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atufte

To Leica, Please Answer This...!!!

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Well, the descriptions of the problem(s) given here so far really don't indicate component failure - rather firmware issues. And is that's the case, running diagnostics on the hardware is futile, and actually counterproductive. What tends to happen is that you load the camera with the diagnostics firmware, it runs fine because it has overwritten the old corrupted data in camera that was causing the problem, and you're left scratching your head, having destroyed the evidence. If so, not surprising Leica is having so much trouble finding the problem....

 

Sandy

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Well, the descriptions of the problem(s) given here so far really don't indicate component failure - rather firmware issues. And is that's the case, running diagnostics on the hardware is futile, and actually counterproductive. What tends to happen is that you load the camera with the diagnostics firmware, it runs fine because it has overwritten the old corrupted data in camera that was causing the problem, and you're left scratching your head, having destroyed the evidence. If so, not surprising Leica is having so much trouble finding the problem....

 

Sandy

 

 

I would have to disagree with you on this since it has happened with each version of the firmware and reloading the firmware does nto fix the problem. If it were just firmware, a reinstall of the firmware should clear out any prior corrupted locations and replace them with valid code and the unit should then work as before the problem. I would tend to suspect a memory failure in normal RAM, not the ROM. If the ROM were defective you couldn't reinstall the firmware successfully because you would get CRC errors preventing completion of the installation. A deffective RAM chip where the code is actually executed would cause all kind of strange errors that are often hard to predict.

 

As to running software diagnostics and having it overwrite the data that would identify the problem I find highly improbable. if the ROM can be reflashed with the firmware without fixing the problem, no software diagnositic will either cure the problem or destroy the data that identifies the problem. Further, that is not the way modern testig in a manufacturing environment is typically done. Usually the first thing one does is a complete memory dump to preserve any information contained in the unit as to its state, condition and stored error information. Then a specialized diagnostic that tests each section independantly of any other can be run and finally a diagnostic that test the entire system and intersystem communications can be run. If any of the diagnostics fail due to a hradware error, then the board can be removed and tested on a test jig designed to exercise the functions of the board at a low level and so on. With only one failure it can be difficult to find a pattern but after many cameras a pattern should emerge and the bad-boy culprit identified.

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I know how I would respond, and it wouldn't be through a public forum.

 

Leica have already set the precedence here by issuing a statement on this forum about banding problems and the magenta cast. There is no reason whatsoever for them not to address the shutdown issue here as well. My M8 has just come out of repair in Solms for the second time with this problem and just this morning I emailed an inquiry as to the cause--if known. The individuals on this forum represent a significant part of the Leica customer base and have every right to expect the company to provide whatever information they have about the product they want us to buy and use.

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More relaxed.. probably yes ..... but in contradiction to what the general consensus seems here ... i do not think open communications is good for a company in all circumstances.

Communicating openly on this forum about all M8 issues and problems would be killing for the M8 and Leica in general: as would be another general call back of M8's.

There is a 2 year warranty to fix what is broken ... but there is no need to fix what is not (yet)... what could we do??... send or cameras in again because of a POSSIBLE future breakdown .... why?? There is plenty time to send it in if it collapses ....Ít's just a camera not an air-plane!

 

With respect to the two year warranty, consider this: I purchased my M8 on December 11, 2006. Since that time, I have used it for a total of 8 days. The rest of the time it has (twice) been either in repair at Solms or in transit. Today is March 12, which means 3 months (1/8th) of my warranty period have elapsed. What good is the warranty if the camera is unusable for the bulk of the two year period?

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John,

 

A normal "customer" reflash doesn't reflash all memory, just the actual code - most data is left alone to preserve serial numbers, calibration data, etc, etc. If that data is corrupted, then a 1.06 to 1.092 reflash won't help at all.

 

As regards it being normal to preserve complete state information when you start a repair - in military and aerospace, maybe. In commercial practice, repair guys just don't get the kind of equipment you need to do that, and in any event, don't have the skills. There's usually (a) a flowchart of what to try and (

diagnostic software that can be downloaded via a laptop. That's pretty much it.

 

Sandy

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Sandy,

 

I realize that the reflash doesn't (in Leica's case) clear all of memory but leaves a non-volitale section that is kept current via the internal battery. However, even with minimal tools, doing a complete memory dump is probably SOP so that they can restore the owners frame count etc. in the event that they need to do a master reset that clears all of memory or remove a circuit board and the power from the backup battery. There is probably a key sequence or set of command software that will allow a far greater degree of control of the camera and its internals via the USB port. While I do have access to very sophisticated tools in my labs, the majority of the time we just use simple tools like a laptop and diagnositc software tools that run on the laptop or PC and a set of standard procedures to collect data in the event we later need to do a more thorough analysis. In my labs, even my technicians are mostly engineers but that is because we may have safety of flight issues to address or be working with dangerous systems. We had a technician killed by an exploding gage when he failed to follow proper procedure and use the correct standards at one of our subsidiary labs. Therefore, we tend to try and enforce standard procedures to the extent we can.

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It's easy to defend how Leica is handling the shutdown failure issue if you haven't had it happen to yourself. Until then, you can just keep telling yourself that it is one in a million. This is exactly how I felt. Not until one of Sean Reid's cameras died, did I become somewhat concerned. I thought: "Oh, what are the odds. Someone who really admires the M8, and whose tests I follow, had it fail." Then my friends camera died. Now I got scared. I love my M8, but do I trust it? No, not yet. Have you ever run out of battery or taken a picture with the lens cap on, and for a split second just become super-worried that it just happened to your own camera? Well, I have, and while I do not wish this camera failure to happen to any of us, I have to ask you to support and NOT CRITICIZE the opinions of people that it did happen to. As far as I am concerned, they are allowed to express their frustration with Leica as long as they want. they have all the right to do so.

Now on the other hand, if just one more new guy complains that all his shots have a magenta cast, or that there is banding when he shoots a glamour shot of a bare lightbulb backlit by a blowtorch, and the sun itself - that guy has exhausted even my patience and deserves to go back to a point and shoot!

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Does the "Shutter Err" "Shutter Fault" qualify as a symptom leading to "sudden death"? After about 2 months and 700 perfect exposures, my M8 now can not be depended upon. When switched on now - most of the time - I receive a "Shutter Err" in the viewfinder and "Shutter Fault" on the display. The fact that if I turn it on to C rather than S I have a greater chance of having the shutter work does not give me confidence. But seems to suggest that the problem has something to do with the switch and it's circuitry. Just guessing. I've emailed NJ yesterday, with no response so far.

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