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02-13-2014, 06:28 AM   #31
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Wait, the K3's AC adapter has a dedicated plug on the camera's body and won't run the camera without a battery? The former - camera won't run on AC without battery - sounds like a firmware bug in and of itself. The latter - dedicated AC plug - I didn't know because on the K-01 (my cam), the AC adapter (which I don't have) is a "fake battery". There's a little rubber part on the battery door that can be pulled out to allow the power cord of the "fake battery" to come out. If I thought you could close the K-3's battery compartment using a K-01 AC adapter, I'd suggest you try that (both cameras use the same battery), but I reckon you won't be able to. I'd suggest you wait until Pentax releases a mirrorless cam based on the K-3, but I'm sure you wouldn't find that super funny...

Sorry to say that it sounds like you're stuck until firmware update, and those of us who are also tempted by a K-3 partly because of it's timelapse features will wait a little. Since you're already depending on your back-up body now (K-5 IIs), maybe re-acquire a K-01 body as 2nd back-up? Dunno...

02-13-2014, 10:15 AM   #32
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The AC adapter connector plugs into the row of connectors on the left side of the camera looking from the back. It is not one of the "dummy battery" type as in the K-01 and K-30. I also thought it was weird that the drive settings would not be saved without a body battery in the K-3. Something needs fixed.

Jack
02-13-2014, 12:56 PM   #33
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@Stardust - Simply replicating Amy's settings as given earliwr in this thread would suffice. I've maxed out my shutter contributions If you have an A.C. adapter, please hook it up without the body battery and the grip then see if you can save the interval drive settings. It would reset to single frame after the first shot when I tried this setup and was only cured by replacing the body battery.

Jack
02-14-2014, 08:40 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
So, what to make of all this? Trials suggest that you have the best chance of no runaway mirror if you leave the grip off and have a card in SD1 or two cards in both SD slots. However, I think Amy has had runaway mirror with this setup as well. I think it is probably safer to say that although some setups are less prone, runaway mirror can happen at any time. I hope it is fixable in firmware.
Jack

Oh boy, a lot to reply to here. Sorry I've been absent, but my mother was just released from the hospital on Wednesday and is staying with me for a few weeks. It's been a little hectic.

Jack, I appreciate SO MUCH that you were able to replicate the problem. However, let me comment on a few things...

You say your trial suggests "that you have the best chance of no runaway mirror if you leave the grip off and have a card in SD1 or two cards in both SD slots." However, this is exactly the situation where I have the problem. I do not shoot with a battery grip. I always have SD cards in both slots, with the setting to shoot on the first until it's full, then switch to second. If you are shooting with the AC adaptor in this scenario, I'd suggestion the difference is merely AC adaptor vs. no AC adaptor. We know the problem happens with the grip (as per your testing). And we know it happens with no grip (just batteries), as in my scenario. This is good info!

Now does it happen with the AC adaptor. I'm unclear... just clarify that for me.

Also, I will say that there have been times where the issue does not crop up for more than 1/2 the day. For example, on Monday, with the new K3 body, I started shooting at 9:30am in 25 minutes "sessions" (500 shots, shot taken every 3 seconds). The issue did not rear it's ugly head until about 12:30pm. Three hours, or so in. This would have been after 6 "sessions"... probably in the middle of the 6th or 7th session. It isn't just a matter of getting 500 shots off and calling it a success, if you see what I mean. You (or I) would have to test a particular setup all day with no problems first, and proceed with caution from there.

I do like the idea of testing with just one SD card in the camera (though I'm not sure what the technical reason could be for the presence of the 2nd card to cause the problem). It's an easy test though. If I still have the K3 in my possession next week, I will test this way just to see what results I get when I'm out on an all-day shoot. I'll call it hopeful testing because if, for some odd reason, that is the issue, I'd be happy to live with it to hold onto the K3.

02-14-2014, 09:46 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
Oh boy, a lot to reply to here. Sorry I've been absent, but my mother was just released from the hospital on Wednesday and is staying with me for a few weeks. It's been a little hectic.

Jack, I appreciate SO MUCH that you were able to replicate the problem. However, let me comment on a few things...

You say your trial suggests "that you have the best chance of no runaway mirror if you leave the grip off and have a card in SD1 or two cards in both SD slots." However, this is exactly the situation where I have the problem. I do not shoot with a battery grip. I always have SD cards in both slots, with the setting to shoot on the first until it's full, then switch to second. If you are shooting with the AC adaptor in this scenario, I'd suggestion the difference is merely AC adaptor vs. no AC adaptor. We know the problem happens with the grip (as per your testing). And we know it happens with no grip (just batteries), as in my scenario. This is good info!

Now does it happen with the AC adaptor. I'm unclear... just clarify that for me.

