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MrFriendly

M246M Freezing

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I've had my M246M for less than two months (My very first Leica).  Couple days ago I started a new routine to improve my focusing and handling of the camera, and that's when I encountered the freezing issue.  It's not always reproducible, but so far I've manage to narrow it down to the follow steps:

  1. focus and take the shot
  2. press PLAY and scroll as quickly to zoom in all the way (red light flashing as CPU is under load).
  3. press DELETE and then SET to delete the picture.
  4. repeat from step #1

Within less than an hour the camera will freeze and in the viewfinder red - - -  stays on.  It's almost impossible to tell that the camera is frozen until pressing the shutter button and realizing that it's not taking the picture.

Occasionally turning on Live View in step #1 seems to increase the likelihood;  When things start to go wrong, In Live View the hourglass icon is displayed and most of the time it will not go away (even turning Live View off then on), and after a few shots the camera completely freezes. Something seems to go wrong when the CPU is under heavy load.  And I've even had the camera freeze when scrolling to zoom in/out while viewing the image.

Turning the camera off then on usually fixes the problem. But in one occasion turning the camera off, the camera was still frozen when I turned it back on.

This is SO disappointing.  I'm on firmware version 1.0.2.0.  Judging by when that was released (late 2017), I doubt this issue is going to be fixed for M246M.  I've read the other thread about M10M freeze issues, and it doesn't surprise me giving the fact that their core OS is shared among different M models.

Maybe i'm being grumpy, but you can have the best glass and the best hardware, and it all goes down the toilet because the software is crap.

 

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I must speak up on this one!  I used to be a computer programmer.  I am on the users side but most software managers and programmers are not.  

I do not mean to attack Leica with this since I realize that eventually development money runs out on any product. What is written below is the general situation for software development. 

In the three companies that I worked for as a programmer or in computer management:  Management problems in the computer department were the cause of the software being a mess.  It can take many times, the amount of time they want to give you, to get the software right.

Example… I was assigned a project that my manager (the worst programmer in our company) thought would take about 4 hours to get working by borrowing some software code and making a few changes.  But it took me two weeks, not four hours.  One of us was wrong.  

So why not decide by the results.  My software worked and did not need fixing but only the addition of new features as needed. The software produced by the my manager never worked, honestly it didn't, and after taking it live at the customer's business, it then went under continual repair for literally years.  I was hired to work on this software package mess.

So which type of software do you want?  Working software that takes two weeks to make or the four hour rush job?  This is the question that ALL software departments face.  

You essentially have to have been a programmer to realize how complex the problems are inside software and machines SO YOU DO NOT FIRE your best programmers who have the moral honesty to take the time to do the job right.  So in most companies the problem is unrealistic management that does not understand the great time needed to write & test & rewrite software - and the programmers need people to test the software for a real world test.  

Go ahead, disregard what I say, but if you do: your car will rev the engine and crash into the garage wall (Audi) and your airplanes will crash (Boeing).  Can I hear an Amen!

Sorry I don't answer trolls on this one.

Edited by Tom1234

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I still remember when my M240 used to lock up on me whenever I used it with R lenses after all it was bought for that reason.

But after some perseverance I fixed the problem.

I got rid of it,      never had any problems with Canon and Fuji whenever I attached my R lenses to them.

Welcome to Leica.

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I have limited confidence with gear, Leica or other brands.

So, since the day one of M8, 2007,  I managed to have one or more film M at hand when I think the results are "important".

For two travel times, I happily report I've always done that backup "with film M, or Xpan", as the digital cameras did not work at the middle of journeys.

I admit that when I used only film, I managed also to travel with backups.

Arnaud

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1 hour ago, MrFriendly said:

I've had my M246M for less than two months (My very first Leica).  Couple days ago I started a new routine to improve my focusing and handling of the camera, and that's when I encountered the freezing issue.  It's not always reproducible, but so far I've manage to narrow it down to the follow steps:

  1. focus and take the shot
  2. press PLAY and scroll as quickly to zoom in all the way (red light flashing as CPU is under load).
  3. press DELETE and then SET to delete the picture.
  4. repeat from step #1

Within less than an hour the camera will freeze and in the viewfinder red - - -  stays on.  It's almost impossible to tell that the camera is frozen until pressing the shutter button and realizing that it's not taking the picture.

Occasionally turning on Live View in step #1 seems to increase the likelihood;  When things start to go wrong, In Live View the hourglass icon is displayed and most of the time it will not go away (even turning Live View off then on), and after a few shots the camera completely freezes. Something seems to go wrong when the CPU is under heavy load.  And I've even had the camera freeze when scrolling to zoom in/out while viewing the image.

Turning the camera off then on usually fixes the problem. But in one occasion turning the camera off, the camera was still frozen when I turned it back on.

