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marknorton

Hot Air and Broken Promises

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Guest DuquesneG
Bad or not, they have succeed at least for one person like me. That small feature (delayed recock) locked me with M8.2 so no M8.0 for me

 

Consider me lucky when I didnt bought a M8 yet so I see Leica marketing as successful

even if it is not friendly against my wallet

 

I fear the amount of money Leica will make from number of people who will buy an M8.2 to get the delayed recock will be far less than the money they will lose from people who will decide not to get the shutter upgrade on their M8s.

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Kent10D - And a polite hello to you too.

 

Thanks for the street-side psychological analysis, but after so my years working IN major corporations on M&A deals in the US, Canada, the UK AND Germany and my years OUTSIDE corporations as an investment banking/stock analyst and consultant, I'm afraid if anything, I've got TOO GOOD a grasp on the 'realities' of corporate politics, structure and the (in)ability of CEOs to go 'wild west'.. In short, I think I'm covered in that regard. After stuffing too many corporate skeletons into closets I've come to the conclusion that sometimes ignorance is indeed bliss.

 

Carry on

 

I'll refrain from rattling off a list qualifications other than to say that in approximately 33 years of working in and around corporations from small to very large, I've seen it happen numerous times.

 

You're saying that it can't happen, and that you find it hilarious that anyone holds a different view. I'm saying that I've seen it first hand.

 

I'm prepared to respect your opinion, as an opinion (and not even denigrate it by finding it hilarious), but the reality I have seen doesn't agree.

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C'mon guys. No need for this...

 

You're right Andy. I'm done with this one.

 

Work to do ... photos to take ...

 

Catch y'all later.

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I sent another email to Stefan Daniel who has replied telling me he will discuss the issue internally and let us know.

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Dear Mr. Norton,

 

Thank you for your straightforward mail.

 

As announced in my previous mail to you, we had an internal discussion whether the discreet mode should be integrated into the upgrade service or not. As a manufacturer with a P&L responsibility, we have to keep the balance between serving our customers by retrofitting existing products in the market and selling new products. For this reason, the discreet mode will stay reserved for the M8.2, as it is our flagship and it also has a significantly higher price than the M8. I kindly ask you for you understanding regarding this decision and hope that it will not affect your enthusiasm for Leica.

 

Best regards

 

Stefan Daniel

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Stefan, thank you for that clarity. Hopefully this can now be laid to rest.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Mark,

 

I thought there'd be no way I'd enter this discussion, but then I read Mr. Daniel's message. Is he saying that because Leica makes more money on new cameras than on upgrades, they've decided to deny a feature to those who bought M8s in the past to encourage us to buy new cameras?

 

It sounds like that. Commendably honest, I guess, but cold blooded.

 

Leica have decided they will offer upgrades that generate high profits, but will deny those that you desire. As a lawyer, I guess I could defend Leica against a charge that they broke a promise to us, but I'd feel a bit dirty when I did it.

 

Steve Gilbert

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Dear Mr. Norton,

 

Thank you for your straightforward mail.

 

As announced in my previous mail to you, we had an internal discussion whether the discreet mode should be integrated into the upgrade service or not. As a manufacturer with a P&L responsibility, we have to keep the balance between serving our customers by retrofitting existing products in the market and selling new products. For this reason, the discreet mode will stay reserved for the M8.2, as it is our flagship and it also has a significantly higher price than the M8. I kindly ask you for you understanding regarding this decision and hope that it will not affect your enthusiasm for Leica.

 

Best regards

 

Stefan Daniel

 

Bad marketing, broken promises.

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So this means that it should be possible to hack the firmware to get the M8u or even the original M8 to have delayed recocking. Somewhere in the firmware there is some code that says "IF model = M8 then delayedrecocking = False else delayedrecocking = True" or equivalent. So all that has to be done is replace that code with "delayedrecocking = True". Now all we need is a computer wizzkid to dig into this.

 

Does the M8 use an off the shelf processor? If so then there should be a datasheet out there somewhere. If it is custom built it wil be a painful process to figure this out.

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So this means that it should be possible to hack the firmware to get the M8u or even the original M8 to have delayed recocking. Somewhere in the firmware there is some code that says "IF model = M8 then delayedrecocking = False else delayedrecocking = True" or equivalent

 

Not necessarily. There may still be a hardware difference bwtween the M8 and M8.2

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Leica have decided they will offer upgrades that generate high profits

 

I dont believe that. Which is more economical that is earning not a lot money of upgrades or building new cameras?

 

I prefer that last alternative and I wish that many used M8 flood in the market so in the case it generates more new RF users.

 

What one wrong thing they have done, it is that they have decided to sell M8 officially along with M8.2.There are simply not significant differences to make enough as different models as analog M7 and MP. All that make M8 users complain at more fierce way as now!

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Stefan

Thank you for the response.

I for one fully understand that decision even if some others don't.

What I don't understand is the poor service at Leica NJ USA. I have had repeated problems with a black M8 that was replace with a new camera that had a line in the sensor that was sent back to have that fixed and was returned to me with the rangefinder completely out of adjustment. Supposedly that has been fixed and is on it's way back to me today.

But that is after both of these black M8's, the original and the replacement, had made 5 trips to Leica USA service since June 2008 and back twice since late September for the supposedly NEW camera.

This is just inexcusable.

Over and above anything else Quality Control should be the top priority for Leica as a company. Otherwise no matter what you charge for your product it just won't sell.

As for myself I've thought about buying a M8.2 but if I have to go through the same poor service, for a camera that should NOT need any service, I just have to say NO.

 

Sincerely

Edward A Chatlos.

