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Speenth

M8 Perpetual Upgrade Programme

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I think they tried by offering upgrades turning an M8 to M8.2 with a generous free update to give us descreet mode. 3yrs is not a lifetime but in the world of digital camera it is. At best we might get a firmware update which gives us a few minor M9 functions.

 

3 years isn't a lifetime in my life or that of a digital camera. Leica should at least address the issue.

 

The world of Leica is an interesting one. They get away with certain things because they are a niche product and (in my view) their customers cut them more slack than they might reasonably expect.

 

Of course nobody wants to see Leica go under so there is a trade off of what one might want as opposed to what one might reasonably expect.

 

Personally I wanted a free filter for every Leica lens I owned once Leica admitted (in a roundabout way) that the M8 had issues.

 

Is that a reasonable request? Yes. Would it have really effected Leica's ongoing ability just to exist? I don't know either way, but it sure wouldn't have made things better so I wouldn't personally have wanted to go down that route.

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3 years isn't a lifetime in my life or that of a digital camera. Leica should at least address the issue.

.

 

Yes this is true. They should give us an explanation even though I doubt it will really solve anything.

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If you mean your assumption to be an interpretation of a contract then you could test it legally I imagine.

 

With the M9 release, Leica has also said that it would be economic nonsense to physically upgrade an M8 to an M9.

What is it that you expect from Leica now then?

Stefan Daniel has already stated in June that firmware upgrades for the M8 will continue. It is very unrealistic to expect that these could be released concurrently with M9 introduction (all of 2 weeks ago) or that every feature of the new camera could be retrofitted to the M8. Currently you can still obtain the hardware upgrades that were released while the M8 and M8.2 were current models. Now they are discounted too. You could insist on paying the full price if you wish since that was what Leica promised you before September 9th as well.

 

Hello Hoppyman,

 

The only thing I hope for (rather than starkly 'want' as you put it) is Leica's ongoing commitment to the M8 in the spirit of their 2008 customer mailing. I worry the M8 may have already been consigned to history in the collective thoughts of the men at Solms.

 

I certainly don't expect my M8 by transformed into the M9, that would be a nonsense.

 

It remains to be seen whether Stefan Daniel's promise on firmware upgrades is any more robust than Mr Lee's promise on perpetual upgrading. However, ongoing free firmware updates would be a reasonable way to honour the promise to sustain the M8 as a 'state of the art digital camera' .

 

It would be nice over time too, to see optional costed upgrades in line with faithful users' expressed desires - perhaps a better bottom plate or a locking on/off switch. Who knows what we eccentric crumblies remaining in the M8 forum might suggest in sharing Leica's declared determination to keep our ancient M8s from obsolescence!

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Bo I'm not sure if you were saying that you agree with the OP or with my response.

My view as a Leica customer and enthusiast is that Leica owes no new concession to anyone that has purchased an M8.

I suspect that the legal profession would not agree that 'the promise was very clear and hard to misunderstand'? Sort of depends on which side of the courtroom you are standing on, doesn't it?

There's a lot of IFs & ANDs before someone could attempt to force some concession from Leica on this. Taken to a ridiculous extreme, I suppose someone could insist that all of the M9 features be added to their M8. Very likely cost as much or more than purchasing an M9, I imagine.

 

Yeah I agree exactly, the promise was very clear and hard to misunderstand, Im pretty sure I have one in print here somewhere. and I do remember thinking, wow that is pretty darn slick, they build the thing to be upgraded as technology improves. in a court of law I might for a small attorney outlay, probably be able to get a refund from leica. only problem is naturally that I like my M8 and will continue to hold on to it.

 

naturally at the same time I am wanting to move forward and want a M9 and a M10 in the future, not a M8.x

 

But I think "the promisse" have probably been cause for a lot of debate in Solms. Only Leica knows what they intend to do, though i doubt they can justify continued development of the M8. its no longer in the product line so we kind of know where it have gone.

