Shooting with the Leica M9-P

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Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH @ f/8
Abandoned Church, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota (Eric Becker)

Scott Everett and Eric Becker

Seattle-based documentary and commercial director Eric Becker, recently joined dpreview's own Scott Everett on a weeklong trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, where they are working together on a short film. Filming entirely with Canon DSLRs and lenses, they brought along the Leica M9-P as a 'change of pace' camera for shooting stills to document their experience. Eric and Scott, both Canon shooters, share their thoughts on what it was like to photograph with the M9-P.

Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/1.4
Nightime portrait in the Manderson neighborhood, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota (Eric Becker)
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/1.4
A BBQ in the Manderson neighborhood at dusk, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota (Eric Becker

Eric Becker

The M9-P is beautiful because it's simple. There's an elegance to having it dangling from your shoulder. If I had to chose one camera to bounce across Europe with this would be it. And not just because it would make me look more sophisticated than I am. Extended time in Europe means I would be on vacation. Two things I would not want with me are my iphone or a video-capable DSLR. As a director, my working hours are spent with those devices in constant use. And that's why I love the M9-P; it's pure. Clients can't email me on it, I can't use it to update my facebook page, and it does not shoot 1080p24. It's 'just' a camera, and a remarkably well-handling one at that. Yes, the screen is terrible for reviewing photos. Its menu interface is cryptic. The shutter makes this loud, drawn out noise. It can't shoot faster than 2fps. It's hard (for me) to focus. These are the reasons that I am completely in love with it.

It's almost as if...you have to think about the photo you are making. I've shot some of the best photos of my life using it for the simple reason that it allows me to enter a type of shooting where I'm forced to pay attention. In a world where we're so distracted by images, where apps like Instagram are starting to define an era of ubiquitous social photography, I believe it is more important than ever to be able to enter a thoughtful, introspective space when composing images. That's what the M9-P allows me to do.

Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/4
The interior of a house in Manderson, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota (Eric Becker)

Scott Everett

My experience with the camera mirrored Eric's to a large degree. The M9-P's elegance stems in large part from its simplicity. No bells and whistles. No distractions. And this had a discernible effect on my shooting.

Typically, if I have access to a 'fast' lens I can't resist shooting wide open a lot of the time, which of course leads to an excessively narrow depth of field and ultimately a bunch of shots lost due to slightly missed focus. Yet, when shooting with a lens like the Summilux-M 50mm/1.4, and using the rangefinder patch on the M9-P, I actually increased my ratio of keepers to rejects. How? Using a rangefinder to manually focus is a slower process, which forces me to take a little more time to frame my shots, and identify more specifically the area where I want to place focus; a generally more thoughful, contemplative process. Then there's the fact that, even wide open, the Summilux is ridiculously sharp. With the M9-P I take fewer photos than I would with my DSLR, but come away with a higher ratio of in-focus and extremely sharp results. 

Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/1.7
Vintage truck, Packwood, WA (Scott Everett)
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/4
Rolling hills just outside of the Badlands, South Dakota (Scott Everett)
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/11
Alder Lake, Washington (Scott Everett

Of course, a competent autofocus system can produce the same hit rate, but the Leica M9-P simply provides a different type of shooting experience; one that forces me to consider options before pressing the shutter button. Don't get me wrong, I love my Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Paired with a 50/1.4 or 35/1.4 it's more than enough camera for most of my needs. But for certain types of shooting, if I had the option to take an M9-P instead, I probably would. 

Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/1.4
Eric Becker caight mid air (Scott Everett)
Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.7 ASPH @ f/1.7
Portrait of a metalworker (Scott Everett)

Over the years I've read and participated in many forum arguments about the limitations of a rangefinder, the cost of a Leica, or the 'look' of its M-series lenses. There's no getting around the fact that even if you don't require autofocus, versatile metering options and other advantages of a modern DSLR, a Leica M9-P/Summilux combo, at $12,000 is a purchase that is difficult to rationalize. But each time I look through the images I've taken on the M9-P, and remember the shooting experiences I've had with it, I keep wanting to reach for it, and go shooting again. 

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Comments

Total comments: 647
1234
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Aug 18, 2012)

i think people that say that a leica m slows them down, should use SLRs ^^

1 upvote
SDS102
By SDS102 (Sep 8, 2012)

DSLRs are so bulky and obvious, if you desire to be so unsubtle with it, that's fine but you can't really blend into the background in order to catch your 'decisive moment' can you? The big cameras with even bigger lenses are great for action/news. It might slow you down but with manual focus more consideration is required of the image capturer!

0 upvotes
km25
By km25 (Aug 10, 2012)

Is it really true, can I believe me eyes. Now is that 35mm F1.4 I or II ? I own the one without floating rear element the "I". I was lead to believe that it was not able stay in focus. That one is unale to record images with it. My God, you can. Maybe now I'll start using it. Your photos where all great. A fine camera the right hands gives us fine images like yours. If one wants to go full Leica, try flim.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Aug 18, 2012)

bad daydream? ..

0 upvotes
Fogsville
By Fogsville (Aug 7, 2012)

PhotoKahn,

Several years ago I had a Leica Red Dot tattoo inked in the middle of my forehead.

I suppose I'll have to check a copy of Popular Mechanics and see if that makes me a Type I or a Type II user.

btw, I have no personal interest in photography myself. It's too tedious. I'd rather be playing badminton.

0 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Aug 6, 2012)

Fogsville, are you hunting me around? …do you Leica guys keep track of every single post/comment about the “red dot…(are you a type II user?).

So, now, it’s, “Popular Mechanics” psychology AND “People Magazine” social studies, is it....?!...What’s next, “The Inquirer” physics?

I don’t’ now about “rich” vs “poor”, at least in what pertains to photographic equipment. You see, I am more interested in photography, itself.

Type I Leica users like Sebastião Salgado, at a “stratospheric” level and, at a lower artistic but still incredibly engaging level, Mardag in that “leica” thread, are a tribute to both the equipment and photography, as a narrative art.

Tyoe II users, parroting ad nauseum some of Leica’s marketing most ludicrous claims, consistently outputting mediocre photos and so, so, SO keen on the leather cases are just sad.

(contnued)

0 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Aug 6, 2012)

(continued)

As for the sourcing of their cameras, you are right: It is not different than Japanese companies outsourcing their own cameras manufacturing.

…but, the thing is, you don’t hear many DSLR users trumpeting around how they have a “Japanese” camera whereas many Leica Type II users make a point of stating like buffoons how their M8/M9 cameras are superior because they’re “German” without a clue about the fact that they’re actually manufactured in Portugal and only go to Germany to have the exterior body case installed, in order to ensure the minimum percentage where they can still be legally stamped as “Made in Germany”.

Sad AND funny, this one…

PK

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Fogsville
By Fogsville (Aug 6, 2012)

PhotoKhan,
I'm guessing that the Japanese are also quite proud of their camera companies too, despite that much of the product is assembled in Thailand and China. Yes, Leica has had a factory in Portugal for the past 30 years but that doesn't mean the Germans can't be proud of the company and its long history (which included protecting its Jewish employees from the 3rd Reich during WWII by transferring them to the sales offices in the US, the UK, France, and Hong Kong.)

But what I find fascinating is the symbolism that Leica (or "Ferrari" or "Rolex" etc.) takes on in daily conversation. It's really nothing more than the usual "class warfare" dialogue that has been going on since the dawn of time, due to the 'rich' flaunting their wealth in the face of the 'poor' and the 'poor' feeling insecure when it comes to the 'rich' and their wealth. But this is nothing new. It simply reveals itself when the word "Leica" (or any other expensive commodity) appears, and indeed "speaks volumes."

0 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Aug 5, 2012)

Picturenaut (...great nick : ) )

"Rich Asians love Leica and that's great"...the fact that you congratulate yourself with that instead of "Asian concept-rich photographers love Leica" speaks volumes about what the Leica world is all about.

...by the way it is understandable your care and regional (and, I presume, also patriotic) proud regrading Leica. But do you know where the M9 is practically fully-assembled?

PK

0 upvotes
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (Aug 1, 2012)

Wonderful pictures! A Leica is a dream, in particular if one still loves manual camera work. I live in the German state Hesse, where Leica is located and I observed with great relieve that this legendary company has recovered from its economical troubles. Rich Asians love Leica, and that's great.

This story drives me to touch a general thing. I shoot with Canon gear, and overall I love my 5D3 + good Canon/Zeiss glass much. But such a bulky really attracts too much attention by the people if you shoot in the street. So, I often abandon photography and draw people with my sketchbook because that's not so intimidating. I love drawing, but in those situations I really miss a Leica.

And there is another thing. In recent DSLRs I miss, too, the split screen viewfinder of old school film SLRs that supports manual focusing. Its a real loss of photographic culture, and its logic that EVIL cameras will kill DLSRs. Maybe once I'll change to Leica, if Canon does not come up with a rangefinder.

1 upvote
SDS102
By SDS102 (Sep 4, 2012)

Having rekindled my love for Leica Ms, I don't feel I'll move up to a 5D3 from a 5D2. DSLRs are so bulky, and obvious, M cameras aren't. Just need to carry a fully charged spare battery.

0 upvotes
jedinstvo
By jedinstvo (Jul 2, 2012)

I got booted off the Leica USA forum for saying the purpose of a Leica is to hang around your neck when you accept an award for some photos you shot with your EOS. The Leica lovers went bonkers and I was hounded off their sacred ground. But it's true. Leicas are for fetishists. A guy who drives a Ferrari, wears a Rolex, and hunts duck with a Purdy needs a Leica to document his lifestyle.

