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The M9 sometimes just "sleeps". What can I do to clear it up?
Old 01-18-2017   #1
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The M9 sometimes just "sleeps". What can I do to clear it up?

The M8 works beautifully for back to back images at a fast rate, but my M9, always with freshly charged original Leica battery, has occasional long lapses of sleeping or just not "forwarding" to the next image. It just sits there, and I must wait and wait until the M9 decides to move on in life and to let me take another photo. On the other hand, my M9 also has her good days during which she will advance frame after frame quickly.

What are the factors that could be creating such situations for me?

1. Battery
2. Card
3. Camera settings

Any useful suggestions will be very much appreciated. My solution so far is to have with me the M8 also so that I use the M8 until the moody M9 decides to cooperate with me again.
I once asked "someone at Leica" about it, but he shrugged it off by saying that M9 creates larger image files than the M8 does.
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Old 01-18-2017   #2
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If I understand what you're saying about it "sleeping," try turning off discrete mode. Sometimes my M9 won't recognize that I've released the shutter button, so I need to wiggle it a bit for the camera to reset things for the next shot. With the standard shutter mode, it should reset the shutter immediately after release. If that solves your problem, you can do like I do: whenever it stops responding, just jiggle the shutter a little bit, and it'll wind up for the next shot.

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Old 01-18-2017   #3
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When I had some weird things like this with my M8 it was because of card. Try reformatting.
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Old 01-21-2017   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonB View Post
If I understand what you're saying about it "sleeping," try turning off discrete mode. Sometimes my M9 won't recognize that I've released the shutter button, so I need to wiggle it a bit for the camera to reset things for the next shot. With the standard shutter mode, it should reset the shutter immediately after release. If that solves your problem, you can do like I do: whenever it stops responding, just jiggle the shutter a little bit, and it'll wind up for the next shot.

Cheers,
Jon
I will try this, Jon. Thanks.
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Old 01-21-2017   #5
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When I had some weird things like this with my M8 it was because of card. Try reformatting.
Not so in my case. I always reformat cards after getting nearly full and after I download image files to my computer and back-up external drives.
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Old 01-21-2017   #6
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Never reformat card on M9. Only erase all. I had same problem. Several cards starting fine then showing this behavior. Using erase all I can go on with one card untill I wear out the bottom plastic.

If you want to format, do so on computer, Fat32.

It is almost certainly your card, in any case.
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Old 01-21-2017   #7
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I could swear that I have seen at RFF more than once the recommendation to format ONLY in the camera. It is the opposite of what you are recommending.

So, what should I do about deleting/formating?
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Old 01-21-2017   #9
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I do what I can!

I will try out your recommendation, though. I am at the computer downloading what is on the memory card first.
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Old 01-21-2017   #10
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Hi Raid, the behavior of your M9 could be a signal you need an ....M10
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Old 01-21-2017   #11
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My M9 does not seem to care at all if the card is not reformatted. I only reformat if there is a problem. Otherwise I erase all. Currently I have over 10K images on the card without a format and it works like new.

I only learned this all the hard way.
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Old 01-21-2017   #12
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This tip is also useful. I will do same from now on.
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Old 01-21-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uhoh7 View Post
My M9 does not seem to care at all if the card is not reformatted. I only reformat if there is a problem. Otherwise I erase all. Currently I have over 10K images on the card without a format and it works like new.

I only learned this all the hard way.
I never use erase on any camera and only reformat in camera.
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Old 01-21-2017   #14
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OK. Who is right?
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Old 01-21-2017   #15
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I never erase images in camera. After transferring images to computer I always format card in camera. I use panasonic gold cards 16gb. So far not lost an image since this regime.
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Old 01-21-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
Hi Raid, the behavior of your M9 could be a signal you need an ....M10
robert
It also may be just the card formatting.
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Old 01-21-2017   #17
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I've set mine up so that Auto power save is off also. Speeds it up a little.
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Old 01-21-2017   #18
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I never erase images in camera. After transferring images to computer I always format card in camera. I use panasonic gold cards 16gb. So far not lost an image since this regime.
I have been doing as you are doing.
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Old 01-21-2017   #19
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Which cards are you using Raid?
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Old 01-21-2017   #20
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To get started with a new card (or "reset" an old card), I format FAT32 in the computer, then format with SDFormatter in the computer, then format in the camera. From then on, after transferring the recent batch of photos to the computer, I format in the camera and reset file numbering for the new batch. I avoid deleting photos in the camera, as some suggest!

