Leica M8 firmware upgrade etc

Any owners of the Leica M8 will possibly be pleased to know that there is now a firmware update 2.000 available for download from Leica  which  adds compatibility with SDHC cards up to 32Gb as well as giving us the Auto-ISO feature as found on the Leica M8.2. This is a free upgrade, but it is apparently impossible to downgrade to previous firmware releases once it is installed, so I’ll perhaps be putting it off for a few days to hear if braver souls have any problems.

From 1 Oct, the chargeable upgrade service promised earlier this year will be available from authorized LEICA M8 Service Centers in the USA, Japan, Hong Kong and Korea and of course Germany. In addition to the improved and quieter shutter and sapphire glass cover, you can also get improved bright line frames. The whole deal does however cost 1320 euros, and given the current exchange rate I think I’ll be leaving that too for a while.

But for richer photographers it does almost make the M8 into an M8.2, though they will still find themselves waiting for the self-timer when they thought they were taking a picture.  So you will still need to tape something onto the top of the camera to restrict the movement – along with the other piece of tape you need to stop the shutter speed dial creeping round when you don’t mean it to.

[Thanks to Sang Tan for telling me about the firmware upgrade – and you can see some fine street documentary on his web site.]

2 Responses to “Leica M8 firmware upgrade etc”

  1. ChrisL says:

    Early adopter here on the firmware. No problems at all. An interesting shoot today in an art gallery, photography permitted officially, with very varied light levels and mixes of sources. Using auto ISO I shot from 1/60th @ f4 on 2500 to 1000 @ f4 on 160 without touching anything – magic. Really nice to just concentrate on framing, and you do need to concentrate with those frame lines which IMHO are worth changing. You also omitted to mention the welcome 12 month full warranty given after any upgrade that has to be worth something even if it’s peace of mind or resale value.

  2. Pleased to hear you have no problems so far, but I’ll leave it for a couple of days and see if others do.

    I find ISO 2500 quite unusable – anything above 640 is a problem so far as I’m concerned, but then the D300 is so much better at high ISO.

    Whether the framing is worth paying the money depends on how good a solution it is, and the Leica description isn’t encouraging – I think they appear to be only acknowledging one aspect of the problem. Given the prices I don’t see much point in upgrading unless you are going for the whole thing, and having to send to Germany will add to the costs for us.

    I don’t expect my Leica to go wrong, so the warranty isn’t important! I think the last time my M2 was in for servicing was around 1980. Mind you it did cost almost as much as I’d paid for the camera.

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