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lct

Cleaner fw 2.014?

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Get serius or leave, thanks!

Seriously: Firmware updates are well known to cause placebo effects, especially on noise and white balance. These effects tend to subside though which is why their accumulation I sarcastically alluded to doesn’t actually happen. By the time the next firmware version is released both noise and white balance are back to normal.

Edited by mjh

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. Has anyone done any 'before' and 'after' shots of the same subject, with identical lighting and ISO?

 

The download instructions indicate that one can't revert to the prior FW for the M8.2 or M8u with shutter upgrade. So, before/after would be problematic on these cameras if already updated.

 

Jeff

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Thanks for the thread, lct! I also had the feeling that the new firmware showed less noise, but I'm no longer so sure after re-checking some earlier images.

 

It may be just that we're again looking at the M8's image quality and realizing it's better than we remembered.

 

It is interesting, though, how quickly a chorus of "Oh, no, not those improved high ISOs again!" can get us believers to back-pedal.

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Well... LOT of years ago (1980...) I had the chance of WRITING some Software for noise reduction of (black & white) digital images (from satellite). Memory limitations of the computers we used (HP and DEC) required optimizations of code that were a virtually INFINITE job... anytime you "earned" 4K of memory (through Fortran code optimization) you could make the noise reduction code a little better, then optimized the new better code, earned some K more, go a step further in noise reduction, then...

).

I make this personal remark for I wouldn't be surprised that at any firmware release there can be a (small as you like) improvement in noise management (after all, do they or not declare "global optimization" in the FW specs

?)... noise reduction alghoritms are really very very portable and device indipendent... I mean, my hipotesis is not that there is someone still engaged on specific M8 noise issue... it wouldn't have sense... but that the SW developers can, time to time, find the space to add some "pieces" of NR code in the M8 FW "packaging".

 

(Anyway, "Placebo effect" quoted by Michael is NOT to be excluded...

) Edited by luigi bertolotti

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...It may be just that we're again looking at the M8's image quality and realizing it's better than we remembered...

Hi Howard, my memory is not what it used to be for sure but i bought my first and last M8 3 months ago so the placebo effect must be very strong or my resistance to it very weak indeed. Reminds me when i claimed that the Digilux 1 got an unofficial firmware update with reduced digital noise 6 or 7 years ago. I had two bodies to prove it then but i won't buy another M8 to prove that i'm not gaga this time.

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Hey guys, I decided to do some test shots before updating and then after.

I can barely see any difference to be honest.

 

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Hey guys, I decided to do some test shots before updating and then after.

I can barely see any difference to be honest.

 

 

I suppose they are made by the X100 in front of a mirror, with selftimer...

 

(Welcome to the forum !! We like joking expecially on Friday evenings...)

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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I suppose they are made by the X100 in front of a mirror, with selftimer...

 

(Welcome to the forum !! We like joking expecially on Friday evenings...)

 

Thanks. I'm a fan of joking so I think I'm going to enjoy myself here.

(PS: it is not a mirror shot incase you were semi-serious

)

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The next M8 firmware update should have as its main purpose optimizing the placebo effect...

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Again, get serius or leave, thanks

 

A forum is no different to a slice of life. Discussions arise that comprise questions, answers, thoughts and light-hearted banter. If you're uncomfortable with light-hearted comments mixed in with the useful information and engaging thoughts, I fear you'll not enjoy this forum.

 

I don't take life too seriously (when I don't have to), and I hardly think my banter offended the OP or to many other posters.

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The next M8 firmware update should have as its main purpose optimizing the placebo effect...

Will there even be a next update? I've heard rumors of this being the last one.

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Guest Ming Rider

2.005 was supposed to be the last. Not complaining. I'll take all the updates they can churn out

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Don't know about improvements in noise in the new FW, but what I would say is that the M8 has an undeserved reputation for being noisy. It's only at 1250 - 2500 that things start to look a bit noisy but below that the camera is just as good if not better than most other digital cameras. I shoot Nikon alongside my Leicas and yes D3's are almost noiseless but compare a D2X to a M8 and the story is reversed the Nikon being terrible and to me unusable above 400. The new D7000 is a very good camera but the M8 blows it away with regard to noise right up to 1250. I shot some pics today on the M8 at 320 that to me although typically very sharp were just a bit too clean and to give more immediacy to them I added a bit of grain in Lightroom. To me noise is a bit like the old arguments over megga pixels and is basically irrelevant and academic. Yes the D3 will shoot at 12800 but so what I prefer to hold it steady at 1000 and thats where the Leicas really come into their own as a M8 with a handgrip is the easiest camera I ever used to hold nice and steady right down to half a second if thats what the light says. Too much hype made about digital noise, correct exposure is the key to getting a usable image from any digital camera.

