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.
wb2trf: Digital Leicas should get "devotionals" not "reviews". Rationality is an offense to the mystique, a form of blasphemy. The purpose of a Digital Leica is to validate the owner who is otherwise insecure and needs an externalization of their aspirational self-image. All Digital Leicas take only self-portraits.
Your writing itself borders on psychobabble. What camera and lenses do you use, pray tell, that make you feel so insecure?
MP Burke: The Leica M9 clearly fits the bill if you have a range of expensively acquired Leica lenses and want to take digital photographs with them. There is no alternative that allows you to use these lenses without a crop factor of 1.5 or so.The M bayonet mount has been around for nearly 60 years and is a remarkable survivor in an age where technologies are increasingly ephemeral.There is no reason in principle why an M mount camera could not be designed with an autofocus mechanism. This was done in the film era by shifting the film plane back and forth in the Contax AX camera.Similarly, there is no obvious reason why the M9 camera could not have been given a formal review. The lack of autofocus should not be seen as such a terrifying prospect that it disqualifies a camera from consideration.
That is a big question: why this site did not review the M9.Is it that the bosses would wind up trashing the M9 or raving about its qualities, thereby annoying the hell out of a lot of people, the owners of the 9 or the wanabees.
wb2trf: Leica cameras are bad and, more importantly, irrelevant in the digital age. One may as well have a political conversation about the Russian nobility. Leica's significance if it has any remaining, is as a lens maker. If you want to enjoy Leica lenses, buy a Nex and put it on it.
I do have a nex 7 and use my Leica and Zeiss lenses on it. But when I return to the Leica body to shoot I find a particular beauty in the outcome. Now you might say it is all psychological, snobbism, blindness, not wanting to believe my Nex and 5DII are as good or better. On the other hand I can sell my 9 for good money and buy the $10000 .95 50mm Leica to use on the Nex.
almostinfocus: This article convinces me that if Leica doesn't join the 21st century the cameras are toast. The lenses, however, are the finest available. Leica should strive to deliver a camera that matches its lenses, and then the camera would be worth the money.
If anyone, including Leica could reproduce that simplicity and usability and image quality of its earliest cameras, updated to modern standards with improved focusing and low light capability at a price that comes close to market pricing for camera bodies, it would be a killer. Then you could spend the big bucks on the lenses for which the price is commensurate with the quality given the scale of production. The current Leica body is not a product that matches the quality of Leica lenses. It is a substandard product that allows the lucky buyer to have access to the glass.
I agree about manual focus. I have a NEX 7 used with Leica, Zeiss, and Canon glass, therefore only manual focus. The little red dots that show focus are a modern version of Leica's copnverging lines. I have a greatere feelinfg of contro than when I use my Canon cameras, a sense that the lens is really focusing. I say this after years of using Leica m7 and now m9. and Canons.