Broken E-M10 II Dilemma: Looking for Advice

dishwab

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Hey all, looking for some advice and thoughts about what I should do next in my camera journey.

I was in Glacier National Park last week, and on the first day of my trip my 3 year old E-M10 II took a dump. It completely froze up, and since then the shutter won't open, the screen won't really turn on, and none of the buttons/dials are functional. I've tried with two separate charged batteries and get the same results.

So – trying to figure out what to do next.

I reached out to Olympus and they are going to charge me $218 to repair it. I'm trying to decide if it's worth spending that much to repair a 4-5 year old camera body, or if I should upgrade to something else. I've been considering one of the newer M43 bodies with the improved 20mp sensor, and initallity was looking into the E-M5 III as a logical progession. However... the plastic tripod mount issues on that body are putting me off because I use a PD capture clip when I'm hiking. That leaves me looking at either a used E-M1 II or a Panasonic G95 as reasonable upgrades. Both would cost quite a bit more than fixing the E-M10, but would also get me a more modern camera with more features and an improved sensor.

Another option would be to abandon M43 all together and move to something with a larger sensor. I don't want to go full frame due to size and cost, but I am curious about the Fuji world and whether or not the APS-C sensor would be an improvement on where I've been with my photography. I could probably sell off my M43 lenses and reasonably afford to buy a good used X-T20 or X-T30 body with 1-2 lenses to get me started (My lens collection right now is the PL 8-18, PL 12-60, Oly 40-150, and Oly 17 prime).

I looked at a Sony A6100 the other day in a shop and didn't love the ergonomics of it so I don't think I'll be goin that route.

Anyway, that's all a long rambling way of asking: if you were in my shoes, what would you do? Are the newer features in the M43 worth upgrading to, or am I better off biting the bullet and fixing the old E-M10? Thoughts on abandoning the system entirely and moving to the world of Fuji? Bueller?

Thanks all.
 

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LilSebastian

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Sorry for your predicament. I suspect you could get another E-M10 II for close to $250-300, so if you love the form factor and images that could be the way to go. I have one along side my Pen-F. Great camera.

If you are getting outdoors, perhaps the weather proofing of the other Olympus cameras you mentioned would be a big benefit. The E-M1 II is a proven camera and can be found for under $1k new I believe and for ~700 used. I won't attempt to go down the Fuji/other system road, there are many threads about peoples experience chasing the "best" camera. Many seem to come back to m43 after accepting the tradeoffs.
 
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Hey all, looking for some advice and thoughts about what I should do next in my camera journey.

I was in Glacier National Park last week, and on the first day of my trip my 3 year old E-M10 II took a dump. It completely froze up, and since then the shutter won't open, the screen won't really turn on, and none of the buttons/dials are functional. I've tried with two separate charged batteries and get the same results.

So – trying to figure out what to do next.

I reached out to Olympus and they are going to charge me $218 to repair it. I'm trying to decide if it's worth spending that much to repair a 4-5 year old camera body, or if I should upgrade to something else. I've been considering one of the newer M43 bodies with the improved 20mp sensor, and initallity was looking into the E-M5 III as a logical progession. However... the plastic tripod mount issues on that body are putting me off because I use a PD capture clip when I'm hiking. That leaves me looking at either a used E-M1 II or a Panasonic G95 as reasonable upgrades. Both would cost quite a bit more than fixing the E-M10, but would also get me a more modern camera with more features and an improved sensor.

Another option would be to abandon M43 all together and move to something with a larger sensor. I don't want to go full frame due to size and cost, but I am curious about the Fuji world and whether or not the APS-C sensor would be an improvement on where I've been with my photography. I could probably sell off my M43 lenses and reasonably afford to buy a good used X-T20 or X-T30 body with 1-2 lenses to get me started (My lens collection right now is the PL 8-18, PL 12-60, Oly 40-150, and Oly 17 prime).

I looked at a Sony A6100 the other day in a shop and didn't love the ergonomics of it so I don't think I'll be goin that route.

Anyway, that's all a long rambling way of asking: if you were in my shoes, what would you do? Are the newer features in the M43 worth upgrading to, or am I better off biting the bullet and fixing the old E-M10? Thoughts on abandoning the system entirely and moving to the world of Fuji? Bueller?

