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09-21-2011, 09:34 AM   #1
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K100DS misbehaving

Hi all, hope everyone here is doing okay.

I find myself in need of a bit of advice; my K100D Super has developed a fault.

It's had it for a couple of weeks, but it was intermittent, in fact I thought I was being paranoid. Today, however, it has manifested more consistently, so I'm debating what to do. The fault occurs regardless of camera mode or lens attached (or lens mount used), as follows:

Previously, when I took a photo, as it saves data to the SD card, an orange light sometimes comes on whilst it saves the image. I think it's to do with the buffer, since it rarely comes on in JPG mode except on long exposures, but more regularly with RAW or burst modes. Photography blog reviewed the model in 2007 (link) and the light can be seen below the Fn button in this image.

Today however, with any photo I took, there was about a 50% chance that the light would come on and stay on - that is, it appeared that the camera had crashed mid-save. I could wait 30s or a minute (where normally it's at most 2-3s). If I turned the power switch off, it would go out after 5-6s and the save wouldn't have occurred (occasionally there was an file saved on the camera but reviewing it brought up an error). In one or two instances, it wouldn't go out then, and only removing the batteries would resolve it.

Needless to say, this is a bit annoying. I'm wondering if it's something that might be solved by messing around with the firmware myself, if it's something a reputable (UK) repair place could fix, or if this is how DSLRs die.

Thoughts appreciated.

09-21-2011, 09:52 AM   #2
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I don't know 100% for sure what the answer is here, but you should definitely know that SD cards break often and can cause the types of errors you are seeing.

SD cards fail all the time. The SD card is the first item to check on a malfunction like this.
09-21-2011, 09:52 AM   #3
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You didn't mention if you have more than one SD card - if you only have one, try replacing it with a freshly formatted one (formatted with the camera, not your PC) to see if that's the problem. You could also try formatting your existing card(s).
09-21-2011, 09:53 AM   #4
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Howdy, doing pretty well.

Have you tried using a different SD Card? Maybe the card is going bad and not the camera. (That would be my hope, since flash media is less expensive to replace. )

Only other thing I could think of to try to resolve it is restoring the camera to factory default settings.

09-21-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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Hmm, I'd not thought of that. Certainly sounds worth looking into, thanks. I only have the one SD card, which I've just formatted (twice - PC and then on the camera ), and the problem persists. The card works in my laptop (ie I could retrieve photos from it).

I'll drop by my local IT store tomorrow and pick up a spare card, got to be worth a try. Watch this space!
09-21-2011, 07:25 PM   #6
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Are you by any chance taking several shots in a row, like bracketing? The buffer only holds three shots, and takes several seconds to clear. The camera will also keep clearing the buffer after you turn the camera off.
09-21-2011, 07:42 PM   #7
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This does not sound like your problem but I will post it here in case it may apply to someone else reading this thread.
I was experimenting with taking some fireworks pictures, using between 6 sec and 10 sec exposures. Somehow I turned on the K200D noise reduction. That meant that for each 6 sec exposure I had to wait another 6 sec for the dark slide to be taken as well, so I could not take another picture until 12 seconds was up. Took me a few pics to realize what had happened. I was worried that the card was bad or something horrible had happened to the camera. Ooops!
09-22-2011, 04:50 AM   #8
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Well, I tried a new memory card (handily, jessops had an offer on!). No improvement.

However, as TomK suggested, I've examined the menu and "noise reduction" was indeed turned on (no idea how or why). Having switched that off, everything's certainly faster.

I still have a niggling feeling it's not as fast as it was before, but it could just be wishful thinking, as I used to shoot JPG rather than RAW for a long time. It now takes about .25s to save a 3* JPG, and about 1.5s to save a RAW file. It's not something I ever bothered to time before!

QuoteOriginally posted by TomK:
I was worried that the card was bad or something horrible had happened to the camera. Ooops!
Exactly as my initial reaction above. I didn't even know there was a noise reduction setting (aka a "make everything slow for no reason" setting)

Just glad to have avoided a repair bill (and I now have a spare memory card, always handy)!


Last edited by MrA; 09-22-2011 at 08:03 AM.
09-23-2011, 07:57 AM   #9
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Okay, it looks like I may have spoken too soon. It's still doing it. Just been on the phone with Pentax UK technical, had a short discussion and a failed attempt to upgrade the firmware to 1.02, am now "on hold" awaiting a telephone call next week. Watch this space...
10-18-2011, 12:49 PM   #10
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Further update: Johnsons Photopia, as Pentax UK's recommended technical people, have had a look at my camera. New Main PCB required, 178.

Not entirely convinced it's worth it, to renew a mere 6Mp body - ebay suggests I could get a similar-aged K10D for not a lot more, or a new K-r for 359. I think it's the end of the road for this one...
10-19-2011, 06:30 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrA Quote
I think it's the end of the road for this one...
I'm sorry to hear about this. I have K100dS with about 13 k shots on it. How many does yours have? JP didn't happen to say what to do to avoid that, did they? Thanks. Glenn
10-20-2011, 12:49 AM   #12
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They didn't, no. I'll check the shot count when it gets delivered back to me though, since I can't remember. I doubt it's that high though.
10-20-2011, 03:17 AM   #13
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You can get your shuttercount from the last image you took, using a program like PhotoMe.

Considering that repair estimate, I think you'd be much better off getting a newer model. I've had a K-r since June, put nearly 17k clicks on it, and love it. I've also compared its specs to some of the older Pentax models, thinking maybe down the road of getting a backup body, maybe even converting it for IR, and there is a LOT of progress made between your current one and the K-r, probably enough to justify the cost for most people.
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