Frank_BR: The 7.45 million dollars question that must be answered is:- What is the purpose of the Leica SL?
Leica is a moderate-sized company with limited resources. The development and support of a photographic system is very expensive, and Leica already has enough photographic systems to maintain: M, S, T, Q, X, compact cameras. The SL system will further strain Leica's resources.
From that point of view, the launch of the Leica SL seems illogical. What Leica urgently needs is reduce, not increase the number of its photographic systems. In particular, Leica must get rid of the rangefinder M cameras, which are totally obsolete. The S cameras also have their days numbered because the DSLR principle is aging too fast and the new FF sensors with 50MP or so (100 to 200MP in the coming years) are starting to kill the medium format, so it is clear to me that the S system as a whole has no future.(continues in the post below)
The SL is way too large to be used with M lenses. I mean, you can certainly fit them on that body but it will look completely unbalanced and ridiculous! So, this M lens business should not be repeated too much with SL...
TN Args: I've changed my mind about how big it is. It is big but not huge. Check this: http://camerasize.com/compact/#557.479,639.496,595.286,wa,t
Shame on DPR for creating an optical illusion.
Remember, the A7 is a miniaturisation miracle. It is not the measure of 'bigness'.
Yes, it's actually fairly small. Compact! ... Just check a few youtube videos and if you still think it's not big then you should join Leica's ambassador program!
Sidath Senanayake: If this is as compact as Leica could make it, then it shows us how good the Sony engineers are.
@ Exakto, I think your post makes me point clearer.
Retzius: Dear Leica, 1984 called and they would like their camera back.
:-) well said! :-))
digilux: How can people call this a BIG camera? I used to shoot a Mamiya RZ handheld…
Surely it's small also compared to portable digital pianos...
brownie314: Why on earth would anyone buy this pos over say the a7rII? I am confused.
I'm afraid the point is not who looks foolish or smart but what is the case here. Let the readers decide for themselves. Adieu.
I detect an inconsistency here: when something is done right by Leica it's an advantage of that system, when it is not then it is 'characteristic' of that system. I'm sorry, you can't have it both ways. The RF is antiquated but Leica shooters swear by it. ..? Electronics are outdated but Leica users don't buy these *digital* cameras for the electronics. ..??
I've never heard a Leica RF alignment to cost $25. If you make the mistake of, or be forced to, sending it to Leica, I've read, good luck waiting and be prepared for a BILL. "But Leica replaces all worn out parts and comes back new". Well, I *don't* want to send it for repair- not when I have paid $7K in the first damned place!! Let the Fuji and Sony users do that who paid a fraction of that price. If both break at the same frequency why do I care if Leica is "better built"? BS. Marketing BS. It reminds me of that ludicrous 45' video of that guy hand-polishing a Leica T body. Is that Leica superior build quality? No thanks.
@ shigzeo (cont'd)
Last, but surely not least, it is compounded by the their outrageous pricing policy. A Leica M9, despite its numerous reliability issues with electronics and the grossly outdated RF mechanism, demands a several-thousand dollar investment. This is provocative. I would gladly pay the price if electronics and basic features where up to par with it. They are not. I don't particularly care if the metal/brass/whatever is solid, of course it is, metal is metal! The LCD, the RF system, the damned buffer, for example, that's what matters in a digital camera, you know! Have you read the laundry list of the chronologically early-to-mid M system? (I have to find a characteristic post by another DPR reader, under a recent Leica M drop accident article, I believe it was!)
And what of these non M lenses? These first three SL lenses are so big it makes you wonder whether the Zeiss Otus are not so big after all.
The customisation on Sony and others is not mandatory: you can leave the camera settings to a minimum standard set and use only the bare minimum of buttons. Leica cameras do not give you the freedom to choose. I find the idea of semi-touch screens, like in the case of SL, and extremely few buttons, as well as Spartan menu system, restrictive. You might argue that it's a matter of thoughtful design, I argue it looks like a matter of an artistic statement (of the marketing kind) and even lack of know how. Leica is not that advanced in the digital era- they are still learning. Remember Digilux 3? Panasonic saved the day, I think, there.
Leica is a technologically "slow" company; and they are slow not because they engineer with care as you argued but due to a relative lack of know how and forward thinking in marketing. They might be building good lenses; however, their bodies are not the stuff of legend but highly critised by nearly all groups of photographers.
