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12-02-2011, 05:02 PM   #1
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Artificial Horizon

Hi,
I sent my K-5 back to have the electronic horizon re-calibrated. it was reading about 3 degrees of tilt when the camera was really level. It came back about a week or so ago, just in time for a trip to the English Lake District, apparently fixed. I checked it and it seemed to be OK. Just one day of filming and it has gone back to where it was! Is this something to do with the floating sensor/shake reduction? What is the point of having this feature if it gives a wrong reading?

I have come to the sad conclusion that this is the best specified but the worst made Pentax I have ever owned. My one has a very loose and wobbly lens release button, still attached, but for how long?

I really feel like trading the whole lot in for a Nikon, but it would cost me a packet and I really do not like the idea os spending so much cash at the moment.

I suppose I should take the view that the electronic horizon is a toy not to be used in real life and just get on with it, but it is frustrating that it does not work properly. Is there any point in sending it back yet again (this will be the fourth time).

History:

1. Oily sensor - camera replaced.
2. Failed pop up flash - mother board replaced.
3. Wonky electronic horizon - fixed but not fixed.

What would you do?

12-02-2011, 05:42 PM   #2
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Multiple threads on the electronic level have been started, as have threads about other complaints of the K-5.

You should bail and look elsewhere. I doubt you will ever be comfortable with the K-5.
12-02-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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The firmware patch was supposed to fix the level issue....guess not for everyone

Adam
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12-02-2011, 07:47 PM   #4
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Since you have a K7/K5, common accessories and a bunch of good lenses you should give it one more chance before you make a decision. You have a right to be pissed off but you don't want to short your bank account if you can't afford it. Not these days!
If you ever sell---it should be in good working order-- so you have to send it in either way.

1. Call Pentax support and tell them your K5 history and ask them to send you a shipping label. You earned it and they have done it for others.
2. Make sure when you fill out your "Pentax Repair Information Form" you tell them that they just repaired this problem and it went out of calibration within one day of use. Give them the work order number from recent repair.
3. Tell them if they cannot 100% guarantee that it will be fixed properly this time they need to send you replacement camera number 2. My K5 has a accurate and reliable level so if they can't fix it they need to replace the camera. It is a very useful feature.
4. Describe your loose/wobbly Lens Release button and tell service (on your form) to do the LR Button repair to strengthen it. They did it to mine at USA repair center. I think they are just gluing it in.
5. Be sure to mention you are chairman of your photographic club so it's very bad PR for YOU and Pentax.
6. You should be on firmware version 1.11

You have your K7 to use while your getting these last two problems fixed. Good luck.


Last edited by jcp5; 12-06-2011 at 07:20 AM.
12-02-2011, 09:31 PM   #5
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I agree with jcp5; get it fixed (again).

Otherwise sell it and wait for the successor Or jump ship; but the grass is not always greener at the other side.
12-03-2011, 01:02 AM   #6
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Sound advice, thanks.
I will contact them on Monday and see what they are prepared to do. I will also speak to SRS Microsystems, who supplied the camera, to see if I can get support from them too.

I am basically OK with Pentax, having had many of thier cameras in the past, both film and digital, but this is getting silly. As you say, I have a load of Pentax gear, lenses, flashes (2) and extension tubes etc. so jumping ship would not be cheap.

I am on firmware 1.11.
12-04-2011, 10:34 AM   #7
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You checked the level when you got it back from the first repair attempt and it seemed fine. "After a day of filming" (movie mode--camera heat) it went out again. Make sure you write it that way on your repair input form that goes in with your camera to give the service tech a heads-up that just calibrating it again isn't going to fix it. They might have to replace your main ckt bd. or some other component to fix this problem.

Edit- Sorry-In USA the word "filming" implies making movies. It will be useful to hear how you get this resolved. Thanks.

Last edited by jcp5; 12-06-2011 at 03:36 AM.
12-05-2011, 02:14 AM   #8
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It may well be something to do with the camera warming up, but I have not used the movie option yet. I was taking photos outdoors in reasonably cool temperatures of around 3 to 8 degrees C, so what would happen in the heat of summer if it is this? I am going to do some controlled experiments with a spirit level and the camera on a tripod to try to get to the bottom of this and will report back later. Thanks.

12-05-2011, 03:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I agree with jcp5; get it fixed (again).

Otherwise sell it and wait for the successor Or jump ship; but the grass is not always greener at the other side.
Agreed! Hang around on the Canon and Nikon forums. You'll see very similar complaint threads.

Moreover, experiences vary a lot.

Within a year, my K5 withstood the abuse of 115000 shutter actuations. And it's still going strong! No problems whatsoever to date.

What your should do in future, wether if you stay with Pentax or not, is not be the first one to beta-test a brandnew product. I know, beta-testing on consumers is wrong, but all brands do it now. Anticipate on that.

I did just that with my K5, and as a result my copy probably went through much stricter QC and had all known flukes ironed out before it got on the shelve.

Also, Pentax endured a lot of negative feedback because of the quality control issues. (Which was justified!!) So I seriously doubt they'll make that same big mistake with future products ever again. The, in comparisson, low amount of "childrens-diseases" with the Q is silent proof of that.
12-05-2011, 05:37 AM   #10
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I understand your predicament. My K-5 didn't have stains, but it had the mirror flop issue and the misaligned horizon. I sent it in for both issues, and they gave me a new body that didn't had the mirror flop issue, but they didn't bother to check the horizon, and that was also misaligned. This wasn't the first time either. Previously, I had to send in my K-7 for a misaligned horizon as well. And my 17-70 at times didn't seem to want to focus, for which I also had to send that back (not sure if it's any better now). I have been looking at Nikon as well. But I have decided that only if Nikon offers an advantage to me in photography itself, will I jump ship.
12-06-2011, 05:07 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcp5 Quote
6. You should be on firmware version 1.11
Why? If you do not use one of those GPS units, upgrading to 1.11 has no use at all. Please correct me if I'm wrong, though.
12-06-2011, 05:59 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Why? If you do not use one of those GPS units, upgrading to 1.11 has no use at all. Please correct me if I'm wrong, though.
I've heard that Pentax sometimes has some hidden fixes / improvements that are not described in the description of the update.

But if one is happy with the installed version, there is no need for an upgrade.
12-06-2011, 06:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Why? If you do not use one of those GPS units, upgrading to 1.11 has no use at all. Please correct me if I'm wrong, though.

After installing 1.11 my three FA limited primes no longer require AF fine adjustment. Coincidence? Perhaps.
12-06-2011, 07:59 AM   #14
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Are there any threads about the hidden fixes? I'd love to read into that subject, without hijacking this thread.

The logic of hidden fixes escapes me completely. Couldn't it be a projected placebo effect?
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