My OM-D E-M1 died in the field today!

campbellcj

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Hi All,

I am very disappointed and borderline pissed-off about this, but perhaps someone here knows something else I can try before sending in the body for warranty repair/replacement. This is the first gear failure I've experienced in 8 years of pretty serious shooting across several different camera system types and many different actual cameras/lenses.

Today I was out shooting at a wildlife preserve and suddenly my E-M1's front curtain "stuck" closed, and the camera will not turn-on fully or function at all. The curtain is not really stuck because sometimes when I turn on the power switch, it actuates very quickly 4 or 5 times, but then the camera dies again with it closed. Most of the time I do not get the menu screen but sometimes it displays, but is frozen. No controls have any effect.

I tried everything imaginable multiple times - swapped batteries, lenses, SD cards. No difference.

In case it might matter, at the time I was using it with the battery grip, the Panasonic 100-300mm lens and a Lexar 32GB gold card. I have used this exact setup before, no prob. The camera was not wet, dirty, or dropped. Actually it is (er, was) in fantastic condition. I called Olympus tech support and they said it will have to be sent in.

I would really appreciate any tips you may have; otherwise, when I get back home I will have to ship it off to Olympus and wait.

Thanks!!!
 

lightmonkey

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Its happened to me and needed warranty.

Also the first cam and system of any kind I've had fail.

I also have a persistent playback-dial-skip issue that plagues no one else. Though I'm reluctant to let the camera go for repair....maybe until it nears warranty expiration time
 

campbellcj

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Unfortunately it sounds like the shutter is "stuffed" & will need replacing.
Thanks you. Is this a "known issue" with these cameras? I did quite a bit of googling when it happened and did not see any widespread similar probs but may have not been searching for the right terms.

This really shakes my confidence in this particular camera if not the whole system, as this is what I take with me everywhere and I need it to be bulletproof. For significant shoots I of course bring a backup body (or two) but not in the everyday world and on trips like this one (mostly business.) I have really loved my PEN and OM-D cameras - the E-M1 is my third u4/3 - but will go back to shooting Nikon 100% in an eyeblink if I can't trust this gear fully.
 

Melaka

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lightmonkey;675984I also have a persistent playback-dial-skip issue that plagues no one else. Though I'm reluctant to let the camera go for repair....maybe until it nears warranty expiration time[/QUOTE said:
My EM1 is with Olympus for the second time due to rear thumbwheel problems.
 

randyspan

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Had the same thing on my E-M10 the first week I had it. I'm with you - shakes one's confidence in the whole system.
 

campbellcj

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Quick update - wait, there is no update!!! I told Olympus I needed the camera back by Thursday 8/28 but I have heard nothing. I'm going to call them shortly and see if they will at least send a loaner. Otherwise I suppose I will have to sell all this gear and go back to Nikon. Having unreliable gear and unreliable service is not acceptable to me.
 

sammykhalifa

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I had a similar issue this weekend. So far (fingers crossed) it looks like it was a bad battery. Sorry if this sounds obvious, but have you tried a different one?

EDIT--it wasn't exactly the same sound, and mine is an EM10, but I'm hoping this would help anyhow. The issue didn't strike me as being something a battery would cause so I was thinking other people might overlook it too.
 

campbellcj

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Thanks but yes as mentioned in original post I tried all kinds of things including swapping lens, battery and Sd card. It's toast!
 

Mikefellh

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I'm sorry but first of all this can happen to ANY camera and ANY camera brand...and there are plenty of stories of Nikons having this issue out there.

Second, if it's THAT important to have a working camera why don't you have a BACKUP???? You said this is your third m4/3 camera, can't you go back to one of your previous m4/3 cameras, or did you get rid of them all?

Personally I have two E-M5s so if one fails I can use my other one. And if both had a problem I can go back to my full size 4/3 cameras which I also kept because I can't ever be without a working camera.

And there's no point in blaming Olympus here!
 

Trankster

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I'm sorry but first of all this can happen to ANY camera and ANY camera brand...and there are plenty of stories of Nikons having this issue out there.

Second, if it's THAT important to have a working camera why don't you have a BACKUP???? You said this is your third m4/3 camera, can't you go back to one of your previous m4/3 cameras, or did you get rid of them all?

