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Thread: New Firmware ideas for the M8

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Well I went and shot a job last night with the Nikon D300 just a silly cocktail party at night though. There is one feature that I just loved on the D300 and it is really simple. There is a button on the backside that gives you the Top LCD panel data and puts it on the Big LCD on the back and illuminates to see it and also I don't need my reading glasses to see the controls on the top deck. This is really a nice feature since i can make changes to shutter and aperture , ISO , Exp comp and others right from this big bright viewing area. I have to say with the M8 at night in the dark there is no way i can see the top panel with shutter speeds. We really need to know what shutter speed we are at either through a switch like Nikon does or inside the finder that shows what you are at in manual. Honestly this is just a firmware deal to incorporate the shutter in the finder like it is with A mode. That data needs to be there in manual mode and display the shutter value. Now they could also add a simple minus and plus arrow on either side of the shutter to tell you your over or under and if exposure is dead on the shutter value lights up or a quick blink. Just something simple like this. Lights up if you are under and lights up if you are over. Nothing glaring but just a slight glow

    - 640+

    I would like to see this forum come up with some really nice well thought idea's that firmware only can enhance the M8 as it is today. No hardware changes this is strictly tweaking the firmware to make it work better for the user. Than I would like to send this to Stefan Daniels to take a look at. They have to be simple though and doable.

    Anybody game for this exercise.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Coming directly from the Nikon to the Leica, what you describe was my biggest surprise. I was shocked that there was no indication of aperture or degree of exposure offset inside the viewfinder. I'd gotten so used to having that strip of information at the bottom of the viewfinder that I assumed it was typical on all digital cameras.

    Aperture and ISO in addition to the existing shutter speed, showing at the bottom of the viewfinder would be really nice. Add to that your suggestion for a simple + or - sign AND a simple way to use the thumbwheel (or something?) to change the ISO without going to the menu, and that would be a collection of really great improvements.

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    i'd like to have the option to manually enter the focal length and aperture of non-leica lens. of course this is only useful if i remember to enter the data when i change lens or aperture setting. for the purpose of technical referencing, i think this would be a useful option to have.

    the Central Setting Ring: currently the thumbwheel functions only when Play, Set, or Menu button is pressed. if leica can program the thumbwheel to become active to serve another function when nudge, then i'd like to see an option where i can assign another task to this thumbwheel. for example, if i nudge the thumbwheel, it'll activate or bring up a user define list of options such as EV and ISO choice, just EV choices, or a list of User Profiles.

    or

    the Direction Buttons: same with the Central Setting Ring. i think it'd be wonderful if leica could make these buttons user definable. for example, i can define the up/down Direction Buttons to bring up the EV option to adjust the EV, and the left/right Direction Buttons bring up the ISO option to adjust ISO with less menu navigation.

    i hope these can be done via firmware.
    Last edited by Daniel; 25th March 2008 at 07:55.

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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by thegrumpymonk View Post
    i'd like to have the option to manually enter the focal length and aperture of non-leica lens. of course this is only useful if i remember to enter the data when i change lens or aperture setting. for the purpose of technical referencing, i think this would be a useful option to have.


    the Direction Buttons: same with the Central Setting Ring. i think it'd be wonderful if leica could make these buttons user definable. for example, i can define the up/down Direction Buttons to bring up the EV option to adjust the EV, and the left/right Direction Buttons bring up the ISO option to adjust ISO with less menu navigation.
    These have long been the two most requested changes for the M8 since its inception. Sean Reid had written about this at length a few times in his reviews and in other posts on the LUF, if I recall. The general consensus was that indeed these would be valuable. The first item was usually related with being able to use non-coded or non-Leica, non-coded lenses so that the camera could be engaged to use its firmware for vignette correction and cyan drift if one was using a filter. The second item, I think is a really great idea...being able to reprogram the arrow buttons to allow changing the ISO or EV settings without moving your eye from the viewfinder.