5 upvotes
Fogsville
By Fogsville (Jul 30, 2012)

There is no such thing as the "Leica USA forum." In addition, the majority of serious Leica users (including those who started out with film Leicas decades ago) aren't thin-skinned. They certainly understand the pros and cons of rangefinder cameras.

Nonetheless, if I came into your house and immediately said your furniture and interior design was pompous and tasteless, I would expect you to be on the defensive. And so what do you expect when you make those sorts of implications to others in their home? And what's the point of such antagonism to other human beings in the first place?

btw, Ferraris are pretty amazing performance cars. I'd take one......

5 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (Sep 4, 2012)

the problem with the internet is that the ignorant are not restricted

0 upvotes
diable
By diable (Feb 17, 2013)

Let me get this straight, you dissed Lecia and its users on a Lecia forum and your amazed they ran you off, lol? Lecia hate has made you insane. Whats wrong with owning a Lecia, Ferrari or a Purdy?

0 upvotes
keepreal
By keepreal (Jun 30, 2012)

I would gladly replace my Nikon D300 and three zoom lenses for a M9-P with the 21mm, 35mm and a 90mm if I could afford it but I cannot.

Nevertheless I had a look at an M series Leica sometime in the 1960s. Even the first time I tried it, to focus just one turn of the focusing ring was sufficient to get the rangefinder images to coincide with no doubts about hitting the right spot, such is the precision. And here, of course, I am only talking of the viewfinder! What an absolute joy to use.

Nonetheless, I do find amusing the suggestion that a Leica makes you think about each shot carefully. For there is nothing to stop you doing that with any camera. I came home from a three week trip to the South Western USA with only about 100 shots plus extras for exposure bracketing on my D300. Most were a success and many were a great success.

Even if like me, you cannot afford a Leica, there is nothing to stop you shooting with the kind of care as if you did have one. I always have done.

2 upvotes
Fellowpedestrian
By Fellowpedestrian (Jul 10, 2012)

Absolutely! I have an M2 and love it, but I still think about my shots if I shoot the Nikons. It really is a pain in the butt to go through 1000s of useless images.

1 upvote
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Aug 18, 2012)

exactly thats the point, its a pain in the ass. and therfor the only reason that makes you shoot thousands of pictures are if youre unsecure about you or your equippment.
i also use nikon and also shoot as less as possible.
even when every photo is a keeper, i hate it haveing two good photos. i just have to delete all but the few excellent ones hehe

same about lenses, there are guys that allways take their four nicest primes out, some that use zooms, and some like me that want all photos having the same look, therefor using only one specific prime per job/day/vecation.

iam currently thinking about investing in a leica m9p both for beeing the nearest in quality feel and simplicity to my lovely nikon fe2, and as an access to the leica lenses.

for me the only real down side of this system is that the body is too thick and its not officially weathersealed, and get rid of the monitor, cant believe they didnt doo it with the monochrom either

0 upvotes
ardenpress
By ardenpress (May 22, 2012)

One of the advantages of the Leica m9 is the more intimate relatonship with the scene. I Also own a NEX7. It takes wonderful pictures--color, sharpness, but most of that based on the lenses I use, Leica and Zeiss. But the Sony n 7 proves to me that the most new cameras are turning into computers with various "modes". Is that what photogrpahy is becoming, cameras for techies? The involvement with the scene becomes less important as a ratio of the experience. So Leica may be old fashioned and slow manual evereything, except telling the camera what lens you are using. But performing so mnay internal adjustments--very unfilm or unLeica like!! For those who scorn the Leica camera users I would only ask them to use Leica and Zeiss lenses before they continue their criticism of what they do not know. And please, no guilt trips for owning Leica 9 or D3X for that matter. Get a Nex 5n or 7, get an adapter and a Zeiss 21mm and see for yourself. It's not just the body that matters.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
shubham13blake
By shubham13blake (May 23, 2012)

arden hi ... I am looking for a camera and Leica is certainly out of range being a beginner , as you own a nex 7 would u suggest a nex5 or an entry level dslr of the same range? I am upgrading from a nikon point and shoot so need some advice

1 upvote
Wildbegonia
By Wildbegonia (Jun 16, 2012)

My intro to digital cameras was with a P&S Sony CyberShot DSC-W30 which I used to nickname "Mickey Mouse camera", because of its many limitations. I was a monkey with a camera at the time, but this camera has a Karl Zeiss lens and needless to say, I got pretty neat/razor sharp/colour calibrated images, without mentioning great macro shots that I do not get with my new camera, by far more expensive, bigger name brand camera. The heart of the camera is the lens, dear friends.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
RDMPhotos
By RDMPhotos (Jul 2, 2012)

ardenpress, i like your comment, however my only beef with Leica cameras is that it is priced completely out of reach for the average to slightly above average person. So when an M9 and 4 new lenses cost as much as a new car or the down payment on a house, its very difficult for me to fulfill any suggestion to try one. I sincerely would love to try one. Leicas are the kinda of camera a long time enthusiast and photography student like myself dreams of, but I have never had the fortune to even hold any Leica camera ever made, let alone be able to try the new M9. Can I borrow yours for a day or two?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
SBoudreault
By SBoudreault (Aug 5, 2012)

RDMPhotos, you can buy a car for less than 1000$ and put the difference on a Leica. 10 years from now, it will have about the same value. Try that with a brand new 20K Chevy !
Best Regards

0 upvotes
RDMPhotos
By RDMPhotos (Oct 8, 2012)

O I know that is true and I would do that if I did have the rest. But alas I cant even afford to pay for a new car all at once and the bank doesn't give out loans for a Leica. I know because I asked once, :)

Take care and
God Bless,

Comment edited 60 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
All hearing North Mountain
By All hearing North Mountain (May 16, 2012)

These debates about (...) camera is better than (...) camera looks quite pointless for me. Professionaly I can only comment from the artistic side of a photography and I can say that you can make brilliant photos with any camera, you can even make your own camera if you really want. If person decides that this or other camera/lens combo works for him, that`s ok. Can`t blame company for making production that finds its way to the customer. Can`t blame the customer for buying something he or she wants, and has money for. It`s not that you have to buy every new product, or you are forced to buy by brutal sales agents or something. Each has its individual taste, requirements and wishes regarding photography. If you want to force your opinion on others and fight over it that means you are not quite sure or happy with your opinion. It means you really want to prove to yourself that you stand correct by defeating others. Every camera is good for it`s purpose. I can make art with any of them.

7 upvotes
Valen xCypo
By Valen xCypo (May 28, 2012)

I share you opinion on the matter. Photography is about making photos and you can do that with a camera obscura if you wish so. The resulting photos are no less photos that the ones taken with the latest DSLR.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Aug 18, 2012)

art wise you have to see a camera as a tool, and you for sure can use a cheap pencil and ink to make good drawings if your capable of drawing. but others prefer different tools. i for example prefer 0.18 rotring rapidographs, pen wise they are hefty priced with 30€ but still i dont feel like a snob because using a 30€ pen for drawing. and the same apears to cameras. people waste so much money on different stuff, why not on a camera that fits your ideas of how a camera has to look and feel.

honestly it will take me months of saving, but i will do it. i wouldnt do it for an m8 but a digital ff leica m? definitly
and when i have it i will hide the exifs in my flickr account so that no one can judge the photos based on the idea that a snob took them ;)

and i will tape all leica logos, and even then the 0,01% that still recognize it as a leica will tell me how technically awefull a leica is compared to their canons and nikons they buy every two years hehe

0 upvotes
Marty CL
By Marty CL (May 12, 2012)

I own two vintage Leica rangefinders and one of their compact digital cameras---and it is easy to be captivated by the mystique. But owning a contemporary Leica is like owning a Rolex watch--both are beautifully made anachronisms (I own one of those too). Unless you are a professional photographer who must use a rangefinder for low light and/or interior shooting where silence is a premium---it is near impossible to justify the expense.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 12, 2012)

How would an M9 be good for lowlight? Even with a Noctilux?

Use a Samsung NX200 or Sony Nex 5N with a manual focus F1.4 lens, both of those cameras are much better at high ISO than the M9. And the Samsung is a lot quieter too.

5 upvotes
olddog99
By olddog99 (May 17, 2012)

Up to a point you're sorta of right in theory .. Except I've had exceptional results with the M9-P and a Nokton 50mm f/1.1 ans sum micron 35mm 1.4. It isn't newest etc etc, but it cooks fine and I find myself shooting it at consistently lower ISO not because I have but becuz I can. It's okay on the higher ISO but eliminating sensor filter lends detail hard to match. There is an undefinable image quality I won't bore with ...becuz it's not practical to knock about with. I've owned, used and collected Leicas to absurdity, apart from 9 I own m6' a couple of older m's, and a dozen LTMs. For most things it's a 5d Mk3 which I find outstanding in low light -manual F if needed. But the x100 and canon s100 are also exceptional in their own way and quiet for low light.. I'm stunned at HDRs at ISO 12800 with the 5d3. I wouldn't disagree on the Sammy or nex. And Nikons.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 17, 2012)

olddogg99--

Yes, but unlike the Nikon D3s and D4, the M9 can not shoot nearly noise free at ISO10,000.

And of course F/1.0 lenses have DOF problems, and yes I used to own a Nocti.

