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Olympus is done trying to make cameras profitable

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Olympus is selling off its camera business, blaming the rise in smartphone photography and the impact of COVID-19 for its decision. The company has inked a deal with Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), which bought Sony’s VAIO computing division back in 2014.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, and see the Olympus Imaging business transferred to JIP at that time. Despite the planned changes, however, Olympus says that it still has new products planned for announcement, though it hasn’t dropped any hints as to what they might be.

Certainly, it’s a tough time right now for legacy camera-makers. The rise in smartphone photography has been instrumental in pushing dedicated cameras to the sidelines. First that took its toll on affordable point-and-shoot models, but increasingly phones are offering the same sort of features and abilities that interchangeable lens cameras would traditionally focus on.

What’s interesting is that smartphone-makers have taken a different approach. Rather than rely on different lenses, they’ve packed in whole new sensors for things like optical zoom, ultra-wide angle shots, and macro photography. That’s been to the benefit of camera companies which also produce sensors – such as Sony, which is a supplier to many of the biggest names in smartphones – but not to those who specialize in things like micro four-thirds cameras.

“Olympus has improved the cost structure by restructuring the manufacturing bases and focusing on high-value-added interchangeable lenses, aiming to rectify the earning structure to those that may continue generating profit even as sales dwindles,” the company said in a release today. “Despite all such efforts, Olympus’s Imaging business recorded operating losses for 3 consecutive fiscal years up to the term ended in March 2020.”

Terms of the deal will be confirmed by the end of September 2020, it’s expected, at which point the two companies should sign. Terms of the deal have not been announced. Olympus’ hope, the company says, is that the resulting Imagining business will be “more compact, efficient and agile” – it’s counting on JIP’s track record in doing such carve-outs to deliver that.

The new company will pick up not only the OM-D and ZUIKO brands, but all of the R&D work, and manufacturing of Olympus cameras. It’ll also be responsible for supporting existing owners, such as those who bought the recently-announced OM-D E-M5 Mark III.

Olympus, meanwhile, provided SlashGear with a statement from Akihiko Murata, President of the Consumer Products Group at Olympus America Inc.

“As you are aware, the Imaging industry has experienced marked declines for several consecutive years. The market is contracting as the smartphone industry grows, and competition has been steadily increasing in the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera segment.

Due to these long term trends as well as recent market contractions due to COVID-19, the Olympus Imaging Business Unit has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Japan Industrial Partners, Inc. (JIP). According to the MOU, both companies are entering into further discussions about the potential transfer of Olympus’ long-standing Imaging business to JIP by the end of 2020.

During these discussions, Olympus Imaging will operate business as usual and will continue to deliver innovations to our customers, launching new products as planned. Olympus and JIP are committed to providing our stakeholders full transparency about our intentions as plans solidify.”

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Motorola Moto X30 Pro Will Have An Unusual Camera System

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This is just the tip of the iceberg for the Moto X30 Pro. The strangest thing about the model won’t be its unusually large camera sensor, especially since Xiaomi already claimed that crown. Instead, it will be the use of three focal lengths in the camera system that could mean the removal of one traditional part of that group.

Motorola’s Weibo account revealed that the Moto X30 Pro will have a 35mm focal point at its widest. This will be joined by a 50mm telephoto that could have a 2x magnification, as well as an 80mm longer telephoto option. If this is an accurate description, it would suggest that the phone will ditch the ultra-wide shooter in favor of two telephoto cameras when some of its peers opt to eschew telephoto cameras to make way for a macro alternative.

Whether this will give the Moto X30 Pro an actual advantage over other high-end phones this year remains to be seen, literally. It sounds almost like a mixed bag, at least in the camera department, though the rest of the rumored specs are on par for a 2022 flagship. The Moto X30 Pro, which could go by the name Motorola Frontier in global markets, is expected to run on a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, bear a 6.67-inch 144Hz OLED screen, and boast 125W super-fast charging for its modest 4,500mAh battery.

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2023 Mercedes-AMG EQE First Drive: Electrified Luxury Gets A Sports Upgrade

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AMG promises performance magic, upgrading the EQE EV sedan with supercar-rivaling power to go with a lavish, tech-filled cabin. Can it deliver soul with speed?

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How To Fix Amazon Prime Video Not Streaming In 4K

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Not all Amazon Prime Video titles are available in 4K quality. Older movies and shows often do not support that format, and even some newer flicks will still be unavailable for a variety of reasons ranging from licensing to technical difficulties. As a result, your title of choice might look less-than-perfect, not due to a fault on Amazon’s end, but simply because that title may not support 4K in the first place. 

Amazon has a list of titles available in 4K, so checking whether the one you’re trying to watch is, is fairly easy. You can see all the 4K offerings by heading over to the official Amazon website. The list is not very intuitive in the sense that you can’t check for specifics within the results as this is already a narrowed-down list. However, you can also simply type in the title of your movie or show into the search bar above to check whether it’s available on Prime Video and in 4K.

You can also search directly on Amazon Prime Video. Any variation of “4K,” “4K movies ultra HD,” “4K film,” or even something more specific like “4K romantic comedies” should produce a list of titles that you can watch right now. If you managed to locate your title on one of these lists and yet it still looks underwhelming, there may be other issues at hand.

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