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Instructions for updating LEICA camera Firmware


andybarton
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Each time there is a Firmware update, we receive questions about how to do it. While the instructions on the Leica site are very clear, for those people who are not 100% comfortable with the computers, zipped files, top levels of cards, etc, we have put together some screenshots of the process.

 

Please note that the text refers to the M8 update from June 2011, but the process is the same for all Leica updates. However, please download their instructions too, as things may have changed after this guide was put together.

 

Further this was all done on a Mac and while there is next to no difference in this respect between Macs and PCs these days, Carl Bretteville has kindly helped out with the second post here.

 

The following points [bold text] are taken from the Leica Instructions for updating Firmware, available at the same location on their site as the Firmware - see section 3 below. Additional text has been added and all illustrations are for guidance only. Remember, your computer is merely a conduit for obtaining a small file from Leica and saving it onto an SD card that you can insert into your camera

 

 

Instructions for updating LEICA M8 & M8.2 Firmware

 

1. Format an SD memory card in your LEICA M8.

 

This will give you a card which looks like this, on your Mac (possibly without the Misc Folder)

 

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2. Turn off the camera and insert the card into an SD card reader – either integrated or connected to your computer. (A reader is required for Firmware updates).

 

Make sure that you have a fully charged good battery in your camera for the updating process.

 

Please note that Firmware updates cannot be undertaken just by connecting the camera to your computer.

 

3. Download the Firmware file from the Leica M8 site using the “UPDATES” link and unzip the file.

 

You may also have come across the update via a link in the Forum or elsewhere, such as this one

 

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How you arrive at the download page doesn't matter of course.

 

The Download page on the Leica site looks like this

 

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Once you have clicked on the linked zipped firmware update, it will arrive in your Downloads folder, in your account Home folder on your Mac. The Download folder will probably have lots of previously downloaded files in it, but I have cleaned mine out for clarity. Download the pdf of instructions from Leica at the same time, to check for any changes.

 

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Now, there are many different web browsers that people use on their computers these days. The one used here is Safari. Safari can be set to unzip files automatically once they have been downloaded, but for the sake of security, I prefer to unzip the downloaded files myself. Other popular browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera and the like may or may not unzip the file for you.

 

ON THE ASSUMPTION that the file has been remains as a "zipped" file, with the last four character ".zip", simply double click the file and the Operating System will then unzip the file for you. The file will then be joined by a very similarly named file, but with the last four characters of ".upd" . This second one is the updater file for the camera.

 

Note the difference in the appearance of the file - the zipped one has what looks like a zip on it, the .upd updater file has a pretty meaningless icon.

 

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The file which needs to be installed into the camera is the .upd file. This has no meaning to the computer you are using and nothing will happen should you double click on it, except a warning such as this one will appear.

 

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This can be ignored. The .upd file is ONLY recognisable by the camera and has no other function.

 

4. Save the unzipped file m8-2_014.upd at the top level of the card’s folder structure.

 

Simply drag the .upd file from the Downloads folder, to the clean SD card you made at the beginning. Place the file NEXT to but not IN one of the two Folders already present. This is very important

 

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Your SD card should look like this when you have successfully dragged the update file to the card.

 

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If you drag the update directly onto the SD card's icon on the Desktop, it will also save it in the same place.

 

5. Remove the card properly from your card reader, insert the card into the camera and close the bottom cover.

 

It is very important that you safely eject the SD card, either by clicking on the eject icon next to its name in the Finder window, or by dragging it onto the Trashcan icon on the Dock.

 

6. Turn on the camera using the main switch and wait for at least 3 seconds before continuing with step 7.

 

7. Confirm the prompt that appears in the monitor as to whether you want to update the firmware on the camera to version 2.014.

The update process takes around 180s. You will then be prompted to restart the camera using the main switch.

 

8. Turn the camera off and back on again.

Note: If the battery does not have sufficient charge, you will see a corresponding warning message.

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Carl Bretteville has kindly provided me with screenshots from his Windows 7 computer, running through the same process.

 

This is the formatted SD card (Note that Carl's has only one Folder, compared to my card which has two - this is not relevant to the updating process)

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The downloaded zip file in his Downloads Folder

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The unzipped version of the downloaded updater file. This is the file that will be copied to the SD card

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The two Folders side by side...

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With the updater being dragged and dropped onto the SD card

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The updater saved to the SD card, waiting to be ejected from the PC and inserted into the camera.

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As promised, I have spent some time doing some screen shots and a step by step guide as to how to install firmware.

 

I would be grateful for any helpful comments, so that I may improve these before duplicating out across all of the sub-forums in the Digital section of the Forum.

