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M11-P + Leica Content Credentials + MacOS -—> corrupted DNG’s


Edax

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Leica Content Credentials Sign Content on the M11-P in combination with file transfer to a Mac leads to corrupted DNG’s, as I found out yesterday. This on a consistent basis and easy to reproduce.

Short version:

With Leica Content credentials Sign Content to ON, I can easily reproduce corrupted DNG’s in only a few steps that mimic my normal workflow. With Leica Content credentials Sign Content to OFF, I have NOT been able to create any corrupted DNG yet.

Longer version:

My normal workflow, which works without any problems with my M10-P and all my other cameras, is take pictures, puts the card into the Mac for file transfer, and after that put the card back into the camera without erasing any of the pictures on it. Cards are only reformatted when the backup of the picture disk is moved offsite, and the alternating backup disk is back at home.

 

I performed the following test a few times:

Camera settings:

  1. auto exposure and auto ISO

  1. DNG’s and JPG’s to SD only
  2. Leica Content Credentials Sign Content ON
  3. 35FLE lens

Test steps (taking all the time for blinking LED’s to finish etc)

 

Format a SD card in-camera

  1. Take only 1 shot
  2. Move the card to the Mac, and inspect the folders on the card. After first Mac card insert MacOS will add a hidden .fseventsd folder to the root (toggle shift-command-“.” To get in and out  of hidden file view mode), after next Mac card inserts MacOS will update the content of this folder. Look for corrupted DNG’s and check the card with First Aid from Disk Utility for integrity.
  3. Transfer the card back to the camera (leave everything on it)  and repeat steps 1 - 3 until  problems found at step 2

 

It takes only a few cycles of this test to find trouble at step 2, depending on what MacOS (re-)writes in that hidden directory problems can be significant. I found corrupted DNG’s, seemingly moved files and folders, sometimes additional picture subfolders, and First Aid / Disk Utility found many issues to repair. The test at one moment yesterday caused a freeze, after popping the battery file numbering was completely reset...

 

During a variation of this test, taking 5 shots each time, I noticed how long it takes every time for the red bottom LED to stop blinking. Then all over sudden I realised that I had switched on Content credentials Sign Content immediately after the M11-P arrived, and never switched it off.

So I redid the same test with LCC Sign Content to Off. The results were stunning: no corrupt DNG’s and First Aid / Disk Utility errors on the card anymore even after many test cycles! Also, the blinking time of the bottom red LED is without Sign Content much shorter.

 

Conclusion: Leica Content Credentials is not ready for primetime yet, at least not in my workflow. LCC is certainly not the only source for corrupted DNG’s, I am fully aware of that. But with Sign Content to OFF I can at last “normally” use the camera and try to enjoy it.

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Have you reported this behaviour to Leica? Reproducible bugs are like hens' teeth, but should make it easy for them to track the fault.

As a work-around, have you tried setting the SD card to read only when downloading to a Mac?

FWIW I normally ingest images to a Windows PC because of the MacOS irresponsible behaviour of lifting its leg on every SD card I put in my MacBook. When travelling with my MacBook, I either set the card to read only before inserting it in the MacBook, or reformat it in-camera before using it again (in the latter case, of course, one doesn't have a back-up of images on the MacBook, unless I've been able to upload them to the cloud). 

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Posted (edited)

Mmm, that's weird and quite annoying.

 So far I didn't encounter any issues yet (±330 shots), but then I've got my camera only since yesterday ...

  • Firmware : 2.0.1
  • Content Credentials : ON (and configured)
  • Lens detection : Manual M
  • macOS : Sonoma 14.3.1
  • Capture One Pro : 16.3.6.6
  • SD card : Sony Tough 64GB
  • Transfering DNG+JPEG images via SD cardreader
Edited by Knorp
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6 hours ago, LocalHero1953 said:

As a work-around, have you tried setting the SD card to read only when downloading to a Mac?

