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01-31-2018, 02:23 PM   #1
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Shutter Release failed in cold weather

Shooting in cold weather for 9 hours straight today and shutter release failed after ~4 hours. Fortunately I had the battery grip which worked as temporary shutter release so I did not miss the best light so far this winter season.

Temperature was not that cold, only between -17C and -25C in the end. Quite bad result considering how tough the cameras are advertised to be.

01-31-2018, 02:32 PM - 5 Likes   #2
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Given that your KP is rated to and advertised to -10C (14F), I don't consider failure after 4 hours at -17C to -25C (1F to -13F) a lapse in durability.

Is the switch dead for good or did it start working when it warmed up?


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 01-31-2018 at 02:56 PM.
01-31-2018, 02:49 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Yup, this is outside of the operating temperature, even for weather sealed cameras. If you want to use it outdoors when it's colder, it's a good idea to warm the camera up between shoots (i.e. by tucking it in to your coat or putting it in a bag).

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01-31-2018, 03:00 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
it's a good idea to warm the camera up between shoots (i.e. by tucking it in to your coat or putting it in a bag).
...or something like the below in conjunction with a handwarming device...


Ruggard DSLR Parka Cold and Rain Protector for Cameras PAC-LB

Steve

01-31-2018, 04:32 PM   #5
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Oh no, this is beyond comprehensible. Every camera I have used in those conditions have started exposure if battery has enough juice. And that includes Sony branded gaming console - A7R1/2 @ -35C.

First ever shutter release failure with a brand making noise about durable construction etc. We use whatever camera we use and have done so in those conditions for decades regardless what manufacturers say.

K-1 has better mechanics, I do not understand why they messed up KP this way using cheap parts.
01-31-2018, 04:34 PM   #6
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Yes, it is surprising it performed that long outside the operating temps. I have sometimes wondered, since metal conducts temperature more easily, if the WR polycarbonate models could have an advantage here. But maybe this was a matter of the battery failing. The battery of the KP is much smaller, lighter, and less substantial in construction compared with models using the larger, more durable battery. The KP battery grip, which can use the larger battery, is the way to go in such cases.

Last edited by mikesbike; 01-31-2018 at 04:39 PM.
01-31-2018, 05:13 PM - 5 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJKoski Quote
Oh no, this is beyond comprehensible. Every camera I have used in those conditions have started exposure if battery has enough juice. And that includes Sony branded gaming console - A7R1/2 @ -35C.

First ever shutter release failure with a brand making noise about durable construction etc. We use whatever camera we use and have done so in those conditions for decades regardless what manufacturers say.

K-1 has better mechanics, I do not understand why they messed up KP this way using cheap parts.
Here is some direct , but not wholly unsympathetic talk...

This is not the first time you have complained about cold-weather performance with your Pentax gear and not the first time that users on this site have commented that you are well beyond the design intent of the cameras. This is not "incomprehensible"; comprehension is simple. Regardless of what Sony did, it is time to remember this is not a Sony in your bag. It is a Pentax and the limits are plainly stated in the user manual that came with your camera. FWIW, the KP has the same limits as the K-1.

I might suggest that the release failed due to frost intrusion from breathing on the camera. Perhaps this has never been a problem in the past, but it is a problem now and the solution is to protect the gear or skip the "best light of the season".

If I lived at your latitude (something I have considered), before I was tempted to venture out in conditions below 20F (-7C), I would contact my wildlife photographer friends and ask them how they protect their gear for arctic shooting. These are people who spend weeks at a time in the field with few options should they have a gear failure and little interest in having it do so. That being said, I will simply drop them a line and add their comments to this thread.

P.S. What happened to the Sony A7R1/2 that worked so well.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 01-31-2018 at 05:20 PM.
01-31-2018, 07:03 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJKoski Quote
K-1 has better mechanics, I do not understand why they messed up KP this way using cheap parts.
They did not mess up IMO.
Se KP on paljon halvempi kun se K1 mutta silti toimii aivan hyvin. Specially if kept within design envelope of operating parameters.
01-31-2018, 08:10 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Don't blame the camera. Sound's like battery to me. Temperature is a lithium battery's weak spot (though lithium batteries do fairly well compared to other types). The cold temperature will affect the battery a lot more than the camera, and if the camera demands a lot of current, a given battery just may not be up to the job, especially if it's near the end of a charge cycle. Next time, carry a fully charged battery in a warm location (under your coat), and try popping it in when this happens - chances are it will solve the issue.

