My M9 shows only half of the images. Is the sensor dead?

Discussion in 'Leica M Camera Forum' started by raid, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    On our last travel day, and after working fine, just after changing a memory card, and it failing, and then after I inserted another card (maybe coincidence), the M9 shows only the left half of each image taken afterwards. The right half of each image is black. I read that the sensor is made up of two halves that work together, so maybe one half is gone.

    I tried the basics in changing the card; removing the battery; using jpg in place of dng; nothing seems to be working. If a pampered M9 is so unreliable, then something is wrong with the M9.
    I am not happy at all at this development. This is an expensive camera after all.

    Is my only option to contact Leica?


    Raid
     
  2. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I think sending it back to Leica is the only option. It sounds like something in the electronics board failed- this is the downside of the Digital age. It used to take 4 flight-racks of equipment to do much less than what the M9 does, all of those electronics get densely packed- and when things go wrong, it's board level replacement.

    Hard to know if the failing electronics board scrambled the memory card, or of there was a short in the card that somehow fed-back into the camera. I've seen Disk Drives fail in a desktop computer in such a fashion that they KILLED (BLEW-OUT) the power supply of a second computer that I tried to use to recover data. So Two Dead Computers with blown power supplies, and a lost disk of data. At least it did not cause a fire.

    You might want to include the memory card in the package with the camera, and a note explaining the sequence of events.
     
  3. carlb

    carlb Leica Place Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    780
    May 1, 2013
    Ugh. It may be as simple as reseating cable connectors and such though. If it's not covered under warranty, it might be worth a look for service guides/videos.
     
  4. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    I am not ready to spend a large sum of money on an unreliable digital camera.
     
  5. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Leica has been fixing a number of cameras that are out-of-warranty as if they still were. I've read a number of owners with cameras out of warranty having sensors replace and other problems fixed at no charge. Send it in for a quote, the alternative is to sell it for cheap for someone else to repair. I would not try a DIY repair on a modern digital camera, they are just too jam-packed.
     
  6. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    710
    Aug 19, 2013
    Leica NJ can be very forgiving sometimes. Send it in, I think their diag fee is not too bad.
     
  7. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    It's a long-shot, but I've seen firmware get corrupt from things like bad memory.

    I would try reloading the firmware before sending into Leica, as a "Last Ditch effort". JUST in case the bad SD card caused a hiccup that corrupted the firmware in the camera.

    You never know, cannot make it worse. Although I did have two computers catch on fire from software that I wrote. That probably will not happen, and would not cost anywhere near what the computers cost.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Thanks all.
    I will try out what Brian has recommended.

    Raid
     
  9. Kookie B.

    Kookie B. Leica Place Regular

    40
    Dec 26, 2013
    A silly question: Does the M9 have a reset to factory default option, like a reformat of the system?

    Good luck, and please keep us informed.

    Ed B.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    It has a "reset", but is only for settings that a user makes for shooting, etc. It does not have a "backup" firmware that it can roll back to.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    The reset button did not do anything for my M9, as Brian has said.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    710
    Aug 19, 2013
    Any update on this? Did a reflash of firmware fix the problem? Just wondering.
     
  13. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    I will try this out tomorrow. I need the weekend to have the time to do this correctly.
     
  14. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    710
    Aug 19, 2013
    Keeping fingers cross for you. good luck
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. carlb

    carlb Leica Place Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    780
    May 1, 2013
    I'm hoping, Raid.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    I followed Brian's tips and I downloaded another copy of the firmware, but the M9 still only shows half the screen. Thank you for the guidance, Brian. I understand that it was a long shot.
    The M9 will be sent to NJ next.

    Raid
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. VINCETAN

    VINCETAN Leica Place Top Veteran

    710
    Aug 19, 2013
    It wasn't long ago when a half frame M4 can cost over $10K. I wonder if that holds true with a digital M :)

    Hope NJ can do fix this without breaking the bank.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    I have insurance that covers the M9. Hopefully, it applies to such a repair.
     
    • Like Like x 2