Olympus OM-D lockup problems

I’ve found a particular combination of button presses that makes my OM-D lock up – admittedly it’s probably one that only I use, but I thought people should be aware so they can avoid it:

1. I’ve got my camera set to Continuous-L, 4fps, RAW.
2. Play back a file
3. Press the Fn1 button to zoom to 10x, keep pressing to zoom out again to the screen that shows the zoom slider and thumbnail toggle (i.e. keep pressing the button)
4. At that screen, press the Fn2 button to protect the file
5. You’ll now find the camera has locked up and requires a battery removal.
6. The file will still be there, though.

So there you have it. Unfortunately it happens to follow the way I work (zoom in to check focus, zoom out, protect file) – same thing I do with my Nikons – just that here it seems to trigger some sort of firmware panic, which requires a battery removal to resolve. MT


  1. I’ve had a similar issue. I believe mine is being caused by poor battery contact.

  2. I know this is an old post, but this has happened to me and here’s what I’ve noticed:

    This happened occasiobally with my EM-10, and upon it’s recent demise (RIP) I purchased an EM-10ii. I’ve had the camera roughly two weeks and it’s happened more often with this camera then the previous model, but one thing I have noticed is that it only happens when the camera is pointed down.

    I may have noticed this with more frequency because I recently acquired a Peak Design Capture Clip, and the camera now sits facing down, instead of at the angle it use to sit at when I was using a sling.

    I’ve noticed no button combinations that bring about the problem, nor does the lens choice have an effect on it. It happens with my primes, my 40-150 kit, and my 12-40. It has also happened while using Nikon legacy lenses.

    Wish there was a way to find out the exact cause. While it always fixes itself, turning the camera on and off doesn’t seem to help. It doesn’t stay locked up long, but when hiking and trying to photograph birds, a fraction of a second can be too long, let alone several seconds of staring at a blank screen while watching a moment disappear.

    • Maybe there are internal components that are so close together they short, or interfere; the problem with cameras is they’re such complex systems to troubleshoot (and it’s invariably easier just to release a new model than fix it)…

      • So true. I never thought of it as an issue since it happened so infrequently with the older model, but I really wish the new one didn’t have the issue. Especially since it only seems to happen when facing down, and the Peak Design Capture seemed to solve a few issues I had previously while hiking. I can carry in the sideways orientation, but it’s a bit more of a hassle when bending around turns.

        Given that it’s only two weeks old, I could exchange it, but I feel it wouldn’t solve the problem.

        Thank you for your quick reply – your website has been a great resource for me in the past, and your review of the 12-40 was one of the reasons it ended up on my wish list a while back.

        Hope you’re doing well.


  3. MIng,

    Have you had any more lockups with your E-M5’s? I purchased a used one recently, sent it in for the free LCD frame repair, and Olympus (actually Precision Camera) says the camera checks out fine. I went to use it tonight to shoot a theater performance, and it kept locking up on me. Removing the battery grip reduced the number of lockups, but it was still quite erratic. The batteries were Olympus brand, fully charged, and the SD card was a Sandisk Extreme that I have used in my old E-PL5. I believe that the firmware was up to date, and I need to do more research on the problem, but am somewhat disappointed as this camera locked up more times in one evening that all of my past digital cameras over the past 12 years.


    • Can’t say I have, but I sold it some time back when the E-M1 arrived. The last firmware update eliminated the lockups completely.

      • Thank you for the reply. It now looks like the IBIS may be having problems. Your reply, however, is much appreciated, as always.


  4. Mine has randomly locked up a few times, usually but not always after changing lenses (kit 12-50 and Panasonic 100-300). I was recently in a hot, humid environment on a Caribbean vacation, and it locked up fairly frequently. Usually taking the battery out and re-inserting it has fixed the problem, although it’s a nuisance because I use a grip. However, I have also found that very gently pressing on the lens pins where the lens screws in, and very gently running my fingernail along the metal contacts on the lens itself has fixed the problem on a couple of occasions. So I wonder if it’s something to do with the lens contacts interfering with something electrical in the camera, and if heat and humidity in some way contribute. I shoot raw, sometimes single and sometimes 9fps, use the F1 button for focus, use AF-S, but have tried other modes and it has still happened. I actually think it’s some kind of design flaw.

    • Or possibly tight tolerances somewhere making something occasionally short – I find humid environments plus lens changes are a REALLY bad idea; some internal condensation probably occurs causing the short.

