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Thread: Leica questions

  1. #1
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Leica questions

    Since Jack and I are going to PMA and have some meetings with Leica . it would be nice to have a list of questions to ask them on the new M8 announcement and questions around that announcement. Please list questions you may have so we can try and get answers for them . Thanks Jack and Guy
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    I know what my first question will be....


    Review samples!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Leica questions

    I will jump in...

    Is there a "roadmap" for other option upgrades?

    What sorts of things is Leica looking at that could be upgraded? Faster image processing chips? SDHC card reading? Faster/bigger image buffer?

    Is a complete sensor replacement a possible option when something else comes along, or does this become the M9, etc.?

    LJ

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    Re: Leica questions

    Please, any R info would be appreciated. Thank you.

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    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cmb_ View Post
    Please, any R info would be appreciated. Thank you.
    Wrong forum for this, but an EXCELLENT question

    LJ

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    That's okay it is ON the list the R stuff. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Will upgrading require removal of the camera body cover? (I.e., will a Cameraleather cover have to be removed?)

    Thanks

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    will i have to give up the first-born? hah-hah.

    i like using flash sometimes, and i like the compactness of the nikon sb400 and it's tilting flash. will leica make a small flash with tilting flash head?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Great questions folks , i am pretty much just going to copy and paste all the data . i think this is a good idea if we can get some solid answers back.

    I posted this on the Luf also so will grab all there questions also
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Questions regarding firmware:

    I'm guessing from what has been revealed about the 1.201 firmware that we are not going to get the proposed (by Sean and others) easy access to ISO and exposure compensation? In your opinion, is there any hope whatsoever that this might be implemented in the future, or are we simply SOL?

    Another thought is that we should ask for clarification that ongoing firmware development will not be necessarily tied to the latest upgrade, thereby stranding those of us who do not commit to an upgrade. I realize that in some cases part of a firmware upgrade may be specific to newer hardware, but original owners who elect not to upgrade shouldn't be left behind on more generic firmware upgradability.

    I mention this as the announcement specifically states that the upgrade includes:

    "Installation of the newest relevant firmware."

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    As a noob with an M8, I want to take the email message completely at face value. In particular, I would be quite pleased if Leica were to decide that significant upgrades in the future will always be an option for my M8 body. I can keep my camera current and take advantage of the latest developments should I decide to do so.

    At some point however, a new Leica Digital rangefinder body is probably inevitable (assuming they don't close their doors entirely). I can live with that and maybe even look forward to it. But I would like to have some sense of how long it might be before the M9 is likely to appear. I would not like to think that my additional investment of $1,X00 will only be worthy for another 8 months.

    So two questions:

    1. Will new production M8 bodies be shipped with the listed upgrades (and if so, when does that start)? and,

    2. What might be a realistic expectation for how long they will "upgrade" the M8 before a new body is introduced?

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    As has been surmised in the LUF thread, will upgrades be required to be done in order? IOW, if I elect not to have this one done but want to jump next time, will I have to get upgrade 1 done before upgrade x? Hopefully, they will be mutually exclusive.

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    Re: Leica questions

    I guess the big fear is you start down the path of upgrading you want to be really sure the big stuff is upgradeable when it comes along. I don't want to spend a thousand here and a thousand there and still need to spend on a new body. For instance I have no use for a saphhire screen but will do that upgrade and keep current if I know the next sensor version is an upgrade and not a new camera.

    Also, my camera will only be a year old when the upgrade program starts why do it right away why not do it just before the end of warranty and maximize coverage. will Leica perhaps tack two years on to the end of the original or potentially last upgraded warranty? (this has been said elsewhere but not sure which thread).

    Any type of loaner program during upgrades? Staffing to properly manage this program and avoid long service times?
    Last edited by Terry; 30th January 2008 at 11:25.

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    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I guess the big fear is you start down the path of upgrading you want to be really sure the big stuff is upgradeable when it comes along. I don't want to spend a thousand here and a thousand there and still need to spend on a new body. For instance I have no use for a saphhire screen but will do that upgrade and keep current if I know the next sensor version is an upgrade and not a new camera.
    Terry,
    This is sort of what I was asking also in the "roadmap". I think this may be the biggest question to get answered, otherwise, the rest of the upgrade options, though nice, useful and even somewhat for cosmetic reasons (LCD cover), will only provide us with a more costly paperweight at some point. If Leica is prepared to go in and change out lots of things, which it actually does look like they could do, based upon the build and modularity of some components, this would be fantastic. It may even preclude the "need" for an M9. What I really do not want to do is exactly what you are asking about.....spend on 2-3 options and still have the camera totally bypassed by newer/better sensor and processor technologies that really do control the image capture and quality.

