Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-30-2018, 01:51 AM   #1
Junior Member

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Christchurch, South Island
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 43
My K3II just went dead... any suggestions

Hi all,

Imagine this, it's New Years day 2017 and you're experiencing just your second day in Havana Cuba, when, inexplicably your K3 just up and dies.

Well, that's exactly what happened to me, and needless to say I was devastated. My trusty K5 had been through hell and back, had the scars to show for it, and was still going strong - only problem was that I had left it back in NZ opting to take just the one body

Anyway, I'm looking at the K3 again tonight and as I sometimes do I throw a battery in it to check if a miracle has happened... nope. But then I think what about trying to connect it to the PC using the USB cable, no harm in trying eh! So I put an empty spare SD card in, turn it 'on' (it's dead), and connect it to the PC... and lo and behold the K3 opens up in 'My Computer'. My heart skips a little and I click on the folder which opens. It then disappears having lost it's connection. I unplug the USB and reconnect it, again it opens up, and again after a few seconds it loses it's connection. It does this perhaps another four times before not connecting at all. But it has me interested in trying to breathe some life back into it as it was just over two years old when it died.

On my return from Cuba I took the camera to John at Fototech who pulled it apart but wasn't able to find any fault with it. His suggestion was to send it to Japan for repairs but we thought this would be too expensive and I purchased a K3II (which btw, has periodically had the shutter flutter / jam problem). I read somewhere where someone had a K3 go dead and they tried working the SD card cover on/off switch hard and this bought the camera back to life. Actually this is how tonight started out but the camera remained dead, then I tried the USB connect as above.

So... does anyone have any suggestions please...

09-30-2018, 06:01 AM   #2
Senior Member

Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 235
It sounds like a battery problem. Check camera battery terminals and battery voltage. The word " dead " is not a camera Halloween celebration but the LCD is not lit.
Take a freshly charged battery and connect again to computer via USB. Try a blank SD card and then loaded SD card.
09-30-2018, 09:24 AM   #3
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,230
Quite a number of USB components do not require external power. I would not be surprised if the 5v power over USB was designed to wake the chips on the K-3 and then the chips were to inform the camera - in this case that second step can't ever happen. I don't think it is any more than a zombie moment for the camera - startling the muscle with a shock and then the body goes back into the long rest.

That said - the underlying problem might be something small - I just don't know.
09-30-2018, 10:12 AM   #4
retired sw engineer
Loyal Site Supporter
reh321's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Bend, IN, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,916
QuoteOriginally posted by Penview52 Quote
It sounds like a battery problem. Check camera battery terminals and battery voltage. The word " dead " is not a camera Halloween celebration but the LCD is not lit.
Take a freshly charged battery and connect again to computer via USB. Try a blank SD card and then loaded SD card.
I would get a brand new battery, charge it, and then try the camera again.

If that doesn't have any effect, most likely there is a problem with the processor ..... and at this stage of the game that means a replacement camera.

09-30-2018, 02:29 PM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Melbourne Australia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 825
Along the lines of UncleVanya, it is possible that the USB controller chip can be self powered to some degree, giving you in effect, a USB card reader.

On the K-3, leaving the card door open during power on, the card light will flash a few times even though the camera 'won't turn on'. If this isn't happening then it's not the card door switch.

On your 'dead' problem, I would say the most likely issues are a faulty power switch or a faulty main board. I'd try cleaning the power switch.
10-04-2018, 06:06 AM   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
TER-OR's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Dundee, IL
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,456
Since the K5 uses the same battery, that's easy enough to check. My guess though, it's a power controller issue on the board. Checking all the above selections is worth your time, though.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, card, connection, day, k3, life, pentax help, photography, sd, suggestions, troubleshooting, usb
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dead battery deleting all photos? k3ii Greenneck Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 7 05-27-2018 09:40 AM
Dead K5 and dead SDM chochichaeschtli Repairs and Warranty Service 6 01-04-2018 11:50 AM
What went wrong with my K3II?? maxgroebel Pentax K-3 22 05-03-2017 03:09 PM
Suggestions and opinions concerning a zoom lens for my K3II candeloromauro Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 01-14-2016 08:10 AM
Think I just fried my flash...any suggestions? wizofoz Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 19 07-01-2013 03:49 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:49 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]