The OM System brand was officially launched today. OM Digital Solutions Corporation held a world-wide announcement event this morning at 8 AM EST. While many people were assuming this event was being held in relation to the announcement of new products, the company dedicated this event to the launch of its new brand, OM System. A new camera is indeed under development. This was confirmed in the announcement today… with details to follow at a later date.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge. Photographs have been added to serve as visual breaks.
There’s little doubt in my mind that there will be some photography-related websites that will state that this morning’s announcement was a ‘non issue’. And, the more skewed the website happens to be towards relatively inconsequential things like larger camera sensor-size, the more negative that they will be about today’s announcement.
While in corporate life I spend many years working in the areas of marketing and strategy development. I found todays announcement of the OM System brand to be very important from a strategic standpoint.
Today’s announcement by OM Digital Solutions clearly stated their strategy as the company continues to move forward. The first important detail is the company’s choice of generic strategy.
Unlike large brands like Canon, Sony and Nikon, the OM System brand has no intention of being a broad market competitor. There is no interest in trying to be all things to all photographers. Instead the OM System brand will implement a Focus Differentiation strategy.
At the core of Focus Differentiation is delivering specific features and capabilities to a segment of the market that has very unique needs. The value proposition is built entirely around meeting the needs of this specific, target market better than any other competing brand. Inherent in an effective Focus Differentiation strategy is choosing to ignore the needs of other market segments that are not aligned with a brand’s core strengths and technologies.
This means that the OM System brand will not be expanding into full frame products. Nor will it pursue the development of ‘me too’, conventional, vanilla products.
The stated intention of the company is to create products and services that enable its customers to ‘do the impossible’ with their camera gear through unique features and capabilities. And, to do that while making photography more enjoyable and exciting.
For those of us that have come to love our current Olympus camera gear this should be music to our ears. Indeed… a symphony. In the future we will be getting more of what we love about our current Olympus camera gear. Incredible image stabilization. Dust reduction. Weatherproofing. Durability. And, industry leading technologies like Pro Capture, Live ND, Live Composite. Handheld Hi Res, in-camera Focus Stacking, and much more.
During this morning’s announcement, Shigemi Sugimoto, the President and CEO of OM Digital Solutions Company, reconfirmed the company’s commitment to the M4/3 format. He explained that many of the industry leading technologies that are currently available in Olympus cameras are made possible by the M4/3 format.
The company’s positioning statement of “Break Free” was noted numerous times during this announcement video. Explained as being able to break free from large heavy camera gear. To break free from technological restrictions. To break free from restrictions caused by inclement weather and other environmental conditions.
There was also a confirmation that OM Digital Solutions intends to continue to develop more advanced algorithms to further push the envelope of what is possible through the marriage of hardware and software. I took this to mean that the OM System brand intends to stay on the leading edge of computational photography.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the majority of photographers will continue to misunderstand and under value OM System products in the future. The brand will likely remain a favourite target of internet trolls. It’s easy to disparage something that one doesn’t understand or need.
I found it particularly interesting that at the 3:15 point in today’s announcement video, the company stated, “We are the dark horse. We don’t run in the race. Never have. And, never intend to.” This self-definition is something that originally attracted me to Olympus products. Although not specifically stated so clearly in the past, it was something that I felt strongly about the original brand.
If these words resonate with you and the work that you do… then you’re likely part of the target market for OM System products. If they don’t… then you should buy a different brand.
For the work that I do and the creative philosophy that is core to my approach, nothing else even comes close to what my Olympus camera gear delivers. Based on this morning’s announcement OM System products will continue to deliver that to other photographers in the future.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are indicated. This is the 1,081st article published on this website since its original inception.
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