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Firmware 1.108 NOT Available

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This is a fascinating chapter in the on-going saga of the mighty M8.

 

And to think how easily all the criticism and angst could have been prevented by Leica. It's another example of Leica's ineptitude in business communications. I would have hoped that after the rough and tumble experience early on with the M8, perhaps someone in Solms could have learned something--both what they did right, and what they did wrong--and acted accordingly.

 

Once again, you can take the cold, passive, absent approach and let the marketplace control your business and reputation, or you can be pro-active and control your own destiny. Personally, I think Leica's outlook in this area is just plain stupid.

 

If they have improved the M8's performance, more power to them. They should always strive to do so. But they must learn to respect those who have supported them and put up with delays, shortages, and serious performance issues in the past.

 

That being said, whether you've got the latest iteration or the original M8, it is a great machine. But Leica needs to get into the 21st century and move forward in the way it communicates with its small but very loyal and tight clientele. It's almost like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney run the place, god help us.

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... Leica has a financial motive to NOT be completely honest. They could make the statement if it were true today but keeping their fingers crossed and knowing that with future firmware upgrades the statement would no longer be true. They could later state; "it was true when we said it." ...QUOTE]

 

John, this is speculative (and you've been listening to too many politicians). Remember, we're talking about the only company in existence that keeps half-century old stuff running perfectly.

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This is a fascinating chapter in the on-going saga of the mighty M8.

 

And to think how easily all the criticism and angst could have been prevented by Leica. It's another example of Leica's ineptitude in business communications. I would have hoped that after the rough and tumble experience early on with the M8, perhaps someone in Solms could have learned something--both what they did right, and what they did wrong--and acted accordingly.

 

Once again, you can take the cold, passive, absent approach and let the marketplace control your business and reputation, or you can be pro-active and control your own destiny. Personally, I think Leica's outlook in this area is just plain stupid.

 

If they have improved the M8's performance, more power to them. They should always strive to do so. But they must learn to respect those who have supported them and put up with delays, shortages, and serious performance issues in the past.

 

.

 

I doubt that this reaction could have been foreseen. It took a special type of person and an unlikely set of circumstances.

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Hi John,

they might chose to fix the hardware going forward to eliminate the problem. On the other hand, equally understandable, they may not want to have to do another recall to replace those components in every camera sold. Therefore, a good strategy would be to fix the problems going forward and knowing that many users are either unaware of certain issues, are more tolerant of those issues or have not experienced them for one reason or another, they would wait to only fix and change those cameras sent in for repair.
I do agree with this idea, simply because it was exactly the way followed previously.

Some, not informed, first customers are trying to sell their M8 second hand for 3200€ (US$ 4480) and do not find any buyers (or with difficulty. Personally i got twice this opportunity and finally didn't follow) because of all the troubles they notice. A simple trip to Solms would resolve most of those problems.

On the other hand, who say that the chips, or whatever electronic parts, are not modified, by the manufacturer, precisely because of those problems ?

 

Well, Leica told us too much and too little simultaneously.

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Wouldn't it have been simpler to say this:

"As of today, September 21, 2007, all Leica M8's shipped from the factory will be loaded with firmware version 1.108, due to the replacement of an electronic part used in the manufacture of the camera. All pre-existing M8's are not affected by this change and there is no need to upgrade from version 1.107 as there is no new functionality in the update. All future firmware updates will address all revisions of the camera."

 

EXACTLY. 99% of all this angst could have been prevented with a little forethought applied to a simple statement like the one above.

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I think we need to try to put this thread out of its misery.

 

Guy, who is currently shooting on a golf course, has told us he tested the file and found no problems and he has asked "us" to post the following:

 

- the change to the hardware is a new version of the CCD board, Version 2

- the 1.108 firmware file is almost identically sized to 1.107

- the XML header shows there is no special treatment for this new version in terms of separate firmware components.

 

And you thought Guy didn't know about this stuff, LOL.

 

From this, you can rest assured that the changes to support the new hardware are very small and handled within a single version of the firmware. It is, IMHO, a non-issue.

 

Guy said in his email: "There is no change shooting which I am doing now on golf course. Tell them to go shoot and forget about it."

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WAHOO!! Does this mean there can be an IR insensitive full-frame sensor on this board???

:D:D

Seriously: thank you, Mark and Guy for putting this thread out of its misery....

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Guest tummydoc
Here is a little test of trust and human psychology:

 

If you had the opportunity to exchange your M8 for the newer version for only the cost of shipping and you were told that there was no functional difference would you do it?

 

No, because it took me 2 dead ones to arrive at one working one, and because I've no way of knowing if the substituted hardware is even as reliable as the previous.

 

Leica has a financial motive to NOT be completely honest.

 

Quite the contrary, Leica still bears the scars of the IR-magenta debacle. If anything I sense that this issue is more related to trying too hard to be completely honest. I've never heard of another manufacturer shipping cameras with firmware versions that weren't also made available for download to current owners, yet it's too incredible to believe that in the history of digital no other camera has ever required a mid-production change of minor hardware that in turn required a few firmware tweaks. (Then again if Leica's management of their parts outsourcing is as poorly controlled as their customer communications...

)

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I doubt that this reaction could have been foreseen. It took a special type of person and an unlikely set of circumstances.

 

 

Jaapv--Thanks for the response, but I must respectfully disagree. Just a few months ago Leica was battered and beaten for the various issues concerning the M8. They are a small company by just about any standard, with a very loyal client base. That being the case, they can't afford to alienate those of us who use their products.