As to the lengthy "sleep" between shots, I don't know... but JonB's suggestion about discreet mode sounds useful!
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Old 01-21-2017   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobbylon View Post
Which cards are you using Raid?
I use different brand cards, mostly 4GB and 8GB.
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Old 01-21-2017   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
To get started with a new card (or "reset" an old card), I format FAT32 in the computer, then format with SDFormatter in the computer, then format in the camera. From then on, after transferring the recent batch of photos to the computer, I format in the camera and reset file numbering for the new batch. I avoid deleting photos in the camera, as some suggest!

As to the lengthy "sleep" between shots, I don't know... but JonB's suggestion about discreet mode sounds useful!
Thanks for the info, Doug. What is SDFormatter?
I already changed the camera setting today away from discrete mode.
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Old 01-21-2017   #23
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Thanks for the info, Doug. What is SDFormatter?
...
https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/

From the SD Association:
This software formats all SD memory cards, SDHC memory cards and SDXC memory cards. SD Card Formatter provides quick and easy access to the full capabilities of your SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.
The SD Card Formatter was created specifically for memory cards using the SD/SDHC/SDXC standards. It is strongly recommended to use the SD Card Formatter instead of formatting utilities provided with operating systems that format various types of storage media. Using generic formatting utilities may result in less than optimal performance for your memory cards.
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Old 01-21-2017   #24
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Thank you Doug.
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Old 01-21-2017   #25
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Formating the card is a way of making it communicate with the device. Logic says that you should format the card with the device that it's to be used in. That said, there's nothing wrong with using the erase function either once the card has be introduced to the device (formatted). Check with the various Leica forums and you will see that the vast majority feel that formatting after every download is the preferred method. I've done both and never have seen a difference either way. I rather doubt that your problem is in the card. You should have the camera looked at by someone familiar with the Leica digitals. Good Luck Raid.
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Old 01-21-2017   #26
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I have had such thoughts, but I was/am hopeful that it is not another type of problem. It has to do with the buffer. I have now switched to standard shutter release to see if things will get better or not. One step at a time. If I get again to Wetzlar, I will have them take a look at the M9.
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Old 01-21-2017   #27
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It is good to start with a new card, in fact, I found cards did not recover from this issue, once it started. A first format on the camera I think would be OK probably, but I would advise never doing so again. Better is to format on computer. I don't use special software though. There is no need. M9 is FAT 32. In fact I think my current card was already FAT32 so I just put it in new, did not format and shot it. That was some time ago as it has lasted a long time. Easy to check the formatting on a computer. Right click and choose properties. Or "get info" on the mac. If Fat 32, I would insert and take some test shots, no format. Download them and check. If all is working you are good to go. Nice and simple.

I can tell you simply erasing the images en masse in camera works great on this camera, and I have cards which have seen 30K images that way and are still going. In fact I never had a card go bad with that method in over 250K shots on the M9 (two shutters)

On the other hand every card I ever used that was formatted often in camera eventually went bad, often within 5k frames and exhibited exactly the symptoms you describe.

I use 16gb cards which i researched, because the M9 is picky. They also did this.

I'd bet there is no one in this thread with more frames on a card than my current one, and it has one been formatted once, and multiple erased many many times.

Of course this is not the way I do my Sony A7. It gets a format everytime.

It's the way my M9 prefers it, which I learned after the same problem you describe on 5 different cards.

My camera with this old once formatted card locks up very seldom. I cannot remember the last time. That does happen from time to time if you shoot alot. Pull the battery and it's fine. But what you describe is different.

You have already seen the format method likely wreck this card. What do you have to loose trying multiple erase? My previous card lasted so long with that method I wore out the plastic base.