      • With the last post in April, can I assume this lockup was fixed with a firmware update? Just got my OM-D E-M5, and I have not seen this issue, but only a few hundred shots.
        My E-410 has never locked up in >30,000 shots, even in sub-zero temperatures. With increasing complexity comes more chance for bugs like this. SmartPhones are a good example. Hopefully it’s not a hardware fault in the OM-D

  5. I have been having these jams just shooting single shots in Manual mode. Nothing fancy even. And when it jams, even removing and replacing battery, and turning on and off do not help. I have to wait a few minutes with the camera off and then it would turn on without a jam. And then it will happen again after 2 shots or so! The other night it happened, I got cheesed off and switch to Continuous mode – it did not jam a single time for two hours in that mode!

  6. My camera also locked up after it went to sleep. I changed the “Auto Power Off” setting to “Off” (the sleep was set alternately to 1 and 3 minutes, same problem either way) and that seemed to cure it for the most part – it has happened only one more time since then after about 90 minutes of shooting/sleeping. Since my camera came loaded with v1.1 firmware, and there’s been no update issued, I’m not sure how to address this.

    • I don’t have the lockup after sleep problem; mine’s lockup after zooming in/out with the Fn button next to playback, then using the other Fn button to protect the image.

      • Sorry – by lockup, you mean freeze, right? My camera basically was going to sleep and not waking up unless I took the battery out and put it back in.

        • Yes, the camera would just become unresponsive – but usually the display would freeze on me.

          • I just saw a discussion in which people said they only had the problem that I experience when they use the OM-D with the Panasonic 20 f/1.7. Hopefully, there will be firmware updates.

            • I admit it’s news to me. Perhaps it’s one of those subtle bugs to get you to use Oly-only lenses 😛

              • Nope. The 20mm 1.7 is probably my most-used lens on the OMD, and the camera has never locked up while using it.
                (For what it’s worth, I’ve never had the focus-hunting problem that some people report with that lens, either.)

                It HAS locked up with the Panasonic kit lens (14-45, I think), the Oly 12-50, and the Oly 40-150.

                Mine doesn’t crash in response to any sequence of button presses…..It just goes to sleep during a pause in shooting, and then doesn’t wake up.

  7. Experienced a similar freeze with my OMD + 20 f1.7. My Live View is OFF. It seems that the camera won’t wake up after it goes to sleep mode. Happened twice with no pattern. It was very random. I’ve now changed my setting to have the camera not to sleep but turn off in 5 minutes.

  8. BF350118x

  9. My OM-D locks up too, with both Oly lenses (12/2, 45/1.8) and Panny lens (20/1.7), if I let the camera go to sleep and do not wake it up within a few minutes.
    Firmware update should fix. I have to remove/replace battery to get the camera to wake up.

    • Uh oh. Hasn’t happened to me, but I usually turn my cameras off between shots out of habit – I guess it’s the location of the power switch on the Nikons that’s conditioned me to do it.

      • @ jonrey: can you elaborate on which settings you have activated; I have felt all along that the problem is an interaction between settings. And what do you need to do to turn it back on after it turns off?

        @ Ming: *if* the on/off switch was configured like all the pro. Nikons I have used, I agree; it would be second nature to switch off. However…

        • I don’t actually see how they’d put it there, unfortunately. But maybe a switch on the top plate or something? Even a button like the E-PM1. It just isn’t convenient where it’s placed now.

  10. Ummm, I have not had it happen at all, I shoot RAW, 9pfs or single frame, I had mine since April, and have over 4600 clicks..
    I wonder if listing your S#’s and see if it occurs within a certain number range. Mine is BEJ501871

  11. Hmm.. I think I had one time where the camera didn’t really lock up, but behaved oddly for a little bit, but a quick switch on and off made it fine. I’ve never had a hard lock (over 5000 frames). Trying the sequence you describe works just fine for me. No lockup.

  12. I’m sure it locked after the sequence you described, but I don’t think that caused it. Does the camera lock up every time you go through that sequence?
    I’m betting the lockup has to do with some internal combination of temperature, time, shutter speed, whatever, and is not dependent on anything the user does.
    It happened to me when I had only had the camera for 24 hours, and didn’t know enough to do anything fancy. I was shooting in plain vanilla Aperture Priority; the sequence was shoot, shoot again, short pause, lockup. Happened three times that day with no button presses at all, and with both Olympus and Panasonic lenses.
    I’m afraid its random, intermittent nature will make it hard to find the cause.
    The upside is I’ve done about 1500 actuations since with no lockups.

  13. I had a lockup over the weekend where I also needed to drop the battery. I was on the same settings (4fps + RAW) as you but didn’t have the same magnification button presses. Since I was using the battery grip I actually had to take the grip off to drop the in camera battery.

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