    (Sorry for the bit of a rant, but this is the real guts of the M8, and not just a new program for a la carte for collectors or something.)

    LJ

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    My M8 seems to be clipping the highlights rather abrupt. This means that I often need to underexpose.
    I suspect it may have something to do with the only 8 bit DNG files.
    Am I right or wrong about this ?
    And how come they are not at least 12 bit ?

    Will we see a firmware upgrade that allows us to generate 12+ bit DNG files with the M8 ?

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    By the way, the opportunity to ask questions to people within the industri is such an excellent quality of this forum. Thanks for the great initiative !
    /Steen

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    Re: Leica questions

    Will IR filtering be solved for good the right way, it is so awkward to have to screw on filters ?

  18. #18
    okram
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    Re: Leica questions

    Guy, please hear for us the new shutter, if available there (could you record it? with the old one beside...).

    Get some hints about the upgrade price (seems expensive for now)...

    Is FW fix only about WB?

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    Re: Leica questions

    How quiet is the new shutter system supposed to be?
    When there is a new sensor will our cameras be able to be upgraded?

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    Re: Leica questions

    Will all "New" M8's incorporate all the components of the upgrade? If so, starting at what date?

    If the "New" M8's are manufactured with the upgrade, will there be a price increase, if so, how much (approximately).


    Just a couple of direct questions above to help fill in some of the immediate "roadmap" about which LJ was inquiring. As a non M8 owner, is this an opportunity for me to buy used and then additionally purchase the upgrade which comes with the warranty (A big plus in this situation)? Could there be any savings in that route or will it still be more cost effective to buy new?

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    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    As my camera will be nearly two year's old by August, I'm liking the whole upgrade path as long as I'd know that Leica will be putting the camera through a whole camera inspection to ensure things like the rangefinder are retuned to specification.

    I also think it's great out-of-the-box thinking to work on tweaking the original (and bringing in revenue) while preparing for the next generation of R and M iterations.

    Kurt

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    i think someone already pointed this out. i'm wondering if i opt-out on the first upgrade option, and the second upgrade option becomes available later, do i have to make the first upgrade before i can opt for the second upgrade option? or the upgrades will be treated independently from each other?

    would you bring this up to leica's rep?

    edit: i just bought my m8. so, if i choose the upgrade option, will the upgrade warranty be added to my current warranty? this is probably obvious, but i want to be sure.
    Last edited by Daniel; 30th January 2008 at 14:55. Reason: to add another question

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKamka View Post
    As my camera will be nearly two year's old by August, I'm liking the whole upgrade path as long as I'd know that Leica will be putting the camera through a whole camera inspection to ensure things like the rangefinder are retuned to specification.

    I also think it's great out-of-the-box thinking to work on tweaking the original (and bringing in revenue) while preparing for the next generation of R and M iterations.

    Kurt

    Damn I forgot to mention that , yes Kurt they will get the whole body back to spec with everything, like new
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Damn I forgot to mention that , yes Kurt they will get the whole body back to spec with everything, like new
    Ah - you mean with the SDSyndrome, innaccurate rangefinder etc. etc. (just like I bought it?).


    Actually, I think this is all good stuff, not so sure about the firmware announcement (you saw my email I guess).

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    If this is available to "original owners" only, doesn't that make it hard for us to sell our M8 at any point in the future? If we put in $1800 now, will there be a market for a used M8 (if the body is then locked out of the future upgrade path)? Isn't it a little unfair to tie this to
    "original owners"? Or is it only the extended warranty that applies to "original owners"?
    Last edited by Cindy Flood; 30th January 2008 at 16:35.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    This issue of transferrable warranties is a big deal. Looking at the history of the M8 reliability hasn t been a strong point. Would you buy a used M8 knowing that you had now warranty coverage. This is a real chance to prop up the resale value of used M8s and if done well(the camera does become more reliable after the upgrades) turn into a strong justification for the cost of the upgrade. Wouldn t you pay $1000 for Leica to completely go over your M8, make all the factory fixes and extend your warranty by 2 years. The new shutter ,screen etc and other hardware upgrades are the other costs.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Hi Guy,
    The flash sync is 1/180...
    The M8 will be available “New” with or without the upgrade...
    Along with the upgrade comes a complete “CLA Equivalent”...


    I screwed that up folks , sorry
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica questions

    Hi Guy:

    Most of my main questions were asked -- and this may be covered in the one wondering if you have to go through the upgrades in order -- but is this the beginning of an a la carte upgrade program? Say I wanted the crystal but not the shutter (or the other way around)?

