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11-03-2009, 12:44 PM   #1
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problem with new K20D

I bought a new K20D ~1.5 months ago. I had a busy few weeks and didn't use it for a week or two. Every time since then, or nearly every time, about 30 min or so after I've been shooting, it is as if the camera is losing power (despite battery indicator showing full charge) the shutter seems to take a full second to turn over despite daylight conditions, replay of image cannot be viewed, and soon I have no camera function. However, I still see how many shots are left on my mem card when power is off. Then I charge the battery, and everything is fine the next time I use the camera--for 30 min or so.

I am using two older SD cards that I should replace since they're is only 1-2 G. I tend to leave the power on while I hike or do whatever. Is this bad? Before I started having problems with the camera, the battery power indicator would show battery power going away as it should.

The first time this happened, I called Pentax. They told me to send it in. I would like to avoid the expense, hassle, and incovenience of being without my camera.

Do I have a bum battery, or what?

Thanks for any advice.

11-03-2009, 07:54 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by geckogrin Quote

Do I have a bum battery, or what?

Thanks for any advice.
Welcome to the forum. Sad to hear this.
What mode are you on? Could you have inadvertently been in M mode shooting at a shutter speed of a second or so?

The loss of camera function thereafter is complete? Do you give the camera time to process the last image taken before switching it off? The K20D has a dark frame subtraction applied to all long exposure images, which renders the camera unresponsive during this process. Once finished, the camera should return to normal function.

There should be no problem leaving the camera on and allowing it to sleep - a lot of users do that, including myself, with no problems.

Let us know more about what's happening when the long shots go off on your camera.
11-03-2009, 08:03 PM   #3
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I have it on the green/auto or P mode most of the time. In addition to having the long shots, it basically loses power and I can't do a thing with it until I recharge the battery.
11-04-2009, 03:41 AM   #4
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I would have thought your first action would be to get another battery and see what is happening with that one, as it sounds like a faulty battery.
I have some experience with batteries that appear to have the correct volts [ which your battery indicator shows]
BUTthis battery indicator does not warn you about a faulty battery which will not take a load and drops the volts to the point where the equipment it is supossed to power stops working.
most of us have had a car battery fail at some time and that battery would have shown 12 volts but would not start the car? it's the same thing.
With model air craft flying on lithium batteries ect this is a well known fault , battery is charged and full but dropps of very quickly once a motor is run,
regards
Alistair

11-04-2009, 10:06 AM   #5
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Hi geckogrin,

Some possibilities -- What are your settings for Auto Power off and Meter Operating Time? Are you using LV a lot? How about the pop up flash? These are all things that might effect battery life (especially thei first).

The first thing I'd try is a reset of all the cmera settings, if things remain the same, then I'd try a different battery.

I was playing with trap focusing a while ago, and turned Auto Power Off to "off". For the next couple of days, every time I picked up the cam, the battery was dead. I kept switching batteries and recharging them wondering what was wrong with my camera. . . then I remembered changing the setting, and everything went back to normal. My normal mode is to leave the camera "on" while not in a bag, and let the Auto Power Off take care of my batteries.

Scott
11-05-2009, 03:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by geckogrin Quote
I have it on the green/auto or P mode most of the time. In addition to having the long shots, it basically loses power and I can't do a thing with it until I recharge the battery.
As a matter of interest have you found the fault / cause of your battery problem?
Alistair
11-05-2009, 10:26 AM   #7
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Update

In response to the questions, I am not using LV or flash.

The auto-off is on the default setting.

I would think that if somehow I were using up a lot of batteries that the indicator would show the battery being depleted.

I called Pentax and gave Allistair's theory, and asked if they could send me a new battery to try, but they think that there's a short in the camera.

I'm disappointed that Pentax is not planning to cover my costs to ship/insure. I wonder if they will extend warranty, at least for period that I'm without camera.

I have the opportunity to photograph the birth of a friend this month. Now I will not have a suitable camera to use for the low light conditions. This is my first DSLR. My Nikon FM2 was stolen from my parents' house.

Do you think it would be better for me to send the camera to the Pentax service center (no online reviews) in AZ for repair (3 weeks turnaround not incl shipping), or to another one in CT that is closer to me and says they have a 7-10 biz day turnaround? I viewed the reviews on google, and they are mixed. Although fast turnaround would be nice, it's possible that the baby will come in the next week or so, so where I send it could be moot.

