Olympus E-M5 Makes a Humming Noise - Forum Reactions

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The fact that the Olympus E-M5 makes a humming noise was quickly reported by multiple independent owners (1,2,3,4) and confirmed by DPReview's Andy Westlake (5).

    Andy Westlake from DPReview's brief take on the humming:
    This humming sound is present with or without the in-body stabilization enabled and has prompted critical reactions from a number of forum members who have not yet held the E-M5 (6,7,8,9) and discussions of whether there could be a firmware fix (10) and how such a fix might work (11)!

    At this early juncture, I've yet to read a post by someone has used the E-M5 and considers the humming noise to be a problem. Since many of us haven't had a chance to try the camera yet for ourselves, here are a few comments from the people who have:

    Rob 13 wrote:
    Chris_in_Osaka wrote:
    CharlesTokyo wrote:
    Chris_in_Osaka wrote:
    CharlesTokyo wrote:
     
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  2. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    If it's as unobtrusive as people say, it's not an issue for me unless it's related to some larger concern. I don't buy cameras to shoot video, so I'm off the hook on that account.
     
  3. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    301
    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England
    Thanks, Amin, for putting this non-issue into perspective.
     
  4. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    619
    Feb 15, 2011
    Toronto
    I'd consider more of a purring :smile:

    Since it's related to the stablized viewfinder and is turned off during movie movie mode.. 100% a non issue. I kind of like the purring.

    However, I would like to see a firmware update allowing the user to turnoff the stablized VF to save battery life if they chose to go that route.
     
  5. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    636
    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    That's DPreview for you. Another reason why I've not been on that forum for years. Unless the sound is interfering with video (which sounds like it could) then I don't see the problem. I'm sure if its a real issue that Olympus will fix it.
     
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  6. sohcsleeper

    sohcsleeper Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Jan 4, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    check out this video: you can hear a noise..almost like a fan when the power is ON, but its soooooo barely audible.

    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4jViGmfhLw&feature=relmfu]OLYMPUS E-M5 E-P1 PowerON/OFF - YouTube[/ame]
     
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    As suspected, the noise comes from the motor holding the sensor in position. It's funny seeing it 'jump' when the camera is turned on!

    It seems fairly quiet, but the downside for video is that even with MF lenses, you won't be entirely free of camera-generated noise.

    DH
     
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    As far as the tiny buzz in video, if you are at all concerned about audio quality in your video then you would be using an external mic. Anybody who's not using an external mic shouldn't be picking at minor audio deficiencies. ;)
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    I completely agree. I think dpreview's forum has now become a mere meeting place for hysterical photographers. Do not miss the occasion when, at onset of a model, are systematically drawn into play issues never mentioned in any review. It happened with the Fuji's, and it's now happening with the E-M5....:rolleyes:
     
  10. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    593
    Feb 23, 2012
    Toronto
    I joined both this and the dpreview forum at the same time...I wish I had known how unfriendly and immature one of these forums would become...I'll let you guess which one I've decided to stick with and which one I will no longer be posting on. :thumbup:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Gakuranman

    Gakuranman Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Mar 22, 2010
    Japan
    I got my E-M5 today, and I'm finding it louder than expected. The video above was probably taken when the E-M5 was set to video mode (in which case there is a tiny, barely audible 'hum' that is not a problem).

    What is much more audible is the fanlike sound when the camera is set to any shooting mode except video. There is a very discernible noise difference between video mode and regular stills shooting mode.

    I wonder if perhaps my ears are overly sensitive or my unit really is just louder... Hm.

    Here's the test I did:

    I took videos using the E-M5 and the E-P3, facing one another. I turned off all electronic devices and lights, closed the curtains and used a battery-powered headlight to make my room as sound-proof as I could.

    First video:
    [ame=http://vimeo.com/39635319]E-M5 Video Test in Quiet Room on Vimeo[/ame]
    The E-M5 is recording video of the E-P3. Background noise seems pretty normal to me.

    Second video:
    [ame=http://vimeo.com/39635439]E-P3 Video Test in Quiet Room feat. E-M5 on Vimeo[/ame]
    The E-P3 is recording the E-M5. At first, the E-M5 is also recording video (the one you see in the video 1). I then stop the E-M5 video and switch modes to Manual mode. You can clearly hear the difference in noise given off by the E-M5 when it is used in a non video mode.
     
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  12. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Interesting comparison Gakuranman, but I really have to crank the volume on my speakers to hear anything. At level I would normally listen to a TV broadcast, for example, I can't hear any hum.

    It would be great if someone took a sound meter to the hum and quantified it.

    I'd be happy to do so if someone wants to shoot me their E-M5! But I'm guessing there must be more than a few audio + photography geeks out there. Ken Rockwell and I can't be the only two...
     
  13. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    593
    Feb 23, 2012
    Toronto
    It almost sounds like a cooling-fan??
     
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    It's not a cooling fan, it's the new IBIS system which holds the sensor suspended in place with a group of tiny gnomes. The sound you hear is them humming away merrily while they work.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  15. Gakuranman

    Gakuranman Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Mar 22, 2010
    Japan
    I have my doubts. If it's the IBIS, why is the noise level different between video mode and stills mode?
     
  16. Gakuranman

    Gakuranman Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Mar 22, 2010
    Japan
    Yes, unfortunately the amount of background noise picked up is distracting. I'm sorry I can't provide a cleaner recording. It really does sound like a gentle laptop fan though when in stills mode.
     
  17. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    619
    Feb 15, 2011
    Toronto
    Very simple. In Video mode, I the VF stablizer is deactivated. Rep mentioned it I seem to recall and from the very little I played with it in video mode, seemed to be the case.
     
  18. Gakuranman

    Gakuranman Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Mar 22, 2010
    Japan
    Isn't the VF stabiliser activated when you half press the shutter in video mode? I tried that and there was still no noise...
     
  19. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    619
    Feb 15, 2011
    Toronto
    In the manual on pg 49, Under `Caution` it states clearly that their is a operating sound or vibration from the stabilizer.

    As for the half shutter .. its Called ``Half way Rls with IS`` on page 87 of the manual. You need to have it set to ``on`` for it to function that way. Looks like its in the Cog C menu. That is for the sensor stabilizer, not the VF stabilizer that is making the purring.

    However, I do not believe there is way to turn on and off the VF stabilizer. Im pretty sure the VF is stablized in Picture Mode (hence the purr) but not in Movie Mode (hence the lack of sound) and there is not a way of turn it on or off. Would be nice if you could to save battery life etc.
     
  20. awatahurm

    awatahurm Mu-43 Regular

    89
    Jul 10, 2011
    I realize this is a subjective question but... Would you say this noise is more irritating than the "rattle" of the Panasonic 25mm lens? (Which doesn't bother me at all.)
    One of the customers at amazon.jp compared it to using an electrical appliance rather than a camera.
    Amazon.co.jp￾F ƒJƒXƒ^ƒ}￾[ƒŒƒrƒ…￾[: OLYMPUS ƒfƒWƒ^ƒ‹ƒ}ƒCƒNƒ￾ˆêŠáƒJƒ￾ƒ‰ OM-D E-M5 ƒŒƒ“ƒYƒLƒbƒg ƒuƒ‰ƒbƒN 1605–œ‰æ‘f 144–œƒhƒbƒg“dŽqƒrƒ…￾[ƒtƒ@ƒCƒ“ƒ_￾[ 5Ž²‘ΉžŽè‚Ô‚ê•â￾³ –h￾o –h“H OM-D E-M5 LKIT BLK