I am well aware of the Leica lenses' "undefinable" image quality, and I don't dispute that the filterless M9 is sharp, it just doesn't break the ISO1000 barrier. And it's shutter is way too loud.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Aug 18, 2012)

oh yes you CAN justify the expense.

the question is allways: why not?

dont have the money? ok
i think it strongly depends if you have a family for example and/or whats your income.

but normally, you dont have to justify for buying a tool^^

same with the rolex.

its a different story if you allready own five of them.

but my camera history so far goes
1988-2004 nikon fe2
2004-2008 sony r1
2008-now D700

and 2013-my death it will be leica m9p and my d700of course that i will rebuy used over and over again hehe

and i wont justify that to anyone including myself, because i know what iam doing :)

also if nikon would bring out a leica sized fullframe with the same design idea like the leica Ms i would buy that. i just want a small fullframe camera thats as near to a mechanical film camera as possible, if it would be me, they could cancel the monitor and i would pay 800€ extra

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Captyves
By Captyves (Dec 5, 2012)

I agree with you for the removal of the monitor, but I already paid can$ 7.800 and do not fancy to pay an extra $ 1.000
It is a beautiful tool and for now I can only afford to use Voightlander lenses 50,35,75 a quarter of the price for I have been told the same quality.....Incidentaly I do not miss the red dot

0 upvotes
Faintandfuzzy
By Faintandfuzzy (May 12, 2012)

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that 95%+ of the moaners in these comments have a) Never even held a Leica, and b) Never even used a rangefinder from any company, and c) If they ever won the lottery, would go and buy one because they've secretly wanted one for years.

9 upvotes
Lupti
By Lupti (May 14, 2012)

Nope...
a) Yes, why should I?
b) Why should I?
c) If I won the lottery I would rather buy an D800E and some of the best Nikkors available. Ok, or why bother with this, I would get medium format equipment to be consequent...lol.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 14, 2012)

Lupti:

The best Nikkors available can't touch Leica and Zeiss lenses for colour.

Now if you want autofocus speed, and/or only want to post to the web, use those Nikons the lottery buys you.

2 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Aug 18, 2012)

@lupti
a) you dont have to, just if you post stuff about leica cameras
b) you dont have to, just if you post stuff about leica cameras
c) and what do you buy when you dont want to take your dslr+superzoom with you? or what do you buy when you find out that its not size or function, but the idea behind every single photo you take. or when you get better and better so you dont have to rely on electronic gimmics anymore ? ;)

0 upvotes
adelinalee
By adelinalee (May 12, 2012)

nice reviews... i'm like this one

0 upvotes
Geodesiq
By Geodesiq (May 10, 2012)

Where is the double blind study showing the increadibleness, wonderfullness and unbelievable superiority of the Leica vs. THE WORLD?

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 13, 2012)

Well, one would have to be pretty blind (pun intended, thanks) not to see the difference between a Leica M lens and a so called "prime" Nikon.

Zeiss, even Japanese, made is much harder and sort of comes down to taste.

(Don't cite what you can see on a monitor screen, look at actual prints--printed say 300 dpi onto good inkjet photopaper/flim, or better--from raw files shot with Leicas, Zeisses, and Nikons.)

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Lupti
By Lupti (May 14, 2012)

There isn´t one, because when saying images are from a Leica they appear to be sharper and with better colour than others by maaaagic.

0 upvotes
Viramati
By Viramati (May 10, 2012)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcPqXKH69j4

2 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 11, 2012)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcPqXKH69j4

That's just SUPER review! It actually tells you in a sec everything that we have been debating here for days.

0 upvotes
lxstorm
By lxstorm (May 10, 2012)

SLR/DSLR is a superior instrument optically it let you see what you are shooting that is a very important addendum for a person who do care about image outcome :) " 'tunnel-vision' of an SLR" just a bloody Leica M marketing nothing more.

Second SLR/DSLR lenses could deliver same/better IQ even in case of film media and for digital capture DSLR concept works better due to angle of incidence issue in case of silicon.

Third leaf shutter lenses do render image differently that is true but Leica M lenses are not.

Fourth only camera with movements let you shoot wide open on various occasions Leica has no movements.

Fifth knowledgeable photographer can survive handling tripod or Broncolor powerpack and 99% of occasions that would blow Leica M out of the water.

For most shooters M body just a compact seriously overpriced status travel camera with an obtrusive outdated viewfinder/focusing mechanism that is true. Leca M lenses deliver spectacular IQ being used wide open that is true too.

6 upvotes
LadyGaGa
By LadyGaGa (May 12, 2012)

What a load.

2 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Aug 18, 2012)

what are you talking about ^^

tunnel version describes the fact, that with an slr you can see max 100% in the viewfinder, with a leica m, depending on the used focal length its A LOT more than that, didnt you know what that means? ^^

who told you that leica uses leaf shutters, and why on earth would you think that a leaf shutter renders images differently, that just means that the shutter is built in the lens and functions like the aperture, therefor its called leaf, because of the aperture blades.

what you mean by movements? i have no idea

its not only the knowledgable photographer that uses powerpacks and tripods, but the one that loves to carry it around or the one that has an assistant hehe

the last one is just your personal opinion, and you call it "most shooters" hehe i will tell you something: "most shooters" dont even know what a leica is.

and YOU should not get so offended by a product :) that shows everyone how much you like to consume, if products can offend you :)

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SDS102
By SDS102 (May 9, 2012)

Owning various cameras, mostly DSLRs, using currently an M8 and getting used to having to manually focus again, and realising that auto-focus doesn't make you a better photographer. Rangefinder cameras do give you that extra bit of time to be an unobtrusive part of the scene. I rather like the idea of a quiet M 9-P, these cameras have a nice solid feel. Starting at University, I only had one lens, 50mm. It's not really what type of equipment you have, it's more what you do with what you have. It's my luddite tendencies showing, of course I'd rather not go back to a box Brownie, have to keep up with the technologies, don't want to become too obsolete just yet.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 9, 2012)

Look, M9 came out almost three years ago. At that time, it was certainly the best compact system by a wide margin. Lenses weren't quite as expensive then too, especially used. And if you already had some stock of M lenses around, it was a high price, but it's certainly the body that puts those, often amazing, lenses to best use. The whole system is well-matched and the image quality is amazing more often than not. It doesn't do *everything*, but what it does, it does superbly. And there wasn't anything that could compete with it then in a compact pro-level system space.

It is true that in the last year the compact high quality segment has finally gotten a lot more crowded. For new buyers there are a lot of options -- X-Pro1 is a viable alternative system. Also OM-D and NEX-7. Cool, and long overdue. Lets see what Leica has to show tomorrow and at photokina.

1 upvote
Viramati
By Viramati (May 9, 2012)

well said

0 upvotes
Priaptor
By Priaptor (May 9, 2012)

Yes and no.

I have tried the X-Pro1 and NEX-7 with my 50 Summilux. The NEX-7 is an excellent camera and if I was looking for a low cost alternative to carry around with me, that would be it. I was less enthused with the X-Pro1.

However, with either, I found myself saying neither represented a better or more fun alternative to my M9. So I choose not to buy either as a "low cost" alternative.

Those of us who own Leica cameras don't look for the next new "advance" to find an excuse to "trade up", like so many in the Nikon and Canon arena. Sometimes "better" doesn't always mean "better" and I think nothing points this out better than the DPR review of the D800. Under certain circumstances it clearly outperforms the 700, but is it better??? Depends.

Regardless of what they show tomorrow, while I will be interested I won't be running to put my name on waiting list, licking my chops like those who ran out and put a deposit on the D800 as soon as it was announced.

0 upvotes
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 9, 2012)

In fairness, I recall that the waiting lists for M9s were in place for the better part of the first year..

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 9, 2012)

@Priaptor. What did you mean: "Sometimes 'better' doesn't always mean 'better' and I think nothing points this out better than the DPR review of the D800. Under certain circumstances it clearly outperforms the 700, but is it better?"

Let me answer to you: It surely ain't worse :)

DYNAMIC RANGE

D800 has freaking 14,4 evs of dynamic range, better than any other camera you can buy. You don't care?

RESOLUTION

D800 has the best resolution of all 'full frame' cameras. You don't care?

COLOR DEPTH

In Color depth D800 is the third, only after Phase One IQ180 Digital Back and Phase One P65 Plus. That doesn't mean anything to you, that I am sure of.

HIGH ISO

But what do you say about the High Iso ? D800, the third of all digital cameras, just barely after D4 and D3s.

But of course all this doesn't mean anything to you because it is just impossible to shoot "deliberately" with a 100% viewfinder and the best optics you can find.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Uaru
By Uaru (May 9, 2012)

@Priaptor: What did you not like about X-Pro 1?
I am considering to buy it, for its own merits, and opinions, especially negative ones I find valuable.

0 upvotes
Priaptor
By Priaptor (May 9, 2012)

Well Rage, I guess you just bought a D800, a camera that DPR, just didn't find better in real world use than what it replaced.

Too bad. I love you guys chasing the newest and greatest.

Sometimes over-technology is not the best technology, especially for it's intended purposes-but what do you know, you are a pixel counter and the tech sheet is all that counts to you.

Keep spending those bucks trying to keep up with the next "great" trend.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 9, 2012)

Hey, but I after all it is all about the image you get. In the early days of this digital revolution in photography I really got enough of those blown out highlights and bad shadow detail. Some scenes were just impossible to shoot.

Dynamic range is something you don't get back later, what is blown away remains blown away, no info is no info. So that is really radical progress in IQ when you get rid of that. And that has nothing to do with pixel counting, and you know that too, since it's not just one or two times when you too have had those blown away highlights and no shadow detail and you still have them! :))))

0 upvotes
Priaptor
By Priaptor (May 9, 2012)

Uaru,

I was not using the camera as a stand alone, but with a Leica lens. Same with the NEX-7. The X-Pro is excellent and can't say much bad about it. I found the user interface a little cumbersome, the NEX easier to just pick up but where the NEX really beat out the X-Pro was ease in manual focus.

Either would be a great purchase. I like them both. BUT, I have to say, I was kind of shocked how good the NEX-7 was and that would be my first choice. Novoflex adapters with some amazing glass makes the NEX-7 a pretty compelling purchase.

