Noisy E-M5III

RAH

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I just bought an E-M5III. Yay!! I've been using it some and have noticed that when I half-press the shutter button, I can hear what sounds like the lens motor MUCH more clearly than on my old E-M10II. This is especially noticable with a noisy lens like the P20mm 1.7, but even with the Oly 17mm 1.8, I can hear it. The noise seems to come from the left side of the camera.

I've also noticed a lot of clicking noises coming from the left side if I just pan the camera around without doing much of anything (e.g. no half-presses). This is especially noticable when I pan from a bright area to a darker area close to myself. It goes click, click. The sound seems to get louder as I use the camera, although maybe I'm just tuned in to it after first hearing it.

I tried turning off IS, but it made no difference with either sound.

The images I'm getting seem OK and AF is fast, etc, so I guess it's OK, but it is pretty noticable. Anyone else noticed either of these sounds, or know what might be causing them?

Edit: I am using S-AF (not continuous), so the sound coming from panning doesn't seem to be related to it constantly focusing.
 

Reflector

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The clicking is likely the aperture stopping down on the lens. If you go into a dark room and have a bright light source in it, the aperture will stop down when you point it at the bright light source. This is normal from my understanding and is related to trying to keep the exposure of the live view accurate I think.
 
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I have a 5MkIII and recently got a used 17 f/1.8 from another member here. I can hear the focus motor just a little, but it's not a clicking noise. Comparing to my 12-40, the noise is the same when the focus motor moves.

From what I understand, some of the very early 17 f/1.8 Olympus lenses did have noisy motors. The issue was resolved and newer production lenses are much quieter.
 

saladin

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There was someone on here a few weeks back who bought an Em5iii and the 12-40 was incredibly noisy on it. Iirc, they returned the camera for a replacement body. I wonder if a few early 5iii's aren't playing nicely with some AF motors?
 

RAH

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The clicking is likely the aperture stopping down on the lens. If you go into a dark room and have a bright light source in it, the aperture will stop down when you point it at the bright light source. This is normal from my understanding and is related to trying to keep the exposure of the live view accurate I think.
I think you are probably right about this, although I am not exactly sure how it all works. I mean, as I understand it, METERING is done at full aperture, and the camera only actually stops the lens down when the shot is taken. So just panning the camera around shouldn't invoke anything, I should think (I guess?).

But the viewfinder itself (I am using the EVF, not the screen) perhaps also has some requirements in this area, although I would think that it could adjust iself without needing help from the lens. I find this pretty confusing (in case you can't tell).

However, trying the same thing with the E-M10, there is no clicking at all. The clicking is similar to the noise you hear when you turn the camera off.

As far as the 17mm lens and clicking and motor noise, I was actually using the P20mm, and the motor noise was very apparent, but that lens is notorious for this anyway, so I tried to pick a plain-vanilla Olympus lens to try instead. From what people are saying, maybe the 17mm wasn't such a good choice. Hmmm. I have some other Oly lenses that I could try, but I guess I'll just try to ignore it for now, unless it gets worse.

Meanwhile, I really like the camera, especially the larger grip. Even though I have pretty small hands, I always found the E-M10 very hard to handle because there seemed to be no good place to actually grab it. Just picking it up off a table would result in changing a bunch of settings! ;)
 

wjiang

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I think you are probably right about this, although I am not exactly sure how it all works. I mean, as I understand it, METERING is done at full aperture, and the camera only actually stops the lens down when the shot is taken. So just panning the camera around shouldn't invoke anything, I should think (I guess?).

But the viewfinder itself (I am using the EVF, not the screen) perhaps also has some requirements in this area, although I would think that it could adjust iself without needing help from the lens. I find this pretty confusing (in case you can't tell).
If the scene is far too bright, a fast lens will stop down during live view to a) avoid damaging the sensor with too much light and b) give a usable preview. This stopping down is what causes the notorious aperture 'chatter' of the PL25 f/1.4 lens on Olympus bodies.
 

RAH

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That's very interesting, wjiang. That does indeed seem like what I am hearing - "chatter." It seems like it is harmless and not early signs of a problem with the camera (fingers crossed!), so I'll ignore for now... :)
 
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