This is SO disappointing.  I'm on firmware version 1.0.2.0.  Judging by when that was released (late 2017), I doubt this issue is going to be fixed for M246M.  I've read the other thread about M10M freeze issues, and it doesn't surprise me giving the fact that their core OS is shared among different M models.

Maybe i'm being grumpy, but you can have the best glass and the best hardware, and it all goes down the toilet because the software is crap.

 

Yes mine did that as well. My guess it was to do with exposure then Auto Review or Play in quick succession, something builds and eventually the camera gets fed up. I don't personally think it makes 'it all go down the toilet' but I can see how it would be inconvenient if you do a lot of chimping.

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I can report that with my sort of using, the M246 is one of the most reliable M (never had something to complain, nada ).

I don't chimp, rarely use "C" mode.

99% of time of using M246, the rear LCD is off.

I appreciate the ISO showing in VF when switch to "on".

Even the EVF is more reliable than Visoflex 020 for M10.

 

Thousands of "happy" photos 😄.

Edited by a.noctilux

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Firstly, I agree with your comments about project management.  I’m an engineer.  It goes well and truly beyond just software.  All project management suffers from this.  The problem is, things like quality, stability, maintainability, cost to operate and maintain, etc. etc.  Things like this aren’t given anywhere near the attention they deserve.  As you point out, the long term costs never get factored in either.  The whole rule book on project management needs to be re-written.

But on your specific issues, honestly just don’t chimp.  You will become a better photographer in the process.

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15 hours ago, hamey said:

I still remember when my M240 used to lock up on me whenever I used it with R lenses after all it was bought for that reason.

But after some perseverance I fixed the problem.

I got rid of it,      never had any problems with Canon and Fuji whenever I attached my R lenses to them.

Welcome to Leica.

Can you remember how you fixed the problem? 

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1 hour ago, Tom1234 said:

Can you remember how you fixed the problem? 

I think hamey meant that he/she fixed the problem by getting rid of his/her M240 and got Canon/Fuji instead.

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1 hour ago, paulsydaus said:

But on your specific issues, honestly just don’t chimp.  You will become a better photographer in the process.

If you were at the gun range to practice, wouldn't you check after shooting to see how well you did or how many you missed?  I'm new to manual focusing, and I need to practice, which means I need to see the images I take after I take them.  How does that make me a bad photographer?  How else would I know if I missed the focus, or if my hands weren't steady enough and caused motion blur? 

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1 hour ago, Tom1234 said:

Can you remember how you fixed the problem? 

Well Tom, Mr Friendly explained it very well except I am a He.

I was one of the early buyers of the M240 and I bought it mainly to use with my extensive R lenses that I had at the time as no R10 was forthcoming.

For some reason whenever R lenses where attached  to my M240 it would on occasions totally lock up.

The remedy was switch off,  remove base plate and battery reinstall and we're back in action once again until the next time.

It was weird, I cannot recall it ever locking up with my M lenses, well my patience dried up in the end so I waved good bye to it.

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Quote

 

It's not always reproducible, but so far I've manage to narrow it down to the follow steps:

  1. focus and take the shot
  2. press PLAY and scroll as quickly to zoom in all the way (red light flashing as CPU is under load).
  3. press DELETE and then SET to delete the picture.
  4. repeat from step #1

Within less than an hour the camera will freeze and in the viewfinder red - - -  stays on.  It's almost impossible to tell that the camera is frozen until pressing the shutter button and realizing that it's not taking the picture.

 

Based on your description, my guess is something memory card related.  No fault or defect in the card per-se, more likely corrupt index tables due to the quick paced reviewing and deleting of files.  It's possible that the repeated quick button presses are interrupting processes, and as a result, leaving some index values behind that should have been otherwise cleared when the file was deleted.  This is really just a guess.  My suggestion -

  1. Download SD Formatter and re-format your SD cards - select the "overwrite option"
  2. When the SD card is re-inserted into your M, format the card via the M's menu option
  3. Before performing operations (like deleting), make sure the red light has finished its activity - basically - slow down
  4. Use approved Leica memory cards; I used cheap Sandisk Extreme Pro 16 GB 95 MB/sec UHS-1 cards

There could be other issues at work here, but before deciding it's a hardware or software issues, ruling out the memory card is generally pretty easy.  Just my 2¢.  As a best practice, before every outing, I run my cards through the SD Formatter and do an over-write format.  I use 16 GB cards, so it only takes about 2-3 minutes.  I've got cards that are probably 6-7-8 years old now and they are fine after 10's of thousands of images across many different cameras (Leica, Sony, Fuji, etc.)  

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2 hours ago, MrFriendly said:

If you were at the gun range to practice, wouldn't you check after shooting to see how well you did or how many you missed?  I'm new to manual focusing, and I need to practice, which means I need to see the images I take after I take them.  How does that make me a bad photographer?  How else would I know if I missed the focus, or if my hands weren't steady enough and caused motion blur? 

