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07-21-2014, 10:45 PM   #481
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Hi guys. I didn't know this topic exists. Happened to me too. I thought it was just a glitch or something.
I was doing a time lapse a couple of days ago on the balcony. The angle of the camera was slightly downwards.
After like 30 mins or so the camera just went crazy with the mirror flapping. I tried to pull out the battery as quickly as possible but as soon as I turned the camera around to reach the battery socket the flapping stopped. So maybe it has something to do with the gyroscope.

I bought the camera early November 2013.
FW: v1.03
Mode: Manual
Battery: 1 in unit, no grip.
First occurrence for me.
SN: 4829531


Last edited by va5ja; 07-21-2014 at 11:13 PM. Reason: More camera info
07-22-2014, 06:46 AM   #482
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Well, now i can officially say both of my new K3's have the run away (Flapping) mirror issue. So add two more cameras to the list. First body did it when i had a battery grip on and two batteries in. It took me a minute to get the grip off and the battery out of the body. I switched to using the second body as my primary while i waited for a chance where i could send off the first body. Friday night the second body did it. Since the first time, i haven't been keeping a battery in the body, just the grip, so i stopped it real quick by releasing the battery.
Looks like both my cameras need to go into repair.... I'm not very happy about being a beta tester with the new cameras, and having to waste my time sending them in for a "fix" that may or may not fix the problem.

Serial Numbers added: Body #1 4925707 / Body #2 4920542

Last edited by rutster; 07-22-2014 at 08:04 AM. Reason: Added Serial Numbers
07-22-2014, 06:55 AM   #483
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QuoteOriginally posted by asharpe Quote
So, it occurs to me (having never had the problem) that if you used a grip and an L bracket, and the solution is to remove the battery to stop the mirror from flapping, and you need to remove the in-camera battery, that could take some time. Or, can you simply turn the grip off, and it is sufficient to stop the behavior?
Good question... I don't have an answer since I never used to grip.

QuoteOriginally posted by va5ja Quote
Hi guys. I didn't know this topic exists. Happened to me too. I thought it was just a glitch or something.
I was doing a time lapse a couple of days ago on the balcony. The angle of the camera was slightly downwards.
After like 30 mins or so the camera just went crazy with the mirror flapping. I tried to pull out the battery as quickly as possible but as soon as I turned the camera around to reach the battery socket the flapping stopped. So maybe it has something to do with the gyroscope.

I bought the camera early November 2013.
FW: v1.03
Mode: Manual
Battery: 1 in unit, no grip.
First occurrence for me.
SN: 4829531
Sorry to hear you ran into the issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by rutster Quote
Well, now i can officially say both of my new K3's have the run away (Flapping) mirror issue. So add two more cameras to the list. First body did it when i had a battery grip on and two batteries in. It took me a minute to get the grip off and the battery out of the body. I switched to using the second body as my primary while i waited for a chance where i could send off the first body. Friday night the second body did it. Since the first time, i haven't been keeping a battery in the body, just the grip, so i stopped it real quick by releasing the battery.
Looks like both my cameras need to go into repair.... I'm not very happy about being a beta tester with the new cameras, and having to waste my time sending them in for a "fix" that may or may not fix the problem.
Sorry you also ran into the issue Rutster... could you by chance share the serial numbers for both cameras?
07-22-2014, 07:20 PM   #484
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K-3 In Japan

I bought my k-3 here in Japan in March. No problem yet. I'm curious if there is a batch or time period of manufacturing in which this problem occurs. Curious if any other owners in Japan have experienced it and if so, where they sent their camera in for repair. Navigating this issue is one problem. Navigating it in Japanese is rather intimidating for me with my limited ability.

07-25-2014, 05:23 AM   #485
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4832574. Happened 3x now. I can't recall any settings, but thought I'd mention it. Was told by the pentax rep that the firmware was a fix. Updated to v1.1 today and am saddened to hear others still are having this issue with this firmware! I'll certainly pay attention to settings and usage conditions if it happens again.
07-25-2014, 01:29 PM   #486
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Over days of intensive shooting on K'gari (Paradise) with the new firmware there's been no flapping.

Maybe the K3 responds to owner stress
07-26-2014, 06:11 AM   #487
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S/N 4916745 purchased May 2014. Firmware 1.03

I have had the problem twice. First time was in the first couple of weeks after only 2 or 3 hundred frames. I can't remember the settings but I wasn't doing time lapse or anything odd and it had the supplied Pentax battery.

It happened again taking some butterfly photos on a warm sunny day this week.

TAv, AF.S - spot, Single Frame shooting. OEM battery 90% charged. Pentax FLU card with Wi Fi off (but that's another story)

Both times the flapping stopped while I was trying to remove the battery after switching off had no effect.

