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03-04-2016, 12:30 AM   #46
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Location: Vancouver (USA)
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QuoteOriginally posted by WayBuu Quote
I purchased my camera from BH Photo in the US, so International Warranty applied.
I'd say you were lucky they accepted your camera for repair. The current rules for both U.S. and Canada are: in-country purchase and in-country location. It seems that neither Sun nor Precision wants to fiddle with cross-border shipment of product.

In reviewing your posts, I am still a bit confused. Let me see if I have it straight:
  • Camera was purchased late August 2014
  • You had runaway mirror within the first week of ownership but did bring the matter to B&H's attention for replacement
  • Pentax offered a service fix about the same time as you purchased your camera and a firmware update (v1.11) shortly thereafter intended to minimize physical damage.
  • As of April 2015, you had experienced two runaway mirror occurrences, both with the grip attached. You joined this forum as part of your research. Shortly before then, the camera had been running firmware v1.0, but was updated at that time to v1.11 or higher.
  • It is unclear whether you suffered runaway mirror episodes after the firmware update
  • It is also unclear whether there were any missed frames indicative of an aborted exposure after the firmware update
  • The camera was sent for warranty service Summer of 2015 but without the grip At that time Precision was unable to find a fault, suggested the grip might be the problem, and sent the camera back with a finger print on the mirror
  • You continued to have poor AA battery performance both with alkaline and (Nimh?) rechargables with the grip
  • The grip was sent to Precision, but was lost in transit
  • You are currently without a grip
  • It is unclear at present whether there continues to be a runaway mirror problem with your camera
Sorry to be so nit-picky on the documenting, but the matter of the grip-related runaway mirror has been sort of a loose end in the runaway mirror saga. Your late post to this thread sort of opened the issue back up with an opportunity to further characterize the behavior for future readers.


06-30-2016, 08:02 PM   #47

Really? Lucky they accepted it? Why? I have an International Warranty and my understanding is ship for repair in the country of purchase. I didn't just arbitrarily pick one of the repair centres from the warranty sheet. I placed a number of phone calls and spoke to reps (attached) and they had no issues or concerns - none that they expressed to me - as you did above. If the repair centres don't want to "fiddle" with cross border shipment of product, then what should I read into that? mmmmm.... Maybe noting, but...

I'll go ahead and answer a few points of what you don't understand:

Point One: Correct, I purchased the camera from BH (B and H Photo/Video) in August of 2014. The grip and Flu card were bonus. I live in Canada and BH is in the USA and I've been a long time customer. I received an International Warranty card. I used the camera for quite a while (a month or a couple months, I can't remember) before attaching the grip for a demanding session. One day while on a boating excursion on the salt water ocean - with the grip attached - the camera went into panic and so did I. How did I stop it? I have no idea but I shut the camera off, removed the grip and did whatever was necessary to stop what sounded like the shutter and / or mirror slapping wildly. Likely, I added new batteries to the grip and charged the in-camera battery and carried on. But NO, I did not call BH to get the camera replaced. I brushed it off as a one time anomaly and carried on. Maybe salt water on some contacts. Who knows? But, I certainly wasn't returning it to BH for a one-off incident. I don't rely on my grip heavily and some months passed before I would plunge the grip into another demanding photo session. It should be noted that because I 'brushed off' the initial incident as a one time anomaly, that doesn't mean I didn't forget about it. I was aware, as the months passed, that the grip was literally chewing through batteries whenever I did use it, and I reviewed and adjusted all of the camera settings and combinations of settings for the batteries to the best of my ability: types of batteries: NMh, alkaline; the sequence for power supply and switching: grip first > on-board next, vice versa; on board only and grip only...This, not to replicate the shutter panic - I didn't want to replicate something that sounded like it was hell on my camera, but to try and isolate the battery-grip depletion issue. I used a lot of batteries to keep the grip restocked!

