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06-22-2014, 06:30 AM   #391
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
If you want all the gory details of the story
Oh, please, no!

06-22-2014, 07:31 AM   #392
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
Markf: As of right now, they are calling it a "base firmware" update that users can't install themselves... but maybe this is because, according to the email I got, they are still "evaluating" the problem. With any luck, maybe it is something we'll see in a future firmware update. Fingers crossed?
Without any specific information, I suspect they are propagating a fix to see how many problem bodies there are, and to see if it fixes the problem reliably. I don't know, maybe someone could ask, but if I were Ricoh I would have the problem bodies analyzed and the data collected as well. They probably just need some levels and tolerances that a quick test could provide. The symptoms may be an indication of a number of problems. There doesn't seem to be any consistent usage pattern that triggers it, so they may be dealing with a few issues. The way they are doing it guarantees feedback from those who bring or send their bodies in.

I suspect once there is a level of confidence that the problem is fixed a firmware update will do it.

There still may be a few corner cases that require some component replacement. I hope not.
06-22-2014, 11:36 AM   #393
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Well, based on this thread & others, I've kept my K-20D, and held off purchasing a K-3 a few weeks back. I have told the local retailers here (3 of them) why I've done so.

-All- of them report having units returned for warranty repair, exchange, or refund. All within the serial # sequence listed at top. All of them knew about this issue.

So, hopefully Ricoh/Pentax should be getting the message that this is impacting sales and definitely impacting the Pentax product reputation.

I still have my $1200.00 (+ taxes) sitting around, waiting...

Last edited by WestCoastGuy; 06-22-2014 at 11:38 AM. Reason: changed time scale.
06-22-2014, 01:16 PM   #394
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Mirror Stutter/Flutter on K3, Frozen Screen

Not only (as I've previously posted here) has my K3 Silver limited edition exhibited the notorious runaway mirror stutter/flutter malfunction from very shortly after receiving it in December by preordering from B&H (neither the retailer nor Pentax/Ricoh has been helpful), but the mirror has damaged the baffles, raining debris on the sensor which I can't get rid of through the cleaning cycle. The unit has problems with white balance (cycling from one extreme to the other) in video. The unit occasionally refuses to write to the SD card in slot #1. On a recent trip to Portland's rose garden, the display screen froze until the battery was removed. There is a deep manufacturing flaw in the K3 which Pentax refuses to discuss/acknowledge, still claiming they haven't heard of it. CRIS does not say they've never heard of it. Pentax owes each purchaser of this defective merchandise a NEW uncompromised unit. They refuse to do this. It's likely Pentax/Ricoh will have to face a lawsuit before they get off the dime. They're engaging in a beached whale strategy, leaving their customers to twist slowly in the wind. The K3 is a lemon because, while it has incredible potential, the manufacturer will not own up to the problems exposed. Those who haven't experienced the problem have been lucky. There's no guarantee they won't be visited by it in the future. The flaw is more pernicious than simply firmware, else Ricoh would announce a fix they are now applying to all units produced after a certain serial # sequence. They've soiled their reputation and are hoping nobody will notice the stench.

I'd love to hear from a Pentax/Ricoh rep willing to take accountability for a defective product and make it right. They're either unable or unwilling to do so. It's a typical David and Goliath business relationship where the customer gets the dirty end of the stick. Their 1-year warranty only offers a band-aid, if that. The electro-mechanical apparatus and circuit board are defective. For what it's worth, Pentax/Ricoh cannot even say what the problem is, and their talk of 'reducing' the likelihood of the problem repeating itself is tantamount to an admission of failure. If you own Pentax/Ricoh stock--SELL! If you own the K3, sell it too before the bottom drops out.