Bummer! Have you considered the EM10 IV? It looks to be a suitable replacement and has a 20mp sensor. What about the Pen F? It is a very nice camera and also has a 20mp sensor. Good luck.
 

Michael Meissner

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As I've posted before, while I love the E-m1 mark I form factor, the E-m1 mark I/II/III, E-m10 mark I, E-m5 mark I/II, and E-m1x bodies all use a TFT viewfinder because it refreshes the screen faster. The E-m10 II/III/IV, Pen-F, and E-m5 mark III use an OLED viewfinder.

TFT displays have one orientation that the screen is either distorted or opaque if you view the screen through polarized sunglasses. In the Olympus cameras, the problem orientation is horizontal (landscape), which I shoot with a lot more often than vertical (portrait). Unfortunately, due to migraines, I have to wear polarized prescription sunglasses all of the time, so just taking off the glasses is not an option (unless I want to increase the chance of migraines).

My E-m1 mark I has horizontal waves in the display where one wave is clear and the next distorted. With practice, I can get the photo's focus point selected and let the camera auto focus to do its job. All of the other cameras with TFT LCD viewfinders are the same except for the E-m5 mark II, where the viewfinder is opaque. Cameras that have an OLED viewfinder (like your E-m10 mark II) can be viewed in either orientation without distortion (though sometimes one orientation is darker than the other, but at least you can see it).

So for me, the E-m5 mark III is the Goldilocks camera, having an OLED viewfinder, classic Olympus menu structure, sensor shift stabilization, and being splash proof.

Compared to my previous E-m1 mark I and E-m10 mark II, there are 2 issues:
  • The tripod issue that you mentioned. I used to use a Peak Designs Capture Clip to allow me to attach the camera to the bag/backpack strap, but with the issue, I have just gone back to using a normal neck strap.
  • E-m10 mark II and E-m1 mark I had a rear display that tilted, while the E-m5 mark III has a fully articulating display. There are times I want the tilting display and times I want the articulating display.

I had bought the G85 for a trip to Hawaii about 3 years ago because it had the OLED viewfinder, sensor shift stabilization, and was splash proof. But after using Olympus cameras since 2002, I really don't like the way Panasonic does things. So I now mainly use the G85 for video, since the G85 does not stop recording after 30 minutes like all Olympus cameras do.

There are three main issues I have with the G85:
  • Panasonic's noise handling is not as good as Olympus's, and I tend to feel that the boundary where the camera produces mushy water colored images is about a stop sooner than an Olympus camera with the same sensor would be. Note, I only shoot JPG. This might not be an issue if you shoot RAW.
  • I find in practice, I get a lot of highlight burn-outs if I have white areas in a photo, such as men's white shirts, or birds with white feathers. I have to dial in exposure compensation to not burn out the highlights, and then boost the levels in post processing. Before the E-m5 mark III, my Olympus cameras would typically go up to the maximum, but not burn out the highlights. With the E-m5 mark III, I believe they have 'adjusted' things, and I find I more often just set the EC to -0.3.
  • While Panasonic claims their cameras and lenses are splash-proof, if you look at the manual, they essentially say we may call this splash proof, but don't actually get the camera wet. Recent Olympus E-m5/E-m1s claim an actual splash proof standard (IPX1). Granted the classification is pretty weak, but Olympus has said they actually design it for higher ratings, but they don't specify it in the manual for liability reasons. After looking at that, I came to the conclusion that I trust Olympus sealing more than Panasonic. That being said, I have used the G85 in wet conditions, including going on the boat ride at Niagara Falls where you go into the area next to the falls and get drenched for about 10 minutes.
The Olympus 14-150mm mark II lens makes a nice travel lens for outdoor shooting as it is a super-zoom and gives you a lot of range. I did recently upgrade to the 12-200mm lens to get more wide angle and telephoto ranges, but if you are on a budget, the 14-150mm is a great lens. If you are buying it used, make sure you get the mark II version, as the mark I version was not splash proof.
 
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Brownie

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Short answer:
Going from M-4/3 to APSC is not going to give you any appreciable amount of improvement in the image. Unless you go to full frame you probably wouldn't even notice the difference, and even that would be limited based on the newer M-4/3 sensors.

Yes, getting an upgraded body will be more expensive. However, changing systems means changing lenses, and that will be more expensive yet. You'll never realize enough value out of your current lenses to even get close to the cost of new.

