Some Probably Silly M9 Questions
Old 12-08-2017   #1
adamjbonn
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Some Probably Silly M9 Questions

Hi all,

Some Probably Silly M9 Questions.

Searching is all well and good, but so much info... easier to ask and accept any ire that might generate

All questions relate to the M9

SD Cards

Doesn't want to talk to my Sandisk 32gb UHS-I 95 mps cards. Occasionally manages a couple of shots, then gives 'no card' error msg

Works fine with my Sandisk 16gb UHS-i 95 mb/s cards and (surprisingly) my Sandisk 16gb UHS-ii 280 mb/s cards

Is 32gb just not a supported thing with the M9

Just curious - 16gb is plenty

But my old spec cards are long gone, and I've had to make do with the modern stuff kicking around my camera draw!

In-Camera SD Card Formatting

Full format takes a very, very long time.

Normal?

Necessary?

Can I just do a quick format?

If I format on a PC, should I use exFAT or FAT32?

There's a ton of stuff on the 'net about exFAT, but much of it seems aimed at the M240


Strap Lugs

I notice these have no internal bushes (hardened inserts) - the early Fuji X cameras also had no bushes, and wore out very quickly

Is this a likely occurrence with the M9?

Creating some lug bushes shouldn't be beyond my engineering capacity... Worth doing? Anyone sell any?

I want to use triangular* strap clips - Bad idea? Stick to round split rings? (I'm not using the nylon Leica strap)

(*specifically ones from a Pentax K1000, which was my Dad's camera, yes silly emotive stuff)


ISO

Far better than I was lead to believe (I had very low expectations )

I've not been taking the camera over ISO 640 under exposing if the SS is too slow by raising SS <2 stops, then pushing <2 stops in post and using NR to taste.

This is quite clean most of the time...

Am I on the correct path with this MO or is there a better way?

Screen Protector

Is this needed? LCD cover is Sapphire. I know of sapphire from watch crystals (hard to scratch, easy to shatter!) Do other M9P users use a screen protector

Thanks in advance

I'm rather green to the nuances of digital Leica ownership

I think that's all my questions.... I bet I think of another the moment I hit 'post'
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Old 12-08-2017   #2
rfaspen
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OK, I'll go first:

I too have a 32GB SD card (don't know its particulars, but current and modern). It works fine in my M9. Your issues are probably some other parameter gone wonky?

Some people swear you must format your SD card in the camera. I say bs. I have always formatted my cards in/on the computer with no issues at all. A complete format will take a long time...for a 32GB card, it can take at least 10 times longer than a quick format, possibly much longer. So, I don't think you're experiencing anything weird. I tend to quick format my cards.

For M9, the file system type should be FAT32. Standard for quite a while now.

I'm not sure what you're talking about with strap lug bushings. All I know is none of my Leica strap lugs have yet to wear out. But (BUT) I tend to attach my straps with a nylon loop system. If you've ever seen the OP/Tech straps and the way they attach to the strap lug, you'll know what I have. The little nylon loop attachment terminates in a QR buckle and my strap attaches to that. Its just my system, and others would probably hate it. But, I can switch straps among my cameras in seconds, and I can remove straps from cameras to store more compactly in bags, etc. And, the nylon loop system does not scratch and mar my cameras. Only negative about my system is the unlikely, but possible release of a QR buckle while the camera is being used. I've never had it happen in, um, a lot of years.

My M9 can give good images above ISO 640. All depends on the lighting, and the subject, and my "vision". If you're a longtime film user, the ISO performance of the M9 is a non-issue. If you're coming from a recent capable DSLR or other digital system, you'll be very aware of the ISO "limitation" of the M9. This is life.

If you have the M9P with sapphire screen cover, and you're not a hard user of your camera (think wartime photojournalist), you don't need a cover. My M8 had the sapphire cover and never showed a scratch, even though I used the camera in reasonable situations where it could happen.

The M9 is a great camera in my opinion. It has its detractors, but perhaps those folks haven't actually used one?

Enjoy your camera! Once mine comes back from the camera hospital (sensor replacement) I plan to enjoy mine too.
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Old 12-08-2017   #3
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M9 is no sapphire, M9P is.