Also, I will say that there have been times where the issue does not crop up for more than 1/2 the day. For example, on Monday, with the new K3 body, I started shooting at 9:30am in 25 minutes "sessions" (500 shots, shot taken every 3 seconds). The issue did not rear it's ugly head until about 12:30pm. Three hours, or so in. This would have been after 6 "sessions"... probably in the middle of the 6th or 7th session. It isn't just a matter of getting 500 shots off and calling it a success, if you see what I mean. You (or I) would have to test a particular setup all day with no problems first, and proceed with caution from there.

I do like the idea of testing with just one SD card in the camera (though I'm not sure what the technical reason could be for the presence of the 2nd card to cause the problem). It's an easy test though. If I still have the K3 in my possession next week, I will test this way just to see what results I get when I'm out on an all-day shoot. I'll call it hopeful testing because if, for some odd reason, that is the issue, I'd be happy to live with it to hold onto the K3.
Sorry to hear of your mom, Amy. I hope she is feeling better.

I could have said "with A.C. adapter + SD1(or both cards) but I had the problem once with the adapter. You may want to see if you can grab an A.C. adapter somewhere and give it a go. I think there is a problem either in the program code or the power system in the K-3 that needs fixed. Let us hope that hat it is fixable with a firmware upgrade.

Jack
02-14-2014, 11:40 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Sorry to hear of your mom, Amy. I hope she is feeling better.

I could have said "with A.C. adapter + SD1(or both cards) but I had the problem once with the adapter. You may want to see if you can grab an A.C. adapter somewhere and give it a go. I think there is a problem either in the program code or the power system in the K-3 that needs fixed. Let us hope that hat it is fixable with a firmware upgrade.

Jack
Thanks Jack... she's okay. Slow and steady, but she'll get there

As for AC Adaptor... I'm willing to give it a shot and test with it if I can get my hands on one, problem is, it won't solve the problem for me out in the field shooting (obviously). If you already had the problem with the AC Adaptor it would be good for me (or someone) to replicate it for knowledge purposes, but not much else.

I've written a follow-up letter to my contacts with Pentax at this point to see what we do next... I will wait and see what they say...
02-18-2014, 05:41 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
@Stardust - Simply replicating Amy's settings as given earliwr in this thread would suffice. I've maxed out my shutter contributions If you have an A.C. adapter, please hook it up without the body battery and the grip then see if you can save the interval drive settings. It would reset to single frame after the first shot when I tried this setup and was only cured by replacing the body battery.

Jack
I've also been busy and haven't had time to respond here. Fortunately only work-related for me.
I'm sorry to say I don't have an AC adapter for my camera nor a grip. However, proving that there is a fault with the K-3 seems to have been achieved. Pin-pointing the exact problem on the other hand, seems to be more difficult. I doubt that taking 3000 photos will help in proving anything, there has to be some specific combination that the camera cannot handle. Since this hasn't been reported to happen during any other time than the interval shooting (for the K-3), it's a good place to start. If you get a runaway shutter, try to reproduce it.
Considering this is during interval shooting, what could the problems be? Software, hardware e.g. a capacitor?
I'll see what I can do this weekend or some evening during this week.
02-18-2014, 12:16 PM   #38
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Can't remember if it was here or on DPR but there was a juicy tidbit of info that popped up recently when somebody ran into the runaway mirror problem - apparently it stopped flopping immediately when the SD card selector button beside the Menu button was pressed. Coincidence? Or possibly a pointer to the SD card logic being at fault somehow.? Or worse yet, crappy tracing on the power circuit somewhere?

Jack

02-18-2014, 07:39 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
As for AC Adaptor... I'm willing to give it a shot and test with it if I can get my hands on one, problem is, it won't solve the problem for me out in the field shooting (obviously).
There are battery powered portable power supplies so it should work in the field as well.
Sounds like it might work if the cards are in the right slots...really quirky problem that's hard to reproduce though, so it's no wonder Pentax missed this. Point them at this thread and that might help them....
02-20-2014, 01:45 PM   #40
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I had a similar situation over the weekend but I wasn't doing any time lapse shooting. I pressed a couple buttons after taking an image and off it went. It lasted between 6-8 seconds and no images were recorded. It finally stopped when I hit the button that switches between SD cards (I think that's what stopped it).

I called Ricoh this morning and the person I spoke with said the issue was new to him on the K-3. He had "heard" of this happening on the K-5. I mentioned that it was something that was picking-up steam on the forums. I'm not sure how valuable my phone call was but I figured it couldn't hurt. I'm guessing they have an internal system to keep track of these issues and are trained to play dumb (to a certain extent) when they are reported.

Since the camera is a month old, he suggested I mention this to my local camera store and consider exchanging the product, or have Ricoh look at it.

Other than that, it's a great camera.
02-20-2014, 02:08 PM   #41
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Pentax got back to me today. I'm pointing them at this thread and the other similar one. Pentax service couldn't replicate the problem, and wrote to Japan about it, who says they cannot either (I think they need to try a little harder honestly - LOL - I can replicate it nearly every day when shooting time-lapse for several hours). Japan said they hadn't heard of the issue before, so hopefully we have their ear now. It's not just me.