If it were me, I'd look to a newer upgraded M-4/3 body. Just moving into the upgraded (but most importantly UpDATED) sensor will provide a marked improvement in image quality. Cost-wise, you can get a G9 body for less than a G-95.
 

PakkyT

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It completely froze up, and since then the shutter won't open, the screen won't really turn on, and none of the buttons/dials are functional. I've tried with two separate charged batteries and get the same results.
Totally random sounding bit of advise, but did you try pulling the SD card out? Or putting a different one in? I actually had an issue where my E-M1.1 did what you described and it was pulling the SD card that fixed it. Something about accessing the card was basically locking up the camera. As I recall it was fine after when I put the card back in and I used it for the rest of my short trip but I did buy another card just to be safe after I got home.
 
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I hope @PakkyT is right, and that pulling the SD card (with the switch off) will do the trick. However, I echo some other's responses that going to a weather-resistant body like the EM5 II or EM1 series is worth considering if you're going to take it outside a lot. A weather sealed lens is also essential if you're doing that. The EM5 II and the EM1 series have metal bodies and baseplates, or you could use a EM5 III with an L-bracket to spread the load if you prefer to keep using the Peak Design capture clip. I tried using the Capture Clip, but after learning about the EM5 III susceptibility to tripod socket damage, I went back to relying on my OpTech sling (I can't stand neck straps). One could also suspend the camera from your backpack straps if you use OpTech's modular connectors and straps.
 

ata3001

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I have a Pen F (20mp sensor) & 2 friends I shoot with that have the EM 5 mkII (16mp sensor) $ stronger metal body. On paper, 4mp difference in sensor size, may seem like a substantial increase, however in reality, it takes some extremely close scrutiny to see any difference when comparing images, side by side.
You stated a cost of $218 to repair your camera, a camera you have been happy, with up until this issue. I would spend the $218 to get your camera repaired, & continue on with it. No need for the added cost of changing lenses, filters, camera bag, etc... It's also a better idea to get yours repaired, since it looks like a shutter replacement, than to buy another used EM10II since at that point you will have a brand new shutter instead of another used one with who knows, how many shutter actuations on it. Good luck with your decision
 

bargainguy

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I shoot Sony FF, Nikon crop sensor, and Olympus/Panasonic MFT.

Whenever I move from MFT to either Sony or Nikon, I have to ask myself, what am I giving up compared to MFT, and what am I getting in return?

The MFT gear is easily the smallest and most compact of the bunch. The Nikon crop sensor gear is almost as large as the Sony FF gear. So if I want to stay small, Nikon ain't gonna cut it. Sony actually does better in this regard. I feel like I'm getting more bang for my buck over Nikon while lugging a larger form factor around.

From a user standpoint, the Olympus IBIS jumps rings around Sony IBIS, so not gaining anything there. My Nikon gear does not include any stabilized bodies.

Now, should you jump ship to Fuji crop sensor or other? Only if you're OK with the larger form factor, less effective IBIS, and greater cost. If you are, then go for it.
 

dishwab

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Thanks all, appreciate the points given throughout and many are well taken.

I have been mostly happy with E-M10 ii so far, although not entirely so. There are definitely instances where I've been disappointed with my results, specifically in regards to dynamic range. Conversely, it has produced plenty of wonderful images for me as well – and I can definitely admit that the shortcomings are much more likely to be my own than the camera's.

I agree that departing the MFT system altogether seems unwise. I'm happy with the lens selection I have and love the portability, so I think it's just a matter of figuring out which body to proceed with.

I had NOT really thought about the EM10 IV up until this point, but I do recognize it would give me the updated sensor. I have some fears though regarding the tripod mount point and the plastic build of that camera. Seems to me that it could definitely share the same issue as the EM5 III in terms of failure.

I think I'm between fixing my original camera and finding a good used EM1 ii. I like the idea of weather sealing + the newer sensor, and I've had the ECG-3 grip on my current camera since day 1 so the size difference will likely be fairly negligible.
 

Brownie

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One thing to think about is your lenses. You currently have 2 Panny and 2 Oly. No matter which way you go you'll be limiting your IBIS. Which are your most often used? If you use the Panny lenses more often then maybe consider going that route, or vice-versa for the Oly.
 

