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The making of an optics giant
Olympus Corporation is a multinational optics and reprography products manufacturer based in Tokyo, Japan. The company name is derived from Mount Olympus which is the home of twelve Greek mythology gods and goddesses. Olympus is an old company established way back in 1919 as a microscope and thermometer manufacturer. Today, Olympus is an internationally recognized name in the digital camera, endoscopes, ultrasound, and cleaning equipment industry. The name Olympus is actually synonymous with top of the range digital cameras. The company is also the creator of the Four Thirds System which is the standard for DSLR cameras. The company is the leading manufacturer of Four Thirds lenses which became popular after the release of the Olympus E series cameras in 2010. Olympus is one of the largest manufacturers of gastro-intestinal endoscopes, electrocautery, and endotherapy equipment in the medical industry. Since its inception, the company has maintained a production line of microscopes and optics for medical uses.
Olympus’ line of products
Olympus has seen an increase in annual turnover since the launch of its first line of cameras known as the Semi-Olympus in 1936 thanks to the company’s dedication to research, innovation, and developing top of the range products. The brands most popular camera today is the Olympus Pen series. The first Pen camera was actually launched in 1959. Today’s Olympus Pen cameras demonstrate a high level of photography technology with OM-D sensors and retro-styled bodies. Speed is another great attribute of these cameras. The latest Pen series cameras have impressive start-up, auto-focusing, and shot-to-shot times. It is a great camera for sport photography or simply snapping away exciting moments at a party. There is also the Olympus Stylus TG series which includes a collection of solid, high performance versatile cameras designed for outdoor photography. These are actually waterproof, freezeproof, shockproof, and crushproof digital cameras. In the medical industry, Olympus is recognized as the manufacturer of the first flexible endoscope developed in Tokyo. Today, Olympus holds close to 70% of the world’s gastro-intestinal endoscopes market. However, popular camera lines such as the slim compact Camedia or C series, D series, E series, FE, and Pen series have always been the brand’s flagship over the years.
Olympus market innovations
In the face of existing competition in the optics and camera industry by other key players such as Canon and Nikon, Olympus has had to continuously develop its product range and react to the ever-changing market environment through innovations and keeping in tandem with the current technology. The company still maintains a stronghold in the current digital camera era with innovative products such as the Olympus Pen and Stylus DSLR series. Olympus has also had to enter into joint ventures with other companies in the course of history. In 1983, Olympus teamed up with Canon to create a brand of video recording equipment known as the Olympus Video Photography. In 2012, the company established a joint venture with Sony to develop high precision surgical endoscopes with higher than 4k resolution and 3D capacity. Besides cameras, the company has however maintained a strong lead in manufacturing and selling industrial scanners, gauges, image analysis software, fiberscopes, and high speed video cameras just to mention a few.