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frank_filippone

Would you pay for a FW update with some added Features?

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But adding lens selection doesn't give the M8 "M9 features" - it allows the owner to do what should have been possible from the very start: correct hardware shortcomings in the camera without needing to pay a hefty extra fee to Leica, with an accompanying inconvenience of time without the affected lenses.

Anything added that hasn’t been advertised as a feature when the camera was introduced is by definition a new feature. Leica has never promised manual lens selection with the M8 and nobody has bought an M8 believing he or she could do manual lens selection, so if Leica should add it later, it would be a new feature. Whether you believe the M8 should have had this feature from day one is neither here nor there.

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....

There was a question over what lenses Leica makes currently but did not incllude in the past FW updates.... The answer is that the M8 does have FW support and lens corections for the 18mm lens, which I think is the last lens Leica introduced. I think it was included in the 2.004 FW update.

 

Back to the original question... How much would you pay for this type of enhancement to your M8? $100? $200? $300? More?

 

Expectations of Zero are not included because it does not allow for Leica to have incentive to work on a now discontinued produict, the M8.

 

Actually the last new lens was the 1.4/35 Asph. v. ii.

As it has the same code as v. i, there was no need for an update.

 

When I look into the M9- forum, I find many users who pay for coding their lenses, even if they have the manual lens selection. So I won't pay for this feature for the M8. The "I-want-to-have-factor"would not tempt me sufficiently.

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You may be able to create a poll to ask for votes on specific responses, if you do not want to read general discussion on a thread that you start but only want to gauge support for your proposal.

Check the FAQ's or you can PM a Mod or the admin for information.

If you achieve the result that you expect you may then be able to include that information in a request for comment to Leica Camera.

Edited by hoppyman

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Anything added that hasn’t been advertised as a feature when the camera was introduced is by definition a new feature. Leica has never promised manual lens selection with the M8 and nobody has bought an M8 believing he or she could do manual lens selection, so if Leica should add it later, it would be a new feature. Whether you believe the M8 should have had this feature from day one is neither here nor there.

 

Hmmmm Michael - I actually expect more from you than twisting what I said here.

 

The implication of my sentence was very clearly that I thought this feature should have been included from the very start. Nothing else. Not that it was 'owed' to me, or that I was tricked into buying the M8 believing it to have this feature, or that it would be added at some future date.

 

I personally don't care whether it's ever added, or not. But I strongly believe that it is in Leica's own interest to add it - for the simple reason that they are an expensive, niche brand, and should behave accordingly, to distinguish themselves from their cheaper (and often technically better) competitors.

 

Anyway, I'm off out for a while - wonderful weather here today. Only reason I've been indoors is to do some deliciously sumptuous film scanning. No coding needed.

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When I look into the M9- forum, I find many users who pay for coding their lenses, even if they have the manual lens selection. So I won't pay for this feature for the M8. The "I-want-to-have-factor"would not tempt me sufficiently.

 

True that for lenses that CAN BE coded, the AUTO DETECT feature is great and is most likely reason M9 users get their lenses coded. It takes the thinking part away from lens changes for getting the SW corrections right as well as the EXIF file info.. This was proposed for lenses like the 2 originally mentioned, the Pre-ASPH 35 and 50 LUX, they can NOT be coded, as well as I am sure a lot of other, older generation lenses.

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Check the FAQ's or you can PM a Mod or the admin for information..

 

I can add a Poll to a thread, provided it's not going to cause a row

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Poll sounds fine to me, but why have one if we don't know if there are technical constraints in implementing manual lens selection? This seems to be the final "want to have" feature, which is pretty good going considering the much longer lists in the past. Remember the SDHC discussions that went on "ad nauseam"?

 

Anyway, brief answer to the OT:

yes

about 300 euro max. depending on what it does

 

I am happy enough to have Wil van Maanen code my senses (80 euro or so) but probably will mainly buy already coded new/second hand lenses. If they don't offer this (or can't) then I will still be very pleased with my M8.

