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11-13-2017, 07:10 AM   #1
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K100D not reading memory cards anymore

Hi, I would like to start using my K100D again, after a few years of abandonment, but it no longer reads memory cards. I've brought it to a local camera shop and they said
it's not worth repairing. I have a LOT of Pentax k-mount lenses, both AF and manual, and I enjoy using them. I don't have the funds for a new DSLR body.

Is this really not worth repairing? Should I buys a used DSLR body? Any other thoughts/suggestions? Thanks.

11-13-2017, 08:40 AM   #2
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Given the prices used Pentax DSLR bodies are going for these days, the camera shop is sadly right. You can pick up a used Pentax DSLR body off of eBay for very little money. I paid less than $80 for a K10D with an 18-55 lens and less than 8,000 shutter actuations on eBay a little over a year ago and picked up a K200D with an 18-55 lens and about 14,000 shutter actuations for $94 shipped this past summer. Set a budget of what you're comfortable spending, do your research, and get the best camera you can for that amount.
11-13-2017, 08:43 AM   #3
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The K100D was originally only compatible with SD memory cards, 2Gb or smaller. If you never upgraded the firmware (you'd know) it may not understand an SDHC card. So make sure you're using a working SD card at first.

You can spray electrical contact cleaner directly into the card slot and that could help with card reading.

The battery contacts probably also could use cleaning with contact cleaner, for more reliable service.

You can probably find a decent replacement body for less than repair costs. A K-r works a lot like the K100D but has a great rear screen, faster AF and is better in low light.
11-13-2017, 08:54 AM   #4
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What type of memory card? The K100D can use SDHC with a firmware update (otherwise standard SD). Will it format a new card? What type batteries? I've used rechargeable Eneloops/Rayovac/Energizer with my 6 mp bodies with great success. Good luck. btw, leaving a DSLR unused for years isn't doing its electronics any favors.

11-13-2017, 10:15 AM   #5
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Just a dumb question - what are you using to test it? Is it an old card with files on it or did you try a new card which requires formatting prior to use?

The former is a valid test if the files were written by the same camera but if written by another camera, may not make sense to the older one.

If the latter is the case and you'll be unable to read or write until you format the card (taking into consideration the previous comments about new card compatibility).
11-13-2017, 10:56 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the info so far.

I initially assumed it was the card upgrade. I tested it with a brand new standard SD card and a brand new SDHC card. Neither worked.

I don't think I ever did the firmware upgrade, so I will start there and see what happens.

Any other suggestions? Thanks.
11-13-2017, 11:23 AM   #7
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As mentioned the K100D started out without SDHC compatibility - so it will not read/write those until you apply a firmware update. Make sure the card you are testing with is NOT SDHC until you can confirm the firmware version.
11-13-2017, 01:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by scaffnet Quote
I don't think I ever did the firmware upgrade, so I will start there and see what happens.
It seems a bit chicken-or-the-egg, though; you'll have to find at least one SD card that will work in the camera, since you will need to use it to upgrade the firmware!

11-13-2017, 01:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by leekil Quote
It seems a bit chicken-or-the-egg, though; you'll have to find at least one SD card that will work in the camera, since you will need to use it to upgrade the firmware!
Yup. And they are HARD to find these days.
11-13-2017, 08:24 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Yup. And they are HARD to find these days.
My local Huntís photo has them.
11-14-2017, 09:00 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by E-man Quote
Given the prices used Pentax DSLR bodies are going for these days, the camera shop is sadly right. You can pick up a used Pentax DSLR body off of eBay for very little money. I paid less than $80 for a K10D with an 18-55 lens and less than 8,000 shutter actuations on eBay a little over a year ago and picked up a K200D with an 18-55 lens and about 14,000 shutter actuations for $94 shipped this past summer. Set a budget of what you're comfortable spending, do your research, and get the best camera you can for that amount.
Thanks, I think that's where I am heading. Pentax isn't making it super-easy, a number of their DSLRs seem very similar. K-5, K-7, K-10, K-20...what's the best used DSLR body for $200-$250? Any chance of any of them having wifi?
11-14-2017, 10:04 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Look at sensors first, then the technology around them. Sensors mostly differ in pixels and sensitivity to light (ISO). Pixels don't matter too much unless you try to crop away some of the frame. When you can raise ISO to 1600 or more, you can take shots without flash in fairly dark conditions, without having $1000 lenses.

