After a lot of hemming, hawing, and hoping I could somehow get the old OMD EM5 M-I to work again, I gave up. I don’t have a lot of money to spend and the camera I wanted — the EM-5 M-III was about $400 more money than I could comfortably afford.

Then, I looked at second-hand EM-10 M-IVs. The price they wanted for a refurbished model from Olympus was exactly (to the penny) the same price as a new one on Amazon even though the camera is coming from Olympus. Since the price was the same, I figured I might as well get the new one. The OMD EM-10 M-IV is almost identical to Garry’s camera, but a version newer. I don’t think there’s much difference between the two.

This is the first new camera I’ve bought in more than 10 years. Everything, with the exception of a few inexpensive lenses, was bought second-hand. I’ve had great luck with these used camera. I haven’t a single complaint about any of them. Still, since the price was the same, I got a new one.

The OMD EM-10 is the “low end” of the Olympus OMD line, but it has several advantages including being a light, very compact camera — and it accepts all my 4/3 lenses.

I loved the OMD EM-5 M-I. It was a great camera and served me well. It worked hard. It’s the first time I’ve had a camera die of old age. I’ve sold cameras, traded them and sometimes, disliked them enough to quit using them.

A fond farewell. It still LOOKS fine!

The EM-5 never became obsolete, even though it was replaced by the M-II and M-III. It continued to work hard without complaint, so I was surprised when it stopped focusing. I was sure it would always work.

I will bury it with honors and play taps in its memory on my tin whistle.

Categories: #Photography, Anecdote, Cameras

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17 replies

  1. I used my first DSLR to death. It was about 15-16 years old, and had been from Antarctica to the Arctic, and lots of places in between! It started to struggle when I had to change batteries — it wouldn’t hold the date and time settings without batteries. It turned out that there’s an internal battery that holds settings, and functions with such things as focusing. When that battery goes, the camera is basically dead. It can be repaired, but the cost is approximately that of a new camera, and it’s time to replace the camera. Unfortunately, Pentax had several upgrades between my first and second cameras, and I really preferred the old one — the new one has too many wonderful settings that are buried in menus too deep to find.


    • I think the problem I’m having with this camera is much the same. It simply won’t HOLD the focus square where you need it to be. It wanders and ultimately wanders to the very top of the frame where it is useless. I’ve tried it with different lenses. It always works fine for the first one or two shots, then it begins wandering till it nestles into the top of the frame.

      Pentax still makes good cameras and lenses, but they seem to have lost track of what they want to be in the camera world.

      The menus in ALL new cameras are a pain. Too many settings, 95% of which are of no interest to anyone except the engineers who created them. I know they have to keep inventing things so they can call the camera “new,” but the reality is that most of us don’t LIKE it. Worse, if you accidentally set something wrong, you may never find your way back to normal.

      If you don’t own a lot of Pentax lenses, you might want to look at other cameras. Actually, I think the one I just bought (almost identical to Garry’s) is going to be a winner. SIMPLIFIED menu and elimination of a lot of pointless settings. How ironic that we are delighted when we can find new cameras WITHOUT all those annoying settings.

      I don’t know what half the menu settings mean, much less what I should do with them. Mostly, I think they are there to make us feel like we’ve got a better camera because they’ve made the menu even more mysterious.


  2. From what I can tell, the EM-10’s are pretty nice, and if it is what Garry is using (though a model newer), you already know it.
    I bought one used camera, an origin old school four-thirds E-1. I never liked it. When I was doing a comparison with my E-640, I discovered that the original owner changed every (insert favorite cuss word here) setting to something whacked. I had changed a few settings before, but missed a lot. After I spent several hours fixing it, it was a great camera, just out of date by then. Haven’t bought used since…


    • I’m careful about what I buy. I bought Ben’s Oly EM-1 M-II and it’s perfect, but as a rule will not buy a used camera from private people, Ben being a singular exception. I want a warranty so I pay more. I’m careful and have never gotten a bad used camera. I’m not quite as picky about lenses, but if in doubt, I buy from dealers who give a warranty.

