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10-27-2011, 09:22 PM   #1
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New K5 set to B&W by default?

Hello all. I just brought home a new K-5 from B&H, and I was very surprised to find that the camera was set to a couple of rather odd defaults.
It was set to display pics in black and white on the LCD. Easy enough to set it to "Natural" -- which is where I always keep my K-7, but it was very surprising to find B&W as a default. Has anyone else experienced this? Sorry if it seems a dumb thing to wonder about, but I do.

Also, Flash Mode was set to "Trailing Curtain Synch"; I would have expected it to be set to "Flash ON"

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I'm getting the feeling the camera may have been slightly "pre-owned", or at least pre-fiddled with, by another customer before me. The packaging seems all right, although I found it odd that the bubble wrap envelope (which looked slightly abused -- a fair number of bubbles popped) for the camera wasn't taped closed, and that there's no temporary film over the LCD to protect it. Perhaps that's just normal -- I'm only noting it here in case anyone else's packaging differed.

The camera seems in good working order so far, but I haven't really tested it except to note that my DA40 is badly front focusing in tungsten light -- but I was expecting things like that.

One thing I have to say really bugs me: The shutter release button has a completely different feel from my K-7. On the K-7 it's firm, sure and quiet. On the K-5, it's much looser-feeling, makes a little rattling sound, and seems to quite a bit more pressure to activate the AF. And about every fourth shot (I'm talking about single shots) the button just feels balky; I have to jiggle a little and press harder to get the AF going again. With practice I suppose I could get used to this, but I would prefer not to have to. I might not have noticed at all if I'd never used a K-7, but this just feels cheap and junky in comparison. I didn't notice the difference with the display model in the store; I'm sure I would have if the button had felt as loose as the one I brought home.

K-7/K-5 owners, any thoughts on this? If the jiggly button is typical, then I guess I just have to get used to it. If your K-5s have a good firm shutter release button, perhaps my copy is below the design specifications...?


Last edited by pentup; 10-27-2011 at 09:53 PM.
10-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #2
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Isn't there a "reset" to factory defaults menu option somewhere? If you use that, and the settings are different than what you encountered, I'd say it has been fiddled with, yes.
10-27-2011, 09:39 PM   #3
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Good thought, VonBaloney. I should go through the menus systematically and see if other stuff jumps out at me, but so far generally everything (apart from the B&W and the flash mode) looks like the defaults that I had with my K-7 (though I don't remember those for a certaintly)

I'll do the reset -- if it reverts to black and white I'll be very surprised!
But for all I know, someone in the factory might have just hit some buttons by mistake during packaging...
10-27-2011, 09:49 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
If you use that, and the settings are different than what you encountered, I'd say it has been fiddled with, yes.
Ok, I guess it had been fiddled with. Reset put the camera into the "Bright" setting -- the first choice on the menu. Makes more sense than B&W for a default ;-)
And Flash Mode is indeed now defaulting to "Flash ON". I think somebody else had the first dance with my girl.
Am I overly anal to be wondering about this stuff?

10-27-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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Not if the button is messed-up too. I'd be kinda pissed, frankly. (Sure you didn't mess up the settings yourself when you first used it?)
10-27-2011, 10:04 PM   #6
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That's a reasonable question. I could have, if I hadn't been familiar with the K-7. But getting to the odd settings requires more than a stray button push or two. To set to B&W needs a right press on the control pad, then two left presses, then OK, then OK again. Can't be done accidentally. Flash mode takes a down press, then two to the right. I didn't do anything to the camera when I first put in the battery apart from set it to Av and take a shot.

I think it's going back to the store. I just don't like that shutter button. Maybe another copy will be better.
I also might as well check the number of shutter actuations on this thing; I have some software on my hard drive somewhere that can display the full hardware info, I think...
10-27-2011, 10:15 PM   #7
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Guess what? Turns out the battery for the "new" camera was fully charged. That wasn't the case with my K-7, that's for sure. I remember charging that one for five hours or so, the first time. Surely they're not shipping K-5s with charged batteries? The reason I didn't notice was that when I got the camera home, rather than wait for the new battery to charge, I just put in the battery from my K-7. I left the new battery and charger in the box. Just now I tried it, and voila, it shows a full charge.