The 6Mp and 10 Mp sensors are really good at ISO 100 or 200, but really struggle at 800 or more compared to newer stuff. It's harder to get larger prints - not impossible, you just need great conditions for it. The 14Mp sensors look OK on paper and can stretch to decent shots at 1600, but fall off very quickly after that. I would draw a line there. That rules out all the *ist cameras, the K100D, K110D, K200D, K10D, K2000, K-m, K20D and K-7. I'm not saying they are not worth buying or terrible cameras, just that you can get better high ISO performance which I think is very useful.

The remaining cameras in your price range are either 12Mp or 16Mp. The 12Mp cameras are pretty similar. The K-x is older and the K-r is an update with a better rear screen which is nice. The K-01 is unusual because it is a mirrorless camera, so it doesn't have a conventional viewfinder. The K-30, K-50 and K-500 are closely related and should be really great, except sometimes suffer "aperture block failure". So they are cheap but leave you to figure out whether they'll last.

I don't think you can get a K-S1 for that price.

I have a soft spot for the K-7 even though I ruled it out. It is only bad at high ISOs but I think really good in other areas. It's an upgrade over the K100D to be sure, just a disappointment above ISO 1600

Last edited by Just1MoreDave; 11-14-2017 at 10:13 AM.
11-14-2017, 11:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Look at sensors first, then the technology around them. Sensors mostly differ in pixels and sensitivity to light (ISO). Pixels don't matter too much unless you try to crop away some of the frame. When you can raise ISO to 1600 or more, you can take shots without flash in fairly dark conditions, without having $1000 lenses.

The 6Mp and 10 Mp sensors are really good at ISO 100 or 200, but really struggle at 800 or more compared to newer stuff. It's harder to get larger prints - not impossible, you just need great conditions for it. The 14Mp sensors look OK on paper and can stretch to decent shots at 1600, but fall off very quickly after that. I would draw a line there. That rules out all the *ist cameras, the K100D, K110D, K200D, K10D, K2000, K-m, K20D and K-7. I'm not saying they are not worth buying or terrible cameras, just that you can get better high ISO performance which I think is very useful.

The remaining cameras in your price range are either 12Mp or 16Mp. The 12Mp cameras are pretty similar. The K-x is older and the K-r is an update with a better rear screen which is nice. The K-01 is unusual because it is a mirrorless camera, so it doesn't have a conventional viewfinder. The K-30, K-50 and K-500 are closely related and should be really great, except sometimes suffer "aperture block failure". So they are cheap but leave you to figure out whether they'll last.

I don't think you can get a K-S1 for that price.

I have a soft spot for the K-7 even though I ruled it out. It is only bad at high ISOs but I think really good in other areas. It's an upgrade over the K100D to be sure, just a disappointment above ISO 1600
Thanks for all that info! I really appreciate it. I have been poking around eBay, lot of sellers from Japan. No surprise there - would you risk buying from someone halfway across the world? Most sales on eBay are final anyway, so in the end I suppose it doesn't really matter.
11-14-2017, 07:11 PM   #14
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WiFi is not available at those prices but cards that give some of the wifi benefit are. The EyeFi Mobi cards will transfer the pictures to a phone or pc etc. They will not allow remote control. The flucard only works in bodies that cost too much and frankly I never cared for the flucard client.

---------- Post added 11-14-17 at 09:13 PM ----------

The K-30/50 series is a great upgrade from the K100D but the K-5 would be possibly better. There are subtle differences in tech where there were some small improvements in the K-50 over the K-5 but very minor. The K-5 is a better body with longer life and a great ergonomic design - but the K-50 is pretty nice often for a lot less since people treasure the K-5 still.
11-15-2017, 04:49 PM - 1 Like   #15
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I looked at eBay and had trouble not buying something! I think there is a reasonable amount of protection for the eBay buyer if the item isn't as described, but read the fine print.

I'd probably get a K-50 and buy the replacement actuator at the same time.

Your K100D might be worth something as a parts camera to someone.
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