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11-01-2012, 07:52 AM   #1
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Huge problem with Pentax K-30

Hello. I am a new K30 user who has been using this camera for a bit more than a month.

I have encountered a huge problem today, so I was looking for some advice on what to do.

Today my K30 freezed up, so I had to take out the battery to turn the camera off. However, when turning the camera back on it would not necessarily function, which required battery pulls again. Doing this multiple times and changing the settings, I once got it to function (by changing it from AF-C to MF mode) but after that, it did not work again, and currently has been in various states of freezing (turn on with limited functioning or not being able to turn on entirely).

To explain what it means by not functioning... the camera would turn on and show the menu screen, and turning the front edial (Shutter speed) changes the shutter speed in the menu.... pressing the four directional buttons (iso, flash, wb, continuous shooting) also goes into their menus, and you can change things there. The ok button works, and so does the menu button for going out of these menus.

However, I noticed in the viewfinder that nothing really changed (changing the shutter speed changed it in the LCD, but looking through the viewfinder it was stuck at 250, and the iso also changed in the LCD, but in the viewfinder stuck at 200).

At this point, the shutter will fire (if I hadn't touched any other buttons but the ones mentioned above), but give me a black image of nothing.

However, the play/review button will not work (does not go into any menu), and the menu button does not go into the menu, even though it works as a cancel button (so I can't format the SD card even though I want to).

Furthermore, if I press the green button (which I use to stop down and set shutter speeds), the shutter will not fire at all. Also, iso, and shutter speeds will not change (even though the iso might change in menu, it won't change on lcd). I notice that before I press the green button, I get info of shutter speeds and iso through the viewfinder, but after, I do not get any info through the viewfinder.
Also, changing from MF (which I usually leave it on) to AF-C or AF-S (or both) and back, also causes the shutter to not fire.

A last observation is that if I press the live view button, I get nothing but a grey screen, and then every function ceases on the camera. I can't return from live view, and any menu option does not work... the shutter does not fire either. The battery must be pulled to turn the camera off. A very interesting thing is that even though I press live view, I can still see through the viewfinder, so maybe there is a problem with the mirror.

I must tell you that I was operating with a lot of chalk on my hands, which may have gotten into the camera after pressing the buttons (I thought it would be ok, because of the weather sealing). Also the environment was very dry and had a lot of static electricity, which might have contributed to the camera malfunctioning. Also, my brother told me that the low battery sign came on, but when I started the camera up again several times, it seemed like there was around 1/2 or more battery left in the indicator.

To solve this problem I fully recharged the battery and formatted the sd card (through my computer though), but till now I still have the problem, and I can't get the camera to function at all.

Do you guys have any experience or advice with this? I bought this as probably a grey market item (bought through Amazon Marketplace), so I am worried I am not covered by warranty. Also I am currently in China, but I bought this camera when I was on a trip to the USA. I can provide serial number information for the camera and battery if needed.

Sorry for the exceedingly long post, I am panicking a bit since it was quite an expensive item, and my only camera right now. I loved using it before it died, as it seemed reliable and very powerful, easy to use, and just plain fun to take photos with. I would really be grateful if you guys could help me with this.

Thank you for reading.

11-01-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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Can you try a different battery?
11-01-2012, 08:08 AM   #3
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No, I only have one battery right now. Should I try buying a new battery? I am currently in China, so there might be a problem getting one.
11-01-2012, 08:09 AM   #4
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First - Try different battery as suggested
Second - Factory reset
Third - Send it in for service.

11-01-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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I doubt its the battery. If its getting power then any malfunctions would be down to bad contacts in buttons or faulty boards etc.
Try the factory reset if you can get to the menu.
The SD card must be formatted in the camera for it to work properly.
Chalk on your hands should not be a problem.

To be honest I would say that it must be returned.
Contact the seller. If it was through Amazon then they should be reasonable. (If not then complain to Amazon)
If you can't return it then the only thing you can do is take/send it to a dealer to get a quote for repair or see if its covered.

Last edited by evandavies1; 11-01-2012 at 12:23 PM.
11-01-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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If it's of any help - the K-30 takes the same AA battery adapter as the K-r.

They are as low as US$4 including shipping on eBay.
Most of the listings are in China -
so you might be able to pick one up while over there?

