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M8 Firmware 1.107 Features and positive experiences thread - PLEASE USE

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after my last whine lately, i have to say that i am impressed with high ISOs with the new FW. Its way better than previous firmware, you can also notice this in Histogram..

 

Taken yesterday, ISO 2.500 35mm ASPH Summilux at 1.4

a street kid is trying to sell flowers on a highway under the heavy mansoon rain in Delhi.

 

Poor kid...

 

I hope you bought some?

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I have tried out today the new Software update, still the same problem with AWB, 2 shots inside Mcdonald with a lot of daylight, same object 3 seconds between each shot. 1 has the warmtone, other one is cold kind of blue.

 

Sounds exactly like the last two burgers I had there - one was reddish - one was greenish.... I ate only the first. It was raw...

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after my last whine lately, i have to say that i am impressed with high ISOs with the new FW. Its way better than previous firmware, you can also notice this in Histogram..

 

Taken yesterday, ISO 2.500 35mm ASPH Summilux at 1.4

a street kid is trying to sell flowers on a highway under the heavy mansoon rain in Delhi.

 

Evren - really pleased that there's good news - and thanks for the lovely image... I was out last night covering a concert and firework display. This shot using 28 ASPH, 1250, hand held, 1/8th of a second at f2. I'm not complaining. The thing that impressed me most was how details held on the faces in the foreground.

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From the German, I get/understand "sicher" as "accurate", not "safe"; thus, what I read is that they have optimiz/sed their code to avoid "regressions", or bugs introduced while

correcting/modifying other f/w functions.

 

 

 

Sicher in German can mean safe, certain, secure, confident and a number of like things.

 

It would be nice if Leica did not depend on Babelfish so much.

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Sicher in German can mean safe, certain, secure, confident and a number of like things.

 

It would be nice if Leica did not depend on Babelfish so much.

 

Hmmmm They are a German company. I don't see many Anglo-Saxon companies even attempting to translate their commucations into German - nor employing German-speaking contact persons. maybe we should cut them some slack on this.

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Sounds exactly like the last two burgers I had there - one was reddish - one was greenish.... I ate only the first. It was raw...

 

Come on Jaap, In Holland they still eat RAW herring, should be no problem for you the greenish hamburger.

 

Anyways the coffee is good here, (free refill) by MCdonalds and the newspaper free for reading.

 

Happy shooting.

 

Theo

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Add me to the list of those who upgraded firmware successfully.

 

I only format sd cards in the camera, so I did not reformat before copying the downloaded and extracted (automatically on my Mac) upgrade file. I was careful to place the upgrade file in the root of the sd card. Turning on the camera after inserting the sd card brought up the firmware upgrade question. After a "yes," it took something less than the three minutes advertised by the instructions to complete the upgrade. The new firmware version showed up in the display and I took a confirming picture.

 

All appears well.

 

That makes two upgrades without a hitch for me and I am starting to overcome the aversion I have from doing the analogous procedure with pc's beginning some 20 years ago.

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Anyone noticed if the JPG compression algorithm is any better with this firmware...?

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Leica are masters of fuzzy communications but it would be interesting to know what this means, taken from the installation instructions for 1.107:

 

"The changes within the firmware version allows Leica Camera an even saver and more efficient production process. Furthermore, by modification of internal procedures, optimisation of the general image reproduction and the functional features of the LEICA M8 has been accomplished".

 

The second sentence seems clear - bugs fixed, code optimised, but the first one is slightly strange (leaving aside "saver" instead of "safer"). If you look at the German version, this is an accurate translation ("Die Änderungen in der neuen Firmware Version ermöglichen Leica einen noch sichereren und effizienteren Produktionsprozess").

 

Are they saying there are changes in there to make the M8 easier to manufacture?

 

That's how I read it. I think this release just makes it easy for Leica to tune and repair their cameras, and the stuff in the laundry list that they have promised to work on will come later, perhaps after the August vacation period ends. AWB is going to be erratic if it must only choose between a small number of tabulated values, and the decision point falls in a common mixed-lighting regime. As far as I can tell, that is still the case, so I would guess that AWB improvements are still unreleased work-in-progress. Still, if the latest firmware has more hooks in it to know what the camera has done and why, it seems a good idea to install and use it.

 

scott

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Chris,

 

Love the fireworks shots!

