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03-11-2014, 11:36 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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K3 Crazy Mirror Sickness (Mirror Flapping Lockup) - Report Yours Here!

Let's start a list so we can get a sense of how many people are having the problem, and details that might be helpful.

Here's the rules:

Answer this thread only ONCE... just to report in.
Discussion is happening about the issue in plenty of other threads already. Let's keep this just a list of victims.


Update 4/9/14: I've held off for a long time leaving a negative review on, hoping for a solution from Pentax... but now that this issue has dragged on for months, I really felt it was necessary. Pentax needs to address this issue and not sweep it under the rug. I encourage other users to do the same.

Update 5/21/14
As of May 21, 2014, Ricoh/Pentax seems to finally be acknowledging the problem, though without a fix for it yet. The following posts are replies that users got when they used the Ricoh Support Form to report their issue:


If you've had the mirror-flapping problem yourself, you should report it here and then report it to Ricoh directly. If you are in the USA you can use their web form ( ). If you are in another country, you can look up the contact information here ( ).

Update 6/11/14 - A Fix?
There has been some movement by Pentax/Ricoh that seems to indicate they have a fix for the problem, to "resolve/reduce" (as stated by them) mirror-flapping in the K3. A member (Twino4u) was told to send his K3 in for repair for the mirror-flap issue, and it was indicated to him that it would be a software/base firmware update only a service center could do. I emailed my contact at Pentax USA who confirmed that K3 owners who have the problem can now send their camera in for "repair/adjustment". The exact correspondence seems vague, but it is at least progress in a positive direction. See the link below for the exact correspondence:

- (more discussion of fix)

If anyone who has had the problem sends their camera in for repair and is willing to do some extensive testing to confirm that the issue is indeed fixed, that would be great. I would do it myself, but I don't have a K3 any longer, at least not at this point. If I didn't just come out of the hospital and wasn't anticipating some pretty steep medical bills, I'd buy another just to go through this process myself.

Update 7/10/14 -- Firmware 1.10
Firmware version 1.10 is now available. There was a rumor that firmware released in July would includes a fix for the mirror-flapping problem. There is no specific mention of this, or indication that mirror-flapping/crazy-mirror/runaway-mirror/mirror-overrun has been addressed with firmware 1.10, at least according to the Ricoh/Pentax website. "Improved stability for general performance" may or may not include the mirror-flapping problem. Without significant testing, or official word from Ricoh/Pentax, there's no way to know at this point.

Update 7/17/14 -- Firmware 1.10
There have been a couple of reports of users having the mirror-flapping problem with the latest firmware. There's a separate thread on the issue, but I also encourage users with the problem to include their report here as well, and report it to Ricoh/Pentax!

Update 11/7/14 -- Firmware 1.11
There have still been a couple of reports of users having the mirror-flapping problem with the latest firmware, though it seems as though Ricoh/Pentax has written into their firmware a provision to slow the problem down, or stop the camera all together mid-flapping, as a way to generally minimize mirror-flapping. While this is obviously progress, it is not a solution (in my opinion). At least as far as I'm concerned, I have completely lost faith that Pentax will ever solve this issue completely in the K3. Others can hold out hope for future bodies. I still maintain the opinion that if you want the most reliable Pentax, it's the K5-II or K5-IIs.

As of today, 11/7/14, I will no longer be updating this thread.

- - - - -

When you post about your problem…

Include your serial number and purchase date.

Describe when and how the crazy mirror lockups occurred, and what resolved it.

Include any camera settings and setups you can remember.

Include your firmware version.

- - - - -

Members Reporting the Issue

So far, in the various threads about this issue, between me and Jhmos, we've counted a total of 152 people who have reported having the problem at least once. This is a complete list. The names with stars are the ones that have also reported here in this thread (the ones without stars have reported in one of the other threads linked above). I will update the list as more people reply here.

