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Old Jul 16, 2009, 12:02 PM   #1
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Default Pentax USA: K7 has no defective sensors

I was about to purchase a K7, but decided to query Pentax via support Live Chat on the Pentax USA web site to see if there were any with the defective sensors left in the pipeline. The person forcefully denied that there were any known problems with the sensors ("Samsung doesn't ship cameras" - I had to tell him Samsung made the sensors) and had not seen any in the shop for repairs. I was assured that the reports on websites (which he had not heard of, nor the 30 day repair estimate from Pentax service) were incorrect and that there were no problems with the K7. This is not reassuring. I think I will wait until the issue is resolved to everyone's satisfaction before I buy. Has anyone besides Harriet contacted them about the problem?
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 12:09 PM   #2
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Penolta-

I too, am in a wait and see mode with regard to the K-7 model. New models have their problems. For instance, Nikon USA just issued a notice on a defective on-off switches on the D-5000.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 2:47 PM   #3
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It doesn't surprise me that the customer service people "haven't heard" of the problem - it's awfully early for things to be really clear to a manufacturer and for word to get written up and to the guys answering the phones.

I think most people are doing what I eventually did - send the camera back to the store for replacement (and probably didn't bother talking to Pentax). That means that the stores have to process them before shipping them all back to Pentax, which means I would guess that not many have actually hit their repair facility yet. I've only read about one person who said they called Pentax, and the story they posted was different than what I was told (which was more in line with that you were told, Penolta).

I'm going to fascinated to see if my replacement camera (which Amazon hasn't shipped yet ) does the same thing. While I know that now it's possible to have enough control over your inventory to be able to almost instantly identify which serial numbered cameras would be made with which batch of sensors, I can't believe that Pentax would have been able to identify the problem batch as quickly as this, unless they had discovered the problem themselves while the cameras were shipping. If they didn't, I don't think they would have had enough time to really research what's going on yet. That's one of the reasons why I seriously considered sending mine into Pentax instead of exchanging it through Amazon - you can't fix what you don't know about.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 3:00 PM   #4
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And if the problem is one that the vendor cannot easily duplicate on inspection, they will probably write it off to buyer ineptitude and either repackage the camera or resell it as an open box or demo item - not wise to buy one of those markdowns at this time.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 4:10 PM   #5
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There is a post on dpreview about this problem and lots of people seem to be having the problem after using liveview on a hot day.

Tom
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 5:08 PM   #6
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Quite a bit of talk about it on pentaxforums also. That's where I first saw someone with the problem and was a bit too fast congratulating myself for not having it. As soon as I used movie mode, the line showed up. It really was a fairly minor issue for me and could be a non-issue for others - the line appeared on Saturday. Sunday I went hiking in hotter weather, took over 160 pictures, didn't use movie mode or live view and the line didn't re-appear.

I don't know what I'd actually do if the second camera has the same fault - request a refund or send it into Pentax (I wouldn't ask for another replacement). I think I would send it into Pentax as I really liked the camera. We'll see.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 6:58 PM   #7
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for me this is 1 reason i wait to upgrade. i just bought the k20d at half the cost of what it sold for last year..
yes,,, i'm late for an upgrade but the k20 is just a too good to let it slide by
i'm sure it'll get even cheaper but i'm definitely happy with the purchase.. i paid over $100 more for the DS than i did for the k20 and now i can pic your knowledge about the cam..

stay focused,
roy
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 2:16 PM   #8
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I just got my K7 yesterday, and after a few hours of use out in the field, I had quite a while to play with it after the sun went down. I don't anticipate using video, so I didn't try it, but I did leave it on LiveView until the camera shut it down (5 min) a couple of times, then immediately shot a number of stills with no line showing up. I do have a couple of what look like hot pixels , but I'm going to wait to map them out since I've seen these on new cameras before, and had them disappear by themselves after some use.

It's been pretty cool here lately, so I don't have the conditions that many have had to experience this potential fault. If it only appears after video mode or extended live view use, I doubt if it would even ever show up the way I tend to use my camera -- but this could obviously change. After playing with live view, I can honestly say that I really doubt that I'll use it much. I never owned a video cam, and while I can see why serious video enthusiasts are excited about the potential of having good DOF control allowed by the bigger sensors in DSLRs as opposed to the limited control afforded by small sensored dedicated video cams, I cannot even remotely see the possibility of me getting that heavily into video to want or need this. If the fault only shows up after extended video use, then it will not be an issue for me.

I think that Pentax might not be fully aware of the "problem" as Harriet stated -- most that see this are probably returning the cam to the store they bought from instead of going to Pentax for a warranty claim, and I don't blame Pentax for not admitting to the possiblity of faulty sensors until they have a handle on what the situation really is -- I wouldn't if I were them -- it would discourage potential buyers and could cause owners with no apparent problem to send theirs in for no reason other than they perceive their camera as having a less than optimal main component.

I'll only send it in if it shows up in MY normal use, and if it's persistent -- the line is apparent in any significant percentage of shots, -- or if the cure includes a new sensor with different (and better) IQ characteristics -- after all, I do have a 3 year warranty, and I'm sure I can limp by with my K20 in the meantime. . .. If this problem does show up, I'd probably try a hot pixel mapping before sending it in -- if this worked, I'd only be losing 3104 pixels (assuming that the line is only one pixel wide) out of 14,600,000 or about .02% of the pixels in the frame -- not really significant, IMO. . . except that I'd have to then say that it's a 14.59998 MP sensor.

. . . meanwhile, I'll enjoy learning about, and shooting with the K7.

Scott

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Old Jul 17, 2009, 2:59 PM   #9
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Great that you don't have the same problem - it definitely sounds like there's only a certain number of cameras that had the problem - many people are reporting no problems at all so I don't think it's a design fault with the camera. I'm supposed to get my replacement camera today, but am afraid UPS is not going to send it out from their facility a few miles from my office today - it probably missed the regular morning route driver and will spend the weekend there. That will NOT make me happy as Amazon shipped it next day with expected delivery date today. Of course, I'm imagining that it's at their distribution center in a smashed box and things like that, but I'm sure that's not true. I was hoping it would arrive this morning so I could charge the battery while I work, but that's not to be.

What I thought was interesting was that after the first person reported the problem and posted samples, several other people asked if they had the problem too - and posted samples that I couldn't see anything particularly wrong with. Yes, people get jumpy about such things - I do (as shown above). I will be interested to see what happens. I suspect it's only a certain number of cameras, those who discover it will return them while others won't notice the problem even if their cameras are affected, and we'll never know what really was the matter.

An interesting thought for someone like me - I registered my camera right after I got it, then returned it as faulty. Pentax will get it back, perhaps replace the sensor if that really is the problem, then what happens? I would assume that they would re-sell the camera as a factory reconditioned one. Will there then be two registered owners of that camera or will they update their records to show that I'm no longer the owner of it? And it will be interesting to see what Pentax will sell those factory reconditioned cameras for - assuming the problem is a faulty sensor that gets replaced, mine would make a good buy for someone to take a chance on. Do you suppose we'll see some good deals/reasonable prices on them soon?
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 8:49 PM   #10
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What is the test method to recreate the problem? I'd like to see if my K-7 has any issues.
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