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Thread: M9 firmware in a M8?

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    M9 firmware in a M8?

    Okay this is just weird ... but a little birdie told me that the M9 firmware can be loaded into a M8 ... that some Leica person told him it was possible but obviously not all aspects would be applicable.

    Now I am simply to much of a chicken to try it since I don't know if it's true, and if I did unsuccessfully try it whether you can revert to the old firmware.

    I wonder what aspects of the M9 could be applied to the M8 even if this could be done with firmware?

    Could the expanded ISO choices be implemented via firmware? What about the non-coded lens selections?

    Could it be that Leica doesn't want this known as it would lessen the appeal of the M9?

    Seems possible but not probable. Yet it does opens up intriguing possibilities to enhance the M8 experience.

    If they have the ability to issue a new M8 firmware with these improvements, that would be great news for loyal M8 users. They did it after the M8.2 came out, maybe they will do it again.

    -Marc

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Well, I'm pretty certain it works. However I don't have a m9 yet so I have to keep a working m8. If we all put the money together and can raise enough for a used m8, I'll do it :-P

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Well, I'm pretty certain it works. However I don't have a m9 yet so I have to keep a working m8. If we all put the money together and can raise enough for a used m8, I'll do it :-P
    Chris, you aren't the Devil are you ... making me do something stupid

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... making me do something stupid
    Leave it to Mark Norton .... he's not sensitive to trashed M8's.

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Marc, Sandy or Hans over at the LUF could answer that.... I would think it could work but not ideal because the sensor mapping is different. I'll bet Leica anticipated someone would try it
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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Hi There
    Well, I'm 99% certain that it would not work. There is a different processor, different chip size and different filtration. Sounds like a catastrophe to me!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi There
    Well, I'm 99% certain that it would not work.
    ... unless it is "universal code" which would know whether it was in an M8 or an M9.

    I'm just dreaming of course! And I'm not about to try it in my M8 - which I'll need to sell before the credit card bill for my M9 arrives!

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Since we are on Firmware topic... I asked earlier in of the thread, but was lost due to the excitement or the M9 launch.

    What support are we going to get with the M8 firmware? Will there be new firmware for the M8? Is it going to like the DMR?

    Any direction from Leica about this?

    Thx.
    Robert.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    I think I remember reading (or hearing in the M9 video from Reichmann) that there would be no more M8 firmware updates.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Would the crop factor change to 1X upon upgrade?

    Anything less would not be worth the risk.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Somebody needs to do it and let all of us know.... You can always send the M8 back to Leica NJ to restore the original M8 firmware. I can definitely use the focal length input feature (M9) for my M8.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Well I thought about it again. And forget it. It could work, but ALL in camera correction would be off. (1.0 VS 1.3 crop)

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    I put a card with the M9 firmware in my M8 but it did not recognize the firmware. If you open the firmware of the M9 and the M8 in a text editor (not Word or similar but Notepad or Texteditor) you will see that the M9 firmware is encrypted and the M8 is not. There is no way you can get this firmware in the M8. You would at the minimum need the source code. But I know dreaming is nice.....
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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    If pimply teenagers with a rudimentary education can create iPhone Apps by the thousands, there is no reason for Leica cannot do this for the loyal customers who bought the M8 cameras. Now that the M8 is out of production and the M9 is sold out till 2015, there is no logical business reason to not do this. Why don't they care about the loyal M8 buyers?

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Good way to brick an M8.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    If pimply teenagers with a rudimentary education can create iPhone Apps by the thousands, there is no reason for Leica cannot do this for the loyal customers who bought the M8 cameras. Now that the M8 is out of production and the M9 is sold out till 2015, there is no logical business reason to not do this. Why don't they care about the loyal M8 buyers?
    How much would you pay for a firmware update to e.g. get the lens menu? How many copies of the firmware would Leica have to sell to pay the salary for the pimply teenagers who implement it?

    I think they care about loyal M8 buyers, but they also have to be profitable and can't afford to spend tens of thousands Euros on firmware updates that don't result in any direct revenue. I believe we can expect firmware updates for new lenses but not much more.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by roey View Post
    How much would you pay for a firmware update to e.g. get the lens menu? How many copies of the firmware would Leica have to sell to pay the salary for the pimply teenagers who implement it?

    I think they care about loyal M8 buyers, but they also have to be profitable and can't afford to spend tens of thousands Euros on firmware updates that don't result in any direct revenue. I believe we can expect firmware updates for new lenses but not much more.
    I don't know if I agree with this.

