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Erika
28th March 2014, 12:33 AM
Hi,
I have a PEN PL1 which I have been using quite a lot during a total period of about two years, and so far I have never had any problems.

Recently the following started to happen: The camera seems not to be able to capture enough light. And the light gets so poor that I am not able to take pictures. The reduction of the capacity to capture light seems to be gradual.

I have been able to resolve the problem by turning the camera on and off several times, and all of the sudden it starts to functions normally, only the light-problem to re-appear.

I have also re-set the camera to factory-settings.

I bought a new memory-card, but the problem persisted.

Thanks a lot in advance!

Wee man
28th March 2014, 12:44 AM
Have you tried a different battery?

Erika
28th March 2014, 12:51 AM
Yes, I did try - same problem...

Ralph Harwood
28th March 2014, 12:56 AM
Hi there Erika!

Welcome to the forum!

Do you have a different lens to try with the camera? If you do does the problem happen with both lenses or just one?

Cheers,

Ralph.

Erika
28th March 2014, 12:59 AM
Hi!
At the moment I just have access to one lens (another lens is on its way...). But to me the problem seems to be software - or am I totally mistaken?

Thanks guys for trying to help me out!

Ralph Harwood
28th March 2014, 01:17 AM
Hi there Erika!

My thoughts about another lens were because I was wondering if the iris in the lens was sticking - this can sometimes give an odd exposure (normally too bright but sometimes too dark). Changing the lens could rule this out as the chances are that two lenses wouldn't have the same fault at the same time.

I am guessing that you know about exposure compensation adjustments and aren't accidently adjusting the exposure (I'm not sure about your E-PL1 but some of my cameras have adjusment wheels that are easily knocked.)

I am also guessing that you know about the differences between spot metering and full image / centre weighted metering - I sometimes make the mistake of leaving the camera in spot mode and wonder why my images are under/over exposed when I check back.

If you use the camera in it's automatic mode both these things can be ruled out though as the camera will use it's judgement to get the best exposure - if it is struggling in automatic mode then it may well be something more serious.

Shutter faults normally manifest themselves as either too bright images (shutter stuck open or slow) or totally dark images (shutter didn't open at all) or occasionally images where part of the image is dark (shutter timing wrong). These symptoms don't sound like the issue you are having, so it would be on to the sensor.

If the sensor is faulty it is probably not economic to repair the camera - a new or second hand body would be less than the repair costs.

I cannot think of a software reason for the darkening images - if the camera is deciding the exposure incorrectly why would it get gradually worse? Why would powering it off and back on again cure the problem? I am not saying that software isn't at fault, only that I cannot see why it would cause these issues.

I hope that this has been of some help to you, please feel free to add any more information that you might think could explain the fault and I'll go away and have a look and see if I can find anything else that might explain it.

Cheers,

Ralph.

Erika
28th March 2014, 01:28 AM
Dear Ralph!
Thank you so much!

Well, I know about some of the things you mentioned - not all:) - but they can be ruled out since I tried in several modes, also automatic. So it might well be serious - perhaps the sensor :(. Could cleaning the camera help? Haven' t had it cleaned. And in where I live, El Salvador, those professionals can be difficult to find.

I am not so sure about the gradual issue - but it is my impression so far.

Well, here we go!

And thanks again so much!

Ralph Harwood
28th March 2014, 01:37 AM
Hi there Erika!

I wouldn't worry about cleaning the sensor - the Supersonic wave filter on the front of the sensor will get the majority of dust off - I have never had to clean any of my olympus cameras sensors - they are self cleaning every time you turn them on!

I'll keep on having a think, it may be that some of the other people on here have had something similar and know what is causing it but in the UK it is a bit late at night so most people have logged off!

Cheers,

Ralph.

Zuiko
28th March 2014, 08:35 AM
Check if you have auto gradation switched on and if you have, switch it off.

Do you have a picture affected by this problem that you could post ? Often seeing an example and examining the exif data helps us indentify the cause.

Ralph Harwood
28th March 2014, 05:45 PM
Hi there John!

What is auto gradation? I've not come across it on any of my olympus cameras.

Cheers,

Ralph.

Ian
28th March 2014, 05:51 PM
Auto gradation boosts shadows and darkens highlights to artificially extend the dynamic range although this would be at the cost if some noise in the shadows and possibly a loss in contrast. Normally it's best to do the things that AG does in post processing rather than in the camera and it can alter exposure and affect the usefulness of RAW files.

Ian

Ian
28th March 2014, 05:54 PM
Back to Erika's problem, it does sound like a sticking lens iris. Comparison with a second lens would definitely confirm or debunk this theory. A routine suggestion would be to gently clean the electrical contacts on the back of the lens and the corresponding pins.

Ian

Imageryone
29th March 2014, 10:47 AM
I had a similar problem with my E300 when it was still alive, turned out to be the pins on the camera were sticking. I used the refill from a Biro ( other makes are available :):)) to gently depress the pins until they no longer stuck. I now do this to all my cameras as a matter of general maintenance.

The only other thought that comes to mind is your location? Am I correct in thinking that you have high humidity in El Salvatore? If so, water may have got into the camera. A simple test is to put it in a sealed plastic bag and stand it in the Sun. If beads of moisture form in the bag, you have damp.
In that case, buy 200gram Silica Gel packs from the internet , put them in the bag until all moisture is gone. One minute in a microwave, dries the pack out ready for reuse :)

Erika
16th April 2014, 06:24 PM
Hi!
Turned out it was the lens! And a new lens is on its way;).

And yes, I do live in El Salvador and it is very humid here!

But Imageryone: Microwave?????:)

Erika

Ralph Harwood
17th April 2014, 02:26 AM
Hi there Erika!

I think that imageryone means the silica packs in the microwave oven, rather than the camera lens! I'm glad you have solved your problem though:D.

Cheers,

Ralph.

Erika
17th April 2014, 02:29 AM
:D I could see it it front of me :D