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Next Round of M8 Firmware--What to Expect?

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In my humble opinion, the latest iteration of M8 firmware (1.10) was a bust. It really didn't do much, if anything, to correct on-going concerns expressed by many M8 users.

 

What can we expect in the next release for the M8? Or, does it appear Leica has taken it about as far as it wants to take it? I'd be interested in hearing other people's thoughts.

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Maybe they'll finally get rid of the manic scrolling. Mine just came back from Solms. First thing it did after taking a pic was freeze up! Took out battery and reformatted card (it had been formatted for a Canon in the interim) and everything worked fine - except it gave me some mad scrolling at first.

 

Nice to have it back though, and the focus appears to be spot on. Sensor came back spotless as well.

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Unfortunately, all they have really done is add support for new lenses. I have yet to see any real improvements and if after 1 year their software team has done no better than we have seen, it may be all they are capable of.

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i'm not sure what to expect next, but i'm sure there will be more updates, and they will be more substantial than the last 1.10 update. i think Leica just hurried that firmware out because they wanted all the M8s to have the coding information before the new lenses went on sale. i can understand the logic. imagine if they didn't release that firmware in a timely mannor and people who just bought their summarits realized the M8 didn't recognize the coding... this board would be up in flames with complaints..

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Um, short of reverse-engineering the update, none of us really knows exactly what Leica has done to the camera.

 

Perhaps they've made necessary code changes for bigger changes, and since coding is iterative, I suspect small changes have been made in order to make bigger ones.

 

I have a lot of faith in the company to come through with improvements to the M8. People thought DMR firmware development was long-dead tool, then all of a sudden a major firmware gets released.

 

So I advise patience here. Since the camera for me is fine as it is, I don't know exactly what bigger changes may happen, but I still think they will happen.

 

Personally, if all they did was continue to optimise the data stream for performance purposed, that would be a big thing to me (don't know if that's possible, though).

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I better go get more regular SD cards while they are available because SDHC are starting to show up everywhere including Costco. I might have to pay premium for for regular SD cards soon.

 

-tanka

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We can't know what to expect because only Leica know what's going to be in the next release and they're not saying. Perhaps a beter question would be what would we like to see in the next release, which isn't the same thing and seems to have been discussed quite a lot.

 

Sorry for sounding grumpy.

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There should be one, since the camera is still not working properly.

(and yes I am taking beautiful pictures bla bla)

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This is a very interesting question to me. I am unsure what we should expect of firmware changes in principle, are they just running repairs or do they signify much more?

 

I was intrigued by a comment from Mark Norton about the software side of the M system becoming as important as the development of new glass.

 

I may have misunderstood, but it seems to me that the optic is a fixed part of the equation, as is the camera once it is bought, but the firmware is something that can tie everything together and influence and develop the quality of the photo as much as the glass and the sensor (maybe even more so as time progresses).

 

So, unless I have got it drastically wrong, Leica must develop firmware and be as committed and rigorous about it ,i.e. show the same fastidiousness as they show in the development of their lenses. If they do not they cripple their whole enterprise.

 

Tom

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I watch and wait with interest. However being a bit of a Philistine when it comes to firmware I haven't a clue what is possible. Lenses and hardware, no problem they either do it or they can't.

Would someone with knowledge and without a trip to Fantasy Island tell me what a COMPETENT software team could come up with.

As far as my wish list is concerned it would be to see a much improved ISO performance, is this possible or is it a hardware issue?

Most of the other quirks I can handle by repeated use, as I sold all my other makes to finance the M8 and a few more bits of glass I should get plenty of practice.

Regards ... Jim.

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I follow Tom's thoughts: I trust that Leica will deliver the right hardware, but in this case the software is just as important. And grinding glass is a different ballgame from picking bits and bytes. They should (if they're not doing so already) get the same high standard professionals in house to develop further software updates.

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It's a hot night, my dog's barking at the possums, my clients are being unreasonable and now the forum members are grumbling.

 

O.K, I sorted the dog (not really!), sorted the clients (really!) and now I advise you guys to use your M8 more. It does a job probably not equalled by any other camera. That is not saying it is better than other cameras, so don't start on that aspect. But it does work wonders that could not be performed before it's release. Yes, it needs improvement. Show me a camera that does not. But it is a seriously functioning bit of gear. If you can't work with it, pick up a good mirror and look into it!

The answer is probably staring you in the face.

 

The rest will follow when the developers are able to offer it. Some of the best things in life take a little longer.

 

If it never gets any better, I will still be very happy, but I do love a new upgrade just becaue I'm a bloke.

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I advise you guys to use your M8 more. It does a job probably not equalled by any other camera.

 

Erl - couldn't agree more. See my comment on another thread: http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/40120-m8-file-against-1ds3-file-2.html#post421908

 

Go out and enjoy earning your living (or taking photos of your family) with the camera. The M8 does a good job.

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Maybe they'll finally get rid of the manic scrolling. Mine just came back from Solms. First thing it did after taking a pic was freeze up! Took out battery and reformatted card (it had been formatted for a Canon in the interim) and everything worked fine - except it gave me some mad scrolling at first.

 

Nice to have it back though, and the focus appears to be spot on. Sensor came back spotless as well.

I think the maniac scrolling disappeared with firmware 1.10, at least I have not experienced it after upgrading.

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It's a hot night, my dog's barking at the possums, my clients are being unreasonable and now the forum members are grumbling.

 

O.K, I sorted the dog (not really!), sorted the clients (really!) and now I advise you guys to use your M8 more. It does a job probably not equalled by any other camera. That is not saying it is better than other cameras, so don't start on that aspect. But it does work wonders that could not be performed before it's release. Yes, it needs improvement. Show me a camera that does not. But it is a seriously functioning bit of gear. If you can't work with it, pick up a good mirror and look into it! The answer is probably staring you in the face.

 

The rest will follow when the developers are able to offer it. Some of the best things in life take a little longer.

 

If it never gets any better, I will still be very happy, but I do love a new upgrade just becaue I'm a bloke.

 

Very large round of applause for you Erl

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Maybe they'll finally get rid of the manic scrolling. Mine just came back from Solms. First thing it did after taking a pic was freeze up! Took out battery and reformatted card (it had been formatted for a Canon in the interim) and everything worked fine - except it gave me some mad scrolling at first.

 

Nice to have it back though, and the focus appears to be spot on. Sensor came back spotless as well.

 

Err... switching cards between different models of cameras without formatting is asking for trouble. Nothing to do with firmware.

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I think the maniac scrolling disappeared with firmware 1.10, at least I have not experienced it after upgrading.

 

Sorry to disappoint you, but it is definitely still there - as are all the other electronic reported malfunctions. I should know because I have two bodies with identical behaviour, one of which just returned from Solms and an extensive repair - with no effect whatsoever, apart from rangefinder calibration.

 

After one year of firmware updates that fail to solve the electronic problems of the M8 I strongly suspect that it might really be electronic parts of inferior quality and somewhat unpredictable behaviour. The firmware updates seem to change parameters in order to work around the unreliable workings of the wheel or the arrow keys, for example. But an increased timeout for a movement of the wheel probably makes the camera too slow, a shorter time produces picture hopping or madly scrolling menus more often.

 

The only thing that would really help, I'm afraid, would be to replace parts with components of higher quality - which would be devastatingly expensive. Before you can put better parts into the M8, however, you've got to have them made, and this, I assume, is what Leica has not been able to achieve for the past year.

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