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OM-D E-M5 and memory card problems

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Popelotto, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. Popelotto

    Popelotto Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Sep 28, 2012
    Finland
    Paavo Niskala
    Hi,

    I've been lurking around the forum for a while and just had to register now. Too bad my first post will be about such a negative thing.

    I've been having tons of fun with my OM-D. However, I've also had some worries. About a month a go I thought the camera fried my memory card. It gave me the "Card Error" alert and I couldn't do a thing with the card. Frustrated, I bought a new card and shot happily with it for about a month.

    Yesterday, however, I got some errors again. This time I could view the photos without problem on my camera, but trying to erase them or taking new ones would give me the error once again. I even managed to copy the pics to my computer, albeit a little bit slowly I think. The problem seems to be this time with writing or modifying the data on the card.

    I took the older card and put it back in my camera. I don't remember if I tried to format it earlier, but this time it worked. I managed to take pictures and delete them again. However, after a while I got a new error, "Picture Error", making all the photos and videos disappear. I also noticed that the battery indicator was flashing. That might have something to do with it. After that the camera and the card seem to be working okay.

    So what do you think, does the camera have some problems with it's memory card department? Or have I just had very bad luck with the memory cards? They're not any bad brand I think, the first one was from Kingston and the other one Sandisk, both class 10 and 16 Gb.
     
  2. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I have not had any problems with a variety of cards and I don't remember reading posts reporting problems. Things that commonly seem to lead to problems are not formatting the card in the camera and deleting files on a computer rather than in the camera.
     
  3. Popelotto

    Popelotto Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Sep 28, 2012
    Finland
    Paavo Niskala
    Okay, I've been doing exactly that: deleting the files on the computer.

    I forgot to mention that I had no such problems with my E-PL2 which I used for a year. The only thing that changed was my camera. The unlucky thing is that both of these memory card incidents happened in press events. I think I should try these cards again on other cameras and see how they work with them.
     
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    I delete and format everything in-camera and haven't experienced any card problem. I suggest not to 'erase' but 'format' your cards in-camera after downloading you images to computer.

    Gary

    PS- Welcome to the forum.
    G
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. When a camera saves a picture, it adds info to the card's directory; when You format a card in the camera it recreates a new directory.
    Now, when You take the memory card out of the camera, put it in a computer and delete some pictures from the card -using the computer- You change the card's directory in a way that could lead to errors when re-inserted into the camera.
    Therefore, good practice consists of NEVER erasing pictures from the card using the computer, and ALWAYS reformatting (and not erasing) the pictures when re-inserting the card in the camera.
    Following these rules I have never had any memory problems using several digital camera and using different memory cards.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. allenrowand

    allenrowand Mu-43 Regular

    198
    Apr 10, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Allen Rowand
    I'll jump on the dogpile; when I first started shooting with the E-M5, I had issues with my computer not recognizing my ORF files occasionally; I'd have to use the camera to convert to jpg and then I could import. My workflow (carried over from my Nikon) was to have Aperture delete my photos after import. Now I format the card in the camera to erase it, and I've never experienced a problem again.
     
  7. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    This isn't (or shouldn't be) true. Every consumer camera I'm aware of, heck, every camera I've ever used, including pro bodies, format the card as FAT32. That's the same format, and directory structure, that Windows uses on small "drives", including SD and CF cards. The only difference is that cameras generally create a couple of subdirectories (folders) on the card as part of the formatting process. But that doesn't affect the directory structure, and if the camera finds those directories don't exist it'll create them the first time you use the card.

    Reformatting rather than simply deleting, at least every now and then, is probably a good idea, since it eliminates fragmentation issues that can reduce capacity and slow writes. While the rest won't hurt, it shouldn't be necessary. When you delete a file, whether in camera or computer, all you're doing is erasing the directory entry. That's true whether in-camera or on a computer.

    To the OP, where did you buy your cards? There are many, in fact a great many, counterfeit cards being sold on ebay. That "Sandisk" card that looks like a good deal may well be made in some no-name factory in China.
     
  8. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    In spite of what I wrote, I actually do what Gary posted - that is, I don't even erase files in the camera. When the card is full and has been archived, it gets a format.

    Not sure why the EM5 would behave differently from other Olys...there could be dozens differences in how they handle memory cards that could cause that?
     
  9. Popelotto

    Popelotto Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Sep 28, 2012
    Finland
    Paavo Niskala
    Thanks for all the replys. I realized I might not have formatted the memory card before switching to OM-D. I'll continue monitoring the situation and post if any developments occur.

    I bought them both from well-known retailers here in Finland and they definitely should be legit.
     