 

Many thanks to Carl for the Win 7 screenshots, once again.

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Andy, looks good and makes sense. Worth saying that XP and Windows 7 don't vary that much in practice - I run one for work and the other for private use. Carl's screen shots would be applicable to either.

 

Thanks for your and Carl's time on this.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Geoff, you can extract first, but both XP, Vista and Win7 supports drag-and-drop from a zip-file. Saves you having to clean up temp files.

 

This feature is one of the things I really miss in OSX and can't understand why Apple decided to do it they way they did.

 

Carl

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Hi Carl I didn't know that, thanks. You get into habits of doing things one way and I've been a Windows user for years. Maybe for best clarity for people not confident with computers, it might still be worth mentioning the unzipping options in the FAQ? The unzipping aspects seem to cause half the difficulties with Macs at least.

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As promised, I have spent some time doing some screen shots and a step by step guide as to how to install firmware.

 

I would be grateful for any helpful comments, so that I may improve these before duplicating out across all of the sub-forums in the Digital section of the Forum.

 

Many thanks to Carl for the Win 7 screenshots, once again.

 

Hi ! Andy ,

It was indeed more than helpful, I did avery thing according your instructions. and it was easy. when i tried it as I could not unzip the down loaded file, I stoped there and did not want to go further. So I did the rest as you said and now my camera Is back in action as usual.

 

I really appreciate what you do and this is another example and you deservs lot of thanks as always. It is great.

 

Best,

Cyril

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Nice job, Andy.

 

Perhaps worth mentioning the importance of "drag and drop" instead of "copy and paste." I remember one user's comment that when he "copy-and-pasted," the file wasn't recognizable, but when he "drag-and-dropped," the procedure worked fine.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

 

I have tried unsuccessfully to update the firmware of my M8 from 2.005 to 2.014. I have tried both "drag and drop" and "cut and paste" the .upd file. The camera once turned on does not seem to recognize the file as there is no prompt to update to the new firmware. Has anyone encountered the same problem? Please help.

 

Thanks!

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Strange the firmware update is pretty reliable (I believe it will warn you if the batteries are too low).

 

Are you using a PC or Mac? If Mac maybe other members can advise.

 

Are you absolutely sure you are not copying the zip file?

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I am on a PC. I used different programs to unzip the file, none of which seemed to help, and I am sure that I copied the .upd file, which was larger than the zipped one. I completely charged the battery. Once I turn the camera on with the new firware, there is no message for me to confirm the upgrade.

 

Thanks for the help!

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

From the M9 FAQ:

 

Question:

 

My camera does not seem to recognise the update file on my SD card at all. Why is this?

 

It appears that the routine that determines which version you are going to upload does this by extracting information from the filename on your SD card, and not from the actual firmware data. If you have downloaded the update multiple times the actual name of the .upd file can be changed on each downloaded version. It seems to be quite safe to accept this incorrect looking version, as the actual firmware version that is loaded will be correct, but this message can cause alarm when you see it.

In order to prevent this message, you should ensure that the name of the file that you copy onto your SD card is in the following format. m9-V_VVV.upd where V_VVV is the version number.

 

If you are using a Mac, multiple downloads will gain a suffix on the main body of the filename of '-X', where X is incremented on each copy. (See the picture below for an example of this.)

 

For example, if you are trying to update your M9 to version 1.138, the filename on your SD card must be m9-1_138.upd exactly.

 

Other computer systems may have different ways of dealing with multiple downloads. If your camera does not recognise the update file at all, then it is possible that multiple downloads have caused a suffix to be added to the '.upd' part of the filename.

 

If you are unsure as to how to rename these files so that they will be recognised correctly, then you may be advised to delete them all from your computer and do a fresh download to ensure that you get the correct filenames.

 

Finally, please make sure that you have copied the unzipped file your SD card. If you try to use the still zipped file, your camera will not recognise it.

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  • 6 months later...

Here’s a tip for anyone who doesn’t want file numbering to be reset.

 

This firmware update process will reset file numbering. If you want to preserve your existing file number sequence, put aside a card with photos on it taken immediately before you update. Perform the update and re-insert the card you laid aside. When you start shooting again the camera should start its numbering where it left off, giving you an uninterrupted sequence of file numbers.

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I had the same experience as Toon – Firefox worked, Safari didn't, for me.

 

More important: Some of the previous firmware updates seem to have erased user presets, and some have not. This is one that erases them.

 

And remember that when you make a preset, you can't just change one parameter and then save it – you have to go through the whole menu and set all items over again.

 

Kirk

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