I have 64 GB card from M8 to M-E now. Works and stable. Initially, I had smaller card which I purchased same day with new M-E in 2016 and it was acting up. The store I purchased memory card from has business (registered) name - "film is dead".

ISO. It all depends what is your previous background is and on your own limits. I'm Kodak Gold 400 developed in Walmart guy and ISO 12800 as long as exposure meter is in the middle guy. I never use NR, because it is ruining the image. I use M-E at ISO2500 for full screen files and 8x10 prints. Nobody told me what here is something wrong with it on the screen and on the prints. But those are not from photo gear forums.

ISO2500.

So, now you know what is low expectations
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Old 12-08-2017   #4
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I can tell you about my SD card experience. I had a number of issues with my M9P when I used different cards. I formatted the card , Sandisk 32gb, in the camera and after that it started working. If I ever inserted a different SD card, it would immediately give me the same error that you've seen. After an in-camera format, it'd start working. So, I had 2 cards that were dedicated solely to my M9P and had no troubles from there on.

As far as screen protectors go, well, I would say put one on. When you get your first scratch you're going to wish that you had put on one, even though the image reviewing is complete garbage on the M9. I only ever looked to see if my composition was good and if the lighting was workable. A screen protector is a very small price to guard your camera.
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Old 12-08-2017   #5
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Interesting experience Talus. I wonder why your M9 insisted on a camera-formatted card? But, if the solution works....there it is. The OP may want to take note.

I should also say that with all the counterfeit memory cards floating around these days, you could be having a problem that's simply due to a poorly constructed card. A real possibility now.

As for screen protector. I'd be curious to hear from M9P (not M9) owners who have scratched their screens. My M8.2 never showed a scratch and I happen to know I subjected it to a number of scratch-inducing situations. I'm just curious if I got lucky or if the sapphire screen really does work. One thing I know, a screen protector adds to the thickness of the camera. It may not bother most users, but I noticed it and didn't appreciate it. My M9 is now protector-less. And because it is a standard M9, I suppose its vulnerable.

In defense of the screen protector on M9: It did get me used to the extra thickness, so the M240 didn't feel too alien when I picked it up.
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Old 12-08-2017   #6
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I would say no screen protector is fine. Have had mine for many years without one and no issues after a lot of travel etc.

I don't use a strap so can't comment on lugs.

I use a max exposure of 640 and adjust in Lightroom after for shots at night. Works well for me. I don't care for the look of files shot at higher ISO. I read something about this (probably here) where someone had done a bunch of experimentation with this and determined that exposing at 640 and pushing in lightroom produced better looking files than using higher ISO and I've gone with that and it seems to work.

I got the M9 (used) when I started shooting color more than black and white. While I like grain in black and white film, I don't like noise in color digital. It may be fine for web resoltuion but I always think I want to possibility of printing big at some point in the future.
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Old 12-08-2017   #7
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Concerning the strap lugs.

Buy an original Leica strap - the kind they used to sell with late model film M cameras (and may still do). The strap is made of ultra strong woven nylon (or some other synthetic), has a non slip shoulder pad in the middle and has its own metal doo-dads on the ends that unlock and are placed into the strap lugs on the camera. These strap ends have no sharp edges (unlike split rings) so will not mar the camera lugs and they will never come undone accidentally. Mind you you will need your engineering skills to work out how to use the strap - its like none other I have ever seen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzuwkR4jvK4
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Old 12-08-2017   #8
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Thanks very much, I didn’t think expect so much help so quickly.

I’ll reply to each of you in a moment when I’m not on an ipad!
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Old 12-08-2017   #9
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Inserts are sometimes used if lugs are brass, I think the M9 lugs are stainless steel.

Joe
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Old 12-08-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfaspen View Post
OK, I'll go first:

I too have a 32GB SD card (don't know its particulars, but current and modern). It works fine in my M9. Your issues are probably some other parameter gone wonky?

Some people swear you must format your SD card in the camera. I say b*****t. I have always formatted my cards in/on the computer with no issues at all. A complete format will take a long time...for a 32GB card, it can take at least 10 times longer than a quick format, possibly much longer. So, I don't think you're experiencing anything weird. I tend to quick format my cards.

