Another case of the E-M5iii tripod mount failing

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whumber
whumber Senior Member • Posts: 2,942
Another case of the E-M5iii tripod mount failing
28

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rashid7
rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,351
Re: Another case of the E-M5iii tripod mount failing
2

Ouch!  Big ouch!!

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Keep it fun!

AlmostDoctor Regular Member • Posts: 269
Re: Another case of the E-M5iii tripod mount failing
2

This is really unfortunate. Tripod mount  clip is my preferred way to carry my cameras from day to day.

I guess I won't be able to do that with em5iii

buratino
buratino Contributing Member • Posts: 511
Re: Another case of the E-M5iii tripod mount failing
2

I wonder what Olympus has to do now? Can it change the design of an existing product?

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Jan Chelminski
Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 1,821
7 screenshots from the vid.
15

Subject was too jumpy to study while playing this video, so I paused and took some screen shots:

My opinion on this, is that this issue is a result of a design/specification/process error by Olympus, combined with less than ideal (over-tightening plate, probably using a heavier lens, or hard handling) judgement by the operator, using a poorly designed tripod plate.

Unfortunately, I think this bottom plate weakness will claim more victims, as many will not have awareness of the associated dangers, before experiencing similar failure.

If Olympus wanted (intentionally) to go this route, they then needed to provide clear warning(s) to buyers and provide a custom plate, or similar as a solution. Ideally, better initial specification would have been preferred, this is quite disappointing.

Tripod plate by Peak, extremely poor design.

But the above statement is not to suggest Olympus should not have done better!

Raised, asymmetrical tripod pad surface

Tripod plate has raised rubber pad

Rubber pad of plate extends beyond camera plate at rear

And also extended way past front edge of camera plate surface

Here we can clearly see the impression the tripod interface surface left in the rubber of the T-Plate.

The only solid bearing surface was the 1/4-20 fastener surround, made of aluminum. It was pushed forward to the front edge of the cameras tripod surface, recipe for a failure.

Rgds,

Jan

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"Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are camera lies, inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a naturalistic medium of rendition and that striving for naturalism in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures."
-- Andreas Feininger
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Once the amateur's naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur."
-- Alfred Eisenstaedt
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"The possession of a camera can inspire something akin to lust. And like all credible forms of lust, it cannot be satisfied."
------
"The highest vocation of photography is to explain man to man."
------
"...to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude."
------
-- Susan Sontag

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 20,413
After my purchase, now I'm starting to worry.

Luckily I bought the grip with mine, and it has a little locking dial that makes it impossible to overtighten. Plus the grip is made of metal, so I think the camera's bottom is a bit safer.

Instead of retrofitting all those thousands of cameras stored in the warehouses and in the supply chain, it might be cheaper for Olympus to contract with FotoDiox or some other cheap grip maker to supply owners with a cheap grip/reinforcing bar.  maybe with that hole for the battery door?  Certainly, it would be less expensive than a recall.

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Alex Ethridge
Alex Ethridge Veteran Member • Posts: 4,808
I don't think Olympus took this to be a serious camera
2

This is just an aside:

When I saw there was no battery grip capability, I got the feeling the E-M5 III is a deprecation of the II and this further validates my thought on that.

In my opinion, the II needed nothing beyond a 20-meg sensor and beyond that, the III gives me nothing worth paying for.

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Jan Chelminski
Jan Chelminski Senior Member • Posts: 1,821
Agree, they need to take some kind of action.
4

Glen Barrington wrote:

Luckily I bought the grip with mine, and it has a little locking dial that makes it impossible to overtighten. Plus the grip is made of metal, so I think the camera's bottom is a bit safer.

Instead of retrofitting all those thousands of cameras stored in the warehouses and in the supply chain, it might be cheaper for Olympus to contract with FotoDiox or some other cheap grip maker to supply owners with a cheap grip/reinforcing bar. maybe with that hole for the battery door? Certainly, it would be less expensive than a recall.

Really Right Stuff camera plates are IMO, very well designed, but some caution should still be kept, as the E-M5 MkIII has a clear vulnerability to various types of stresses at the tripod fastener area.

The shoulder strap attachment at the tripod plate option should be avoided (or, used with good care, ie, do not subject to sharp jerks, heavier lenses, etc) on this model camera, IMO, even with this RRS plate:

NOT a good idea, RSS should probably not even suggest it as they do here, although ultimately, they do not bear the primary responsibility, but still...

Otherwise, a good plate and good way to go for some.

This plate should distribute the stresses very well during (normal) tripod use.

Rgds,

Jan

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"Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are camera lies, inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a naturalistic medium of rendition and that striving for naturalism in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures."
-- Andreas Feininger
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Once the amateur's naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur."
-- Alfred Eisenstaedt
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"The possession of a camera can inspire something akin to lust. And like all credible forms of lust, it cannot be satisfied."
------
"The highest vocation of photography is to explain man to man."
------
"...to photograph is to frame, and to frame is to exclude."
------
-- Susan Sontag

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HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 5,219
Not Olympus fault
21

I don't see how this is Olympus' fault. Users are using the tripod mount for something for which it is not designed. It's a tripod mount. Does this not securely mount the camera on a tripod?

