Leica Updates M8 Firmware

firmware Sep 19, 2008

I was cruising through the newly revamped Leica website trawlingLeica M8 for info on the last big announcement they are saving for Photokina when I came upon this little nugget:

Leica has updated the M8 Classic firmware to v2.0 which adds the following features to the original Leica digital rangefinder:

* Auto ISO – The M8 Classic can now automatically adjust ISO settings to maintain a minimum shutter speed. This is activated from the M8’s SET menu. Parameters are adjusted on the MENU menu which include making the Auto ISO parameters lens dependent.

* SDHC Support – Gone are the manacles of 2GB SD cards! The M8 Classic now supports higher capacity SDHC cards. I tested with a 4GB PNY SDHC card and reported space for 370 RAW images. Sweetness!

What’s not there (that requires upgrading to the M8.2):

* Hardware updates – No amount of firmware updates will replace the shutter mechanism, add sapphire glass, or provide a method to alter shutter cocking behaviors. That requires that new bits be installed in the camera.

The firmware update is a welcome bit of news to Leica M8 owners who have been complaining about lack of SDHC support and Auto ISO since Day One. It will also allow Leica M8 owners to make a better choice about upgrading to the new model by virtue of providing two of the major features of the new version for free to existing customers.

You can download the update from Leica here.
I have mirrored the update here.

UPDATE: Leica recommends that Lexar & Sandisk SDHC be used for maximum compatibility. I can report that PNY cards up to 8GB work just fine. 8GB PNY SDHC = 753 RAW images. All for $34.99 from Best Buy.