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Most cameras of this age work this way as standard, press the shutter button half way to activate the light meter. I dont have a K2 but in the K1000 and KX the meter doesn't stay on when you take pressure off the shutter button. Its probably not broken.
I had this problem for the first time yesterday, on my fifth use of the camera from new. The user manual says to turn it on and off a few times which I did but to no avail. I found advice on a different forum that said to hold your finger over the shutter as you turn it on, so that the lens doesn't have time to retract again. Sort of use your finger nail to hold the shutter up while the lens extends. Tried this and it worked, switched it off and back on agiain and it seems to be going fine now.
the problem is with the lens array..it might be due to the fact that you should have dropped it down to the mat...take the camera to the service centre and replace the lens array.it might cost aroung 60$.. hope your problem is tackled. thanks for using fixya!. please dont forget to rate my solution.
Make sure the batteries are good and in right. If it keeps doing it you might be having a problem with your lens opening up and staying open, I had a camera that did that to me, and the lens had been knock and wouldnt open properly, check that out. The lens was out of range from normal and would automatically shut down
Whats your camera make / model?
I have found this problem in the past mainly on samsung cameras. All I found was bad connections and poor solder joints.
connection problems with ribbons mainly. Samsung seem to prefer tinned ends as opposed to gold plated ribbon connections and these are just waiting to discolour and then fail.
Bad connections will drain batteries very fast and especially if your using cheap ones