I Returned the K3

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
DRabbit
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I Returned the K3
9 months ago

Related to: Crazy Mirror Flapping (and lockup):
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53287766

I returned the K3 body today finally. I ended up with two K5-IIs bodies (for a little extra cash obviously).

However, I will still keep in touch with Pentax and the contacts I've had there about the K3 issues and people reporting them. If you've had run-away mirror problems -- crazy mirror flapping, machine-gun mirror, whatever you like to call it -- feel free to report it over on the Pentax Forums. So far, we've counted 53 people who have had the issue.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/254464-k3-crazy-mirror-sickness-mirror-flapping-lockup-report-yours-here.html

Hopefully Pentax/Ricoh will find a solution. I'd love to buy a K3 again in the future once the issue is resolved for good. I'd also love to be able to buy future models with confidence, and not fear this will repeat itself all over again...

As for the K5-IIs bodies... Assuming they are identical to the K5-II I have (other than AA filter), I expect to have no issues with them. Fingers crossed. Either way, I'm buying the extended warranty today.

Amy

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DarylK
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to DRabbit, 9 months ago

Good luck to  you, Amy.  Thanks for keeping us informed.

Daryl

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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to DRabbit, 9 months ago

Thank you for your efforts in working to identify and resolve this issue.  You made a good call going with the K-5 IIs for now.

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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to DRabbit, 9 months ago

Thanks for all the info Amy.

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steelski
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to DRabbit, 9 months ago

I have not asked this before.
Have you tried a mains adapter. I really suspect it is power related.

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afterswish1
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to steelski, 9 months ago

Hi Amy, sorry to hear about your troubles. I think you tried more than many might to get to the bottom of it. I certainly would have lost patience way before you.

I have to take issue with the idea that it is a K3 or K5 problem though. A certain number of any manufactured item will have problems, and some will inevitably escape quality checks. You happened to get unlucky, but we have no way of knowing how widespread the issue is. I would guess not very, considering as you mentioned the problem occurs in normal shooting.

The fact you got two bad units might give the impression it's more common than it is: random distribution is not the same as even though, and true random sequences will have clusters in which we might perceive patterns when there aren't any.

That said, all the best with your new cameras, I'm certain you will continue to produce excellent work!
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fakuryu
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Could be a power problem
In reply to steelski, 9 months ago

steelski wrote:

I have not asked this before.
Have you tried a mains adapter. I really suspect it is power related.

I don't have a K3 but did experience the issue with my K-r before whenever using the stock batteries. I just used Eneloops and the problem was solved. Have not experienced the same problem with my K5II and the stock batteries.

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DRabbit
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to afterswish1, 9 months ago

afterswish1 wrote:

Hi Amy, sorry to hear about your troubles. I think you tried more than many might to get to the bottom of it. I certainly would have lost patience way before you.

Thanks. I kept hoping "this or that" would end up being the reason for the fault, hoping to try something new and that the camera wouldn't go into crazy-mirror-flapping at the next shoot I was on. I had one day recently where I was shooting for 5 hours or so and didn't have the problem... I was so excited I didn't have the issue because it was the first photoshoot day in many that I hadn't experienced it, I was almost sure I had figured it out. But then the next day, same conditions, mirror-flap happened anyway. As conditions got ruled out, I got more disappointed... really, because the K3 camera is so great in so many ways, but for this problem.

I have to take issue with the idea that it is a K3 or K5 problem though. A certain number of any manufactured item will have problems, and some will inevitably escape quality checks. You happened to get unlucky, but we have no way of knowing how widespread the issue is. I would guess not very, considering as you mentioned the problem occurs in normal shooting.

Of course, I can't argue your point with any certainty. What I can say is that when you combine a bunch of facts together, the statistical likelihood that it was just chance I got two bad cameras seems to get smaller and smaller...

  1. That I got two K3s with the same problem, with the same level of frequency
  2. That another user clear across the country was able to reproduce quite easily.
  3. That more than 50 people have now reported the issue over on the Pentax Forums
  4. That the issue seems to come up in a variety of conditions and circumstances.
  5. That there's been other lockup issue reported from users of the K3, which seems to hint as some overall fault causing this instability (and seemingly with more frequency than reported with the K5-II).

What makes it hard to track I think, is the fact that the crazy mirror syndrome happens so unpredictably, and that so far, the only way to reproduce it is to be committed to putting a lot of shutter actuations on the camera (like when shooting time-lapse). If the average user is only going to run into it every 3000-5000 shutter actuations, then many many people won't run into it all that often, and it suddenly doesn't seem like such a big deal.

I'd even argue that for the hobbyist, in practical terms, it's barely as issue at all (though it might leave a birder-or-two screaming). Where it matters most is when you cannot afford to lose shots because those moments cannot be recreated. I shoot a lot of architectural stuff professionally, and but for the fact I'm doing time-lapse, I wouldn't even worry about this issue. If my mirror went crazy once in a blue moon, mid-shoot, I could easily just reset the camera and reshoot a few moments later. But when I'm shooting time-lapse, to miss what is happening at a shoot is a bigger deal, because I can't tell my subjects "do that over". That scenario, as at Weddings or events, or with journalism... well, it's a deal-breaker. But it certainly doesn't apply to product photography or studio setups, or casual weekend-fun shooting.

