New Leica M9 Firmware Released fixes SD card problems – V 1.174

Leica released the new M9 firmware this week which addresses the issue of mysteriously vanishing files on SD cards. I have used nothing but Sandisk Extreme Pro SDHC cards and never had one issue but some have. Leica still says NOT to use the Sandisk Extreme Pro cards. You can get the new firmware update HERE.

23 Comments

  1. Hi!

    Yes, you did something wrong: I mean You has baught a Leica instead of buying a Lumix which is less cheap with lens zoom “Leica” elmarit 1:2.8-5.6/4.6-16.4 ASPH.
    More over, It can use SD cards without any trouble.
    Until last year, I wasn’t able to take a photo without a Leica but since last January I have baught a second handle Lumix which is as sharper as a Leica and so easy to put in a pocket, so I gave up
    the use of numeric Leicas.
    It goe without saying that the price (20 Euros!) is a available argument. Isn’it?

    Beleive me or not, this is a true story.

    Any way I whish you to sell your Leica but for a collector and not for an user.

    All the Best with or without Leica.

    JCB .

    Ps: Some of my photos were published in the magazine Leicafotogragie N° 2 1973.
    I am an amateur but not a beginner

  2. I have a slightly different problem with the new firmware for my this-month purchased Leica M 240 and SanDisk Extreme PRO 64 card. The camera came with a notice to download the new Firmware Version 2.0.1.5. Camera did beautifully for a couple of weeks until I attempted the download of the new firmware. I first re-formatted the disk in the camera and then carefully followed the downloading instructions from Leica by inserting card my Mac, then clicking on download at the Leica site, then dragging the card emblem to trash in order to properly remove it from the Mac. I carefully followed the instructions for re-inserting in the camera by holding the info button as I turned camera on. From that moment on neither the camera nor the card will do anything. On reinserting the card in the camera, a message appeared stating that no card with correct firmware was detected. The camera will do nothing further. Completely frozen. Have I done something wrong?

  3. Hello Steve and all – I need your urgent help. I have just arrived in Laos with my M9P and it is not working! It was all fine last night, but since this morning I am getting a message “Attention – Please reset folder number” when I turn it on. And then when trying to take a photo it says “FULL”. And going to info it shows most of the SD card is in the green but also remaining photos as zero.

    What can I do? I have tried resetting the folder number in the menu, tried different SD cards, and taken out the battery…

    I did not have a chance yet to download the latest firmware, but I only bought it in spring and never had any problems so far.

    This is a real disaster – I am in one of the most picturesque places in Asia and cannot take photos!

    Thanks,
    Stephan

  4. Hello Steve and all – I need your urgent help. I have just arrived in Laos with my M9P and it is not working! It was all fine last night, but since this morning I am getting a message “Attention – Please reset folder number” when I turn it on. And then when trying to take a photo it says “FULL”. And going to info it shows most of the SD card is in the green but also remaining photos as zero.

    What can I do? I have tried resetting the folder number in the menu, tried different SD cards, and taken out the battery…

    I did not have a chance yet to download the latest firmware, but I only bought it in spring and never had any problems so far.

    This is a real disaster – I am in one of the most picturesque places in Asia and cannot take photos!

    Thanks,
    Stephan

  5. Answering myself:- I understand the answer is to use older cards at the moment: San Disk recommends 32gm up to 45 mb/s on their website , Leica here suggests to play safe and use up to 30 mb/s… Leica issued a note about this a while ago…..I will post…. Shame the Mono doesn’t (seem to) have an upgrade to handle this yet….. my local high street supplier in Warsaw (they trade new memory cards) stocks only 32gb 95 mb/s San disk extreme cards – clearly we are too far ahead here in Warsaw!

  6. I’m having the same problem on a Monochrom with the camera freezing (permanently displaying one shot) and requiring a reboot (I remove the battery). I’m using San Disk Extreme Pro 32gGB, 95mb/s cards. A 16GB Ultra 15mb/s seems to be ok. Is there any up-to-date information/datasheet on compatible cards? best Richard

  7. Hi,
    I never had problems with any of the SanDisk cards in my M9-P; but I also avoided formatting the cards in the camera.

  8. Nothing like being on assignments or any type of work around the world, only to find out that your $10,000 worth of equipment is not recording images on a $20 card. I think it is totally unacceptable, no matter how small the problem. What’s good about the M9, as expensive as it is, when you always have to wonder if your cards are not recording or failing? Again, the issue is not how many are affected but the fact that there is an issue. What would Steve Jobs do?