So far, the issue seems to have been reported in serial numbers ranging anywhere from:
482XXXX to 493XXXX (black bodies)
2573XXX to 2578XXX (silver bodies)

The names with numbers indicate that the user has had more than one K3 body suffer with this problem.

list updated 11/7/14

aaalegre ✭
airjames ✭
Adrian Roman ✭ (version 1.10)
agchang ✭ (2 bodies effected)
audiobomber ✭
aurans ✭
A.Yzerr ✭
BarryE ✭
Barry Pearson ✭
bass3587 ✭
BillO ✭
Black_Wizards ✭
boggytrack ✭
BorisAngelis ✭
bschafer ✭ (still having issue after 1.11 firmware upgrade)
bvanes ✭
Circuits ✭
dadipentak ✭
Darrell Raw ✭ (with firmware 1.10)
dave2k ✭ (post pentax/cris-fix!)
David&karen ✭
DC Cebula ✭
DennisH ✭
dgrPhotos ✭
DimaM81 ✭
distudio ✭
dodel ✭
DRabbit ✭ (2 bodies effected)
DonThomaso ✭
Dougg ✭ (with firmware 1.10)
Dreamsong ✭
Edchristenson ✭
emiliogv ✭
Erd§ ✭
Essdubbya ✭
evansph ✭
fafo13 ✭
fcrespo ✭ (mirror-flapping seems to have caused camera to die completely)
felixkh ✭
fjeril ✭
Flasher ✭
Fussy Pentax User ✭
Geoff Ince ✭
Gerdup ✭
goubejp ✭
gryhnd ✭
gzub ✭
i_trax ✭
IanGD ✭
Ishpuini ✭
isnogud ✭
Jbinpg ✭
jhmos ✭
Joeberrio ✭
johnmflores ✭
karro ✭
Keebler ✭
K10DK7 ✭
Knotmetoo ✭
lambros ✭
Idnarb ✭
Leooel ✭
lightsource ✭
LimitedFan ✭
Mallee Boy ✭
mamethot ✭ (mirror-flapping seems to have caused debris to get stuck in viewfinder and on sensor)
mario_tr ✭
Martin_C ✭
MetteHHH ✭
mille19 ✭
Mutters ✭
NicoleC ✭
normhead ✭
Nostrildamus ✭
nottsdavid ✭
OJGoreng ✭
PALADIN85020 ✭
Paul the Sunman ✭
PaulR100 ✭
pearsaab ✭
PentaxCats ✭
Peter Budd ✭
peterh337 ✭
philbaum ✭
phreon ✭
pinbalwyz ✭ (mirror-flapping seems to have caused debris on sensor that cannot be removed)
Poit ✭
Prieni ✭
ric83 ✭
RickC ✭
riseform ✭
Rite ✭
Rockville Bob ✭
rodeknyt ✭
Rondec ✭
rutster ✭ (2 bodies effected)
s76 ✭
Scotchman ✭
shiner ✭ (with version 1.11)
Sigmund ✭
slartibartfast ✭
Stagnant ✭
SteveUK (with firmware 1.10)
tabl10s ✭
Tapio Kekkonen ✭ (3 bodies effected)
TheBlindHog ✭
Thomas Backa
Tittan ✭
Tjompen1968 ✭
tram57 ✭
troenaas ✭ (body died a week later - possibly related, possibly not)
umber ✭
unearthimages ✭
unkipunki ✭
va5ja ✭
vrolok ✭ (with version 1.10)
walter ✭
Wired ✭
wpompen ✭
YankeeDan ✭
Znapper (with firmware 1.10)

- - - - -

My report:

I Have Had Two K3s with The Issue.

K3 #1 was purchased in November, 2013.
K3 #2 was received from local retailer as exchange for first, in February, 2014. Serial #4859575

Crazy Mirror Sickness Occurred:

Problem has been a recurring one for me, when I shoot time-lapse photography. Has happened more times than I can count now.
Popping battery out stops the crazy mirror flapping.
Sometimes turning it on and off multiple times stops it.

Typical Settings/Setup When it Happens:

1 or 2 SD cards in the camera.
It has happened with several different brands SD cards.
Av or M mode
Interval of 3 or 4 seconds for 500-700 shots.
Shake Reduction Off (though has happened with it on)
Outdoors and Indoors
10ºF to 50ºF+
No battery grip. All genuine pentax batteries. Has happened with various batteries from old to new.
Has happened using Live View and not using Live View
WB typically set to "daylight"
JPG usually at Medium or Small
Focus is AF.S Select or Spot, but I switch to Manual before I start the time-lapse.

