Pentax K-x Dead with Memory Card Error

pentax k-x dead with memory card error
It does not give me the slightest pleasure in reporting my dead Pentax K-x White. It has the persistent memory card error no matter what card that I have put into the camera SD slot. I have tried seven different individual SD memory cards of four different brands in Sandisk Extreme III 4 Gig, PNY Optima SDHC 8 Gig, Transand SDHC 8 Gb and Kingston SDHC 4 Gb. All of the memory cards are working fine in my Pentax K20D.

I call up Pentax Customer Support with toll free number 1(800)877-0155 last Thursday and I was mislead by the representative in waiting for her email instruction. It was likely my fault in not confirming the email twice with her. On 2nd call to Pentax Customer Support today on Monday, I was glad to talk to Matt who was courteous and responsive. Instead of email, Matt outlined the critical information that I need to package my dead Pentax K-x to send in.

Here are the rough steps to follow for servicing my K-x under warranty. The address is actually the physical address of CRIS camera service

  1. Package it for shipment to this address, I will be using USPS priority with $500 insurance

    Pentax Service Department
    250 North 54 Street,
    Chandler, AZ 85226

  2. Provide proof of purchase as in an invoice or email notification on purchase. In my case, I will send in my Paypal invoice with Beach Camera. It is utmost important that the invoice has the name of the owner and the date of purchase for warranty service

  3. Provide a brief note on the problem. I am using this blog page to describe my problems with dead Pentax K-x white in NOT able to read any SDHC memory cards.

  4. Provide contact information as in phone contact and email. I will need to include them in the printout of this blog page

My problem is simply that my Pentax K-x white can't read any memory cards that I have used. The same set of cards work fine on my Pentax K20D in both reading and writing.

pentax k-x dead with memory card error
It goes as if something get damaged in the card reader in the camera. Matt from Pentax Customer Support offered me the suggestion on camera "reset" and I tried that option but the "Memory Card Error" still persisted. I am in my wit's end on troubleshooting the problem. It appears like a hardware failure.

While I am explaining the problem, there are also two complaints on the physical appearance of my white K-x after nine months of usage. Though it is free from smudges and dirt after months of usage. The white K-x does has its cosmetic problems in having a chrome line worn out easily as you can see in this picture on the chrome line below the shutter release which has lost partially the metallic chrome strip in various spots under the shutter release. And the broken chrome line has become somewhat sharp edges for me to hold the camera.

pentax k-x dead with memory card error
And another minor cosmetic but critical issue to me is the lost of the red SR label in front. The combination of red SR label is the best recognition of Pentax SR feature that is built into the Pentax body and I really missed that label on my white K-x. I think I lost it after 6 months of usage. The red SR label is at the bottom and it appears as white in the following picture

pentax k-x dead with memory card error
I truly hope that Pentax Service Department can help me fix my Pentax K-x White and that I get to use it once again without issues. I was informed about 4 weeks of service time and I will send the camera out on August 31, 2010 and I hope my loyal readers cheer me up while my beloved Pentax K-x White is in service.

  • 8/21/2010 -- broken at 9 months of beautiful service
  • 8/31/2010 -- shipped out to CRIS with USPS priority
  • 9/2/2010 -- arrival in CRIS
  • 9/8/2010 -- parts back ordered from Japan
  • 10/1/2010 -- parts arrived in CRIS, repair started
  • ETA unknown in each call
  • 10/11/2010 -- repaired camera arrived at my home from CRIS



Yael said...

Sorry to hear that, but at least you have your k20D so you can still take pictures. 4 weeks will go by fast anyway. Thank you for your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hrm... a memory card reader\writer problem... out of all the things that could go wrong you get that?

Best of luck nevertheless, you'll get your cam back just in time for some of the best fall shots ;-)

Unknown said...

wow Hin, sorry to hear about your camera. Hmmmm. But maybe it is a good thing and they will fix the chrome and fix the sr label make sure you say that in your letter too

Hin Man said...

