Olympus E-M5: Eyecup is a build quality weakpoint

I know I'm not the first one to lose the eyecup off the Olympus E-M5.  After all, when I called OlympusAmerica to order a replacement, they were out of stock of this $16 item. [It's still out of stock now, a month later.]  Fortunately, I found it at Adorama Camera for $10.  I ordered two.

The first time I lost the eyecup I was on vacation and taking lots of pictures, many of which were in bright sunshine in the middle of the day.  With the sun high in the sky (in was June) I would have to put my hand over my forehead to keep the sun from getting between my eye and the viewfinder.  And after trying that a few times, I switched over to my second camera, a Panasonic GH2.  I didn't view that as a downgrade, as my plan had been to alternate days with these two cameras.

Two days later I found the eyecup, in the bottom of my camera bag.  After losing it again in the camera bag I realized that because the eyecup slides down on two rails on the side of the viewfinder, like a double hung window, it easily snapped up/off if you pull the camera out of your bag with the shoulder strap.  The strap would sometimes slide up over the camera body as you pulled and this would snapped the eyecup upward and off its tracks.

Since both times that I lost the eyecup I soon found it, I didn't think much more about this camera "fault" until this winter when I realized that although the eyecup was intact, I had nevertheless lost the rubber gasket that surrounds the eyecup on three sides.  This again is a weak design.  The rubber gasket was held on with three points of glue.  I think the rubber gasket should be designed to surround the eyepiece, else it be torn off easily.

Eyecup without the rubber gasket.  Usable but I don't want
to scratch my glasses.

Eyecup slides off with upward motion

Anyway, I have now replaced the eyecup with a fresh new one, and I have one more in reserve for the next time I (inevitably) lose it.

Ah, replacement eyecup installed!  Thankfully
Adorama had this item in stock ($10).

By the way, when I called OlympusAmerica they informed me that this was not covered under the warranty and that my problem was not viewed as a manufacturing defect.  (Of course, I feel the manufacturing of the part was just fine; the real problem is the engineering).

... I still love this camera.


Frank said...

I have the eyecup with that bigger rubber eyepiece from Olympus, it's perfect for framing in the bright sunlight. But it slides off just as easily ... Yes, it is a wrong design, you should have a system with a screw to attach it firm to the camera. I have lost mine too, but found it back luckily ...

Peter F. said...

The little set screw idea is a good one. Doesn't need to be any bigger than the screws in the hinges of eyeglasses. The eyecup on my NEX6 is a quality design. Too bad I don't use/like he NEX6 as much as the E-M5.