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12-05-2013, 01:15 AM   #1
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Pentax K-x Won't take photos

I have a Pentax K-x that is about 3 yrs old. A couple of weeks ago it suddenly stopped working.... Most of the time. The problem varies so I will try and describe a few of the scenarios.

First off basic info. I have just updated the firmware from 1.0 to 1.03 still has the same problem.
I have replaced batteries 3 times. (Energizer Ultimate Lithium)
I have replaced the SD card
I have tried 3 different Lenses.
I have tried multiple different picture settings, (Auto Pict, Landscape, etc.)
I have tried manual and Auto focus

Now the issue:

Symptom1:
First time it had the issue, we had just taken a landscape photo using a Pentax wide angle lens, seconds later attempted another photo and the shutter remained open about 3 seconds then closed... No new photo no error displayed. Batteries were showing fully charged throughout, no matter how many attempts are made same result, shutter stays open about 3 seconds and no photo. This symptom is by far the most regular.

Symptom2:
Turn camera on, batteries show fully charged, does not matter what button you press on the camera the shutter will rapidly activate. Can be shutter, info, menu, or any button, no photo is taken.

Symptom3:
Turn camera on, Battery shows fully charged. Make attempt to take a photo, shutter remains open about 3 seconds, closes, no photo, battery shows 50%, take another photo same result, battery shows dead. Turn off camera and back on, battery back at 100%.

Symptom4:
Turn camera on, battery fully charged, take a photo in the house, away from direct sunlight no issue, photo is taken. Point camera to a light source like out a window, shutter remains open about 3 seconds, no photo. Point it back in away from the light, success.

By turning off the camera and back on any of the above 4 symptoms may occur. No rhyme or reason to which one. However Symptom 1 is by far the most regular.

My thought is that it has a faulty "logic" board that will need replacing. Not sure how expensive this is. My issue though is I live in Central Australia, so no matter what I will need to ship the camera away to a major city to be repaired. Since the camera is no longer under warranty the question is, Do I throw it in the trash and buy a new one? If it is going to cost me in excess of $300 to fix I would rather do that. Keep in mind technicians in Australia are big $$$ labor will be about $100+ per hour, plus parts.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Thanks

12-05-2013, 04:42 AM   #2
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It does sound like a circuitry issue. It may also be from a bad firmware update. Your download may have been corrupt, the SD card may have had just enough garbled info, etc. The first thing I'd try is to use a clean, freshly formatted SD card to download a NEW copy of the firmware. Use your pc to delete the SD card contents & format it. Then, put the still blank SD card in the camera & format it with the camera. Back to the pc to install a fresh, cleanly downloaded copy of the firmware update downloaded ONLY FROM Pentax/Ricoh. Back to the camera with another set of BRAND NEW batteries. Run the update. If a new copy of the firmware update doesn't solve it, it's most likely a circuitry/hardware problem. It will likely cost $$$ to fix.

I've had Android updates & custom ROMs go sideways before. Most of the time, it's not completely bricked. A clean install or a restore will solve it. Since digital cameras are more digital than they are camera, it's certainly worth trying the firmware before you write it off.
12-05-2013, 05:29 AM   #3
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Welcome to the mystery sick K-x club. Mine started exhibiting somewhat similar erratic behavior recently with refusing to stop autofocusing, black or very underexposed frames and occasionally locking up and crashing until I pulled the batteries. Firmware updates did not help. I had it checked and cleaned at a local clinic but they found nothing; I think they were just looking at the mechanical side, tho.

I wrote mine off and got a new camera but I'll be watching this thread to see if any of the ideas for you will work for me. It's be nice to have a backup body.
12-05-2013, 05:42 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
It does sound like a circuitry issue. It may also be from a bad firmware update. Your download may have been corrupt, the SD card may have had just enough garbled info, etc. The first thing I'd try is to use a clean, freshly formatted SD card to download a NEW copy of the firmware. Use your pc to delete the SD card contents & format it. Then, put the still blank SD card in the camera & format it with the camera. Back to the pc to install a fresh, cleanly downloaded copy of the firmware update downloaded ONLY FROM Pentax/Ricoh. Back to the camera with another set of BRAND NEW batteries. Run the update. If a new copy of the firmware update doesn't solve it, it's most likely a circuitry/hardware problem. It will likely cost $$$ to fix.
.
Dansamy, Thanks for the reply, I was actually having this issue before I updated the firmware. I updated last night hoping it would fix it. So I am thinking it will be an expensive fix.

