On December 30, I bought an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III. This post contains the first handful of images I took with the camera while walking from Big Camera [相機王] in Taichung City to a nearby cafe to do some coursework. While familiarizing myself with the Olympus system I believe I took fewer than two hundred photographs during the holiday weekend.
The following Saturday morning (January 6), I was taking photographs of the children playing in the living room when the camera locked up. I had taken about twenty pictures and the camera fell asleep. When I pressed the shutter release to wake it up it was unresponsive so I turned it off. When I turned it back on, the lens extended and the scene was viewable through the LCD screen however none of the buttons were responsive. About five seconds later, the lens went back in and the camera shut itself off. I tried a few times and the problem repeated itself in every shooting mode.
The battery was fully charged and couldn’t possibly have drained that much during the twenty or so photographs from the morning. I tried again with a fully charged third-party battery, a different SD card, and removing and reattaching the lens but the camera remained unresponsive.
I took the camera back to the shop that afternoon. A staff member briefly checked the camera and ran the same tests I did. He said they would send it to Olympus to be checked. At this point I should have asked for an exchange but I let him send away the camera. I asked if we would need to send the battery, SD card, and warranty card and I was told that wouldn’t be necessary.
The following Tuesday (January 9), a mere two business days later I received a call from Olympus’s Taipei office. The representative told me that my camera was working properly. I told the rep that it worked improperly for me and for a staff member at the camera shop and explained how the camera had behaved. He said there may have been something wrong with the accessories that were bundled with the camera and asked me to send them.
On January 15 I received an e-mail saying that all the accessories were functioning normally. In the e-mail the rep asked if they could reformat the SD card. In my response, I stated that I was very concerned why my camera locked-up for me and that I may have been sold a lemon. My camera was shipped back to Big Camera on January 20. A member of the staff tested it and it was working. I asked what work had been done to the camera and the report stated that no work had been done. I asked why it malfunctioned and there was no explanation on the work order. At this point, I stated that I was unsatisfied with the camera and asked for an exchange. The staff member said that they would contact Olympus on Monday and I would be able to pick up an exchange anytime after that.
Due to being busy during the week, I didn’t get out to Taichung to pick up my replacement until last Saturday (January 27). I understand that manufacturers churn out units by the tens of thousands and there are bound to be a few lemons here or there. Through this experience, I learned to demand an exchange right from the beginning rather than letting a retailer send away a new product.