Last edited by pinbalwyz; 06-22-2014 at 01:20 PM. Reason: spelling
06-22-2014, 01:30 PM   #395
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinbalwyz Quote
Not only (as I've previously posted here) has my K3 Silver limited edition exhibited the notorious runaway mirror stutter/flutter malfunction from very shortly after receiving it in December by preordering from B&H (neither the retailer nor Pentax/Ricoh has been helpful), but the mirror has damaged the baffles, raining debris on the sensor which I can't get rid of through the cleaning cycle. The unit has problems with white balance (cycling from one extreme to the other) in video. The unit occasionally refuses to write to the SD card in slot #1. On a recent trip to Portland's rose garden, the display screen froze until the battery was removed. There is a deep manufacturing flaw in the K3 which Pentax refuses to discuss/acknowledge, still claiming they haven't heard of it. CRIS does not say they've never heard of it. Pentax owes each purchaser of this defective merchandise a NEW uncompromised unit. They refuse to do this. It's likely Pentax/Ricoh will have to face a lawsuit before they get off the dime. They're engaging in a beached whale strategy, leaving their customers to twist slowly in the wind. The K3 is a lemon because, while it has incredible potential, the manufacturer will not own up to the problems exposed. Those who haven't experienced the problem have been lucky. There's no guarantee they won't be visited by it in the future. The flaw is more pernicious than simply firmware, else Ricoh would announce a fix they are now applying to all units produced after a certain serial # sequence. They've soiled their reputation and are hoping nobody will notice the stench.

I'd love to hear from a Pentax/Ricoh rep willing to take accountability for a defective product and make it right. They're either unable or unwilling to do so. It's a typical David and Goliath business relationship where the customer gets the dirty end of the stick. Their 1-year warranty only offers a band-aid, if that. The electro-mechanical apparatus and circuit board are defective. For what it's worth, Pentax/Ricoh cannot even say what the problem is, and their talk of 'reducing' the likelihood of the problem repeating itself is tantamount to an admission of failure. If you own Pentax/Ricoh stock--SELL! If you own the K3, sell it too before the bottom drops out.
1. Kindly identify which were the three dealers (from whom you DID NOT PURCHASE THE CAMERA) so that Pentax can communicate with them in person.
2. Kindly document Pentax / B&H refusals to respond (emails, persons spoken to, times of calls, etc).
3. Pentax is, in fact, responding to the KNOWN problem, as has been detailed recently on this thread and the repair thread.

IOW, while I am neither inclined nor disinclined to accept your statements, documentation and citation would make your case stronger.

Fewer than 150 cases reported HERE out of somewhere between possibly 90000 and 110000 black bodies and 4000 - 5000 silver bodies reported HERE does not require a complete recall and replacement of all bodies. This odd ball condition is within manufacturing tolerances. In any case, if it happens Pentax will repair it.

Nothing is 100% dependable. I've forgotten my SD cards or charged batteries (or film) more often than a manufacturing defect has cost me a shot.

Last edited by monochrome; 06-22-2014 at 01:58 PM.
06-22-2014, 11:21 PM   #396
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinbalwyz Quote
... For what it's worth, Pentax/Ricoh cannot even say what the problem is, and their talk of 'reducing' the likelihood of the problem repeating itself is tantamount to an admission of failure. If you own Pentax/Ricoh stock--SELL! If you own the K3, sell it too before the bottom drops out.
150 reported cameras out of circa 115000 produced, means the probability of having this specific defect is 0.001.
Even if the number of defective cameras is doubled, it is still only 0.003.
Let's even say it is 5x bigger a problem that what we know, the defect is 0.007.

Say the threshold of recalling the entire production is 5% of affected cameras. In this specific problem, you'd need to have ~40x more cases that what we have to base such a demand.



Last edited by Uluru; 06-22-2014 at 11:32 PM.
06-23-2014, 02:52 AM   #397
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinbalwyz Quote
If you own Pentax/Ricoh stock--SELL! If you own the K3, sell it too before the bottom drops out.
Bah! This is just another variation of the old standard "Pentax is doomed"!
06-23-2014, 06:04 AM   #398
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
Markf: As of right now, they are calling it a "base firmware" update that users can't install themselves... but maybe this is because, according to the email I got, they are still "evaluating" the problem. With any luck, maybe it is something we'll see in a future firmware update. Fingers crossed?

PentaxCats and AirJames: Thanks for your reports. James, you have the highest serial number as of right now, and I updated the serial numbers log in the first post of the thread. Your occurrence brings the range higher than it was before, with the latest known instance now being 492XXXX.

My first communication about the issue with Pentax directly was back at the beginning of December 2013, shortly after I had first bought the K3. I exchanged that body finally in February 2014 (after many back and forth emails with them). K3 body #2 exhibited the problem right away and after some more back and forth with Pentax, I finally returned it for store credit in March (which I then used towards buying two K5-IIs bodies). If you want all the gory details of the story, read my article on Steve Huff's site: The Pentax K3 and the Crazy-Acting Mirror Sickness by Amy Medina | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS
Glad I could update your numbers, what was it before me? (My name is listed twice btw). I sort of wish I read your thread before I purchased the K3 as I probably would have considered the K5 IIs and kept my K-01 too. I miss it already =( The mirror issue occurred again yesterday right before a possible great shot. I believe this time was the same as before yesterday and is related to the battery being DTSE 2000mah and running below the optimal 2-3 bar. I'm beginning to think it is a power related issue where the battery is not giving enough juice. I will make sure to use ONLY my good 2013 Pentax battery from now on and see how long I can go without this issue.

