The E-M1 rear dial is a known issue (hope they fixed it with the mk II) that doesn’t function very well or just inconsistent. I discovered that it could very likely be due to the lack of sealing on that dial. So, be it ‘brute force’ method (keeps on dialing until the electronic contacts were cleaned) or switching between different shooting modes to change settings you wanted, I have been living with the E-M1 with this issue long enough until I was trying to shoot the supermoon last few days, you know, moon moves really fast and I simply have no time to use any of the 2 methods. Frustrated, it’s time for a more permanent solution!
First, special thanks to Kevin Darras who made an E-M5 disassembly guide video, I had the same struggle like him of not finding any tips/guide on the disassembly. I thought the E-M1 wouldn’t be much different than the E-M5 after all the engineers were improving on the existing design. His video helped me understood some constructions of the Olympus and gained some confidence.
Second, disclaimer, before you follow this guide, I would assume that you have at least some camera repair/disassembly experience, I would hold no responsibility if you damage your camera in the process. I am just sharing some tips!
Third, you would need some kind of solvent/cleaner. I used the Threebond spray cleaner for the job. I assume you have the rest of the standard tools so I won’t have to mention. (Threebond should be paying me for the free advertising).
Let’s begin. The idea is to remove the rear plate (no de-soldering required), access the rear dial, spray the cleaner into it and turn it a bit.
That’s all! Skip what the repairshop may quote you for the disassembly. In fact, I sprayed the cleaner without opening up the case a long time ago, sometimes it works for a short while, but the dirt/mold/whatever seems to ‘grow back’ and cause the issue again. So I am not 100% certain that this cleaning method will last forever. Hell, the fact that I could spray from the exterior explained that it is not weatherseal!
Another thing that bugged me after removing the bottom plate: I owned the previous model E-M5, I love that camera, also slightly smaller and lighter than E-M1. I thought E-M1 has a good justification with the extra electronics they might squeeze into the micro 4/3 body and for the extra hand grip but…
Oh well, that’s all! Hope you find this useful.