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  #1  
Old 21st April 2011
bugmonkey
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E-420 has a meltdown

Hello everyone,

I hope you might be able to make some suggestions.

I have had an Olympus E420 for just over 3 years and it has been a great wee camera but tonight I went to turn it on for the first time in about 3 weeks and it has gone dead on me.

When I turn it on the lens focuses on whatever is in front of it but it then will not focus again (e.g. by half depressing the shutter button);
The screen on the back of the body does not turn on to access the menus or to review pictures on the memory (flash) card;
The buttons on the back of the body seem to have no effect in accessing menus etc.;
When the [liveview] button is pressed the mirror does not click up and I can still see through the viewfinder;
The camera is locked to whatever programme that the camera is on when it is turned on. If I turn the camera off and change it (say from P to A) then it will turn on in that programme but turning the selector switch on the top of the camera does nothing. I can tell from the viewfinder menu, which does still work.
The AEL lock button does make the AEL light on the viewfinder menu light up but I cant tell if it actually works.

The screen does give me the message that the the memory card door is open (when the door is open) and it gives a splashscreen about the SSWF when I turn the camera on without a memory card in it, so the screen hardware does work, making me think it is a software glitch.

I have tried the hardware reset (turn off, open card door, set to P, turn on, press OK and MENU at the same time twice, select yes to RESET) but aside from going back to beeping at me when the camera is focused (by itself when I first turn it on) it is still the same.

Reseating the lens doesn't seem to make any difference.

The battery is out now and I am going to charge up the battery fully (though it is fairly freshly charged) and let the internal sustain battery run flat (48 hours should be enough?).

Can any of you think or anything I could do to bring this camera back from the dead or do I need to get a new one?

Thank you for any input. I am
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  #2  
Old 22nd April 2011
Ulfric M Douglas Ulfric M Douglas is offline
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Also you should try a different battery from a normal working camera ... if you can get one. Camera shop?
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  #3  
Old 22nd April 2011
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulfric M Douglas View Post
Also you should try a different battery from a normal working camera ... if you can get one. Camera shop?
That's right. Although you are seeing certain things, you need to be sure that it isn't working just because of the battery. I suspect it isn't that either though.
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I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD7-14mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens, MC-14, MC-20, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
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Old 22nd April 2011
jamie allan jamie allan is offline
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by bugmonkey View Post
Hello everyone,

I hope you might be able to make some suggestions.

I have had an Olympus E420 for just over 3 years and it has been a great wee camera but tonight I went to turn it on for the first time in about 3 weeks and it has gone dead on me.

When I turn it on the lens focuses on whatever is in front of it but it then will not focus again (e.g. by half depressing the shutter button);
The screen on the back of the body does not turn on to access the menus or to review pictures on the memory (flash) card;
The buttons on the back of the body seem to have no effect in accessing menus etc.;
When the [liveview] button is pressed the mirror does not click up and I can still see through the viewfinder;
The camera is locked to whatever programme that the camera is on when it is turned on. If I turn the camera off and change it (say from P to A) then it will turn on in that programme but turning the selector switch on the top of the camera does nothing. I can tell from the viewfinder menu, which does still work.
The AEL lock button does make the AEL light on the viewfinder menu light up but I cant tell if it actually works.

The screen does give me the message that the the memory card door is open (when the door is open) and it gives a splashscreen about the SSWF when I turn the camera on without a memory card in it, so the screen hardware does work, making me think it is a software glitch.

I have tried the hardware reset (turn off, open card door, set to P, turn on, press OK and MENU at the same time twice, select yes to RESET) but aside from going back to beeping at me when the camera is focused (by itself when I first turn it on) it is still the same.

Reseating the lens doesn't seem to make any difference.

The battery is out now and I am going to charge up the battery fully (though it is fairly freshly charged) and let the internal sustain battery run flat (48 hours should be enough?).

Can any of you think or anything I could do to bring this camera back from the dead or do I need to get a new one?

Thank you for any input. I am
I see you live in Glasgow - so do I. If you don't have a second battery I could loan you one for test purposes. The E-420 takes a BLS-1 doesn't it?
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  #5  
Old 22nd April 2011
bugmonkey
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie allan View Post
I see you live in Glasgow - so do I. If you don't have a second battery I could loan you one for test purposes. The E-420 takes a BLS-1 doesn't it?
Thanks very much for the offer but I can borrow a battery from my dad to test it. I would be surprised if it is the battery that is causing the problems but it is worth a go.

Does anyone know if it is possible to reinstall the firmware on the body? I saw it mentioned somewhere that it was possible via Olympus Master, the bundled software that I never installed on my machine.
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  #6  
Old 22nd April 2011
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rsh1960 rsh1960 is offline
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

There is a seperate piece of software called the Olympus digital camera updater that is seperate from the olympus master.

http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/208_7226.htm
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  #7  
Old 26th April 2011
bugmonkey
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Leaving it without a battery for 3 days didn't help so I am going to try the Olympus Digital Camera Updater tomorrow. I hope it will work even though it is not 'updating' and is just reinstalling...
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  #8  
Old 26th April 2011
bugmonkey
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Baffling.

I plugged in the camera just now to try and update the firmware. When I plugged in the USB cable the camera acted as normal and is now working completely as normal, despite not getting as far as running the firmware checker.

Happily connecting the camera to the computer seems to have corrected whatever setting in the camera that was making it screwed up.

Hopefully anyone else that runs into this puzzling problem will be able to fix their camera by just plugging it into a computer

Thanks for your help,
Neil
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  #9  
Old 26th April 2011
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Ross the fiddler Ross the fiddler is offline
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by bugmonkey View Post
Baffling.

