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03-16-2015, 10:26 AM   #1
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K5 Not Dead Yet - Camera Mystery

I have a K5 mystery that I hope someone will be able to help me with.

Here's what has happened:

First time:
I'm in Uganda, floating down Murchison River toward Murchison Falls (ala The African Queen) when it starts raining. I have my 55-300 lens on which is not weather proofed. I cover the camera as best I can but I get soaked. The camera seems fine when the sun comes out but after a few minutes, it stops functioning. When I pressed the shutter, the view slightly dims but the camera doesn't take a photo - you don't hear the complete shutter sound. Immediately after this, I get a message that the battery is depleted - but it's not actually depleted because if I take it out and put back in, it will show as OK. After several minutes (30? or so) I tried again and the camera worked. I thought perhaps it had got a bit wet and dried out and was able to work. All was fine until last week.

Second time:
I'm in Auvers sur Oise, France (where Van Gogh, lived died and was buried), taking photos around town. My camera would make an unusual sound when taking photos, but the photos seemed to come out OK. The weather was cool but not raining. I switched to my 10-20 Sigma and was taking photos of Van Gogh's grave when it stopped working again - very similar to last time. Viewfinder dims, doesn't take photos. I tried the camera several times after that, changed batteries, etc. Tried the next day and it still didn't work. Tried again just now that I'm home and it's working again.

I have a Pentax branded battery and 2 other brands but it was the Pentax battery that was in when this happened.

Any ideas? I guess I should send in to be fixed? Or is it time to upgrade my camera? It's not fun when it dies when I'm in the middle of taking photos.

03-16-2015, 11:00 AM   #2
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Had a similar issue with my k-5. The mirror actuator (I think) was getting stuck part way through the cycle, this caused the battery to show depleted as the mirror motor was causing an overdraw. Nothing wrong with the battery, just the battery sensor got confused.

For awhile this was very intermittent, and I found that giving the camera a smack on the grip with the heel of my hand would free the situation and allow me to continue. Note: this is not recommended just mentioned as it worked for me.

Over time the issue got worse and and more frequent. Eventually I sent it in for repair and it worked flawlessly after that. You might be able to live with it for awhile but it will eventually need repair. You might want to send it in before it fails at a critical time.
03-16-2015, 11:56 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Had a similar issue with my k-5. The mirror actuator (I think) was getting stuck part way through the cycle, this caused the battery to show depleted as the mirror motor was causing an overdraw. Nothing wrong with the battery, just the battery sensor got confused.

For awhile this was very intermittent, and I found that giving the camera a smack on the grip with the heel of my hand would free the situation and allow me to continue. Note: this is not recommended just mentioned as it worked for me.

Over time the issue got worse and and more frequent. Eventually I sent it in for repair and it worked flawlessly after that. You might be able to live with it for awhile but it will eventually need repair. You might want to send it in before it fails at a critical time.
Thanks. This sounds exactly like what I was experiencing. I could hear the mirror malfunctioning. Both times it failed on me it felt fairly critical - ha! - not fun at all. Luckily, this last time, it was on the last day of my trip. Can you tell me how much the repair cost you? Or maybe it was still under warranty? Did you send to Precision Camera?

---------- Post added 03-16-2015 at 12:05 PM ----------

Me again. It looks like the repair will be over $200. I'm not sure if a camera this old is worth that much money for a repair. Ugh. I was hoping it wouldn't be too much.
03-16-2015, 12:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sealonsf Quote
Both times it failed on me it felt fairly critical - ha! - not fun at all. Luckily, this last time, it was on the last day of my trip. Can you tell me how much the repair cost you? Or maybe it was still under warranty? Did you send to Precision Camera?
It was repaired under warranty, I had the two year extended USA warranty for it. I sent it to CRIS in Arizona, they were the authorized repair center at the time. Precision Camera Repair is the repair center now. Precision Camera - Digital Camera Repair, Video Camera Repair

03-16-2015, 12:44 PM   #5
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You just want it to go on the cart so you can get a K-3

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