Crazy-Ass Mirror Sickness (CAMS) looks like this (second half of video):

Last edited by DRabbit; 11-07-2014 at 07:45 AM.
03-12-2014, 01:08 AM   #2
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OK, Amy. Here is my data:

My K-3 info: manufacture date - 20131012
serial number - 4830407

1) Mirror flutter near end of December when I had catastrophic loss of external power (cable break) while doing astrophotography at -20C temperature. Firmware v1.01.

2) Feb 12, 2014 - Tried to replicate mirror flutter using your settings. 500 frame run with one frame every 3 seconds. Outside with K-3 on tripod ambient temperature -1 to -4 C. Body battery plus grip with battery. First two runs perfect. 3rd run mirror flutter at frame 219.

3) Feb 12, 2014 - Moved setup inside. K-3 on tripod. Temperature +19C. Removed SD1 leaving SD2 in body. Wanted to remove body battery and grip battery and run off just AC adapter but found that interval settings would be reset after the first frame if body battery was absent so had to replace body battery. Sounds like a (related?) bug here. Removed grip though. So had AC adapter and body battery powering camera. 4th run of the day got to frame 256 then mirror flutter. 5th run moved card to SD1 and repeated. 500 perfect frames. 6th run replaced SD2 so running with 2 SD cards. 500 perfect frames. Just to confirm - last 3 runs were on body battery + AC adapter. Firmware v1.02

Perhaps there is an intermittent electrical fault in the power supply somewhere.


Last edited by jbinpg; 03-12-2014 at 01:14 AM.
03-12-2014, 05:51 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Bah... No need to measure and track those... Just stick on a thermometer and observe the temperature.. LoL!
That should reveal a thing or two...
03-12-2014, 05:52 AM   #4
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I've had mirror hangup problems shooting HDR panoramas in live view. Using 5 exposure bracketing. On occasions the camera locks and I need to fiddle with the shutter release release to get the mirror back into position and live view to re-appear. It clearly is a shutter/mirror issue.

03-12-2014, 08:07 AM   #5
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K3, S/N 4830448274208, purchased from Henry's in Canada, October 31, 2013.

Runaway mirror occurred once, in early January. The camera was looked at by Pentax Canada, unable to reproduce fault, firmware upgraded to 1.02 and returned to me. I have since upgraded to 1.03, No further incidents since the camera came back.

Settings/Setup When it Happened:

2 SD cards in the camera, 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro 95mb/s, 16GB Panasonic Gold.
Raw+ (raw on Sandisk, jpeg on Panasonic)
TAv mode (User Mode 1, setfor action shooting)
Shake Reduction Off
Outdoors, -17C, camera had reached ambient temperatures after a significant hike
No battery grip. Third-party battery, partially discharged.
AF-C, 27-point expandable focus
Auto WB, auto ISO, matrix metering

The camera was set for Hi-speed continuous burst. The runaway mirror flop started when I raised the camera for the first shot of the day. It stopped when I opened the battery compartment. I then tried single shot and video mode with the same result, runaway mirror flop, no image recorded. I should have pulled the battery to reset, or better yet changed the battery, but it did not occur to me at the time.
03-12-2014, 08:39 AM   #6
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OK, here is mine, mostly copied from a post a month ago but with extra data I extracted using exiftool 9.54. Unfortunately I didn't record exactly which frame it occurred after.
It would be useful to get battery voltages and temperature from the EXIF data in a relevant image file, if you can.
It's worth noting that last month I counted 37 unique usernames in the above threads that had experienced this problem, and there have been a few more since.

Firmware V1.01.
  • Power (low or non-Pentax batteries?)
    There is a %50 chance it was a non-Pentax battery. Interestingly the battery voltage changed in the space of 40 seconds between frames from
    Power Source : Body Battery
    Body Battery State : Close to Full
    Body Battery Voltage 1 : 6.56 V
    Body Battery Voltage 2 : 6.33 V
    Camera Temperature : 25 C
    Camera Temperature 2 : 29.0 C
    Camera Temperature 3 : 29.0 C
    Body Battery State : Running Low
    Body Battery Voltage 1 : 6.32 V
    Body Battery Voltage 2 : 6.10 V
    Camera Temperature : 25 C
    Camera Temperature 2 : 30.2 C
    Camera Temperature 3 : 30.2 C