Theories are great. Experience is a better teacher.

Now, perhaps formatting on the computer often would be fine. I never do after once and the camera does not fail. So that seems a better way to me. Fast, simple and effective. Yes the Sony I format every time like you are "supposed to". My M9 hates that, and I don't think yours likes it either as the symptoms are identical. Ask the others if they have had your problem, or tested "not formatting" for 150K shots.


This camera was "like new" in January 2014, when I bought it.

Here I had it a month:

DSC08424 by unoh7, on Flickr

A few days ago

DSC09786 by unoh7, on Flickr

I know it very well now, no offense to anyone

Think about it. When was the last time you formatted your computer HD? A long time I hope, but you delete stuff all the time. People act like this is heresy, if fact it is exactly the way it's supposed to work. The need for frequent formatting is because the other cheap cameras often corrupt card file structures, just writing and erasing. The M9 does not. Except when you format often in camera. That is not illogical as formatting is totally different than writing or erasing files.
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Old 01-21-2017   #28
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Counterpoint - my M9 killed two SD cards when deleting single photos on the camera to make some room. Since stopping that and only doing a (quick) format I haven't had any problems with that again. I always quick format the cards via the M9 menu now before shooting.

One of the cards came back to life a year later when I stuck it in another camera and it very slowly reformatted properly.

Speaking of the M9 killing things - I was using a Nikon SB-800 flash with my M9 and it killed the flash. Not sure what happened exactly but the SB-800 just stopped working on the camera and never shot again regardless of camera I tried it on. Might not have been the M9 but it was strange, and annoying.
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Old 01-21-2017   #29
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The M9 not working correctly in the discreet mode is a known bug that was apparently introduced in some firmware version. It is most easily triggered by using continuous drive, but it may be seen in single shot mode as well. Leica has been unwilling or unable to fix this bug.

If this happens in the normal mode (not discreet), it is something else.

The M8 does not have such issues. It just works.
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Old 01-21-2017   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radi(c)al_cam View Post
Dear Raid,

exactly that could be the problem, the so-to-say «memory effect» of the battery. Have you ever completely dis-charged the battery?

There are «dis-charger» contraptions purchasable, but a much simpler (barbaric) way would be to put the battery into the freezer over night. (No warranty that it works!)
This is not a thing with lithium batteries, and in fact a complete discharge is bad for the battery! Do not do this. Lithium batteries are best recharged before discharging all the way till the camera doesn't function. I try not to go past 20% left on the battery.

I researched this heavily just recently due to buying a very high-end laptop and wanted the batteries to last as long as possible (will be a working laptop for many years). The above advice was true for NiCad batteries, which AFAIK haven't been used in electronics in quite a long time.
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Old 01-21-2017   #31
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Raid, you are right to be confused by all the available advice. The menu items in the M9 are Format or overwrite. Format just resets the file structure. It is all that's needed. Overwriting, which I have never done, takes longer, presumably, and I've read that could cause trouble.

For a long time I have just Formatted in the camera, never interacting with the card in a computer other than to download the images. I will delete files in camera and have never had a problem with that.

Continuous shooting, of more than say two shots, and Discrete mode, sadly, are troublemaking software options. I now avoid them both. Pity they never bothered to fix the latest M9 software.