Personally I have two E-M5s so if one fails I can use my other one. And if both had a problem I can go back to my full size 4/3 cameras which I also kept because I can't ever be without a working camera.

And there's no point in blaming Olympus here!
Agree, it is frustrating no doubt but can happen with any system. I have used Olympus cameras for many years starting with the OM1, and more recently EP2, EM5 and now EM1. Never had a failure. Just get it repaired, hopefully under warranty. PS If it were me, I might pick up an EM10 as a backup camera while the EM1 is in the shop.

Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
 

campbellcj

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I'm sorry but first of all this can happen to ANY camera and ANY camera brand...and there are plenty of stories of Nikons having this issue out there.

Second, if it's THAT important to have a working camera why don't you have a BACKUP???? You said this is your third m4/3 camera, can't you go back to one of your previous m4/3 cameras, or did you get rid of them all?

Personally I have two E-M5s so if one fails I can use my other one. And if both had a problem I can go back to my full size 4/3 cameras which I also kept because I can't ever be without a working camera.

And there's no point in blaming Olympus here!
To clarify, I do have backup but I was not primarily on a shooting trip so did not bring a ton of gear. The E-M1 has been my "go everywhere" camera since the day I bought it, so that's what I was using. On dedicated shooting missions I typically bring 2 if not 3 bodies and a large kit of other gear/spares.

I understand that gear can fail, and it's annoying and sometimes costly when that happens. My current annoyance with Olympus is mainly their slowness and total lack of communication during the repair process. But also I cannot rule out that the failure may be due to an engineering flaw or manufacturing error on their part, which shakes my confidence.
 

BeyondTheLines

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My current annoyance with Olympus is mainly their slowness and total lack of communication during the repair process. But also I cannot rule out that the failure may be due to an engineering flaw or manufacturing error on their part, which shakes my confidence.
I'm not trying to be a smart-ass but given problems with the D600 and now the D810, does Nikon really deserve more confidence? Also, I was reminded of a Roger Cicala from lensrentals.com blog post when he was considering potential systems to buy into and when comparing Canon and Nikon he comments:

"I mentioned in the first post that I’m a fanatic about customer service and repairs. That’s a big edge to Canon USA compare to Nikon USA right now (it’s different in different countries), and right now is when I’m making my decision. ******s can go off as much as they want, but I handled several thousand repairs last year. Nikon takes, on average, three times as long at double the cost. (Lensrentals insider joke: What do you call a D800 with a scratched sensor? Parts. Because at $1,800 for a sensor replacement . . . )"

It sounds like you've had some bad luck with your camera but I wouldn't be too drastic unless you were already considering changing systems
 

campbellcj

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I can't comment re. Nikon service because I've never had to use it! ;) I've shot Nikon since 2006 and my current main FF system is a D3 which has been bulletproof (as I would expect from a $4000+ body). I have (and previously have had) numerous NIkon lenses and accessories too, with zero issues. I realize this is just my personal anecdotal experience and certainly everyone's stuff breaks once in a while.

On the phone with Olympus now -- sadly my camera just entered the actual service process yesterday (8/25) although I shipped it on 8/8. When I initiated the warranty claim I told them I needed it back by 8/28. They said they'll do their best to expedite repair and return shipping but no promises and no loaner. So I will try to rent a GH4 or something to use for the weekend video duties (D3 does not do video)...
 

BeyondTheLines

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I can't comment re. Nikon service because I've never had to use it! ;) I've shot Nikon since 2006 and my current main FF system is a D3 which has been bulletproof (as I would expect from a $4000+ body). I have (and previously have had) numerous NIkon lenses and accessories too, with zero issues. I realize this is just my personal anecdotal experience and certainly everyone's stuff breaks once in a while.

On the phone with Olympus now -- sadly my camera just entered the actual service process yesterday (8/25) although I shipped it on 8/8. When I initiated the warranty claim I told them I needed it back by 8/28. They said they'll do their best to expedite repair and return shipping but no promises and no loaner. So I will try to rent a GH4 or something to use for the weekend video duties (D3 does not do video)...
I too would be a little discouraged waiting that long for some sort of update. I've generally had good luck with the products I buy but the few times I've had to service something it's not been very fast unfortunately. If I'm left unsatisfied, they lose out on my future purchases. You never know though, this might be a blessing in disguise since the GH4 is much more tailored towards video duties.
 
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