 

Jack Flesher and I have been corresponding about noise at higher ISOs, and why he didn't see the improvement. Turns out he was comparing RAW files whiile I was uncharacteristically looking at the JPEGs...

 

So the lesson here is that your processing can affect what you see.

 

Having said all that, I just shot a wedding last night and all the dances were accompanied by very very low light and a harsh DJ light show. This caught me a bit empty handed, so to speak, because normally I'd haul out a video light to illuminate, slightly, the subject (it's essentially a no-win backlight situation; if you stand between the dance and the DJ you block all the light anyway!)

 

But I didn't have my video light with me. D'oh!

 

So lacking low-wattage video light (and someone extra to hold it), and not satisfied with the look of studio flash I had set up (they obliterated the ambience entirely) this was the very first time I could rely on digging out shadow detail on underexposed indoor 1250 shots from the M8, and I gotta believe 1.107 is helping here, because normally that would just be a total mess.

 

I don't want to be controversial, but I also shot a 5d at the same ISO and (faster lens) and after a quick look I much prefer this particular low-light output from the M8 (postprocessed).

 

I never thought I'd say that!

 

BTW--the 24 Elmarit was also the perfect lens for this; I'd say a faster lens is better--and I had a 50 1.2L on the 5d--but 2.8 - 3.2 is the perfect "I need to focus quickly in near total darkness" lens and the 1.33 crop helped.

 

The 5d / 50 1.2L could not attain autofocus 8 times out of 10 in these conditions. Manually focusing with the M8 was significantly better and faster.

 

So it made me happy to see these kinds of results. BTW--in good light the M8's performance with 1.107 was flawless. Really. I didn't see any of the handling things I've seen before (like a race condition in continuous shooting where the shot gets scrambled sometimes or funky white balance issues. The display was also solid for scrolling etc).

 

The DMR was also better behaved on 1.3, but that's a different thread.

 

So, back to the M8...is this noiseless, or perfect? No--but the RAW file will make a fine print, so coupled with the other, crisp and flash-illuminated shots I'm happy!

 

Details? M8 ISO 1250 1/11s (yes, handheld!), 24 Elmarit @ 2.8, postprocessed from in-camera JPEG where subject looks to be essentially in silhouette

 

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Leica are masters of fuzzy communications but it would be interesting to know what this means, taken from the installation instructions for 1.107:

 

"The changes within the firmware version allows Leica Camera an even saver and more efficient production process. Furthermore, by modification of internal procedures, optimisation of the general image reproduction and the functional features of the LEICA M8 has been accomplished".

 

The second sentence seems clear - bugs fixed, code optimised, but the first one is slightly strange (leaving aside "saver" instead of "safer"). If you look at the German version, this is an accurate translation ("Die Änderungen in der neuen Firmware Version ermöglichen Leica einen noch sichereren und effizienteren Produktionsprozess").

 

Are they saying there are changes in there to make the M8 easier to manufacture?

 

My guess is that they inadvertently left out the "die", as in "Die Änderungen in der neuen Firmware Version ermöglichen die Leica einen noch sichereren und effizienteren Produktionsprozess".

 

This would revert the meaning to talking about the camera, as in the English version. Given the existence of the word "camera" in the English translation, it was not the result of a machine translation. Many Germans speak an excellent English, if somewhat formal and more technically correct than colloquially up-to-date. Sometimes this comes across in such press releases.

 

I doubt very much that Leica would use a firmware release to announce improvements in the manufacturing process. Apart from the fact that they are so secretive, this would be something which would be placed in a normal press release, or an interview with a senior official.

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The DMR was also better behaved on 1.3, but that's a different thread.

 

Robert,

Can you comment briefly on the DMR firmware update? What do you see better under your applications from the wedding?

Thanks,

-Son

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after my last whine lately, i have to say that i am impressed with high ISOs with the new FW. Its way better than previous firmware, you can also notice this in Histogram..

 

Taken yesterday, ISO 2.500 35mm ASPH Summilux at 1.4

a street kid is trying to sell flowers on a highway under the heavy mansoon rain in Delhi.

