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11-26-2009, 09:08 PM   #1
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K20D Memory Card Issue

Hi folks,

In the past week I've encountered this issue three times so I'm wondering if anyone else has had this experience.

While shooting, I've had the camera tell me the card is full. I know this wasn't possible so I press the shutter button then it tells me there's a memory card error. I shut off the camera, turn it on, and all is well.

This has happened with 4 GB and 16 GB cards, different brands, class 4 and class 6, formatted in camera. In the end all files are written fine.

Has anyone else encountered this issue? I'm about to send it in to Pentax but before I call them, I'd rather get some feedback from the community.

Thanks!

11-26-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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Before you send in the camera, have you considered the quality of these cards you've been using on your camera?
Cheaper cards from less reputable brands are notorious for causing memory failures of every kind.
Replace the card with a good quality one, like a SanDisk (or Toshiba made in Japan) SD card and you may find none of these issues recurring. Rarely is it the camera's fault - but do check that you have the latest firmware for the camera.
11-26-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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Hey Ash, I've owned these particular cards for months now and each have seen about 30 photo sessions, thousands of photos each, never had a single problem. Brands are EDGE (memory manufacturer) and Lexar. I can also try testing with my SanDisk and PNY cards, but doubt it would make a difference.

Firmware is the latest, nothing has changed in months.

Last edited by George Lama; 11-26-2009 at 09:35 PM.
11-26-2009, 09:41 PM   #4
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I don't doubt they've done you well for the time you've had them, but I too have been burnt by cheaper cards that either never lived up to their specs from the beginning or gave up the ghost later down the line - one started playing up after about 8-9 months of using it.

I vowed from then on never to invest in cheaper cards, because the money spent replacing them exceeded that of getting good quality cards in the first place.
After years of using SanDisk and Toshiba SD cards, never a single failure with me.

11-26-2009, 10:01 PM   #5
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You have a valid point as far as life expectancy. I've taken enough photos with some of these cards (overall, probably well over 30,000 on my K20D alone) that I'm about to cycle them out and purchase another batch of new cards.

As far as the quality of the EDGE card, all I can say is I use EDGE memory on critical servers at work and they haven't failed me yet. Then again, I've had a SanDisk card fail on me (wouldn't even allow me to format it on my computer) so it promptly got retired to the circular file.

But I have SanDisk, PNY, and even an HP freebie I can continue testing with. I also have a couple of 2 GB cards I rarely use but can see if standard SD cards have this issue.

On to testing!
11-26-2009, 10:06 PM   #6
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See how you go and let us know - I'd be surprised to hear that it's your camera that's spitting the dummy.
11-27-2009, 11:09 AM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
I vowed from then on never to invest in cheaper cards, because the money spent replacing them exceeded that of getting good quality cards in the first place.
I have been using Sandisk Extreme III sd/sdhc cards since 2004 without a single problem and can't understand why people look to save a few bucks on cheap cards after spending big bucks on a DSLR.
11-27-2009, 12:32 PM   #8
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The argument about cheap cards doesn't quite hold true simply because it's not a SanDisk. Good brand-name Class 6 cards by EDGE, Crucial, Lexar, SanDisk, and Kingston aren't cheap and they all make excellent memory in general.

That said, I wish these cards would have the same S.M.A.R.T. functionality my hard drives have, where they can tell me if something is going wrong with the card. Considering how much I use these cards, I wouldn't be surprised I'm killing them softly, with my love.

11-27-2009, 12:39 PM   #9
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In general you get what you pay for - most of the time.
There will be a few duds on the high end, but the chances are much higher the cheaper down you go.
The question to ask is, how much do you value your images to risk card failure?
11-27-2009, 01:58 PM   #10
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Let's also not forget that flash memory has a finite lifespan. The more write cycles, the fewer years it will last. Although it is a bit odd that more than one card would fail at the same time (unless used equally).

Certainly doesn't hurt to try a new card to prove out the cards or the camera. Not to go against Ash's comments, but I have had card readers/writers in computers go so I wouldn't rule that out as a possibility.
11-27-2009, 07:29 PM   #11
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Seberry, this is in camera. No problems with card reader, either external or internal.

Ash - Honestly, I hope it's my card (s) - sending my camera to Pentax for warranty repair is a heck of a lot more stressful than spending a couple of hundred on a handful of new cards.

But there's my problem - while the assumption being taken here is that it's a card problem, my approach instead is to be 100% sure it's not the camera.

Earlier today I shot a batch of test shots and no errors. Tonight I had a studio session, over 140 shots, not a single error message. I was ready with both my backup camera and extra cards just in case but there was no need.

Tomorrow I will use the card which gave me the error message in the first place and shoot a batch of nature shots in my backyard, see what happens.

As I said, I am going to replace my cards as I know I've rolled the counters on the K10d at least 6 times, and at least 3 times on the K20d. Add to that the read writes from putting them on the computer, backing up files, moving files, deleting files... I'm sure they've been beaten up.

But if I have to send my camera in, I have to do it next week to make sure it gets back before the repair center goes on break and general drunkeness ensues in the Rockies.
11-27-2009, 07:32 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogroast Quote
But if I have to send my camera in, I have to do it next week to make sure it gets back before the repair center goes on break and general drunkeness ensues in the Rockies.
I'd be more worried about the drunks at the repair center

If you send it in, you more than likely won't have it before Christmas, just so you know. Pentax repair centers are generally quite slow to put it politely.
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