posted Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM EDT


In a move that probably surprises very few, Olympus says it will axe its low-priced, point-and-shoot digital camera line. Olympus' decision to get rid of its V series of cheap, compact cameras, comes in response to the continuing erosion of the category due to increased competition from app-happy smart phones with built-in cameras.

While Olympus' V-series cameras typically sell for under $200, they've had trouble competing with smart phones (though which point-and-shoot models haven't?), which allow the user to instantly share images across social networks such as Instagram and Facebook.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Olympus' camera business posted a loss in the last fiscal year (through March), because demand for compact cameras was worse than expected. Instead, Olympus will continue to focus on pricier models, such as its line of mirrorless, compact system cameras with small interchangeable lens. The company recently unveiled the Olympus E-P5 (US $1,450), the latest flagship model in its PEN-series of mirrorless cameras.

There's was no word on what will happen to Olympus' other lines of point-and-shoot cameras, including the S-series models, which employ long, built-in optical zoom lenses; or the rugged Tough line of waterproof cameras.

Olympus sold 5.1 million digital cameras in the last fiscal year but expects to sell only 2.7 million this fiscal year, the Wall Street Journal reports.