  10. Popelotto

    Popelotto Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Sep 28, 2012
    Finland
    Paavo Niskala
    Managed to use the camera for a while with the old card (Kingston 16 Gb, the one that I got the error with first), but today I got the card error again. Managed to recover the photos using Testdisk. Thankfully I was visiting back home and could use the memory card reader on my old laptop.

    After reformatting the card and the camera seem to get along fine once again but I think it's clear there's a problem of some kind. The writing speeds seem to be a bit slow too, or that might be my imagination.

    I'm currently trying to format the second card (Sandisk 16 Gb), but it seems to take ages. At least my laptop's memory card reader was able to write data on the card and remove the data. I couldn't do that when the card was connected to the computer via USB while inside the camera.

    I guess I'll at least visit the shop and ask about the problem. Wouldn't want to give the camera away for an indefinite period, especially as there are some events coming up I definitely want to shoot with it. On the other hand I really can't shoot with a piece of equipment I don't trust.

    Earlier this year I had a small problem with the Olympus 1.8/45mm as it wouldn't work with my E-PL2. It just gave me a black screen and did this strange whirring sound, as if some mechanism was stuck. Fortunately Olympus had a dead on arrival policy which meant I had a replace product immediately from the retailer. That was a pleasant surprise in an unpleasant situation.
     
  11. gunky

    gunky Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Oct 2, 2012
    Grab alcohol and toilet paper. Place the alcohol on the toilet paper and clean the contacts on sd card. Do it in the direction of the card contacts. Don't leave paper on it. Wait til dries....

    Place card on camera and format. Try it and let us know
     
  12. Popelotto

    Popelotto Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Sep 28, 2012
    Finland
    Paavo Niskala
    Sorry to bump an old thread, but I've been heeding your advice and haven't really had any problems. I haven't deleted any pictures using a computer and instead used the format feature from the camera. I don't know if it's just placebo, but it feels like it takes a lot of time to move pictures from camera to the computer and sometimes the camera feels slow when saving the pictures, but I don't know. It doesn't really matter, I've been happily shooting with my OM-D.
     
  13. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Shouldn't affect that - what software are you using?
     
  14. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Lucille Sanchez
    I dunno, i have never deleted images in camera, have always deleted them on the computer, and I have never formated a card in a camera.... I have yet to have a issue with a memory card...
     
  15. Popelotto

    Popelotto Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Sep 28, 2012
    Finland
    Paavo Niskala
    Sorry for not answering any sooner, but I haven't really had any problems since September or October. I don't know if it was just an odd incident or if changing my methods had any difference. The problems first started when I connected the camera to my iPad, so I haven't done that anymore. I've also deleted pictures and formatted the card only from the camera. I also haven't filled the memory card.

    Like I said earlier, I feel like sometimes it takes a bit long for the camera to write images. I did switch from shooting JPG to RAW+JPG, so of course that has an effect on the processing times.

    I'm still kind of afraid of these memory card problems coming back to haunt me. If they do, I'll probably have to send the camera for repairs. I tried asking about these kind of problems from the local retailer, they hadn't heard anything like this.
     
  16. bengtb

    bengtb Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Jan 7, 2013
    I've heard that the cameras implementation of the FAT32 disk format all have slightly different interpretations of the standard. As RAM and Rom/Flash are limited there isn't really room for good error and exception handling in the cameras. Thus you cannot depend on different camera models work exactly correct in every way according to the standard.

    I've also heard that you should not delete pictures from the card even when it's in the camera as this can lead to fragmentation of files.

    Make sort of sense to me. I always format the cards after use in the camera where I will be using the card.
     
  17. Popelotto

    Popelotto Mu-43 Regular

    28
    Sep 28, 2012
    Finland
    Paavo Niskala
    This is exactly what I've been doing and I haven't had really any problems since.
     
  18. qiv

    qiv New to Mu-43

    2
    Jan 20, 2013
    I contacted the Olympus support and they told me to format the cards from time to time and to send it in, if the errors still occur. Anyway, I had the problems with brand new cards, formated and used ... I will use my camera a lot next week, so I will see ...
     
  19. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    I've been using two cards, both 32GB Lexar Pro SDHC, one earlier 133x that I got with my E-P2 and then one 600x that I got for the E-M5. The older one has been giving me the same issues with the E-P2 and with the E-M5. I have cleaned the contacts with residue free alcohol and lint free wipes, but the issue persists and I still think it's a mechanical one because I am quite convinced that I've only been having the problem in winter periods when shooting outside. My issue is giving the same symptoms as described here but definitely has something to do with inserting / removing the card. The card itself has never had errors, just the camera doesn't seem to "like" it every now and then. Sorry if it's been mentioned by others in this thread but is it happening with one card only or with all cards? In my case this is only one card and I think my E-P2 scratches the contacts more than the E-M5.