OM-D Frustration

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Dave Jenkins, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 28, 2010
    The beautiful northwest Georgia mountains
    Real Name:
    Dave Jenkins
    I am so frustrated with my OM-Ds that I’m ready to sell everything and buy a Canon 6D to go with my old reliable 5D and just give up on building a compact, lightweight system. It seems as if almost every time I use the OM-Ds, some new problems jump up to hit me in the face.

    I am not a member of the computer generation, so menu-diving is next thing to rocket science for me. I shot film for 35 years, 30 of them as a commercial photographer. I shot mostly transparency film in all sizes, used an incident meter, and had a very precise exposure technique. I took my readings, set the shutter speed and aperture, brought the camera to my face, focused, and took the picture. The camera did not get in the way of my photography.

    I moved from Olympus OMs to the Canon EOS system in 1993 because aging eyes required autofocus. From there, it was relatively easy to move into Canon digital. The menus were not too difficult, and with most things, I could simply set it and forget it.

    Not so the OM-D.

    My first OM-D was bought new almost a year ago. After quite a bit of struggle, I felt I had it pretty well sorted out. Then, last week I bought a second body in like-new condition with fewer than 1500 clicks from a fellow forum member. I then attempted to set up both cameras so that their workings would be identical.

    Yesterday, I worked a wedding as the second shooter. Both cameras exhibited behavior I had never seen before. Most of the time, when I bought either camera up to my eye, the viewfinder gave me a brief magnified view, then switched to the normal view – this without me touching any buttons. This has never happened before, and I have no idea what is causing it.

    Then later, as the light began to fail, I turned on Live View Boost so I could see what I was focusing on. It did not work on either camera. I had to give up on the OM-Ds altogether and use my Canon, which as always, delivered the goods.

    I’m leaving this Saturday for a week-long assignment in El Salvador. This is the kind of thing for which I switched to M4/3s. I certainly don’t want to carry the weight of even a minimal Canon system, yet, I don’t feel I can trust the OM-Ds.

    And they are such incredible battery-hogs!

    Please forgive the long rant. If anyone can offer helpful suggestions, I will appreciate it.
  2. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Real Name:
    For the magnified view issue , you have MF assist on. Custom menu A, last option on page. You also likely have the focus set on S-AF (MF) so as soon as you touch the focus ring it magnifies.

    Sent from my Samsung Note II via mu-43 app.
  3. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
    I have no idea what's going on with the magnification issue or live view boost issue. I've never experienced anything like that. I can't help you there. Maybe someone else can chime in on those.


    As for set up, I would encourage you to go read through a set up instruction guide like the one on DPreview.

    User Guide: Getting the most out of the Olympus E-M5: Digital Photography Review

    You shouldn't be needing to dig through the menus all the time. The E-M5 should only be as menu-driven as you make it.
  4. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 28, 2010
    The beautiful northwest Georgia mountains
    Real Name:
    Dave Jenkins
    Thanks for the advice about the magnification issue.

    I did indeed use the DPReview article as my guide to setting up the OM-Ds. But it just seems that new issues keep popping up.:confused:
  5. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Good advice from Mike and Heli-Mech...

    I shoot with my OM-D DAILY and as careful as I try to be, frankly it gets a good workout. That said, despite the regular "pounding" it gets, the camera has practically been without issue. Every once in a while however the camera will "freeze" up or do something wonky. My solution has always been to shut it off and restart the camera (which takes less than a second) and if that fails to sort out the issue, I turn it off, remove the battery and reinsert it immediately. That ALWAYS fixes whatever bug is rearing its head...
  6. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Real Name:
    Once you get everything as you want it make sure to save it to a myset. Even though I REALLY wished there was a quicker way to access them, the mysets are really great for quick resets to know conditions. I have one set for general "hand the camera to someone else, jpeg shooting", one for my primary raw ettr shooting, and one for high ISO b&w jpegs.

    Sent from my Samsung Note II via mu-43 app.
  7. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Real Name:
    Dan -

    Sorry to hear that. I've had the E-M5 for a couple of months now, and I'm pretty pleased with it's performance. I've been shooting Nikons for years (film, then DX) and admit that the E-M5 doesn't match any of them for ergonomics. But I find it 'good enough' for me, so the size advantage to the Olympus makes it worthwhile, especially when I'm hiking or otherwise on the move.

    Another thought is that you're touching the focusing ring on the lens - that can also automatically throw the E-M5 into magnified view.

  8. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    Mine has exhibited some wonky AF issues lately, especially when using the 9-18. The focus will go out and back and out and back repeatedly, without locking on. This is in situations where it should easily be able to lock on right away. Kind of driving me nuts.

    Like you, for years I shot with the RB, then the RZ67 and Mamiya 645.. Take an incident reading, set the camera shutter and aperture, make the exposure. Simple, easy, no fussing with a thousand tiny controls. But for working on the fly these days, especially weddings and travel stuff, that kind of shooting doesn't cut it like it did in commercial and portrait sessions years ago.

    The E-M5 is an amazing camera with a lot of useful features. It does require more learning to operate all those features, though, and these cameras do seem to be a bit buggy. I never experience any buggy behavior with the 5D models, nor the various Pany m4/3 bodies.

