RIP Olympus EM-5

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by Ken Katz, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. After 7 years of faithful service, my Olympus EM-5 (mark I) has given up the ghost. In San Diego last month, the shutter began to malfunction, whereby the shutter would lock and power needed to be turned off then on to reset the shutter. This intermittent problem became less intermittent as the week went on. A new shutter would cost more than the camera was worth so my wife just absconded with the it to make something artful out of it.

    Having an inventory of 8 Olympus lenses and an Olympus external flash, not being a professional photographer, and having the weight of my kit being the most limiting factor (going for my third epidural injection tomorrow, so my back pain is more than an inconvenience), I decided to simply buy an EM-5 mark III as a replacement. The current $200 price cut was certainly an incentive. I toyed with switching to Fuji (the only reasonable alternative for me), but the cost of such a switch, plus the requirement to keep my basic kit (2 zooms with a 24-300mm FF equivalent focal length plus a fast prime) at around 40 ounces (1,100 grams) was not currently possible. Besides, I decided to stick with the devil I know vs the brain damage of a new system.

    The EM-5 Mark III (in chrome this time) arrived via Amazon 3 days ago. While I am familiar with Olympus's horrendous menus, it still took until today to finalize my settings, since the mark III is far more complex than the mark I. Camera seems to work as anticipated, with significant updates with the EVF, AF, and some remarkable improvements of the IBIS system, getting sharp results at 40mm at 1 second hand held. I expect to see about a 1 stop improvement in high ISO performance over my 1st generation 16mp sensor/processor, but have not tested that out. Hopefully it provides good service for another 7-8 years, and would expect that my phone, at that time, would likely fulfill all my photo requirements. Hopefully Olympus stays in the camera business, or sells it to a viable entity, over the next 7-8 years.
    morrisbagnall and Gary Naka like this.
  2. Long live the mark 3.

    I do wonder though, how 'digital years' equate to 'film years'. We think nothing, these days, of shooting hundreds, even thousands of frames over the course of a day or a weekend, where, not so long ago, it would have been 'a few rolls'.

    I think we'd all expect something like an OM-2 to last rather more than 7-8 years of amateur use, after all, plenty are still going 40 years later.

    Your EM-5 has probably shot more frames than any of them though, likely by an order of magnitude.

    So maybe 7-8 years isn't so bad.

    Well done, little camera.
    Greg M and Gary Naka like this.
  3. Agree. I'm no prayer and sprayer, but with digital if you really want a shot you just keep that shutter pressed. For a high school basketball game I usually shoot about 400-600 shots, and end up with say 50 worth keeping. 99% of the time I use the electronic shutter on my Olympus which should mean no mechanical wear. I suspect for the EM5III you can do the same. I love my Olympus system, it gives me much more pleasure than the full frame. The new EM5III is essentially an EM1 MkII at a better price.
  4. Here is the EM-5's final resting place.

    With her pottery studio closed and trying to fill the time with knitting,
    embroidery, on line Mahjong and other projects, my wife decided to
    dissect my broken EM-5 Mk I and then turn some of the parts into a wind chime that now hangs on my door.

    ], morrisbagnall, mjferron and 2 others like this.

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