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M8 and SDHC
Old 10-17-2006   #1
egpj
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M8 and SDHC

So far I have not seen anything that plainly states the new M8 will use SDHC. The Leica M8 is not listed on Sandisk's website as accepting the new SDHC and so far Leica has not listed cards that can be used with the M8 on their website. Of course if you look at any of the Leica info they list the website as a reference. That kind of stuff makes me nervous as a consumer. Today I contacted Tony Rose about the new SDHC Ultra II's coming from Sandisk but I am wondering if I should buy with the lack of info coming out of Leica about this very important issue.

Please, all those who want to say "well, Leica says it will work with cards up to 4 gig." Save it man. I would more readily believe that was about SDHC if Leica said plainly "SDHC cards" Usually when a manufacturer adopts the new tech they toot their horn so that everyone can hear. Wouldn't that just suck if we could not take advantage of that new format!?!
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Old 10-17-2006   #2
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Yeah, but the market of M8 users for Sandisk is so tiny, they probably don't care. M8 sales aren't even a drop in the bucket in the digi world.

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Old 10-17-2006   #3
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True, but my point is that no where is Leica saying "SDHC". Yeah, I know "4GB"=SDHC but call me a doubting Thomas but I need to see Leica say SDHC.
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Old 10-17-2006   #4
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In the Product information pdf Leica gives this web site for a list of cards:

http://www.leica-camera.de/photography/m_system/m8/ but it's only available "upon product introduction"

this site is active:

http://www.leica-camera.us/photography/m_system/m8/ but it doesn't have the list.


I guess patience is a virtue

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Old 10-17-2006   #5
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I also don't believe Leica is foolish enough to make such a false performance statement, press-wise. They risk their reputation and brand equity, which for them, is everything.

That stated, I did wait until I put the camera in my hands before I placed an order, so I can appreciate your concern.

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Old 10-17-2006   #6
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the manual that just got posted by Leica says 4GB max, more with firmware update.
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Old 10-17-2006   #7
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According to Sandisk the camera must say "SDHC". Hey sorry to be prude about it or act like a stuck record but you have to really.
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Old 10-18-2006   #8
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is there such a thing as a non-SDHC 4 gig SD card?
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Old 10-18-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve L
is there such a thing as a non-SDHC 4 gig SD card?

Well ... the 4 Gig SD card from this manufacturer doesn't anywhere display the SDHC logo (nor is it described as such in the text) ...

http://www.hoodmanusa.com/securedigital.asp


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Old 10-18-2006   #10
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The highest I have seen is 2gig non-SDHC. That is one reason why it is so perplexing for Leica to not say SDHC as the standard the camera will read. I want to see it in writing. Is that so hard for Leica? Someone up there has to be a "Technical Writer". Why they could even say to the web guy, "hey, put this blurb on the website that the M8 accepts "SDHC cards" up to 4gig capacity."

I don't know about stuff like this though (partly the reason I posted this). Maybe they have other issues which prevent them from using the term "SDHC".
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Old 10-18-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhoelscher
Well ... the 4 Gig SD card from this manufacturer doesn't anywhere display the SDHC logo (nor is it described as such in the text) ...

http://www.hoodmanusa.com/securedigital.asp


Dave Hoelscher

Well, that scoops it for me. Some assurance is that Tony Rose has emailed me and assured me that all of the new cameras support the new SDHC standard. I just want Leica to say it in thier camera specs info.
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Old 10-18-2006   #12
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Prior to the SD 2.0 standard (SDHC) 4GB cards were usable if the host used FAT32 formatting. SDHC brought about a different method of addressing (sector vs. byte) and enhanced speed.
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Old 10-18-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhoelscher
Well ... the 4 Gig SD card from this manufacturer doesn't anywhere display the SDHC logo (nor is it described as such in the text) ...
Not true, when you order the 4GB card you get a reminder that says:

"4 GB Cards can only be used in cameras that support the FAT32 file system. If you are not sure, check your owners manual or contact your camera manufacturer to see if your camera supports the FAT32 file system."

cheers Olivier
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Old 10-18-2006   #14
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Who cares? Imho it is pretty stupid to use 4Gb cards anyway. One card breaks down, lose 400 shots. Much safer to use 4 1 gig cards or even 8 500Mb ones...
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Old 10-18-2006   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
Who cares? Imho it is pretty stupid to use 4Gb cards anyway. One card breaks down, lose 400 shots. Much safer to use 4 1 gig cards or even 8 500Mb ones...
Jappv:

I agree that smaller cards are better but I probably wouldn't go so far as to say using larger cards is stupid. Maybe risk seeking My rule is 2 GB max.


egpj:

As far as getting a definitive answer, why don't you email Leica tech support. I've found them to be very responsive.
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Old 10-18-2006   #16
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just because you have a 4 gig card in your camera doesn't mean you have to fill it - it only means that you don't have to stop shooting to change it until you reach a convenient time when you won't miss an importaint shot.

