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Thread: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    OK, so I'm going into withdrawal while my M9 is in the shop for a few problems. It's been a month or more now, and I'm getting itchy to have it back...

    I was putting together an order from a photo retailer, and the thought occurred to me that I should get a few more SD cards for the M9. However, I know there there have been compatibility issues with some cards, so I figured I would read up a little on what is working, etc. As I read, it dawned on me that in a few years, there may be NO new cards available that will work with the M9 (cards change specs a little as they get faster, start holding much more than the memory addresses in the M9 were designed for, etc...).

    I wouldn't even be concerned with this if the camera were a Canon or Sony, because I have absolutely never had an issue with compatibility with more mainstream cameras, but the fact that WHEN BRAND NEW, the M9 had some compatibility concerns with some cards got me thinking on this a little.

    Should we be slowly accumulating a cache of SD cards to allow the camera to be a 'lifetime' purchase? While I do see myself getting an M11 or whatever in time, I bought the camera thinking it would be a relatively long term investment.

    May that not prove to be the case if cards become unavailable with the inevitable advancement of the memory storage technology and standards?


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    Relatively long term as in maybe 3 years?
    That is a long time for digital bodies but I am sure that you could buy a cache of cards.
    Cards of quality last a long long time...
    -bob

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    Well, I did say M11, not M10, so I was thinking more like 6 years or so? But even then, I'd probably keep the M9 as a backup to the newer camera, unless if held enough value to be cover some of the cost of the new one (they do seem to hold value better than many consumer cameras).

    Many, many people have talked about the M9 being their purchase 'for life' (whatever that may mean) and I in particular am trying to avoid being caught in the rat race and GAS traps in favor of being satisfied with the quality I have in my hand right now (once it comes back from the repair, hah!), which is very high indeed.

    I guess I'm thinking that while an M3 or M4 purchase could have been 'for life', it may not be reasonable to think that an M8 or M9 could be, even if you are completely satisfied with the performance of the sensor, and have no desire to actually upgrade.


    ---Michael

    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    It may be that you primary risk may not be SD cards bu electronic parts.
    I know of very few semiconductors or sensors that have been made more than a few years requiring that the integrator (camera manufacturer) make "end of life" purchases as little as three years or so after part introduction.
    More prosaic parts have longer manufacturing lives but the more complex have shorter. This is one of those few circumstances where an extended warranty that guaranteed parts availability might make sense
    good luck and I am in the same boat as you but with different gear
    -bob

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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    Going on topic again about the cards : use sandisk black ( extreme - any extreme version and capacity ) and you will be fine.

    They are relative inexpensive and all I'd them work with the m9

    I have loads of 4gb sandisk extreme, couple of 8gb and two 16gb.

    All faultless and I prefer to take 10 sd cards on holidays while on holiday and not to lug a laptop or equivalent... So I buy them good quality and I find that sandisk extreme meet the quality vs speed vs price ratio just fine

    Tend to stay away from cheap and shabby cards since they fail in the most no no times...

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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    Don't cut corners on the cards to save a few bucks. I decided to start fresh with the M9 and picked up a new batch of SanDisk Extremes. Aside from an IBM MicroDrive, I've used nothing but SanDisk and Lexar over the years and (knock on wood) never had a single issue.

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    Senior Member Ario Arioldi's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    I currently use on my M9 and M8 (as well as on other compatible cameras) SHDC cards fron varioius brands, Sandisk, Lexar, Panasonic, Dikom and Apacher without any inconvenient.
    I just follow few simple rules such as never delete pics from camera and/or computer, always format the card in camera before use.

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    I only use SanDisk cards in the Leica, and so far, I have not had a single problem. I'm thinking more of the future when the cards that are compatible with the camera are no longer produced (things are moving to the UHS specification; do those work in the M9, and what is the next specification?)

    I reject the notion that I 'must' upgrade my cameras every few years. I accept that with digital, this was the case when it first came out, because the quality was below the threshold for many people where the next generation of improvements was insignificant. However, these days, that is generally not the case.

    This has me thinking that I am going to have to stockpile some cards so that as they fail, I won't get to a place where I can't supply the camera anymore. This also will be necessary for the resale value of the camera. If you can supply memory, you will be able to maintain the camera and make a reasonable argument for resale price, as long as you can still get lenses and have a method to get the images off the cards into a computer.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    I only use SanDisk cards in the Leica, and so far, I have not had a single problem. I'm thinking more of the future when the cards that are compatible with the camera are no longer produced (things are moving to the UHS specification; do those work in the M9, and what is the next specification?)

    I reject the notion that I 'must' upgrade my cameras every few years. I accept that with digital, this was the case when it first came out, because the quality was below the threshold for many people where the next generation of improvements was insignificant. However, these days, that is generally not the case.

    This has me thinking that I am going to have to stockpile some cards so that as they fail, I won't get to a place where I can't supply the camera anymore. This also will be necessary for the resale value of the camera. If you can supply memory, you will be able to maintain the camera and make a reasonable argument for resale price, as long as you can still get lenses and have a method to get the images off the cards into a computer.