 

Images like yours is what got me into the acquisition of the M8 and what kept me from selling it despite the firmware is still a working progress. It is positive however to see the continual efforts made by Leica to meet their standard despite the high challenges in both technological and financial status. Thus, I praise Leica to this end and would like to continue to support them so I can still have my Leica gears tomorrow; we simply cannot just ride the back of any institution without contributing before the back is broke. In addition, the support groups made up of great folks like this one from the users is priceless and not every other system has such group. Thus, Kudos to all of your reports whether positives or negatives. However, I urge the negative comments to be curtious instead of trashing Leica's latest effort. There are many ways to critic your experiences. Everytime I get a new firmware update I feel like I just got a new camera all over again. Thus, in the positive way, I will be getting alot of new M8 with the working progress from Leica; there is no absolute to anything but only progress.

 

Thanks,

-Son

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I don't think there are any improvements to the M8 shots at high ISO in raw. Perhaps the improvements are in the JPG handling? To me, the images I just shot on Friday feel the same as they always did, ie. acceptable at ISO 1250, but not great, and pretty difficult to work with at ISO 2500, if you want really good results. Here is an image I was pretty happy with, taken with the new firmware, in raw mode, at ISO 2500, with the 35 Lux Asph, wide open. It has been worked on a bit, so it is more an example of what can be achieved than what comes straight out of the camera.

 

.

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I did a shoot for an interior design store to be published in an upcoming parade of homes magazine as well as a national home furnishings company.I used both my D2x(anticipating flash use) & M8 & in almost 99 % of the files I as well as the client preferred the M8 files.I was particularly impressed with the ability to hold the highlights compared to the NEF files.While at it no issues except having shot with Nikon Camera Control; I tried to do the same with Leica Camera Control but could not get it to work.I had planned to use Aperture any way & it turned out fine.The lighting was difficult with skylight, halogen & incandescent types. Shot @ 640,stopped down, tripod,Elmarit 28mm,coded,+ filter, no flash, Firmware 1.107

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I did a shoot for an interior design store to be published in an upcoming parade of homes magazine as well as a national home furnishings company.I used both my D2x(anticipating flash use) & M8 & in almost 99 % of the files I as well as the client preferred the M8 files.I was particularly impressed with the ability to hold the highlights compared to the NEF files.While at it no issues except having shot with Nikon Camera Control; I tried to do the same with Leica Camera Control but could not get it to work.I had planned to use Aperture any way & it turned out fine.The lighting was difficult with skylight, halogen & incandescent types. Shot @ 640,stopped down, tripod,Elmarit 28mm,coded,+ filter, no flash, Firmware 1.107

 

I like the results but have to ask a question, why iso 640 when you are on a tripod?

 

The iso 160 files have so much more plasticity to deal with contrast issues, for example, underexposing to hold highlight detail but post processing to open midtones. You seem to have managed that at 640 (which I consider the other natural effective "speed"), but I was just wondering. Nice job.

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I don't think there are any improvements to the M8 shots at high ISO in raw. Perhaps the improvements are in the JPG handling? To me, the images I just shot on Friday feel the same as they always did, ie. acceptable at ISO 1250, but not great, and pretty difficult to work with at ISO 2500, if you want really good results. Here is an image I was pretty happy with, taken with the new firmware, in raw mode, at ISO 2500, with the 35 Lux Asph, wide open. It has been worked on a bit, so it is more an example of what can be achieved than what comes straight out of the camera.

 

.

 

In both of the iso 2500 results posted and in my tests, I see definite banding in the dark areas, doesn't anyone else? Iso 2500 is still unusable imo.

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Hmmmm They are a German company. I don't see many Anglo-Saxon companies even attempting to translate their commucations into German - nor employing German-speaking contact persons. maybe we should cut them some slack on this.

 

They are a German company who sells the majority of their products world wide. Where the most common language of business is English. They just hurt themselves by posting oft incomprehensible communications. And that does not help us either.

 

As to your comment about Anglo Saxon companies not employing German speaking contact people; you should have a better look. Not just now but decades ago too.When I visited Germany from IBM NY in the sixties I spoke German on most occasions. So did many others.

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I like the results but have to ask a question, why iso 640 when you are on a tripod?

 

The iso 160 files have so much more plasticity to deal with contrast issues, for example, underexposing to hold highlight detail but post processing to open midtones. You seem to have managed that at 640 (which I consider the other natural effective "speed"), but I was just wondering. Nice job.

 

Your are correct with the ISO comment, I stated with 640 rather by accident actually & time was short (client was happy with RAW files) so rather than switch ISO & just went with it as is.Thanks for your comment .

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