The E-M5's idiotic on/off switch

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dhazeghi, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I got back from a weekend trip yesterday and when I unloaded the images from my SD card, I noticed there were a few missing. Once I took a closer look, I discovered that my memory card had been reformatted about 5 hours into my trip - all earlier photos were gone. Now fortunately most of my photos were taken after that point, but I still lost around 60 or so images. More to the point, I certainly did not select to format the card. The only explanation I can come up with is that the camera's on/off switch somehow got toggled to 'on' when I was walking and the camera rubbing on my shirt caused the right (wrong) keys to press and to cause it to format. I've certainly had problems with the on/off switch turning on in the past with no intervention, but this is the first time the consequences were worse than just resetting the AF points or changing the ISO to 6400, although those are still quite annoying.

    In short, I take back everything mean I said about the E-M1's on/off switch. As unergonomic as it is, at least it's guaranteed not to lose anybody photos. That feature is reserved for the E-M5.

    (Lest user error be blamed, I should add that I have hiked with a great many digital cameras and excepting the E-M5 not one, not even the notoriously unstable Kodak SLR/n, has managed to spontaneously reformat a memory card for me)

    On a related note, any recommendations for image recovery software for ORFs on a SanDisk card?
  2. Joelmusicman

    Joelmusicman Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    Wow. Maybe that should be my reason to "upgrade!"
  3. The most common cause I've had of the E-M5 doing things on it's own is the touchscreen being set off when the camera is hanging around my neck and pressing against my shirt, although that is a general capacitive touchscreen issue rather than a specific E-M5 issue. The on/off switch on my E-M5 seems stiff enough that I'd think it would take a strange circumstance for it to turn on by itself, but I guess stranger things have happened.
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    First thing I did with mine was turn off the touchscreen.

    Admittedly everybody carries their camera a little bit differently, but in my case, it seems that the on/off switch is more than capable of switching to on just by rubbing against my shirt. I suppose one possibility is that because I turn the camera off frequently (I'm religious about turning it off when not in use), the mechanism has loosened. But again, in 200k+ frames I've never had a camera where something went wrong with the on/off switch before this, and the E-M5 is at less than 30k frames.
  5. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    I was amazed at the amount and types of unintended changes that occur when I use the E-M5, one my reasons for upgrading to the E-M1. Can't say I've ever had any camera format a card on its own though.

    Try RescuePro which is the software recommend by SanDisk (and sometimes included with their cards) and few other manufactures.
  6. greenarcher02

    greenarcher02 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 13, 2012
    Manila, Philippines
    The GX1 has this kind of problem for me but it's with bags. Less of deleted photos, more of not even being able to use it because of a drained battery. To be fair I didn't have a proper camera bag for the GX1. Let's see how the GX7 fares but I don't think it's any improvement. Changing PASM modes can sometimes turn it off/on if I accidentally brush the switch with my thumb while turning the dial.
  7. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I've never had any unintended operation, even with the touchscreen... my E-M5 sits at my waist connected via the left lug to a BlackRapid Snapr sling.
  8. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    I take lots of shots of the ground with the em5. never formatted a card though.

  9. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Happened to me too, until I switched off the touchscreen function, but the on/off switch on mine was stiff enough that it never switched on by itself. I always switch the camera off when not in use also...

    I actually still prefer the location of the E-M5 on/off switch over the E-M1 as the E-M5 can be operated with one hand while the E-M1 always require 2 hands to switch it on...
  10. Unfortunately turning off the touchscreen kills a lot functionality in the camera, so I don't find turning it off to be a solution. Even though you can temporarily disable the touch focus and shutter with the little touchpoint on the lower left of the screen, that point of course remains active and can be tripped simply by the screen pressing against your shirt.
  11. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY

  12. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Mine was with the grip and a shutter button perfect for my right hip.

    Agreed on ghe power switch. I know why they did it but it'll take a while to get used to it.

  13. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Maybe this has nothing to do with the touch screen or power switch.
    My E-M5 has only once had a "ghost" setting. It decided to set AF to mode 3 without the camera being carried or taken out of the house.

    I also ditched the neck strap for a sling strap attached to one eyelet. So the camera does not rub or bumpt the screen when carried.
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Wow, that would be one hell of an un intended sequence of events! Accidentally turn the camera on, accidentally hit the menu button followed by just the right sequence of left, right, and OK buttons to actually execute a reformat! I'd have to chalk THAT one up to there being stuff on that card that some mysterious deity just did NOT want seen! I think going in and trying to find those images would risk turning the universe on its head. There's some bad BAD mojo in that somewhere!

    And, no, I don't actually believe in any of that stuff, but in this case, I might make an exception! :cool:

    • Like Like x 3
  15. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    The power switch is no more idiotic than the power switch on the E-3 or E-5.

    One of the first things I do is switch the confirmations to NO so that things like this can't happen.

    The odds that this happened are already pretty high (and I still don't believe it), but to have it switch the confirmation dialog to yes first would be even more impossible!
  16. szanda

    szanda Mu-43 Regular

    I never had any problems with the switch, I like it's design and usability :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    As much as I prefer the Nikon setup of having the power switch on the shutter (Where it acts as a logical "safety"), the E-M5 setup isn't bad in comparison.. The switch is accessible from the vertical or horizontal positions with only one hand. I consider this more valuable than the left sided, two hand switch that is found on the newer #0D Canons and the E-M1 as a design feature.
  18. mpg01

    mpg01 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 21, 2012
    Recuva works as good as anything else. I use only Sandisk cards and never had an issue with recovering as long as there hasn't been another format operation.
  19. barbosas

    barbosas Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2013
  20. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I admit it seems unlikely, but having seen just about every setting in the SCP changed, it seems by far the likeliest explanation to me.

    I like the Nikon switch. It's easy to use one-handed, but at the same time, it's very hard to accidentally activate just by wearing the camera.

    Thanks, I'll give it a try. It's a 32GB card and I only wrote about 4GB of data to it after formatting, so I'm hopeful that some of the particular files I'm looking for are still there. Hopefully the I/O controller isn't doing some sort of wear-leveling behind the scenes.