    Or, will they go the other way, say a guarantee of perennial upgrades for a yet-to-be-determined one-time fee?

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    Re: Leica questions

    The mention of the warranty and original owner needs a bit of clarification.

    Does it mean the warranty on the upgrade is not transferrable?

    or

    Does it mean Leica will only upgrade cameras for the original owners. In other words, once the M8 is a used M8 and transfers hands the update service is no longer offered.

    Finally, if the warranty is not transferrable, does this prevent the dealers from upgrading used stock and selling these cameras with a two year warranty?

  30. #30
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    If this is available to "original owners" only, doesn't that make it hard for us to sell our M8 at any point in the future? If we put in $1800 now, will there be a market for a used M8 (if the body is then locked out of the future upgrade path)? Isn't it a little unfair to tie this to
    "original owners"? Or is it only the extended warranty that applies to "original owners"?
    No worries, details on this point tomorrow.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  31. #31
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica questions

    Guy and Jack,

    Thank you for gathering up these questions to bring to Leica. The effort is much appreciated.

    If people are interested, I will also be able to answer some of these questions tomorrow once my embargo date/time is up.

    Cheers,

    Sean

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Great Sean your help is always invaluable.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  33. #33
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica questions

    Thanks Guy.

    It's now tomorrow - a few points.

    1. The offer is being extended to existing owners now but the upgrade will be available as an (extra cost) option to anyone who buys an M8 new. To the best of my understanding, having spoken with Leica on this point specifically, there are no current plans to offer the upgraded cameras "off the shelf". Old M8 owner or new, the upgrades will be available in August.

    2. Firmware upgrades are all still free for all M8 owners.

    3. Pricing for upgrade will be in Euros only. One pays in Euros by credit card and the credit card bank will deal with converting to one's home currency. Cost is 1200 Euro.

    What else?

    Cheers,

    Sean

  34. #34
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    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    Questions regarding firmware:

    I'm guessing from what has been revealed about the 1.201 firmware that we are not going to get the proposed (by Sean and others) easy access to ISO and exposure compensation? In your opinion, is there any hope whatsoever that this might be implemented in the future, or are we simply SOL?
    Alas Simon, I no longer have high hopes for that.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Last edited by Sean_Reid; 30th January 2008 at 21:27.

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    Re: Leica questions

    The way the present firmware is structured, the first several hundred lines in effect survey the hardware present in the camera and prepare to take a few branches at the appropriate time (either in loading that firmware or later during execution) in the light of what they find. So far, there have been only a few variants of the ccd-board, and there is not presently a state variable for the shutter, but this structure suggests that Leica does not need to support multiple simultaneous releases of the M8's firmware. Operational improvements that are not specific to the new shutter and future hardware changes should work in all M8s. It would be expensive and time-consuming to do things otherwise.

    Since I expect there is really just one firmware roadmap, it would be valuable, and a selling tool for Leica, to make that roadmap more public.

    scott

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    Thanks Guy.

    It's now tomorrow - a few points.

    1. The offer is being extended to existing owners now but the upgrade will be available as an (extra cost) option to anyone who buys an M8 new. To the best of my understanding, having spoken with Leica on this point specifically, there are no current plans to offer the upgraded cameras "off the shelf". Old M8 owner or new, the upgrades will be available in August.

    2. Firmware upgrades are all still free for all M8 owners.

    3. Pricing for upgrade will be in Euros only. One pays in Euros by credit card and the credit card bank will deal with converting to one's home currency. Cost is 1200 Euro.

    What else?

    Cheers,

    Sean

    Great Sean for clearing up those points. Glad to see it is past the bewitching hour for you. LOL

    Biting your tongue freaking hurts. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    The way the present firmware is structured, the first several hundred lines in effect survey the hardware present in the camera and prepare to take a few branches at the appropriate time (either in loading that firmware or later during execution) in the light of what they find. So far, there have been only a few variants of the ccd-board, and there is not presently a state variable for the shutter, but this structure suggests that Leica does not need to support multiple simultaneous releases of the M8's firmware. Operational improvements that are not specific to the new shutter and future hardware changes should work in all M8s. It would be expensive and time-consuming to do things otherwise.

    Since I expect there is really just one firmware roadmap, it would be valuable, and a selling tool for Leica, to make that roadmap more public.

    scott

    Very good Scott
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Dear Leica

    Would you advise me to continue buying R lenses, or would you advise me to sell the ones I've already bought ?

    I don't like to use adapters !
    And I haven't got an R camera, I'm just preparing for the "R10".

