Olympus Stylus Epic not turning on at all

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by lucyjennifer, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. lucyjennifer

    lucyjennifer Member

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    So I just recently purchased an Olympus Stylus Epic 115 DLX off ebay. (This is the first time I have ever bought a 35mm film camera, and will be my first experience with one, so keep that in mind if I ask anything dumb.) When selling, the camera was described as "used. On ebay, used condition is described as an item that is second hand, but is still working and functioning; so I don't see why my issue will be that the camera is entirely broken.

    Anyways, I just received the camera in the mail today. It looks in almost mint condition, and I cannot see any physical damage - the cr123a battery was also included and installed in the camera. I have not purchased any film roll for the camera yet as I'm still deciding which one to get, but as there was a battery included, I decided to check out out some of the features and get familiar with the camera.

    Basically, straight to the point, the camera does not appear to be working. The display just isn't turning on, period. Now, when I google this issue - and many people will probably say the same - all I see is that the battery is probably dead. But from what I've read online, if the battery is dead, the battery percentage will still show, or you will see an "E." As I said before, there is literally nothing on the display- nothing signalling that it is the fault of a dead battery. I could be making myself look like a fool here, as I haven't actually tried another battery (I currently don't have one on me as they're hard to find where I am; I will get one on the weekend.) But I cannot, for the life of me, find an answer to what it means when the display shows absolutely nothing.

    Is this camera just entirely broken? Is it an issue with another part of the camera? Any suggestions of what I should do if, once I try a new battery, the camera still does not function? Do I need to load film to get the camera started? I'm just really upset with this as I was so excited to receive my camera, and if it winds up to not be working, I will be so disappointed. If anyone has any advice or ideas of what the issue might be, or if I'm just stupid and I just need a new, working battery, please let me know!
     
  2. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    A dead battery will have no power or be so low that it will not operate any aspect of a camera to include its low battery warning. A very weak battery may illuminate the E and nothing more. Check the existing battery with a volt meter or battery tester.
    Look at the battery terminals in the camera, if they are not shinny clean them with a pencil or pen eraser. Try a new, in date battery.
    A new battery will show .5 to .7 volts over the stated voltage on a volt meter. A battery that shows its marked voltage or lower is too weak for use, replace it.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Welcome to Apug!
    Great that you decided to buy a film camera.

    The best way to test batteries is a battery tester, not a voltmeter, as the latter can give misleading results. However some battery tester cannot test the batteries used in modern compact cameras. Also low batteries that may make one compact still work, may leave another still dead, what should be kept in mind if testing at another camera.

    Have you checked contacts? No salty residue? But plain, shiny contacts?

    In your case now I would try to get either that battery tested or a new one. One approach, as it seems you have not got another battery at hand, would be to go to a photo store and buy a battery there, but only after they have checked your camera for basic operation with their test battery. So you would not buy an expensive battery for nothing.

    In general:
    Consider buying a used camera local. You then may check it yourself before buying. But not all faults would reasonably be detected in the field, even not by an experienced collector.
    It is reported here that buyers are meanwhile on the safer side at Ebay, so you may consider returning your sample.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  4. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    Seller's often list cameras as used when they haven't a clue as to whether they are working. It's unlikely that the seller tested it with a good battery then put in a bad battery. First thing I would do is send a note to the seller, via ebay, saying that the camera does not work with the battery provided. Just to document that fact in a timely manner.

    It's been my experience that many inexpensive battery testers are not accurate with these lithium batteries. If a store has a more sophisticated tester, you can give that a try. Otherwise, if you don't want to send it back, you'll have to buy a new battery. Most lithium batteries are dated so make sure it's relatively fresh.

    If it still doesn't work, you can file a claim with ebay. Don't accept anything other than a full refund, including any shipping charges.
     
  5. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Ditto
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Since it is an ebay buy, take advantage of their return policy. Don't know the price of the used camera or the new battery in NZ but
    it may just be less expensive for you to return it.

    If the seller said "no returns' in their ad it doesn't matter. Ebays rule trumps it.
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Is there any possibility that, by design, the camera will not start or fire without film loaded?
    This is common with many, many cameras, but not having experience with yours I cannot be sure.

    If you exhaust all reasonable efforts to have the camera power up and actually shoot, then contact the eBay seller and organise a return/refund based on a checklist of things you have worked through and concluded with each that the camera has not responded. Incidences of anything and everything not working as described (or not at all!) are unfortunately abundant on eBay.

    The CR123A is a common lithium battery (it is used in my Sekonic light meter) that can be found in chemists and supermarkets (e.g. Pack-N-Save — yes, I know my way around New Zealand! :wink:). Camera stores will also likely stock this battery.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  8. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    All aspects of the camera will operate properly without film. I think either: the battery is dead (the camera has a pretty high current budget), the battery is installed upside down, battery contacts are oxidized/corroded or the camera has simply failed. Mine came with a weak battery and exhibited the same symptoms. New battery and off she went!

    I would be taking it to the camera store. Have them test the battery and if dead, try a new one. If that doesn't cure the problem (the camera has simply failed) don't buy the battery and return the camera to the seller who misrepresented the item.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  9. blockend

    blockend Member

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    The Stylus/mju cameras are very nice but not infallible. The focus on mine recently locked up - after 20 years - and Googling suggests it's not uncommon.
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    But ALL will have their display show up with a battery, at least after switching the camera on, with or without film being loaded.

    (The camera in question does not even have a main switch.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  11. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    It doesn't have and on/off switch per se, the sliding front cover/clamshell is the on/off switch.
     
  12. c41

    c41 Subscriber

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    I hope you’re able to resolve the issue, hopefully by returning the camera as DOA. Bravo to you for diving into the world of film, i feel sure you will be rewarded with good feelings and pictures in good time.

    I also hope you can acquire a slightly better camera. I'm personally not a fan of these later Olympus P&S.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  13. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Before we pass judgement on this camera, don't we need to know what happened when and if the OP tried our suggestions? As far as this model is concerned don't we need to avoid starting from the position that this is inherently a "poor camera" . There are pros and cons to this model and the OP may have been sold a "dud" but if you are new to film photography I believe it has a lot going for it.

    pentaxuser
     
  14. c41

    c41 Subscriber

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    Fair comment. I toned down my little dig at the Stylus Epic. I would try cleaning all electrical battery contacts with just a little cleaning alcohol if you have it.
    You should definitely follow the recommendation to let the seller know asap. They might have never actually tested it or have a practical suggestion to resolve the issue.
     
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