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03-26-2014, 12:14 AM   #1
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K3 shutter rattling when battery low

Mine has just started doing this.

A freshly charged Hahnel battery, about 10 pics taken, and it is showing just 1 bar on the battery status and it locks itself into a mode where the shutter is operating at about 20Hz, and cannot be stopped other than by removing the battery, or by moving the on/off switch to the last (spring loaded) position and back.

I am now recharging the original battery and will see if it re-occurs, but surely a camera should not behave like this.

The other thing I noticed just before that was that it simply refused to respond to the shutter. I was taking pics of a very simple outdoor landscape scene and it was as if it could not focus on anything...

03-26-2014, 12:20 AM   #2
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This sounds like another case of the 'runaway shutter problem' Peter, there are many threads around this place that talk about it. Many theories as to why it happens, but as far as I know, no definite answers.
03-26-2014, 12:32 AM   #3
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A third party battery at low voltage certainly isn't helping, but yes this problem has been reported by others as well.

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03-26-2014, 12:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
A third party battery at low voltage certainly isn't helping, but yes this problem has been reported by others as well.
As an electronics engineer I can guess at what is happening: the shutter operates, the supply voltage dips, the processor crashes, and the cycle repeats... My Nokia 808 had the same issue in low signal areas when doing HSPA/3G data transfers which need a lot of battery power intermittently (a widespread issue with those).

But the K5 never did this, nor the K200, nor the K100, nor the IST-DL...

They need a capacitor in there which is big enough to guarantee the complete shutter operation.

03-26-2014, 02:17 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
As an electronics engineer I can guess at what is happening: the shutter operates, the supply voltage dips, the processor crashes, and the cycle repeats... My Nokia 808 had the same issue in low signal areas when doing HSPA/3G data transfers which need a lot of battery power intermittently (a widespread issue with those).

But the K5 never did this, nor the K200, nor the K100, nor the IST-DL...

They need a capacitor in there which is big enough to guarantee the complete shutter operation.
That could be one issue, as the K-3's power specs seem to have changed over those of the K-3 (hence the need for a new battery grip model).

The other problem is that third-party batteries often don't deliver the advertised voltage/capacity, and the specs aren't the same as the OEM specs to begin with.

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03-26-2014, 02:22 AM   #6
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The battery I used is actually better than the Pentax one - it's not the typical Ebay / Amazon fake/clone. But we will see what happens with the Pentax battery.
03-26-2014, 04:08 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
The battery I used is actually better than the Pentax one - it's not the typical Ebay / Amazon fake/clone. But we will see what happens with the Pentax battery.
If it drops to one bar after 10 pictures, it is certainly not better than the Pentax one !!!
03-26-2014, 04:50 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
The battery I used is actually better than the Pentax one - it's not the typical Ebay / Amazon fake/clone. But we will see what happens with the Pentax battery.
By what measure? mAh is not the only measure of a battery you know. If it can't keep the same voltage at all charge levels and loads* as the original it's probably not better if the product it's used in is as voltage sensitive as the K-3 seems to be.

Edited: *Load is probably the greater influence on output voltage in this case.


Last edited by bengibollen; 03-26-2014 at 05:38 AM.
03-26-2014, 08:37 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
The battery I used is actually better than the Pentax one - it's not the typical Ebay / Amazon fake/clone. But we will see what happens with the Pentax battery.
My experience has been that claims for aftermarket battery capacity are much overstated.


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03-26-2014, 09:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Mine has just started doing this.

A freshly charged Hahnel battery, about 10 pics taken, and it is showing just 1 bar on the battery status and it locks itself into a mode where the shutter is operating at about 20Hz, and cannot be stopped other than by removing the battery, or by moving the on/off switch to the last (spring loaded) position and back.

I am now recharging the original battery and will see if it re-occurs, but surely a camera should not behave like this.

The other thing I noticed just before that was that it simply refused to respond to the shutter. I was taking pics of a very simple outdoor landscape scene and it was as if it could not focus on anything...
Not sure what you mean by "rattling", but if the mirror is flapping continuously at a high rate of speed, you might want to read this thread and report your problem there too… I've got the ear of Pentax right now, so it's helpful…
There's a video too, so you can see if that's what you are experiencing (make sure to watch the second-half of the video).

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/254464-k3-crazy-mirror-sic...ours-here.html

If it's the same issue, using an aftermarket battery, at least in theory, shouldn't matter. It's happened to people who use only genuine Pentax batteries and people who have used 3rd party batteries alike.
03-26-2014, 10:50 AM   #11
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Yes - exactly as per the video.
03-26-2014, 10:57 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Yes - exactly as per the video.
Sorry to hear it
03-26-2014, 11:08 AM   #13
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Presumably the best thing is to get the camera swapped under warranty in a few months' time, allowing Pentax time to fix this... Very disappointing. I had the same with the K5 when new - the contaminated sensor. Their QA is really rubbish.

That is a pity. I do have a very good backup camera - the Nokia 808 40MP one, downsampling to 12MP - but it is good only for easy shots in good light and no funny focus requirements and for stuff that doesn't move.

Last edited by peterh337; 03-26-2014 at 11:15 AM.
03-26-2014, 12:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Their QA is really rubbish.
But unfortunately about the same as the rest of the industry. The defect rate for dSLR cameras, regardless of price, floats at between 3% and 5%. Yes, one out of every 33 cameras going out the door at Best Buy is going to come back.


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03-26-2014, 02:19 PM   #15
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Sure... however I suspect the % at Pentax is a lot higher. I had a 100% return rate on the K5 and now have a 100% return rate on the K3 The K5 went back twice actually - the 2nd time were defective rotary "knobs" (speed and F#). I also understand, informally from the business, that the K5 sensor "string of pearls" rate was around 50%. By the time my K5 went on Ebay it was perfect, however, so I guess they need a year to sort it.
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