After a period of not using my OM-D E-M5 (maybe six months), I took my camera out to use it. Upon taking a photo the screen goes black, as if struggling to record the image, and then shuts down. If I turn the camera off and on again, it turns back on. I can access the photo I took and can go through the menus without the camera having any signs of a problem, but as soon as I take another photo, it seizes, view finder goes (and stays) black, and the camera turns off again.

I have tried different SD cards, batteries, and shot settings. I have also done a factory reset. None of these procedures have resulted in anything different. Olympus support could only recommend that I try a faster SD card (6 or above), mine is a 4 and worked fine before now in this camera.

Thanks for any suggestions.

  • 2
    Did you try to update to the latest Firmware? Jun 11, 2016 at 6:35
  • Yes! Thanks for the suggestion, but no dice. Same thing. Jun 26, 2016 at 15:39
  • I am experiencing the same with my OM-D E-M10 Mk1 with body firmware 1.2. Tried with different battery and SD card, same behavior. I used to have similar problem in my mobile phone and it was due to bad battery contact. I managed to fix it by rubbing the battery contacts with pencil eraser. I have tried this with my OM-D but without help. As you experienced the problem almost the same time it might be a software problem. Tried to set back the date one year from now, didn't fix it.
    – user53384
    Jun 26, 2016 at 17:42
  • I am having the same problem - did you find out what was happening with your camera?
    – user57441
    Oct 13, 2016 at 2:22
  • 1
    I have exactly the same problem. I tried: - factory settings - different battery, charging battery - upgrade software ( was already up to date v2.2) - different SD card (class 10) - different lens - with and without flash - taking a movie - works fine replay movie all good. Take a photo - struggles and shuts down Q1 has anyone found a solution ? Q2 All I can think is software - can the software be flashed - reinstalled ? thanks Gary Australia
    – GaryAU
    Feb 9, 2017 at 1:05

7 Answers 7


Just to complete this - my camera went to Olympus AU who diagnosed a faulty shutter mechanism.

they tell me that is a replacement not a repair - but I think these service centres are lazy when it comes to that choice.

So in any case its hardware not software. Its not battery, sd card or anything I could fix at home. (though please do try these first)

It may be a more expensive repair than the camera is worth.

happy snaps Gary

  • 1
    Work hours today are far more expensive than material, so if the repair would take e.g. 4 hours because it is intricate work, but the replacement only takes 1/2 hour, then the material for the repair would have to be around 250-350$/€ cheaper than the replacement part. While bad for the environment, it is the more economic choice to just replace it.
    – flolilo
    Sep 22, 2018 at 13:13

Just wanted to put my experience out there. Had this identical problem which is why I found this discussion. Determined to test everything in a hope to get it working I found a solution which worked for me, for now atleast.

Switching to burst mode on the camera solved my problem. It failed a couple of times; taking just one photo eventhough in burst mode. But after a couple of restarts it first took two consecutive photos and then a full burst. I continued taking a couple of burst and then tried switching back to single-shot. Worked fine!

I'll try to update if problem comes back..

  • The burst mode trick worked for me. First using high speed burst mode did nothing. Then tried low speed burst mode. Worked great, then high speed burst mode also functioned and then I went back to taking single shots without my OMD E-M5 shutting off anymore!
    – Johan
    Sep 7, 2017 at 0:33
  • Exact same issue with my EM5. Fixed it using burst mode once and problem solved.
    – Mayur P
    Mar 3, 2018 at 8:09

This happened to my E-520 the other year. I'd take one picture normally but after a second capture the card light would blink until I switched the camera off. When I restarted the camera both pictures were saved to card and readable, but the problem repeated every shot. It was discussed in flickr's E-System Community

My only solution was to send it to Olympus which cost almost as much as the camera's second hand value but I can't fault the service. The camera is still going strong a year later.


Problem: OM-D camera shuts down immediately after taking a picture
Solution: Use shooting modes that skip the first curtain cycle

Both the "Silent" and "Anti-Shock" on my E-M5ii skip the first curtain cycle and work as expected even though the standard single / sequential shooting modes do not. "Anti-Shock" mode allows for the use of flash, but does not work for shutter speeds faster than 1/320s.

This is definitely a mechanical problem, but it's nice to have an interim solution if this happens to you in the field. I love my E-M5ii, but the reliability is definitely suspect.


Reading this thread, it seems there is evidence of a widespread issue with the shutter mechanisms of multiple OMD models globally over a period of years. I shoot professionally with an OMD-EM1 and EM5. The three-year-old EM1 is currently in for a repair after the shutter packed up. Cost: £307 inc. VAT.

The EM5 is my B camera. It started showing signs of shutter failure recently - black screen after the first frame, then shuts down - but usually works normally after being switched off and on again. Even so, unreliable for professional use.

I am heavily invested in the M43 format, but I am seriously considering moving to the Sony or Nikon Z system because of the persistent shutter failures I and others have experienced across Olympus' model range. Whatever the cause, Olympus needs to get a grip on this, or suffer serious reputational damage.

  • 1
    The implied answer is: "the shutter has a manufacturing defect, which you have encountered".
    – mattdm
    Sep 22, 2018 at 13:23

It sounds like it could be a mechanical problem. It doesn't sound like something that could be fixed with a software measure, like upgrading firmware or a different type of SD card, though nonetheless it's good that you have checked these already.

Have you considered taking it to get it looked at or serviced? If not, that is what I'd do.

If your SD card was too slow then your camera may pause after taking a burst of photos, that's all. It would still happily take photos afterwards.


Its due to poor battery contact. Poor battery compartment and contact design. You can try cleaning up the contacts on the battery, but it may still be an issue.

Another problem you'll run into is that over time these batteries will swell slightly. As they do, they will no longer fit into the battery compartment. The battery is still good but won't fit into the camera. Junk.....Crappy design.

  • 1
    Just for other peoples' reference, I have tried multiple different batteries and this is not the problem. Jan 3, 2017 at 16:52
  • A lithium battery that is relevantly swollen is not one that I would call "good", or that I would WANT to fit into anything but a battery disposal bin. Oct 10, 2018 at 21:50

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