FWIW I normally ingest images to a Windows PC because of the MacOS irresponsible behaviour of lifting its leg on every SD card I put in my MacBook. When travelling with my MacBook, I either set the card to read only before inserting it in the MacBook, or reformat it in-camera before using it again 

Yes I did that, and I explained the positive results in another thread over here last week. I even ordered an OWC card reader with write protection switch for that.

Now that I found the true reason for trouble, being LCC Sign Content, I do not want to use that anymore until it is fixed. MacOS with its SD "tampering", irresponsible or not, is an industry given, Leica's and others offerings have to work trouble-free with that.

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2 minutes ago, Edax said:

Yes I did that, and I explained the positive results in another thread over here last week. I even ordered an OWC card reader with write protection switch for that.

Now that I found the true reason for trouble, being LCC Sign Content, I do not want to use that anymore until it is fixed. MacOS with its SD "tampering", irresponsible or not, is an industry given, Leica's and others offerings have to work trouble-free with that.

Hmm - I wonder if MacOS is trying to do something else to the image files (adjusting a date? time?) that has zero effect on normal files, but doesn't play well with content credentials - which have to be sensitive to such tampering.

Just because Apple has been doing this stuff for years doesn't make it right, but I agree Leica and the CAI have to be able to live with it.

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2 hours ago, LocalHero1953 said:

Hmm - I wonder if MacOS is trying to do something else to the image files (adjusting a date? time?) that has zero effect on normal files, but doesn't play well with content credentials - which have to be sensitive to such tampering.

Just because Apple has been doing this stuff for years doesn't make it right, but I agree Leica and the CAI have to be able to live with it.

MacOS normally updates the fseventsd-uuid file in the hidden fseventsd folder at root level (but it doesn't do this if the previous card insert was write-protected). It is LCC Sign Content that slowly makes a mess of the file system on the SD card, among other unknown things not able to cope with this MacOS file update.

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@Edax, what happens if rather than using an SD card, you use a USB-C cable direct from camera to Mac and also have your files stored on the M11’s internal; memory?  Does the Mac put that folder on your internal memory?

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13 hours ago, erudolph said:

@Edax, what happens if rather than using an SD card, you use a USB-C cable direct from camera to Mac and also have your files stored on the M11’s internal; memory?  Does the Mac put that folder on your internal memory?

Using an USB-C with the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) enabled, the file system on the internal memory is not directly accessible to the Mac. So MacOS will not be able to create that hidden folder over there.

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3 hours ago, Edax said:

Using an USB-C with the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) enabled, the file system on the internal memory is not directly accessible to the Mac. So MacOS will not be able to create that hidden folder over there.

Interestingly though, thinking about my crashes this week and lost files, I have been repeatedly connecting my M11-P to my Mac and copying the images across without deleting. As it's only my laptop and I'm away I've not deleted the files from the internal memory of the camera. I wonder if this is in some way connected as I'd had no crashes/lost files for about 9,000 shots prior to this.

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On 3/2/2024 at 12:15 PM, Edax said:

Leica Content Credentials Sign Content on the M11-P in combination with file transfer to a Mac leads to corrupted DNG’s, as I found out yesterday. This on a consistent basis and easy to reproduce.

Short version:

With Leica Content credentials Sign Content to ON, I can easily reproduce corrupted DNG’s in only a few steps that mimic my normal workflow. With Leica Content credentials Sign Content to OFF, I have NOT been able to create any corrupted DNG yet.

Longer version:

My normal workflow, which works without any problems with my M10-P and all my other cameras, is take pictures, puts the card into the Mac for file transfer, and after that put the card back into the camera without erasing any of the pictures on it. Cards are only reformatted when the backup of the picture disk is moved offsite, and the alternating backup disk is back at home.