I'll also add that though I don't think time-lapse causes the problem, it is absolutely the reason I ran into the issue so often. It's simply the law of averages when I'm putting a few months worth of typical use on my camera in one day. I'm not suggesting it's over-use or wear-and-tear since both cameras had the problem out-of-the-box new, but it's easy to see why I might run into the problem more often than most.

The fact you got two bad units might give the impression it's more common than it is: random distribution is not the same as even though, and true random sequences will have clusters in which we might perceive patterns when there aren't any.

I don't disagree, but there's enough people in the Pentax Forum who have reported having the issue too that I think it's relevant enough for Pentax to explore further. Fifty+ people in a week is enough to raise an eyebrow at least.

That said, all the best with your new cameras, I'm certain you will continue to produce excellent work!

Thanks

Amy

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DRabbit
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Re: Happens with AC Adapter
In reply to steelski, 9 months ago

steelski wrote:

I have not asked this before.
Have you tried a mains adapter. I really suspect it is power related.

I have not, but another user over on the Pentax Forums did try with an AC Adapter and was able to reproduce the issue.

Amy

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DRabbit
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Re: Could be a power problem
In reply to fakuryu, 9 months ago

fakuryu wrote:

steelski wrote:

I have not asked this before.
Have you tried a mains adapter. I really suspect it is power related.

I don't have a K3 but did experience the issue with my K-r before whenever using the stock batteries. I just used Eneloops and the problem was solved. Have not experienced the same problem with my K5II and the stock batteries.

I haven't had the issue with the K5-II I have either... in over 100,000 shutter actuations now. Rock solid, not a single problem.

Interesting what you say about the Eneloops. There's been a lot of speculation it's a battery/power problem. The only question that raises, is why would it then also happen with the AC Adapter? (rhetorical, not directed at you)

Amy

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Philnw2
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Re: Could be a power problem
In reply to DRabbit, 9 months ago

DRabbit wrote:

fakuryu wrote:

steelski wrote:

I have not asked this before.
Have you tried a mains adapter. I really suspect it is power related.

I don't have a K3 but did experience the issue with my K-r before whenever using the stock batteries. I just used Eneloops and the problem was solved. Have not experienced the same problem with my K5II and the stock batteries.

I haven't had the issue with the K5-II I have either... in over 100,000 shutter actuations now. Rock solid, not a single problem.

Interesting what you say about the Eneloops. There's been a lot of speculation it's a battery/power problem. The only question that raises, is why would it then also happen with the AC Adapter? (rhetorical, not directed at you)

Amy

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I haven't read all the posts on this subject, but the AC adapter probably has voltage control circuitry built into it to prevent over-charging and damaging the batteries.  So until some more knowledgeable about chargers comes along, i wouldn't rule out the AC Adapter.  But for this to be a problem, there also had to be a coincident problem with the charger that came with one or both of our K3's.  Its hard to believe all those AC devices are messed up coincidentally.

What's sad about this issue, is Pentax reportedly put a 200,000 cycle rated shutter in the K3.  I can only guess some bad parts showed up in both of your K3's, which sounds lame to me as soon as i wrote it

Best of luck to you and thanks for all the work to sort this out.

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RPulley
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to DRabbit, 9 months ago

DRabbit wrote:

Related to: Crazy Mirror Flapping (and lockup):
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53287766

I returned the K3 body today finally. I ended up with two K5-IIs bodies (for a little extra cash obviously).

However, I will still keep in touch with Pentax and the contacts I've had there about the K3 issues and people reporting them. If you've had run-away mirror problems -- crazy mirror flapping, machine-gun mirror, whatever you like to call it -- feel free to report it over on the Pentax Forums. So far, we've counted 53 people who have had the issue.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/254464-k3-crazy-mirror-sickness-mirror-flapping-lockup-report-yours-here.html

Hopefully Pentax/Ricoh will find a solution. I'd love to buy a K3 again in the future once the issue is resolved for good. I'd also love to be able to buy future models with confidence, and not fear this will repeat itself all over again...

As for the K5-IIs bodies... Assuming they are identical to the K5-II I have (other than AA filter), I expect to have no issues with them. Fingers crossed. Either way, I'm buying the extended warranty today.

Amy

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Good.

Now you can get back to your photography, and the forums can move on past your very long-winded and overly dramatic descriptions of your problem....

Ray

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DRabbit
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to RPulley, 9 months ago

RPulley wrote:

DRabbit wrote:

Related to: Crazy Mirror Flapping (and lockup):
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53287766

I returned the K3 body today finally. I ended up with two K5-IIs bodies (for a little extra cash obviously).

