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02-18-2019, 01:05 PM   #1
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Pentax KP crashing issues?

Hi, I purchased a Pentax KP nearly an entire year ago, and though I love the camera and have since expanded my Pentax collection, one issue that I found with the camera is that it would occasionally (rarely) start up with a blank screen covered with random coloured boxes. The first time this happened was only a few months after I received it, but turning it off and on again had it back to normal. The next time was in the summer, on quite a hot day (for Toronto), where it would occasionally boot with the same problem whenever it seemed to "overheat" (I don't shoot video, but I'm not aware of what the upper temperature limits normally are on a DSLR.)

Since that day, I hadn't had any issues with the camera, until today, when I started the process of calibrating my AF Fine Adjustments. Just as I was finishing up with the fourth lens, the issue came up again, but this time the next boot would reset all my settings to factory defaults, and the issue would occur again every second time I boot it up. I've also noticed that the occurrence of the event seems to be triggered once I've adjusted any of the settings, since it doesn't seem to happen if I leave all settings in their default states (at least not in the short time I've been experimenting with variable conditions).

So now I've got a camera that is no longer reliably working, and I can't narrow down any action on my part that could have caused the problem (no physical damage or wear from bad weather, and the issue started while it was still new). I'm currently using firmware 1.10, though it was still on version 1.00 when I first received it.

So, now I'm looking into repair options. I've inquired with Sun Camera, since they are the local Pentax-authorised repair centre, and are fairly close-by, but today is a holiday so I will need to wait for an answer. I'm also concerned about the fact that I purchased the camera from Amazon.ca, as I've heard conflicting reports of whether warranties on Pentax products purchased through Amazon are valid. I really hope that I can receive a warranty repair, because I find it worrying that a company known for their durability (one of the major selling points for me), would have such an issue after less than a year of gentle use.

Has anyone else experienced such an issue before? Does anyone have experience with Sun Camera for KP repairs? And finally, does anyone here know definitively if the Amazon-purchased product warranty is valid?

02-18-2019, 01:55 PM   #2
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This doesn't sound normal. Occasional crashes are normal, especially due to low battery voltage, but they typically aren't accompanied by anything weird on the display. I would recommend to have the camera serviced.

If the camera was sold by Amazon itself, or by an authorized retailer on the Amazon marketplace, you should have warranty coverage. The easiest way to find out is to look at the price. Unless it was unusually low compared to Pentax stores, you should be fine.

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02-18-2019, 04:38 PM   #3
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When I bought the KP, it was at a very good price, perhaps an indicator that it wasn't made through an authorised channel. I hope for my sake that isn't the case, because otherwise Amazon should be on the hook for their misleading store pages (which I've heard many complaints about).
As for the potential voltage issue, I think that may be part of the issue.

Today, the problem only started occuring right after I had switched from a depleted DSTE battery to the fresh OEM battery, and now that I've waited a few hours, the camera appears to be functioning normally again. However, the consistent symptoms and unreliability obviously indicate a real issue in the hardware, though I'm still unclear as to what the triggers are, since the previous times I had the issue were before I even had non-OEM batteries.

I will still try to ascertain whether I am eligible for free repair service, though if not, I will at least try to make use of my camera until it completely gives up the ghost. When I finally do get it checked and serviced, I will report the diagnosis here so that the information will be publicly available.
02-18-2019, 09:43 PM   #4
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Just be sure to have a copy of your purchase receipts when you put in for repair evaluation. If you purchased from Amazon, there should be no problem. Another seller listed through Amazon is another question, but usually even then from what I've heard, Amazon will often intercede to guarantee customer satisfaction within the time limit for purchase of a new item, where a warranty would be expected.

Good luck in getting your camera repaired. You experience here is unfortunate, yet fortunately seems to be quite rare to have a repair issue with the KP. It is a great camera, but it is always possible for something to go wrong with anything we buy, no matter how fine.

02-19-2019, 05:50 AM   #5
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Below is a link for Ricoh/Pentax authorized and unauthorized dealers.
Warranty Information

This might be helpful in settling your question about warranty coverage. FWIW, I don't think that Amazon is considered a dealer of these products; more like an agent or facilitator.
02-19-2019, 07:23 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by StarTroop Quote

I will still try to ascertain whether I am eligible for free repair service, though if not, I will at least try to make use of my camera until it completely gives up the ghost. When I finally do get it checked and serviced, I will report the diagnosis here so that the information will be publicly available.
A KP purchased from an authorized Canadian dealer will have a 2-year warranty. I suspect that a KP bought through Amazon.ca comes from stock in an American warehouse, like many other goods they sell. A few weeks ago I bought the D-BG6 from Amazon.ca when it was $100 CAD off, but the parcel tracking showed that it shipped from a Amazon fulfillment centre in the US . Consequently the body you bought may not have the 2-year warranty. However, it should still have the 1-year international warranty. Better get it into Sun Camera before one year is up.
02-19-2019, 04:36 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete-tarmigan Quote
A KP purchased from an authorized Canadian dealer will have a 2-year warranty. I suspect that a KP bought through Amazon.ca comes from stock in an American warehouse, like many other goods they sell. A few weeks ago I bought the D-BG6 from Amazon.ca when it was $100 CAD off, but the parcel tracking showed that it shipped from a Amazon fulfillment centre in the US . Consequently the body you bought may not have the 2-year warranty. However, it should still have the 1-year international warranty. Better get it into Sun Camera before one year is up.
So, I've just been informed by Sun Camera that Amazon.ca is an authorised dealer (though I can't find any mention in either the US or Canada Ricoh Authorised Dealers lists.), and they will honour the warranty. The email was very specific and clear, so I don't feel like there could be any error in their intention or in my comprehension.

However, I don't know if the warranty in play is the international one or the Canadian one. I would guess that it's the Canadian one, since Amazon.ca was specified, rather than Amazon as an international entity, and also because I believe the 2-year Canadian warranty is the result of a law that may require the product sold in Canada to have a warranty of that length. Either way, I purchased the camera last March, though the exact date may vary depending on which point of the process they start counting from, but I should still have at least a week to bring it in.

The camera itself seems to be functioning normally again, but since this issue has already popped up a few times (with worse symptoms each time), and clearly is not an intended or commonly documented error, I will still bring it in in the hope that I won't have to ever worry about it again. In all other aspects the KP is an amazing camera, and I was hoping that it would last me a reasonably long time.
03-26-2019, 05:58 PM   #8
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Today I received my KP back from Sun Camera. Email communication was not their strong point as they told me nothing more than to wait another week, every week for 2 weeks after the initial 2 weeks I was to wait. To be fair, the intermittent issue obviously made it hard to troubleshoot, and I was actually led to believe that I was simply waiting for the diagnosis, but actually since the camera was returned today fully repaired the whole process was actually faster than I had expected.

The summary of the work done is that they performed a CLA, and replaced the main PCB, so they effectively swapped out the computer component. This is pretty much what I had anticipated would be done, since it's the most logical and economical repair attempt when no physical fault can be found.

By most account, Sun Camera seems to do very good work, though reviews seem to agree that communication can be lacking, but I trust that they know what they are doing. We'll have to wait and see if the issue ever crops again, but hopefully this will be the end of my KP troubles.

03-27-2019, 03:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by StarTroop Quote
Today I received my KP back from Sun Camera. Email communication was not their strong point as they told me nothing more than to wait another week, every week for 2 weeks after the initial 2 weeks I was to wait. To be fair, the intermittent issue obviously made it hard to troubleshoot, and I was actually led to believe that I was simply waiting for the diagnosis, but actually since the camera was returned today fully repaired the whole process was actually faster than I had expected.

The summary of the work done is that they performed a CLA, and replaced the main PCB, so they effectively swapped out the computer component. This is pretty much what I had anticipated would be done, since it's the most logical and economical repair attempt when no physical fault can be found.

By most account, Sun Camera seems to do very good work, though reviews seem to agree that communication can be lacking, but I trust that they know what they are doing. We'll have to wait and see if the issue ever crops again, but hopefully this will be the end of my KP troubles.
Good to know your KP is back and healthy.
I was also surprised amazon is not part of authorized dealers
03-27-2019, 02:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by fsge Quote
Good to know your KP is back and healthy.
I was also surprised amazon is not part of authorized dealers
Is it not? Sun Camera confirmed to me that Amazon were an authorised dealer, and my repair was free.

I think the list of authorised dealers in Canada may he out of date, since I didn't see Amazon listed, but I can confirm here for future readers that Pentax purchases through "Amazon.ca" (in my case, meaning Amazon proper, not one of the other resellers through Amazon) will have their warranty honoured by Pentax/Sun Camera.
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