Is that what you mean by "stupid"?
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Old 10-18-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
Who cares? Imho it is pretty stupid to use 4Gb cards anyway. One card breaks down, lose 400 shots. Much safer to use 4 1 gig cards or even 8 500Mb ones...
Well, it has been pointed out in other discussions of this subject that using 4 1Gig cards in place of 1 4gig card increases the ODDS of a card failure by 4x.

Assuming (he grabs a number out of thin air) one in 10,000 cards fail, with 1 large card you have 1 chance in 10,000 of a failure that loses ALL your pictures, whereas with 4 smaller cards you have 1 chance in 2,500 of a failure that loses 1/4 of your pictures. (or with 8 smaller cards, 1 chance in 1,250 of losing 1/8th of your pictures).

Plus the extra wear and tear on contacts of increased card swapping.

Basically one must choose between a low-probability, high-risk event, or a higher-probability, lower-risk event.

Even so, I'm with JAPPV in that I prefer a moderate number of moderate-size cards, simply because it helps me keep shoots organized, and I don't have to download all 4 gigs at once (or dig around in the DCIM folder trying to read file numbers) to get to one or two shots.

Are there ANY SD cards (or cameras that take them) that are 4 gigs and NOT SDHC-compliant?

If so, Leica should clarify. If not, then saying the M8 works with 4-gig cards is logically equivalent to saying it is SDHC-compliant, so far as I can see.
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Old 10-18-2006   #18
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Honestly I was under the impression that the SDHC cards would have higher read and write times. That is my main reason for being interested in the format. Anyone who has had to languish in the wait time with the Digilux2 shooting raw would understand. The high capacity is nice to have when things are going along and you are in "the zone" while shooting. You do not need to interrupt and switch cards until it becomes convenient. Higher capacity also allows for more creative approaches to be explored in one shoot. I personally do not want to become a digital chimper. I'll review when I get back to the hotel and decide what to keep there. A high capacity card will help that aim.
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Old 10-18-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
Who cares? Imho it is pretty stupid to use 4Gb cards anyway. One card breaks down, lose 400 shots. Much safer to use 4 1 gig cards or even 8 500Mb ones...
It depends on what makes you comfortable. I've never lost a file to a bad card but I only buy Sandisks from reputable authorized vendors (fear of fakes).

Personally, I like a card that will hold 200 pictures for a day shoot. But some may like 4GB cards. But would find carrying 4 to 6 500Mb cards a bit of a chore, not to mention confusing.

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Old 10-18-2006   #20
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SDHC (SD 2.0), besides the increase in storage, brings in higher speed. There are now three classes of speed ratings (2, 4, 6 MB/s), each being the minimum. For all you ever wanted to know (or not), see: http://www.sdcard.com/
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Old 10-18-2006   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvaubel
It depends on what makes you comfortable. I've never lost a file to a bad card but I only buy Sandisks from reputable authorized vendors (fear of fakes).

Personally, I like a card that will hold 200 pictures for a day shoot. But some may like 4GB cards. But would find carrying 4 to 6 500Mb cards a bit of a chore, not to mention confusing.

Rex
I must confess that I've never lost a SD card either. A CF card, yes. Corrupted files, didn't want to do anything, recovery software no succes, expert assesment: irrepairable.Sandisk Ultra to boot. I got a new card for free, but that did not recover my files. Besides that,horror scenarios like lost, stolen, mechanically damaged in the camera bag, eaten by the dog, dropped in the Piranha basin at the zoo, etc... I like redundancy. Stupid is too strong in retrospect, Sorry. Let's say risky.
I'm perfectly happy to take ten cards and a CD marker pen with me when I get on that plane to Africa. It sure is better that 200 films in lead bags
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Old 10-19-2006   #22
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There's new information at Leica regarding SD cards

http://www.leica-camera.us/service/d...er_cameras/m8/

cheers

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Old 10-19-2006   #23
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Here's hoping that the chart Olivier pointed to is out of date, and that is why the Sandisk 4-gig SDHC card isn't on it - only a few uncommon brands 4-gig cards are mentioned....and no indication of SDHC or not...
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Old 10-19-2006   #24
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I still feel that in practical daily use this is rather a non-issue.
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Old 10-19-2006   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaapv
I still feel that in practical daily use this is rather a non-issue.

For you a "non-issue" but for others who also pay the "top-dollar"......
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Old 10-19-2006   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve L
Here's hoping that the chart Olivier pointed to is out of date, and that is why the Sandisk 4-gig SDHC card isn't on it - only a few uncommon brands 4-gig cards are mentioned....and no indication of SDHC or not...
Exactly what I have been saying all along. That list is new (on the website) not old.
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Old 10-19-2006   #27
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Exactly this kind of discussion was had on various Canon forums a few years ago, when the faster CF cards started appearing on the market. It turned out that the advertised writing speed had but a limited relationship to the speed of using the camera and had no practical influence on the actual use of the camera's at all....Sorry, I'm a photographer, not a bytes-geek.(without wanting to put you guys in that category at all, just trying to keep a balanced perspective...) And as I said, the use of huge cards is a questionable practice anyhow. I don't really see what this has to do with top (or bottom) dollar.
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Old 10-19-2006   #28
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To leicas credit they have never said they support SDHC in the camera via their official documentation. We have only heard by word of mouth. Word of mouth conflicting with official documentation or even vague official information.

