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09-07-2013, 07:36 AM   #1
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WT* had happened? K20D sensor busted

So, friend of mine mentioned he has an Pentax DLSR and it makes colored line in every image. I asked him to give to me so i could take a look. I took testshots, upgraded FW, tried different cards and took more tests. Quite clear at this point that sensor and therefore the camera is gone.

Shame, under 15000 shot on it, and otherwise is good as new. Even has those plastic films on LCDs. And even more of a shame, my friend promised to sell it cheap; his not into photographing, camera was left to him when his father passed.

Out of curiosity only one question remains: what caused this? Donīt think it is an ordinary sensor failure. Apparently damage is physical in sensor. First shot is taken at normal conditions, room temperature etc, for other two i heated the sensor with long exposures and high ISOs.



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09-07-2013, 08:18 AM   #2
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Looks to me like one of the row pins isn't working right (sensor pixels are in a matrix and addresses by pins in row + column). This may or may not help.....
I don't know the K20D menu functions .... all current Pentax digital bodies have a 'pixel mapping' function. This function exercises each and every pixel in the sensor. Where the pixel status does not report as being fully functional, the pixel is ignored (removed from the map) and adjacent pixels used to interpolate in future images. It has one other attribute - sometimes just exercising the pixels to check their status will 'kick' them back into working.

No promises are being made on my part, but if the K20D supports pixel mapping, it won't hurt a thing and just might gain you a functional camera.
09-07-2013, 08:23 AM   #3
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Yes, the K20d has pixelremapping. Not sure if this will work here though (can`t hurt either so try anyway)
09-07-2013, 08:24 AM   #4
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Been there, done that (multiple times, between rebooting camera and formatting card. Heck, i got frustrated and even gave it a go-go with dust removal ), and no effect whatsoever. That actually lead me to think that there must be some sort of actual physical damage... Just cant think what.

09-07-2013, 08:28 AM   #5
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At first, I thought that it was just the K20 "sensor line" that is a known issue that develops in some sensors. Then with the second and third images, it really does look like it has a physical hole or "something". I had a K20 that developed a bad case of noise and a line, after about 18 months. CRIS swapped out the guts in the body and it was as good a new. It was covered under the extended warranty that Pentax included with the camera when they were closing it out. Just for that reason alone, I now always pick up the extended warranty for $20. Its the best deal around.

I would contact CRIS and see what a repair would run (and if there are any parts left). It might make sense if the repair ran for what the camera would sell for. In working condition it would probably bring in the area of $200. So if the repair ran that, then your friend could cover his cost and someone could essentially have a new camera (and a 90 day repair warranty on the work).

Just a thought....

09-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
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It's unlikely to be damage to the sensor surface, if that is what you are thinking of. When you get a straight line like this (row or column) it is a damaged electrical connection to the sensor. My best guess is the camera was dropped at some point. The fix is same either way - sensor replacement. And it is not likely worth the cost on a K20D versus the cost of buying a used functional K20D.
09-07-2013, 08:53 AM   #7
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Jim, that could be the propable cause. Still, that line is not what makes one think, but the "black hole" on left...

interested_observer, repair is pretty much out of question. Cost is just too much, and as Jim said, working K20D is likely cheaper than repairing old one. Hmm, maybe i just buy it off from my friend and convert this to IR... Just for the sport, have done couple of P&S, never got courage to do DLSR. Nothing to loose here...
09-07-2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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You may be able to create a "dead pixel file" and use DCRAW to interpolate the missing pixels, resulting in a workable image file again.

DCRAW -P deadpixels.txt

09-07-2013, 10:17 AM   #9
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Thanks for the tip, didnīt even think about software-solution! Definetly giving that a shot.
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