However, I will still keep in touch with Pentax and the contacts I've had there about the K3 issues and people reporting them. If you've had run-away mirror problems -- crazy mirror flapping, machine-gun mirror, whatever you like to call it -- feel free to report it over on the Pentax Forums. So far, we've counted 53 people who have had the issue.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/254464-k3-crazy-mirror-sickness-mirror-flapping-lockup-report-yours-here.html

Hopefully Pentax/Ricoh will find a solution. I'd love to buy a K3 again in the future once the issue is resolved for good. I'd also love to be able to buy future models with confidence, and not fear this will repeat itself all over again...

As for the K5-IIs bodies... Assuming they are identical to the K5-II I have (other than AA filter), I expect to have no issues with them. Fingers crossed. Either way, I'm buying the extended warranty today.

Amy

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Good.

Now you can get back to your photography, and the forums can move on past your very long-winded and overly dramatic descriptions of your problem....

Ray

Get back to it? I never stopped. And if you don't like what I have to say, oh well. Can't please everyone.

Amy

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rwl408
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Re: Could be a power problem
In reply to Philnw2, 9 months ago

Philnw2 wrote:

So until some more knowledgeable about chargers comes along, i wouldn't rule out the AC Adapter.

It doesn't take a genius to know that AC adapter has nothing to do with a problem that occurs even just on battery. Read all the threads.

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merengues
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to RPulley, 9 months ago

Ray

What's your problem? I think most of the Pentax users are grateful for the efforts made by Amy.

Earl

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Gosman
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to DRabbit, 9 months ago

Thanks.  The rest of us will enjoy our K-3s without the mystery problems (knock on wood).

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RPulley
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to merengues, 9 months ago

merengues wrote:

Ray

What's your problem? I think most of the Pentax users are grateful for the efforts made by Amy.

Earl

Madrid

I think you could figure it out by re-reading what I wrote...

Also, this isn't the "Everyone has to agree with what most users think Pentax forums" and I guess I did not get the notice that you were the appointed spokesperson for "most Pentax users" either.

Notice that I refrained from commenting before she started THIS thread even though my thoughts on the matter haven't changed since she started posting her dramatic series on the problem with her K3.

Regardless, the OP already made it clear in one of her other 10,000 word posts that she was going to get a K5II to replace the K3, but now we need yet another long-winded thread about returning the K3 for the K5II?

Her other other thread had not topped out, so why start yet another thread to tell everyone she has done what she said she was going to do?

What purpose could THIS thread be to "most" Pentax users?

Facebook syndrome.

Ray

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Barry Pearson
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to RPulley, 9 months ago

RPulley wrote:

Good.

Now you can get back to your photography, and the forums can move on past your very long-winded and overly dramatic descriptions of your problem....

On Wednesday, I had what appears to be exactly this problem. I was shooting motor sports in burst mode and suddenly my K-3 started making a noise as thought the mirror was moving up and down as fast as it could. I switched it off, and after a short time it stopped. The I carried on in burst mode.

I've owned nearly all Pentax flagship dSLRs, and this is the first one with any such problem. (I shot over 60,000 DNGs on my K-5IIs last year without problems). I pre-ordered my K-3, so it is an early one, but has not done this before. I was using the battery grip with 2 part-used (that day I shot about 2,500 DNGs) LI-190 batteries that I've been using for some time without problems. I'm using the latest 1.03 firmware (and probably had the Pentax 1.4x Teleconverter on at the time).

This is a real problem. I'll add my name to the thread identifying people who've experienced this problem. It mars an otherwise super camera, because I now have less confidence that I can rely on it. (Fortunately I keep my K-5IIs available as a back-up).

Battery grip and 2 batteries that had been used a lot that day - is this part of the pattern for this problem?

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Rosember
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to DRabbit, 9 months ago

Sorry, I did not read the whole threads. Just a very simple question: Have there been reported any issues with firmware 1.02? I only found 1.0, 1.0.1, and 1.0.3 mentioned?

If not why not?

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awaldram
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Re: I Returned the K3
In reply to Rosember, 9 months ago

Rosember wrote:

Sorry, I did not read the whole threads. Just a very simple question: Have there been reported any issues with firmware 1.02? I only found 1.0, 1.0.1, and 1.0.3 mentioned?

If not why not?

Yes it occurs with all FW versions.

It also occurs with all K series models so I fail to see the OMG for the K3.

I think it written in the FW to cope with mirror mis sync , Might not even be required fro the K3 (left over from siingle motor K5 series)

Whilst it is a bit of a disaster if the k5 series does it , It's not the same portent of doom for the K3.

The one situation we know will cause mirror flop that does not come from hardware issues is Voltage brown out.

As all reports of 'failure' have been when the battery is under heavy load I personally am not really concerned about it.

The users affected may have a different stance and should have it out with their suppliers but I fail to see what concern I should have.

As to why the k3 can 'brown out' a full battery where the K5 couldn't look at CIPA shot counts and think dual motors, The K3 is capable of drawing considerably more current than the K5 series and if you have LV, AF-c, video, time lapse etc I can see Battery voltage sagging.

As is the case for the OP her point could be the camera is not fit for purpose , But a suspect the counter would be the cameras purpose is not multiple hour time lapse

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