So, that said, I had a grad shoot for a friend in April 2015 and the flutter was the last thing on my mind - and then the camera went berserk again. The K3 and grip combo depleted the batteries in no time. This time I had to strip the grip off and ultimately remove the onboard battery - even after turning the camera off - to arrest the problem (I was panicked too, but I paid attention this time). However, my camera went into lock-out mode and refused to let me operate further. How did I clear it? I put the batteries in and removed them, tried various reset options (remove batteries with the power on, installed the batteries with the power SW on/off, hard-boot, soft-boot, reboot) - nothing worked. Finally, I backed up the two data-cards to my friends computer and formatted the cards and put them back in the camera and...VOILA! Back in business! I decided it was time to take definitive action on this issue...

Note: refer to my attachments for dates of correspondence, purchase, work order, phone calls, etc.

So, now there's an issue. Time to dig in. That's when the serious research started and ultimately lead to this forum. In reference to point two: wrong (explained at the outset of this post) . Point three. I don't know when and / or if pentax offered a fix or admitted to a problem. In conversation with Precision Camera, they (PC) didn't know of an issue when I spoke to them, even though I had told them that internet research on my part indicated a problem. Point four: Yes, two runaways by April 2015, but I don't recall if the firmware was updated at that time or not. I don't recall doing it.

I sent the camera to Precision Camera late May or early June of 2015. It came back in the condition I described in an earlier post (by the way, regardless of my issue regarding the return condition of my camera, speaking with Precision Camera was always a polite and courteous experience, both ways). According to the paperwork from Precision Camera, the firmware was "downloaded" along with other maintenance performed. (see attachment).

Point Five: yes, after getting the camera back mid-June, I experienced shutter panic. I went on a remote expedition in July: On-board battery fully charged, a supply of high end Duracell AA, and a supply of NMh AA batteries. I depleted the onboard battery first and it performed beyond expectation. The NMh lasted so-so, but nothing spectacular, and the alkaline not so well, if I recall. On the helicopter ride out I squeezed out one last shot and that was it for all my battery power. Disappointed, but I got 99 percent of the shots I wanted, with a little annoyance at the end and a couple of 'soft' episodes of shutter panic while on grip power and the batteries drained. The shutter panic was less pronounced - not as rapid and more easily arrested. So, still a big problem!

Point Six: You said "It is also unclear whether there were any missed frames indicative of an aborted exposure after the firmware update" I don't know what you mean.

Point Seven: Yes. See attached work order from Precision Camera.

Point Eight / Nine / Ten: Yes, Yes, Yes

Point Eleven: Correct. But with no grip I cannot trouble shoot that part of the issue, but I'm pretty certain it's the grip and not the on-board battery (but don't take my word for it!) as I have not experienced the issue with the onboard battery alone, that I recall. I have no intentions of purchasing a new grip. It came as a bonus and for some reason I don't have the warranty card on file or anything with the grip S/N as I do the other items. Maybe misplaced. So, to bad for me because I have no tracer except for postage receipts and customs form. My own fault for cheaping-out on postage insurance. It's clear to handlers what's in the box by the customs form and the value. What was I thinking to not insure it? As I said, that's done. Moved on. But, I'd buy cross-border from BH again in a heartbeat; even with 1Can$ worth about .75 US$ I'm still way ahead and BH is good to me. Canadian retailers are extraordinarily expensive, even when I factor in the exchange rate, shipping and any risk of a faulty product, I still save money. No regrets. I'm ahead, by far. And I have every right to cross border shop and expect quality warranty service according to the International Warranty packed with the products I buy from BH. I can't speak for how the repair centres feel about that. I should hope that they do the warranty work and get paid by Pentax and not be too upset about having to 'fiddle' with the shipment!

Finally, I Hope the engineers at Ricoh-Pentax get to read this and it helps them out. I still love my camera. I recently received my 50mm SMC Pentax-DFA Macro (from BH, of course), and it's all that the reviews said it was. My eye is on the K1 and the $CA is climbing.

The best to you.
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