Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
agreenspan

New Firmware; Does anyone know???

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Well, my M8 is only seven months old, and I bought it around the time it seemed to me that the major problems were finally ironed-out with the camera. I hardly feel it's an obsolete machine - the images still look better to my eye than most contemporary DSLRs - and I seriously question the long-term wisdom of Leica simply writing it off as history: the lessons for future buyers of their cameras would just be too obvious.

 

Sadly, Leica has moved on from when you could buy one of their cameras and it would last a lifetime, "updatable" by buying the latest type of film. Still great lenses and great bodies, but get used to the idea of buying a new body every three years if you want to be up-to-date. In addition to providing genuine technology improvements, regularly bringing out new models is a good earner for the company. I can't imagine there would be any enthusiasm within Leica for supporting the M8 with future upgrades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The M8 is an «older model»? Geez! After three years! And they won't support it anymore? What a lesson for the future. Why would it be any different for the M9? Beware, friends!

 

Can you point me in the direction of the evidence that Leica isn't supporting the M8?

 

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly, anyone buying into a digital technology is buying into planned obsolescence. Unless Leica only ever releases new M-mount lenses whose profiles can be shared with existing in-camera profiles (i.e., they share the same 6-bit codes), there will come a time when Leica has stopped making firmware updates for the M8 (+ M8.2, M9, etc.?) because it is not cost-effective or they cannot be bothered; when that happens, newer lenses can no longer be used "optimally" with old digital Ms.

 

Leica's silence on this matter is the most worrying aspect of this. I won't vilify Leica (yet) for not providing a firmware upgrade to the M8 to bring about a seemingly trivial thing like manual lens selection (which has probably been requested almost since the first day that 6-bit coding was announced), but I must say, for a product that used to be its flagship product and that was marketed to, among other audiences, professional photographers and which is still marketed as a camera that will last for "longer than a lifetime" (their words, not mine), some form of official announcement as to their future plans for the M8 firmware would be more than welcome. As it stands, however, it seems that we effectively have an orphaned product with no official support moving forward.

 

Personally, all I'm asking for is some communication here. If Leica tells us they won't be releasing anymore firmware upgrades, that's fine by me. If they tell us that firmware upgrades will be limited to supporting new lenses for the next 10 years, that's fine. If they tell us they want to charge for new firmware releases, that's fine, too. But at least communicate the details to us ASAP (or tell us that some announcement is forthcoming if Leica doesn't yet know what to do, which I suspect is the case) so that we don't feel like we're being jerked around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Leica, please remember us. Buying the M8 we helped you keeping your head up the water in the last 3 years, even if the m8 was - as we knew -not perfect in all points. Would be a great "thank you" offering a update. Even if it costs.

 

lg from Willich/Germany

 

Dieter

Dream on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The M8 is an «older model»? Geez! After three years! And they won't support it anymore? What a lesson for the future. Why would it be any different for the M9? Beware, friends!

 

It is a discontinued product. What do you mean by support? Parts/repair? They've said they'll cover that for a number of years into the future. Firmware updates? Most manufacturers only update firmware for discontinued models if there's a bug. Adding features like manual lens selection, which seems a popular request in firmware threads (if it's even possible), would be a costly product upgrade, which is not what firmware upgrades are usually done for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I must say that seeing the lens data is already in the camera software i really can't see that it can be that difficult to create a menu by which they can be selected. On the other hand if it isn't that difficult one would wonder why they never did it in the first place.

as mentioned before maybe they should consider a paid for firmware upgrade for the so called more difficult items.

They never did it in the first place because they wanted customers to buy coded LEICA lenses. Simple as that. This is also why they wouldn't code non-Leica lenses. They have spent a little fortune implementing this coding hair-brained idea and developing the coded lenses, when it would have been so much simpler and cheaper to select lenses via a menu selection. Why, do youy think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is a discontinued product. What do you mean by support? Parts/repair? They've said they'll cover that for a number of years into the future. Firmware updates? Most manufacturers only update firmware for discontinued models if there's a bug. Adding features like manual lens selection, which seems a popular request in firmware threads (if it's even possible), would be a costly product upgrade, which is not what firmware upgrades are usually done for.

Yes, I mean firmware updates (not upgrades.) Correcting the flawed auto WB and the flawed jpegs in firm. 2.004 would be correcting initial bugs, not upgrading to a better camera.

 

And that the M8 be a discontinued product after three years and $5,000, when it was touted as the flagship camera for Leica, is totally nerve-wrecking. Who says the M9 isn't going to be discontinued in three years, without firmware support? Or two years? Or one year, for that matter? It's as if the digital M was some sort of cheap mass DSLR or P&S. These, you replace. But a M8 or M9?