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Yes, if the features are expanded iso selections and 14bit files (or 12). I've done some extensive tests between my D700's 12bit and 14bit files and I've noticed that the latter holds up much better in PP and is generally more pleasing to the eye (provided you have a very good monitor)

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The incentive is called "happy customers".

Well, I'm a 'happy customer' and I really didn't expect any significant firmware upgrades when I bought my first M8. For me, coming from a Canon, firmware updates are generally about bug fixing or, as in the case of the 5D2, enhancements which provide functionality because the original firmware did not meet that functionality on a worldwide basis, AND because the enhanced functionality was requested by a very large number of users and led Canon into a potentially new market - ie. it was a very logical thing to do with a real potential to increase sales.

 

To answer the OP. Unless the firmware upgrade really offered a significant alteration in the functionality of the camera, then the answer is no. Given that I will get the two uncoded lenses which I own coded, for when I buy a more recent M body (which will eventually happen), I can't see this manual lens selection being a real incentive even if it was to happen. I am not sure what other upgrade would really enthuse me (free or to be paid for), so the answer is actually NO!

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Here is what I'd like to see and would be willing to pay $29 or $49 for:

 

I'd like the ability to enter lens info into the EXIF info. but do not need any corrections. Simply a list of lens, maybe even FL only 28, 35, 50, 75 that could be entered and attached to images.

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Here is what I'd like to see and would be willing to pay $29 or $49 for:

 

I'd like the ability to enter lens info into the EXIF info. but do not need any corrections. Simply a list of lens, maybe even FL only 28, 35, 50, 75 that could be entered and attached to images.

 

This is a really interesting response..... it fulfills the requirement to have the FL appear in the EXIF info, but does nothing to the image corretions itself. If the current FW were a bit tight on space, it might be a really small amount of code and a reasonable alternative.

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But I strongly believe that it is in Leica's own interest to add it - for the simple reason that they are an expensive, niche brand, and should behave accordingly, to distinguish themselves from their cheaper (and often technically better) competitors.

 

Right. It is in Leica's on interest to spend tens of thousands of dollars, all the while, tying up their development resources on a project for a discontinued product that they cannot recoup money from. Furthermore, it is also in Leica's own interest to bolster its used market so that it can undermine the sales (aka. reduce revenue) of is current product line.

 

A while back, when Stephan Daniel was asked about the possibility of a 'lower priced' digital M body, he clearly stated that this is NOT in leica's interest since the current Leica product line already have to compete with the used market. Now why in the world would Leica want to make it's used market even more appealing to its potential customers? They would be shooting themselves in the foot.

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I think we're all forgetting about one key point. The sensor is old and needs to be updated.

 

Why is this important? Because a camera's life cycle today is determined by the sensor and if Leica spends time on the M8's firmware which really won't/can't do all that much for the camera, then it will delay he release of future cameras.

 

Leica's M8/9 camera's are quite behind in high ISO sensitivity. If they used the D3s sensor then they'd have more time before needing to update to an M10. Now that they've overcome the issues of full frame their next move is important, and the sensor will need to be much more advanced than those currently used, and more importantly, they need to be comparable to whatever is the market standard at that time.

 

I do believe it's important for Leica to ensure that their customers get longevity out of their products, but the market also demands that they keep moving forward, and Leica needs to do this to remain not only competitive but financially stable. Their research and manufacturing investments need to be sustainable, which is something much tougher today than it was during the M6's reign. Leica are caught between doing what they've done historically, and doing what they need to do to stay alive in a market place not so well suited to niche products.

 

The game has changed. Before Leica didn't 'need' to make better cameras as they were only lightbox's for holding film and attaching their market leading lenses. Today it's the camera that makes all the difference, and manufacturers have not only caught up in lens technology, design and performance, but they're doing it at a value that is hard to justify, even for such an exclusively niche product....not only that, has anyone noticed that most manufacturers now are looking to capture the Leica M market, but at price points that Leica cannot compete with?

 

Guys, get behind them and trust they're making the right decisions. I'm sure they're doing their market research and every decision is precisely quantitatively and qualitatively calculated to ensure the company has a future. Frankly, I'm just relieved and happy that Leica is still operating and feel privileged to own and use their modern day cameras with such enjoyment that i felt when shooting their products with film.