Suffice it to to say that, as of now the M8 does not accept SDHC cards until there is official word from Leica to the contrary.

I am still getting an M8 mind you but without the SDHC compatability then the guts of the camera are not all that they could have been. A little example, I have a big V-8 engine in my Avalanch. 95% of the time I baby the truck along and don't stress. But every once in a while I need that V-8 to move that vehicle quickly into traffic or to get out of someones way that wants to go faster then me. It's nice to have. There will be times when the SDHC would have been "nice to have". Mind you that is just a conceptual analogy. I think that pretty much sums it up for me so I'll drop it there.
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Old 10-19-2006   #29
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Well, maybe that is the difference, In Europe we get 2.2 litre fourcylinder diesels for our cars and cruise the Autobahn a 220 km/h.
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Old 10-19-2006   #30
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I have tried to stay on top of Secure Digital memory cards issues as best as possible. Additionally, I have conducted extensive manufacturer product compatibility beta testing.

First, this past week, while looking over the M8, I spoke with three Leica representatives who all adamantly assured me that the Leica M8 does indeed support SDHC cards in addition to traditional Secure Digital memory cards. However, there has been a ongoing record of inaccuracies in published Leica documents regarding digital specs, which have fueled confusion, and the latest Leica issued sheet on “Compatible SD Memory Cards for the Leica M8” speaks nothing to SDHC memory cards.

Second, there is a bit of confusing in the market place over SD and SDHC memory cards and host devices due mainly in part to the fact that many card manufacturers, popular bands included, have failed to follow the SD Card Association standards.

Basically Secure Digital and SDHC products fall with in four categories:
• SD Specification Version 1.0
• SD Specification Version 1.1
• SD Specification Version 2.0
• Non-compliant SD memory cards
SD Specification Version 1.0 provides for data transfer of 4bits at 25MHz.

SD Specification Version 1.1 allows for data transfer of 8bits at 50MHz. SD Spec v.1.1 Secure Digital memory cards are usually denoted by speed ratings greater than 100X. One memory card manufacturer, of extreme popularity, as had a card out on the market that is neither spec v. 1.0 or v. 1.1. It runs at the faster 50MHz but with only 4bits of data transfer, not 8bits.

SD Specification Version 2.0, aka SDHC, officially supports FAT32, which enables recognition of capacities beyond 2GB. Actually, to be more exact, FAT16 covers up to 2.2GB. Of significant note is the fact that SDHC cards use sector addressing as opposed to the traditional byte addressing of previous SD cards. All SDHC memory cards are denoted by the SDHC emblem.

Properly designed SD Specification Version 2.0 host devices accept all previous SD spec version memory cards. Therefore, the latest SDHC compliant cameras and readers will host all previous version cards that adhered strictly to one of the SD Card Association standards.

There are a number of 4GB Secure Digital memory cards that have been introduced in the past year. Theses are not SDHC memory cards and were designed and released to market before the SD Specification Version 2.0 was completed. They do not adhere to any industry standard. They do not provide sector addressing. They may or may not work in various host devices and this has lead, in a large part, to the current round of confusion. My advance for long term reliability and usability with future devices would be to steer clear of this product.

SDHC memory cards are not speed rated by an “X factor” but rather denoted as fitting into a “Class.” The Class rating was implemented as a more faithful indication of what type of performance a given card could safely be expected to delivery. Previous X factor ratings were fairly misleading at times to what could actually be achieved.

Personally, I am awaiting the release of the new 8GB SDHC memory cards from ATP, a company known for it’s steadfast adherence to SD Card Association standards, selection of top quality components and industrial strength manufacturing and durability.

Properly designed memory cards that are properly used and maintain are of little cause of concern for failure. This includes always reformatting the card, in said camera, after each session and utilizing a card reader, in place of the camera, to transfer images to the computer.
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Old 10-19-2006   #31
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I just bought a 4 gig Ridata 150X card, with anticipation of using it with the M8 (along with an older 2 Gig 150X Ridata). Nowhere does it say SDHC. I just assumed when Leica said cards up to 4 Gig would work, that they meant all 4 gig cards. They do have a down load file with compatible SD cards, and there are only several 4 Gig cards. Ridata is NOT listed. Keep your fingers crossed. Does anyone know if the "SDHC" cards will be compatible with the existing card readers we have? I must confess, I don't know what "SDHC" means. Anyone help?
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Old 10-19-2006   #32
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Quote:
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... and utilizing a card reader, in place of the camera, to transfer images to the computer.
Jeff,

I no longer tether my D2 to my new computer, because it has a nice multi-card reader. But, what's wrong with the practice of USB-ing from the camera to the computer? I used to do this all the time with the previous computer.

I always, however, reformat after every use -- in the camera, as you suggest.

So, what's wrong with transfering via the camera?

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