For M9, the file system type should be FAT32. Standard for quite a while now.

I'm not sure what you're talking about with strap lug bushings. All I know is none of my Leica strap lugs have yet to wear out. But (BUT) I tend to attach my straps with a nylon loop system. If you've ever seen the OP/Tech straps and the way they attach to the strap lug, you'll know what I have. The little nylon loop attachment terminates in a QR buckle and my strap attaches to that. Its just my system, and others would probably hate it. But, I can switch straps among my cameras in seconds, and I can remove straps from cameras to store more compactly in bags, etc. And, the nylon loop system does not scratch and mar my cameras. Only negative about my system is the unlikely, but possible release of a QR buckle while the camera is being used. I've never had it happen in, um, a lot of years.

My M9 can give good images above ISO 640. All depends on the lighting, and the subject, and my "vision". If you're a longtime film user, the ISO performance of the M9 is a non-issue. If you're coming from a recent capable DSLR or other digital system, you'll be very aware of the ISO "limitation" of the M9. This is life.

If you have the M9P with sapphire screen cover, and you're not a hard user of your camera (think wartime photojournalist), you don't need a cover. My M8 had the sapphire cover and never showed a scratch, even though I used the camera in reasonable situations where it could happen.

The M9 is a great camera in my opinion. It has its detractors, but perhaps those folks haven't actually used one?

Enjoy your camera! Once mine comes back from the camera hospital (sensor replacement) I plan to enjoy mine too.
strap lugs wear when the material used in the strap rings is harder than the material used in the lugs (or possibly the same hardness)

I know exactly the type of strap attachment you're referring to, and nylon shouldn't wear out steel

I've shot a lot of film back in the day... but it was a while back and I tended to buy film based on what I wanted to shoot with it, 100/400 or 3200 T-Max

I do own modern cameras (the m9 is actually a way of getting back to my basics) and FWIW, and I'm not sure if I'm going to explain this very well... with a modern 5 figure ISO invariant sensor camera I find I'm compelled to use the digital push, light up the room but with the M9 as long as the subject is lit ok I think everything looks grand!

Based on your and subsequent posts I does seem like it should work with a 32 gb card

I'm not too worried about scratching the LCD... but if I manage to shatter it I think I might be glad of a protector to hold all the bits in place...

Sapphire crystal is a funny thing.... the Rolex DSSD for example... you could strap it on a deep sea sub and take it too the Titanic.... but lord help you if you drop it from head height onto a concrete floor and it lands at a funny angle!
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Old 12-08-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
M9 is no sapphire, M9P is.

I have 64 GB card from M8 to M-E now. Works and stable. Initially, I had smaller card which I purchased same day with new M-E in 2016 and it was acting up. The store I purchased memory card from has business (registered) name - "film is dead".

ISO. It all depends what is your previous background is and on your own limits. I'm Kodak Gold 400 developed in Walmart guy and ISO 12800 as long as exposure meter is in the middle guy. I never use NR, because it is ruining the image. I use M-E at ISO2500 for full screen files and 8x10 prints. Nobody told me what here is something wrong with it on the screen and on the prints. But those are not from photo gear forums.

ISO2500.

So, now you know what is low expectations
I have a 9p so it's sapphire

That's a clean image alright but also a well lit one... high ISO with a light saturated sensor tends to give good results (often better than a lower ISO, clipped signal and pushed in post. I might even be tempted to swap the word 'often' for always)

Really is starting to sound like it should work with a 32 gb card...
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Old 12-08-2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talus View Post
I can tell you about my SD card experience. I had a number of issues with my M9P when I used different cards. I formatted the card , Sandisk 32gb, in the camera and after that it started working. If I ever inserted a different SD card, it would immediately give me the same error that you've seen. After an in-camera format, it'd start working. So, I had 2 cards that were dedicated solely to my M9P and had no troubles from there on.

As far as screen protectors go, well, I would say put one on. When you get your first scratch you're going to wish that you had put on one, even though the image reviewing is complete garbage on the M9. I only ever looked to see if my composition was good and if the lighting was workable. A screen protector is a very small price to guard your camera.
I suspect you're right, worse case I fit a screen protector is that I never need it, worse case if I don't fit one and do need it is far worse
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Old 12-08-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly View Post
I would say no screen protector is fine. Have had mine for many years without one and no issues after a lot of travel etc.

