Leica Issues Statement on M9/SDHC Card Compatibility

Several customers have noted data corruption, camera lock-ups and other issues with certain SDHC cards used in the M9 recently. After being made aware of the issues, Leica has issued a statement regarding "M9/SDHC card compatibility" providing details of the issues reported and updating customers on the status:

Leica Camera has recently become aware of customers experiencing compatibility issues related to select types of new memory cards when used in the Leica M9.

First of all, we would like to thank you all for the lively participation on our call for assistance to solve the SD-card issue with the M9. With this information, we would like to give you the latest information on the status:

The facts from today’s point of view are: - Customers report that the camera stops working if shooting serial exposures and view images while others are still in the camera buffer. - If the fault occured once, the probability that it happens again with the same SD-Card is very high. - Images can be lost in case of this malfunction and the card can be damaged/destroyed. - There are no indications that it is a firmware bug in the latest firmware 1.162, so there is no reason to update to an elderly firmware version. - The M9 is in general compatible with all SDHC cards, but most failure reports are related to San Disk SDHC cards. What Leica is doing: - Our dedicated technical teams are actively working on identifying the root cause and solving the problem. - SD-cards in question are being tested at Leica’s QA department intensively to find the root cause for the malfunction. - We are in contact with SanDisk and getting their full assistance. - We started a structured query in the Leica User Forum to get a better overview about the customer’s experience. - As soon as possible, we will communicate the issue's origin as well its solution.

Until the solution is found, what can be done if this malfunction occurs?

  • If possible, please use cards that worked well in the past, avoid reformatting them, neither in the camera, nor in a PC or Mac.
  • If you are forced to use new cards: Use them carefully: try to avoid browsing through the images on the screen while the red LED is blinking.
  • In case of malfunction, please stop using the card. If images are lost, they might me recoverable using a special software. Please contact Leica Customer Service for assistance, if needed.

As soon as we have news on this topic, we will let you know.

Leica Camera AG
Stefan Daniel, Director Product Management Photo
Jesko von Oeynhausen, Product Manager Leica M-System