Leica admits SanDisk SD card compatibility problem
Leica has confirmed that it has launched an investigation into reports of compatibility problems between its flagship M9 camera and SD memory cards, including those made by SanDisk.
Among the photographers to vent their frustration over recent months, via the internet, is Leica M9 user Gil Lavi who is based in the United States.
On his blog, last week, he wrote that a SanDisk Extreme Pro 8GB card ‘crashed and the camera became unresponsive’.
The photographer – who has since complained to Leica – added: ‘A few days after, I had a high-profile portrait photo shoot for an important client… I took the M9 and my beloved 90mm with me, together with a new SanDisk SD card, not before installing the newest firmware update.
‘It was a very long photo shoot with heavy production, a tight schedule and sweaty assistants.
‘It was just before the end of the shoot that the other new SanDisk Extreme SD card crashed inside the M9, making the camera dead and the card unreadable in any device.
‘With all the embarrassment, I had to shoot everything all over again with my backup equipment.’
In the end, Lavi decided to replace the camera, a digital rangefinder model, but said he continued to experience problems afterwards.
Two days ago, the photographer received a response to his complaint from Christian Erhardt, vice president of Marketing at Leica Camera Inc's Photographic Division.
Erhardt said Leica had learned of ‘others with the same issue’ which it was looking into.
Erhardt invited Lavi to ‘test drive a Leica S2, telling him that it ‘has not shown the problem due to a different architecture'.
A spokesman for Leica’s product management team told Amateur Photographer: ‘We have received a number of enquiries about SD card compatibility in the last weeks, in particular in relation to new SanDisk cards.
‘The issue is currently being analysed at Leica and SanDisk.
‘As soon as we have established the root cause and a solution, we will communicate it via our website.’
SanDisk had yet to respond to our request for comment at the time of writing.
Leica has launched a probe into reports that certain memory cards will not function properly with the M9 camera (picture for illustration purposes only).