 

I performed the following test a few times:

Camera settings:

  1. auto exposure and auto ISO

  1. DNG’s and JPG’s to SD only
  2. Leica Content Credentials Sign Content ON
  3. 35FLE lens

Test steps (taking all the time for blinking LED’s to finish etc)

 

Format a SD card in-camera

  1. Take only 1 shot
  2. Move the card to the Mac, and inspect the folders on the card. After first Mac card insert MacOS will add a hidden .fseventsd folder to the root (toggle shift-command-“.” To get in and out  of hidden file view mode), after next Mac card inserts MacOS will update the content of this folder. Look for corrupted DNG’s and check the card with First Aid from Disk Utility for integrity.
  3. Transfer the card back to the camera (leave everything on it)  and repeat steps 1 - 3 until  problems found at step 2

 

It takes only a few cycles of this test to find trouble at step 2, depending on what MacOS (re-)writes in that hidden directory problems can be significant. I found corrupted DNG’s, seemingly moved files and folders, sometimes additional picture subfolders, and First Aid / Disk Utility found many issues to repair. The test at one moment yesterday caused a freeze, after popping the battery file numbering was completely reset...

 

During a variation of this test, taking 5 shots each time, I noticed how long it takes every time for the red bottom LED to stop blinking. Then all over sudden I realised that I had switched on Content credentials Sign Content immediately after the M11-P arrived, and never switched it off.

So I redid the same test with LCC Sign Content to Off. The results were stunning: no corrupt DNG’s and First Aid / Disk Utility errors on the card anymore even after many test cycles! Also, the blinking time of the bottom red LED is without Sign Content much shorter.

 

Conclusion: Leica Content Credentials is not ready for primetime yet, at least not in my workflow. LCC is certainly not the only source for corrupted DNG’s, I am fully aware of that. But with Sign Content to OFF I can at last “normally” use the camera and try to enjoy it.

And if you follow best practice and lock the card before inserting?

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On 3/2/2024 at 5:36 PM, Knorp said:

 So far I didn't encounter any issues yet (±330 shots), but then I've got my camera only since yesterday ...

  • Firmware : 2.0.1
  • Content Credentials : ON (and configured)
  •  

You are "still" on FW 2.0.1. Hopefully you didn't upgrade to FW 2.0.2 in te meantime. Don't do it, if not necessary!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Stevejack said:

Where is this best practice listed? Is this something Leica is saying to do?

Hmm....ever since I discovered Apple used the hackers' trick of placing hidden files on my SD cards, I have adopted this practice. I didn't need anyone to tell me this. It applies whether the SD card has been in a Leica, any other camera, my audio recorder or any other device.

The OP still hasn't told us if they have told Leica about this and whether Leica has responded.

Edited by LocalHero1953
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5 hours ago, Stevejack said:

Where is this best practice listed? Is this something Leica is saying to do?

Nothing to do with Leica. This has been the case since memory cards were introduced. The point is that computers can and will write back all kinds of dross to the card in the form of hidden files which could corrupt it. I forgot what it was called but about ten years ago there was some kind of indexing file which had a habit of infecting any device the card was inserted into. Windows is just as bad as Mac. Search removing Spotlight files for instance. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, LocalHero1953 said:

Hmm....ever since I discovered Apple used the hackers' trick of placing hidden files on my SD cards, I have adopted this practice. I didn't need anyone to tell me this. It applies whether the SD card has been in a Leica, any other camera, my audio recorder or any other device.

The OP still hasn't told us if they have told Leica about this and whether Leica has responded.

Hmm ok gotcha - ever since the dawn of digital I've always downloaded my shots and then formatted the card in-camera before taking any more photos, so I guess I've never run into any dramas with past cameras. I still get corrupt DNG issues with my M10M following this same process though, but I haven't gone to the extent of write protecting the card before inserting into the reader yet.

That said, with the M10-D I picked up a few weeks ago it's such a pain to format the card that I have been downloading shots to my Mac and then just putting it back in and shooting again. No dramas so far luckily. 

Edited by Stevejack
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The computer puts the rogue files on the card before downloading and I am not convinced that the camera does a complete format including hidden files. Far safer to lock. 

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That "best practice" might work with some workflows, it would break mine.

I do not and have not locked memory cards before inserting them into a card reader or the computer.   In the approx 25 years I've used using digital cameras from the very, very cheap to Leica expensive I've not had any issues related to not locking a memory card.

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