RAH

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I think I'm between fixing my original camera and finding a good used EM1 ii. I like the idea of weather sealing + the newer sensor, and I've had the ECG-3 grip on my current camera since day 1 so the size difference will likely be fairly negligible.
Since you won't be bothered by the extra size of the E-M1.2, this seems like an obvious choice to me. Most reviewers tout the E-M1.2 over the E-M5.3 if size and weight are not a consideration (as they are for me). If you can afford it, I'd get a new E-M1.2, otherwise look for a refurb on Oly website or then a used one.
 

ac12

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With the Panasonic lenses, they "may" not weather seal on the Olympus bodies.
So the weather sealed EM5 and EM1 may not give you the weather sealing you may think you get.
This is a known issue, of cross branding lens and camera. They seal when you stay with the same brand lens and camera.

I don't think you will get much DR improvement till you go to a FF sensor.
Even so, depending on conditions, you can easily exceed even the DR of a FF sensor.

Something to think about, EM10 + EM1.
I shoot with both. The EM1 is my primary camera, the smaller EM10 gets used for family parties and such.
Take off the grip from the EM10 and put on the 14-42EZ, and you have a compact camera.
Sometimes I pick the EM10, because it has a built in flash, so is more convenient to use than an external flash on the EM1.

I shoot both m4/3 and APS-C.
I switched from APS-C to m4/3 to reduce the weight of my carry kit. As I get older, I can't carry the weight I used to.
Now when I pick up my APS-C camera, I often think "why?" Because it is so much heavier than my m4/3 camera.
The FF lenses are bigger and heavier.
The only reason I still shoot my APS-C camera is ONE lens. The Nikon 70-200/4 handles better than the 40-150/2.8 Olympus m4/3 lens on the football field.
 

Leolab

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I enjoy both the Fuji system and the m43 system.
I for one do see an IQ benefit when using the Fuji system (combination of great APS-C sensor, and great lenses) compared to my m43 system (also with some of the better lenses)...but there is no doubt that kit size is a tradeoff, for some this is well worth it, for others not so much. I use m43 primarily for long reach and for a super small carry everywhere system (I recently picked up a G100 and really like it)

If you want a smaller body, I would narrow it down to the EM5ii or the EM10iv, the former due to great combination of body build quality, and VF size, the latter due to the newest sensor in a smaller cheaper form factor, both with great IBIS...I would not get the EM10ii repaired at the price you have been quoted. I would personally also skip the EM5iii for three main reasons...price, build quality and EVF size. Lastly, the original EM1 is still an amazing camera that can be had for small$, and it has a great EVF and build quality as well, and great ergonomics to add to it, but its larger than the two other options. i picked one up recently for sub-$200, and it still performs (IBIS, speed...) very competitively. That would be my pick.
 

dishwab

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Since you won't be bothered by the extra size of the E-M1.2, this seems like an obvious choice to me. Most reviewers tout the E-M1.2 over the E-M5.3 if size and weight are not a consideration (as they are for me). If you can afford it, I'd get a new E-M1.2, otherwise look for a refurb on Oly website or then a used one.

Agreed I think that's the optimal choice, just a decision about cost for me now. $220 to repair vs $7-800 for a good used copy is a reasonably large increase.
 

dishwab

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I enjoy both the Fuji system and the m43 system.
I for one do see an IQ benefit when using the Fuji system (combination of great APS-C sensor, and great lenses) compared to my m43 system (also with some of the better lenses)...but there is no doubt that kit size is a tradeoff, for some this is well worth it, for others not so much. I use m43 primarily for long reach and for a super small carry everywhere system (I recently picked up a G100 and really like it)

If you want a smaller body, I would narrow it down to the EM5ii or the EM10iv, the former due to great combination of body build quality, and VF size, the latter due to the newest sensor in a smaller cheaper form factor, both with great IBIS...I would not get the EM10ii repaired at the price you have been quoted. I would personally also skip the EM5iii for three main reasons...price, build quality and EVF size. Lastly, the original EM1 is still an amazing camera that can be had for small$, and it has a great EVF and build quality as well, and great ergonomics to add to it, but its larger than the two other options. i picked one up recently for sub-$200, and it still performs (IBIS, speed...) very competitively. That would be my pick.

Good perspective, thank you
 

ac12

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