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10-28-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
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K-5 Freezing up - No Biggie, just a tad annoying

Went to a falconry centre for a talk on raptors and flight demo and such today, and aside from it being an awesome experience, it was an excellent chance for some stunning shots. I took my K-5 and the 50-135 with me (I felt way cooler than the guy with a digital EOS and some cheap tele zoom, but that's mainly because I'm horribly judgemental like that. Do forgive me), and took some of the shots you see below. All in all a great day!

But I ran into an issue that from what I've read seems to be something rather common. When I was holding some of the birds, the keeper offered to take pictures of me and my partner. He got some great shots (and constantly kept saying how good the images looked ) but after the second bird he couldn't take a picture, the camera had just frozen up completely. I tended to it later (we solved it by removing the battery and putting back in again, so it didn't lose me any shots) and found that the LCD display would show all my settings, but wouldn't change, the camera wouldn't focus, the screen wouldn't work and everything was just stuck. Even if I switched it off the display would still show the settings, which was quite worrying.

After some reading, I've now come to the conclusion that my K-5 had overheated. It's a very densely packed body with a metal frame and it's totally black (I'm going to go ahead and assume it's a pretty effective heat sink). It was resting in direct sunshine on a cloudless day as I held the birds, and I can tell you it certainly felt warm when I picked it up. I've saved 6000 shots from it, so I've probably taken about 6500, and I've had it for around two months now, including use in hail, rain and in the salty wind of a wet Scottish Beach. I just felt that people running into this issue should be aware of the situations that could cause problems. Think about the scenario and there's probably an explanation for why things went wrong.

Then again, the Canon EOS guy's camera was sat next to it and didn't seem to have an issue, but it was a cheap model and I put that down to the fact that the K-5 is denser and is made of more thermally conductive materials, with a higher heat capacity than the plastics that the Canon was made out of. If so, wow, a situation where not having a well built body is actually useful!

And I know a lot of K-5 issues are genuine complaints about a faulty system, but it doesn't deserve the horrifying press it seems to be getting here. I have a friend who works with Canon gear and he respected me for using a K-5, as he works in a camera shop and felt that they were excellent cameras that just weren't receiving any attention. But yeah, my positive experience doesn't invalidate genuine complaints, just don't go looking for trouble with your gear. Enjoy it!

10-28-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
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If you're really curious: The EXIF data includes data on the camera temperature. An EXIF browser like PhotoME can show that data.
10-28-2011, 02:50 PM   #3
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Well I wouldn't say heat was a good thing but I've had my K5 since Dec 2010, and put approx 22K shots thru it. I've taken around 1000 shots on many a hot day here in SoCal when the temperature was over 100F without issue. Recently I've had freezing issues that weren't resolved with a simple R&R of the battery and the temperature has not been nearly so warm as July-August. And until recently my K5 has been trouble free. Some problems just take time to show up. I've sent mine in to be looked at and will report on what they tell me. I still love the K5 and decided to get another one.
10-28-2011, 03:00 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote
When I was holding some of the birds, the keeper offered to take pictures of me and my partner. He got some great shots (and constantly kept saying how good the images looked ) but after the second bird he couldn't take a picture, the camera had just frozen up completely.
Was he using Live View to take the shot, by any chance? I don't have a K-5 (well, I do, but it's going back to the store where I bought it yesterday, because of other issues) but I know my K-7, with a similar densely packed, heat trapping body, is prone to overheating when using Live View. The K-7 warns the user when that's happening, though. The K-5 glitches sound to me just like a computer that's overheated. I wouldn't trust a weather-sealed computer -- but I guess we wouldn't want an exhaust fan on our cameras.

I really think Pentax went overboard in making the cameras so small. (My stranded pinky thinks so too.)

10-28-2011, 03:10 PM   #5
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Yeah it wasn't nearly 100 degrees fahrenheit, I just figured because it was so warm and had been left exposed in the open sunshine for so long that heat might have been the issue. And he wasn't using Live View, nor was I when I replicated the issue, but I've never had the problem before, and heat seemed like the only explanation. And yeah, I think the K-5 is the best camera I've ever held, and I've held 5D MK II, D7000, a 1D MK III, EOS 60D etcetera... Pentax hit a real winner with the K-5.
10-28-2011, 03:16 PM   #6
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Ah, the freezing thing!