Just because after-market products can use this threaded hole does not mean they should.

Certainly, if Olympus wanted to redesign this area (knowing about these after market producfs), it has that option. Alternatively, there could be a warning in their owners manual about not using the tripod-mount hole to attach the camera to a strap. There may already be a warning.

I've refrained from hanging my camera by the tripod mount for this very reason - it's not designed for this use.

It's not a safety issue. A recall isn't warranted, in my opinion.

I appreciate the OP and others speaking up, to alert other users of these types of issues. None of us want to see a damaged camera, but when one is damaged we should look in the right direction for the cause and solution.

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Funny Valentine Regular Member • Posts: 136
Re: Another case of the E-M5iii tripod mount failing
5

Olympus is in trouble. Plastic is always a downgrade.

JustTheDad New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not Olympus fault
2

If your tripod mount has a soft rubber pad surrounded by a hard edge, and you compress the rubber pad to a point where the hard plastic edge is touching the base, then tightening more pulls down on the tripod screw. You can exert a lot of force on something that way. Probably more than just the weight of the camera bouncing around on a strap. The flex it will inflict is limited compared to the strap mount, but it materials fatigue, the plastic may be too brittle...

I think they should strengthen the tripod mount to be able to resist that tension because it could happen with either a tripod plate or a strap attachment. I don't think it requires a recall though. Maybe just an extended warranty offer if it does break within the next 5 or 6 years, and fix the design.

whumber
OP whumber Senior Member • Posts: 2,942
Re: Not Olympus fault
3

JustTheDad wrote:

If your tripod mount has a soft rubber pad surrounded by a hard edge, and you compress the rubber pad to a point where the hard plastic edge is touching the base, then tightening more pulls down on the tripod screw. You can exert a lot of force on something that way. Probably more than just the weight of the camera bouncing around on a strap. The flex it will inflict is limited compared to the strap mount, but it materials fatigue, the plastic may be too brittle...

For a given tightening torque, the tension felt by the tripod mount is not going to be any different if it's metal on metal or if there's a rubber layer in between.

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larsbc Forum Pro • Posts: 16,349
Re: Not Olympus fault
12

HRC2016 wrote:

I don't see how this is Olympus' fault. Users are using the tripod mount for something for which it is not designed. It's a tripod mount. Does this not securely mount the camera on a tripod?

Just because after-market products can use this threaded hole does not mean they should.

Certainly, if Olympus wanted to redesign this area (knowing about these after market producfs), it has that option. Alternatively, there could be a warning in their owners manual about not using the tripod-mount hole to attach the camera to a strap. There may already be a warning.

I've refrained from hanging my camera by the tripod mount for this very reason - it's not designed for this use.

It's not a safety issue. A recall isn't warranted, in my opinion.

I appreciate the OP and others speaking up, to alert other users of these types of issues. None of us want to see a damaged camera, but when one is damaged we should look in the right direction for the cause and solution.

True.  This is obviously a limitation of the OM5 III so if you use a Capture Clip or any other device that uses the tripod socket to carry the camera, DO NOT BUY THE OM5 III!   It is not built strong enough for that use.  Also, if the camera is attached to a tripod, do not carry the tripod with camera attached because, again, it is not designed for that use!  Similarly, don't attach a mini tripod with the expectation that you can use it for doing some handheld vlogging because "it is not designed for that use!"  Actually, you CAN use it for vlogging that way but for God's sake DO NOT hold the mini tripod horizontally because the tripod socket "is not designed for that use!"

If you're going to insist on abusing your camera in that way, then I urge you to buy something that's better built.

n3eg
n3eg Senior Member • Posts: 2,951
Re: Another case of the E-M5iii tripod mount failing

buratino wrote:

I wonder what Olympus has to do now? Can it change the design of an existing product?

We should bug them for a free grip, IF the grip is more sturdy.  I'm going to look into a grip and see if the product photos show any different tripod mount design.

They did just update the firmware for the EVF/LCD switch issue that someone here (who will go unnamed) complained about, and also the new 12-45 lens.

If there were an aftermarket battery grip, I would buy that now - even though I have no problems with battery life.

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larsbc Forum Pro • Posts: 16,349
Re: Another case of the E-M5iii tripod mount failing
8

Funny Valentine wrote:

Olympus is in trouble. Plastic is always a downgrade.

It's poor design that is the problem, not the use of plastic.  I've had plastic cameras in the past which have had zero problems with the tripod socket.  This is not something that is endemic to plastic cameras.

whumber
OP whumber Senior Member • Posts: 2,942
Re: Not Olympus fault
35

HRC2016 wrote:

I don't see how this is Olympus' fault. Users are using the tripod mount for something for which it is not designed. It's a tripod mount. Does this not securely mount the camera on a tripod?

Just because after-market products can use this threaded hole does not mean they should.

Olympus sells a strap that attaches via the tripod mount as an official accessory so it's not like they're thinking that the tripod mount will only ever be used on a tripod.