    ---Michael
    I kind of agree with you on this Michael. IMO, the M9 reached the IQ threshold, etc. that makes it more of a keeper, so I don't feel compelled to continuously pour money into the next digital do-dad ... gear money better spent on optics ... or travel

    There are three things with the M9 that I felt worth future proofing ... SD cards, batteries, and an additional charger that I checked and left in the box. Assuming the camera holds up over time, those are the only things that could bite you. Not bad to have extras of all that stuff anyway.

    -Marc

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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    Indeed, Marc, Michael. I learned the hard way back in the day, getting a NiCd "Battery Pack MA" for the Canon A-1. As we all know, they don't last forever... First time around, I soldered in a dozen new cordless phone batteries. The second time I bought a plain AA battery pack! So yeah, having plenty of batteries and storage is a good thing! I pick up things like this for everything. Not so much for resale value (personally) but keeping the investment going for my own use.

    The spare charger is a good idea too. I've not had any fail on me yet, but if it does 5-10 years (or more) from now... Heck, even if it failed tomorrow. Without a spare you could be dead in the water (until your batteries run out or you get a replacement, anyway).

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    You can look at the R9/DMR for some worst case scenarios. Batteries have been an issue for years ..I can remember searching for new ones before trips as far back as 2007 . Eventually I found them and accumulated 10 (they were only good for 200 captures on a good day) . But it was the charger that represented a real challenge. So I had an extra . SD cards only up to 4GB .

    And now Leica has stated that the DMR may reach a point where it can t be repaired at all due to parts shortages . Yet the system goes on . Outside vendors can repair the batteries . And worse case you get a replacement body .....the investment is in the glass.

    My experience with cards is so random ..it would be hard to see a pattern . I have used sandisk,lexar and transcend of all varieties both SDHC and CF . The transcends have never failed but they are clearly slower both in the camera and on import. The Sandisks have failed the most and its the Extremes of all varieties (never an Ultra) . Lexar a few times.

    One thing I know for sure has given me problems is sharing cards across platforms ...letting my wife use a card in her D7000 isn t smart . Had the same issue going between the DMR and the M8 s .

    Leica clearly has a preference for San Disk yet problems keep getting reported with the Extremes and the Extreme Pros . See Leica User Forum.

    Want Safe use the San Disk Ultra ...exceeds camera speeds ...so the downside is on import. See Sean Reid s report on the M9 ...he asked the development team which card and they told him San Disk Ultra .

    Personally I am not worried about long term availability as I will surely have way more than I need before they become obsolete .

    Short term .. I believe we are in for a major battery shortage as the impact of the tsunami rolls through the supply chain.

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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    What compatibility problems? I have an entire box of SD cards of various capacities (I use them to test SD card software for embedded systems), some very old, some very new, and they all work like you'd expect in both the M8 and M9. It's very well documented how to interface with them in a compatible manner, and all the cards are backwards compatible, so except for cards that are outright defective (possibly by design) there should be no compatibility issues.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    What compatibility problems? I have an entire box of SD cards of various capacities (I use them to test SD card software for embedded systems), some very old, some very new, and they all work like you'd expect in both the M8 and M9. It's very well documented how to interface with them in a compatible manner, and all the cards are backwards compatible, so except for cards that are outright defective (possibly by design) there should be no compatibility issues.
    Maybe the terminology could be better but look at the DMR. Before the final release you could not use an SDHC card in a DMR . Some of us loaded up on cards made by Transcend because they had the only SD card of 4GB (and it worked well in the DMR). If Leica had not created the final release it is possible that you could not buy a card new that would work in a DMR . They of course did upgrade the firmware but you still could not use a card larger than 4GB . So the limiting factor can be that the card technology moves on and leaves the cameras firmware behind.

    The whole concern though is a stretch as it will be easy to load up on compatible cards well before any shortage ever occurred. With GB s cost continuing to drop it seems to be a non problem.

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    Thanks for the discussion folks... I was not thinking that the batteries may be a problem, but of course they may be as well.

    I'm going to get some more cards, and probably do so every so often to build up a cache.

    It appears they are replacing my sensor due to a scratch on the glass that must have come from the shutter, which is good because my camera was from the crack-prone period, and they are fixing the 6-bit sensor... It'll be like a new camera!

    I'm going to Micronesia in a month or so,and lookin to have it back to take along.

    ---michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    Weird; I use nothing but SanDisk Extremes (latest rev, post-III) in the M9 - not one issue. Both 8GB (4x) and 16GB (2x) versions.

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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    FWIW I have had great results with the Hoodman 32 Gb card. I don't know the history of the DMR, but have read about the sense of betrayal that its owners feel. You would think (and hope) that Leica would lay in enough parts to keep the M8/ M9 cameras up and running for their customers for at least 10 years if not longer. At $7K I sure hope so.
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone nervous about future SD card compatibility with M9?

    DMR is an extreme situation because Leica used 3rd party to develop. But it is a great example to show the weak spots in long term ownership of digital equipment even with the best intentions of the OEM.

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