Regards

Auscop

12-05-2013, 05:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleC Quote
Welcome to the mystery sick K-x club. Mine started exhibiting somewhat similar erratic behavior recently with refusing to stop autofocusing, black or very underexposed frames and occasionally locking up and crashing until I pulled the batteries. Firmware updates did not help. I had it checked and cleaned at a local clinic but they found nothing; I think they were just looking at the mechanical side, tho.

I wrote mine off and got a new camera but I'll be watching this thread to see if any of the ideas for you will work for me. It's be nice to have a backup body.
Thanks NicoleC, Bugga, new camera hey... Think I will be doing that too. Guess it will be a Christmas present for myself this year. How do you like your K-3 compared to the K-x (when it worked)?
12-05-2013, 08:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by auscop Quote
Thanks NicoleC, Bugga, new camera hey... Think I will be doing that too. Guess it will be a Christmas present for myself this year. How do you like your K-3 compared to the K-x (when it worked)?
No contest. The K-x is a fine camera, but I needed something with higher resolution for larger prints. What I ended up with was a faster, better focusing, more features and (oddly) easier to use. It's a huge difference. You may not need to go for top of the line, tho, it just depends on what you need and want to spend.
12-05-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleC Quote
No contest. The K-x is a fine camera, but I needed something with higher resolution for larger prints. What I ended up with was a faster, better focusing, more features and (oddly) easier to use. It's a huge difference. You may not need to go for top of the line, tho, it just depends on what you need and want to spend.

Thanks Nicole, I am by no means a professonal. We loved the K-x and took some amazing photos last year when we did a 10000km road trip around Western Australia. If it is dead I feel it is worth the extra money buying the K-3 rather than the K-5 ii.
12-05-2013, 11:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by auscop Quote
Thanks Nicole, I am by no means a professonal. We loved the K-x and took some amazing photos last year when we did a 10000km road trip around Western Australia. If it is dead I feel it is worth the extra money buying the K-3 rather than the K-5 ii.
Unless you got the fire sale price for the k-5ii. That was a really good deal. It prompted me to upgrade.

12-05-2013, 12:29 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
Unless you got the fire sale price for the k-5ii. That was a really good deal. It prompted me to upgrade.
In Australia I can get the K-3 for $1295 and the K-5ii for $799. Big difference in price but worth it I think.
12-05-2013, 12:33 PM   #10
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That's a $500 difference. For me & my usage, I don't see the value. Others may obtain enough benefit in the differences between cameras to be worth the premium.
12-05-2013, 11:43 PM   #11
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After further testing the issue is definitely related to light sensitivity, if I get the lighting right inside it has no issue taking photos, as soon as I point it towards a light source, (artificial or natural) it breaks.
05-30-2015, 12:36 PM   #12
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have you tried different lenses? Im thinking it may be an aperature stop down issue. The camera looks at everything wide open then it stops down to the proper light/shutter formula for its shutter curtain. Remove lens and actuate the little lever in the mount, the aperature should open up under spring tension and snap closed.
05-30-2015, 12:57 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pishta Quote
have you tried different lenses? Im thinking it may be an aperature stop down issue. The camera looks at everything wide open then it stops down to the proper light/shutter formula for its shutter curtain. Remove lens and actuate the little lever in the mount, the aperature should open up under spring tension and snap closed.
Hi pishta! Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

You have awakened a zombie thread dating back a couple of years. It is likely the original poster solved the problem some time ago, though your advice is good.


Steve
05-30-2015, 05:48 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Hi pishta! Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

You have awakened a zombie thread dating back a couple of years. It is likely the original poster solved the problem some time ago, though your advice is good.


Steve
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