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06-12-2015, 08:13 PM   #1
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K3 II faulty GPS freezes the whole camera

Hi guys I bought a brand new K3 II from Japan, opened box and turned on the camera. Everything was fine u til I pressed the GPS button on the body. From that moment on problems started. Not only I could not turn off the camera with Off button anymore, but everytime I pressed that button again the big LCD display froze unless I pressed the shutter - then it would show the picture taken, but ignore pressing any buttons on the body. The same thing would happen, when I would go into a GPS menu. I could change any settings without a problem, except that. Soon after the backlight of the little topLCD stopped working along with tiny display inside the viewfinder. I tried everything - reset, format, take out battery, recharge battery.... All combinations of above. Nothing worked. Everytime I turn on camera, the GPS icon is lit red searching for signal. I wanted to reflash the firmware but there is none for K3 II on Ricoh's web.
Did this happen to anyone? Could all this be caused by GPS? Or just a software glitch? Is there a way how to do a hard reset to a Pentax? Any suggestions?
Thanks

06-12-2015, 08:33 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums, and sorry about the problem.

I am going to take a wild a$$ guess (WAG) here and describe the problem and perhaps a solution.
  • The potential problem is that the GPS probably has a Japan location and time - i.e., it still thinks that its in Japan (or where ever it was assembled) when you turn it on. So, upon power up and you enabling the GPS, it sees the GPS satellite constellation and time to be different than expected. This sends it into a location update to acquire new information and make a new location / time calculation, thereby locking up the camera's processors. Obviously this should not happen.
  • A short term fix would be to set the camera out side - in order to see the sky. Turn it on and enable the GPS and just let it sit for say 30 minutes. It should really take only about 5 minutes to relocate itself, but give it a bit of extra time. If it is still locked up, then turn it off - you may need to remove the battery, wait a couple of minutes and then reload the battery and turn it on and see what state it is in. You may need to do this several times. If it still does not work, stop enabling the GPS, so as to see what else may go wrong and call Pentax Monday. Take two aspirin.
  • Once Pentax figures out what is going wrong, after they start getting a number of these reports, a firmware update should probably fix the problem.
Just remember - I said a WAG...
______________

Pentax has the O-GPS1 that is an externally attached device for other bodies. I am going to guess that the O-GPS1 has some internal supported processing, that offloads the body's processor of the base GPS location calculations. I am also going to guess that the K3II might have a higher level of integration where the position calculations are done within the body's main processor.


Last edited by interested_observer; 06-12-2015 at 09:48 PM.
06-12-2015, 09:13 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Your camera is brand new, so the mail order dealer should be your first recourse. After that would be Ricoh/Pentax support and/or international warranty replacement or service through Ricoh/Pentax Japan.

It is worth checking out the Location and Time settings to make sure they are consistent with your actual region. If New Zealand is not a setup option, you may still be able to enable the proper settings through the so-called debug menu. Ricoh/Pentax support may be able to help you with the procedure since it is likely that the published instructions for the K-3 might not work with the K-3II.

There is the outside chance the CR Kennedy (authorized distributors for Oceania) might be willing to help even though your purchase was in Japan.
Edit: I did a little research and CR Kennedy takes a dim view of grey market or out-of-country purchases, not that it matters. Apparently Pentax in NZ is now distributed by Ian R. Little, Ltd in Christchurch.

Good luck with getting this issue resolved.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-13-2015 at 08:08 AM.
06-13-2015, 08:56 PM   #4
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Thank you for your answers guys. So I tried to leave it outside, hoping that it will relocate itself, but for no luck. GPS is still turned on. It's just stuck there with the red searching signal icon. Removed the battery, did it again for 30+ minutes to no avail. I also tried to re-flash the firmware with the same version (there is only 1.00 out so far) and it got stuck on NOW LOADING screen. I thought I bricked it, prayed, took out the battery and put it back, turned on - and the camera is fine. Except nothing has changed. I would like to try debug menu, but I have no idea how to find out the first number of the two.... that 0077xxx.xxx Can you help me there? I can make 1000 files with a different extensions .000 - .999, but the first part of the filename is the problem... If this won't help, then I guess I'll need to send it back to JApan, because Ian R. Little company has a statement on it's web that if I did not buy it through them, they can't provide any kind of service or repair. :/

06-14-2015, 12:48 AM   #5
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'Hard reset' is possible via the menus:

Menu > Setup Menu 3 > Reset.

This resets the settings of all the buttons, playback/record/video etc etc settings to their defaults

Then to reset all of the Custom Functions options, go to:

Menu > C4 > Reset Custom Functions.

I wouldn't play with debug menus etc etc. No need, plus too risky.

I'd also suggest having a look at your battery and battery charger. Is the charger set for the right voltage in your country? Power issues are really important.

