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11-07-2014, 09:43 AM   #16
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Got my K-3 in February. I seldom use flash, so I cannot comment on that. I've never had the mirror-flopping issue. All the problems I've had with it I created myself.

11-07-2014, 09:43 AM - 1 Like   #17
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I bought a K-3 on the recent Adorama deal and received an early unit (firmware 1.0) that suffered from the flash lag issue, even after updating the firmware. They accepted a return and prvided me with a unit form a newer run (Firmware 1.11), and it behaves correctly. I'd recommend that wherever you end up buying it form that you verify that it is from one of the more recent production runs, as they don't seem to have had as many problems.
11-07-2014, 09:50 AM   #18
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The above post hit the nail on the head. I haven't met anyone in person who has experienced the mirror flop, and I have only experienced the flash delay when using the pop-up flash (which I only use to test for the delay - I use hot-shoe flashes or remote triggers).


I love the K-3. Of course, I loved the K-5 as well, but I prefer where all the buttons are on the K-3.
11-07-2014, 10:02 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I have had my K-3 since early April and have used it for flash photography periodically since then. The first I became aware to the flash lag was when I read about it here on this forum. I guess that gives some indication of how serious the issue is in general use. The lag is perceptible, but not obvious and may be an item of concern for some use cases. I don't know if similar behavior is present with other brand cameras....
This is a significant piece of information in relation to my concern. I wasn't seeking perfection, and I wasn't even concerned much about missing a shot. Rather, I was concerned with the possibility of a delay that would cause one to react unnaturally e.g. press the shutter harder than necessary, or start to move the camera before the shot actually completes.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
...
As for rarity...as in my comment above, I have not read of any K-3 that do NOT have flash lag. In regards to the runaway mirror issue, the incidence was never high* and evidence is that it is extremely rare to non-existent in recent production cameras. A good indication of seriousness of the runaway mirror issue would be to take a look at RiceHigh's blog. He has a long history of continuous criticism of Pentax product, but the runaway mirror issue warranted very little attention from him. The same is true of the flash lag behavior...
Yes, good points. I "know" RiceHigh.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
...
In regards to your purchase decisions...If either of these issues are deal breakers for you, an alternative brand/model of camera might be a good idea. Be aware, however, that Consumer Reports members report that 4% of recent purchase Canon and Sony dSLRs and 6% of Nikon dSLRs had fatal or serious issues requiring repair or replacement. Yes, that is 1 of 20 boxes going out from your friendly local camera store.

Edit: If you do decide to purchase a Pentax dSLR and live in North America, I would suggest also buying the Pentax two year warranty extension. I say this, not because the cameras are prone to failure (they are not), but because it is such a good value at less than $20 USD.
I had a K20D, and now a K5 (and never mind the K2DMD decades ago), and I have no intention of switching brands now. No camera that I know of would enhance my almost non-existent talent

As to the warranty: at $20 for two years, it's a real bargain, and is probably even worth shipping the camera from Europe for repair, if necessary. But who performs the repairs?

thanks for the comments.

---------- Post added 07-11-14 at 17:03 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
I bought a K-3 on the recent Adorama deal and received an early unit (firmware 1.0) that suffered from the flash lag issue, even after updating the firmware. They accepted a return and prvided me with a unit form a newer run (Firmware 1.11), and it behaves correctly. I'd recommend that wherever you end up buying it form that you verify that it is from one of the more recent production runs, as they don't seem to have had as many problems.
Interesting. Good to know.

---------- Post added 07-11-14 at 17:05 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by chimpwithagun Quote
The above post hit the nail on the head. I haven't met anyone in person who has experienced the mirror flop, and I have only experienced the flash delay when using the pop-up flash (which I only use to test for the delay - I use hot-shoe flashes or remote triggers).


I love the K-3. Of course, I loved the K-5 as well, but I prefer where all the buttons are on the K-3.
Are you suggesting that perhaps there is no delay with a shoe-mounted external flash? How about external wireless?

11-07-2014, 10:20 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
As to the warranty: at $20 for two years, it's a real bargain, and is probably even worth shipping the camera from Europe for repair, if necessary. But who performs the repairs?
That is a good question. I dug out my Ricoh/Pentax extended warranty that I purchased from B&H to see what the details are. Here are a few bullet points:
  • Issued by Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp.
  • Limited to cameras distributed by Ricoh Imaging Americas and purchased through an authorized dealer in the U.S.
  • Terms are similar to the one-year U.S. warranty
  • If service is needed, the camera is to be sent to the Ricoh Imaging Service Center. That is currently Precision Camera in Connecticut.
I suspect that your consumer protection laws in Britain may be the better solution.