Just my take.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
1 upvote
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 9, 2012)

Dynamic range is already pretty good these days. I guess one can always do better there, but I don't find the dynamic range of M9 particularly lacking as is.

0 upvotes
australopithecus
By australopithecus (May 10, 2012)

@Rage Joe

D800 : Do you really want to lug this thing around ?

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 10, 2012)

"M9-P Edition Hermès. The camera is coated in ocre-colored calfskin leather and features a matching shoulder strap."

No gold and snakeskin this time.

1 upvote
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 11, 2012)

Yeah, a Hermes edition made the whole thing junk :)

0 upvotes
john
By john (May 9, 2012)

people always make a mistake, they think that a expensive camera like lecia m9 is investment and will last for the life time, it's true for film camera, but if it build with electricity, even the most expensive camera you can only expect it to work within 3-5 years, even lecia is no exception under the hood it is make by panansonic.

after 3 years with all the warrenty expired, the price to maintain a super expensive camera is super expensive, for example, a fail shutter or some dead pixel will cost so much $$$, even you need to sell your house or your car to get it fixed.

I speak from my expersince, i owned the world class kodak 760, the price was nearly the same as the m9, so i know what will happen after warrenty

2 upvotes
Viramati
By Viramati (May 9, 2012)

I would appeal for calm on all sides!!!

2 upvotes
maxnoy
By maxnoy (May 9, 2012)

I am not sure that most people think that a new digital body will maintain its resale value over a few years. The quality of the images out of the M9 is quite terrific now and if the tradeoffs work for you, it should be plenty "good enough" for quite a while. In that sense, it will certainly maintain its value to you.

M8/M9 and X1 aren't made by Panasonic, by the way. You are thinking of the p&s that are shared between those brands.

As far as being out of warranty costs, I dropped an M8 on a concrete floor two years ago and had to replace the shutter out of warranty, I think it was ~400 usd. A decent amount to be sure, but not outrageous.

0 upvotes
olddog99
By olddog99 (May 17, 2012)

You're right. I don't "work" with cameras, now, but I enjoy them. I collect film cameras, but otherwise I assume I'll beat the digitals to death, whoever made them . I bought an m9-P because I could and had a good year for a retiree.. My primary camera is 5d3 whi replaced the earlier 5ds. I have what I need, but the Leica is for pleasure taking me back 50 years. I have a couple of modern Leitz lenses but my favorite is the CV Nokton 50 1.1 which is a wonderr for the money. I use it my vintage film m's and at some point I'll try my old ltm classics on the M9P. It will probably last as long as me, probably not as long as treasured Nikon F that will be running in another 50 years. Enjoy what you can.

1 upvote
Artak Hambarian
By Artak Hambarian (May 9, 2012)

For me its a bit funny the price of Leica - my first camera has been Zorki 4k - a Soviet copy of Leica, but perhaps with not as high quality lenses. I remember very well, that my mother bought it for me when I was just 14, also because it was the most reasonable pricewise - just 40 rubles in contrast to around 100 rubles for a single lens reflex Zenit. Well Zorki (and Leica) is small, somewhat immediately faster: I liked it, but have been dreaming of an SLR all the time. From my point of view 90% of the current attraction to Leica is the proper marketing, and the high price is just the important part of it. I am sure it shuld cost less then a DSLR but then I would really like to buy it.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 9, 2012)

Really you know what the production costs of a hand assembled M9 should be? (Assuming of course that the workers and suppliers are to be paid enough to live on.)

1 upvote
Artak Hambarian
By Artak Hambarian (May 9, 2012)

Yes, very well. Let's look at it this way. Imagine Nikon or Canon making something similar to Leica. It may have the following characteristics:

a. be very similar, and overall better then M9-P body.

b. lens would be perhaps somewhat of lesser quality, but substantially lesser expensive.

c. overall camera with a lens could have been below $1000, but overall probably be more worthy for a huge number of people than M9-P, at least for those who are looking for that TYPE of camera.
You should not doubt that a really very similar camera Leica can make even for around $1000.

Certainly this dips into a conversation similar to that of in regards High-End audio. Clearly all depends on how much money one is ready to pay for a pair of speakers - and that could be more than $100K! Higher you go, lesser you add for substantially more money!

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
JeffS7444
By JeffS7444 (May 9, 2012)

If someone were to ask me for suggestions for a small camera capable of very high quality results, I might recommend Sony's NEX-5N plus a 30mm Sigma lens. It looks and handles nothing like the M9, but what does the viewer care, so long as the photo is good?

Although Leica has never been cheap, the price increases since 2006 or thereabouts for both for new and secondhand gear have been breathtaking, and my old excuses ("Yes it's expensive, but I'll keep it for years, so it will actually make sense in the long run") now seem kind of silly. They want $3K+ for a new 35/2 aspherical lens, yet aspherical lens elements are dirt-common these days, and about as expensive: Your average phone probably incorporates them, ditto ED glass.

Right now, I think Leica's real target audience is the new money in China, and I can't compete with that. But we've seen these bubbles before: Once upon a time it seemed the Japanese market was bottomless, until suddenly, it wasn't.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 9, 2012)

But that $1800 Nikon 85mm doesn't come close to a Leica 75mm (or Zeiss) for colour.

Are you one of those people who thinks that a Hoya or Tiffen filter equals one from B+W?

A Sigma 30mm? Are joking? It's not as if Sigma is some terrible lens maker or the Nex 5N is a bad camera. But Sigma lenses don't equal Leicas--even Japanese made Leica lenses on Panasonics.

1 upvote
JeffS7444
By JeffS7444 (May 9, 2012)

Actually, these folks think Hoya's better-grade filters are more than a match for B+W:

http://www.lenstip.com/113.4-article-UV_filters_test_Description_of_the_results_and_summary.html

As for Leica M9 vs Sony NEX-5N:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/737|0/(brand)/Sony/(appareil2)/640|0/(brand2)/Leica

Hmmm.

It's not just YOUR ox being gored: I own a Leica M9 myself, along with Sony NEX-5, 7 and yes, the aforementioned 30mm Sigma DN lens.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 9, 2012)

JeffS7444:

Hmmmmmmmmmm, citing a a dxo "score" is not going to convince me and nor should it convince anyone.

What Leica M lenses are you using on your M9?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JeffS7444
By JeffS7444 (May 10, 2012)

Not saying you can't get terrific results from the Kodak CCD as used in the M9, but it's dynamic range is what it is and not ideal for shooting car taillights and traffic signals at dusk ;-)

Lenses used on the M9 include: 15 Heliar, 28/2.8 Elmarit-M Asph, 35/2 Summicron IV, 50/1 Noctilux, 50/1.4 Summilux pre-asph, 50/2.8 Elmar-M, 75/1.4 Summilux. 50 and 75 'Luxes were borrowed, the rest are/were my own. Why do you ask?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 10, 2012)

JeffS7444:

Okay, for how many weeks/months did you use those borrowed luxes?

0 upvotes
JeffS7444
By JeffS7444 (May 10, 2012)

If you have a point to make, please make it already, instead of playing Twenty Questions.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 10, 2012)

JeffS7444:

Um, no I think you've made it.

0 upvotes
Five Piece
By Five Piece (May 9, 2012)

Lots of well considered opinions here. Just want to say looking at xtoph's gallery that the M9 looks imminently suitable for the style of street photography xtoph clearly enjoys. Being small and discreet, while maintaining high quality potential has serious advantages in a camera in crowded places. I can sneek a good shot now and again wandering around, but when my full sized DSLR with some monster lens and clanky mirror is noticed, it is game over. I employ an X10 often now for this sort of situation, but of course the image is not in the same league, and forget about being picky about focus.

1 upvote
Geodesiq
By Geodesiq (May 8, 2012)

Leica is an overpriced, underfeatured status camera for insecure photographers more interested in their image than the image. Certainly Leica images are top notch but no more so than other top brands at 1/5-1/3 the cost with 10x the features. Instead of acknowledging and properly correcting a major design flaw in the M8 (inadequate IR filter) they issued lens filters! Appalling! What if you want to use some obscure older lens? The M8 is an $8k boat anchor (well, now it's about $2k) unless of course you enjoy purple blacks and moire. With a quieter shutter, fully articulating LCD, 25MP, IBIS, the Sony a77 beats the M9 as a street camera hands down at 1/5 the price and is much more versatile.

5 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 9, 2012)

"under featured" lenses, not.

1 upvote
danaceb
By danaceb (May 9, 2012)

Everything you said mirrors back right at all the technobabble you hate the M9 for not having. Last I checked street photography did not need a single one of those, and certainly didn't need the paparazzi perv appearance of a SLR with decently quick(aka massive tubes) glass.

2 upvotes
WFletcher
By WFletcher (May 8, 2012)

My mentor, many years ago, referred to the Leica as "Gentlemen's Jewelery". I think this probably still holds - the cost is higher than the benefit.
In the pre-digital age an M2 or M3 would carry on working indefinitely. With the obsolescence of digital no camera can be regarded as an"investment".

4 upvotes
Priaptor
By Priaptor (May 8, 2012)

Well it sounds like your "mentor" wasn't too smart. One of the problems in this world is we have too many "mentors".

2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 8, 2012)

actually that is a pretty apt description of a leica. and photography right now is to full of people that didnt learn from anyone and think they are experts. photography needs more mentors

4 upvotes
danaceb
By danaceb (May 9, 2012)

@Kodachrome200
certainly needs less loudmouthed haters like you. One quick glance at your posting history shows all one needs to know about what you care about in photography. At least I'm defending something I love, not attacking someone else's tool of choice.