Edited by leicashot

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Seriously, if adding an extra menu item to your product's firmware needs 5 engineers and months of testing, then your programming is wrong.

Good, object-oriented programming should mean that you have built your software in a modular fashion, where simple items like menus can be extended and added without major (or any) modifications to other discrete parts of the architecture.

 

I doubt whether Leica allocates more than one software engineer, even part-time, on M8 development.

 

Heh... Firmware is usually written at a fairly low level computing language using either assembly language or, at best, C. Objects exists in C++ which is useful for developing processing intensive software (eg. Raw decoders) but are limited to more sophisticated processors. Mobile devices (eg. cellphones, cameras, PDAs, handheld GPS receivers, etc...) run on much more simpler processors. The heaving processing such as raw encoding/decoding is done on DSP since it's much more energy efficient.

 

Because of this, it's much more difficult to modify firmware.

 

I'm almost 100% sure the signal extraction, raw encoding/decoding is done on DSP for the M8. If this is indeed the case, any modification of processing settings (eg. lens corrections) will need to interface with the DSP. Trying to modify this on firmware when things are written is in C is time consuming. Doing this with machine language is next to hell.

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I think if Leica did some research they would find this appealing from the broad customer base, many of whom pay $150-$200 per lens for coding, yet shoot JPGs only, and have no need or desire for the corner corrections in ultrawides.

 

So for 3 lens, that's $450 just for EXIF info in the images, vs a smaller cost for a firmware upgrade, where you don't need to ship your lens off.

 

This is a really interesting response..... it fulfills the requirement to have the FL appear in the EXIF info, but does nothing to the image corretions itself. If the current FW were a bit tight on space, it might be a really small amount of code and a reasonable alternative.

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... As far as I know, the camera must use a look-up table to match the 6-bit codes to an internal list of known lenses. With my somewhat limited experience of programming, I'd say a modified menu item should actually be a relatively trivial affair: switching the selection to user-defined input instead of camera-read codes.

 

I'd be frankly dumbfounded if adding a menu-selection to the user interface was beyond the capacity of either camera or programmer. It is the simplest type of list, with trivial processing: each table entry will have a simple identifier, and each menu item would be mapped to that identifier (probably a single integer).....

 

I can confirm part of this. The part I provisionally can confirm is the bit about the limited experience of programming.

 

Consider even the most simple implementation of the use case "To Manually Enter The Code Of The Lens Attached To The Body".

 

That takes - at a first guesstimate -

  • A menu item for enabling/disabling the manual entry of the code. (Query: does the Leica show words or pictograms for that kind of functions? If words, in how many languages?)
  • A widget allowing the user to select a numerical value in the range [0...63]. As plasticman correctly mentions, that ought not to be all that difficult since all parts of a widget with that kind of function presumably already exist in the camera's software. The date/time picker comes to mind.
  • Apply the action the camera usually would perform upon reading the code off the lens.This assumes that the code is actually stored in-camera and not just read off the lens for each exposure.
  • Find all places in the software where the code is read off the lens and stored in the camera's memory. Make those actions contingent on the absence of a manual setting.
  • Add an extra tag to the EXIF format indicating whether the lens type encoding was manually set or not.

 

That would be a very basic implementation of the function. Once that implementation was published, people would clamour for more functionality:

  • Show a list of the lens identifiers (name, focal length, aperture) instead of only code numbers
  • Warn user if lens actually is encoded and does not agree with the code manually set .
  • Warn user if another lens is mounted and the code is not confirmed or reset by the user.
  • Add controls for handling lenses for which there is no code

 

There might be some important points missing as I noted just the most obvious consequences of the proposed functionality.

 

You don't add an extra speed to your gearbox by adding an extra button to your dashboard.

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I think if Leica did some research they would find this appealing from the broad customer base, many of whom pay $150-$200 per lens for coding, yet shoot JPGs only, and have no need or desire for the corner corrections in ultrawides.

 

 

So they shoot jpeg only, won't switch on coding or correct in software but will look at exif data. Still, I'm sure they are out there but in enough numbers to support the work ?

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