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07-11-2015, 12:20 PM   #1
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K3 died in the middle of a photo session

During a photo trip last week my K3 just broke down... (missing the correct english phrase right now) I'll try to describe the scenario as good as I can.
I had been taking around 276 photos with no problems - always taking JPEG and RAW at the same time - with the Pentax GPS and a battery grip attached, when suddenly instead of showing me the photo I just had taken only the hour glass was shown.
I didn't think too much about it and went back into shooting more photos, as the shutter and settings still seemed to work. From time to time it seemed as if I was unable to change the aperture or exposure settings, but a short shutting the camera off and on again seemed to help. Until after about another 30-60 minutes the shutter would stop working too and the usual turning the camera on and off did not help any more.
I decided to take all batteries out of the camera for a short period to re-install them afterwards. Well that at least woke up the camera again. But unfortunately all photos that I had "taken" in those 30-60 minutes never got saved on the memory card.
The camera and card have worked just fine afterwards. The newest 1.21 (?) firmware update is installed to my camera. And the error has not occurred a day later again...

But I would really like to know if anybody else has had a similar experience with the K3 and if so if there is anything that can be done to prevent this in the future. I still have warranty on my camera, so I could take it to the service point, but I do have a certain feeling that they will not be able to recreate that type of error this easily. Should this be a known error that could be fixed by the service staff I would love to know too.

Any help that you could provide me with would be highly appreciated. (Yes, I looked for other threads with the same type of error but could not find any.)

07-11-2015, 12:58 PM   #2
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Cameras have computers in them, and who knows why they do what they do?.. my guess from your description is it was just a chance thing. If removing that battery fixed it, you know what to do next time... for them to do anything at a service centre it needs to be repeatable. They aren't going to take a couple thousand pictures just to see if it happens.

There is an important lesson here. If something on your camera seems to be malfunctioning, stop, and make sure everything works correctly before continuing. Often a problem none area is a symptom that something else also isn't working.
07-11-2015, 01:39 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Someone told me this was a problem with older firmware and the latest fixes it.

This happened to me while I was in a helicopter taking photos of the university of notre dame. I lost about 3 minutes of the 8 minute ride while taking the batteries out. I was most perturbed.

It only seems to happen to me when I'm taking a boatload of pics, and usually it's only 30-60 seconds before it corrects itself (that's all the time I'll usually wait before I take the batteries out, though.)
07-11-2015, 01:48 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Thanks for sharing your experience. Does your K3 still work properly? This could be the runaway mirror problem manifesting itself. Please send in your camera to Precision for warranty repair. I would certainly be pi**ed if it happened in the middle of a $$$ adventure.

07-11-2015, 01:55 PM - 1 Like   #5
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It doesn't sound likely that the photos didn't get saved. They should hopefully still be recoverable off the SD card.

As for the freeze- sometimes a battery pull does become necessary after prolonged use, especially if your battery voltage was low.

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07-11-2015, 02:46 PM   #6
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Is your SD card too slow so that it cannot keep up? If the camera's buffer fills up that would prevent more images to be taken until it is emptied out. If you pulled the battery with images still in the buffer you'd lose those images.
07-11-2015, 02:53 PM   #7
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I have had that happen when I was deleting pics. Pulled the batteriy and reinstalled A freshly charged one. Computers are goofy, I also have an expensive professional sewing machine that 'freezes' in between multiple stitch changes and I have to turn it on an off again to reset it.
07-11-2015, 02:53 PM   #8
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I agree with Adam about the battery part.. if I get any electronic devise that starts to act weird I put a new battery in (or charging it in your case)

Pulling the battery also does a hard reboot.. kind of like windows sometimes you need to shut it down and restart it again then all is fine

Randy

07-11-2015, 03:44 PM   #9
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there's a note about Pentax recalling some K-3s on DPReview today... see
Ricoh addresses 'power off' issue on some Pentax K-3 II cameras: Digital Photography Review
07-11-2015, 03:53 PM   #10
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those aren't K3 - those are K3 II. Different camera entirely.
07-11-2015, 04:20 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Yes, you're right -- I guess the problem wouldn't appear on both. You know, it's too bad that a camera -- or any digital device for that matter -- can't emit a big squacking sound just before it fails, so the owner would know that it failed at that moment and could reboot it without losing any further information. In my computer world, it's no big deal if they crash now and then, as long as it doesn't happen very often. Digital photographers could look at these infrequent meltdowns the same way as film photographers felt, back when, if they hadn't loaded the film correctly, and didn't notice, shot after shot, that it just wasn't advancing... something like that?
07-12-2015, 02:48 AM   #12
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Thank you all very much for your input.
- Speed of the memory cards should have been good enough (SanDisk cat. 4) as it works fine on high numbers of exposures.
- The batteries weren't even near empty, even if one had been the other one should have taken over.

@danny09 well for the last 88 photos after the system crash and the hard reset it did just work fine, yes. - But I think you might be onto something, the "locking up" part of the mirror runaway sounds pretty much like what happened to me here. (I had the mirror flapping before I installed the 1.21 firmware - and prior to using the battery grip.) Guess I will take it back to the shop where I bought it, if I am lucky they'll just exchange it if not they'll hopefully be able to fix it and as I remember they would borrow me another camera for the time mine is in repair too, so I won't miss out on any shots...
07-12-2015, 02:56 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lille Ulven Quote
- Speed of the memory cards should have been good enough (SanDisk cat. 4) as it works fine on high numbers of exposures.
This could have actually crashed your camera...make sure you get Class 10 cards at the very least, if not UHS-I cards. You'll notice much faster file save times and faster performance overall. With your card each file save could take some 10 seconds, whereas a proper card can reduce that to less than 1.

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07-12-2015, 04:36 AM   #14
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Thanks Adam - then I'll do both... see if I can get my camera into service and get some new cards as well.
07-12-2015, 12:10 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lille Ulven Quote
Thanks Adam - then I'll do both... see if I can get my camera into service and get some new cards as well.
See if you the issue happens consistently with the new card. If not, I wouldn't worry about getting it serviced since nothing you've described leads me to believe there's actually a defect with the camera (which is a good thing!) .

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