It's rather worrying and now I notice that there is a spot on the sensor that dust removal is not shifting (is there a connection?).
07-26-2014, 08:28 AM - 1 Like   #488
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Firmware 1.10 so far no mirror since updated on release - bet I'll get one soon ... ( I did have a lock-up - reported above).

There have been reports of Ricoh reps saying that 1.10 has fixed the problem, whereas it evidently has not.

Having worked my career in hardware and software development, I can recall numerous occasions where a rare intermittent fault, can never fully be identified. Add into the mix component variations, and what has to be done is to add code to reduce areas where there may be problems; include diagnostic code and iteratively work towards a position where failures are extremely infrequent. Obviously if the environment in military/medical etc, this approach is not acceptable, but for consumer products it probably is where the cost of development is many factors less.

So the reps' statements are probably not quite accurate, but they probably imply that the stability fixes being applied are expected to be reducing the problem.

I don't need reminding myself that the K-3 is a fantastic camera when I see the results. Using it with the wonderful small primes makes a combination that 'd be surprised if it could be bettered for cost, IQ and weight/balance.

07-27-2014, 06:17 AM - 1 Like   #489
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
I don't need reminding myself that the K-3 is a fantastic camera when I see the results. Using it with the wonderful small primes makes a combination that 'd be surprised if it could be bettered for cost, IQ and weight/balance.
Barry, I understand where your coming from. I had a 35 year career in IT with the last 9 years as VP of development then VP of support for a major software company. All the sh!t landed on my desk.

However, your final comment is not very comforting if the thing eats itself after a couple of years.

It needs to be fixed even though this is only a consumer product as it's not so low in cost that it can be considered disposable. Some respect needs to be paid to the sometimes very hard earned money that individuals part with for these products.

Look at it this way. Some folks will put in hundreds of extra hours, scrimping and saving to eke together $1000 dollars for a hobby. They may go through considerable ordeals in attaining that goal. In the end though, that has all been converted to pure equity. The money. That $1000 will work as well as any other $1000 when given to a company like Richo. It wont fail, it wont mirror flap, or lock up. It will do it's job. It is incumbent on RIcho to ensure that the product they trade for that $1000 is just as functional.

A lot of companies these days seem to miss that point or ignore it in favor of their executives driving nice cars.
07-27-2014, 09:32 AM   #490
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
There have been reports of Ricoh reps saying that 1.10 has fixed the problem, whereas it evidently has not.

Having worked my career in hardware and software development, I can recall numerous occasions where a rare intermittent fault, can never fully be identified.
Hey, not to be argumentative, but this is part of where my problem lies with Pentax/Ricoh. For me, with two bodies, the problem was not rare or intermittent. It was actually rare for me NOT to run into the problem. As long as I activated the shutter at least 4000-5000 times in a day (doing time-lapse), I would almost certainly have the mirror-flapping occur... like nearly 95% of the time. This was true through two K3 bodies.

AND, much more frustratingly, I was in touch with Pentax directly through this time. At nearly every time-lapse shoot I went (at least one per week), I would report to them that I had the problem occur AGAIN. So they easily had access to my cameras and information. I wanted them to fix this problem. They never requested I send my K3 in to them when they approved the first exchange (through a local retailer). When the second body had the identical problem, they never requested that one back either. When I finally got approval to return the second one, I offered to keep testing as long as they would let me hold onto the K3 body to do so even after giving me the monetary credit, but they didn't want to do that. I would have easily let them hold onto a credit card number if they wanted insurance.

So, my point is, if you run the K3 heavily, I think it's rather simple to reproduce the problem. When the company has access to someone willing to do heavy testing in the real world and report back, they should take them up on it as much as possible.

People who don't use their K3 heavily, obviously, don't want to push their camera to reproduce the problem, and I don't blame them. But people who do, heavy users in the pro and amateur arena alike, could easily run into the mirror-flapping... and not intermittently at all. The heavier the use, the more likely to run into the issue.

I realize my shooting situation is unique, and I ran into the problem a whole lot more than most people ever will... but that doesn't make it an insignificant issue. It will keep me from buying a K3 again until I know it's fixed for sure... not through rumors and misinformation. At this point I'm exploring other brands because I think it's sad that the Q10 was able to run for 12000 shutter actuations in one day without a glitch... and that the multiple K5-II and IIs bodies I've shot thousands and thousands of shots with could be so rock solid, but I couldn't expect the same from two most current, expensive, "flagship" K3s.