  • Memory card
    Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB
  • Logged errors or error messages
    Don't recall in error messages.
  • Bad images before/after stutter
  • Drive mode
    Manual Focus. Drive mode: 2 second timer.
  • Lens mounted
  • Live view vs. viewfinder
    I think Live view.
  • # of shutter cycles per session before it crops up
    In my case, maybe 10-20 single shots.
  • General use patterns (high #'s per session, cold, humidity)
    Aprox 24C and %50 humidity.
  • Shutter count
    About 5300, I didn't record exactly which frame to fault occured.
  • Serial numbers (body and battery)
    4860588, Pentax battery 201308
  • Mirror up during shutter stutter
  • Mirror down during shutter stutter
  • Mirror flips with each stutter (i.e. normal mirror/shutter cycle)
    Normal cycle.
  • Damage or part failure in mirror box/aperture coupling
    Not as far as I know
  • Other problems noted at the same time
    Not that I recall
  • Actions to remedy
    Switched off camera, and when that didn't immediately stop the fault, opened battery compartment, but fault stopped before I removed the battery.

Last edited by jhmos; 03-13-2014 at 08:14 PM.
03-12-2014, 06:43 PM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 29
Camera information:
K3 - purchased December, 2013.
Serial #: 4851756

Crazy Mirror Sickness Occurred:

It's been a recurring problem, becoming moreso apparent to me recently.

I don't generally shoot any timelapse photography, but I've had the problem (in addition to unresponsive camera lockup) happen just during normal shooting.


I've had it happen so far with base firmware, and every single updated firmware released to date (v1.03)

1 or 2 SD cards (2x Sandisk Extreme 32gb 45/s, Sandisk 16gb, Lexar 32gb, and a Transcend 16gb) in nearly any combination (haven't tried all possible combinations of cards).

Av, Tv, or M modes are all I generally shoot in, and it occurs in all of those.

Shake Reduction I generally keep on, though I've had it off a few times on a tripod and it occurs as well.

Outdoors and Indoors

25ºF to 75ºF+

I've had the problem occur most frequently when the battery grip was connected. It occured both with standard AA batteries, and with the pentax genuine battery. It also occurs without the grip attached. I've only ever used genuine pentax batteries when shooting body-only.

Has happened using Live View and not using Live View.

WB generally set to "Auto"

Format is always set to RAW

I've had the issue arise in AF.S and AF.C, I don't use AF.A often enough to track any incidents.

I generally seem to trigger the problem while the camera is in M.UP, Continuous H, or Remote (3s)

In addition to the crazy mirror, I seem to have an odd issue with my LCD screen unpredictably during the lockup. Here's a video showcasing that:

Last edited by A.Yzerr; 03-12-2014 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Added video link
03-12-2014, 07:18 PM   #8
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 111
I have reproduced the fault under 1.03:

Didn't take long, 1678 shots. I also did 1000 shots yesterday without fault before I decided to upgrade from V1.02. I also decided to change to one of the prime lenses Amy used, in case it made any difference. Tried to make camera settings close to what Amy reported.
The other thing is I deliberately did is not charge the battery beforehand. It had taken over 1000 frames the day before.
Same camera as my first report, SN 4860588.

The values for Battery and temperature extracted by exiftool (version 9.54) were:
First frame of first interval session
Body Battery State : Full
Body Battery Voltage 1 : 6.76 V
Body Battery Voltage 2 : 6.54 V
Camera Temperature : 21 C
Camera Temperature 2 : 22.0 C
Camera Temperature 3 : 22.0 C
Last Frame recorded before lockup:
Body Battery State : Running Low
Body Battery Voltage 1 : 6.42 V
Body Battery Voltage 2 : 6.21 V
Camera Temperature : 27 C
Camera Temperature 2 : 31.8 C
Camera Temperature 3 : 31.8 C
I am going to repeat this with a fully charged battery each 500 shots to see if that makes any difference.

Attached is the image to supply all the exif data

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-3  Photo 

Last edited by jhmos; 03-13-2014 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Added video and image with all EXIF data
03-13-2014, 06:05 AM   #9
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Posts: 29
I have had the mirror flapsterbation error twice.

The first time was after about 500 frames. The battery was fully charged at this time.

The second time was after about 10000 frames. The battery was at about 50%.