    That goes to a couple of points Tim makes....there probably is not enough room in the viewfinder for much more info, especially like what many of us are used to seeing in DSLRs. The aperture setting would be most welcomed, but since there is no electronic connection between the lens and the camera body, it would be hard to know what the readings are as one changes aperture settings. The +/- EV seems doable. The ISO seems doable. They could be very simple, but they would require a new set of LEDs for the finder, unless the button that turns the change function on, like for the ISO, also changed the LED readout in the finder temporarily to accommodate the new usage....replace shutter speed with ISO readings while adjusting the ISO.

    This may be asking for a lot, but for many photographers, this is very useful stuff. The Leica concept has always been simplicity or sorts, and relying on the user to "know" how many clicks they went in which direction on the lens and shutter speed dial. Great if you are concentrating on only a few shots within a narrow window of use, but most of us shoot more stuff than that routinely, and could use the help not in the viewfinder.

    Great ideas. I also like Guy's suggestion. One can get that, in a manner now, by just pressing the Set button. It pulls up the menu that shows ISO, EV, WB, etc., settings as they stand. That still requires hitting the buttons more to easily change things. The shutter speed is missing on that Set menu anyway, so there would be a need for a completely new display screen that showed current settings of everything except the histogram the goes into the Info section for each image. Problem is, that is post capture information, and not pre-capture settings. The data is there to be recorded, so why not be able to display it?

    LJ

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    The big trick here is taking a simple idea and implementing it very simply by just rewriting the code. I think if we can keep it simple than Leica maybe better to implement. The lens code issue has been discussed at great length , it's not so much a technical issue but a company intelligence issue per say, if you know what i mean. Pressing a button in shooting mode can easily bring up the shooting data before capture. ISO, EV comp if on /off, Shutter, metering and such. This is fairly easy but useful data. The other BIG issue with leica is keep it looking simple. They will not do anything that creates clutter.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    A week or so ago there was a thread on LUF about "how do you use your M8" and the lack of shutter speed in the viewfinder is eactly why I don't use manual. I want to know my starting speed before I start moving the shutter to faster or slower for the chosen aperture. In A mode I can see what the camera is going to chose and make adjustments if I don't like it.

    Another firmware change would be for B&W shooting. I like being able to see the image in B&W on the screen but find it cumbersome to first go to the set button and change to DNG + JPEG and then go to the menu to change the color. I know you can set profiles but the profile 0 has screwed me up more than once as you really then need a profile that is basic but not 0 because 0 resets other things including I believe to JPEG only which happened to me in Moab arrgh.

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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    I'd like a few other options for reviewing pictures w/histogram. Full-sized photo with translucent histogram superimposed on it, for instance. Right now, over 1/2 of the screen is taken up displaying info that's not of as immediate concern (I know the camera is at EV -2/3, because I set it there and it rarely changes.)

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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    coming from film M to digi M I am glad they dont have all these silly software gixmos - means less that will go wrong with M8...

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    Senior Member ecliffordsmith's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Hi Guy,

    Thanks for taking the trouble to compile this list.

    My M8 came back from Solms last Friday and to be honest it was like falling in love all over again. So I am very happy as is!

    I agree with others that the arrow buttons and scroll wheel are very under used in this camera and the ability to configure these to our wishes would be a great help. It would appear that it would be quite a 'quick win' from a develoment perspective too.

    I am no hardware engineer so cannot comment on the feasibility of adding the shutter speed, or other data to the viewfinder in manual mode but I suspect, as others have mentioned, that I would use it more if it were there.

    Whilst my camera was being fixed, my better half's father leant me his nikon D80 and I found all the information and buttons actually got in the way of the process of seeing and taking a photograph so I feel that any additions to data feedback should be carefully balanced with the impact it will have on the clean, unqiue interface that the M8 gives us.

    I would be interested to see the estimated aperture that the camera reads if it were mostly accurate and of course the long standing JPEG quality and noise benefits would be very gratefully received :-)

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    Subscriber Member jaapv's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    coming from film M to digi M I am glad they dont have all these silly software gixmos - means less that will go wrong with M8...
    I see what you mean and tend to agree. With all possible additions, an "all extras off" switch is essential....
    JAAP
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    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    coming from film M to digi M I am glad they dont have all these silly software gixmos - means less that will go wrong with M8...
    Peter

    I am with you. I just happened to look at the firmware I have in my Leica; 1.102!

    now, I know I did upgrade a few times (or maybe Leica did in the original board fix , but I do not use filters (never saw the need, wanna buy some ) and can't stand the cyan problems (the magenta BTW way is in ALL digital cameras to different degrees. I do not do weedings and for any red>>black shifting I find profile use adequate and MUCH LESS disruptive than all the filter, adapter (though I have thrown business John's way, more because he does beautiful job.)

