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OM-D gets scratched easily?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Dramaturg, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    Hello everyone,

    I just noted that the magnesium alloy part of my silver OM-D is prone to be scratched easily. On the picture attached you can see scraches all over the lower part of the camera (the picture was taken with an iphone, so, not a good quality). I always use a bag for my camera and it seems that I have scratched the lower part with my fingernails :eek:. I can also see a few scrathes on the upper part. I don't know why that happens. Neither my 30 years old FED nor Minolta (both with magnesium alloy silver bodies) can be scratched so easily (though I should admit they have a rather different feel). Also my Canon G9 (the samed rugged plastic body as Nikon and Canon DSLRs) seem to have no scratches at all regardless of being used without any bag at all. It seems that Olympus used some sort of cheap alloy material, different to the one used on the legacy cameras and therefore it is being damaged easily.

    Has anyone else noted the same thing?
     

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  2. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Mine has not scratched, but mine is all black so it has another coating layer on what you are referring to (I sure didn't know that was magnesium - are you sure about that?). By the way, I had to click on the text of your image to see the picture and it took me to PB so that I could see it.

    Next time you post a pic, you may want to insert the direct link into the insert-image box so that it will appear inline with your post.

    ... edit ... Forget that last part. Now it is appearing as a thumbnail that shows the image.
     
  3. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    I just reuploaded a picture to a forum. Don't know why the Photobucket one didn't want to show.

    This is a quote from B&H web site, for example: "The striking, iconic design of the Olympus E-M5 is more than just looks; its magnesium alloy body is rugged enough to stand up to severe environmental conditions like heavy rain and blowing sand." I thought the whole idea of using the magnesium alloy body was to protect it from scratches etc (that what "severe environmental conditions should mean"). But in reality it seems that the OM-Ds body is being scratched much easier than plastic DSLR bodies. There is something wrong with it. I can't imagine my silver body enduring "blowing sand" or something like that.
     
  4. jmoore5196

    jmoore5196 Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Jun 4, 2013
    I think a lot of us who reply with bewilderment are using the all-black version!

    The images you've posted don't display a lot of depth with respect to the "scratches." I imagine these are wear marks from being stored and removed from your camera bag.

    I honestly expected the black finish on my OM-D to scratch. So far, I'm very happy in that regard. The finish looks like new, and the camera is more than a year old.
     
  5. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    I notice the same thing with Fuji X100, another expensive camera that you would expect to have more sturdy finish.
     
  6. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    Unfortunately I didn't have enough good lighting to show all the scrathces. Some are bearly visible, while others seem to be rather deep. But even if those are wear marks from being stored and removed from the bag (which I think might be the case) that doesn't sound like OM-D has a very sturdy body then. And still, my legacy cameras have a more glosy finish (compared to OM-D mat), which appear to be much more durable. Former Olympus OM, Pen and Trip bodies had different material. I have a feeling that all this "rugged magnesium alloy body" is marketing thing. I mean you would definetely expect something more durable from a $1k body.
     
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    As long as the damage is only cosmetic, I wouldn't say that contradicts the ruggedness of the body. My D700 was considerably more rugged than the E-M5, but it picked up as many if not more marks through use. My E-M5 does have some scratches, but only on the baseplate. Actually the most annoying part is the letting for the buttons. My on-off switch is missing 'Off' at this point.
     
  8. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sam
    Mg alloy is not very scratch proof at all. Its strength -to -weight ratio is high and thats why its used in portable electronics. My gf 1 yr old macbook has lots of scratches on the shell. My thinkpad is Mg alloy as well but it coated with a black finish. its 4 yrs old and no scratches.

    All in all, scratches arent indicitive of a lack of strength. Even if the silver OMD isnt able to hold its cosmetic quality for years to come, the shell should remain intact with abuse and corrosion free with weathering.

    If the scratches bother you too much, you can polishing it with a fine abbrasive paste made for polishing metal. HOWEVER, i wouldnt be surprised that the scratches that you see are on a thin layer of treatment over the bare metal. All the more reason to leave it alone
     
  9. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    When the OM-D was first announced I asked Olympus if the silver was chrome plated plastic, or paint. The answer was painted (plastic). The same plastic that the top and bottom plates the black OM-D is made from. The "magnesium body" is the body structure.

    "Back in the day", before the Canon AE-1 and Nikon FA, top and bottom plates/covers of SLRs were drawn brass, which were given a satin finish and then nickle, then chrome plated. Chrome is a very hard, durable metal, but the under lying brass is softer and that's the cause of bright marks in the finish. Black covers were painted, the covers wore through and showed brassing. Nikon would, for special models, use titanium, but titanium is hard to draw and form and was last used in the FM2. The Canon AE-1 and Nikon FA have plastic (glass filled epoxy) top covers, and to avoid sales resistance to this material the plastic was plated with metal. Modern SLRs may have cast magnesium alloy covers, and maybe some Fujis and the GX7, but it is very thin and probably just as likely to crack as plastic under impact.

    And if anyone does try metal polish on a silver OM-D, please take videos. Polish should never even be used a true metallic satin finish, because it make it bright and shiny.
     
  10. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    ... in simple terms, plastic "skin" and mag alloy "skeleton".
     
  11. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    ... which is something you occasionally see on old chrome bodies that have suffered a DIY "restoration".
     
  12. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    Thank you for your input. Now that makes much more sense. I always wondered why OM-D body doesn't feel "cold" as some metal made products do. This also explains the signs of wear on the silver part. It's a pity for a camera like this as the plastic doesn't seem to resist cosmetic wear ((

    PS Just double checked how "cold" OMD body is with my lips )) I could definitely feel the difference between the main body and plastic parts such as battery compartment or hotshoe connector covers with the former being metal cold. I compared it to other metal made devices at home - most of the OMD silver part felt just as cold. This is very strange then ...
     
  13. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    OK, here is what I found after googling the question.

    First, it seems that all silver retro-looking cameras are prone to scrathces. Fuji x100 and Leica M9 owners report their silver bodies getting scratches. Second, while OM-D case is not magnesium alloy I doubt it is plastic either. I think it is some kind of silver painted metal. Thirds, it seems that black bodies (including x-pro and M9 as well) are better protected from being scratched. I think it is a very good idea to start using a half case with the OM-D then.
     
  14. left:out

    left:out New to Mu-43

    3
    May 29, 2013
    HI
    My all black OMD looks to have minor wear on it exposing silver underneath.
     
  15. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Steven
    Yes I agree... the silver ones are quite prone to scratches but I assumed the black ones are the same.
     
  16. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    All my cameras have wear marks. Even the lenses have minimal wear on them, because they get used. I'm fussy about glass and safe transport, because the function needs to remain intact, but slight wear and scratches from normal use in not always friendly environments? Don't care.
     
  17. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    My concern was that I got scratches after three months of use while my other gear (old silver body FED, canon cameras) seem to have a much better resistance to cosmetic wear. In my opinion such a camera should have had a sturdier body.
     
  18. skritikos

    skritikos New to Mu-43

    1
    Aug 20, 2013

    Are you sure about this? ;)

    Magnesium.
     

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  19. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    614
    Jun 7, 2013
    Ukraine
    Yevgen
    Not anymore :smile:. Could it be that there is some kind of silver finish on top of it that attracts scratches? :rolleyes: