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08-26-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
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My Kx did something weird tonight, help explaining it please?

Basically I was at a fair shooting some snaps at night when the camera just seemed to die. It started taking a shot using a manual 50mm lens, and the camera never completed it. I heard basically half a shot get fired then the camera utterly flaked out.

I spent the half hour trip home swapping lenses, trying with NO lens, and swapping SD cards in an effort to fix the thing to no avail. The camera didn't recognize manual or automatic lenses.

What it was doing was not reading any lenses - at all. The aperture bit in the LCD was blanked. Trying to scroll through images on the SD card would result in it skipping every other image in a rapid fire 2 - > 4 -> 6 ->8 kind of way in which the odd numbered shots would shoot right by and be unviewable since I couldn't physically scroll to them.

Pressing the +/- exposure button would cause the 4-way display on the LCD to simply dim and relight. I couldn't even cheat and try shooting with no lens attached at all.

Then, when I get home, I hook the USB cord to the camera and I hear *CLICK*. The camera finished firing the 'stuck' shot I'd taken 45 minutes earlier.

What did I do to cause this (if anything) and is it something that could signal a larger issue looming on the horizon for me? I'm going to a wedding out of state in a couple weeks - needless to say if this happens again when I'm 500 miles away, I'm going to be screwed since I won't be able to hook it up to finish that shot that caused the camera to jam.

08-26-2011, 08:08 PM   #2
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Did you reset the camera by pulling the battery?
08-26-2011, 08:22 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by MysteryOnion Quote
Did you reset the camera by pulling the battery?
I tried that. It was actually the first thing I did. Fresh batteries didn't help any. I was literally wondering if I'd have to replace the camera or send it for repairs until I heard that wonderful shutter snap when I hooked the USB to it to see if I could still grab the pictures I'd shot (I could!).

I just noticed that I must have accidentally switched to shooting RAW+JPG at some point before the camera locked up, I'm wondering if I shot too much, too fast, and the video card or the camera choked from too much data too quickly?
08-26-2011, 08:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
I tried that. It was actually the first thing I did. Fresh batteries didn't help any. I was literally wondering if I'd have to replace the camera or send it for repairs until I heard that wonderful shutter snap when I hooked the USB to it to see if I could still grab the pictures I'd shot (I could!).

I just noticed that I must have accidentally switched to shooting RAW+JPG at some point before the camera locked up, I'm wondering if I shot too much, too fast, and the video card or the camera choked from too much data too quickly?
It sounds suspiciously like a full card. I did that a couple of days ago and my K10 had a snit fit.

08-26-2011, 08:56 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
It sounds suspiciously like a full card. I did that a couple of days ago and my K10 had a snit fit.
In hindsight, that actually sounds plausible. Seems to be a very strange way of reacting to one from the camera though.
08-26-2011, 11:05 PM   #6
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That's weird, I'll be sure not to let that happen!
08-27-2011, 11:33 PM   #7
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Welp. Camera appears busted.

Fired off a few shots today then the shutter refused to work unless I thumped the camera. Then it'd work for a bit then go right back to not working. When I go to fire a shot I can hear it trying to fire internally, but the message apparently isn't reaching the shutter. I assume its time to check out repair vs replacement costs? Would the full card issue from last night possibly have broken something inside the camera?
08-28-2011, 01:30 AM   #8
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What were you taking shots of when it did that? Was it a ride with particularly bright lights? Any mirrors around? I had something similar happen with my digital P&S. It turned out there was a really bright light, that came up right when I focused. Some kind of unexpected reflection off the neon or a mirror or something just as I snapped. It knocked the camera's sensor out for a bit. It was like it overloaded it's circuits. Camera was fine after that but it happened again about 2 years later, similar scenario. Same deal. It completely took the camera down, but then later it was fine, and it never happened again actually, but both times I was photographing a carnival type ride with lots of neon and mirrors.

