GXR M Mount review at LuLa

Started Oct 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
sroute
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Re: GXR M Mount review at LuLa
In reply to Harold66, Jan 2, 2012

Harold66 wrote:

why would leica develop a M camera at 1200 euros when they can t keep in stock the one they have for 4 times that price

I can give you a reason: commodity economics always win in the end.

Perhaps the price point might be debatable but should Leica introduce camera*s* that offer a lower entry point to interchangeable lens digital shooting with the Leica label? Yes.

Why?

Because others are already doing it - Sony, with what I call the "happy accident" of the NEX line, and Ricoh, which took a more serious approach with the GXR Mount product.

Leica prices and availability aren't high and constrained simply because M9's are selling well but because of all the interest in using rangefinder optics on small camera bodies. Likewise Zeiss and CV are also enjoying a surge in sales of optics although in the case of Zeiss it is a small part of their overall business.

and "people who do not care about the rangefinder of shooting ..." well the M line is not for them

There will always be some who prefer rangefinder focus and composition for the advantages it delivers but as electronic viewfinders become better and are better accepted, they will become the norm and cameras of this type can be constructed more inexpensively. Let us also not forget you get tangible advantages from a live view focus camera (via a rear panel or a viewfinder) that rangefinder lens users can never get with their rangefinder cameras - complete freedom from rangefinder coupling problems, 100% of the subject depicted within the viewfinder, close focussing possibilities - even macro helicoids or tubes could be easily contemplated.

Until now a photographer wanting to shoot rangefinder cameras with a digital sensor only had the Epson or Leica as options; the former is no longer produced, the latter are not produced at a price point this market will ultimately head to.

The focus and composition mechanism do matter to some folks more than the suite of available lenses and for those people Leica will surely keep producing digital rangefinder cameras.

But I'd wager there are a much larger pool of existing and prospective buyers out there who want to use rangefinder camera optics but are completely comfortable with using a non-rangefinder approach to focus and composition. If Leica doesn't address that larger market (in numbers if not dollars... remains to be seen), others will - and to a limited extent, they already are.

Sony's happy accident with the NEX could have caused them to re-evaluate the market potential for higher end cameras. There have been some indications that they were caught by surprise by the interest in higher end small cameras. A giant manufacturer with a hot product and hot market, acquired almost by accident, that now realises what it has - could be a category killer if they want.

All Sony has to do is figure the needs of adaptable lenses into the design of future NEX modles rather than allow the short back focal distance of 18mm do all the work - the happy accident.

Ricoh has shown what can be done with some thoughtfuil engineering. Sony could decide to put some thought into a higher end body and might come out with a competitor to the Mount product and in doing so would also seriously compete with Leica.

Hopefully Ricoh will continue to evolve the GXR platform too. And what of Zeiss? Or CV? Are they content to make lenses or would they consider partnering with an electronics producer to make a digital M mount compatible body to eat into Leica's lunch?

Compact cameras if anything have proven to be a market segment that looks to have longevity on its side, thanks largely to the public's acceptance of live view rear displays for focus and composition and the development of acceptable electronic viewfinders will help to draw in hold outs (like me).

Maybe Leica's new investors are happy continuing as-is but that's as much of a guess based on nothing proven as it is to guess that Leica might decide to compete with itself lest it lose to competition from outside its walls.

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