Both times, the only thing that stopped the flapsterbation was to remove the battery.

I'm on Firmware version 1.01

Bought mine at release. Serial number 4829970.
03-13-2014, 06:31 AM   #10
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Location: Cary
Posts: 59
My experience:

Date: Feb 7, 2014
Camera Purchased: October 2013 (received 11/6/2013)
Camera Serial #: 4829943
Shutter count: at time of event about 1100
Firmware: 1.02
Environment: Taking shots of birds through windows, normal daylight
Settings: Live View, TAV
Battery(ies): both a Pentax in body and non-OEM battery in grip. Battery indicators showed full charge.
What happened: Screen went black during live view. All controls froze. Turning camera off did nothing. Only removing the battery fixed it. When I put the battery back one showed full charge the other had "one bar" remaining. Don't recall having the problem with the K-5. This NOT a nice feature! I am unable to reproduce this at will.

UPDATE: I only had the "machine gunning" on that one day. Several times, mind you but just the one day. No subsequent occurences.
03-13-2014, 06:50 AM   #11
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Location: Edmonton, AB
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Posts: 2,519
Occurrence: Jan 11, 2014
Firmware: 1.0
Purchase date: Oct 31, 2013 in Canada
serial: 4833940
shutter count? no clue

OEM battery was freshly charged, and this was probably within the first 15 shots of the day.
2 SD cards loaded, one Sandisc Extreme Pro 32GB, one Eye-Fi Pro 16gb. JPG to Eye-fi, RAW to Sandisc. both cards were empty before the day began

exterior temp was around -10 Celsius. camera was in this condition for maybe 10 minutes.

in manual mode, manual iso, auto focus single point, high-speed drive mode, was using viewfinder

took two or three shots, then the shutter just started firing rapidly with no signs of stopping, shutting camera off did not stop the shutter. pulled battery, waited 10 seconds, reinstalled. issue has not re-occurred ever since.

battery level was not affected. no shots recorded.
03-13-2014, 07:03 AM   #12
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Not sure about my serial number, but it has happened twice -- rapid shutter firing, followed by a freeze up. Both times it happened with low battery levels. It has not happened in the last month, for what it is worth.
03-13-2014, 07:07 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Martin_C Quote
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.
This is the issue I originally reported in another thread and on DPreview. Furthermore, about a week after experiencing this phenomena, the camera would randomly "freeze" while scrolling through the menu system. It would be completely stuck. I couldn't take pictures, it wouldn't auto-focus, etc. I had to turn the camera off/on to wake it up.

I've since returned it. I'm now on my third K-3. First one had auto-focus issues that I could replicate on any lens. The second one had the issues I just described. The third one has been good so far.

I hope Ricoh is listening. If the K-5 had similar problems (as stated by the Ricoh tech), they should have enough data to get to the root cause. Not sure If I still have the serial # but I'll check tonight.
03-13-2014, 08:40 AM   #14
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Shutter Flutter Panic using BG-5 Battery Grip On Low Battery

K3 died on me

K-3 failure - couldn't stop the mirror flapping up and down

Last edited by Rite; 03-13-2014 at 10:55 AM.
03-13-2014, 08:42 AM   #15
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Posts: 25
Sex weeks ago: It was about -18C. I had two batteries with me, one Pentax and one Hähnel. I had taken pictures one hour when it first happens. First battery, Hähnel, was not even half way down when shutter kept firing until I opened battery compartment. It did that three times when repeated. Then I switched battery to Pentax, and same result. All the time I used AV-mode, AF with single spot and single shot. Lenses were DA70 and Samyang 14mm.

Then I put camera under my jacket for 10 minutes. I allowed me to take pictures for one minute before it repeated to act like machine gun.

K5 never did that. My K3 is firmware 1.01. That was first time though I was taken pictures at cold temperature before.

Two weeks ago (and firmware 1.02): It was about -3C. I had fully charged battery (Hähnel) in. About 30 frames ok, but then it did it. Now shutter kept firing but only about four seconds when it stopped itself when I turn camera off. After that, no problem at all. Lens was Samyang 14mm.

Serial number 4828573. Purchase date 26.11.2013.

Tomorrow morning I'll test fully charged battery (both Pentax and Hähnel). Let's see what happens.


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