    I'm going to try a firmware update on my E-M5 and 9-18 to see if that eliminates the occasional AF wonkiness I've been experiencing.
  9. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Real Name:
    Re: Live View Boost

    This one is perplexing. I am bored sitting here at home drinking coffe so I tried numerous different setting combinations to try and induce the problem you described. However it worked as it should, with live view boost ON, the screen stays bright regardless of exposure settings. And this happens on both cameras?

    Does this happen to you regardless of exposure mode (s, a, p)? , on both EVF & LCD? , using flash? , what about in magnified view? Firmware version?

    Sent from my Samsung Note II via mu-43 app.
  10. ptolemyx

    ptolemyx Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Real Name:
    My only suggestion is that you can't afford not to master the camera -- including its menu system. Otherwise you'll continue to find yourself in this situation.
  11. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Like you Dave, after decades of shooting film and digital, the complexities of the OM-D menu system completely frustrated me to the point of wanting to slowly and repeatedly crush the camera or just toss it in the trash and walk away, (selling the damn thing wasn't an option as that was all too time consuming).

    I've finally got to be a somewhat comfortable and finally got both OM-D's similarly set-up.

    Early, in my love/hate affair with the OM-D, I discovered that my manly stomach kept activating the four-way arrows on the rear dial. Once activated, my setting would change every time I lifted the camera to my eye. I turned off the four-way and now life is much less frustrating.

  12. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 28, 2010
    The beautiful northwest Georgia mountains
    Real Name:
    Dave Jenkins

    I've been working on that very thing for almost a year, and before that, nearly two years with an E-PL1. But new problems just keep cropping up.
  13. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    MF with AF native lenses is so difficult I don't even bother anymore (and configure so the auto-zoom thing never appears). Using the AF point/grid to isolate specific features to focus is about the only way in difficult conditions for me. In the worst conditions I just go to a manual adapted lens (unless I can get away with a spot light/flashlight).

    Never had a problem with live boost ...

    I'm pretty close to disabling the EVF auto switch and most touch screen features ... too annoying to have the camera think it knows what I'm trying to do.

    So many was to custom configure the camera that it takes quite a while to settle into something ... still working on that after several months. Each camera is different so my 2 years using the E-P1 really did not help much with the E-M5.

    I keep telling myself old dogs don't need new tricks just another dose of the dogged determination that got me this far. I'm not going to let some stupid piece of gear get the better of me ... although Garys hammer idea sounds quite nice sometimes. I do have a nice collection of hammers ... maybe a "show hammers" thread is in order!
  14. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Also check [mode 2] for [LV Close Up Mode] which can also interact with the zoom AF feature.
  15. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Real Name:
    The button/dial changes to the EP-5 show that Olympus admit there is a problem with the OM-D ergonomics.

    When working under pressure, where you need fast access to specific things, I claim 95% of them can be customised with buttons and Mysets. The last 5%, you just have to memorise odd tricks. I still make the odd tweak to Mysets. They make up for my poor memory.

    If you can manage that, then it is worth keeping the camera.

    As far as unusual behaviour goes, mine seems to be well behaved. Except for C-AF which screws up my videos badly.
  16. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Real Name:
    Jan (John) Kusters
    With a similar background, I had a tough time mastering the impossible menus of the OM-D too. I must admit still grabbing the -home printed- manual more often than I would prefer. But most problems got solved once I managed to whip the 'my settings' into shape. Weird stuff still happens, but I have a more or less fast resolution now...
  17. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    Yes this is what I would expect too.
  18. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    The EM-5 has an awful lot of features. Any feature not fully understood can become a liability. The feature gets accidentally deployed and it gets in the way rather than being helpful in the manner it was designed for.

    I have a remote control with a stunning array of tiny buttons for a 5.1 home theater receiver. I'd periodically experience some sort of sudden visual / aural issue and damned if I hadn't accidentally pushed a button that 1.) I never bothered to know what it was for, or 2.) had used it once or twice and forgotten why it's there. Not knowing the big picture makes it all the more worse in tracking down and rectifying the problem. Said problem and resulting annoyance is squared when a solution needs to be arrived at immediately if not sooner.
  19. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK

    I can sympathise, I cut my teeth on analogue as a working pro using everything from 35mm/6x6/6x7/6x9/4x5" and 10x8" so a broad mix of formats and types.

    I switched to digital a number of years ago and have recently switched from full frame digital to OMD!

    I have had the camera since April and to date (fingers crossed) no "funnies" but I am still very much getting used to the menu's and setting everything up, I have managed to switch the dials as I like them but do shoot mostly in Aperture priority.

    I would encourage you not to give up hope but to take it slow and pace yourself, the results do justify the means and it is a superb camera.

    Stick with it and good luck
  20. 2mnycars

    2mnycars Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2012
    Real Name:
    I know your pain

    You are more experienced than I.
    Grew up with film and had a profitable business with a diverse customer base.
    It's all about images and understanding light.
    I have deeply regretted my purchase, and yet stayed the course. Am I onthe right path? I think so. But I have to restrain myself changing settings because strange things happen.

    I still don't speak Oly. When something goes wrong I have to get a book out and figure it out.

    I came here after selling/junking a Sony NEX system. The menus and difficulty changing basic settings did me in. I just wasn't using my NEX5.

    I have seriously considered buying a used Leica M3 and lenses and going back to my favorite film camera of all time. However, I truly can't afford to do that.

    Hand me a film camera, and a meter, I can produce images that sell. I don't have that faith in my ability with my digital equipment. I have some learning to do.