06-23-2014, 06:51 AM   #399
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinbalwyz Quote
Not only (as I've previously posted here) has my K3 Silver limited edition exhibited the notorious runaway mirror stutter/flutter malfunction from very shortly after receiving it in December by preordering from B&H (neither the retailer nor Pentax/Ricoh has been helpful), but the mirror has damaged the baffles, raining debris on the sensor which I can't get rid of through the cleaning cycle. The unit has problems with white balance (cycling from one extreme to the other) in video. The unit occasionally refuses to write to the SD card in slot #1. On a recent trip to Portland's rose garden, the display screen froze until the battery was removed. There is a deep manufacturing flaw in the K3 ...
Similar experience, in the fact that I had other problems with the K3 (both bodies), not just mirror-flapping. Biggest secondary issue was lots of silent lockups. With all the cameras I've owned over the years, the K3 was, by far, the "buggiest" DSLR I have ever encountered.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Fewer than 150 cases reported HERE out of somewhere between possibly 90000 and 110000 black bodies and 4000 - 5000 silver bodies reported HERE ....
I'm not sure where you come up with your numbers that there have been more than 100,000 purchased cameras reported HERE. Total number of serial numbers recorded in the SN database, in this forum HERE, as of today is 101. The Pentax Forums, by far, do not represent even a fraction of K3 owners. So just as you like to say there are less than 150 reported cases here, there are also only a very smaller percentage of K3 owners here. To get an accurate sampling of percentage, we would need to know exactly how many members on PF are in fact K3 owners.

For sake of the argument, if there are 101 reported serial numbers from owners, lets quadruple that number to 404 (assuming 1-in-4 owners of a K3 reported their ownership). With 120 reported members of the mirror-flapping incident HERE, that would mean 30% of members who own the K3 exhibit the problem. That would be a whole lot more accurate. Even if only 1-in-10 owners of a K3 reported their ownership, we'd still have a rate of 12%. That's pretty significant.

When I researched the Fuji light leak problem, I could only find in the range of 50-60 reported cases on the Fuji Forum, in the original thread where people reported having the issue. Regardless, Fuji took the issue seriously, put out a detailed statement about it, tracked down the serial number range and offered to fix the problem... and this was all done pretty darn quickly and effectively. Why should we expect anything less from Pentax?

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy Pentax/Ricoh has finally said they will provide a "resolution/reduction" and I can totally be patient to their statement that they are still evaluating -- maybe the problem is a lot more complicated to track down and fix than anyone thought -- but keep in mind this is going on like 7 months now.

QuoteOriginally posted by airjames Quote
Glad I could update your numbers, what was it before me? (My name is listed twice btw). I sort of wish I read your thread before I purchased the K3 as I probably would have considered the K5 IIs and kept my K-01 too. I miss it already =( The mirror issue occurred again yesterday right before a possible great shot. I believe this time was the same as before yesterday and is related to the battery being DTSE 2000mah and running below the optimal 2-3 bar. I'm beginning to think it is a power related issue where the battery is not giving enough juice. I will make sure to use ONLY my good 2013 Pentax battery from now on and see how long I can go without this issue.
The highest serial number before was 491XXXX. I did correct the list -- thanks for pointing out you were listed twice.

As for batteries, I'm not convinced it has anything to do with charge levels because often I'd have it happen within 30 or so minutes from putting in a new battery, and I only used genuine Pentax batteries (and another member had it happen with an AC Adaptor). It may be power related, but not related to charge or what types of batteries. If it is indeed power related, it's something in the coding of the K3 itself and how it handles any fluctuation in or interpretation of power, and then how it responds to it.

Last edited by DRabbit; 06-23-2014 at 07:01 AM.
06-23-2014, 07:37 AM   #400
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Son's K-3 crazy mirror problem

My son and I both bought a k-3 about a year ago. His serial # is 4239891 It was purchased new on Ebay. So it was manufactured prior to those listed with this problem so far. The mirror flops from the time you turn it on and with each action or button you push as well as at times continuously until the battery is depleted. It now appears that one battery may be dead, perhaps as the result of the problem. It started while on vacation in India about three weeks ago while on portrait mode, but may have been video. The same problem occurs with a good battery. I did cal pentax who suggested I send it in for repair which I will do in a few days and hope that the problem is resolved.