    I also dont take pictures of people who wear polyester; if they do I have them sign a disclainer that sya

    "if you clothes look red, that is your problem and BTW looks better on you than Black.." [/B]

    I guess I will update my firmware so that you all don't think I am a Luddite,
    or
    maybe not (Luddites of the world unite! and go back to film - NOT!)

    Victor

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    You should update Victor there are lot's of improvements to AWB for one in 1.201
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    You should update Victor there are lot's of improvements to AWB for one in 1.201
    aahhh! As Sean said, I DO need to catch up on my reading (been too busy becoming a grandfather for the 3rd time!)



    Anyway, I sort of always left the WB to C1. I would like to be able to save some time and just fix the critical ones, so that is good news.

    That said, the only other area that I want is better lens data in EXIF. Does it read the codes ? My brain is not so good remmebering what lens I use onone of 30,000 images

    Victor

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    If you have coded lenses it will record that data but working aperture is not recorded . But lens is
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    what ever happened to the idea that there was this little light sensor that was supposed to estimate the light before and after stop down and thus estimate the aperture that was used???

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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    IIRC, it's still there, but you'd need Cornerfix to extract that data.

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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    IIRC, it's still there, but you'd need Cornerfix to extract that data.
    That's right, CornerFix will output the estimated aperture to the log window, and optionally update the DNG with the estimate.

    Sandy

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    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    THANK YOU TOO MUCH!!

    aint perfect, but after a few loads and tries (gotta set that box in the Maker options) you get a reasonable facimily of aperture, in EXIF, in PS bridge at least
    now, with the coded lens (coutesy of the little marker system) I should be able to get lens in the EXIF as well.

    GOOD STUFF!

    Victor

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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Hey Victor,

    I am still running the original firmware on my M8. Like you I dont shoot polyester LOL..

    As for autoWB - I never use auto anything except AE and I have that tapped in on the shutter dial so it doesnt move on me. my shooting process is expose half press shutter ( sticky bugger it is) compose ..shoot !

    Maybe one day I'll get around to updating the firmware and replacing my bent bottom plate and getting some Ir filters - couldnt be bothered even registering my camera or lenses..

    the only accessory I am considering is a Luigi case - they are sexy but I am thinking about getting my saddle maker to knock up and aussie version with kangaroo skin - that woudl bec ool dont ya think?

    I have weakened and bought soem more stuff from Woody - and now I have to decide on which Imacon scanner to get because I have got back to shooting my beloved TRX and souping it up myself - nothing liek 'real' B&W.

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    Member Farnz's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    ...I have to say with the M8 at night in the dark there is no way i can see the top panel with shutter speeds. ...
    Guy,

    I completely agree with you. I bought the 'Shine' from Leicagoodies and it solves the problem although some may feel that it's not entirely elegant. YMMV but it works for me. It has a small Velcro patch and sticks to the M8 if I want it to but normally it just stays in my pocket until I need it. Link here:

    http://www.leicagoodies.com/

    Pete.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Neat little gizmo.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member ecliffordsmith's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Hi Guy,

    One other addition that would appear to be easy to implement is for the camera to display the white balance it has measured when you manually set the white balance via taking a photo. If you then want to tune things you have a starting point.

  23. #23
    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: New Firmware ideas for the M8

    Guy, I like your idea of displaying the speed in manual mode. I'd use it a lot more if they did that. It would be nice if they had 2 arrows so you have a feel for how far off you are in exposure. So as you got to one stop away it would go to one arrow.

    Attachment 2998

    It would be nice to have ISO and EVO info displayed in the top deck display but there is room only for the battery and shots fired. I have started shooting with the wrong ISO set on more then one occaision.

    If they could use the wheel and arrows to control ISO and EV with ISO and EV in the finder that would be great but again I don't think the display can accommodate it.

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