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    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    Thanks Guy.

    It's now tomorrow - a few points.

    1. The offer is being extended to existing owners now but the upgrade will be available as an (extra cost) option to anyone who buys an M8 new. To the best of my understanding, having spoken with Leica on this point specifically, there are no current plans to offer the upgraded cameras "off the shelf". Old M8 owner or new, the upgrades will be available in August.

    2. Firmware upgrades are all still free for all M8 owners.

    3. Pricing for upgrade will be in Euros only. One pays in Euros by credit card and the credit card bank will deal with converting to one's home currency. Cost is 1200 Euro.


    What else?

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Sean

    this still does not address whether a "used" camera can be purchased and upgraded. Any word on this? The price for used M8's would disastrously decline if they cannot be upgraded.

    Woody Spedden

  40. #40
    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Does the 1,200 Euro price include VAT?

  41. #41
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Woody i see no reason why it would not but have to get all the legal stuff from Leica to be sure.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Leica questions

    Woody,
    In the FAQ document just released by Leica on their site, the very first question deals with this. The answer states that any Leica M8 in the market is available for this upgrade. There is no information yet on what may be the "non-original owner" upgrade plan and costs. This may create a multi-tiered category for used cameras....those with and those without the upgrades, and then which upgrades they may have.

    Also of note is that FAQ does suggest that even the sensor and digital electronics are being considered. They have not definitely committed to this, from my reading, but it sounds as though that is part of the plan. To me, that is a very key piece of this entire upgrade program, as the sensor and electronics is essentially our swapping in different rolls of film on the film Ms.

    LJ

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    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Sean

    this still does not address whether a "used" camera can be purchased and upgraded. Any word on this? The price for used M8's would disastrously decline if they cannot be upgraded.

    Woody Spedden
    HI Woody
    I hope you're well
    Assuming that Leica are going to make a profit out of this (it seems unlikely that it's a charity move), then it would be pretty odd to limit their marketplace to the original purchaser - so I don't doubt that every camera will be available for upgrade (mind you, I don't know, just applying a little logic to the situation).

    Just this guy you know

  44. #44
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    i got the same impression as well. especially regarding the sensor and the electronics. although Leica has not made a definite commitment, i think this is very feasible, because, by the time they decide to upgrade the sensor and the electronics, the parts will be more compact and hopefully less expensive. the later will depend on industry supply and demand.

    whatever, the fact that the m8's internals are upgradable is very exciting for me because i'm so used to nikon (nikon is not the only one) obsoleting prior models soon before they get a chance to settle down in the stores.

    so my question would be: based on the FAQ, does this mean that Leica has plans to offer other parts upgrades in the future, for example, full sensor, improved noise control at higher ISO?

    – dan
    Last edited by Daniel; 31st January 2008 at 08:02.

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    Re: Leica questions

    I am keeping my fingers crossed here, as that concept of swapping out the sensor and electronics was also part of the DMR plan, and that did not happen.

    LJ

  46. #46
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    Yes as i am told there will be more upgrades which could include FF
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  47. #47
    Sean_Reid
    Guest

    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Sean

    this still does not address whether a "used" camera can be purchased and upgraded. Any word on this? The price for used M8's would disastrously decline if they cannot be upgraded.

    Woody Spedden
    Hi Woody,

    I believe any M8 can be upgraded if one is willing to pay for that.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  48. #48
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    carstenw's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    It does seem that it needs to be registered. Access to the upgrade form is via a registration.

    Guy, please make Leica understand that a great number of us wish more accurate framelines were part of this upgrade.
    Carsten - Website

  49. #49
    Sean_Reid
    Guest

    Re: Leica questions

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Woody,
    In the FAQ document just released by Leica on their site, the very first question deals with this. The answer states that any Leica M8 in the market is available for this upgrade. There is no information yet on what may be the "non-original owner" upgrade plan and costs. This may create a multi-tiered category for used cameras....those with and those without the upgrades, and then which upgrades they may have.
    LJ
    It's my understanding that the cost is the cost no matter who the owner is. I'll have to ask about VAT.

    Cheer,

    Sean

  50. #50
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Re: Leica questions

    sean or guy,

    not sure if this was answered already, but is the 2-year warranty added on top of existing m8 warranty? for example, i purchased my m8 on 7 january 2008, so, if i choose this upgrade option, will i have an additional 2 years? or the 2-year warranty only applies to the parts mentioned in the upgrade -- the new shutter and the lcd glass?

    EDIT: by the way, just in case some of you are wondering if the new firmware makes the m8 recognize sandisk extreme III 4gb sd card. no it doesn't.

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