Certainly, if Olympus wanted to redesign this area (knowing about these after market producfs), it has that option. Alternatively, there could be a warning in their owners manual about not using the tripod-mount hole to attach the camera to a strap. There may already be a warning.

I've refrained from hanging my camera by the tripod mount for this very reason - it's not designed for this use.

I've used plenty of other cameras this way while hiking and skiing, so plenty of large cyclic loading, without ever having any issues. This really just seems like a design error.

It's not a safety issue. A recall isn't warranted, in my opinion.

The Nikon mirror oil issue wasn't a safety issue either but certainly warranted a recall.

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HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 5,219
Re: Not Olympus fault

whumber wrote:

HRC2016 wrote:

I don't see how this is Olympus' fault. Users are using the tripod mount for something for which it is not designed. It's a tripod mount. Does this not securely mount the camera on a tripod?

Just because after-market products can use this threaded hole does not mean they should.

Olympus sells a strap that attaches via the tripod mount as an official accessory so it's not like they're thinking that the tripod mount will only ever be used on a tripod.

Certainly, if Olympus wanted to redesign this area (knowing about these after market producfs), it has that option. Alternatively, there could be a warning in their owners manual about not using the tripod-mount hole to attach the camera to a strap. There may already be a warning.

I've refrained from hanging my camera by the tripod mount for this very reason - it's not designed for this use.

I've used plenty of other cameras this way while hiking and skiing, so plenty of large cyclic loading, without ever having any issues. This really just seems like a design error.

It's not a safety issue. A recall isn't warranted, in my opinion.

The Nikon mirror oil issue wasn't a safety issue either but certainly warranted a recall.

Nikon felt it did. And it's the company's prerogative.

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Wu Jiaqiu
Wu Jiaqiu Forum Pro • Posts: 25,457
Re: Not Olympus fault
13

HRC2016 wrote:

I don't see how this is Olympus' fault. Users are using the tripod mount for something for which it is not designed. It's a tripod mount. Does this not securely mount the camera on a tripod?

Just because after-market products can use this threaded hole does not mean they should.

Certainly, if Olympus wanted to redesign this area (knowing about these after market producfs), it has that option. Alternatively, there could be a warning in their owners manual about not using the tripod-mount hole to attach the camera to a strap. There may already be a warning.

I've refrained from hanging my camera by the tripod mount for this very reason - it's not designed for this use.

It's not a safety issue. A recall isn't warranted, in my opinion.

I appreciate the OP and others speaking up, to alert other users of these types of issues. None of us want to see a damaged camera, but when one is damaged we should look in the right direction for the cause and solution.

how many other cameras carried this way or used this way have suffered a similar failure?

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the computer says no

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JustTheDad New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not Olympus fault
3

whumber wrote:

JustTheDad wrote:

If your tripod mount has a soft rubber pad surrounded by a hard edge, and you compress the rubber pad to a point where the hard plastic edge is touching the base, then tightening more pulls down on the tripod screw. You can exert a lot of force on something that way. Probably more than just the weight of the camera bouncing around on a strap. The flex it will inflict is limited compared to the strap mount, but it materials fatigue, the plastic may be too brittle...

For a given tightening torque, the tension felt by the tripod mount is not going to be any different if it's metal on metal or if there's a rubber layer in between.

That's not necessarily true. If you have a hard plate that is in contact with the base of the camera, you are pressing the camera and the plate together.

If you have a soft pad surrounded by hard edges, then you are pulling the female threaded part out of the camera. It's essentially a bearing extractor.

Imagine it as a plastic cup with nothing in it, instead of a plastic cup filled with compressible rubber. If you think about it that way you can see why the rubber pad is an issue. Now, if the rubber pad is not inset in the plastic or metal base, and is simply glued on to a flat plate with a hole in it, you have less risk, but it's still placing more stress on the camera's tripod insert.

I'm not saying that excuses Olympus for the design flaw. I think the design is terrible and they need to fix it. It's a pretty easy fix and won't require a lot of re-engineering.

I still like the camera, and since my daughter is using it as a travel camera and since her little Oben TT100 won't place anything near the stress a Peak Design Slide or the larger padded tripod mount pictured above could create, I'm not worried.

MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 39,353
Re: Not Olympus fault - doesn’t have to be
4

It might not be “their fault” - but tell that to an owner after the damage has been done.  Short of a big red warning sticker over the tripod mount in the box it arrives in such a break is not going to impress the user when it does.

How to fix such an issue?  I doubt if a complete new replacement part would be a feasible solution and it might be necessary to offer a complete replacement camera body.

Something like the Panasonic 100-400 solution where they offered a complete new lens to those that were a bit rough with theirs for a discounted price?

A free new camera for every such breakage might be beyond Olympus resources - especially if it happens more regularly.

Or of course Olympus could refuse to warrant the repair/replacement.

The fact is that it is well known in the industry that the tripod mount is used for a good number of purposes including carrying their camera fixed to a body-type sling.  Therefore a user could expect to hang any camera within reason by the tripod mount.

Whether this amounts to aggravated use might be covered by the sticker over the tripod mount which has to be removed by the person who bought it in the first place.

In any case - we have been warned ....

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Tom Caldwell

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