I can see in your last posts what your arguments are and have to agree in principle with them as they make sense. What I still remain in contrast with, however, is how you apply them to the case of Leica. It seems to me that your interpretation is rather arbitrary in some cases. The legendary built of Leica M cameras, for example, has been criticised by the numerous issues with the RF mechanism, sensor, electronics, buffer, even paint. Digital cameras are as reliable as the electronics they carry and Leica has shown no superiority in this respect. The ergonomics of the body, also, are questionable to say the least. It's not a matter whether one likes the aesthetics of it, I actually quite like the shape of Leica M cameras, but whether it sits well for extended use.
I believe I apologized before you even replied. The Internet style of communication allows a somewhat stray convention of hyperbole. You are obviously neither on drugs nor hallucinating. It's an exaggerated figure of speech to make a point stronger. Plus, I have engaged, against my better judgement, in numerous conversation with pure Leica fanatics who had neither your knowledge nor your refined approach; so, I'll drop this style of communication completely and stand corrected with my apologies.
NOTE: I apologise for my agressive comments that seem to be of a personal nature, I don't mean to insult you as a person, you're actually very polite and nice, just trying to make a point vividly. This Leica defending is at times completely irrational. Regards
Something tells me that Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, and Samsung won't follow the "golden" standard of "the larger the more professional". Some time in the near future the pool of old timers with a 3Kg monolith-DSLR will seize to role-model the next generation of photographers. I think this is called improvement/progress... yes, that's it! For now, I immensely enjoy that discrimination as it allows small-camera photographers to be allowed in events where only "pros" can bring the "serious" cameras in. Is Leica old-fashioned? Er... YES! Let it be known that DSLM for Leica stands for "Dinosaur Single Lens Mirrorless". Goodbye.
If I didn't know any better I'd think that your entire post is ironic!!- You're on drugs. DSLM technology liberates the designer from having to enlarge and complicate the design of a camera unnecessarily and the result is a simpler and smaller design. I don't know what school of masochism you attended as a kid but beyond a reasonably-large size to allow adequate camera hold and lens balance, smaller is always better.- Leica brought body rigidity??? You don't get out of the house much, eh? Use the Internet! Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus and pretty much ALL DSLM manufacturers build very rigid and weather-resistant cameras. Leica missed out by several years on WR..- "Buttons all over the place", "cramped", "too programmable"... so, customization is bad?? You say about A7 "interface and ergonomic elements last place"??!! Leica must be perhaps the last company to have the right to talk about user interface and ergonomics! Ah... forget it... you are hallucinating... check with your doctor ASAP!
J. Qian: It's never worthwhile money wise to buy a high premium gadget that goes obsolete in a few years, unless you want to own the brand no matter what.
Who's in the right mind will dare to put a tiny M lens on this Stonehenge monobrick and not looking like a complete idiot!?
RolliPoli: This thing makes me want a new button for: "I Don't Want It" in the 'Gear In This Story' panel!
@ Just a [Leica] Photographer: Leica digital cameras are not avoided because of their cost only but also, and foremost, because of their problematic design and performance. Who's the troll, I wonder... wake up.
And since when a large and heavy camera is a feature, not a disadvantage?? Have you asked professional photographers and amateurs alike their opinion? The Leica blinkers are atrociously effective, I can see!
Could you elaborate on why SL is the "first camera of its type in the mirrorless world" and not the Sony A7?
ZJ24: It's interesting, agree the camera looks vast in these images, not in the reviews of Ming Thein and others, it looks like quite a tidy piece of industrial design (shown beside an D750 and Leica Q). I think some of the critics (it's a Leica, of course the price will be high) need to get that this might actually be an important camera.
- If it takes quality images at 11 FPS, that puts it in a different category from the Sony A series (not better, different)- According to Ming Thein the EVF leaves Sony and the Leica Q for dust, in terms of response and resolution - so this might be a significant EVF development- The lens MTF charts look pretty impressive - this might be a piece of kit that could appeal to a 1DX or D4S owner (as a pro event camera - I'm not saying they'd buy it) if the AF is quick and the FPS reliable- This is a very different approach for Leica, it's a gen 1 camera for them but seems to signal they want to enter different markets.
It is expected that a high-cost camera has at least one or two really nice features, no doubt, and the lenses are so large that, indeed, there is engineering 'room' to achieve high performance to a certain extend. I agree, and am happy to read that others find it to be so, that Leica is still learning, it's not there yet, but has a rather long way to go to reach any significant base of photographers.
The perfect lens for my Pentax Q! ...I mean instead of a rear lens cap.