Steve
11-07-2014, 10:20 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Never happened to me. I think it's real but not that frequent.



That I observe, when using TTL. It's different (takes longer) than with my former K20D but not really a LONG delay.

When using flashes in manual or when using my radio trigger I get no delay whatsoever.
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
^ what he said. The flash delay that causes the most missed shots is the time it takes my flash to recharge after use, not the shutter delay.
I take it by now that the flash delay is not to be considered a significant defect.

As to the mirror flops: difficult to understand why some cameras would have it and some not. You'd think that given the same hardware and same software, all bodies would behave the same (defects aside). I do recall reading about a non-user-upgrade to the firmware that is supposed to alleviate the problem. The inconsistency is a bit baffling.
11-07-2014, 10:33 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
As to the mirror flops: difficult to understand why some cameras would have it and some not.
Ricoh/Pentax have more than one production line. Many (most?) of the components are off-the-shelf or made-for-Pentax from various suppliers.* A single improper batch of parts may make its way into the supply stream for a single production line resulting in a concentrated and highly localized batch of compromised cameras. If the issue is not easily produced by the standard test suite, it may be some time before the maker is even aware that a problem has occurred. Similarly, with no feedback from Ricoh, the contract part maker might also not be aware of a problem that might not be present in all of their production!


Steve

* This would include the sensors (Sony), image processors (Toshiba, I believe), shutter/mirror mechanisms and controllers (Copal) and so on.
11-07-2014, 10:42 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Never happened to me. I think it's real but not that frequent.
Me either. 2600 exposures and counting. Latest firmware is supposed to cure or at least mitigate the issue should it occur.


QuoteQuote:
That I observe, when using TTL. It's different (takes longer) than with my former K20D but not really a LONG delay.

When using flashes in manual or when using my radio trigger I get no delay whatsoever.
I have two very active young grandchildren and have only been frustrated by delay in PTTL mode once or twice. When it happens it is a fraction of a second as opposed to the near instant shutter release you normally experience.

11-07-2014, 10:44 AM   #24
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To continue from my comment above...

Consider the release of the K-3 about a year ago where Ricoh would have made a surge of production as part of the initial wide release. If B&H had ordered 100 pallets, 1/4 of which came from the effected line, fully 1/4 of what they shipped before their next order would have been defective. That would explain why a few users on this site report that even a replacement camera (from the same store) was also defective. Meanwhile, it is possible that no cameras having the same defect were shipped to any other merchant worldwide.

What I wrote above is pure conjecture and has many assumptions, but I think is a realistic case. This sort of thing happens frequently in the world of manufacturing.


Steve
11-07-2014, 11:04 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
...

What I wrote above is pure conjecture and has many assumptions

Steve
As if we didn't know that
11-07-2014, 11:45 AM   #26
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To buy or not to buy-concerns

QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I don't usually ask for advice on a prospective purchase, but I am undecided about the K-3.

Current price is very attractive, and I am due for birthday and Christmas presents, but I'm concerned about the following:

1. Mirror flops
2. Flash delay

The former, I can hope that either I will get a unit that doesn't suffer from the problem, or that if it does occur, it will be infrequent, so it would be no biggie. The latter, I can see being frustrating. Although I'm not thinking at all of action shooting, I can nevertheless imagine it to be a nuisance.

Given the above, your suggestion is to buy, or not?

And finally, does anyone know if the extended warranties available are valid out of the US?

Thanks for any input.
I will tell you about my experience purchasing the K3 and hopefully it will ERASE your fears and you will JUMP on the bandwagon!

I purchased the K3 this fall from a reputable dealer we all know. I paid full price, but it included the FLU card and battery grip for "free".

I received the camera and fully charged the battery. By the time the battery was charged it was evening and I only got to take a few shots. Instantly I was impressed with the camera, the layout was well thought out and seemed intuitive to me, Easy access to the most used functions, quality impressive! I have a line up of legacy glass and couldn't wait for morning.