2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 9, 2012)

well i am new to dpreview. and this is the first artitcle i was intrested in. i am also not enough of a gearhead to go on an on euipment for the most part

2 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (May 8, 2012)

just a drop in the ocean...

as a leica user, i do understand the skepticism surrounding the m cameras. there are aspects of them which are very frustrating, as has been hashed over ad nauseum in the leica forum here and elsewhere. yes, we wish it had a better lcd and displayed critical focus; yes, we wish the buffer cleared with a bit more alacrity. the list goes on.

but, the m9 is still (more than 2 years after introduction) the smallest ff camera available by far; easily exceeds the output of nearly any current camera at base iso (i've tested the d4 against it, haven't yet gotten my mitts on a d800, which will probably surpass it); and, what is really the only factor that matters, the only digital rangefinder available new.

not everyone has to prefer or even like using a rf, but it is a unique way of shooting which offers unique strengths. it is *not* slower than shooting a dslr (exept for frame rate). it offers more control, and it rewards skill. it's good to have the option.

13 upvotes
Viramati
By Viramati (May 8, 2012)

Well and correctly said

2 upvotes
rikyxxx
By rikyxxx (May 8, 2012)

I couldn't agree more.

2 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (May 8, 2012)

Yes, and each and every posted photo for this "demonstration" purpose, you don't have any in-focus eye: from my point of view, as a photographer, they had to go to the trash.

If the best photos are out-of-focus, I wonder how are the one that they discraded at first, and how you could actually work with M9-P, wether it's your job or for pleasure!

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 8, 2012)

Well first of all i think given a poll the majority of photographers would consider a through the lens viewfinder as offering "more control". The problem i have with this is that it doesnt make sense to buy a 12,000 dollar camera for these reasons. I also just dont agree that it has anything like the IQ of the D4. If you enjoy leicas and ranefinders it makes far more sense to get an xpro1 or a film leica.

12,000 to get a camera and a lens. that is just about enough to get a ford fusion. If you have the money and you want it then more power to you. But dont frame this as a logical purchase. 12,000 could buy you 2 top tier cameras a selection of glass, a computer to post process with and some good lighting gear

5 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (May 8, 2012)

@iapx: none of the people from the dpr article above shoot with a rangefinder full time (or even part time), as near as can be deduced from their comments. using an m camera takes skill and practice. unlike an uberkamera of, say, the d4 persuasion, the camera is exactly as good as you are; no better, and no worse, either. it takes relatively little time with a d4 to get to the point where the limiting factor is the camera, and your only hope of improving on those limits is if nikon comes out with a new model. with an m camera, you are in complete control, and as you improve, so does the camera's capabilities.

if you want to see in-focus rf photos, feel free to view mine (though frankly i am more interested in subject, moment, and composition than absolute sharpness) either here on dpr or e.g. here:
http://phloiterer.tumblr.com/

please don't read into this any criticism of the d4 or for that matter any other camera; a camera's limits are not the same as the measure of a photograph.

4 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (May 8, 2012)

@kodachrome2000:
an slr-style vf doesn't offer more control, it it just an aid to visualizing the effects of the camera on the scene. (not a very good one at that.) an actual rf--which the xpro1 is not, btw--assumes you are skilled enough to understand how your camera sees, and concentrates on letting you see a clear and true view of the actual scene, which no other type of camera does. rather than altering the scene and making you try to imagine what reality looked like, it shows you reality and trusts you to imagine what you want your camera to do to it. that enhances control. and no, a film leica doesn't 'make more sense' than an m9; i use one too, but i shoot enough that the m9 began saving me money (on film and dev) in under a year, to say nothing of the quality advantages.

i agree that it is a whole lotta money for a camera. it is still cheaper than film, and the only way to shoot a classic rf digitally. that, plus size to quality ratio, makes it eminently rational for some.

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 9, 2012)

people dont use slrs because they are less skilled. god the thing i can stand the least from you leicophiles is your pompous certainty that you are better photographers than everyone else. Also how dare you say an slr viewfinder is a poor way to visualize the effects of the camera on the scene. Let me tell you as a professional photographer with ten years experince there is no finer way to visualize the scene than looking directly through that lens. Leicas have the same viewfinder for every lens, and leicophiles would have us take seriously the idea that this offer the same level of control and connection to the image that an SLR viewfinder does.

nonsense

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (May 9, 2012)

@kodachrome200

read it again--i did not say nor imply that 'slr users are less skilled'.

"also, how dare i"? well, first off, you misunderstand the word 'visualize,' evidently mistaking it for a synonym of 'see'. never mind; slr vfs *do not* give you very good control over what you are seeing through them. in general, they present the scene as it would appear with dof at ~f/4. sure, you could stop down manually to see the real dof at, say, f/8 if you wanted to (or you can just visualize it...), but that's impractical. if otoh you are shooting wide, there is *no way* the reflex vf can show you the true appearance of the photo--it can't display wider than the equivalent aperture of the fresnel lenses in the focusing screen (usually about f/4, sometimes a bit wider). so, want to see in the vf how your lens looks shooting at f/2? sorry, you can't. and this all assumes you are using a flagship camera--otherwise you're stuck with only 95% of the scene, seen through a tiny tunnel.

2 upvotes
john
By john (May 9, 2012)

it is not hard to get sharp in focus result with lecia, the secret is stop down the aperture smaller than f16, I know this because back in the film day, in a wedding event, I saw the wedding pro, he use m6 with f16 for all his shots, he hardly need to adjust his focus ring

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 9, 2012)

notwithstanding john brilliant advice from the worst professional photographer of all time is it worth pointing out that you cant see any dof through a rangefinder. there is still no beeter way to see what your camera see than to look straight through that lens. look there is a reason the slr caught on and it isnt that the rest of us are idiots

2 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (May 10, 2012)

@ john

that's silly.

@ kodachrome200

as i explained, unless you only shoot your dslr at f/4, no, your vf does *not* let you see the dof of the photo.

look, you obviously aren't interested in understanding why someone might make a different choice than you, so this may be pointless. you are right--the rf does not show any dof; it shows you the scene as your eye sees it, something other cameras don't. an m camera lets you look straight at reality and lets you be the medium to visualize how you want to photograph it; an slr forces you to look at a flat focusing screen about a virtual meter from your nose, showing a poor approximation of how the /camera/ will see the scene (and in the process hiding reality in oof swaths and outside the framelines).

the rf system works better for me, and some of the best photographers ever. others of the best photographers in the world prefer slrs. i don't think nachtwey is stupid for using an slr; why do you insist that i am for using an m9?

2 upvotes
RBFresno
By RBFresno (May 8, 2012)

HI!

What I have a hard time understanding, is why Leica, which is obviously committed to the highest standards for the mechanical construction of their cameras and terrific lenses, doesn't match these with a sensor that competes with the best from those found in DSLR's, particularly with respect to high ISO performance. It can't be because some folks wouldn't pay for it. Most the time when I go into camera stores, many of the Leica lenses are out of stock and there are often waiting lists for the camera bodies.

The concept of the Leica system appeals to me. But even though I can afford it, my sense (or at least pretense!) of fiscal sanity holds me back.

3 upvotes
gartenzwerg
By gartenzwerg (May 8, 2012)

Hi

first of all CCD gives the better quality at low ISO (Medium Format Cameras therefore also have CCD´s and there High ISO Performance is also not that good).

Second because there is only a small gap between Sonsor and lens (therefore the lenses are so tiny) the angle of the rays is very high at the corners. Therefore Leica thought a long time the can´t even build a full frame digital with the M-Mount.
I have heard that these high angle rays are easier to catch with an CCD than with a CMOS..

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 43 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Priaptor
By Priaptor (May 8, 2012)

gart,

Agree, since when did CCD become obsolete and CMOS the reigning champ. I understand the cost/benefit of CCD v. CMOS

2 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (May 8, 2012)

The trouble is when you look at actual images from say a 7D and the M9 at base ISO there is little to no differnce in the quality. Without labels you wouldn't even be able to tell them apart.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 8, 2012)

First of all CCD does not give "the better quality at low ISO". The reason Leica and "the Medium Format Cameras therefore also have CCD´s" is the same reason they're used in a lot of industrial and scientific applications: the vendors who will sell in small quantities (and, sorry to burst your bubble, Leica and medium format only represent small quantities) are years behind and only have CCD. Look at the recent side-by-side comparisons between D800 and S2, and D800 and IQ180.

"I have heard that these high angle rays are easier to catch with an CCD than with a CMOS."

Are you sure you didn't just make that up? I've heard pretty much every bit of sensor related misinformation to make the rounds, and that one's new on me. Canon actually started using offset microlenses, the tech that lets a camera work better with rangefinder style lenses, on their CMOS cameras before Kodak put it on a CCD for Leica.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 9, 2012)

Josh152,

You have a couple of hundred M9 dngs, shot with Leica M lenses to look at? Oh wait....

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 9, 2012)

@Joe S W,

And Canon and Nikon are about 40 years behind Leica lens colour quality, and unlike Fuji + Samsung doing nothing to catch up to Leica.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 9, 2012)

all objective test of lens sharpness put canon and nikons top glass = or ahead of leicas

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 9, 2012)

@HowaboutRAW, you just go right ahead believing that.

People who know how to measure know it's bunk. Even the Leicaphiles know it in their hearts. Maybe the famed "Leica lens colour quality" is the reason most of the shots posted in Leica forums are converted to B&W first.

I've done enough double blind tests with Leicaphiles. For most lenses, it was basically a 50/50 split, as far as whether the Leica were correctly picked out. The lens that was most frequently guessed as Leica was a Nikon 105mm f2.5 Ai-S from around 1975.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 9, 2012)

Joseph S Wisniewski:

I can't help that your test subjects can't see colour real well.(Then of course there are the variables of lenses used and printing techniques.)