I don't use a strap so can't comment on lugs.

I use a max exposure of 640 and adjust in Lightroom after for shots at night. Works well for me. I don't care for the look of files shot at higher ISO. I read something about this (probably here) where someone had done a bunch of experimentation with this and determined that exposing at 640 and pushing in lightroom produced better looking files than using higher ISO and I've gone with that and it seems to work.

I got the M9 (used) when I started shooting color more than black and white. While I like grain in black and white film, I don't like noise in color digital. It may be fine for web resoltuion but I always think I want to possibility of printing big at some point in the future.
I suspect that 640 is about where pre-ADC brightening stops and digital amplification starts....

My embryonic usage suggests that 640 and LR works well. But It's early days, and not the sort of stuff I want to be doing with a camera I've wanted for a very long time and only just got
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Old 12-08-2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Concerning the strap lugs.

Buy an original Leica strap - the kind they used to sell with late model film M cameras (and may still do). The strap is made of ultra strong woven nylon (or some other synthetic), has a non slip shoulder pad in the middle and has its own metal doo-dads on the ends that unlock and are placed into the strap lugs on the camera. These strap ends have no sharp edges (unlike split rings) so will not mar the camera lugs and they will never come undone accidentally. Mind you you will need your engineering skills to work out how to use the strap - its like none other I have ever seen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzuwkR4jvK4
I have that strap, it came in the box with the camera.

The lug fitting is genius - Leica must have a patent on that or else everyone would be doing it

I dislike nylon straps and their tendency to twist

Usually with split rings I use some electrical heat shrink to cover where the ring opens... doesn't look pretty but works well
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Old 12-08-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jszokoli View Post
Inserts are sometimes used if lugs are brass, I think the M9 lugs are stainless steel.

Joe
I suspect you're right, the problem is that spring steel wears out stainless
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Old 12-08-2017   #16
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Certainly seems I need to give the 32 card a go...

On the one hand, 16 is enough and works fine

On the other, I've recently turned on SOOC jpeg because the SOOC BW jpegs ain't half bad and for another I tend to do a post import/pre LR image cull using faststone and the embedded image in DNG only is truly woefully tiny
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Old 12-08-2017   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjbonn View Post
I have that strap, it came in the box with the camera.

The lug fitting is genius - Leica must have a patent on that or else everyone would be doing it

I dislike nylon straps and their tendency to twist

Usually with split rings I use some electrical heat shrink to cover where the ring opens... doesn't look pretty but works well
I don't particularly recall this one twisting - and the grippy shoulder thing is perfect. So you may find it to be OK if used. I presently have a leather strap on my M8 but this is purely an ego trip because it perfectly matches the leather half case on the camera. For functionality I prefer the nylon one.
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Old 12-08-2017   #18
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Triangle rings should be fine, I used some Nikon ones on an MP3 that had brass lugs, it worked well there.
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Old 12-08-2017   #19
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I see nothing to worry about at ISO 1250. Higher is often OK; if there are significant shadows they may reveal noise at ISO much above 1250, but if I want the shot I will still take it.
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Old 12-08-2017   #20
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SD Cards:

Just format, don't overwrite. Not necessary and takes a long time as you've discoverd.

This camera can lock up and no more pictures are possible unless you are carrying another formattted card. Ideally, format the cards in the camera. If formatting out of camera format FAT32. If the camera locks up take out the card and the battery. Wait. Reinsert. You might be back in business.

I had trouble early, as did others, with SanDisk Extreme 8GB. I don't use SanDisk in my CCD Leica digitals. Even with other cards I have had photographs lost, where a few will be taken, and even be reviewable, but then are lost from the card. This has happened with my CCD Monochrom, once.

I now use mostly Lexar Cards but no bigger than 16GB and Panasonic has been good too.

Strap Lugs:

No problem on the CCD Leicas. The next model they tended to fall off in some early copies. (Leica QC)

M9P Screen:

Needs no protection.

ISO

I have been following the program you must have read about, using ISO 640 as maximum and adjusting exposure in Lightroom. High ISO isn't really what it claims to be.