Pentax/Ricoh and many of you at this point want me to go away, and likely that will happen eventually (yes, I heard some of you cheering LOL). But when it does it will be because I finally gave up on Pentax completely and switched to another brand. It won't come down to who produces the better camera because I'm not stupid... I realize that cameras aren't perfect... it will come down to their inability or lack of desire to be transparent about the issue. I can't have faith in a company that won't address its most avid of fans, (except behind the scenes in dark corners). And believe it or not, I'm one of the biggest Pentax fans you could meet.

Last edited by DRabbit; 07-27-2014 at 09:38 AM.
07-27-2014, 12:59 PM   #491
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QuoteOriginally posted by DRabbit Quote
Hey, not to be argumentative, but this is part of where my problem lies with Pentax/Ricoh. For me, with two bodies, the problem was not rare or intermittent. It was actually rare for me NOT to run into the problem. As long as I activated the shutter at least 4000-5000 times in a day (doing time-lapse), I would almost certainly have the mirror-flapping occur... like nearly 95% of the time. This was true through two K3 bodies.

AND, much more frustratingly, I was in touch with Pentax directly through this time. At nearly every time-lapse shoot I went (at least one per week), I would report to them that I had the problem occur AGAIN. So they easily had access to my cameras and information. I wanted them to fix this problem. They never requested I send my K3 in to them when they approved the first exchange (through a local retailer). When the second body had the identical problem, they never requested that one back either. When I finally got approval to return the second one, I offered to keep testing as long as they would let me hold onto the K3 body to do so even after giving me the monetary credit, but they didn't want to do that. I would have easily let them hold onto a credit card number if they wanted insurance.
It seems to me Pentax has long been a very Japan-centric company, and that legacy is today their greatest weakness in what has become a global market (the market for enthusiast cameras, I mean). I don't believe Pentax (Japan) considers you and me to be their customers. Rather, we are customers of PRIAC and any and all issues from PRIAC customers are up to PRIAC to resolve. Yet there is no effective feedback mechanism by which PRIAC can engage Pentax (Japan) in substantive discussion of QA, let alone design or engineering, etc. Else why would we repeatedly hear "we haven't heard back from Japan on that issue" months after problems first surface?

Consider also that Pentax USA's own product manager, when he used to post on PF, demonstrated quite convincingly on multiple occasions that his technical understanding of Pentax cameras was at least a notch below many PF members'. And that under Hoya, one of their executives said something to the effect that yes they do sell to the USA but it was very inconvenient for them to do so (wish I could find the quoted interview). Pentax (Japan) views foreign markets as just that. The rest of the industry has a global market. And in any case, Pentax USA does not have the technical expertise to engage Pentax (Japan) on QA issues, let alone design or engineering.

I was hopeful that Ricoh's ownership would change the situation when they moved leadership of Pentax USA as PRIAC to one of the Japan executives (with Malcolm as V.P.), but I haven't seen any sign of change in that regard. I think Pentax/Ricoh is stuck in a decades-old Japan-centric view of commerce and are thereby oblivious to how many users of Pentax gear perceive their products.

So though you were directly in touch with Pentax/Ricoh, you really weren't. Not with the Pentax/Ricoh that has any ability to effectively address your issue. It's not your fault, nor even PRIA's fault, but the fault of Pentax (Japan)'s organizational structure.

I believe Pentax/Ricoh's stature 10 years from now will be determined not by megapixels or fps or number of autofocus points, but by their ability to transform from a Japan-centric company to one which embraces a global market.

To be fair, Nikon's responsiveness to issues with their "consumer" products is even worse than Pentax's from what I've read, but the pro-gear segment must surely be better.
07-27-2014, 01:10 PM   #492
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Fair points made from my earlier post. However, I'd be interested to know what the current failure rate is now after 1.10 - is it as easy to force a failure ? If it's improved then this is not ideal, but my conjecture was that the 'fix' would likely to be iterative. Obviously ignoring help from anyone to solve this problem might be considered arrogant/poor pr/... or whatever - this surely counts against Ricoh. There's clearly grounds for improvement from the company.

Anyone know how Canon or Nikon have handled similar problems ? Or maybe, if they've occurred, from the smaller/specialist manufatureres - I suspect the main players have behaved rather similarly ...
07-27-2014, 06:28 PM   #493
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Fair points made from my earlier post. However, I'd be interested to know what the current failure rate is now after 1.10 - is it as easy to force a failure ? If it's improved then this is not ideal, but my conjecture was that the 'fix' would likely to be iterative. Obviously ignoring help from anyone to solve this problem might be considered arrogant/poor pr/... or whatever - this surely counts against Ricoh. There's clearly grounds for improvement from the company.

Anyone know how Canon or Nikon have handled similar problems ? Or maybe, if they've occurred, from the smaller/specialist manufatureres - I suspect the main players have behaved rather similarly ...
Very seldom happens that an entire run goes back to be replaced.