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (May 8, 2012)

People just don't know how wonderful it feels to handle, and fondle and use these exclusive Exakta cameras and how envious those who don't have them... Wait... wait...

This is not the Exakta forum?

Aaww shucks... Sorry, wrong forum! (exits embarrased)

Carry on then...

.

9 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (May 7, 2012)

Just have to add that on Scott pictures there fringe. More than a entry-level $450 SLR kit. ouch! (check Eric Becker in air).

Look at the Erick Becker's truck, and check the bokeh. It's just ugly.

Seriously, You'd better look at the pictures and ask yourself if it's worth $10K including lenses, compared to $1k or $2k SLR or even Fuji X-100!

2 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (May 8, 2012)

RE: bokeh, I've found its like beer, some like it smooth, some like it bitter. Perhaps some of the photos we've posted do not display the bokeh you prefer, but in general the 35mm and 50mm Summilux lenses are capable of and known for having very pleasing OOF transitions and rendering. But in the right hands, there are ways to maximise the results for sure. :)

And for the record, thats actually not Eric Becker's truck, although I'm sure he wishes it was.

3 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (May 8, 2012)

Agreed for the bokeh, it's a subjective matter and something that vary from lens to lens.

But seriously the fringe on Scott picture is incredible, especially given the price of the gear!

2 upvotes
Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (May 7, 2012)

Note to Kodachrome 200 and others who do not see the sense of what they believe is an obsolete camera.
When I use my M8u while traveling' the deliberate shooting method imposed by the manual rangefinder followed by re-composition before shooting results in fewer shots over all and many more "keepers".
So don't be so fast to knock a RF digital camera. They have their place even if that is not in your place. I'll continue to use my faithful M8 because I cannot spend $9000 on an M9 since I prefer to retain domestic tranquility in the household. But Leica RF cameras are a superior product built like a tank and guaranteed to be a precision picture taking instrument long after other and less well built cameras have gone to their Chinese junkyard for recycling. They truly last forever which should satisfy any owner except those who need to buy the latest thing on the market every 6 to 12 months. So, maybe in the long haul, those who spend the $9000 really come out ahead, money wise.

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

no way 9000 is more than i have spent on camera bodies since the inception of digital and i am a working pro D100, D200, D800 for a grand total of like $6700.

Look i get it. I have 4x5 camera i shoot cuz its a joy. but 10,000 for a camera that is a joy. this is for silly rich people

8 upvotes
Viramati
By Viramati (May 8, 2012)

It is not a camera for silly rich people. It is a precision working tool with some of the finest lenses in the world. Just it's size and Ff sensor make it worth the money. Anyway how much does a Nikon D4 cost. The leica M is a way of shooting and seeing the world that some people don't or will never get but then hey each to his own and just because some of us choose to shoot in a different way we shouldn't get slammed for it and be accused of being silly rich people.
As an aside if you wan't a safe place to invest your money buy leica lenses as I sold one the other day for 35% more than it cost me 3 years ago

4 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (May 8, 2012)

"So, maybe in the long haul, those who spend the $9000 really come out ahead, money wise." If investing money is the purpose of buying a Leica, getting an old film body would be wiser than getting a new digital one. Or buying real estate. If getting high quality photographs is the goal, the person who now buys a mediocre picture quality M9 at $9000 and keeps it for 10 years will in year 2022 be so far behind the person who upgrades his DSLR every 3 years at $3000 a pop that it is not even funny.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
AlexeyD
By AlexeyD (May 8, 2012)

> ...long after other and less well built cameras have gone to their Chinese junkyard for recycling.

When was the last time you had a pro grade not so expensive (comparing to Leica) SLR in your hands? Let me guess - probably never. A lot of them have build quality on par with Leica and are build to last.

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (May 8, 2012)

Sorry, Jim, but if you require a camera with flawed ergonomics to slow you down, then the problem isn't the more sophisticated cameras in the market, it's your lack of discipline.

Learn to slow yourself down, and you'll not only take better pictures with any camera, but you'll live a better life.

4 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (May 7, 2012)

Nice textes, by photographers that really likes the Leica M system.
Sadly, the out-of-focus photos (by a slight margin but enough to have me drop them), and UGLY jpeg make that a discours without foundations!

Maybe if they could take IN-FOCUS pictures, with beautiful jpeg, and go up to 800 ISO without having extreme noise present, it would have been interesting.

I like M series tools, but clearly at this point with such a resolution, we could see that their manual focus system doesn't work as expected (see the eyes!), or that Leica doesn't master JPEG generation.

The point is, with 18MP, focus is an incredible problem for M series Leica, that wasn't with low-res film (sorry I have to write it! Compare!). If they "improve" resolution, with 24MP or 36MP sony sensor, it will be worse, not anything better. I'd died for a 12MP D700-sony full-frame sensor on a M9: low noise, resolution adapted to the limit of the system!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Viramati
By Viramati (May 8, 2012)

there is no extreme noise at iso 800 and M9 shooters don't shoot jpegs and I can shoot in focus pictures whenever I want

0 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (May 8, 2012)

There is EXTREME noise at ISO 800, in fact on the example, the noise is in the same category as my old Fuji F10 at ISO 800, that is a compact camera from 2004 or 2003!

800 ISO noise on M9-P is worse than nosie on my Fuji X-100 at ISO 6400! It's extreme by today's standard!

Why don't they put a 6MP or 8MP full-frame sensor with a high dynamic range, low noise, and the ability to offer incredible IN-FOCUS pictures, instead going to the megapixel race?!?

1 upvote
foto2021
By foto2021 (May 9, 2012)

Take four people who have never shot with a rangefinder camera before, give them a Leica M9-P to shoot with and they get some out-of-focus results. Why be surprised? It takes skill and practice to get the best out of a rangefinder camera. Contrast that with a DSLR - any DSLR - where everything, including focusing, is done for you and no-one has to think about what they are doing. The Leica is a camera for an entirely different type of person.

0 upvotes
nathanleebush
By nathanleebush (May 7, 2012)

It's a commonly known (and exploited) psychological phenomenon that people who pay more for a product tend to be happier with their purchase than if they paid a fraction for the exact same product. The Psychology of Persuasion is just one book that comes to mind documenting this. People equate quality with price tag, which is why you have so many Leica self-deluders. I'll admit the build quality is nice and the camera feels great in the hands, but as a digital electronic device, it's laughable that you'd ask $8k for that thing.

I remember talking to a Hassy rep who was saying a large part of their clientele are just gazillionaires with too much money on their hands who just want "the best" to take their vacation pictures with. Nevermind that "the best" doesn't fit their needs at all. Hassy is happy to take their money off their hands, and so is Leica.

9 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (May 7, 2012)

I wouldn't call people who buy Leica self deluders because they know perfectly well they are not professional photographers. In fact, one of the reasons they can afford Leica is because they are doctors and lawyers. I worked for Leitz so I am not just speculating.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

Dear everyone who says something like i can take a good picture with my D700 with my eyes closed or a monkey could take a good picture with a d2x, or anyone can take a good picture with a modern dslr,

We have completely different definitions of what a good picture is.

Sincerely,
Trent

4 upvotes
Iamzing
By Iamzing (May 7, 2012)

Yes, We definitely have a different definitions of what a good pictures is. Which is ok. By the way I like your cartoon dog/fox dp. Like I say, the M9 is not for everyone. Just like ketchup & pickles is not for everyone when eating a burger. No one is wrong. People live once and choose to spend their $ the way they want.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

wait your actually defending the idea that good pictures can be taken that way? the point of this was show people who were saying that how ridiculous they are being.

guess it didnt work

the avatar is from housepets webcomic

2 upvotes
Iamzing
By Iamzing (May 7, 2012)

I'm saying people that always want super fast autofocus, and all the gadgets in a camera to take a good picture is missing the point. Plus I don't wanna argue with idiots, because they are better at what they're doing anyways. So I'm done. It's a nice day & I'm gonna go out to take some pictures with my M9, while you talk crap to a blank screen house pet. Have a good day!

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 8, 2012)

seriously why are you angry about the avatar.

i dont always want super fast autofocus but i got to say i rarly manualy focus anymore. Autfocus has wonderful accuracy especially if you have my vision

i never called you an idiot. why do you have to be insulting. i did call you ridiculous though but to be fare your being ridiculous

1 upvote
jkokich
By jkokich (May 7, 2012)

I look at the pictures and think, they simply are not better than those produced by cameras costing thousands less.

5 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 7, 2012)

So you have a couple of hundred M9 DNGs shot in many lighting situations with a few good M lenses.

Where can I get these DNGs without using an M9 and Leica M lens for say 48 hours?

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (May 8, 2012)

The DNG's aren't as important as the final results and if you look at final, processed images of which there are many all over the web, there is little to no quality differnce at base ISO between a DSLR and the M9. The real differnce comes at ISO 800+ Where the DSLR out preforms the M9 considerably.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 8, 2012)

Josh152:

No, most of these posted pics started out as jpegs, so one can't really tell much. You'd sort of have a point if DPReview had posted 20 jpegs that started out as DNGs, but even then it's best to do the processing yourself. When the end use is posting on the web it's hard to tell anything even with a reasonably big jpeg.

0 upvotes
foto2021
By foto2021 (May 9, 2012)

It would be surprising if the M9-P produced great images in the hands of four inexperienced users. Getting the best out of any rangefinder camera - from the cheapest Zorki or Fed to the expensive Leica M9-P - requires skills that need to be learned. Skills that the four inexperienced users patently did not have. All they proved was that, in the wrong hands, the Leica M9-P is capable of making some truly mediocre images.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

cut the price down to a third add autofocus, mirrorless live view, a decent LCD screen and get an up to date sensor. and then yeah this be a neat camera

6 upvotes
Prophotogo
By Prophotogo (May 7, 2012)

Yeah great idea! then will it be a Leica M camera? No silly, Live view on a Leica M? Ha ha...oh boy don't comment if you've never used an M camera, please!

