CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

K100D flash problems



My K100D will be replaced with a Nikon the moment it gets back from being repaired as the onboard flash died. It seems that the flash units on the K100 have a habit of dying. At a recent forensics workshop of a total of 120 people attending, three other people have had problems with the onboard flash unit going defective on the K100D. That gives a percentage of 3.33 of defective flash units.

I have a ME SUPER which gave sterling performance over the years and that made me decde to replace it with the K100D. A friend asked me why I don't just buy an external flash unit for the camera but to me that is not the answer - if the flash unit goes defective after minimal use ( basically all the photographs that I take is in daylight, so the flash unit have had almost no use )then what else is going to roll over and die?

I need a reliable camera for my work and I just can't trust Pentax.

A quick poll at the conference about camera problems revealed both Nikon and Canon users having had no trouble to date.

Maybe I just had a bad camera but it seems this is a design fault and not random


K100D flash
Sorry I made a mistake this morning, the percentage is 30, not 3.
The breakdown of cameras used by the investigators on the course were:
Nikon - 65
Canon - 42
Pentax - 13 of which 3 were K10's, the rest all K100's, so if the 4 defective flash units are calculated only on the K100, the percentages increase to 40 % which is scary.

Several of the Pentax users also experienced battery problems in that the camera will give a low battery reading but when switched off and switched back on after about 10 seconds, a full battery reading is displayed again.
With my K100 I first thought that the Duracel nicads were the problem, so I switched to Energizer 2500 ma Nicads but with the same results.

Problems experienced by the Canon users were one defective battery.
Nikon users reported just one lost lens cap.

It wuld be interesting to find out if users in other parts of the world had similar flash problems with the K100


Hi Chris,

if you have specific questions regarding the model K100, then please post it in the K100 section, so others will find it easier and can reply.

Regarding reliability: I would be cautious to calculate those numbers as a representative statistic. When Nikon called many batteries back on their Nikon D70, it would have not been approriate neithere to say Nikon would be an unreliable brand.

If you work with your camera and have to really rely on the functionality, I would recomment 2 things, no matter which brand:

1. buy only the pro/semipro models, which are produced with a different purpose on reliability in different conditions, life span etc. For Pentax that would mean at least a Pentax K10D, maybe later a pro model will be released.

2. Buy 2 bodies (ideally of the same model) and carry all the time both with you.

This was already the "normal life" for most professional photographers in the "old analogue times" although those bodies were less prone to technical misbehavour than nowadays DSLRs. But missing a job because a ca,era is not working is a lot more expensive than buying 2 bodies ;)


Hi Dirk,
Thank for your reply but information that I received since confirms the reliability issue of the flash units. One dealer who owns multiple photographic outlets did a lookup of all their warranty returns over the last years and ALL the Ist's and K100 returns were for faulty flash units. Another dealer also confirmed faulty flash units on the K100 and IST's and remarked that the rep who demonstrated the new K10 could not get the flash unit to work. So the question remains, if the Ist's had problems with the flash unit, why was the problem not rectified with the release of the K100 / K10 ?

Li-Ion batteries are notorious for problems, just look at the amount of recalls on notebook & power tool batteries.

My K100 have since been returned after a wait of five weeks for the repair and have since been replaced with a Nikon D80 but before I gave it away, I ran a test using the K100, Nikon D80 and a borrowed K10. All three camers were set up on tripods and the same subject photographed with each one using the standard lens that came with the camera with both default and custom settings used. The photos were then printed on an Epson photoprinter and the camera details and settings marked on the back of each photo. Friends and family were asked to select the best photo of each subject. End results, the Nikon came out tops in each category with the low light shots being absolutely stunning.
I must admit the K10 layout is nicer than the Nikon.

Thank you for your help and goodbye to the forum members as I am now firmly in Nikon's c&.


Do it right

Being critical is everybodies good right as well as demanding value for money.

Besides the point that datadyn is right about poor quality of the built in flash with older Pentax bodies I feel he made a couple of errors.

The K100D and the K200D were not developed with demanding professional use in mind.
Both models are simpler versions of the K10D and K20D.
The K100D is the wrong choice for professional use where the K10D is the one to go for.

The remark about the quality of lithium ion batteries does not take into account the millions of lithium ion batteries that do not give problems at all.
It is not lithium ion that is a problem but a couple of production runs that gave sub standard products.
Sony was one of the companies that had that misfortune and asked large quantities of batteries to be returned for new ones.

Finally the old rule still stands:
Get two identical bodies if you are taking your job as a professional photographer seriously.