The next morning I took it outside and started taking shots and crazy rapid firing began and would not quit. I would remove the battery to stop it, get a few more shots in, and it started again. I then googled the problem and found the serial number database here on pentax forums. I contacted Ricoh and they were very supportive and told me to return it to the retailer immediately for an exchange. I contacted the retailer who was very supportive and emailed me a prepayed shipping label to return the camera. I made both Ricoh and the retailer aware of the "serial number runs" that were reported by users to be faulty and URGED them to pull them off the shelves! My faulty body was in the serial numbers listed!

I returned the camera with a NOTE in the box explaining the faulty serial numbers and requesting they send me a replacement camera that was NOT from any of the affected serial numbers. Thankfully, the replacement camera was NOT from any of those batches.

I have had the replacement for almost 2 months (on the 17th of November it will be 2 months). So far I am elated with the replacement camera.

I want to share some valuable information for everyone (things I learned)"
1. Make sure when you purchase your camera, you are aware of the retailers return policies! They have different lengths of return policy and you want enough time to return the camera to retailer if it proves faulty. (some have 10 day return, some 30, etc)
2. DO NOT fill out the warranty card when your camera arrives. If you do, you will have no recourse except to send the faulty camera to the manufacturer for repair. Wait until your return period is exhausted, then fill out the warranty. (that was the policy from the retailer I purchased from)
3. Make sure if you do have to return the camera, you send all of the original contents of the box back to the retailer.
4. If you have a retailer nearby where you can walk in the store and purchase at a good price, print out the serial numbers of affected cameras and take it with you, make sure you get one that is not in a reported 'faulty' serial number run.
5. The price had dropped 100.00 from the time I purchased, to return and the retailer was willing to refund the price difference!
6.If you call with issues, they are well aware of problems, and are more than willing to help! (at least in my experience)

I DO NOT regret purchasing this camera, even though the price dropped even more right after receipt of my replacement! It is well worth the full price!
My fiance bought a Sony Alpha A77 at the same time, and experiences random rapid firing (it has a translucent mirror and still rapid fires). Not often, but it happens periodically. We googled it, and the K3 and Sony A77 are not the only cameras affected! He is still enjoying his new purchase in spite of random issues.

The K3's firmware updates are now coming out rapidly! That tells me they are addressing and working out bugs! I just downloaded new version 1.11 and can see they tweaked overall performance!

You could NOT pry this camera out of my hands!

I haven't used it with flash yet, so maybe someone else has enough experience to intelligently comment on that. It would be nice to know if the firmware updates improved the issue (whatever that may be).

Also if you should end up with a camera that suffers from problems, Ricoh announced a fix:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/articles/pentax-news/k-3-mirror-flop-fix-from-ricoh.html#page_2

I hope this helps.

Last edited by Pentaxaholic; 11-13-2014 at 08:15 AM. Reason: error
11-07-2014, 03:00 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
I bought a K-3 on the recent Adorama deal and received an early unit (firmware 1.0) that suffered from the flash lag issue, even after updating the firmware. They accepted a return and prvided me with a unit form a newer run (Firmware 1.11), and it behaves correctly. I'd recommend that wherever you end up buying it form that you verify that it is from one of the more recent production runs, as they don't seem to have had as many problems.

Are you sure you didn't get a used / returned camera? I'm not sure Pentax updates the firmware during manufacturing. I just got a K3 a couple weeks ago, the mfg. date is 04 / 2014, it had firmware v1.0 on it.
11-07-2014, 03:08 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Al_Kahollick Quote
Are you sure you didn't get a used / returned camera? I'm not sure Pentax updates the firmware during manufacturing. I just got a K3 a couple weeks ago, the mfg. date is 04 / 2014, it had firmware v1.0 on it.
I got an even older camera in April (K5II) nd firmware was 1.0 too.
11-07-2014, 03:26 PM   #29
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In my experience with the K3 I havent experienced any crazy "mirror problem" .. i did experience an small delay shooting with TTL.. JUST TTL.. if you switch it to manual the delay is gone.. and is not that the delay is going to affect the quality of the shot.. is just that takes a fraction of a second to fire.. This isnt such a big problem for some shooting, it might be a little problem if you take pics of fast moving objects but as i said, switch it to manual and the problem is gone.

So.. go for it, there is nothing to be afraid..
11-07-2014, 05:13 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by kooks Quote
So.. go for it, there is nothing to be afraid..
OTOH, here is a thread with over 11,000 posts detailing many reasons why someone should not buy a K-3. After all, the destiny of Tokyo is at state.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/239325-why-i-wont-buy-k3-w...re-thread.html


Steve


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