Sony and Olympus camera tie-up for 'compacts' only (update Monday)

Olympus's capital alliance with Sony will see the companies work together on fixed-lens compact cameras, and not interchangeable-lens models, Olympus Japan has said.

olympus pen e-p3

Speaking on Monday, a spokesman for Olympus in Tokyo told Amateur Photographer: 'The collaboration of imaging businesses between Olympus and Sony will be in the area of compact cameras.'

Olympus expects to supply camera lenses and lens barrels to Sony, and Sony to supply it with imaging sensors.

[original article from Friday 28 September continues from here]

The deal, worth around £400m, aims to give Olympus 'greater business synergy in the core business domains of medical and imaging,' said Olympus president Hiroyuki Sasa.

Sasa added: 'In this regard we have decided to form a business and capital alliance with Sony, which is strong in image sensors and other image-related technologies.'

'In the field of digital cameras, we will seek to achieve collaboration in a manner that further improves the competitiveness of the two companies.'

Sony's president and CEO Kazuo Hirai said: 'We... believe there are many potential opportunities for collaboration between Olympus and Sony's digital camera businesses, and we are confident that by building on our respective strengths we can also enhance and grow our presence in this market.'

Sony will take a 51% share in a new medical company to be set up in December that is expected to become a subsidiary of Sony.

The companies say the tie-up will allow them to 'combine Olympus's lens and optical technologies - as well as the strength of its brand and R&D - with Sony's broad range of technologies, including digital imaging technologies, and apply them in the rapidly growing medical market'.

The firms aim to enhance the competitiveness of their camera divisions 'primarily in the area of compact digital cameras, by exploring the mutually beneficial transactions and collaboration between their respective camera businesses'.

They say this will involve 'the supply of Olympus technologies such as camera lenses and mirror cells to Sony, and the provision of Sony image sensors to Olympus'.



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