 

.

Edited by hoppyman
typos

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Speenth actually you are misquoting me there. I asked what do you expect from Leica now. Starkly 'want' is your interpretation or opinion on what you think I meant.

I agree with you that ongoing free firmware upgrades are a reasonable expectation and also that expecting a M8 transformation into an M9 is nonsense.

I was present when Stefan Daniel addressed the faithful in June and I have no reason to doubt anything that he said.

Hello Hoppyman,

 

The only thing I hope for (rather than starkly 'want' as you put it) is Leica's ongoing commitment to the M8 in the spirit of their 2008 customer mailing. I worry the M8 may have already been consigned to history in the collective thoughts of the men at Solms.

 

I certainly don't expect my M8 by transformed into the M9, that would be a nonsense.

 

It remains to be seen whether Stefan Daniel's promise on firmware upgrades is any more robust than Mr Lee's promise on perpetual upgrading. However, ongoing free firmware updates would be a reasonable way to honour the promise to sustain the M8 as a 'state of the art digital camera' .

 

It would be nice over time too, to see optional costed upgrades in line with faithful users' expressed desires - perhaps a better bottom plate or a locking on/off switch. Who knows what we eccentric crumblies remaining in the M8 forum might suggest in sharing Leica's declared determination to keep our ancient M8s from obsolescence!

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Speenth actually you are misquoting me there. I asked what do you expect from Leica now. Starkly 'want' is your interpretation or opinion on what you think I meant.

 

Oops, my apologies! Truly an example of seeing what I believed, rather than understanding what I saw.

 

Steve'

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I keep my opinion that Lee's statement was simply a stupid one to do... I thought so just when I red it the first time - a CEO is better doesn't make stupid statements, and he went away - end of the story.

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It's simple. Leica offer to upgrade an M8 to M9 spec for 5499 Euros. Would that please everyone?

 

From a practical point of view there is very little common between the cameras, regardless of what Lee said - which I thought at the time was stupid - it isn't just a case of dropping a new sensor into the M8 body.

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It's simple. Leica offer to upgrade an M8 to M9 spec for 5499 Euros. Would that please everyone?

 

At this point what would please most M8 owners is a clarification of Leica's future commitment to the M8?... Or are we to wait for an indeterminate time to see what the next software upgrade brings (Or doesn't)...

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One can hardly expect Solms to divert scarce(?) resources to work on an M8 software upgrade while they are working flat out to satisfy demand for the M9.

 

Additionally, it would make sense for them to delay such an upgrade until they have issued at least one M9 upgrade. What they amend/alter in the M9 might well throw up something that could reasonably be incorporated in the M8 to e.g. improve the IQ.

 

One must also remember that (probably) the M8 has less internal memory(?) than the M9, so there may well be a limit on what can be incorporated.

 

Patience is a virtue!

 

Meanwhile - it still takes superb shots so go enjoy!

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How much resources would it take to draft a press release to a group of loyal patrons of their product that are their best potential customers in the future?...

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Heavens...If someone thinks that taking Leica to court will solve this problem, help them, help other Leica users, or help Leica -- be my guest.

 

I see two pivotal statements/concepts here.

 

-- The easiest to deal with is the upgrade process. Leica took my money and upgraded by M8 to substantially match the characteristics of the M8.2. Not 100%. Is the difference between an M8.2 and an M8u enough to go to court? You decide. If Leica chooses to end development at the M8.2/M8u level, then I have taken advantage of all the upgrades offered. End of story. End of the line.

 

-- The "state of the art" phrase is a bit more difficult. But try taking that to court. What, precisely, is "state of the art"? My M8u is a state of the art M8. It is not an M9. How could an M9 be considered a state of the art M8?

 

Why do I keep mentioning going to court? Because that's the standard of performance you need to meet if you want to go anywhere with this. Then we spend years in court and with all the stuff that preceeds and follows.

