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07-07-2021, 08:54 AM   #1
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Original K1 - sometimes needs battery pulled out

I bought mine as soon as it came out.

Went back a couple of times for repair... the common things e.g. the wheels going dead.

Then it's been very good, and 99% of the time it works great.

But sometimes it does something funny e.g. one of the wheels goes dead. Or it doesn't focus... pulling the battery out for a few seconds fixes it.

Genuine Pentax battery, and I have a spare non-cheap Hahnel one.

I do hardware and software in my day job and reckon it is some software issue, but why now, after this time?

If one sends it in for a repair, what do they do? Will they just change all the electronics?

Or maybe there is a firmware upgrade which fixes these, as "known issues"?

I looked for a new camera too but there isn't anything, given I have some lenses, like the 2500 Zeiss Milvus 18mm which takes amazing pics (despite being totally manual). The K1-2 is not a better camera, looking at reviews.

07-07-2021, 09:10 AM   #2
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Major features subsequently added through firmware updates:

Version 1.53: Optimized performance with the D FA* 85mm F1.4 lens
Version 1.52: Optimized performance with the D FA 70-210mm F4 lens
Version 1.51: Optimized performance with the DA* 11-18mm F2.8 lens
Version 1.50: Optimized performance with the D FA* 50mm F1.4 lens
Version 1.41: Support for the enhancements introduced with the Image Transmitter 2 version 2.3.0 software
Version 1.40: Night mode (red light) for the rear monitor; bulb timer function
Version 1.30: Electronic shutter as an option in live view shooting mode; 1:1 crop mode; 2 frame AA filter bracketing
Version 1.20: Support for lenses with KAF4 mount, i.e. lenses that have foregone the mechanical stop-down lever
Version 1.10: Support for the Image Transmitter 2 version 2.2.0 software; support for tethering via an Adobe Lightroom plug-in
Camera Manuals:

Operating Manual
New Features as of firmware 1.30 (electronic shutter, 1:1 crop mode, bracketing enhancements)
New features as of firmware 1.40 (night vision LCD display, bulb mode timer)
Read more at: Pentax K-1 - Pentax K-mount DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications Firmware Update Guide

A video with step-by-step instructions on updating your firmware
By PF Staff in Tutorial Videos on Feb 8, 2014
Read more at: Pentax Firmware Update Guide - Tutorial Videos |
07-07-2021, 09:13 AM   #3
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Each of the updates normally say something about stability issues. Probably couldn't hurt to apply the latest update or even re-apply it.
07-07-2021, 09:20 AM   #4
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If you are not current on firmware updates, do it.
It is only necessary to update to the latest, the previous versions will be "included".

There have likely been scores of "little" improvements in the firmware.

07-07-2021, 09:23 AM   #5
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Agree on firmware update. If intermittent I would take video of the problem to send also if planning to repair and firmware does not help.
07-07-2021, 11:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
the common things e.g. the wheels going dead
Why do you think that is common ?

QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Or maybe there is a firmware upgrade which fixes these, as "known issues"?
Of course you should be using the latest firmware, but what you describe does not seem to me a known issue.
07-07-2021, 01:31 PM   #7

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Maybe it's the battery, SD card, lens mount, or something else that makes poor electrical contact and needs cleaning. Or maybe it's salt/water damage to internal components or some other electrical issue

07-07-2021, 02:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Why do you think that is common ?
They have had the problem addressed several times with service visits. The factors in common being the body and the owner. There may be other things (grip?) that are not mentioned. FWIW, I suspect this thread is not a help request due to the repeated failures. I say this because the conventional answers are power, moisture intrusion, failed main board, and/or intrusion of foreign material into the switch itself. With multiple occurrences the answer is to quit doing whatever caused the failure before.

07-07-2021, 03:01 PM   #9
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You may well be a heavier user than me (as I'm at best a weekend warrior) but my K-1 is still working just fine and so far no issues that have needed repair.

The only (single) glitch I can recall happening was on a shoot, the back screen back light stopped working (if you looked carefully in the sun the LCD was still functioning). Switching off and on did not help. Fortunately viewfinder was fine and I could continue shooting. Later in the day I found if I took the battery out for a minute, it started working again. I don't believe it was an accidental setting (as no settings were lost after removing battery) and I had not been changing any settings anyway. That was about 6 months ago and have not seen it since. I was using a genuine Pentax battery that day (although I do use after market batteries as well).

You have probably updated to the latest firmware I'm guessing. I'm also have a hardware / software background and I think it is still be possible it could be a hardware fault (possibly a bad connection, like ground, between assemblies). Although if it is hardware, it might be difficult to diagnose unless happening frequently.
I'm not sure what repair facilities are like in the UK, I'm sure a UK member will be able to comment on options.
07-07-2021, 07:09 PM   #10
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Are you still using the original battery that came with the camera? If so, it may be time to replace it as voltage fluctuations have been known to cause freezes.

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07-08-2021, 08:41 AM   #11
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Would a defective battery a) show up as fully charged in the camera and b) function fine after it has been removed and re-inserted?

I guess it's possible but I have never known such a failure mode.

I will check the firmware.

The defective wheels was a common fault on Pentax cameras. I had a K5, K3 and both had it, and both went in for repairs for it. In the end both worked fine. The K1 is the best though And, with the size of it, it doubles up as a club, for self defence if you get attacked by a subject being asked to sign a model release

Mine doesn't get heavy use. It is very well looked after. It does get quite a lot of use from a light aircraft, at altitudes up to 20,000ft (10,000 to 15,000 most commonly).

---------- Post added 07-08-2021 at 05:16 PM ----------

Firmware is 1.50.
07-08-2021, 09:39 AM   #12
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My K-1 has V1.54


Latest PENTAX K-1 Firmware Update : Software Downloads | RICOH IMAGING
07-08-2021, 02:40 PM   #13
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Thank you; I did the 1.54 firmware update and maybe that will fix some things. I know manufacturers often do bug fixes under the guise of an innocuous official change Happens a lot in aviation...

I am not convinced that the battery could do it, IF it appears fully charged.

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