We both love the K-3 and hope to have many more years of fun with it. I was a previous owner of a Sony Alpha a200 which I also loved for different reasons.
06-23-2014, 07:50 AM   #401
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
I'm not sure where you come up with your numbers that there have been more than 100,000 purchased cameras reported HERE
Using the serial number ranges you stated in the OP (since the final four digits were XXXX there is an upper and lower bound of 9999. My intention, while to acknowledge that PF members are a small sample of all owners of K-3's, is to show that this is NOT a 'recall and replace every camera' scale of problem, as a few posters here have suggested it is. It certainly is a fault; it certainly is an intermittent fault; so far it certainly doesn't seem to affect every user under every condition; and so far apparently Pentax is trying to track it down and amend it.

Unless I don't understand, we do not have the data and facts to accurately contrast the Fuji situation to the Pentax situation.
06-23-2014, 07:54 AM   #402
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Using the serial number ranges you stated in the OP (since the final four digits were XXXX there is an upper and lower bound of 9999. My intention, while to acknowledge that PF members are a small sample of all owners of K-3's, is to show that this is NOT a 'recall and replace every camera' scale of problem, as a few posters here have suggested it is. It certainly is a fault; it certainly is an intermittent fault; so far it certainly doesn't seem to affect every user under every condition; and so far apparently Pentax is trying to track it down and amend it.

Unless I don't understand, we do not have the data and facts to accurately compare the Fuji situation to the Pentax situation.
Yeah, but the serial number range is just that... a range. It means nothing statistically, just that so far, up to 492XXX has been reported to be effected, meaning if you won a camera in the range, you might run into the problem. In other words, it's likely not a "bad batch". The only way to get an accurate percentage is to know how many members here on PF own a K3, and then calculate from there. Without that information, there's no way to know if it indeed effects 10% of K3s or 90% of K3s.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I certainly never suggested a recall & replace strategy. At the end of the day, the only thing I want is that Pentax address people with the problem and fix their camera, and moving forward, stop producing cameras with this problem to begin with.
06-23-2014, 08:15 AM   #403
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I don't think we disagree about anything. We're pretty much saying the same things from different directions. If this was a 90% affected fault (with 60,000+ members) I imagine we'd have many more respondents to the thread. For instance, I've never yet had the problem and I'm in the range.
06-23-2014, 08:26 AM   #404
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I don't think we disagree about anything. We're pretty much saying the same things from different directions. If this was a 90% affected fault (with 60,000+ members) I imagine we'd have many more respondents to the thread. For instance, I've never yet had the problem and I'm in the range.
60,000 members means nothing. That's for all bodies and there's a lot of members here who own many other bodies than the K3. 60,000 members is also over the life of the forum, which goes back at least 8 years, if not more. At any given time, there seems to be no more than 250 members logged in. Even if that amounts to 2000 unique members per day, that's 14,000 in a week (which I doubt is WAY overstating the real numbers), and only a percentage of THOSE would be K3 owners. By the shear fact that the K3 forum itself doesn't have all that many new posts each day, it's pretty obvious at least to me, that the number of K3 owners here is a very small, in fact a teeny-tiny percentage of overall owners in the world.

And here's the problem. Just because you haven't had the problem doesn't mean you won't, so unless Pentax decides to be more transparent about the issue -- which I doubt is going to happen -- we are never going to have the answer. I do think it's fairly wide-spread because I think the chances of me having two K3 bodies with the issue is a pretty remote one if the problem is only isolated to a small percentage. And including me, we have three members who have had it happen with two K3 bodies. I think that's speaks more to how wide-spread the problem might be more than the total numbers of members with the problem. Though I do think that number is significant based on what I know of forums and their traffic in general.

I think we're in agreement, I'm just not willing to minimize the numbers or the problem itself. Being a professional shooter who needs a rock solid camera through thousands of shutter actuations per week, the K3 proved itself not to be that camera. I'm willing to give it a try again and even go through the repair process to see if it works, but I have to wait until I have $1000 to do it...
06-23-2014, 09:27 AM   #405
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I have only one advice for all sufferers: just get yourselves a CaNikony and be merry
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