to come in September.
It’s here. What was referred to as the “New Company” in the June memorandum is now officially OM Digital Solutions Corporation. As of now the new company owns the entirety of Olympus’ imaging business. In January 2021 Olympus will transfer 95% of the stock, leaving them 5% ownership. Seemingly the very same structure that JIP made with Sony for their VAIO computers. Presumably 5% retention will allow JIP to use some of the trademarked names so the cameras can still be Olympus branded.
Accordingly there have been statements that customer service and repair will continue uninterrupted and JIP will continue R&D including fulfilling the current Olympus lens roadmap.
So far, all good news for Olympus users and MFT in general as recently Panasonic reaffirmed it’s commitment to Micro 4/3 with it’s Lumix branding despite its recent entry into the full frame space with the S series of cameras and “L Mount Alliance” with Leica and Sigma.
JIP will continue production in the Viet Nam facility also, seemingly without interruption.
The only thing to wonder about at, this point, is, what will be the future availability of Olympus cameras globally? If they follow the Sony VAIO model, they will concentrate on Asia, and to a lesser extent South America. Asia is definitely Olympus’ strongest market so, I see a real possibility of this happening, especially with the current need in the west to criticize MFT due to the sensor size, and the shrinking camera market and industry issues in general.
It’s not over yet, but if you are an Olympus shooter you can probably breath a temporary sigh of relief. As of right now, this venerable brand has a chance of continuing. At least in the short term.
The politicization of everything has become a thing. Especially in the United States. In our ever divisive and polarized society we have become mavens of controversy. This transcends the current President, and, in fact, pre-dates the current administration by decades. Only recently, though has it taken on such fervor as we see in present times.
Photography can and should be used as a social tool. In most cases an activist photographer can espouse his (or, indeed, her) view through the medium alone. Images can be confrontational and should be controversial. However if you are a photographer, a title for which the definition is becoming increasingly flexible of late, that is hosting a platform of some sort for public consumption, please stop intermingling your political views with your photography content. In my day-to-day life, I am confronted with enough opinion and news (often editorial opinion in disguise – for either side) to satisfy my need for updates on current events in the broad spectrum. Photography is, for me, an avocation and sometimes vocation. I pursue it and study it mainly for pleasure and at times, for profit. I do not need to become privy to your particular political doctrine. On that note, let me assure you that this is not directed to any one set of political beliefs. I have unsubscribed from several YouTube channels on both sides of the spectrum, for being idiots.
Let me clarify a few things. Yes, this is the USA and we do have the strength of the First Amendment regarding free speech and expression. You, indeed, may use your YouTube channel for whatever type of content you wish, provided it meets YouTube’s standards. However, I fully understand that I have a thing called freedom of choice. I have, and reserve, the right to not view your channel if I do not like the content. So If you’re thinking “don’t like it, don’t watch it” I already am aware of, and, indeed, have taken that step.
My issue is with content creators or “influencers” in a specific genre, in this case photography, switching gears to post blatantly political content sometimes with misleading headlines or titles. In this case, I am greatly disappointed and, if it is repeated enough, find the need to unsubscribe from a channel that offers otherwise lucid, intelligent, and entertaining content.
If you feel that, as a content creator, you have some sort of responsibility to voice your political (or religious for that matter) views, then please establish a second platform for that purpose.
You see, again, I have a day job. In the course of my day I am exposed to all sorts of people and, often, by human nature, various discussions regarding current events and politics. Between this and just dealing with “normal” job stress, I look forward to my own time and being able to consume photography, or other content as a method of relaxation. I do not want to be preached to, opined at, or politically educated. Especially when I am sucked into it by a deliberate bait and switch maneuver. Of course I don’t think that this applies just to photography channels. It applies to content in general. I know where to look if I want to find controversial and divisive content, and I can find the educational content of my choice, without any help thank you. I am pretty sure, based on some of the comments I’ve read, that I am not the only one that feels this way. I guess the creators can’t be blamed because YouTube, and social media in general, is really, at its core, just a popularity contest where – the one with the most clicks wins.
Again photography can, and should be confrontational and controversial. Photographers should not.
So I guess I would have to say that if you have a YouTube channel, Or other social media platform, that is not socially or politically oriented you need to reflect on who your audience is and what they expect. Also examine what your own core competency is and if your are engaging in the above behaviors, why you think you are so special that the rest of us might be interested in your opinion. Especially since we have chosen to invite you into our homes and lives, even if briefly. We all know enough, I would hope, not to discuss politics or religion as a guest in someone’s home.
Now, of course, let me ad some political content here.