      New York has the same dealers I used to go to personally. I think the people I talk to now are the grandchildren of the folks I dealt with back in the 1960s. But of course, now it’s either telephone or online. There are no camera stores anywhere local in Massachusetts. I couldn’t even find one in Boston. Unless you want to buy them at Walmart (NEVER).

      I used to love going into Manhattan with whatever equipment I owned and swapping it for the next interesting thing. I tried many film cameras, from mid-size film camera Bronicas considered a less expensive Japanese version of the Graflex, to a great old Rolleiflex. It was easy to swap equipment. If you decided you were tired of a one format, you might decide to see what a bigger negative could do. It was fun. 35mm was not yet industry standard and there were furious arguments among photographers about whether or not a 35mm negative was big enough to produce a good print.

      This completely changed when digital came in. Since hardly anyone repairs cameras and camera stores are rare, what you buy, you keep unless you’ve got lots of money to throw around. Those old cameras were fun — but paying for each print was NOT fun. Overall, I prefer digital.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do miss the camera stores, but much prefer digital. I think most of those NYC stores you mentioned still have physical buildings, but they have expanded to other things (I recently read someone complaining about a used synthesizer they bought at B&H – B&H sells synthesizers? who knew…).


        • Don’t be so surprised. Yamaha, for example, makes audio amplifiers, pianos.., and motorcycles. I see the connection with the first two, but the third fails me. Never the less diversity reigns supreme these days, so why not on the retail business as well?

          Liked by 1 person

          • I do think B&H is a general electronics store now, and most likely needs to be since few people really use the old fashioned type stores any more.


            • All of them have expanded, though they aren’t trying to be “Amazon” and trying to sell everything. The also aren’t competitive for computers, but they have interesting stuff if you’re into drones (and drone cameras), mics, lights, booms and sometimes musical instruments — usually electronic ones. Electric guitars and synthesizers — and some wildly expensive vibraphones and marimbas (I forget the difference) which are as expensive as a grand piano! But if I were still playing, I always wanted a marimba or vibraphone. You (Trent) have a synthesizer, don’t you?

              Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Trentpmcd.., Sorry to be so late with this to you, and I don’t know what you went through changing what the original owner did. Olympus cameras have a good way to get around this.., it’s called “RESET” and you have a choice between basic reset, which maintains any settings you wish to keep, or complete factory reset, which gets you to “ground zero.” All you gotta do is go though the menu and set it up the way you like.., but I’m sure you knew that, right? He probably got it so mixed up that it just didn’t work for him anymore?. Olympus’ Revenge!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, if I ever have an issue with an Oly again (I am still an Olympus user), I’ll do that.
        One of the big issues with the ancient E-1 was that the diopter was cranked very far over, so everything looks clear and bright, but about 1/4 the size it should have been, so it was hard to frame and focus (before that camera, I manual focused 99% of the time, but since I couldn’t, that habit was broken). the diopter was a physical dial, so I’m not sure if a reset would have helped.


        • I’ve never had a reset affect the “diopter” since it is a (mostly mechanical setting) reseting the camera doesn’t, to my Knowledge, rotate the diopter wheel.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It was odd – it was cranked all of the way one direction and then adjusted to have a decent (small) image. It was sharp, if small, looking through, but if you adjust at all, things got blurry, so I thought it was fine. When I found the camera had other really whacked settings, I twisted the dial from one end to the other and discovered the real sweet spot and was surprised at how good it was. Darn, I wish I had discovered it earlier! But I did like the E-620 I replaced it with, so…


  3. Send it to me.., I’ll see what the options are for repair. If successful, I can send it back to you. I’m pretty good at repairing , or having stuff repaired/. Trust me!


    • I have nothing to lose. Next right-size box I get, I’ll pack it up. It’s frustrating because it works sometimes, but not ALL the time. Intermittent is the worst because it always works when you want to fix it, but stops afterward.


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