 

The end result? Depends upon the court of competent jurisdiction. In the U.S. there would be a judgment or a settlement if you win. The lawyers get their share -- which can be quite significant. Then all the registered Leica owners (those that actually received the letter -- I didn't) get a notification in the mail (a percentage will be undeliverable). Leica owners will be told that they can apply for a voucher good for any purchase of a single new item from an authorized Leica dealer. The voucher will likely be in the range of $5 to $50 (Heck. Let's be crazy-wild here: $100!!!). The voucher is non-transferable and cannot be combined with any other voucher, rebate, offer, etc. It cannot be used for service.

 

There. You won. Lawyers generated income and fed their families -- maybe made a couple of boat payments too. Leica was shown to be a bunch of low-down no-good whatevers. Only 10%-15% of those poor suffering Leica users will even bother to apply for their vouchers. 95% of those claims will be determined valid and within 180 days vouchers will be delivered to the claimants. Two of those claimants will have died, and four no longer shoot with Leicas at all. The voucher is valid for 1 year after issue (issue -- not receipt by the claimant). 65% of the vouchers issued will never be redeemed.

 

Oh!! What a victory for Leica users!!! We really showed "them".

 

(And do ya think -- just maybe -- that somebody in Leica's inside/outside counsel shop(s) has been asked to look at this issue and prepare some kind of advice to the firm? Just maybe?)

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How much resources would it take to draft a press release to a group of loyal patrons of their product that are their best potential customers in the future?...

 

Now there I have to agree with you. Communication, communication, communication! But..... one can not expect them to reveal to much about future intentions - commercial confidentiality etc etc.

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I'm not a lawyer by profession, but I did do three years of business law, and negotiate contracts as part of my "day job".

 

I view the "Lee letter" as a fit of corporate numb-nuts stupidity in the first place. That said, I suspect that any defence would rely upon it being an "invitation to treat" Invitation to treat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia rather than an offer. I have a lot of sympathy with those who think that Leica should clarify the position with regard to future M8 support, but none with those who take the "hardline" view that Leica should "honour their promise".

 

The reality is that they have always been seen to do the right thing with regards to older products, for as long as they can. I don't see the M8 being any different in that regard. However I do think that any expectation that there should be firmware upgrades for the foreseeable future is a little naive - why should they divert resource into providing additional features to a discontinued product for years to come? In the software market, supporting 2-3 releases back is regarded as reasonable. If Leica follow the same policy, then the M8 would "go out of support" when the M9.2 or M10 is released - I don't think there are many who could complain about that.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Now there I have to agree with you. Communication, communication, communication! But..... one can not expect them to reveal to much about future intentions - commercial confidentiality etc etc.

 

Time for a petition?

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It's simple. Leica offer to upgrade an M8 to M9 spec for 5499 Euros. Would that please everyone?

 

From a practical point of view there is very little common between the cameras, regardless of what Lee said - which I thought at the time was stupid - it isn't just a case of dropping a new sensor into the M8 body.

 

I would not upgrade for that money but I would have considered it for the price of new M9-trade in M8. I would only expect the shell/body covering etc to be retained.

 

The statement made by Leica during Lee's time at the helm concerning upgrading the M8 was really stupid, did they show it to their lawyers? We should all forget it now.

 

Jeff

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I would only expect the shell/body covering etc to be retained.

 

According to Stefan Daniels the body shell is different - I assume internally, so you're left with a sticky piece of plastic <grin>.

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Pete I am sure that I have seen somewhere that the mag alloy shell is the same. The only reason I would do this is because I have grown attached to my old M8 bodies, but that is a bit sentimental I suppose and by doing a part-ex, Leica gain a new future customer.

 

Jeff

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Leica have indicated to me that the horizontal banding issue would be fixed "by a later LEICA M8 firmware update."

 

This gives me the sense that M8 firmware updates will continue but I agree that a definitive statement would be curteous.

 

Graeme

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