K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability

Started Mar 11, 2014 | Discussions
DRabbit
DRabbit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,724
K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability
1

Original Thread is here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53059469

I have been through so much testing and trials and tribulations with the camera that it's annoying, and frustrating, and disheartening. It's been well documented over on the Pentax Forums, so I'll spare you most of the details, but lets just say I've tested every which way possible. The only thing reliable about the K3 for me at this point, is that without fail, I can reproduce this issue every single day. If Pentax cannot reproduce it (as they tell me), they aren't trying very hard. Seriously.

And this is my second K3 body... so it's not a fluke. The second body produced the same problem on day one of me out shooting with it.

Here's video of the problem happening today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS_kYy3SVww

And this is the kind of stuff I shoot professionally:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYY4A4NokOE

Any questions, let me know. The K3 is going back and I'm getting a K5-II (or two of them considering the price difference) as soon as I get clearance from Pentax to do so. I'm sorely disappointed because the K3 is a great camera in so many ways... but I need to be able to depend on it, and unfortunately, that isn't the case.

Amy

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DAVID MANZE Veteran Member • Posts: 5,768
Re: K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability

I'm glad you are sending the K3 back as this situation is unacceptable, however I would try another first as it's certainly a better camera than the K5IIs. Goods things come to those who are patient!

Good luck.

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moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,242
This same thing happened to Linda (Reagan)
2

This is probably what you'll need to do: Fix.

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bkpix
bkpix Contributing Member • Posts: 880
Re: K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability
2

Amy,

I'm sorry to hear this. Your experience with two different brand-new cameras has certainly put my plans to buy a K-3 on hold. I had a similar problem with runaway mirror flop with the original K-5; it was solved by CRIS with replacement of the mirror box.

The lack of coherent response from Pentax to a professional photographer using their gear is unbelievable.

Good luck with the K-5IIs.

Bob

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DRabbit
OP DRabbit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,724
Already on my 2nd body

DAVID MANZE wrote:

I'm glad you are sending the K3 back as this situation is unacceptable, however I would try another first as it's certainly a better camera than the K5IIs. Goods things come to those who are patient!

Good luck.

I already exchanged one K3 body for another. This is my second K3 body. On my first pro photoshoot after getting K3 body #2, I had the same issue.

Like I said... been through LOTS of testing, including different K3 bodies!

Amy

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DRabbit
OP DRabbit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,724
Re: K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability
2

bkpix wrote:

Amy,

I'm sorry to hear this. Your experience with two different brand-new cameras has certainly put my plans to buy a K-3 on hold. I had a similar problem with runaway mirror flop with the original K-5; it was solved by CRIS with replacement of the mirror box.

The lack of coherent response from Pentax to a professional photographer using their gear is unbelievable.

Good luck with the K-5IIs.

Bob

Hi Bob,

In fairness, they were working with me for quite a while... it only seems like lately I've become a thorn in their side and they aren't as responsive... but I'll be honest and say I'm probably a little less patient now too. Of course, this has been going on for months, and I've tried to do a lot of testing for them, so I hope in the end, they do appreciate it.

I want to say it will prove helpful, but I can't say I'm optimistic when they constantly tell me they can't reproduce it... which really, sounds like a bunch of BS at this point.

Amy

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DRabbit
OP DRabbit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,724
LOL

Thanks for a much needed laugh!

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Daedbird Regular Member • Posts: 220
Re: K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability
1

I remember the earlier threads, and know how frustrating this has been for you....

But could this be maybe not the camera, but something attaching to it.

I had an issue with my first K3, as it would hunt and such when trying to focus with my 16-50. Now my lens works perfect on every other camera I have, but all my other lenses work great on the K3. So somewhere, there has been an issue with the communication between the two. Others I have read note there is some calibration issues with some lenses, and once that is worked out, it works great....

So this makes me wonder, if there may be a lens compatibility issue, or another accessory issue (I recall that you are using what I would think are the right SD cards). Which lenses are you using? Does it lock up with different lenses? Does it lock up in MF mode as well? Are you using any sort of wired release? Will it lock up with no lens connected, no accessory connected?