    While I've moved on to a M9 and sold my M8s ... I feel it is important for Leica to maintain the functionality of previous digital models. They provided firmware updates for the the M8 when the M8.2 came out and gave M8 owners added features like the delayed advance. Since at least some of the work has been done for the M9, how hard and costly could it be to add lens selection to the M8 and M8.2?

    I'd hate to have my uber expensive M9 rendered less functional to a M10 when it comes someday. Advancements should come in hardware to make the M10 attractive not just some programing aspect.

    Hasselblad is also a relatively small company, yet they have retro fitted most everything they can for owners of previous models ... now even old Zeiss lenses can benefit from software corrections ... and as revealed in another thread here, firmware updates can be applied even to previous H camera models to use the digital lenses.

    Leica needs to look backwards as well as forwards.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Since at least some of the work has been done for the M9, how hard and costly could it be to add lens selection to the M8 and M8.2?
    That seems to be the point where we disagree. To my knowledge the M9 firmware is a complete rewrite. One can't just copy/paste the lens selection code from one code base to the other. Considering how long it took Leica to get the M8 firmware to its current semi-stable state, I think it is safe to say that any fundamental change would be risky and would require extensive testing. I am still seeing the occasional freeze with my M8 -- interestingly the freezes seem to be related to said new delayed advance feature.

    I agree with you that it is in Leica's interest to keep the existing M8s running -- with support for new lenses and potentially low-risk bug fixes. However I just can't see them developing new features and going through extensive implementation and quality assurance cycles.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by roey View Post
    How much would you pay for a firmware update to e.g. get the lens menu? How many copies of the firmware would Leica have to sell to pay the salary for the pimply teenagers who implement it?

    I think they care about loyal M8 buyers, but they also have to be profitable and can't afford to spend tens of thousands Euros on firmware updates that don't result in any direct revenue. I believe we can expect firmware updates for new lenses but not much more.
    Couple of maybe problems here. First, the lens charts for the M9 with the corrections will not be the same as for the M8. Sure, there may be enough overlap and the M8 crop may take the M9 FF correction into play, but they will not match. So, that could become a problem for Leica if folks start complaining that the "fix" does not really work properly. Just a thought.

    Secondly, were Leica to release a firmware upgrade for the M8 that had something like the lens tables in it, and did find a way to charge for it, what is going to stop folks from just "sharing" the firmware update with their friends at no revenue to Leica? I know, I know, NONE of us would ever dream of doing something like that Unless there was some way to tie the update to a specific serial number/owner or something, it could easily be shared and spread, thus negating a potential revenue stream without installing some scheme that could be very expensive on their end. There are probably some ways to do it, like requiring the camera be returned to a dealer or Leica, somewhat like the what Phase had done in the past with updates, but that has its own expense and management requirements that could be horrendous.

    So, while it would be nice to have some of the new things from the M9 firmware on the M8, such as the lens chart, I would want it to be properly configured (if it really is different in its corrections between M8 and M9), and that may not be in Leica's interest at this point any longer. What is in the M8 works as it was designed. We may just have to live with that part, or go buy an M9.

    Just some thoughts on why this probably will not be happening.

    LJ

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by roey View Post
    To my knowledge the M9 firmware is a complete rewrite.
    However I just can't see them developing new features and going through extensive implementation and quality assurance cycles.
    Leica will have to release future updates of he M8 firmware to be current with future lenses. If you are right and it's a complete re-write then I assume they will soon have the M8 version in the same format. That must have been considered when the rewrite decision was taken. Must be cheaper to have developed a platform for both, rather than go back under customer pressure.

    My current M8 is just three months old and I'd expect the "perpetual upgrade programme" for it to at least include the firmware developments that can be incorporated. Regardless, I have no doubt that Leica will continually develop M8 firmware.

    Further, the M8 has a hair trigger on the timed shutter release - breath on it and it cuts in. Presumably, this signal could easily be adopted as the 'soft release' ?

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Maybe I'm missing something. Using 6-bit coded lenses or paint-coding other lenses, the M8/8.2 recognizes the particular lens, and the software within the camera performs the necessary corrections. There is no need for a rewrite of the correcting software, as it's already there.

    The only issue I was raising was to be able to bypass the coding, and to key in the lens identification. This is not rocket science, as it is the procedure on the M9. If I have a way of keying in the lens code via the buttons and screen on the back of the camera, I'll be a happy camper, and that's not much to ask of Leica; I don't think it will eat into their profitability. Not doing so might alienate a lot of non-professionals who don't want to take another financial bath by selling their M8s for the M9. Am I off base here?

  22. #22
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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    Maybe I'm missing something. Using 6-bit coded lenses or paint-coding other lenses, the M8/8.2 recognizes the particular lens, and the software within the camera performs the necessary corrections. There is no need for a rewrite of the correcting software, as it's already there.

