A repair oddysee – A little calm story

You know what really grinds my gears?
My camera. Not very often, but sometimes our relationship is complicated.
Let’s tell the story from the beginning: As you may know I own an Olympus OM-D E-M10 as of May 2014. I really like the camera. It was the best choice for an entry level camera.

It’s got a great design, it’s made of metal and it’s lightweight (for those of us who do not want to carry a brink all day). But I experienced a little repair story with my Olympus I want so share with you.

As I bought my Olympus I was happy. I got as a birthday present and opened it right away at home. The build quality was fine. Olympus standards are not bad, but as I looked trough the viewfinder I was a bit surprised to see a lot of of black fuzzy things. The viewfinder was simply dirty and had grain in it.
I went back to the store the next day and the seller wondered how this could happen. I thought ‘Ok, bad luck. Let’s wait for a quick repair. It is nothing to be mad about.’.

Let’s wait for a quick repair. It is nothing to be mad about.

Well… It got worse.

Next, a few weeks later, the wifi signal disappeared out of nowhere. Again: Back to the store. Send it back to Olympus again. This procedure takes about 2 weeks each time. So keep calm. They will fix it. Eventually.
Got the camera back and a few weeks after that it suddenly stopped operating at all. I went to the store again to give it back. With the European low you can do that usually quite easy – as I thought. But apparently a store is not Amazon. To be precise the ‘ring foto’ store did not even adjudicated my  legal warranty. What is the point of supporting your local industry, if Amazon has way more benefits?

So I waited another 2 weeks. Now I was being informed that Olympus is short of cameras. How? I do not know. Maybe I bought it at a time where is was new. I waited another 2 weeks for a repaired camera.This time I got my first replacement. But the camera was black and not silver.

Even the document said it was changed into a black version. Was it done on purpose? I hope not.
So I requested, because it is my right (and also the silver one is a lot cooler), another replacement. From now on I only spoke to the head of the store. He phoned the Olympus Europe headquarter in Czechia and made sure I’ll get a new one.

I for one was allowed to carry on with the black camera for limited period of time. But was I able to shoot? No.

So keep calm. They will fix it. Eventually.

The new black camera was not able to shoot. Well, it was, but only without the In-Body-Image-Stabilization (IBIS), which is kind of the point of an Olympus camera. All pictures where blurry and the camera made some noise you can briefly see/hear here. So I phoned the store again.

They gave me an E-M5 as an exchange. Unexpected but nice to have a camera and having to wait for another replacement. Olympus was still short on the new product but a new E-M10 did arrive soon.

This all happened to me last year between May and October 2014. It was quiet since then.
In march I turned on the integrated flash. I do not use this flash often, in fact I do not use it at all. It is just a flash for emergency situations. So I took a picture at night at full power, not thinking that this might be dangerous for the flash. Does such a thing have to heat up? I’m not a flash guy.

This time I did want a quick repair. I emailed my store and Olympus send a postman to pick up my device. The week after I had something in my mail. A new device. Again. I was lucky. Again. And it was broken. Again.
The rear display had some not working pixels. It is not the case that I can not take pictures with that camera, but.. you know… I have a decent repair history.I send it back to Olympus. They told me they’ll repair it. but they did not. The camera was send back again with a short note, that I should enable the hot pixel fix in the menu. No comment on that.

Since the camera was operation normally and I was about to drive to Paris it was OK for the moment. Not thinking about the quality of this camera I left it this way. It’s a mistake to think this was with an E-M10.

I shot a interval video with the camera a week before my trip to Paris and it broke again. Apparently the shutter does not like to be used rapidly in the sun. It got stuck and the camera never went on again.

I just got my 6. replacement of the E-M10 in the mail.

So, is there a conclusion to make? I do not know. Maybe I am the misfortune guy.
Olympus has to improve their control mechanisms and the communication! At this point I only speak to some kind of chief of the repair division, and he can not ensure me a camera free of errors.
The main conclusion is about us. The customer. Say what you want! All the while I claiming what I wanted. Say to the service that you can not wait to get the camera back. Ask them what they can do about you.A second and not so positive lesson from this is to by your gear at Amazon. They respect the law and pay your money back, if you have 3 or more repair cases (Europe, Germany). The local store business has to rethink their strategy about young people. They are used to the fact that you can return things if you want.
And a good support, either Olympus’ – which is OK – or my local store Ring Foto’s – which lacks at this – never made a customer run away. The whole camera business is about company loyalty and they must have an interest to make you stay in the system. Thanks to some good support I am still here and own this camera. Happily.

Have self confidence in you and a nice day!

If you have a similar story please share it!

Firmware Control: Tool to Flash any Firmware

This is outdated.
Please have a look here if you want to up/downgrade your camera.

This method is outdated:

I rewrote the Firmware Control tool to make it easier to use and compatible for everyone.
With this program you can flash any firmware of the Olympus OM-D and PEN and Stylus series. It makes it more easy to upgrade your firmware and allows people to separate the download and flash process. There are many cameras being supported. If your’s is not, tell me and I will add support for it as well.

Features

    • Flash/install any firmware
    • Flash official and unofficial updates/firmwares
    • Upgrade and downgrade your firmware – no matter which version you are coming from
    • Download any official firmware ever published for your camera

 

Screenshots:

 

 

 

How to use the program?

First choose your camera, then select your firmware and download it. Put the firmware in a folder called “DCOLYMP” on your SD-Card and start your camera while pressing the OK button.
Wait until the red LED is blinking on/off. This means the process is finished and you can restart your camera. Finished!

Any risks?

This might void your warranty. If you flash an official update from Olympus you are most likely on the save side. But there is no guarantee I can give you.
If you flash a custom firmware you are never on the save side. Think about what you are doing and always consider that this can break your camera.

 

 

Download links – Version 1.0a

//links not working any more. see information on top
Link 1.0a : Firmware Control 1.0.zip
Link 0.5   : Firmware Control 0.5.zip
Link 0.4   : Firmware Control 0.4d.zip
Link 0.3   : http://gdriv.es/olyfirmwarecontrol03
Link 0.2   : http://gdriv.es/olyfirmwarecontrol02
Link 0.1   : http://gdriv.es/olyfirmwarecontrol01

 

Version History

Version 0.5 //02.10.14
rewrote the program
support for E-P2 and E-P3
supports SD-Card method, which is easier to use
Version 0.5 //08.09.14
fixed a bug with the E-M1
Version 0.4d //20.08.14
support for E-P5, E-PL3, E-PL5, E-PM2 & STYLUS 1
Verison d – more bug fixes
Version 0.3 //13.08.14
support for official updates
new design – more easy to use
Version 0.2 //07.08.14
support for E-M5
support for E-M1 
Version 0.1 //06.08.14
initial release
flash any firmware
support for E-M10

 

Help

If you are having trouble editing the host file please got to the path “C:WindowsSystem32driversetc” and open the file “hosts” with any text editor. Now remove those 2 lines:
127.0.0.1     dl01.olympus-imaging.com
127.0.0.1     fw01.olympus-imaging.com

If you want to access the Olympus server again, please remove the lines. This is necessary for version 1.0 to able to download a firmware.

Future plans

  • Mac Version
  • More in-app help/information
  • List of available (modified) firmware versions

 

Tell me your thoughts and wishes in the comments!
If you need support for other cameras let me know.