Is there any other item you have that you use? Do you have a battery grip? A powered mic or headphones? A different focusing screen? Did you get different batteries when you traded in the first K3?

One idea would be to test without any lens, without anything attached to the body, and see if it still acts up that day. Straws are being grasped, but maybe something would shake out........

bkpix
bkpix Contributing Member • Posts: 880
Re: K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability
2

I think it's probably Pentax's responsibility to do all that testing now -- not Amy's.

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DRabbit
OP DRabbit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,724
Lenses, SD cards, Grip and Variables tested
1

This is in the notes on the video:

The problem happens regardless of trying...
Exchanging for a new K3! (This IS the new one!)
All firmwares.
Multiple SD cards (different brands)
Different batteries (but all pentax genuine)
Cold weather or warm (have had this issue in 10 degrees and 50+ degrees)
Shooting indoors and outdoors.
Using live-view and not using live-view.
In manual mode or aperture priority mode.
With one SD card in camera, or with two in camera.
With shake reduction on or off.
With JPG at SM, MD or LG.

In addition, I've used multiple lenses. DA 21mm. Sigma 10-20mm. DA 35mm Macro. DA 70mm. Happens with all of them.

I do not use the battery grip, but a guy on the Pentax forum reproduced the problem WITH the grip.

I use no other accessories or attachments.

Amy

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Daedbird Regular Member • Posts: 220
Re: K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability

But my guess is she is not sending all of her equipment in there so they can test it.....

Hey, I am just trying to come up with something that may be the issue that we wouldn't normally think of because said item worked on another camera.

You think it would work on the new camera, but it turns out the firmware was not written specifically to cover that item. I cannot recall if she uses a trigger or not in time-lapse, but maybe if she is, the camera is not reading the signal the same way her other cameras do. Or there is some glitch where under the right setting, the communication with the camera and lens (is aperture, shutter speed, ISO all locked, or is the camera changing settings) is causing the lockup , something firmware would fix if they knew what the issue is.

Its not her fault this is happening, but maybe this is the unfortunate coincidence that affects her, and they cannot recreate because they simply do not have the same accessories to test....

Daedbird Regular Member • Posts: 220
Re: Lenses, SD cards, Grip and Variables tested

Then I am stumped......

The only thing that comes to mind is some weird glitch concerning date and time, time zone, and time of day, where crossing noon or midnight is confusing the camera. Or something in that regards, otherwise I got nothin......

DRabbit
OP DRabbit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,724
Re: K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability

Daedbird wrote:

Its not her fault this is happening, but maybe this is the unfortunate coincidence that affects her, and they cannot recreate because they simply do not have the same accessories to test....

See my other reply about variables, lenses and accessories.

There are three big tell-tale signs it's not just me and something I'm doing:

1) I shoot a K5-II in all the same conditions in an identical way. Haven't had one problem with it in over 85,000 shutter actuations.

2) I've tested so many different variables in varying conditions and even through two bodies, that's it's unlikely caused by something I'm doing, in these specific two K3s alone. Especially taking #1 into account.

3) Others are having the issue as reported on the Pentax Forums... and one guy set out to recreate the problem, and was successful in doing so on the first day he tried.

The reason it comes up so often for me is merely because of how often I'm out shooting time-lapse, which is literally 1-3 days per week. So if the average user only runs into this problem every 5000 shutter actuations, they may never see it... but I see it constantly because I do that many in a day.

Amy

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OP DRabbit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,724
Re: Lenses, SD cards, Grip and Variables tested

Daedbird wrote:

Then I am stumped......

The only thing that comes to mind is some weird glitch concerning date and time, time zone, and time of day, where crossing noon or midnight is confusing the camera. Or something in that regards, otherwise I got nothin......

It was not noon. It happened this morning at 10:52am.

Also, it was not at IMGP9999 (where it switches back to 0001).

