E-M1 Acting Up...Just Coincidence, or Symptoms of Something Serious?

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Joseph T Lewis III Veteran Member • Posts: 3,319
E-M1 Acting Up...Just Coincidence, or Symptoms of Something Serious?

I took my gently used (roughly 10K shutter clicks) E-M1, 12-40 lens, Pany 15mm, and Oly FL-600R flash to Michigan last week, to take photos of family and friends at the memorial service for my wife's 56 year old son, who died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest.  I had 2-3 things go wrong while trying to take photographs.

Things seem to have settled down for now, but I'm curious as to whether others have seen similar hiccups from their  E-M1.  Due to the somewhat stressful nature of the circumstances coupled with the desire to get as many photos of family as possible, I wasn't able to properly diagnose the problems as they occurred; I just did what it took to keep on shooting.  So, if my trouble shooting is lacking, that's the reason.

I should also point out that the camera, lenses, memory card, and flash were in perfect working order before the trip, had been used without incident within the past month or so, and nothing out of the ordinary has happened to the gear that might explain it acting up out of the blue (e.g., I did not leave the camera bag in an unheated car overnight in frigid winter temperatures, did not get it damp or wet, etc.).   Anyway, here's what happened.

1) The first night we were there, I attempted to take some flash photos indoors.  The first few were fine, then the next ones were horribly overexposed, almost totally white.  I looked at the flash LCD.  I tried but could not get the mode to change, I usually use it in TTL but it was showing A only.  Figuring it might not have been making proper pin contact I took the flash off the camera, and reseated it on the shoe and locked it down a couple of times.  It seemed to work OK for the rest of the night.

2) At the memorial service, I got a "Card Error" message when I turned the camera on.  The card was a 64GB Sandisk Extreme Pro.  Probably not a new card, maybe 2 years or so old, but not used all that much and never exposed to weather extremes.  I removed it, and put it back into the card slot.  The camera took a couple of shots, and then the LCD went blank and the card write symbol went red, and stayed red.  I tried to power the camera off with the switch but that did not work.  I finally removed and reinserted the battery.  The camera was able to take photos after that, but the LCD seemed to go (and stay) blank much longer than it should.  In all cases I was shooting RAW, with Noise Reduction turned OFF.

So, I replaced the card, and at the same time put my Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 on the camera so I could use the ambient room lighting for most shots.  From then on things worked perfectly fine, with or without flash.

3) When we got back home, I put the 12-40 back onto the camera, and attached the flash.  The backup card was still in the camera, not the one that had acted up.  In a normally lighted bedroom, the first shot took an exceptionally long time to write to the card.  It took so long that I finally pushed the blue arrow "Play" button and the properly exposed image then appeared on the LCD.  After that one very-long-to-write photo, subsequent ones were captured and written to the card in the normal fashion, with virtually no wait time at all before the camera was ready to go again.

4) I put the original 64GB card back in the camera, it works fine now.

If only one of these problems had occurred I'd have written it off to dirty flash contacts, or a bad memory card.  However, for the problems to occur all at once concerns  me, as does the single very long time to write shot when I got home, not to mention the original 64GB card working OK now.  If anyone has experienced similar hiccups I'd appreciate hearing from you.


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 Joseph T Lewis III's gear list:Joseph T Lewis III's gear list
Canon PowerShot G7 X Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-PL7 Olympus PEN-F Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 +9 more
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