Here's an old thread I started. I only use OEM batteries and never let them get near flat. I haven't had a problem with the M9 for a few years, but my Monochrom has twice taken a few shots on a Lexar card and then lost them. I reviewed a couple in camera, deleted none, and the card had recently been formatted. I retired that relatively new card. I don't use SanDisk at all in Leica M digitals. I do carry a spare M9 formatted card. Haven't needed it to rescue me (see below) since doing so.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru.../t-117806.html
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Old 01-22-2017   #32
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Raid I'm not expert here, I know you have different digital cameras do you use same cards for different cameras or each camera has a "dedicated" card? Maybe this help.
robert
PS: in your place I would try to buy a new card and use only that on the M9 to see what happens
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Old 01-22-2017   #33
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I'll second the discrete mode explanation. Had the very same problem. Switching to normal mode solved it completely. Didn't change cards or batteries or anything else.
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Old 01-22-2017   #34
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Thank you for your clarification!
I wasn't aware what type of battery they were using, sorry.
I have read on this issue, and the recommendation was that batteries for the Leica benefit from being often recharged.
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Old 01-22-2017   #35
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I'll second the discrete mode explanation. Had the very same problem. Switching to normal mode solved it completely. Didn't change cards or batteries or anything else.
I will go about it step by step. The easiest changes will be to use a (new) card and to switch away from the discrete mode.
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Old 01-22-2017   #36
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Raid I'm not expert here, I know you have different digital cameras do you use same cards for different cameras or each camera has a "dedicated" card? Maybe this help.
robert
PS: in your place I would try to buy a new card and use only that on the M9 to see what happens
Robert, I use different cards in the M8 and the M9 (or Olympus cameras).
I have a few new cards that I could use on the M9.
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Old 01-22-2017   #37
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Hi Richard,
I have been doing as you have described. I carry with at all times about 10 cards and one OEM back-up battery for the M9. When I return home (or to a hotel), I start charging the batteries.

I went over your old thread. It has lots of useful comments in it. I am using the firmware that is being discussed as not working well with the discrete mode.

Thanks.

Raid


Quote:
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Raid, you are right to be confused by all the available advice. The menu items in the M9 are Format or overwrite. Format just resets the file structure. It is all that's needed. Overwriting, which I have never done, takes longer, presumably, and I've read that could cause trouble.

For a long time I have just Formatted in the camera, never interacting with the card in a computer other than to download the images. I will delete files in camera and have never had a problem with that.

Continuous shooting, of more than say two shots, and Discrete mode, sadly, are troublemaking software options. I now avoid them both. Pity they never bothered to fix the latest M9 software.

Here's an old thread I started. I only use OEM batteries and never let them get near flat. I haven't had a problem with the M9 for a few years, but my Monochrom has twice taken a few shots on a Lexar card and then lost them. I reviewed a couple in camera, deleted none, and the card had recently been formatted. I retired that relatively new card. I don't use SanDisk at all in Leica M digitals. I do carry a spare M9 formatted card. Haven't needed it to rescue me (see below) since doing so.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru.../t-117806.html
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Reformat in Camera! or Maybe Not!
Old 01-22-2017   #38
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Reformat in Camera! or Maybe Not!

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OK. Who is right?
Hi Raid --

The standard advice is re-format in the camera, because the camera may introduce non-standard items in formatting that the computer doesn't know about. This applies generally across camera brands.

But, from the comments above, that may not be right for some specific cameras. The only reason I can invent is the possibility that the computer formatting routines may be more robust than the camera's.
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Old 01-22-2017   #39
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Hi Raid --

The standard advice is re-format in the camera, because the camera may introduce non-standard items in formatting that the computer doesn't know about. This applies generally across camera brands.

But, from the comments above, that may not be right for some specific cameras. The only reason I can invent is the possibility that the computer formatting routines may be more robust than the camera's.
Hi Col.
I have been "proactive" so far by using the M8 for a few second until the M9 catches up with life, so to speak. It gives me also the chance to use different lenses this way. There usually is a practical way out to a problem.
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Old 01-22-2017   #40
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I thought I'd throw in my .02 here Raid.

1. Reset camera to factory defaults. From the Menu button choose Reset to get the camera back to original settings.

2. As already mentioned and you verified ensure you're using an SD card that's 16gb or less in size and no faster than 45mb/s.

3. SD Formatter. Use SD formatter to "initially" format the SD card on your computer.

4. Put card in camera and use the Menu selection and choose Format SD card and select Yes. No need to select the Overwrite choice.

5. Deselect the Discreet option in the Advance Menu selection.

6. After downloading images to computer and backing up put SD card back in camera and use Format SD card selection.

I've been following this procedure on my M-E for over 3 years and not had any issues.

(Note: I don't have any scientific evidence and can't find which forum I've read this before but I believe using SD Formatter software to inialize your card will ensure you get the best performance on writing/reading the card)
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Duane Pandorf
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