    The only issue I was raising was to be able to bypass the coding, and to key in the lens identification. This is not rocket science, as it is the procedure on the M9. If I have a way of keying in the lens code via the buttons and screen on the back of the camera, I'll be a happy camper, and that's not much to ask of Leica; I don't think it will eat into their profitability. Not doing so might alienate a lot of non-professionals who don't want to take another financial bath by selling their M8s for the M9. Am I off base here?
    Well, nobody here has seen the sources of the M8 firmware. So, all we can do is speculate. I am basing my assumptions on Stephan Daniel's statements in the interview on Luminous Landscape, where he states that adding a lens menu to the M8 would be expensive (starting at around 2:20). I have no reason to assume that he is lying.
    Last edited by roey; 13th October 2009 at 10:07. Reason: grammar

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by roey View Post
    Well, nobody here has seen the sources of the M8 firmware. So, all we can do is speculate. I am basing my assumptions on Stephan Daniel's statements in the interview on Luminous Landscape, where he states that adding a lens menu to the M8 would be expensive (starting at around 2:20). I have no reason to assume that he is lying.
    Depends on what is really expensive right? Helping M8 owners realize their investment in Leica or not? Heck, if they could make the M8 more valuable, more people could sell them and go to the M9 ...

    I'd be great if they made the M8 firmware so it included all the ISO settings now on the M9 ... the M8 should have had that in the first place.

    -Marc

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Leica could cheaply and easily implement the lens menu for the M8 so the chosen lens would show up in the EXIF data. I am not suggesting they implement the lens corrections, just the EXIF information. I think that would be useful.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    You lost me on that one, Brad. The real value of having a lens selection option is for the corrections it would make when capturing the image with respect to sensor size, cyan drift, optical performance, etc. Just having the listing so that post into the EXIF is of little value. Well maybe if there is some third-party tool one uses to make corrections after capture that requires that sort of EXIF data, then it would be useful. Because Leica does not have its own processing software aside from JPEG creation in the camera, there is probably little interest or need on their part. I think it would be far more valuable to have the proper correction at time of capture, so putting that data into a table, as is done with the M9 is far more useful, I think, rather than simply posting in the EXIF only. Just my opinion here.

    LJ

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by roey View Post
    I am basing my assumptions on Stephan Daniel's statements in the interview on Luminous Landscape, where he states that adding a lens menu to the M8 would be expensive (starting at around 2:20). I have no reason to assume that he is lying.
    Is this the same person who said the physics was not there for a full frame Leica Digital M (or was it someone else), and Steven Lee got the shaft for alluding to the FF M? If people had known that a full frame M was soon to be available, a lot of them, myself included, would not have bought the M8 camera. The M8 buyers saved Leica, and now they have thrown us under the bus.

    Being a non-pro, I get no tax breaks in buying gear, so I cannot buy and sell at the drop of a hat. Leica should realize this if they care about the community. It's getting crowded under the bus.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    Is this the same person who said the physics was not there for a full frame Leica Digital M (or was it someone else), and Steven Lee got the shaft for alluding to the FF M? If people had known that a full frame M was soon to be available, a lot of them, myself included, would not have bought the M8 camera. The M8 buyers saved Leica, and now they have thrown us under the bus.
    Well, I'm sure we did (us M8 buyers save Leica). But then, if we hadn't bought an M8 (and you say you wouldn't if you'd known that a FF M9 was possible) then there wouldn't have been an M9. . . . . and you wouldn't even have had your M8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    Being a non-pro, I get no tax breaks in buying gear, so I cannot buy and sell at the drop of a hat. Leica should realize this if they care about the community. It's getting crowded under the bus.
    I think it's beyond the call of duty to expect a company to say:

    Here is our wonderful new camera . . . but buyers beware, we are planning to put in another 3 years of R&D after which time we'll produce a better camera

    Announcing you can do something better before you've got rid of your inventory of the previous model is . . . erm . . .commercial suicide, and that, surely, isn't good for any of us.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    Leica could cheaply and easily implement the lens menu for the M8 so the chosen lens would show up in the EXIF data. I am not suggesting they implement the lens corrections, just the EXIF information. I think that would be useful.
    HI Brad
    I don't think that's particularly useful. What one needs is the lens corrections so that you can use non-coded lenses with filters on the M8

    I agree with Marc - it would be a great thing to implement, it would hold up secondhand M8 values (and thus encourage more M9 sales). The knock on effect would be to sell more lenses as well.

    I really hope that they do it, and if the bean counters object, then perhaps they should charge a modest fee for it.

