The word from Olympus Japan re: the hum

Started Apr 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Chris_in_Osaka Veteran Member • Posts: 3,799
The word from Olympus Japan re: the hum

When I started the thread about the E-M5 humming, I was curious as to what it was and asked specifically if anyone had "Any Ideas?".

I didn't jump to the conclusion that it was something faulty with my unit or even an issue that effected all units. I was simply wondering why the camera had a non-stop noise coming from it, even when viewing images on the memory card or changing settings in the menu.

Today I went out with the family and in the meantime that thread hit 150, and several others have popped up with all sorts of comments, speculation, April fools cracks etc.

But...I also received mail from someone who got in contact with Olympus Japan and spoke to someone about the noise. The person is also a recent E-M5 purchaser, used to read dpreview, got sick of it, has been back and posting here and there after a years absence, but is not interested in starting a thread about the "issue" because, from what I can tell, he doesn't have the time and patients for it. I believe he mailed a few other people in the forum directly too.

He also wrote "you may use the info as you please, naturally." is part of the message that is relevant:

"I called olympus support just now, and inquired about the "issue." seems it is indeed a stabilization system for the viewfinder, and it is on continuously once the power is turned on. took a few go-arounds with the behind-the-scenes support on their end to get a proper answer. initial responses included that it is normal to hear a sound on startup (emphasis seemed to be that it was only temporary upon power-up) and that it was from the lens IBS. so it seems that it is a known issue, but not something they consider large enough to alert front-line, and is expected to be of negligible concern during use.

being some sort of trade secret, the support was hesitant to describe what exactly was causing the sound or how it works, other than to tell me that the viewfinder IBS is a separate IBS from the sensor unit and it is on continuously when I pressed further for clarification. and the support was also unsure whether it'll be picked up by the microphone in quiet settings or not. got an indication that potential pickup in a quiet environment may be possible. I'll be trying it myself later to see how it actually is.

I also inquired whether they will release a firmware update at some point so we can potentially turn off the viewfinder IBS, but as expected, the support had no knowledge. at least this way, they know some want this feature.

anyways, since you also posted this (and I assume you noticed it on your own as did I, without having to be directed to look for a sound as others started to do once they saw my post) thought you may like to know this tidbit. should've contacted olympus from the start and bypassed dpreview, although then I wouldn't have come in contact with the other owners."

Thank you to you know who you are!

For me, it's not really an issue, just glad to know it's normal and I don't have a defective camera. Obviously it has no bearing on still photos, and I don't shoot videos in total silence.

As long as the E-M5 does not have the red dot flair issue that my E-PL2 had (and the reason I dumped it), I'm happy.

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Canon 5D Mark II, 24-105mm L, 70-200mm f/4L IS, EF, 100mm f2, Tokina 16-28mm f2.8.
Olympus E-PL3, 14-42mm II, 17mm, 45mm f1.8.
Ricoh GR-D
Sony DSC-V3 (used for IR)

 Chris_in_Osaka's gear list:Chris_in_Osaka's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL3 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ
Olympus PEN E-PL2
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