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08-08-2015, 09:42 PM   #1
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K3 Information Screen remains black after Stand By

K3 Screens (Standby Mode Status Screen, Control Panel and Info Display, Play Back) not always available

I am having a great deal of trouble viewing the LCD screen on my K3. All screens are visible when I first turn on the camera. When the camera has been turned on for a while (~30 sec), the screen goes black. Almost always (but annoyingly not absolutely so), when I push the INFO button, the screen remains black. Similarly I can't access the MENU, or playback any images on the SD card. To see the Standby Screen, MENU or what I have taken, I need to turn the camera off and then back on again.

I think this has just happened since I upgraded the software to Ver 1.21. I have done that twice now, using separate downloads, all to no avail.

Can anyone help me with this? I am worried that there is a fault with my K3, but am hoping that it is a setting somewhere that I can't sort out. I have reset everything to default settings, again with no luck.


08-08-2015, 10:15 PM   #2
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Sounds like the auto-off feature kicking in. Half-pressing the shutter button should also wake the camera up; other buttons won't (by design).

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08-08-2015, 11:41 PM   #3
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Thanks Adam. That's very helpful, but alas not the full solution, which makes me think I still have a problem.

Just as you've said, tapping the shutter button will "wake" the camera from Stand By, and I can then see the screens. However, sometimes (again, it's intermittent - see below) when I take a picture, the Instant Review doesn't appear (I have set it to HOLD). It is also then that I can't access the screens (play back, INFO, MENU). I need to tap the shutter button to get things going...

The problem seems to occur after I have taken a few (sometimes as little as 5) photos in relative quick succession (although not in Continuous Shooting mode). It's almost like the camera's memory cannot cope, and it "goes quiet" while it processes things. The interval between taking the shot and "waking the camera up" to see either the play back or the monitor varies, but it is VERY annoying! Sometimes it is just faster to turn the camera off and then on again, but I don't think I should have to do that.

I am using SanDisk 32GB Extreme PRO SDHC I 95MB/s cards (which I think are a Class 10), and wondered whether it might have something to do with that. So I then tested an older SanDisk 4GB Extreme HD Video SDHC 20MB/s card, and was unable to reproduce the issue. Might it be that the K3 can't manage the faster card?

Thanks for anyone's thoughts....

Last edited by CathW; 08-09-2015 at 01:16 AM. Reason: Added more info.
08-09-2015, 04:37 AM   #4
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The problem may be with that particular card. Do you have any other similar cards to try? A lot of people here use the SanDisk Extreme. The SanDisk Extreme Plus which has an 80 MB/sec read and 60MB/sec write is also a great card for these cameras. There was a recent post here where this card seemed to run about 15% faster than the Extreme Pro or any other 95 MB/sec card. And it is less expensive.

08-09-2015, 05:43 AM   #5
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Well now - that's interesting! I have another of these cards (identical), and a very quick test here this evening suggests that it's OK.

Perhaps it's a dud SD card rather than anything to do with the camera. However, I have used it in my Sony RX-100 with no issues.
08-09-2015, 08:24 AM   #6

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Could be that you have a fake Sandisk card. I bought one a little while ago from a reputable source, or so I thought. It worked ok in one camera but not another.

Google for, and download, this software - h2testw - and test the card with it.
08-09-2015, 09:02 AM   #7

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QuoteOriginally posted by CathW Quote
I have used it in my Sony RX-100 with no issues.
RX-100 user here. The RX-100, like all Sony cams, formats the card differently from Pentax. First step is to ensure the card is formatted in the K-3 before use.
08-09-2015, 02:07 PM   #8
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Thanks JohnX - I'll take a look at that testing software, and report back...

And yes rawr, I had formatted the card in the K3 before use.

btw, I purchased the cards (both at the same time I think, but will need to check) from B&H.

Last edited by CathW; 08-09-2015 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Addied more information
08-10-2015, 12:40 AM   #9
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I think the problem is solved:

1. I couldn't test the SD card using the h2testw software recommended by JohnX. It was all too complicated. However, I was able to really "clean" the card using this suggestion attached to a post about :h2testw:

Zero-ing out the memory cardBefore we run the tests, let’s completely erase the memory card. Open “Disk Utility” on your Mac with the SD card inserted. Select the disk (not the underlying volume), mine is called “8,07 APPLE SD Card Reader Media”. Go to the second tab “Erase”. Make sure the “Format” is “MS-DOS (FAT)”, the name doesn’t really matter (I left it at “UNTITLED”). Click on the “Security Options…” button, select “Zero Out Data” and click on “OK”. It now says “Erase option: Zero Out Data selected.” above the “Security Options…” and “Erase…” buttons. Next, click on the “Erase…” button and click “Erase” to confirm. Using Activity Monitor, I could see Disk Utility was writing zeroes to my memory card at 15MB/s. It took about 8 minutes to totally fill my 8GB memory card.
This is a good test to start with. If zero-ing the card yields errors, it certainly is corrupt.

That was all pretty straight forward, and showed no errors/issues.

2. I then reformatted the card in my K3.

3. It seems OK now.

4. Fingers crossed. Seems as if my camera (and the SD card) is just fine...

Thank you everyone!
08-10-2015, 03:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by CathW Quote
Open “Disk Utility” on your Mac
Mac? That may be part of your problem. I really like Mac, but every once in awhile we get a troubleshooting request regarding SD cards and often enough, a Mac is part of the mix. At issue are temporary files/filesystem left on the card as a result of a removing the card without an unmount or eject. Those residues may make the card behave strangely when in the camera. A similar problem may happen with a Windows computer, but the Mac seems to be more prone.

The deep erase you describe seems to have worked for you, but I would suggest that an out-of-camera format using other than OS X may be preferable. The SD Association (manufacturer's group) provides a free formatting utility for both Windows and Mac that will do a cross-platform format free of file system artifact.

Links for the utility's documentation are found at the bottom of the page. Once formatted using the tool, the card may be optionally formatted in the camera, though it should not be required.


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