It's a great camera, as is the original Monochrom, and I have no plan to upgrade.
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Old 12-08-2017   #21
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I like the original Monochrom leather strap. Great around the wrist. No wear on the camera with the plastic bumpers in place.
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Old 12-08-2017   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjbonn View Post
Hi all,
Doesn't want to talk to my Sandisk 32gb UHS-I 95 mps cards. Occasionally manages a couple of shots, then gives 'no card' error msg


In-Camera SD Card Formatting

Full format takes a very, very long time.

Normal?

Necessary?

Can I just do a quick format?

If I format on a PC, should I use exFAT or FAT32?

Strap Lugs

I notice these have no internal bushes (hardened inserts) - the early Fuji X cameras also had no bushes, and wore out very quickly

Is this a likely occurrence with the M9?

ISO

I've not been taking the camera over ISO 640 under exposing if the SS is too slow by raising SS <2 stops, then pushing <2 stops in post and using NR to taste.

Screen Protector

Is this needed? LCD cover is Sapphire. I know of sapphire from watch crystals (hard to scratch, easy to shatter!) Do other M9P users use a screen protector
1. I use a Sandisk Ultra 32GB card in my M9 and it works fine. Not quite sure why your's has an issue.

2. Overwrite formatting in-camera takes forever and is normal. Quick format is fine and overwrite is unnecessary.

Instead of formatting with the default computer function, download a program called SDFormatter. This helps ensure the SD card works properly as formatting with the default computer function can mess with the drive structure. I have rescued what I thought were slow or bad cards by doing complete overwrite formats with SDFormatter.

3. The strap lugs will not die. I've had the stock Leica strap on mine for years and they show no wear at all. There was an earlier issue of strap lugs falling straight off, though!
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Old 12-09-2017   #23
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Thanks everyone

I found a different (but same current modern spec) sandisk 32 card and the camera has yet to complain about it (i just formatted in camera)

I also found a couple of really old 8 gb ones (a Sandisk 20 mb/s and a transcend) from 2008 vintage in a place where I hadn’t looked for a while (plus a load of other stuff I forgot i had ) which can be spares

I’ll keep an eye on my lugs and I’ll keep my low light stuff at 640

I’ve more modern cameras if I need to shoot in low light and this wasn’t why I got the m9
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Old 12-11-2017   #24
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SD Cards, every now and again you get one that is awkward; working in one camera and not in another (even the same make of camera and the correct type of card).

I keep the odd ones in those small plastic boxes with a label "Don't use in XXX" and keep my fingers crossed.

BTW, the bigger the card the more pictures you lose when it fails...

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Old 12-11-2017   #25
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Quote:
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SD Cards, every now and again you get one that is awkward; working in one camera and not in another (even the same make of camera and the correct type of card).

I keep the odd ones in those small plastic boxes with a label "Don't use in XXX" and keep my fingers crossed.

BTW, the bigger the card the more pictures you lose when it fails...

Regards, David
Thanks David

Touch wood itís been ok with the current 32 card... the 32 cards it didnít like seem happy enough in my Fujis, so as you say ďnote to self: donít mix and matchĒ

Fairly sure that potential data loss is directly related to the amount of data one has to lose rather than the amount of stotage! But i see what you mean. Donít worry I treat sd cards like supermarket shopping in the boot of a car, itís a temporary and necessary place for it to reside between being picked up in the shop and transferred into the pantry - sure that tin of beans could stay in the boot for weeks, but better that it gets into its proper place asap
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Old 01-03-2018   #26
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Ok, my next silly m9 question!

Iíve read that

The M9 shows the RAW histogram, rather than the JPEG histogram.

And that if you shoot DNG and JPEG it will first of all show the JPEG histogram then update and show the DNG one.

Is there a setting to enable this?

If I shoot DNG only I get a RGB histogram (which could be the embedded jpeg for all I know)

If I shoot DNG + Mono Jpeg I get a colour free histogram. No amount of waiting changes that!

Iím referring to image review via the playback button, NOT having the camera set to auto display the last captured image after the shutter is released, which I know can be set to show the histogram

Thanks in advance
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Adam
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