      • You mean like the floppy disk? 🙂

        No, Steve Jobs would ban the SD card, have the camera write on a HD (like the iPhone) which would wirelessly transfer the files to iCloud and seamlessly on all your devices (Mac+iPhone, iPad). Wait a minute though…he already did that with the iPhone, and that’s the best selling digital camera in the world. Leica would love to have that market share 🙂

  9. I didnt have the issue until two weeks ago. I suspect it was triggered by importing into my mac with the new version of aperture and downloading directly with aperture + erasing the files also thru aperture. It happens in two of my 16 gb san disk cards, one extreme and one ultra, and it does still happen with the new firmware 🙁 so it didnt fix anything. The other day i lost a full day of shooting; camera stopped responding, red light of card reading blinking for long; then had to remove the battery to stop it. And the when trying to import the files appear as dng 0 kb. Both sd card have been formatted in the camera (overwrite) i have bought yesterday a 8 gb card to see if works better and so far no issues. I now dont use aperture to import; i copy directly to a folder into my mac and import into aperture from there. Totally unnaceptable and absolutely frustrating this happens. It is a scandal. Unbelievable on a 5.5 m euro camera!!

  10. Thanks for the hint, Steve. I’ve lost some shots due to this phenomen, so I really hope that they have fixed it.

  11. BTW, Pentax users are now reporting similar card problems on the K-5, but with various SDXC cards. No statements from Ricoh-Pentax yet. Again, I’ve had no problems with my K-5 and my limited shooting style.

  12. Note also that while Leica worked with card suppliers (including Sandisk) to find and make the fixes in this update, they found during extensive Beta testing that two card models still seemed to have problems. Look at the documentation at the download site to find that information. It appears the card suppliers could not identify further specific issues, so they released the update as-is. There can be a lot of reasons for card problems, and when different samples of the same model behave differently it can be hard to pinpoint a cause.
    I’ve never had card problem with my M9, but I’m a “single-shot” user, and had already heard to avoid using the jpg+DNG setting for saving files. I suspect all the user variations in shooting styles, file formats, formatting cards, etc. may enter into why some have problems and others don’t.

  13. I had vanishing photos just two days ago, while doing some long exposures. Saw them on the screen, then they did not end up on the card. Noticed this immediately, tried a few times, and after about eight shots it started working again. Never had this problem before though.

    I will download this fix and install it immediately.

  14. I had these problems when I switched from an M9 to an M9P. I had zero problems for a year and an half but when I switched I had moments when I took shots and they didn’t get recorded. I do regular in-camera formatting almost all the time to delete my images once they are downloaded. When I first encountered that problem I was surprised. Actually frustrated because I took images and when I wanted to look at them they were no there. Then the camera started recording again. Totally random. It happened again the same day and I switched the card from Ultra 32GB to Ultra 16GB and the camera was fine. First I thought it was because of the desert heat (104F) but I continued shooting with the other card and it was ok. I wasn’t fully sure if this was an M9P problem or had anything to do with the temperature, or a faulty card, which had served me for a long time. I am using Sandisk cards only. When I came back from that trip I started reading about this problem on the internet. I continued shooting with the other card and so far have not encountered any irregularities. I did the firmware update and switched back to the larger card. Lets see what happens. I don’t think it is a problem of just a handful of users. It has not happened with the majority of cameras but with some. It is great that Leica has looked into that and fixed it. I am glad someone has brought that up to their attention and I would not call that person a moron. I would rather say ‘thank you’ because it has saved my M9 relationship. 😉 D!RK

  15. Leica M9; no problems from Day 1 with Lexar, intermittent problems – nothing severe or career-threatening, but still – with SanDisk. So: new firmware installed, SanDisk -> dumpsville (which in this case means the girlfriend’s DSLR). Simple as that.

  16. i use 32Go extreme pro UHS-1 cards on my M9 since months, and never had problems with them. Anyway, did somebody here use these cards and had problems ? most people NEVER format cards correctly, (or they do it on the Mac or PC which is even more wrong) and there is a big difference in a M9 between erasing and formatting. Since it takes so long, most people do not perform a proper format, and after complain they have problems. As always, BRAVO to Steve for his excellent Web site, a pleasure to read everyday !

    • Daniel,
      The M9 SD-card error is not a single case and not a user error. It has been reported and tested by dozens of users and has successively been acknowledged by Leica.
      I am glad that most people do not experience this behavior but find it extremely unsatisfactory that my camera freezes up every once in a while and that the two types of SD cards that Leica deemed suitable in the M9 manual and that I bought /might/ still cause problems. I have missed quite a few shots already, due to my M9 freezing up, have lost some photos and have developed a “workaround routine” for the cases that my $7,000 toy renders my SD cards unreadable.
      It seems that Leica has not been able to completely fix the problem and hope both that the update will rid me of this error and that Leica will continue to mend the fallible M9 firmware.
      Markus

  17. This is the worst “update” ever: the two types of SD cards that render my $7K toy unusable are not supported!
    Leica, if you want to sell digital cameras, please hire some people that can program and fix this!

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