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

I have i even owned an m3. I think a moment may come when you want to compose through the lens. and all the hardware being there yeah i think it should do it.

0 upvotes
Iamzing
By Iamzing (May 7, 2012)

Probably be a whole new lens lineup if it was autofocus (also more $$$). Plus you prob can just buy a Fuji X-pro 1/sony nex-7/m4/3rd with a M-mount adapter.

2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

but if the leica met all these features then it actually would be kinda cool. also those camera arent full frame

0 upvotes
Iamzing
By Iamzing (May 7, 2012)

Exactly, that is why the M9 is 8K. It's got no competitor in the digital full frame rangefinder area. If they produce more different brand of digital rangefinder, the price will prob go down. Look at the digital medium formats, only a few brands you can choose for, that is why they are $15k+. Same goes Bugatti veyron vs Honda civic.

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 7, 2012)

But having competitors or not, it's very hard to believe that Bugatti Veyron (Volkswagen) would be so old fashioned and technically obsolete that even the cheapest Nissans would be more advanced, don't you think? :)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Iamzing
By Iamzing (May 7, 2012)

Im saying they make more Honda civics, than Veyrons. Read!! Yes, yes the nissan Gt-R is king :P

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (May 8, 2012)

That Leica is like a Veyron with an old 1.6 liter diesel engine...

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 8, 2012)

"cut the price down to a third "

Then sales will actually go down, because it will not be a status symbol anymore.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 9, 2012)

Id kinda want one

0 upvotes
Theoria
By Theoria (May 7, 2012)

Saying that MF is somehow "slower" than AF is comparing apples and oranges. The typical situations where Leica shines are precisely those where catching the "decisive moment" is essential and prefocusing /zone focusing plus the manual occasional adjustments can achieve that brilliantly. As a (film)Leica SLR user, all I can say is that, even when refocusing is necessary, setting the focus point/recomposing etc takes much longer than a simple twist of the lens knob, which becomes instinctive after a short while. Try a DSLR and a Leica in a fast moving, busy street shooting situation and you will see the difference It is practically impossible to control where the camera focuses unless you set the focus point and that takes time. There must be a reasons why a lot of street and documentary photographers cling to their Leicas, and this is one of them. Sure, Leica won't make it big in the wedding photography world, but this is not the situation where the concept proved so invaluable.

7 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

I actually agree with this. i used to do this at weddings with a dslr and autofocus has no bigger advocate than me. zone focusing is a great technique. it also works splendidly on a dslr

5 upvotes
Theoria
By Theoria (May 7, 2012)

correction: please read Leica (RF) and SLR user not Leica SLR user

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

my point is zone focusing works fine with any slr. it is not a good reason to buy an 8000 dollar leica

1 upvote
Theoria
By Theoria (May 7, 2012)

I totally agree with you, kodachrome200. Prefocusing works the same on a SLR and RF. My last post was merely a erratum, as I have mistakenly ommited an "and".

0 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (May 7, 2012)

So it's just a matter of having distance printed on a lens?!? THere are so many Nikon and Canon lens (or compatible) with distance, that you could use a DSLR the same way!

It's a great way to do photography, to wait for the subject to come into the place you have selected and framed, just to wait for the "decisive instant". But it's not solely reserved to a Leica, you could to this with any DSLR or advanced compact camera!

But I think that Leica lenses are great for that, and the compactness of the Leica.

1 upvote
Theoria
By Theoria (May 7, 2012)

sure, you can use the same technique with a slr. My point is that MF RF are in no way inferior to any dslr (MF or AF) in terms of focusing in certain settings, like when doing street and documentary photography. But here there are other advantages that kick in, compared to SLRs - the ability to see beyond the framelines, to see with both eyes, unobtrusiveness, quietness, portability (the lenses are also much, much smaller) aso. These tilt the ballance, IMHO if you are doing street and doc.

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (May 8, 2012)

I complete disagree with this.
You know what, there is a AF/MF knob on all DSLRs...
With a flick of a switch to MF, your whole comment becomes pointless LOL

3 upvotes
nologo
By nologo (May 8, 2012)

I have yet to see any digital SLR that has a great manual focusing aid within the optical viewfinder. Live view is just not the same, and I've tried the replacement split prism focusing screens. None are as easy to use in low light as a leica's rangefinder patch.

0 upvotes
Boris
By Boris (May 8, 2012)

Try a m4/3 with a EVF is very good for MF. Much better than the crop cam OFV.

1 upvote
Rockster
By Rockster (May 7, 2012)

Excuse my bad English. I think with the many bad comments people have simply no idea (knowledge) of the M9. For years I had with Canon and Nikon cameras, especially (FF) worked. The results with the M9 is better than the other cameras. Image sharpness and unique look. I'm sorry to say this, but the reviews are due to poor image quality only ignorant of bad photographers. High insulation values ​​are obviously not a strength of the CCD sensor, but the better reproduction of detail at low ISO.

3 upvotes
Rockster
By Rockster (May 7, 2012)

Entschuldigt mein schlechtes Englisch. Ich glaube bei den vielen schlechten Kommentaren haben die Leute einfach keine Ahnung (Wissen) von der Leica M9. Ich habe jahrelang mit Canons und vor allem Nikon Kameras (FF) gearbeitet. Die Ergebnisse mit der M9 sind besser als von den anderen Kameras. Bildschärfe und Look sind einzigartig. Es tut mir leid das sagen zu müssen, aber die Kritiken wegen schlechter Bildqualität kommen nur von schlechten unwissenden Fotografen. Hohe Iso-Werte sind natürlich keine Stärke des CCD-Sensors aber die bessere Detailwiedergabe bei niedrigen Iso.

1 upvote
Lea5
By Lea5 (May 7, 2012)

Natürlich haben hier die Meisten keine Ahnung von einer Leica. Dies ist ein völlig falscher Platz das zu diskutieren. Es wäre das gleiche, wenn ich die neue Mercedes S-Klasse im Opel-Forum diskutiere. Die meisten sind nie drin gesessen, geschweigen gefahren, aber wissen alles besser. Manche kaufen siche eine 36MP D800 und fragen im Forum, nach welches Objektiv sie zum Disney-Ausflug mitnehmen sollten... Noch Fragen? So ist das hier auf DPReview :)

Übrigens schöner film über Leica im HR.

Die Leica history:
http://markusrichterphoto.blogspot.de/2012/05/die-leica-geschichte-hr-fernsehen.html

Gruß!

2 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 7, 2012)

Haben Sie die gold und schlangenleder version?

3 upvotes
BSweeney
By BSweeney (May 7, 2012)

The middle ground for rangefinder users wanting to shoot digital is an M8 or an Epson RD-1. Both get a good price on the used market. The M9 is the only Full-Frame digital rangefinder camera available.

So it's a simple choice. Far more choices of lenses for the M9. I use Leica, Zeiss, Zeiss Jena, Canon, Nikkor, Tanar, Schneider, Simlar, Jupiter, Industar, and Argus on the M9. I can use the same lenses on the EP2, but not in the manner that they were intended: full frame and RF coupled. Worth the price? I sold off spare lenses to pay for the M9. Prices of lenses are way up.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 7, 2012)

It's unlike Samsung would use a Sony sensor.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (May 7, 2012)

In many ways... using a camera phone makes you "more deliberate" too. You have to cope with the limited feature set and lack of quality optics.

And the best part is.... your camera is free. It came with your cell phone!

So perhaps the camera phone is a better tool than a high grade DSLR because it makes you work harder to get a good shot? :)

8 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

actually I get a huge kick out of trying to do good work with cell phone/disposable/holga and other toy cameras. its a great fun challenge and its close to free or free

2 upvotes
dmanthree
By dmanthree (May 7, 2012)

Well, this article and the replies prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the M9 is both a lightning rod and the most polarizing camera on the market. Seems to be no middle ground on this one. I get the appeal, but photographically there's nothing special, really. I'll put my money elsewhere.

3 upvotes
foto2021
By foto2021 (May 9, 2012)

I agree wholeheartedly that people who don't understand Leica rangefinders probably shouldn't waste their money on one.

1 upvote
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (May 7, 2012)

I wonder what may happen to Leica M prices and market share if a camera maker like Samsung were to build a mirrorless full frame model using a Sony FF sensor (the same one in the D800), or possibly a full frame sensor of its own making, and prices it at a sane level. Or perhaps Sony will do it and you will have a Zeiss vs. Leica optics battle.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (May 7, 2012)

Nothing really...

Those who buy the M9 will still justify its cost and claim it is better than anything else on the market!

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 7, 2012)

Leica is a luxury brand. Samsung making a clone would be like how Hyundai trying to compete with Mercedes. Sure you get more car for less money with the Hyndai, but it is not a Mercedes with the 100 year legacy of being a premier brand.

3 upvotes
Jeff Seltzer
By Jeff Seltzer (May 7, 2012)

Hyundai vs. Mercedes is one thing, but what about Lexus? That's what Lexus did 20 years ago.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (May 7, 2012)

Lexus was launched as a luxury brand. Hyundai was not, so no matter how nice their luxury model is it will never get the respect that a Mercedes or even Lexus will.

This is all about status and prestige, and not about specs. Right now, the Sony NEX7 will beat the pants off a Leica M9 at 1/4th the price, but no Leica fan would admit it.