 

I think it would have been very easy for any reasonable sales or marketing person at Leica to foresee the possibility of a negative reaction to today's firmware announcement. Unfortunately, the reality today is that you should assume the worst but hope for the best. Leave nothing to interpretation. Hand over the facts, along with a bit of interpretation as to what it all means, and prevent this sort of thing from occurring and damaging your largely stellar reputation. It is so easy. I could do it for them in a heartbeat.

 

Maybe what Leica needs to do is loosen up a bit, and involve those of us who own and use the M8 in some sort of users group. That way they could get a lot of inexpensive, but invaluable feedback. I know Guy and others are key conduits of wisdom in this regard, but maybe they would be wise to add a few more of us and get even more input. Of course if they don't act on any of it, it would all be for naught.

 

What I find perplexing is that this sort of thing just keep happening and happening and no one in Solms seems to learn a thing from it.

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I doubt that this reaction could have been foreseen.

 

Hmmm, considering that everything about the M8 has been fed through the rumor mill and torn to shreds on the forum almost within minutes of its origin, I think Leica's management would have to have been comatose for the past 10 months or childishly naive not to have forseen it.

 

It took a special type of person and an unlikely set of circumstances.

 

Yes, that at least one of the recipients of Leica's e-mail would not be a blind believer and apologist for Leica, and that that person would have an internet connection

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Actually, one of the interesting things about the Leica electronics is that it uses mainly off-the-shelf components, standard parts which you can buy. Take a Nikon or Canon apart and you will see parts specific to them whch are therefore entirely under their control. Leica, OTOH, have to take the constant change in the semiconductor industry into account and manage it.

 

It has nothing to do with mismanagement of their supply chain. They have to strike a balance between the availability of parts, the cost of stock-holding and changing technical specifications. It's unlikely that this change will be the last over the lifetime of the Leica M8.

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Originally Posted by jaapv

I doubt that this reaction could have been foreseen.[/Quote]

 

Hmmm, considering that everything about the M8 has been fed through the rumor mill and torn to shreds on the forum almost within minutes of its origin, I think Leica's management would have to have been comatose for the past 10 months or childishly naive not to have forseen it.

 

 

Why?

 

This firmware does nothing for your older M8s. I fail to see why you should need to worry about it.

 

The cameras now in production need it to make them work, but they don't do anything differently, or better, or worse, than the one you have owned (and presumably been taking pictures with, and enjoying) for months.

 

There is no M8v2. No one has lied about there being "No upgrades"

 

I really think that some people here need to take a reality check, and read what they have written today.

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Not trying to pull your legs ... but Guy has an iPhone, he should be able to view and post directly from the golf course himself.

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If I were managing Leica, I'd go ahead and call these new cameras M8-2 and charge a 1500 dollar premium for it ... all will be happy then, early adopters pay less for older models, newcomers feel happy because they've got an improved version.

 

Mr. Lee ... are you listening?

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Not trying to pull your legs ... but Guy has an iPhone, he should be able to view and post directly from the golf course himself.

 

In fact, Guy does have the new M8 Mark II. It's the version with the iPhone in place of the viewer. It just doesn't fit in the pocket, anymore.

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Hmmm, considering that everything about the M8 has been fed through the rumor mill and torn to shreds on the forum almost within minutes of its origin, I think Leica's management would have to have been comatose for the past 10 months or childishly naive not to have forseen it.

 

 

 

Yes, that at least one of the recipients of Leica's e-mail would not be a blind believer and apologist for Leica, and that that person would have an internet connection

 

 

Ok. What business school teaches the following scenario?:

 

Marketing department:

 

"We have made some minor changes to our hardware, so future thingamejigs will have firmware 1.108.

Firmware 1.107 on other equipment will not be updated, as there is no need"

 

Customer:

 

"I am seeing my sollicitor now because I want my new chip or better still a new thingamejig!!"

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Well, the email did say "from my iPhone" or some such!

 

That doesn't seem to be very logical.

 

Hey, Guy ... can you login and say "Hi"?

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Guest tummydoc
Why?

 

This firmware does nothing for your older M8s. I fail to see why you should need to worry about it.

 

The cameras now in production need it to make them work, but they don't do anything differently, or better, or worse, than the one you have had and (presumably been taking pictures with, and enjoying) for months.

 

There is no M8v2. No one has lied about there being "No upgrades"

 

I really think that some people here need to take a reality check, and read what they have written today.

 

Perhaps I'm making a wrong assumption from your English-sounding name that you are a native speaker of English, and if so I humbly apologise for sounding curt. But you've completely miscomprehended what I wrote. I am not worried about "it". I agree that no-one has lied, and in fact I've stated more than once that Leica seems to have undone themselves whilst trying to be completely honest. What Leica should have easily forseen was that by not simply releasing 1.108 for everyone (even if it did nothing noticeable to performance, as was the case with 1.107) it would raise suspicions and start rumours--neither of which are good for future sales, especially with a huge impending price increase. And the reaction of numerous individuals right on this forum proves the foregoing beyond a shadow of a doubt, to anyone who can read those responses. Including untold numbers of potential M8 buyers who are out there reading but not posting.

 

Leica is to be commended for their candor, however given the reaction (by all but the same few usual Leica cheerleaders) it was a self-destructive move...something Leica should be all to familiar with.

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Perhaps I'm making a wrong assumption from your English-sounding name that you are a native speaker of English, and if so I humbly apologise for sounding curt.

 

Curt, patronising and sarcastic, all in one sentence!

 

I still think that a reality check is seriously required by some M8 owners. Honest I do.

 

So, thousands of M8 owners load a completely un-necessary and useless (to their M8) piece of firmware. What would happen then?

 

"I just downloaded v1.08 of the firmware and it didn't do anything!" What are Leica playing at? Wasting my time! Where's my lawyer? Class action!

 

(Where's an emoticon for "shakes head in disbelief"?)

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