But anyway add a strange battery indicator behavior to the list: After messing with menus and shooting some pictures etc, the battery from the K-7 was displaying (on the K-5) about a two-thirds charge remaining. After swapping in the new battery, then taking it out and putting the old battery back in, the K-5 now shows the old battery as having a full charge. If I put the old battery back in the K-7, it shows two-thirds again. Weird.
10-27-2011, 10:55 PM - 1 Like   #8
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99% sure that that is a demo model or a returned item. Did you check the shutter count (e.g. using photome). When the K5 leaves the factory, the shutter count is '1'; might be a bit higher if they checked somewhere along the line after it left the factory. My stained K5 had a shutter count of '1'; its replacement seems to have had 3 (checking shuttercount versus image number)

Battery readings are never accurate. I mean, you have three bars (or four, not sure) to indicate an infinite number of values; it can be at the edge between 66% and 67%. Further the battery indicators of the two models can't be compared due to manufacturing tolerances of components.

10-27-2011, 11:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Did you check the shutter count (e.g. using photome).
Yes. The shutter count was 46. A bit high for a new camera?

You're right of course about the battery indicator -- but I am surprised that the "new" battery in the box was charged at all. ;-)

I'm really annoyed at B&H over this. How do I know, when I return it, that I won't get another "pre-used" item presented as new? Of course it's possible, I suppose, that Pentax USA sent it to them, and they didn't realize, but... aaaaaaarrrgggghhh. That's way too much of my time wasted already. And I won't be able to get back to the store until Sunday. Rats!

sterretje, any thoughts about the shutter release button that I find sub-par? What's yours like?
10-28-2011, 12:54 AM   #10
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Never pay much attention to the shutter button. From memory

pressing it oh so slightly activates the AF
pressing it a bit deeper gives a bit of resistance (the half press)
you don't need much force to push it through the half press to take the picture

I don't own a K7, but the K5 feel is different from my K10D and K100D. The half-press point is more obvious on those and it also takes slightly more force to take the picture.
10-28-2011, 04:53 AM - 1 Like   #11
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You are not the first to receive a preused item from B&H and you won't be the last. The explanation is typically that an individual made a mistake. Yet, a B&H representative is also on record to having asked the question whether you, the customer, want a great return policy (no questions asked) or pristine merchandise, kind of acknowledging that it is difficult to offer both without charging restocking fees.
Just return the camera and wait till you get a brand new one (check the shutter count). If I were you, I wouldn't settle for less.
10-28-2011, 05:06 AM   #12
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Thanks folks. I'll return the camera on Sunday. Wish I could have had a good one for the weekend. ((sigh))
10-28-2011, 05:48 AM   #13
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If you decide to get another K5 from B&H you should ask to open the box, verify that it is a current serial number and that it is new. I would put the battery from the one you are returning and your mem card in - pwr up and check it out. See how the shutter button feels/camera set to default settings etc. If they won't let you - get a full refund and move on. As has been said this is not a first for B&H. The K5 is an excellent camera and you have other choices of were to purchase it.

If you need an alternate place to buy consider Abe's of Maine. Same price as B&H for body $1199.95 and no tax for you so that saves you about $100. (Abe's is in NJ). Free shipping. 30 day return policy. Your choice. Good luck.

Last edited by jcp5; 10-28-2011 at 02:02 PM.
10-28-2011, 04:30 PM   #14
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Something to consider, a camera with 46 cycles on it is not one that would be considered "used". OTOH, if it works properly, it might be a keeper. Consider this before you return it to play K5 Roulette.
10-28-2011, 05:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Consider this before you return it to play K5 Roulette.
Did you really think I wasn't doing that?

I don't agree with you. This is not what B&H itself says it's doing. In a thread on the "Ask B&H" forum, they claim that returns are sent back to Pentax USA, not resold to another customer.
Their return policy states that returns are not accepted if an item with a counter shows 200 actuations; if a new camera already has 49 on it, that's not leaving many for the buyer to test with. When I return the camera, I will have added to that count; would you still call it one that should not be considered "used?" It's ok if they again sell it as "new"? How many people may buy the same item before you'd consider it used?
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