Hopefully this won't mean the end of the Tough camera line, but the sad fact is that unlike laptops, cameras, especially decent quality ones, rely on custom made precision elements for the optical assembly, while PCs are (literally) assembled from ready-made off the shelf components. A lot is going to depend on exactly what will be transferred over to JIP, both in terms of intellectual property as well as physical infrastructure. Unlike a lot of companies Olympus actually directly owns the production facilities for it's cameras in Vietnam, and they used to have one in Shenzhen too (my Tough came from that plant) which was a veritable institution that had been running for decades (assumeably with a lot of skilled and experienced people), but was closed back in 2018.After a year of rumors, denials, and backtracking, it’s finally official: Olympus is exiting the camera business after an 84-year run as one of the world’s most recognizable brands in the industry.
In a notice published to its website today, Olympus announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding to sell its camera division to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), the same investment firm that acquired Sony’s VAIO PC business back in 2014.
Olympus and JIP are aiming to sign a legally binding deal by September 30th.