I plugged in the camera just now to try and update the firmware. When I plugged in the USB cable the camera acted as normal and is now working completely as normal, despite not getting as far as running the firmware checker.

Happily connecting the camera to the computer seems to have corrected whatever setting in the camera that was making it screwed up.

Hopefully anyone else that runs into this puzzling problem will be able to fix their camera by just plugging it into a computer

Thanks for your help,
Neil
It sounds like a typical computer software lockup, only it's the firmware of the camera. The prompt to the USB from the computer sounds like it is all that was needed. Can you remember if the camera had stopped working straight after the last time you had it connected to the computer? If you had disconnected it without selecting that option in Oly Master & with the camera on, it might have been the reason for the lockup. When using a computer (with windowsXP), if you are browsing a CD & then just eject it without closing the browsing window, it can leave the computer hanging because of the incorrect sequence & this might also happen with the hand shaking protocol to & from the camera etc.

It's good news that it's OK anyhow.

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I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD7-14mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens, MC-14, MC-20, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).
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Old 26th April 2011
jamie allan jamie allan is offline
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by bugmonkey View Post
Baffling.

I plugged in the camera just now to try and update the firmware. When I plugged in the USB cable the camera acted as normal and is now working completely as normal, despite not getting as far as running the firmware checker.
Neil,
I'd suggest you check your USB port on the camera to see if there is any foreign object in the socket and that all 4 USB contacts are clean, clear and not fouling in any way. From what you've said I think that may be worth checking.
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  #11  
Old 26th April 2011
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Ross the fiddler Ross the fiddler is offline
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie allan View Post
Neil,
I'd suggest you check your USB port on the camera to see if there is any foreign object in the socket and that all 4 USB contacts are clean, clear and not fouling in any way. From what you've said I think that may be worth checking.
Come to think of it. When I had managed to get the cable in my camera (E520) the wrong way round in the dark, it damaged the pins & connector & may have behaved similarly. Because it was obvious I had stuffed it, I immediately turned off the camera & separated the pins (because they were bent & shorting together) so I could continue to use it by using a card reader to download the photos. BTW, card readers can also get damaged pins if the CF port is shallow & not enough care is taken when inserting the card (I've just bought a Transcend model that has a deep port which works well).
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I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD7-14mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens, MC-14, MC-20, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).
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  #12  
Old 28th April 2011
bugmonkey
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Thanks for the comments. It is still acting up.

I have checked that the cable connectors, the socket in the camera and the computer are ok and they appear to be.

The body seems to go mad when left on stand-by for about an hour. It takes pictures normally but if left on without any activity it has a meltdown and refuses to play until plugged in via USB. I suspect that connecting to the USB may be rebooting the camera software in some way? So long as I remember to turn the camera off after taking the pictures I want it seems to be ok.

I have tried the software to update the firmware on the camera but because it already has the most up to date version I can't do anything.

Thankfully I have been offered a swap with a good second hand body from my mam so when I go to Australia in 2 weeks time I'll have a fully working camera. The one with problems might need to go back to Olympus to get re-flashed with the firmware I guess.
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Old 28th April 2011
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by bugmonkey View Post
Thanks for the comments. It is still acting up.

I have checked that the cable connectors, the socket in the camera and the computer are ok and they appear to be.

The body seems to go mad when left on stand-by for about an hour. It takes pictures normally but if left on without any activity it has a meltdown and refuses to play until plugged in via USB. I suspect that connecting to the USB may be rebooting the camera software in some way? So long as I remember to turn the camera off after taking the pictures I want it seems to be ok.

I have tried the software to update the firmware on the camera but because it already has the most up to date version I can't do anything.

Thankfully I have been offered a swap with a good second hand body from my mam so when I go to Australia in 2 weeks time I'll have a fully working camera. The one with problems might need to go back to Olympus to get re-flashed with the firmware I guess.
I'm sorry to hear you are still having problems. With regard to the connector in the camera, if any of the 8 connection leaves (4 above & 4 below the central insulating block) have been pushed in at all, it is possible there might be a short between them, but if not, then unfortunately Olympus Service would need to fix the problem. With my damaged E520, I broke the central insulating block of the connector & by just pushing each of the leaf pins out (up & down), keeping them seperated, the camera was then still operable. Olympus wanted a lot of money to fix that as it would have neeeded the whole circuit board it was mounted on.

You will be coming to Australia when we are starting to cool off here (except the top end) & we have lit our fire a couple of times already. Which part of Australia will you be coming to?
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I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD7-14mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens, MC-14, MC-20, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).
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Old 28th April 2011
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by bugmonkey View Post
Thankfully I have been offered a swap with a good second hand body from my mam so when I go to Australia in 2 weeks time I'll have a fully working camera.
Glad to know my wife's ex-420 will be put to good use
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Old 29th April 2011
bugmonkey
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Re: E-420 has a meltdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross the fiddler View Post
I'm sorry to hear you are still having problems. With regard to the connector in the camera, if any of the 8 connection leaves (4 above & 4 below the central insulating block) have been pushed in at all ...

You will be coming to Australia when we are starting to cool off here (except the top end) & we have lit our fire a couple of times already. Which part of Australia will you be coming to?
I can't see any sign of damage or anything to the USB connection. I suppose it could be hardware but I checked the diagnostics window and there are no error codes so i'd be more suspect of the software on the body. At the moment there seems to be a work around for the bug (turn off the camera between shots) but who is to say it won't get worse over time...

I'm coming over to Australia on a working holiday visa so i hope i'll be there for at least a year and i'll get to see all the seasons. I'm starting off in Adelaide (my uncle lives there) and to be honest, the winter weather doesn't look much worst than Glasgow's in a bad summer! It'll give me time to acclimatise, rather than arriving in the height of summer
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