Originally Posted by Dogman
I remember when the OM-1 was first introduced, I bought two used Nikon F bodies from two different people who had decided to go with the OM system. Within a year, both of them had sold the cameras and returned to Nikons due to near-constant camera body equipment failures. While I was working for a daily newspaper in the 1970s, United Press International bought Olympus OM equipment to use as their pool equipment instead of Nikons. I spoke to a UPI photographer sometime after that who was using Nikon equipment. He said he bought his own Nikon equipment rather than use the UPI-supplied Olympus gear because UPI was having constant breakdowns of the equipment. I also was recently re-reading a book of articles by the late nature photographer Galen Rowell in which he said his workshops always had at least one participant's higher end Olympus gear to fail whereas even the lower end Nikon and Canon equipment only had "a smattering" of failures.
I have heard variations of stories like this with any of the big five brands (Nikon, Olympus, Canon, Pentax, Minolta) interchanged freely.
My take on it is that if you don't have *real* personal experiences with the failures across multiple cameras, then take those stories with a big-fat-grain-of-salt.
Back in my collector days, I have purchased and sold more than twenty different OM cameras. Only one (a black OM1) has a problem that can't be tracked down even by a good camera technician. Now I kept one OM-1, OM-2, and my favorite OM-3. They are as reliable as any Nikon I have (love my F3).
Moving on to digital, I just came back from two weeks trip abroad, where my Pen E-P2 is constantly at standby or active for hours every day in a hot and humid climate. Never once did it had a hiccup, that includes hundreds of time it came in and out of my bag.
It's probably one of the most solidly built digital camera I've ever used that doesn't boast "industry-professional class".
If you want to see a sample of an unreliable camera, have a look at the M8 sub-forum here on RFF