Plus you haven't indicated whether you have any accessories connected to the camera - like what lens (or teleconverters, or external flash, or battery grip). Some accessories can cause weird camera behaviour sometimes.
06-14-2015, 11:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I wouldn't play with debug menus etc etc. No need, plus too risky.
I agree, particularly since the OP has not confirmed that the appropriate location settings are not available in the setup menus. The debug menus are useful, but also very perilous.


Steve
06-15-2015, 11:51 PM   #7
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I would just return it. It's unfortunate, but with the new body there is obviously something wrong.

06-16-2015, 02:18 AM   #8
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So the last epizode in the storyline goes like this:
Nothing had worked, so I contacted the Japanese Dealer. He aswered with this:
"According to Maker,
This product has been identified to possibly have an initial defect."

So I sent it back today. They'll fix it or gimme a new one instead.

If you're buying this model, make sure it works like it is supposed to. More of them might have the same problem, "According to Maker".

Last epizode ends. Wait for the new season

Cheers

06-16-2015, 10:41 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 23mystiq Quote
So the last epizode in the storyline goes like this:
Nothing had worked, so I contacted the Japanese Dealer. He aswered with this:
"According to Maker,
This product has been identified to possibly have an initial defect."

So I sent it back today. They'll fix it or gimme a new one instead.

If you're buying this model, make sure it works like it is supposed to. More of them might have the same problem, "According to Maker".

Last epizode ends. Wait for the new season

Cheers
You may want to start a new thread on the K-3 section of this site. If it is a known issue, it usually helps to confirm across a wide user base.


Steve
06-27-2015, 08:30 AM   #10
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I can confirm the isue.

Bought my K3-II on Thursday. All working good until yesterday when activating the GPS the camera sent useless.

Turn off dosent work.
Freezes when pressing info twice.
No exposure info in eye viewer only on screen.
It still works taking a picture but the screen freezes viewing it.

This either a hardware fult or a major bug.
I will go back to the store on Monday.
06-29-2015, 09:01 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gertlind Quote
I can confirm the isue.
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Your problem with the K-3II is not unique (many reports on this site), but with any luck your dealer and/or Pentax will be able to get you together with a camera that works.


Steve
06-29-2015, 11:08 PM   #12
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Was at the dealer yesterday. They swapped out the camera immedately with no fuzz.
Great support.
06-30-2015, 08:51 PM   #13
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Since there has been several occurrences of this problem, be it hardware, software or a combination of both, or a manufacturing/assembly issues, I think that it would be wise for everyone who receives a new K3II to enable GPS (whether or not they have any intent to ever use it or not) and try to sync it, in order to cause this problem. If the problem occurs, just send it back to the retailer for a replacement.

This should benefit all of us, either directly or indirectly in the future.
  • It will provide Pentax with a larger population of units with problems so that they can find the root cause and fix it.
  • The individual photographers will not have to deal with it later on as a warranty issue (hopefully).
  • It will help preserve the used value of the camera, by not having a lingering problem hanging overhead. Folks are still discussing the SDM problems of the 16-50, and that has not helped the lens at all.
  • It will help Pentax kill off the problem before it is incorporated into the FF (thinking that it will probably have GPS also).
  • In the short run it will hit Pentax's profitability, but will help Pentax release a better FF, which will pay off in the future - as it is going to need a successful introduction (the fewer the problems the better).
  • Hopefully, this is an infant problem that occurs on the initial usage, and does not occur after repeated usage (or subsequent calibrations) which would be a minor disaster, since you would never know when your body would freeze up when using GPS.
  • Personally, I am hoping that its a bad component problem that a supplier takes the hit for, and all Pentax will need to do is to add a GPS calibration step to their final checkout process.


Last edited by interested_observer; 06-30-2015 at 08:56 PM.
06-30-2015, 11:34 PM   #14
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As far as i can understand it looks like the cameras with this problem will not shut off properly. When turning the ON/OFF knob to OFF the camera is still on.
The camera will work well until you enable the GPS, then all the major problem starts.

The tests I did when I got the new one was:
Checking that it turned off properly.
Turned the GPS ON/OFF. (With the broken camera it was not possible to turn the GPS off again)
Went into the menu GPS, enabled and disabled GPS LED. (The faulty camera froze trying this)
Tested the Info meny (press twice). (Broken camera froze here after enabling of the GPS)
07-09-2015, 06:47 PM   #15
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Happy End!

So the last update from me, a happy ending.
I sent the camera back to the dealer. She paid to me all the postage back via PayPal, sent the camera to the Pentax repair centre in Tokyo and within one week it has been fixed. They said it was a faulty circuit. They sent it to the dealer, she sent it to me with a copy of invoice saying that it was on a warranty service, so I would not need to pay customs fees again. To be really sure, she put "Gift" and "Used" labels on the box, too. All in all, this whole repair thing cost me about 4 $ for PayPal services and some 3 weeks of waiting. Happy end. I hope this could help to someone like me (hopefully there won't be many people like me, though And to you guys on Pentax Forums: thanks for your advices and supp!
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