Pentax DSLR cameras, like the K20D, K-7, K-5, K-3, K-1, other others, have a service mode, also called Debug Mode, that requires special steps to access.

In that mode, some hidden settings can be checked, such as the total number of shutter releases. It also gives access to the Lens ROM data, even with the ability to alter focusing behavior of exchangeable lenses.

How does one access this Debug Mode?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this method: pentaxforums.com/forums/115-pentax-k-5/… unusable (have not tested it for lack of a K5 :) )? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2019 at 14:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I should not have mentioned any particular camera. I want this info for all models. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2019 at 8:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you plan to come back over the years and update this Q&A as new models are released? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Mar 16, 2019 at 10:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why me? I ask just the question. But yes, the idea of a knowledge repository like this site is for having one question with all the relevant answers, wouldn't you agree? So of course I hope that new answers get added for new models in the future. Or am I misunderstanding how this site works? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17, 2019 at 10:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ In practice, questions which are open ended and attempts to cover all future possibilities do not get the hoped-for future updates. It's generally better to have the questions scoped so they can be answered definitely, and then if need be future questions can cover future models. It's only when it becomes overwhelmingly frequent (like the one about number and letter codes on lenses) that the generic list approach actually works. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Mar 31, 2019 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


You should leave SD door opened before turning on and then camera checks for presence of a specifically named file on SD card which you should place there beforehand. The name of that file is stored in firmware and it was decrypted long ago. I used this method on my K-5 II.

For K-5, you should create empty files named 00077430.505 and DEVELOP.MOD.

Add following to the file 00077430.505 in notepad:


Then put your SD card inside but leave door open.

Rerefence. You can find filenames for other models in that thread as well.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I am trying to get a comprehensive answer that's not limited to the K-5. There are answers found in some forums, but they are all over the place, like in the linked post. I like to get it all in one place here, for everyone. So, would you like to add the info for all cameras here, or should I do it? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2019 at 8:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasTempelmann I am not quite in that topic now so I'd prefer you to do it. Feel free to edit this answer or create a new one. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2019 at 9:54

You can use PkTriggerCord to turn on/off the debug mode.

Turn on:

pktriggercord-cli --debug-mode=1

Turn off:

pktriggercord-cli --debug-mode=0

The code is not model-specific, so it should work for most Pentax camera models.

disclaimer: I'm the author of the project, but this feature was developed by Samo Penic.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's neat. You should make it clearer that it won't work on a Mac, yet, please. I only found out when I read the Issues on github (I was about to try to build it on the Mac). Apart from that, it's the most universal solution (below the K-1) to my question, it seems. Great work! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2019 at 9:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I list the supported systems on the main page, but will add an additional line to make it clear that it's not working (yet?) on Mac. \$\endgroup\$
    – asalamon74
    Apr 1, 2019 at 18:51

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