Be a very useful backup, even if you didn't intend to use AA batteries regularly.
11-01-2012, 03:21 PM   #7
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Some suggestions:

- Reset the menu and camera settings to the factory defaults: Setup menu 2 > Reset(p-217 of the K-30 manual)
- Set the camera mode dial to Auto, set the AF switch to AF-S and try again.
- Make sure your lens contacts are clean.
- Make sure your lens isn't a weird one or poorly wired one - similar things once happened to my K-5 when I attempted to use a Kenko teleconvertor with a DA lens . It was like a short-circuit was happening somewhere.
- The battery may also be getting overcharged. Recharge the battery, set it aside overnight, then load it back into the camera. Leaving it overnight may 'normalise' the power level a bit.
- Try some AA's, as UnknownVT suggested.
11-01-2012, 08:37 PM   #8
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There is one more trick that works with pc: remove the battery and hold ON button for 30 sec, or push it several times.
Good luck.

11-01-2012, 11:47 PM   #9
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Thanks a lot for your replies... right now I can't buy a battery since I am traveling in China... I'll try buying it as soon as I get back home. Sadly, I can't get to the menu, so factory reset/format doesn't work. The other tricks haven't been that successful either (Auto/AF-S etc., cleaning lens contact). I'll try charging and leaving the battery overnight, and if I get home I'll definitely try the pc trick (currently don't have the line to connect with pc)..

As an update, I've kept trying to turn it on, and now it seems that turning the dials actually changes the shutter speed, in both the lcd and viewfinder, but the other buttons are still not functioning as usual. In this state, I can turn the camera off if I don't go into LV. However, now the camera just doesn't turn on sometimes (need to take out and reinsert battery to turn on).

Thanks everybody a lot for your concern and suggestions. I'll keep you updated if there are any improvements.
11-02-2012, 04:13 AM   #10
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I assume China uses a different electricity line than the place you are coming from, right? Its weird because most third party batteries are from China, so getting one should not be impossible. Or even the adapter.
11-02-2012, 08:43 AM   #11
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Sorry for not being clear... actually, I was just travelling (in airport) so was a little difficult to order. I will try to order the battery very soon!
As for the pc trick, could you explain it more thoroughly? I don't exactly understand what I would have to do with the pc and the camera.
Thanks!
11-02-2012, 01:19 PM   #12
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Sorry for brief tip. What I meant was when my laptop do not behave properly I turn it off, remove the battery and unplug it from outlet. Then I push and hold “ON” button for 30 sec to clear any errors in ram/cpu/ and static. So, try to perform the same steps on camera. Hopefully this helps you.
Cheers
11-02-2012, 07:17 PM   #13
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Thanks for the clarification! However, trying that did not help.... and I can confirm it is not the lens contact, as taking off the lens still does not allow me to go into the menu, or review my photos. Actually, I can hear a sound coming from inside the camera by gently shaking it around. So I am thinking maybe the problem is mechanical, and with the mirror system, as the mirror will never go into the up position. Right now I'm at trying a new battery (which I have ordered) or sending it back/repair.

Also, although I said that there was a lot of static electricity going on in the room I was taking pictures in, I remember that the camera was never zapped once by static electricity.

One thing to note: I remember the day when it started having this problem, I was shooting in continuous mode, in RAW. In the beginning of the day, that I was getting a very slow frame rate, as I thought was normal with RAW files in continuous mode. However, later in the day, I remember I was blasting away, shooting at the same rate as jpgs (I remember I got around 7-8 pics once with a continuous compression of the shutter, in a very short time frame). I set off the camera for a while, and later in the day this bug started to happen. I actually got it to work once (I thought this bug was happening because the camera was in AF-C mode instead of MF with my manual lens - It was in AF-C when this bug first happened, and changing it to MF made the camera work) but only once did it work, and subsequent power ons of the camera kept revealing this bug. And I remember my brother commenting on the sound that came from the camera when shaking it gently.

Do you guys know if there are any pentax representatives around? I hope they can see this, as some sort of extensive bug report of the K-30. Thanks
11-02-2012, 09:10 PM   #14
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I guess to confirm that it is a bug, you have to:

- eliminate all the other possibile (random or external) causes of the problem;
- show that the bug is repeatable - ie show that you can make the problem happen again (and again) by simply following certain steps.
11-03-2012, 12:21 PM   #15
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If you hear a clanking sound when shaking it gently that is normal, it is the SR system, all Pentax cameras make that sound and there are many threads on this. You can try contacting the store you bought the camera from or the store that handles their warranty. You can also try this:
Product Repair & Service - PENTAX Imaging USA
There is a link at the bottom for other countries. Hope everything works out for you!
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