Edited by hammam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you point me in the direction of the evidence that Leica isn't supporting the M8?

 

Thanks in advance.

Evidence, I can't. I can however sense some worry in this very thread, hence the «?»

 

Since Leica apparently consider the M8 a «finished camera», the worst is to be feared. If you buy a M8.x today, bugs and all, you're left alone for ever. I bought a M8.2 a few weeks ago, and now I know I will be left with the terrible jpegs in firm. 2.004, for example, and the other bugs yet to be discovered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you point me in the direction of the evidence that Leica isn't supporting the M8?

 

I think to be fair Steve, the general tone of the remarks filtering out of Leica (in the LHSA meeting for instance, and in the interview on Luminous Landscape) is that the M8 is a "finished product" (I think those words were actually used in the LL video). The general tone of that part of the LL interview that dealt with the M8 was a rather melancholy regret that nothing more economically could be done with the camera, and that it was consigned to the used market - effectively on its own.

 

I say "filtering" out of Leica, precisely because they aren't really saying anything direct and clear, which as others have pointed-out is also destructive and confusing.

 

Now, there's a broad spectrum of expectations about what Leica should or shouldn't do to maintain 'support' of a camera like the M8: some seem to feel the only thing they need do is keep some spare parts or the next few years, while others have fantasies of fitting full-frame sensors into the M8 body.

 

I personally think that firmware updates that keep the camera as good as it can be over the next few years is not an excessive expectation for a company with Leica's profile. Regardless of what people think of the "perpetual upgrade" debacle, I really feel that a lot of people buy Leica cameras (digital or film) with a feeling and hope that the company is devoted to making their camera a long-lasting and worthwhile product, not a throwaway gadget.

 

The way that Leica began to instantly distance themselves from any further involvement with the M8 and M8.2 the very moment the new camera was launched is still rather a shock to me. Many people who'd only recently bought the older camera were suddenly being told that their brand new purchase was no longer economically viable for the company to work on. I think this is simply poor customer relations.

 

My hope is that the initial euphoria of the M9 launch left Leica employees slightly heady about the prospects of the new camera, and all of them probably were and are keen to be involved in the success of the new model. In this euphoria they probably felt it was okay and no-one would mind if they just left the M8 behind as history. I personally think that given a little time and some pushing, they'll come to see this was a rather immature and short-sighted policy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plasticman, I hope you're right. I can tell you one thing. How Leica treats the M8 today can help us predict how they will treat the M9 in three years. And that will influence my decision about getting an M9 or not. I'm probably not alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are a tough crowd.

 

The M8 works mostly fine for me. It does what its supposed to, and does it well. There are different newer options, but like any piece of technology... you buy it at the time it meets your needs, and if your needs stay the same, you don't need to change.

 

Hammering at Leica for their "obligations" doesn't seem productive. On the other hand, if Leica were to aggressively update the M8, I'd be delighted and surprised. They really don't have much obligation, either ethically or from a business model. They do need to keep it out of trouble, and maybe fix a few things, but the darn camera does work pretty well (IMHO) once you understand it.

 

That Leica is trying to run a business, and stay in business, should be no surprise to anyone. THose of us used to long-loyalties, continued enhancements, and perpetual service are struggling with the new world, but that is what there is out there. Be it in Solms or anywhere else. Anyone tried to get a piece of consumer electronics repaired?

 

Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, I mean firmware updates (not upgrades.) Correcting the flawed auto WB and the flawed jpegs in firm. 2.004 would be correcting initial bugs, not upgrading to a better camera.

 

And that the M8 be a discontinued product after three years and $5,000, when it was touted as the flagship camera for Leica, is totally nerve-wrecking. Who says the M9 isn't going to be discontinued in three years, without firmware support? Or two years? Or one year, for that matter? It's as if the digital M was some sort of cheap mass DSLR or P&S. These, you replace. But a M8 or M9?

 

I can't disagree with anything you've said - though I'd note that the AWB has dramatically improved since 1.xxx firmware. Personally (so YMMV) I don't shoot jpgs so tweaking the WB in development is not a big deal.

 

As far as nerve-wracking goes, I couldn't agree more, but I think that's almost inevitable when you mix Leica and digital.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, in other industries, I've paid $5,000 for items that weren't supported after 3 years. In music, for example, I have an E-mu E4XT Ultra sampler which, fully loaded was $5,000. Composer Danny Elfman has (or had) four of these in his rack. I have one because I'm poor. After three years, E-Mu went to all software sampling. Did I care? No, because my E4XT is still one damn good sampler.