Amy

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petreluk Senior Member • Posts: 1,517
Re: K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability

I wonder if the trouble is caused by the air temperature, if you are out at night or in winter weather? This could be affecting the battery current, electrical contacts or doing something else by way of metal contraction or expansion? If Pentax then try reproducing the camera's behaviour in a nice warm lab, well they will never succeed. Just a wild surmise.

Model Mike Veteran Member • Posts: 3,850
Re: K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability

Daedbird wrote:

But my guess is she is not sending all of her equipment in there so they can test it.....

Given Pentax's poor record of acknowledging issues, maybe purchasing an external intervalometer/trigger is the least worst option.

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DRabbit
OP DRabbit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,724
Re: K3 STILL Locking Up (fw 1.03) - crazy mirror syndrome and unreliability

petreluk wrote:

I wonder if the trouble is caused by the air temperature, if you are out at night or in winter weather? This could be affecting the battery current, electrical contacts or doing something else by way of metal contraction or expansion? If Pentax then try reproducing the camera's behaviour in a nice warm lab, well they will never succeed. Just a wild surmise.

If you watched the video, you'll see it happens inside, in my nice warm house. But I've had the issue occur indoors and outdoors, in 10º (F) and in 50º+ (F).

From the video notes/description:

The problem happens regardless of trying...

Exchanging for a new K3! (This IS the new one!)

All firmwares.

Multiple SD cards (different brands)

Different batteries (but all pentax genuine)

Cold weather or warm (have had this issue in 10 degrees and 50+ degrees)

Shooting indoors and outdoors.

Using live-view and not using live-view.

In manual mode or aperture priority mode.

With one SD card in camera, or with two in camera.

With shake reduction on or off.

With JPG at SM, MD or LG.

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DRabbit
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Happens to others when NOT shooting time-lapse...
1

Model Mike wrote:

Daedbird wrote:

But my guess is she is not sending all of her equipment in there so they can test it.....

Given Pentax's poor record of acknowledging issues, maybe purchasing an external intervalometer/trigger is the least worst option.

I can't prove it, but I'm doubting it's the intervalometer at all when it's happening to people while NOT shooting time-lapse. There's been reports of this just happening when shooting normal, single-shot photos.

See here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53072235

Amy

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DAVID MANZE Veteran Member • Posts: 5,768
Re: Happens to others when NOT shooting time-lapse...

Hi,

I've followed your posts and there's no doubt in my mind that it's the K3 (both of them) that are the problem and it's not an unknown one to Pentax DSLRs, my K5 sometimes decides to take two or three frames, I've been sent a firmware from Pentax to correct the problem (as yet unused) so they know about "these occurrences". Maybe they are working on firmware for it, who knows?

However, that doesn't help you in the short term, so all I can say is I hope it all sorts itself out and good luck for what to you has been an extremely frustrating and disappointing time.

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DRabbit
OP DRabbit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,724
Unfortunately, the solution isn't one... at least for now

DAVID MANZE wrote:

Hi,

I've followed your posts and there's no doubt in my mind that it's the K3 (both of them) that are the problem and it's not an unknown one to Pentax DSLRs, my K5 sometimes decides to take two or three frames, I've been sent a firmware from Pentax to correct the problem (as yet unused) so they know about "these occurrences". Maybe they are working on firmware for it, who knows?

However, that doesn't help you in the short term, so all I can say is I hope it all sorts itself out and good luck for what to you has been an extremely frustrating and disappointing time.

Thanks for the reply David,

Unfortunately, for now, the solution is really the lack of one. I'm going to take the K3 back and get the K5-II and/or IIs. In the meantime, we'll all hope that Pentax can get to the bottom of the issue and fix it... otherwise, I fear it will crop up again in the future in their next model.

I don't think it is an alarmist thing to think that either, based on the fact I know this was an issue with the original K5. What is most interesting is that it doesn't appear to be an issue with the K5-II. At least not with all the shooting I've done with it since November. There obviously something different about the original K5 and the newest K3 vs. the K5-II in this regard. What that is, I have no idea.

...but I hope Pentax/Ricoh can figure it out.

Amy

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