Often it's about a certain range of serial numbers, and in case of big manufacturers, the number of units are rather big. In case of Pentax, the batches they produce are small.
Quite more often is the case that each case of malfunction is solved on an individual basis because there is no ground for a wide scale action. Why?

It is common sense: mind you, not a single manufacturer wants to make a bad product. It is contrary to common sense. They all want to minimise cost, minimise problems and harms. And because of that, problems that may occur are in most cases such problems that are not symptomatic to all cameras in the product line, but only to some, and in some particular cases of use.

This K-3 problems is exactly one of such problems that is rare, and happens in certain circumstances only, and not in all cameras. As such, it is solved on an individual basis, as the pattern for the appearance of the problem is hard to establish without user's cooperation. So when Ricoh Imaging is stating they are onto it, it means that they will do their best to establish the pattern and minimise the risk for future batches of cameras. Say, if the problem is a combination of certain hardware and software interaction, they will do their best to issue a software patch based on current knowledge of the successful treatment of the issue, to minimise problems for some cameras out there. Still, some cameras may exhibit some issues despite the patch, because of other variables in the chain.

The K-3 is a well-designed camera, and is undoubtedly well-tested before manufacture. The rate of occurrence of this issue shows it is not a design flaw, but rather a conditional occurrence, that will most likely not happen to you in everyday use of camera. But if it happens, it will be solved, and your warranty covers it.

Now when Ricoh Imaging has more feedback from its users, and the pattern of the issue is established more clearly, it is very likely the issue will be solved once and for all in future batches. But the issue must be clearly defined, or they run into another problem; solving one problem, but incurring a whole new problem. For example, one would say, just redesign the mirror mechanism; that'' fix it. Or change all internal thermal sensors. Etc. But that is wrong decision. A forced solution may fix the mirror-flop, but it may implant an all new set of variables and new unforeseen problems.

Last edited by Uluru; 07-27-2014 at 06:36 PM.
07-28-2014, 08:37 AM   #494
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QuoteOriginally posted by Uluru Quote
The K-3 is a well-designed camera, and is undoubtedly well-tested before manufacture. The rate of occurrence of this issue shows it is not a design flaw, but rather a conditional occurrence, that will most likely not happen to you in everyday use of camera. But if it happens, it will be solved, and your warranty covers it.

Now when Ricoh Imaging has more feedback from its users, and the pattern of the issue is established more clearly, it is very likely the issue will be solved once and for all in future batches. But the issue must be clearly defined, or they run into another problem; solving one problem, but incurring a whole new problem. For example, one would say, just redesign the mirror mechanism; that'' fix it. Or change all internal thermal sensors. Etc. But that is wrong decision. A forced solution may fix the mirror-flop, but it may implant an all new set of variables and new unforeseen problems.
Considering this problem has been going on in several of their bodies over the course of years, and based on the fact the K5-II and K5-IIs don't seem to suffer it, I just can't agree with you. Based on the fact they had a user who was very willing to communicate by phone or email and test aggressively and extensively, but they gave up on that opportunity, nor ask for those specific bodies be sent back directly to them, I really can't agree at all. I think they may have "reduced" the problem (as their own correspondence suggested), via warranty repair (not firmware) and that may be it. They may simply just choose to move on to the next body, and try to make sure it doesn't occur there. Of course, by not ever addressing it publicly, we'll never know.


QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Anyone know how Canon or Nikon have handled similar problems ? Or maybe, if they've occurred, from the smaller/specialist manufatureres - I suspect the main players have behaved rather similarly ...
I think it would be fair to compare them to Fuji more accurately, since they are no where near the size of Canon or Nikon. Fuji addresses problems, publicly and individually. With their sticky aperture problem and with their light leak problem, both issues seemed to be research and fixed in a short period of time, and then were addressed with users quickly via warranty repairs. They seem to repair issues quickly, and my experience with they warranty department was excellent. Turn-around time was like two weeks. I can't say the same for Pentax. Even a flat out replacement, when they knew they'd be replacing a lens ahead of time, took MONTHS.. .which lets face it, is quite ridiculous. Warranty repair, at least in the USA, is not a place where Pentax shines.
07-28-2014, 11:42 PM   #495
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Ricoh BS

More than 1 person has purchased 2 or more K3's and found the mirror flap problem in both. Ricoh is not trying to isolate the problem. They're stone walling it. Anyone plagued with this problem deserves a NEW unit because the manufacturing defect existed ab initio. They won't get it, of course, from Ricoh. All hi-tech manufactured electronic goods will experience a % of defects. Those can be corrected. What cannot be corrected is a company without the commitment to its customers they deserve. That's a character problem not easily resolved.
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