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Don't know about improvements in noise in the new FW, but what I would say is that the M8 has an undeserved reputation for being noisy.

 

I agree and at high ISO particularly I think it is the relatively unsophisticated metering that leads astray. In the late evening with blinds drawn I was testing by taking a shot of an IKEA chair with the white covering. Shows the noise pattern rather well

and has some texture to reveal.

On auto it was NOISY, crank up the exposure to give a centre histogram peak on the material, much better, another couple of stops to expose more to the right, lovely. Checked with my Minolta spot meter and it agreed with my empirical approach. Yes there is noise in the shadows but it was dark in there and if I wanted blown highlights I could have exposed for the shadows. Given the computing power of the Nikons exposure systems I am not surprised they produce less noise, they get the exposure sorted. Where I part company with the Nikons, I do own one, is in their sharpening to overcome the effects of the AA filter. Their RAW is manipulated before being saved, see astrophotography comments for details, and at lower ISOs the Leica RAW files are as close to a Medium Format Digital Back (MFDB) as you can find.

 

As stated in another thread that Leica has invested time and money in optimising the M8/8.2 in the light of feedback from use and no doubt from the development of the M9 software is a cause for rejoicing. I haven't seen Nikon or Canon releasing an update for a discontinued camera. In fact Nikon have just announced the free repair for the troublesome D2H shutter/exposure system, which is a manufacturing issue and nothing to do with the user, is to be stopped. That camera was announced in Sep 2004 now, in under seven years, you to could own a brick unless you want to invest around £400 in a repair on a camera selling for less than that.

 

Note that the MFDB also require care in exposure control and their noise does increase with ISO rather more rapidly than their cost would indicate they also use software to control moire rather than the catch all blur of an AA filter.

 

In conclusion, at last goes up the cry, kudos to Leica for support of what is still an excellent camera and for goodness sake don't trust that meter, it hasn't got a brain, use yours.

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If there had been any improvement in high iso noise what so ever it would have made the "whats new" list. That is too noteworthy for it to be hidden under "internal optimizations" and Leica knows it.

Carl

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Hi Howard, my memory is not what it used to be for sure but i bought my first and last M8 3 months ago so the placebo effect must be very strong or my resistance to it very weak indeed. Reminds me when i claimed that the Digilux 1 got an unofficial firmware update with reduced digital noise 6 or 7 years ago. I had two bodies to prove it then but i won't buy another M8 to prove that i'm not gaga this time.

 

Really? I have an old Digilux 1... I did know the firmware of that camera was upgradable... Would you send me more information about this?

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Maybe each new firmware release causes us to revisit the no-go ISO 1250-2500 zone, and we then conclude that it isn't quite as bad as we thought. Lemmings running of a cliff:D

 

Anyway I am still very happy with my M8 esp. after all the work Leica has put into tinkering with the firmware. It really has improved things quite a bit compared to the original FW.

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I am not seeing any high ISO improvement in the few test shots I took.

 

I *think*, but am not completely sure that the ISO 1250 performance was improved slightly by an earlier firmware update. When I first got the M8, I (and several others) found that if I shot a ISO 640 and underexposed one stop , I got slightly less shadow noise than if I shot normally at ISO 1250. I repeated that test a year ago, and last night, and got the opposite result. 1250 now seems a little better, though it's still "emergency only" territory for me.

 

I shot those earlier test shots near a computer with a CRT monitor, and now have a different computer with an LCD screen. So it's possible that the camera was picking up RF noise from the computer. And 1/3 stop difference in exposure can make a big difference at high ISOs.

 

The M8 is what it is. If you want a bit better high ISO performance, get an M9. If you want much better high ISO, get a D700 or a 5D. Or, recently, a K5, D7000, D5100 or even X100. Of course, with those later cameras you lose rangefinder focusing and the breathtaking definition of a CCD sensor with no anti-alias filter. You'll find that in-camera noise reduction removes some detail along with noise. And you can't put M lenses on a DSLR or X100.

 

The good news is that there's still a lot you can do at ISO 640 (actually 800) with an f/1.4 lens. And the camera will operate a bit more smoothly overall.

 

--Peter

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