Precision Camera Repair
3 Annginna Dr, Enfield, CT

Finally, although I am subscribed to this thread and got notifications for the first few replies, I'm no longer being notified. I will check back though. Anyone know how to fix this?
11-05-2009, 05:51 PM   #8
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top of the page thread tools, open that and subscribe ,if it does not say unsubscribe which it ought to since you started the thread
Alistair

11-06-2009, 04:48 AM   #9
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gecogrin, I have just reread your first post and it would appear that the camera or battery are faulty almost "out of the box"
that being the case I am sure that you local/ national consumer laws will have the "fit for purpose" clause embedded in it, it certainly does here in the UK.
Since the camera / battery is clearly not working as promised by the Maker it is therefore not fit for purpose and you should be able to go to the camera shop and either get a refund or they resupply you with new.
Further in the UK it is the sellers responsibility not the maker to ensure that the fit for purpose product is replaced.
if it had failed after a couple of months then it would be a warranty claim and you would have to speak to Pentax either directly or again via the seller.
I would get / buy a battery anyway, you are bound to need a spare one and it will prove where the fault is,
just my penny's worth,
regards
Alistair
11-06-2009, 06:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input. I googled "consumer protection" and "defective product" and just came up with a bunch of links to lawyers. I also googled some of the terms you mentioned and came up with UK sites. I saw a chart comparing, and it seems that maybe UK consumer protection laws are stronger than US.

I contacted the online camera store; they were sympathetic, but said they were powerless to change the policy per their agreement with Pentax. . .since I was over (well over) the 2 week or so return policy. They said about 1.8% of cameras of any brand are defective.

I politely contacted Pentax regarding extending my warranty for the time I'd be without my camera, and they said they "don't do that" and acted rude and as if that were an unreasonable request.

I guess I will just take my lumps and hope I get my camera back quickly.

Weighing pros/cons of getting a battery before sending camera off. . . .
11-06-2009, 07:00 PM   #11
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I would buy a new battery first. There's a Konica/Minolta battery that fits perfectly fine and costs a bit less than the Pentax one.

If it fixes it, then you're just out a battery -- if not, you have a spare battery which never hurts.

Sorry to hear Pentax service isn't very friendly. I never had to use them when I shot Pentax; Canon service has been excellent when I did have to use it but after the 1D Mark III focusing debacle and 5D mirrors falling off I expect they're a little more used to dealing with unhappy customers than most.
11-07-2009, 09:22 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by geckogrin Quote
Thanks for the input. I googled "consumer protection" and "defective product" and just came up with a bunch of links to lawyers. I also googled some of the terms you mentioned and came up with UK sites. I saw a chart comparing, and it seems that maybe UK consumer protection laws are stronger than US.

I contacted the online camera store; they were sympathetic, but said they were powerless to change the policy per their agreement with Pentax. . .since I was over (well over) the 2 week or so return policy. They said about 1.8% of cameras of any brand are defective.

I politely contacted Pentax regarding extending my warranty for the time I'd be without my camera, and they said they "don't do that" and acted rude and as if that were an unreasonable request.

I guess I will just take my lumps and hope I get my camera back quickly.

Weighing pros/cons of getting a battery before sending camera off. . . .
It's too bad you got a bad camera, but these things happen. All the manufacturer can do is fix it under warranty. If they are refusing to do that, then I would suppose that a consumer protection claim would be in order, but as they have asked for the camera back, I'm failing to see why you would even consider getting involved in that.
Just send the thing back and have them fix it.
And read the terms of your warranty before getting all pissy about "extensions". It's an agreement that is binding on both parties, and you agreed to it when you put your money on the table.
11-07-2009, 11:21 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by geckogrin Quote
Thanks for the input. I googled "consumer protection" and "defective product" and just came up with a bunch of links to lawyers. I also googled some of the terms you mentioned and came up with UK sites. I saw a chart comparing, and it seems that maybe UK consumer protection laws are stronger than US.

I contacted the online camera store; they were sympathetic, but said they were powerless to change the policy per their agreement with Pentax. . .since I was over (well over) the 2 week or so return policy. They said about 1.8% of cameras of any brand are defective.

I politely contacted Pentax regarding extending my warranty for the time I'd be without my camera, and they said they "don't do that" and acted rude and as if that were an unreasonable request.

I guess I will just take my lumps and hope I get my camera back quickly.

Weighing pros/cons of getting a battery before sending camera off. . . .
1) There are no "pros and cons." Who buys a camera like this without a second battery? If you had a second battery most of your questions would already have been resolved.

2) A battery like this loses its "form" if it sits around for a long time unused. Recharging it may take a full day to get to partial charge (or may never recharge properly under some circumstances)....if it partially charges, then discharge it fully, recharge, perhaps repeat the cycle another time. That's probably the fix, if your treatment of the battery hasn't ruined it (that's possible), but you need a second battery anyway.

3) A telephone diagnosis is rarely the answer and "rudeness" is a matter of personal experience...two ways. My experience with Pentax tech questions, calling their service people, has been very good...they worked hard to find answers but in the end couldn't because of my obscure question (had to do with use of studio strobe with K20D PC plug)

4) Nobody provides replacement during repair cycles on this sort of equipment. The best I know of was decades ago: Canon's pro-shop service promised and reliably delivered 3 day (Friday PM till Monday AM in one drastic experience) turnaround not counting delivery. I think Leica offers a premier service today, but it's reportedly nowhere nearly as good as Canon's was.
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