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Poll on absolute reliability

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1) Since April 2007

2) >5000

3) Died once due to cold battery

4) Zero - I would not count that as a malfunction, although it made me nervous for a second

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1) 2 months

2) 1000

3) 3 lockups (fixed with battery out/in again)

4) Those 3 lockups

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Guest tummydoc

My questions for you:

1) How long have you owned your M8

2) Approximately how many frames have you shot

3) Has the camera malfunctioned during this time

4) How frequently has it malfunctioned

 

1) I think about five months.

2) I think about 2000

3) Not, not unless you count atrocious AWB, mad scrolling, venetian-blinds, or freeze-ups requiring removal/reinsertion of the battery.

4)Never, unless you count the above, then, one or another practically every time I turn it on, especially the AWB.

 

That said, this is my third M8. My first two died shortly after arrival and were exchanged by my stockist.

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Vinay, I wonder why you care a rats-arse about AWB. I have never seen a digital camera where I had NOT have to tweak the WB in post, and the amount of tweaking is irrelevant. - Well, maybe the Digilux2, which was the best of the bunch in this respect.

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Guest tummydoc
Vinay, I wonder why you care a rats-arse about AWB. I have never seen a digital camera where I had NOT have to tweak the WB in post, and the amount of tweaking is irrelevant. - Well, maybe the Digilux2, which was the best of the bunch in this respect.

 

You embarrass yourself sir. Even those amongst us who regale the M8 for its positive attributes acknowledge that even in RAW its AWB is atrocious compared to every other current-generation digital camera from the lowliest point-and-push on up. The kaleidoscopic results from the M8's AWB are beyond what any rational person would classify as minor deviations.

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One of the things I have noticed in this informal poll is that the newer the cameras, the less trouble they have been.

 

Perhaps Leica have improved the hardware and software since the early days. Also remember, this forum only represent a small group of users as many will not spend any time reading or posting items.

 

Hope this helps

 

DBK

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I think the point Jaapv's trying to make is that if you are shooting RAW only then auto white balance truly doesn't matter because you're specifying what white balance to use afterwards. (Jappv, forgive me if I'm putting words in your mouth...) I agree that I've never seen a digital camera (still or video) that I didn't want to tweak the white balance in post.

 

In my experience my M8 gets it more or less right at least 95% of the time. The only time it has problems is in strangely mixed lighting, and in such situations I know I'm going to have to work the image more than usual so I don't care if the image on the LCD is a little funky looking.

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1) 5 months

2) ~5000

3) Had to eject the battery once, and had to turn the camera off then back on 2 other times.

4) My M8 never went back to Solms and my total downtime because of Malfunction is less than a minute for 5k exposures

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Thank you for humoring me with your survey responses.

 

I am at a point of deciding whether to further my M8 kit, or update my Nikon D2X when the D3 hits the shelf.

 

My concern, my M8 has not provided 100% reliability. I sent it back in to Leica last weekend to address issues with the SD card slot. I want a camera that will be there for me 999 times out of 1000, and my personal M8 seems to have issues more like 1 time out of 20. 5% failure rate seems high, so I sent it back in, which makes it a second trip in my first year of ownership. Alas, it also means no M8 to use over Christmas, I fear.

 

My questions for you:

1) How long have you owned your M8

2) Approximately how many frames have you shot

3) Has the camera malfunctioned during this time

4) How frequently has it malfunctioned

 

Thank you once again.

 

Eric

 

 

my responses are

 

first camera died (SDS, overheated) on second day I had it. Exchanged that week.

 

Second camera

 

1) since feb 2007

2) 11,000

3) malfunctions-failed to write to card once, red light kept blinking, had to pull battery, lost a few frames, attributed it to bad transcend 2gb card. Threw that card out. no other problems

4) once.

 

this is the camera I use professionally. It does need to go back to solms for a rangefinder align, and also the sensor is prone to blooming pixel artifacts in heavy backlight situations. I emailed solms the problem images and they said it can be fixed. So you could consider that a malfunction or qc issue.

 

when you say "failure rate" that sounds like some statistical "fact", but there is no definition of failure or even rate ie; what per what? I could say the camera failed me "once" but it probably had to do with the sd card. so is that a failure? I agree there are lots of hinky behaviour issues like wb and scrolling which should not be there at this price but having used all the other cameras I'll take that over the other issues I have had. So overall my report is 100% for me.

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Even those amongst us who regale the M8 for its positive attributes acknowledge that even in RAW its AWB is atrocious compared to every other current-generation digital camera...

