My DSLR has been working perfectly until some time in the afternoon today. This baffles me. From a certain point on today, this DSLR started producing artifacts resembling motion blur in roughly 80% of images. Resulting images are unusable and had to be deleted. I varied, aperture, shutter-speed, ISO, drive mode (even trying MLU and Self-Timers) to no avail. Most images come out with a strange blur pattern. Changing lenses had no effect either. It occurs with Stabilization On or Off.

Here is a 100% crop from the image I kept to show the issue:

enter image description here

There is no reason for any of the shots to show motion blur. This occurred in full daylight while photographing at a beach, shutter-speeds range from 1/250-1/500s (Shown is 1/350s with F/8 aperture) and ISO 200.

The focal-length here is 16mm on APS-C DSLR, but tried numerous focal-lengths between 16 and 135mm. In order to get some usable shots, I set the camera to Continuous Shooting but there is no pattern to it, some bursts were entirely blurry, some had one or two normal shots.

  • What is the camera model and lenses used here? Mar 30 '17 at 18:21
  • K-5 IIs with a DA* 16-50mm F/2.8 (shown) and DA* 50-135mm F/2.8.
    – Itai
    Mar 30 '17 at 18:27
  • I think we really need a better title here. This is going to attract one million unrelated comments about all the various things that could happen to a DSLR.
    – mattdm
    Mar 30 '17 at 19:03
  • Does it happen when manually focusing? The obvious: did you pull the battery out and put it back in?
    – user50888
    Mar 31 '17 at 3:45
  • @benrudgers - Yes and yes. In panic, I thought to try pretty much anything ;)
    – Itai
    Mar 31 '17 at 6:51

It would be helpful to mention in the question what the model of camera is rather than in a comment... But assuming that it's the Pentax K-5 IIs, I see in a list of its specs that it has sensor-shift image stabilisation. That's an obvious suspect: maybe one of the motion sensors it uses has gone haywire and it's shifting the CMOS sensor unnecessarily. You'll probably have to send the camera in to a service centre for them to confirm and repair.

  • 2
    My guess too. One possible way to diagnose this is look in the exif — there's a (proprietary makernote) tag Exif.Pentax.ShakeReduction which will be one of stabilized, not stabilized, or not ready. I wonder if you're getting "not ready" for everything. (Of course, it could still be broken even if that's not happening.)
    – mattdm
    Mar 30 '17 at 18:51
  • Arggghhh... Hope I don't have to send it, I still have 4 month of travel and right now in the Seychelles I don't expect to find a Pentax service center.
    – Itai
    Mar 30 '17 at 18:56
  • As the Pentax K-5 IIs also have a sensor cleaning feature (using ultrasonic vibrations), it may also be a problem with that.
    – Olivier
    Mar 30 '17 at 20:08
  • One of the gyros is dead. Now my sensor is twitching. The relative cost of repair is making me reconsider if not to replace with something much newer. 5 years in camera years is a lot!
    – Itai
    Apr 23 '17 at 13:30

Does this only affect still photography? What about the video mode? - I'd guess it's probably an issue with the in-camera stabilization. (Edit: just like @Peter Taylor already mentioned - whoops)

  • Didn't try video but it happens even with stabilization off.
    – Itai
    Mar 30 '17 at 18:49
  • 1
    I'm pretty sure that the stabilization actuators are used to hold the sensor in place when stabilization is off, and so if one of them is not acting right, this could explain even then.
    – mattdm
    Mar 30 '17 at 18:53

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