Confirming earlier reports, Sony has officially announced that it is entering an alliance with Olympus, supporting the ailing imaging company. Sony is pumping $645 million into Olympus, and the two are forming business and capital alliances together. The meat of the deal is that Sony is gaining a seat on Olympus’ board, as well as 51% of a new medical imaging venture — which is pegged to be worth 66 billion Yen ($850 million) by 2020.
Of more concern to those of us in the photography world is what will happen in the camera business. Here’s the official statement:
The announcement specifically mentions the technology trade will focus on “compact digital cameras” which could prove beneficial for both companies. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 showed exactly how well Olympus could make use of a Sony sensor, so the deal could mean more fantastic cameras out of Olympus and more lenses for the Sony NEX cameras. Both good things in our eyes.