 

Hi Vinay, one of the advantages is shooting RAW is that you can tweak the white balance. The white balance you see when you open up the image in the raw-convertor is the same as that applied to a Jpeg. White balance in a RAW file isn't fixed, it can be manipulated just as it would have been in camera. What you see when you open up a RAW file is in effect just a suggestion for the colour temperature. If you don't like it, change it.

 

There are very simple techniques that can be employed if you want to use AWB and shoot RAW. I shoot using AWB and shoot RAW and find that the while balance is fine in maybe 95% of the shots I take, though some of those can be improved by tweaking the satting. Just the same as I do with my Canon 5D. The issue I've come across the most is where if two shots are taken quickly one of them will have a very cool white balance. Again this is easily corrected and occurs in maybe one in a hundred shots if that.

 

I should add that there's only one person embarrassing themselves, and it isn't Jaap.

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I think I'll answer your question a little differently. My first M8 went back to Solms 3 times for complete internal replacement. After the last failure, I insisted on--and received--a completely new M8. I shoot professionally, so after those initial experiences I was very reluctant to take the M8 on shoots without any backup. After 7 months of fairly heavy daily use, I have not had any significant issues. I've had the scroll and venetian blind problems, but nothing that really affected the final outcome or hampered my work.

 

I now routinely take my M8 on shoots with no backup and no worries. I love the freedom of being able to carry a small, lightweight bag (M8, 3 lenses, SF20) without feeling that I am compromising anything.

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7-8 months

7,500 +

no problems, glitches or lock ups

 

I'm not counting getting the previous frame if you press preview to quick. That is a limitation of the camera's speed rather then a bug.

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1) 7 months about

2) 2500 ca.

3) No faults, I had a frame with "green band" after many tentatives to obtain it

4) Nothing significant... sometime i recall to have seen rapid blinking menu when turning too quickly or accidentally the wheel... irrilevant.

 

I am not an heavy user, indeed... but until now the only thing I can say is that M8 is a great camera: I suffered some focusing issue on old lenses.

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I think the point Jaapv's trying to make is that if you are shooting RAW only then auto white balance truly doesn't matter because you're specifying what white balance to use afterwards. (Jappv, forgive me if I'm putting words in your mouth...) I agree that I've never seen a digital camera (still or video) that I didn't want to tweak the white balance in post.

 

In my experience my M8 gets it more or less right at least 95% of the time. The only time it has problems is in strangely mixed lighting, and in such situations I know I'm going to have to work the image more than usual so I don't care if the image on the LCD is a little funky looking.

 

I don't think I've ever seen a digital camera that shoots perfect AWB. The real key, however, is to shoot RAW and get CONSISTENT color from your setting. The way to do this is to get the color temperature as close as possible in the camera by matching the light source or shooting a custom WB. If the lighting is tungsten, set the WB to incandescent. If you're outside and it's cloudy, set that WB. The reason this matters is that if all your files are the same, you can make a single, batch correction in Bridge, Lightroom, or whatever else you use. If you have one file that is warm and another too cool, there's no alternative but to do them individually. Batching saves a huge amount of time and it's nice to have consistent color balance in your final images. As far as I'm concerned, the AWB could be left off the M8 and all other digital cameras and it would be fine with me.

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1) Eight months

2) 17,500

3) No faults. (Some glitches associated with firmware: battery indication inaccurate early-on, scrolling through previews does the "bounce back" thing. Needed to adjust my RF's infinity focus with the allen key. I don't consider this a "fault.")

4) Used daily. No malfunctions.

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I don't think I've ever seen a digital camera that shoots perfect AWB. The real key, however, is to shoot RAW and get CONSISTENT color from your setting. The way to do this is to get the color temperature as close as possible in the camera by matching the light source or shooting a custom WB. If the lighting is tungsten, set the WB to incandescent. If you're outside and it's cloudy, set that WB. The reason this matters is that if all your files are the same, you can make a single, batch correction in Bridge, Lightroom, or whatever else you use. If you have one file that is warm and another too cool, there's no alternative but to do them individually. Batching saves a huge amount of time and it's nice to have consistent color balance in your final images. As far as I'm concerned, the AWB could be left off the M8 and all other digital cameras and it would be fine with me.

 

This pretty much mirrors my working method, although I find the cloudy setting too warm for my taste.

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a) since March

15,000 +

c) Couple of times early on, removed battery, restarted fine. I have an issue with lens detection but not a show stopper. The usual; AWB but shoot raw etc.

 

Though getting hold of glass & uv/ir filters requires the patience of a saint.

 

However, very fine kit for my requirements.

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