I Returned the K3

Started Mar 18, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP DRabbit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,724
Re: I Returned the K3

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!



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