@Yael, thanks for the visit and encouragement. I still love my K20D. I was about to replace it with K7 and I can't do it now as I need to fix up my K-x first. I won't buy the new thing after K7 unless someone can review it right the way with no-nonsense type of photographer review

@Annoymous, yes, I hope to get it back in another month. In the mean time, I can enjoy my K20D and film cameras

@fRANK, I don't expect anything that CRIS will do anything on the broken chrome line. But I never stop dreaming that I will have a new chrome line and RED color SR label.

Much thanks for all of your thoughts and well wishes.

RiceHigh said...

Hin, you're not alone. The durability of those Pentax bodies is really in question, as I reported before:

The first (black) K-x for doing my K-x review actually suffered exactly the same problem - the silver painting went away quickly.

Now, my Blue K-x suffer from another "cosmetic" (but actually *quality*) issue. The shiny blue coating on the RTF starts to get off!?

I shall bring my unit to my local Pentax service centre for rectification without any hesitation, as it is undoubtedly not my fault since I always take great care with any of my gear. And, I shall write more about my case with photos when I have the time.

Ray H said...


I have a black K-x (woo generic~) and the Silver Lining is starting to rub off, and a bit of the red SR paint is flaking off too, but besides that this camera has been very solid to me.

It has put up with bits of dirt, water, both salty ocean water and rain from the sky, but it continues to shoot strong. I've hit 20,000 actuations and it just keeps going.

Little cosmetics don't mean much to me because what matters is that the K-x continues to take solid pictures.

It's unfortunate that you're having this weird Memory Card Error Hin.

Peter said...

If you're extremely lucky and Ned reads your blog just maybe pentax will send you the "replacement", only if this was the perfect world according to Pentax.

will said...

Sorry to hear this Hin, as i've been following your K-x posts with great interest. I hope they get it fixed soon. I'm extremely lucky in that none of my digital cameras have ever broken down (touch wood) and my K200D looks as good as new despite getting a lot of hammer. My istDL2 got abused terribly, including leaving it outside overnight once, but never kipped a beat. I guess as cameras get more advanced, there's more that can go wrong :(

Was always on the fence about the K-x chrome strip. The K-m olive had an orange strip which looked fantastic, but unfortunately this isn't available with the K-x.

Unfortunate this happened just as the K-5 is about to be released... I hope you won't be tempted to upgrade while you're waiting to get the K-x back!

Zhou Yu said...

Sorry for your problem. My K-x has also began to develop a minor problem. My shutter release (the chrome button) does not return to original place. It starts to be a bit sticky. When the button does not return, I would not be able to view photos. While the problem is as fatal as yours, I may have to send in for service soon.

Sérgio Silva said...

Damn... It's a pity that this has happened... Have you tried Ricehigh's debugging mode access method, just to try and get access to the menu? Or maybe just try and clean the slot with a blower? Does the camera still function without the memory card, or does it say memory card error all the time?

Hin Man said...

@RiceHigh, much thanks for the visit and support and that means a lot lot to me. I am not mad at the problems as it is likely my peculiar case of frequent SD card changes. But I for one wants Pentax to address this as a potential issue that also may apply to other users. I don't think I mind the cosmetics wear as that is expected

@Ray, thanks for the sharing and visit

@Peter, I sent it to CRIS on 8/31 and so far nothing is notified to my side

@Will, I am loyal to Pentax but I won't have the cash and guts to get the K5 unless RiceHigh give it a thumbs up which is next to impossible

@Zhou, you have an odd problem as you have noted. It may just be normal. If I were you, I will venture out to another K-x user who lives close by and have a meet up to try the shutter release and ask your buddy to check on it. I sometime find it a problem in not returning to original position but it is just the design of the loose spring in action on the shutter, it is not a big problem I think.

@Sergio, I have blown air a couple of times with a large red blower. My dead K-x was sent already to CRIS

Anonymous said...

Well.....maybe a swap for the newly announced K-r? ;-)

Unknown said...

it is so sad that pentax is gone with memory card error
8gb memory card

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