08-28-2011, 08:10 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
What were you taking shots of when it did that? Was it a ride with particularly bright lights? Any mirrors around? I had something similar happen with my digital P&S. It turned out there was a really bright light, that came up right when I focused. Some kind of unexpected reflection off the neon or a mirror or something just as I snapped. It knocked the camera's sensor out for a bit. It was like it overloaded it's circuits. Camera was fine after that but it happened again about 2 years later, similar scenario. Same deal. It completely took the camera down, but then later it was fine, and it never happened again actually, but both times I was photographing a carnival type ride with lots of neon and mirrors.
Thats really strange. Did your camera suffer the 'I don't want to fire' bit the next day/later that day? How long did it take before it corrected itself, and what did you do before it did?

I'm thinking whatever it did that night may have stressed the shutter mechanism and knocked it out. I'm really hoping otherwise, but its looking grim at the moment. I left the batteries out overnight, just stuck freshly charged ones in, and I'm still not firing.

FWIW, last shot was this, so it does have the bright light you mentioned.

08-28-2011, 08:30 AM   #10
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Never really had this kind of problem, but any chance of a recent firmware update you have done to this camera? I'm suspecting this mechanical issue caused by error or corruption within the firmware internal memory. Before sending it off to service, you could try to do a firmware update flash (or downgrade, if it is possible). DSLR's are still mechanical, but they are fully dependent on their firmwares to do just about anything. This is what 'digital' is all about.

Good luck!
08-28-2011, 05:05 PM   #11
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I had to completely turn it off and remove the batteries each time and wait as I recall. I was able to use the camera within a short time of it happening, but not right away. It took a few minutes with the camera off before I was able to get the shutter to fire again both times. But that camera it never had issues before, between, or after. It was a Fuji high end point and shoot, much like a DSLR, but without the capacity for changing lenses. It was a good camera. Never gave me a lick of trouble the whole time I had it except for doing that, and I could tell both times it had something to do with light or a reflection just being too bright.
08-29-2011, 03:50 AM   #12
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Sounds to me like batteries. If exposure times are long a camera can draw currents in excess of an Amp during that time and 'Dry' batteries can't cope leading to a drop in supply voltage, with the camera trying to work on half voltage or less, leading to corruption of the firmware as the camera can't complete the processing causing the camera to 'hang' some point in between starting the image processing and completing it. The SD card might corrupt too under these conditions which is why you can't always recover the camera by fitting new batteries.

Eneloop type batteries don't have this problem, BUT, as all re-changeable batteries do, they need charging on a charger with independent channels one for each battery, otherwise one of each pair will never reach full charge before the Alpha point is detected and the charger switches to 'trickle' leaving one of the pair under-charged. These partially charged batteries will fail during long exposures too with the same reduced battery voltage faults as above.

EDIT: I don't think that Image content makes any difference at all, data is just data as far as the camera is concerned.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisJ; 08-29-2011 at 04:09 AM. Reason: Addition
08-30-2011, 03:49 PM   #13
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Can anyone post a link or explain how to roll a K-x back to factory shipped settings? As in, stripping it back to its initial firmware, etc? This is my last stab before I shelve the camera until I can afford to repair the thing. I'm really, REALLY not happy about this.
09-02-2011, 04:29 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
Can anyone post a link or explain how to roll a K-x back to factory shipped settings? As in, stripping it back to its initial firmware, etc? This is my last stab before I shelve the camera until I can afford to repair the thing. I'm really, REALLY not happy about this.
I believe executing the USR_DAT_CLEAR instruction accessed from Debug Mode [ref: link below] might be the closest you're likely to get it back to true "as shipped" state. It apparently resets more items than the neutered inbuilt Factory Default menu option (which is effectively a misnomer).

< Pentax Kx / Pentax K-x AF adjustment through undocumented "debug mode" >

Caveat emptor and Good luck.

.R.
"For flavour, instant sex will never supersede the stuff you have to peel and cook." -- Quentin Crisp

Last edited by Hypocorism; 09-02-2011 at 04:45 AM.
09-02-2011, 09:01 AM   #15
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I'm thinking its physical more than software, but it can't hurt that much to try (I hope). The fact that I can hear the camera trying to fire makes me think something broke or came loose in the shutter mechanism.
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