    The ISO could be implemented too (who cares if the button says Protect).

    I hope they realise what a good PR move it would be.

    Just this guy you know

  29. #29
    Mango
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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    When the M8 was introduced, people had raised the issue of being able to input the codes via the buttons and menu, and the executives from Leica said that they had considered it, but ultimately vetoed the idea because they feared that M8 owners might put in the wrong codes.

    The above is written in the archives of the Leica User Forum or some other forum where this issue was discussed (I'm writing from memory).

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    When the M8 was introduced, people had raised the issue of being able to input the codes via the buttons and menu, and the executives from Leica said that they had considered it, but ultimately vetoed the idea because they feared that M8 owners might put in the wrong codes.

    The above is written in the archives of the Leica User Forum or some other forum where this issue was discussed (I'm writing from memory).
    This is true. Stefan told me this in Summer 2007 when we were discussing manual lens selection. They were afraid users would select the wrong codes and blame image quality issues on Leica or that images would be posted online which would reflect negatively on the M8.

    From my personal experience, I can attest to this using the M9 and only one uncoded lens among five in my bag. I somehow end up forgetting to either take the camera off Auto or to put it back into Auto. I also tend to change lenses more often than most. I don't use lens caps so I can change quickly without taking my focus off of the unfolding shot in front of me. Ultimately, I will end up coding my 35 Cron so that I don't have to deal with manual selection. The added functionality is nice, but it is one more thing to think about.

    Ultimately, getting the wrong code on the M9 doesn't have that much impact on the IQ. You do get bad EXIF data, though. After 2,500 shots with the M9 I'm getting better at the coding selection, but I still don't like the extra step when I can use all coded lenses and eliminate the confusion entirely.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I agree with Marc - it would be a great thing to implement, it would hold up secondhand M8 values (and thus encourage more M9 sales). The knock on effect would be to sell more lenses as well.
    Well said!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post

    I really hope that they do it, and if the bean counters object, then perhaps they should charge a modest fee for it.
    Should be free of charge.

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    This is true. Stefan told me this in Summer 2007 when we were discussing manual lens selection. They were afraid users would select the wrong codes and blame image quality issues on Leica or that images would be posted online which would reflect negatively on the M8.

    From my personal experience, I can attest to this using the M9 and only one uncoded lens among five in my bag. I somehow end up forgetting to either take the camera off Auto or to put it back into Auto. I also tend to change lenses more often than most. I don't use lens caps so I can change quickly without taking my focus off of the unfolding shot in front of me. Ultimately, I will end up coding my 35 Cron so that I don't have to deal with manual selection. The added functionality is nice, but it is one more thing to think about.

    Ultimately, getting the wrong code on the M9 doesn't have that much impact on the IQ. You do get bad EXIF data, though. After 2,500 shots with the M9 I'm getting better at the coding selection, but I still don't like the extra step when I can use all coded lenses and eliminate the confusion entirely.

    David
    Interesting that Leica felt their customers were to stupid to operate their camera if a feature like lens selection were added. Evidently Nikon owners are thought to be more intelligent

    However, I did the same thing as mentioned above ... I set the M9 selector to 50mm and forgot about it so all the Exif info read 50mm

    Now I just leave it on auto detection, and when there isn't any exif info, I know it's the 50mm. If there are corrections being made to the 50mm I can't tell from looking at the files. Perhaps more important on focal lengths below 50mm (?????).

    -Marc

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    From my personal testing on the M9, it seems to me that the corrections are very minimal (I can't detect them) from 50mm on up. They seem to be more significant and meaningful below 50mm.

    So for the longer lenses, the value of lens detection is really the EXIF data.

    I don't even bother to switch over to manual any more for my one uncoded lens (90 elmarit). I use your method Marc - when I see an image with no lens EXIF info, I know it's from the 90 Elmarit.
    Mike Hatam
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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    If pimply teenagers with a rudimentary education can create iPhone Apps by the thousands, there is no reason for Leica cannot do this for the loyal customers who bought the M8 cameras.
    Why do you want Leica to release iPhone apps by the thousands for M8 customers?

    Personally, I would love to have exposure bracketing for the M8, but I am hoping to buy an M9 soon anyway, so I can wait.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: M9 firmware in a M8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolo View Post
    My current M8 is just three months old and I'd expect the "perpetual upgrade programme" for it to at least include the firmware developments that can be incorporated.
    Leica deep-sixed the perpetual upgrade program much longer than 3 months ago. Rumours say that Stephen K. Lee got fired over this issue, in addition to others. If your dealer told you otherwise, you need to have a chat with them.
    Carsten - Website

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