Those were cold conditions though and stevebrot's suggestion for a blimp is a good one. It will help your camera and its batteries.
01-31-2018, 09:06 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
Don't blame the camera. Sound's like battery to me. Temperature is a lithium battery's weak spot (though lithium batteries do fairly well compared to other types). The cold temperature will affect the battery a lot more than the camera, and if the camera demands a lot of current, a given battery just may not be up to the job, especially if it's near the end of a charge cycle. Next time, carry a fully charged battery in a warm location (under your coat), and try popping it in when this happens - chances are it will solve the issue.

Those were cold conditions though and stevebrot's suggestion for a blimp is a good one. It will help your camera and its batteries.
I see it this way also. The shutter button's job is essentially to effect a mechanical/electrical connection with the electronic contacts that will transmit a signal to release the shutter. It is essentially a switch. A switch generally does not fail in making electrical contact due to a low temperature. If there is no juice, there will be no signal even though contact has been made by the release button. It is not the shutter that is failing to respond, even though contact has been made and a signal sent, otherwise the battery grip would not have worked either.

Batteries are indeed notorious for being sensitive to low temperatures. Perhaps some cameras have more insulation around their battery compartments, which would also contribute to their bulk and weight. But no ordinary battery I know of is completely immune to cold conditions.
01-31-2018, 10:32 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJKoski Quote
Quite bad result considering how tough the cameras are advertised to be.
I could understand the reason for this thread if your KP failed at -9C, but -17C to -25C......................................................?
For me, and I think most others, this is an unrealistic expectation of this wonderful little camera.
01-31-2018, 10:45 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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Ricoh's spec sheet for KP quite clearly shows operating range as -10C to +40C.
You're using the camera in conditions it was not designed for.
02-01-2018, 02:01 AM   #13
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Gosh, battery did not fail. Grip release kept working on happily for the rest of shooting period. I was using large D-LI90 batteries. The grip release is similar in construction to K-1 release. Main release of KP is weird clicky mess with no proper haptics anyway.
02-01-2018, 02:22 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJKoski Quote
Oh no, this is beyond comprehensible. Every camera I have used in those conditions have started exposure if battery has enough juice. And that includes Sony branded gaming console - A7R1/2 @ -35C.

First ever shutter release failure with a brand making noise about durable construction etc. We use whatever camera we use and have done so in those conditions for decades regardless what manufacturers say.

K-1 has better mechanics, I do not understand why they messed up KP this way using cheap parts.
This is strikingly similar to the complaints we get about Pentax weather resistance... "My [other camera] worked fine when I did [x, y, z], but my Pentax [model name] failed in similar conditions".

I've gone swimming before, forgetting that I was wearing an inexpensive watch rated only as splash resistant. Realising what I'd done a few minutes later, I took the watch off and left it on a table to dry in the sun. It continued to work perfectly, without a hint of water ingress or even condensation. Does that mean every splash resistant watch should survive that same mistreatment? Of course not. This was simply a case of "good fortune".

It's quite possible that a camera might continue to operate outside of the recommended conditions for a time, but that should be considered nothing more than good fortune. It will vary by camera, even by two examples of the same camera, by the precise conditions of the shoot, by the exact temperature and humidity inside and around the camera prior to and during the shoot, and by the slightest detail of difference in usage. Intentionally using the camera outside of those recommended conditions is a personal choice, but inherently risky. All bets are off as to how it will operate, if at all, and whether-or-not permanent damage will occur. The only surprise should be if it continues to operate.
02-01-2018, 02:25 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJKoski Quote
Gosh, battery did not fail. Grip release kept working on happily for the rest of shooting period. I was using large D-LI90 batteries. The grip release is similar in construction to K-1 release. Main release of KP is weird clicky mess with no proper haptics anyway.
Sounds like the KP isn't the right camera for you. Most people seem to get on with it very well indeed, but we all have different likes and dislikes. It's personal and subjective.

Why don't you sell it (with full disclosure on how it has been used, of course) and get something else? I'm not saying that for effect... I'm actually trying to be constructive...
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