I had the problem again yesterday at a shoot. Happened to me twice. Unfortunately, I forgot to pull out SD card #2 before my shoot, so I can't yet confirm if the problem still happens with only one SD card inserted. I'll have more shoots coming up very soon and will keep testing.

Pentax has given me the option to exchange the K3 for a K5-IIs or II if I want at this point… I'd like to keep testing a bit more before I do that. Will keep you all posted.

---------- Post added 02-20-14 at 04:19 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Can't remember if it was here or on DPR but there was a juicy tidbit of info that popped up recently when somebody ran into the runaway mirror problem - apparently it stopped flopping immediately when the SD card selector button beside the Menu button was pressed. Coincidence? Or possibly a pointer to the SD card logic being at fault somehow.? Or worse yet, crappy tracing on the power circuit somewhere?

Jack

This is good info. I'll give that a shot next time it happens. I'll test that first. Then I'll test another day with no SD card in slot #2.
02-20-2014, 05:22 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Can't remember if it was here or on DPR but there was a juicy tidbit of info that popped up recently when somebody ran into the runaway mirror problem - apparently it stopped flopping immediately when the SD card selector button beside the Menu button was pressed. Coincidence? Or possibly a pointer to the SD card logic being at fault somehow.? Or worse yet, crappy tracing on the power circuit somewhere?

Jack
I posted this on DPR as well over the weekend. I figured I'd update this thread with my version of the problem. Just in case someone at Ricoh is "listening".
02-21-2014, 12:58 AM   #43
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Hey guys,

As an astro photographer who is very keen on soon purchasing the K-3 for the (almost) exclusive purpose of timelapse recording, I have a few questions on this subject!

First, can anybody give me a TLDR cliff notes on the current conditions, hypothesis and potential culprits here? I read through as much as I could, but I can't tell if anybody has narrowed things down to the battery / power for sure, or only tentatively.

Also, has anyone proven that this issue occurs only when using the built-in intervalometer, and not external control devices? (Unrelated to external power)

Lastly, has everyone been using relatively fast shutter speeds? With relatively rapid intervals? (I ask because I do a lot of 30 sec exposures at 30-60 sec intervals)

I just did a timelapse with my (loaned) K-3 last night actually, testing long shutter speeds for 360 images using an external device. (I'm currently reviewing the Syrp Genie for SLR Lounge) I didn't have any problems, but then again my battery died at about image 270. (135 min of total exposure on a single battery, not bad!)

BTW, I was shooting RAW and using a 3rd party (Watson) battery. I was using a Sandisk 32 GB SD card in slot 1, triggering the camera via the usual external accessory port.

I plan to make another trip to Joshua Tree over this weekend, for additional testing. Except I was thinking of using the Syrp genie with a different camera and using the K-3 to record both a regular timelapse, as well as one of those awesome progressive RAW stacks for a star trail. However it sounds like I might run into a problem if I use the built-in intervalometer? Should I play it safe and use an external intervalometer instead?

I've already published pt1 of my review of the K-3, and I really wanted pt2 of my review to focus on the K-3's abilities in astro photography and astro timelapse photography. Part of me wants to intentionally try to replicate this issue for the sake of full disclosure in my review, (albeit with possibly different shutter speeds and intervals?) ...but part of me wants to just get a good night of awesome imagery, intentionally avoiding any bugs.

Thoughts?
=Matt=
02-21-2014, 02:19 AM   #44
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Matthew - Stayed tuned to this thread. Amy (drabbit) was the one who blew the whistle on the interval shooting/runaway mirror problem originally since she does a lot of short exposure/short interval timelapse work and can trigger the problem routinely. She will be trying another couple of SD card and power configurations over the next while and will report back. I am starting to think that it may be an SD write logic problem since apparently one can stop the runaway mirror dead in its tracks by pressing the SD card select button. We will see if we can piece it together. Hope it is a simple firmware fix.

As for astro work, I do a lot of astro stuff but do not use interval due to there being no provision for mirror lockup in interval mode which kills it for my astro work. I have had a couple of runaway mirror events at very cold temperatures. One of these was when I had a catastrophic loss of power when a cable to an external power supply blew apart. So the mirror issue may also have a power angle to it. But don't be put off as far as using the K-3 for astro. It actually excels here due to the low readout noise of the Sony sensor in addition to the 24mp resolution. Noise issues are moot for most astro work, at least any that involves stacking.

Jack
02-21-2014, 03:18 AM   #45
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I have had no problem with astro photography, timelapse or running mirror with my K-3- It is a black edition using two Sandisk Extreme 16GB 45MB/s and 8 GB 30MB/s, using the O-GPS1 for some work. I have been shooting in -20 degrees celsius with the camera outside for over 12 hours. It has just been working. Shutter count today is about 14500 since mid november. Reading these threads makes me have doubts if I can trust my camera to perform but I read similar problems with the K-5 but the only problems I ever had with my K-5 was one camera lock up, the release button for the lens got loose and dead pixels when shooting video.

I am not worried.
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