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03-03-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
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Kx memory card problems

I got a Kx for my sister for Christmas off of eBay (I guess this was a mistake). When I was testing it there were no problems, but as soon as she started using it weird things started to happen. Every so often when a shot is taken, it will be displayed as a black frame when reviewed on the camera. On top of that the frames left counter will drop from 400 to 0 and the camera will say that the memory card is full. When that happens the temporary fix is to shut the camera off, remove the card, reinsert, turn the camera back on. When I tried to look at the pictures on my computers (one runs Ubuntu Linux, the other Windows 7 Ultimate), I saw the same black frames that I saw on the camera. I tried using a couple of my cards (they are different brands than my sister's) and I got the same results. This leads me to believe it is something in the camera. Either software or hardware.

Does anyone have any idea what is going on here and any clue how to fix it? Can I fix it with debug mode, or do I have to send it somewhere?

Btw, the memory cards were all SDHC: Transcend 8GB, PNY 8GB (x3), Patriot 16GB; and they all work fine in my K10.

03-03-2012, 07:45 PM   #2
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That is a bit strange. Have you upgraded the firmware and were all the cards formatted in the K-x just in case?
03-03-2012, 07:57 PM   #3
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1) Use Sanyo Eneloop or XX AA if you haven't done so.

2) I would clean all contacts inside the SD slot first, with WD40 or DeoxIT. If you feel uncomfortable sticking anything inside the slot, you can brush the fluid onto the SD contacts, then insert the card a few times and see if it solves the problem.

3) My DS had black frame problem when it was new. I don't know why but the "Release Aging" (or similar name?) feature in Debug mode fixed that. It basically fired the shutter 100x by itself. The problem never appear since.
03-03-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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Good advice so far. Certainly check to see that you have the newest firmware (another update was released this week).
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/177445-new-firmware-1-13-a.html

I had some weirdness the one time I had to use some Alkaline batteries. Stick with Eneloops or the Energizer Ultimate Lithiums that Pentax ships with the new K-x.

Was it in LiveView when this happened?

03-03-2012, 09:51 PM   #5
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Not all DeoxIT materials will work with plastics,if you do this be sure you get the right one.WD 40 might not be a good solution for cleaning contacts in the camera.CRC makes a good line of cleaners for contacts but not all are safe to use on plastic.
Jake
03-03-2012, 10:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjake Quote
Not all DeoxIT materials will work with plastics,if you do this be sure you get the right one.WD 40 might not be a good solution for cleaning contacts in the camera.CRC makes a good line of cleaners for contacts but not all are safe to use on plastic.
Jake
There are many DeoxIT products and those 100% concentration are plastic safe. WD40 is excellent for the same purpose despite most people are misguided it was a lubricant. Typical contact cleaners do nothing beyond cleaning and often not improving poor conductivity. The key is not to spray onto the camera, but use a brush instead. Since WD40 is widely available and affordable, it would be the 1st to try. But like any tools, one has to use them correctly for best result and I cannot be responsible for any disaster due to incompetence.
03-04-2012, 07:31 AM   #7
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Hi Dave

This is not an unusual problem. My K200D had corruption issues with 4 GB Kingston cards however had no issues with Crucial 4GB cards. My Kx has memory full and black frame errors with 8GB Wintec filemate Pro cards but works fine with Crucial and Kingston 4GB cards.

I do not believe it is related to battery power or dirty contacts. I get the same issues with a fresh pair of batteries. The issue is related to SD card controller and data transfer issues that have issues with certain cameras. It seems that the larger size cards are more prone to these issues. You are having the same issues with your 8GB card that I am.

Try other brands of cards, especially 4GB brand name cards and see which ones work and then stick to them for that model of camera.
03-04-2012, 07:43 AM   #8
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Actually now that I think of it there are parralels in the rimfire firearms world. Even though all the ammo is supposed to be designed to the same general specs many rimfire guns will not shoot all rimfire ammo brands the same. One brand will cause jams like crazy in shooting and the next brand feeds perfectly. Small variations in manufacturing tolerances can cause big issues in real use.