Still Photography: Nothing wrong with chimping especially to see if you are getting the composition right through the rangefinder viewer.  Yet if you chimp too much you will waste time that could be used for taking pictures.  For still photography, maybe a good rule is to chimp until you feel you are wasting time on it.  

Motion Pictures: On movie sets they can now edit/assemble the movie in the field edit van during the recording of the video. Imagine you have a producer and editor and various other "creatives" 2nd judging all you do as a director.  Instead of recording extra coverage shots you argue with others about what you need.

As multiple people "chimp" after every recorded shot, there is little clear time to think creatively as a director because you are dealing with the editing politics circulating between people all wishing that they could edit the movie their way.  Yes, instead of the director making the movie, it is made by the "committee of chimps" in the edit truck.  

No wonder many the latest movies play like choppy advertisements. 

 

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1 hour ago, John Black said:

No fault or defect in the card per-se, more likely corrupt index tables due to the quick paced reviewing and deleting of files.  It's possible that the repeated quick button presses are interrupting processes, and as a result, leaving some index values behind that should have been otherwise cleared when the file was deleted.  This is really just a guess.  My suggestion 

Great idea and place to start for the software programmers… "possibly camera body key strokes can interrupt processes" but they shouldn't.  Who knows, to stop the camera from appearing to lock up during writes to card memory, those buttons may not be turned off during the write?

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5 hours ago, MrFriendly said:

 I'm new to manual focusing, and I need to practice, which means I need to see the images I take after I take them.  How does that make me a bad photographer?  How else would I know if I missed the focus, or if my hands weren't steady enough and caused motion blur? 

How would you have got on with a film camera I wonder?

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1 hour ago, Matlock said:

How would you have got on with a film camera I wonder?

I would have given up, honest.  In fact, about twenty years ago I bought my very first camera, a film camera.  I shot maybe three or four rolls before losing interest; I realized waiting weeks to finish a roll and then waiting another week or so to see the results wasn't something that appealed to me.  The camera stayed in my closet, and I eventually sold it couple years later.  

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Just now, MrFriendly said:

I would have given up, honest.  In fact, about twenty years ago I bought my very first camera, a film camera.  I shot maybe three or four rolls before losing interest; I realized waiting weeks to finish a roll and then waiting another week or so to see the results wasn't something that appealed to me.  The camera stayed in my closet, and I eventually sold it couple years later.  

I started taking photos, aged about 7, with a Kodak Brownie given to me by my aunt. Now, about 68 years later, I am still taking photos. About 50/50 film and digital using mainly my M10-R, M10-D and M7, IIId. I see no problems whatsoever. 

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5 hours ago, John Black said:

Based on your description, my guess is something memory card related.  No fault or defect in the card per-se, more likely corrupt index tables due to the quick paced reviewing and deleting of files.  It's possible that the repeated quick button presses are interrupting processes, and as a result, leaving some index values behind that should have been otherwise cleared when the file was deleted.  This is really just a guess.  My suggestion -

  1. Download SD Formatter and re-format your SD cards - select the "overwrite option"
  2. When the SD card is re-inserted into your M, format the card via the M's menu option
  3. Before performing operations (like deleting), make sure the red light has finished its activity - basically - slow down
  4. Use approved Leica memory cards; I used cheap Sandisk Extreme Pro 16 GB 95 MB/sec UHS-1 cards

There could be other issues at work here, but before deciding it's a hardware or software issues, ruling out the memory card is generally pretty easy.  Just my 2¢.  As a best practice, before every outing, I run my cards through the SD Formatter and do an over-write format.  I use 16 GB cards, so it only takes about 2-3 minutes.  I've got cards that are probably 6-7-8 years old now and they are fine after 10's of thousands of images across many different cameras (Leica, Sony, Fuji, etc.)  

This is definitely a software bug.  It's not a hardware issue, nor is it a memory card issue.  I've managed to reproduce it on my M10-P (see my other thread).

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5 hours ago, John Black said:
  1. Before performing operations (like deleting), make sure the red light has finished its activity - basically - slow down

How about Leica fix this issue?  If people reading this could try to reproduce the issue, that would be greatly appreciated, and it would also encourage Leica to fix it.

Imagine if your shutter had a mechanical lockup issue with a probability of one in fifty, and Leica told you to "slow down, you're shooting too quickly", what then?  Would you find that acceptable, or would you want them to fix it?

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On 10/24/2020 at 5:00 PM, hamey said:

I still remember when my M240 used to lock up on me whenever I used it with R lenses after all it was bought for that reason.

But after some perseverance I fixed the problem.

I got rid of it,      never had any problems with Canon and Fuji whenever I attached my R lenses to them.

Welcome to Leica.

same here, and some weeks later they fixed the issue via firmware

my m246 though never crashed, luckily

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