 

The same holds with the M8. It's damn good for what it is. Quirky as hell, but so is my E4XT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To be fair, in other industries, I've paid $5,000 for items that weren't supported after 3 years. In music, for example, I have an E-mu E4XT Ultra sampler which, fully loaded was $5,000. Composer Danny Elfman has (or had) four of these in his rack. I have one because I'm poor. After three years, E-Mu went to all software sampling. Did I care? No, because my E4XT is still one damn good sampler.

 

The same holds with the M8. It's damn good for what it is. Quirky as hell, but so is my E4XT.

 

In other industries for $5000 one gets a fully functional items. In M8 case the customers got "work in progress". It took 2.5 years for Leica to correct some basic things. Even after 2 years jpegs are unusable. Everyone has been begging Leica to allow manual lens selection practically from day one. It has never been delivered, although technically it was feasible (M9 is an example)

Edited by sbelyaev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hammering at Leica for their "obligations" doesn't seem productive. On the other hand, if Leica were to aggressively update the M8, I'd be delighted and surprised. They really don't have much obligation, either ethically or from a business model.

 

Well it's a broad spectrum of expectations, as I said. Personally, I'd just like them to start by clearing a couple of items they crippled in the firmware:

 

- one (most important for me) is the ability to retain 16bits (or 14 in reality) of the image capture. They disabled this for speed reasons, and I understand this. But there are occasions when I personally want the camera to retain all possible image data, and I find it absurd and extremely annoying that Leica won't allow me to do this with a $5k camera that's perfectly capable of doing it.

 

- and second the lens codes. These were crippled purely to milk revenue from M8 owners. So in my opinion there should be some give-and-take: if they're cutting the M8 loose, the least they can do is call it quits on this issue, which was always rather a mean exercise imho.

 

Other than these issues they don't have any strict obligation, at least unless you were one of the people who bought the M8 precisely when the perpetual upgrade program was announced. But if they want to charge more than the competition, and offer something better, then they have to inspire the loyalty of their existing customers with more than just the promise of new (and extremely expensive) throwaway gadgets every couple years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since a new firmware for the M8 does not at this point seem forthcoming (despite numerous promises to fix the banding at high ISO issues) - may i make a serious suggestion? Some members of this forum have the privilege to actually communicate with various people at Leica from time to time so how about they suggest the firmware for the M8 (and whatever tools are needed to change it) are released to the public and namely this forum. If Leica are discontinuing the M8 and no longer intend to work on it how about letting the many talented members of this forum work on improving the firmware? Im sure the likes of Sandy who give us the excellent cornerfix could have a go at getting the lens selection tables!

From what i read the M9 firmware is very different and encrypted so i don't see that it would pose any threat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this a syndrom of «the emperor's new clothes»? What is it with this Leica optimism and leniency? Just because we're Leica fans and Leica is SUPPOSED to be the best camera company in the entire universe, we should have to put up with a flawed $5,000 plus camera that the Leica people consider «finished», even if we are still complaining about high ISO banding, terrible jpegs, etc...? Give me a break! Wake up! I am sorry, but they are scr... us if they don't end up with a real solid and functional M8.x. I mean, my Nikon D700 is pretty much perfect, at half the price. So is my Lumix LX-3, and so on. They have their indiosyncrasies, for sure, but they are perfectly and totally usable as they are. The M8.x, good as it is - AND I LIKE IT! - has way too many flaws for its price and the reputation of its company. What is it with Leica people that they think they can get away with fobbing us off with their lame machine, and just go «Sorry folks, it's finished. Just content yourselves wiht it.»

 

We're not talking about improvements, we're talking about fixing the issues that should never have been there in the first place. Not in a Leica camera. And not at that price. It's been three years now, for crying out loud!

Edited by hammam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wake up! I am sorry, but they are scr... us if they don't end up with a real solid and functional M8.x. I mean, my Nikon D700 is pretty much perfect, at half the price. So is my Lumix LX-3, and so on. They have their indiosyncrasies, for sure, but they are perfectly and totally usable as they are.

 

As far as I'm aware my my M8 is perfectly and totally usable, and I've been using with great pleasure for over two and a half years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as I'm aware my my M8 is perfectly and totally usable, and I've been using with great pleasure for over two and a half years.

 

Yes, it is usable. I take pictures for ebay with M8.

For more serious photography I use other cameras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue., Read more about our Privacy Policy