03-04-2012, 07:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by R.Miller Quote
Hi Dave

This is not an unusual problem. My K200D had corruption issues with 4 GB Kingston cards however had no issues with Crucial 4GB cards. My Kx has memory full and black frame errors with 8GB Wintec filemate Pro cards but works fine with Crucial and Kingston 4GB cards.

I do not believe it is related to battery power or dirty contacts. I get the same issues with a fresh pair of batteries. The issue is related to SD card controller and data transfer issues that have issues with certain cameras. It seems that the larger size cards are more prone to these issues. You are having the same issues with your 8GB card that I am.

Try other brands of cards, especially 4GB brand name cards and see which ones work and then stick to them for that model of camera.
Silly question but here goes - do you have the latest firmware in our camera? The issue of card compatibility has come up over the past couple of years and several of Pentax's firmware upgrades have specifically addressed card issues. That said, this is a part of why I stick with mainline brands with excellent specs like SanDisk and PNY.
03-04-2012, 09:10 AM   #10
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Not a silly question at all. I do have the latest 1.03 FW but have not tested the Wintec card as yet. Do you have access to any 4GB cards? I'm curious if there is any relationship to vendor model and size of cards and read/write issues.

If you want, drop me a PM with a shipping address and I'll send you a 4GB Kingston card for testing. I got a bunch of them.
03-04-2012, 09:22 AM   #11
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CHEESE AND RICE! Thanks for the super speed feed back. looks like I have some work (and shopping) to do.
No it does not have the latest firmware, so this seems like a good place to start. But before I update it I'm going to check for the release notes if Pentax releases those. I'm also going to purchase a 4GB SanDisk card. And maybe I'll try the Debug mode.
Thanks All, I'll let you know how it goes.
03-04-2012, 09:33 AM   #12
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OK, great. I'll try to do some testing today on my 8 GB Wintec that was giving me issues an let you know if there was any improvement over the previous firmware.
03-04-2012, 10:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by R.Miller Quote
Not a silly question at all. I do have the latest 1.03 FW but have not tested the Wintec card as yet. Do you have access to any 4GB cards? I'm curious if there is any relationship to vendor model and size of cards and read/write issues.

If you want, drop me a PM with a shipping address and I'll send you a 4GB Kingston card for testing. I got a bunch of them.
I have several 4gb cards - SanDisk Extreme Class 10 and Transcend Class 10 - and none have produced the issues you mention.
03-04-2012, 11:35 AM   #14
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I have Interesting news. The Wintec filemate PRO 8GB card that previously had read/write errors and black frames now appears to be functioning fine in my Kx camera with the 1.03 FW. I was rethinking some of my previous posts and now wonder if the issues are related to battery voltage level and variances in SD cards voltage needs. I also wonder if 8GB cards have higher power requirements than 4GB cards since they have more memory locations to write to. Maybe someone who knows how SD cards function can answer that one. Not sure what the performance range of SD cards are and how that may vary from vendor to vendor for a given read/write speed class. Maybe the new firmware adds a write delay until the card is really ready for the data for greater stability? No idea.

I shot 200 plus pics even machine gunning some of the shots until the red low battery icon appeared. No issues. Previously I could not get to ten shots without errors.

Hope this info is useful.
03-06-2012, 11:36 AM   #15
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I've had the exact same problem with my k-x, and with different brands of cards, including SanDIsk and Lexar Platinum cards which were all brand new. I was trying to update firmware from version 1.0 to the new one to see if that would fix the issue, but I was also having trouble installing the firmware. The update process just wouldn't start, no prompt, just black screen UNTIL I used an old (and pretty beat up, to be honest) 1GB card. Firmware is updating as I type this, and I'm pretty sure I know why: all the new and problematic cards were 8GB cards, I had never had trouble before with my 4GB ones.
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