LAS VEGAS u2013 Olympus may one day revive development of DSLRs if sales of mirrorless compact system cameras give the firm enough market share to enable it to expand its business.

In an interview with AP at CES, Olympus’s SLR products planning manager Toshi Terada confirmed that Olympus has stopped DSLR development but he did not rule out its return.

‘Nobody knows 10 years away… once we can get a very nice share [in mirrorless] we may expand the business to DSLR again, but at this moment we are just concentrating on mirrorless and we have no plan to go into DSLR.’

CSC peak?

Overall CSC market sales are flagging compared to the success of the format’s early years, however.

In September last year, for example, total UK sales fell 20% on the same month the year before.

However, Terada said he expects demand for Olympus CSCs to grow and declined to be drawn when asked whether the market had reached its peak.’

‘It’s a really hard question,’ he said.

Threat to ‘mid-tier’ makers

Last year, Olympus’ Imaging Systems business reported an operating loss more than double that of the previous year, despite cost reduction efforts.

And, over Christmas, a report by news agency Reuters suggested that only Canon, Nikon, and Sony will survive the war against smartphones – leaving behind ‘mid-tier’ manufacturers such as Olympus.

Credit Suisse imaging analyst Yu Yoshida is quoted as telling Reuters: ‘Only those who have a strong brand and are competitive on price will last and only Canon, Nikon and Sony fulfil that criteria.’

Yet, as far as CSCs are concerned, Terada believes Olympus has the potential to take a large chunk of the market, in two ways: by winning over existing DSLR users; and by pulling in complete newcomers to system cameras.

‘The world of interchangeable lens has changed,’ said Terada.

‘This is our opportunity to grab current DSLR users to switch to mirrorless…

‘And in changing the [interchangeable-lens] system from the mirror/mechanical type to the digital type, we can expect new users.’

  • PW

    What an utterly, achingly redundant soundbite from olympus !!! Is anyone, I mean anyone, impressed ? Will DSLR users rejoice that maybe, just possibly, in perhaps 10 yrs time, a new olympus DSLR might emerge ? This should have been aired on the comedy channel.

  • Fernando

    eu acho quê Olympus deva olhar pró passado glorioso em DSLR.que é uma marca forte. para que seja competitiva em DSLR OLYMPUS.

    FERNANDO/// 22/01/2014

  • nelson lovell

    Yea..annnd a nww syatem of lens mounts..again….no..I wont ever buy into what they are peddling again. Now they are thinking dslar again…but not for 10 yrs…so the last bunch of system adopters in stamdard 4/3′s gear are all gone or have forgotton how they were thrown under the bus.

  • Peter Hicks

    Over the years Olympus have been like a fart in a colander, not knowing which hole to go through. They aren’t going to change.

  • Graeme Chapman

    The costs of reentry into the SLR market are far too high for a company constantly losing money . We are seeing rapid decline in CSC sales and for a company to have all its eggs in one basket is very risky. I agree with the analysts . Maybe 3 companies only will survive .