Honestly... if you put a red dot on a Kodak Easyshare camera, the Leica fans would gobble them up at $800 each. Then they would rave about how much better the Leica Easyshare was than the Kodak Easyshare.

Wait... I think Panasonic already proved that point...

6 upvotes
nathanleebush
By nathanleebush (May 7, 2012)

Plus the fact that you can throw Leica glass with an adaptor on most cameras, with peaking on the Sony NEX's, and the advantages dissolve further.

1 upvote
Jeff Seltzer
By Jeff Seltzer (May 7, 2012)

Right, Lexus is less expensive, but on the same "tier" in terms of brand prestige. Your country club friends will not think any less of you if you pull up in a Lexus vs. Mercedes or BMW, and you will be giving up nothing in terms of quality. Leica really is in a class by itself, with no real obvious competitors (maybe the XP1). But, unlike other premium priced brands in a class by themselves, Leica lacks or looses on key features that are theoretically important in the category (LCD, noise control, AF, menu, etc.). I get the appeal of the M9 - I even considered it. Regardless, it's just an interesting business case.

0 upvotes
jkrumm
By jkrumm (May 7, 2012)

Looks like DPR is a victim of its own success, judging from the comments. I enjoyed the story, thanks. I hope someone makes a compact full-frame rangefinder style mirrorless for the masses before too long... priced in the $2000 range maybe.

1 upvote
John Thawley
By John Thawley (May 7, 2012)

Love the ignorance and envy.

If you don't get it, just say.. "I don't get it." It's ok, really.

3 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 7, 2012)

Ignorance? On whose side? Envy? Why would someone envy someone who shoots with a poor camera? :)!

Just come to this world, here you see just how wonderful your camera really is, DxO's sensor rating puts your M9 on the 44th place, just barely above the lowly entry level Nikon D3100 and way behind those now discontinued D90 and D5000.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Ratings

7 upvotes
Jeff Seltzer
By Jeff Seltzer (May 7, 2012)

44th place, but it allows you to be more "deliberate"

1 upvote
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 7, 2012)

Yes. Maybe photographers in general have become so lazy that they need a clumsy and obsolete camera to get good and "deliberate" results:)

3 upvotes
John Thawley
By John Thawley (May 7, 2012)

OK. You don't get it. It's OK... really. Why are you sitting here getting upset about it? LOL

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

we do get it. and we dont like it has nothing to do with photography and everything to with fashion and a little red dot

4 upvotes
Jeff Seltzer
By Jeff Seltzer (May 7, 2012)

Someone once said the human being is not the rational animal, but rather the "rationalizing" animal. Anyone who spends that much on a camera missing so many price-of-entry features must rationalize his or her decision.

1 upvote
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 7, 2012)

I've shot most of my life with Nikons, Hasselblads, Mamiyas and some large format stuff. Out of all of those I've liked the most "the bad, because of the 'unnecessary' autofocus and other cool stuff like that" - Nikons.
But then again, I've got some of the nicest pictures I've ever taken with a lowly Fuji FD31. You just had to do all your shooting in a low contrast environment, because of a really "punchy" (very bad DR) sensor. The lens was very good.

1 upvote
ybizzle
By ybizzle (May 7, 2012)

Shooting with an M9 is like sipping on the finest wine while laying on a beach somewhere tropical. The moment you pick up an M9, it instantly becomes an extension of you, of your eye, and of your soul. Simply put, the M9 is the crown jewel of any real photographer's camera collection, because after all if you don't own an M9, you're just shooting with second best. ;)

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 8, 2012)

Unfortunately, when you are shooting with M9, you are shooting with the worst. Regardless of price.

2 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (May 7, 2012)

well well, so much haters here. is leica m9 overprice ? for a FF camera i doubt so...what is overprice...are the LENS! :-)

but...despite all the claims about technology and obsoleteness , folks forgot 1 important thing that the M9 does better than any DSLRS, regardless of tech advances.

That one word is : INSPIRATION

and its priceless.

Thats the same conclusion in summary of the review in dpreview or any other review of which the reviewer really took the camera and tried using it for some days.

1 upvote
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (May 7, 2012)

Leica M's do one thing that every other DSLR and mirrorless camera (besides the Fuji Xpro1 & X100) can't do. That's composing how you will frame your image within your viewfinder with both eyes open. It's an entirely different style of shooting and personally I feel that it's a style much better suited for capturing those fleeting moments in time. You see the world as it is with the same level of brightness and clarity. I think this alone is the reason why so many photographers (not the wealthy in search of a status symbol) dream of owning a Leica.

We can argue until our last breath why every other camera is superior from image quality to AF, but for those of us who have experienced and embrace this style of shooting, all the advantages mean little.

4 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (May 8, 2012)

I can use DLSR with both eyes open just fine. The trick is to use your dominant eye in the camera.

1 upvote
nathanleebush
By nathanleebush (May 7, 2012)

Leica lovers like to think of their cameras as fine wines, steeped in tradition. Why change the formula, we had this figured out 500 years ago, right? Except that cameras are technology, which is subject to different rules (Moore's Law, anyone?). Would we be buying a printer in the mold of a 17th century printing press for that "legacy feel?"

Leica does the absolute minimum to keep up with tech developments, and aside from the LCD screen and sensor, both of which suck, the camera is mostly unchanged from a model half a century ago. Compare a Nikon D800 to its counterpart at a similar (adjusted) price point 50 years ago, and I think you'll see a lot of refinement and radical rethinking. Companies that are afraid of change and pushing themselves to develop their technology & instead live off their brand are lame. I'm not saying Leica won't have a place in a world where people have too much money and need to buy their self-esteem, I just think the concept of value here is delusional.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
aliasretro
By aliasretro (May 7, 2012)

Would love to have a 17th century printing press..
but what that has to do with the leica M9 i don't understand..

2 upvotes
dudybraun
By dudybraun (May 7, 2012)

The point is that the LCD is sub par, and for the price tag, that is totaly unacceptable.

1 upvote
xtoph
By xtoph (May 8, 2012)

my brother is a leading teacher and master printmaker for intaglio printing and photogravure (which uses printing presses just like the 17th century), and i can tell you, no other, more 'advanced' printing method can match the dmax (and other qualities) of those prints.

'old' does not equal 'worse' technologically speaking.

3 upvotes
nologo
By nologo (May 8, 2012)

It's funny, comparing a Nikon D4 to a 12 year old Nikon D1, and the concept of 'radical rethinking' doesn't come to mind. The sensors have gotten higher res and better quality, but a Nikon D4 still looks, feels, and shoots like a Nikon D1 (or an F5 for that matter). So all manufacturers are guilty of finding what works for them and just refining that concept.

Can't defend Leica's choice in sensor and screen though, but most will admit that the M9 is coming closer to the end of it's useful cycle, and that the M10 is going to be a product introduced this year. The hope of course is that Leica will address the issues that will again make the value proposition more reasonable in today's market.

0 upvotes
Jeff Seltzer
By Jeff Seltzer (May 7, 2012)

At least my XPro1 has amazing ISO performance, AF (yes, I know, it's slow-ish, but at least it's AF), a modern LCD, excellent menu system, and of course amazing image quality.

At 3x the price, the only virtues the Leica has that I can tell are: it's discrete, it's well built, and it makes photography more "deliberate" (which is a result of many of its flaws).

Asking people if they love a camera they over-paid for is a lot like asking people why they over-paid for an Apple computer - they will get defensive and justify it with cliches, but in the end, it doesn't do anything that a lower-priced model can't do.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 7, 2012)

How is the manual focus on that Fuji?

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (May 7, 2012)

Bad, but who cares, as the autofocus is faster than manual focus on a Leica, and the "range finder" focusing spot can be moved around!!!

3 upvotes
Iamzing
By Iamzing (May 7, 2012)

That is like saying "why are people still riding 1950's looking Harley Davidson, when they can be buying a Honda Goldwing or a crotch rocket that's a lot cheaper with better handling & performance." Trust me, Leica has the technology (look at their medium formats S2) but shooting a M9 is total different experience. I can take a good picture with my D700 with eyes close. It's not for everyone.

1 upvote
Jeff Seltzer
By Jeff Seltzer (May 7, 2012)

Obviously, "amazing" is subjective. All I'm saying is that it seems there's fewer items in the "pro" list than the "con" list for some of the reviewers in this article. The Harley, in your analogy, is more expensive, but still has modern technology. The M9 suffers from flaws that are now price-of-entry features for any digital camera.

2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 7, 2012)

Dear everyone who says something like i can take a good picture with my D700 with my eyes closed or a monkey could take a good picture with a d2x, or anyone can take a good picture with a modern dslr,

We have completely different definitions of what a good picture is.

Sincerely,
Trent

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (May 7, 2012)

Petka:

So is that X Pro1's auto focus always fast and accurate?

(Autofocus is not always faster than manual focus, and anyone who doesn't know that is not very informed about using cameras.)

0 upvotes
Rage Joe
By Rage Joe (May 7, 2012)

@Iamzing "I can take a good picture with my D700 with eyes close"

That probably tells it all, the quality of your subject matter and compositions.

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (May 8, 2012)

HowaboutRAW:

No, it is not always fast and accurate. Manual RF focus is not always faster and more accurate than autofocus either, and anyone who doesn't know that is not very informed about using cameras.

You have your choice: do you want to miss focus with Leica MF or with X-Pro1 AF? At least in certain situations you need not reframe constantly with X-Pro1 as the focus spot can be moved around.

I have a feeling that some people (not you) mistake autofocus to mean just pointing the camera and letting the camera decide where to focus. I usually use just one focusing element (often the middle one as default) and do "auto-assited focus" with that. It is not much different than using a RF on manual, except that the focus snaps in place much faster than with RF. Then reframe, etc.

2 upvotes
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