 

 

Dear Mr. Norton,

 

Thank you for your straightforward mail.

 

As announced in my previous mail to you, we had an internal discussion whether the discreet mode should be integrated into the upgrade service or not. As a manufacturer with a P&L responsibility, we have to keep the balance between serving our customers by retrofitting existing products in the market and selling new products. For this reason, the discreet mode will stay reserved for the M8.2, as it is our flagship and it also has a significantly higher price than the M8. I kindly ask you for you understanding regarding this decision and hope that it will not affect your enthusiasm for Leica.

 

Best regards

 

Stefan Daniel

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Leica broke only 5% of promises and it generated 300% more hot air here, to summarize shortly.

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Not necessarily. There may still be a hardware difference bwtween the M8 and M8.2

True but I guess there is only one way to find out. Personally I would like a M8 with delayed recocking more than a M8.2 - I see no obvious benifit of the slower shutter, except possibly longer handheld exposures. With the lowest ISO being 160 I prefer to keep 1/8000 if possible.

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If I were Leica I would want to ensure that the M8.2 had at least one USP to encourage people to upgrade from the M8.

 

Result - M8s released to the secondhand market by existing owners

Result - greater penetration of the M8 in general

Result - new customers attracted by new features

Result - M8.2 bought by more people because they want the unique features only it has

 

The absolute last thing I would do, whether technically possible or not, would be to allow my market to stagnate.

 

I know it's impolite to quote oneself, but that is the least of the bad manners shown around here sometimes. Stefan Daniel has made Leica's position clear. How many times does his Canon or Nikon counterpart do something similar? Can people please accept that with good grace and move on?

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Exactly.

However, can we hope for a ring E.V solution in the future as well? I still hope, even though the more I think of it the more I find it useless, since in practice, you can get the same results using manual...

Am I wrong here?

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As a manufacturer with a P&L responsibility, we have to keep the balance between serving our customers by retrofitting existing products in the market and selling new products. For this reason, the discreet mode will stay reserved for the M8.2, as it is our flagship and it also has a significantly higher price than the M8.

Dear Mr Daniel,

I am writing to you as one of those who first realised how problematic the M8 was to use in concert and similar contexts and who then called for a delayed shutter re-cock. I am also one of those who gave Leica the benefit of the doubt when this feature was not provided in the upgrade process. I am now doubly disappointed. Had this feature been withheld for technical reasons, I could have accepted the differentiation between the M8 and the 8.2. As it is now clear that this was not the reason for your decision, I feel betrayed.

 

Why do I indulge myself thus? Why don't I just recognise that you're running a commercial company who has to turn a profit, and get real and get on with taking pictures?

 

One very good reason is that feedback from users of the BETA version of the M8 has ensured that the final release version - the M8.2 - does what it says it does out of the box. The M8.2 is a great camera which I can use for real-world professional assignments. The firmware is right, the functionality is as it should be. It's a good working tool. However, unlike the case of Adobe Labs which releases beta software like Lightroom for users to test before the final release, and then offers a discounted price to early adopters, we Leica beta testers have had to pay good money to field test an incomplete product that you rushed to market.

 

OK - I know I didn't have to buy the two M8's that I bought - but I had invested in the glass, I prefer working with RF cameras, my clients demand high quality digital source material, and despite its faults, the M8 (especially with Firmware 2.0) is a usable tool.

 

The second reason is that IF the M8 had worked as well as a Canon 5D and had then been superseded by something significantly different (such as the Canon 5D2) I also wouldn't be feeling hard done by. My problem is that the M8.2 is simply what the M8 should have been from day one. Image quality is the same. High ISO performance is the same. The IR filter issue has not been resolved (for those who worry about this). It's not full frame. It's not a new product, it's what you should have provided your customers 2 years ago.

 

HAD you offered the full upgrade to users, what would I have done? I'd have upgraded my two bodies. If you had wanted to encourage me to buy the M8.2 you should have made the upgrade process more expensive. I'd have understood that. I could have done the sums, and then made my decision on the basis of what my business could carry. No complaints. What leaves me feeling cheated is that you have simply withheld a key feature of the REAL M8 from those who bought the beta version.

 

Shame on Leica for this decision. I'm still going to be using your products as you're the only game in town for the kind of work that I do. But my sense of loyalty has been seriously damaged, and if Nikon or Canon ever come up with a digital rangefinder that can use your excellent lenses and does a better job than the M8.2 I'm afraid that I'll not be automatically staying with Leica.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dr Christopher Tribble

(copied by email to yourself and Mr Kaufmann - I hope to have a reply to this communication and the three others that I have sent to you at some point)

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...When i see how Leica behaves about the so-called 'perpetual' upgrade, the deferred R10 and the (presumably) overexpensive S2 i begin to wonder if the new slogan at Solms is now 'Not For You'...

I guess it's not polite to quote oneself, but Stefan Daniel seems to have made Leica's position pretty much clear: as far as bodies are concerned, at least, Leica is definitely not for me.

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Thanks for putting it out there Chris. I feel the same way. I've been VERY loyal to Leica and felt even more so when the upgrade program was initially announced. Now, Leica have failed to deliver on the "promise" of making the M8 completely upgradeable. No doubt the M8 "classic" will not be on sale for much longer and Leica may just move ahead like most politicians do, pretending this upgradeability promise never happened.

 

Leica, you have the chance to rectify this situation AND make considerable profit. Offer the "discreet" mode as an upgrade. This is absolutely ridiculously poor business practice, especially when dealing with an item such as your first digital M. This is your chance to gain more loyalty from a core group who obviously believe that we have been _____(substitute your favorite expletive).

 

Best,

Ron

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