First K5- froze everytime I shot sports in AF-C, Hi mode. Then I found it had stains. Got a replacement.

Second K5-freezing was infrequent enough for me to 'live with it'.

Reincarnated Second K5 [after needing replacing of some internals for another issue]: only had it for a few weeks. I have deliberately tried to use it simply to test it. So for so good. Next week, I have to shoot 2 games and will have at least 500 pics per game, so this will be a good test...[When my K5 was out needing service, my old K2000 was used to shoot sports, never froze once. But it was no good for higher iso situations and when needing fast frames]

In any case, my thought when the freezing was happening and constantly having to pull the battery out and put it back in was sense of deja vu: It reminded me of my old Windows 95 computer which had to be turned off and restarted frequently!
10-28-2011, 05:27 PM   #7
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Had 5 freezes in the first couple months, but not since (several more months). I guess it self-corrected. Heat was not an issue.
10-29-2011, 04:41 AM   #8
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I get the same freeze ever now and again but only when using live view. not temperature related thats for sure in England
Dont use live view enough to worry about it.

10-29-2011, 06:53 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Heat was not an issue.
QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
I get the same freeze ever now and again but only when using live view. not temperature related thats for sure in England
But what I'm wondering is whether all the electronics shoe-horned into a tight package, plus the weather sealing, might be permitting the cameras to overheat, especially when using LV, regardless of ambient temperatures.
If you're over-dressed, you can still overheat on a chilly day, if you're working hard enough.
10-29-2011, 07:46 AM   #10
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My first K5 would freeze while exiting liveview. It was random. I felt this was unacceptable in a camera of this caliber, so I sent it back to B/H Photo for a replacement. The new one has not froze once in over 2000 shots, around 400 of which were taken in liveview. If it happened regularly I would have it checked out.
11-23-2011, 04:30 AM   #11
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K5 Freeze

MY K5 freezes periodically--as described elsewhere. Removing the battery fixes the problem immediately. Contacted support via live chat and they suggested that I send in the camera immediately ( it is 5 months old). Made no recommendations on how to fix the problem. The next day, called support and received the following suggestions: Upgrade to 1.11 firmware (available on the Japan site) and only use cards with class rating of 6 or above--. Was told not to send the camera in until I saw how these changes would affect the situation.

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11-23-2011, 07:13 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentup Quote
If you're over-dressed, you can still overheat on a chilly day, if you're working hard enough.
No, heat was not an issue. It was not working hard.
11-24-2011, 07:52 AM   #13
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My new K5 has an odd twist on the freeze problem. Every so often just the display freezes. I press the display button after a shot and the lcd stays dark. It won't display with the "info" or "menu" buttons either. However I can simply take another picture (it will still focus and fire) or simply cycle on/off and all is back to normal. A bit odd and annoying but so far no real problem.
11-27-2011, 06:32 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by geezer52 Quote
My new K5 has an odd twist on the freeze problem. Every so often just the display freezes. I press the display button after a shot and the lcd stays dark. It won't display with the "info" or "menu" buttons either. However I can simply take another picture (it will still focus and fire) or simply cycle on/off and all is back to normal. A bit odd and annoying but so far no real problem.
sometimes i encounter exactly same problem, not too often, but it happens from time to time. Bit annoying but not a big deal....
04-26-2012, 02:33 PM   #15
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I've had my K-5 for about a year now, probably 30k shots on it, and it froze on me twice last weekend while I was shooting a mountain bike race. Just like you said: LCD frozen in the on position, had to pull the battery out and back again. I was using the AF-C more than I normally do, so maybe that's it, but it had only frozen on me once before then, when I was shooting wildlife a couple of weeks ago. Since I have to pull my battery grip off and re-mount it these freezes are really annoying. Anybody have any idea on a solution?

I'm running firmware 1.13, so nothing there seems to help. Shooting exclusively with Class 10 cards too.
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