Leica M-E review is IN!

Started Feb 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP jammerbirdi_1 Contributing Member • Posts: 865
Re: Leica M-E review is IN!

Clint Dunn wrote:

jammerbirdi_1 wrote:

Clint Dunn wrote:

Interesting but not sure there is much to learn...it's basically just an M9....so what is there to review?

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It has a different finish and a different covering. And two physical components are missing from the body. The combination of those things dramatically alters, for me, the experience of shooting the camera.

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Sorry, I didn't realize you were the one who wrote the review...thought you were just directing us to someone else's link.

No problem, I appreciate the feedback.

With that said, I stick by my original post....what's the point? You say that the changes from the M9 have 'dramatically' changed the shooting experience for you....really???

Yes, really. That was actually the impetus for my writing the review. I'm understanding, I guess that you don't own an M-E and I'm also under the impression that you haven't owned an M9? If that's the case then take the review as a sharing of the experiences of someone who has owned both for a total now of about a year and a half. I think holding a piece of gear in your hand using it for months would give you a different insight into what even subtle differences feel like than just reading about them online on the product's spec sheet.

I have to tell you, Clint, it was hard to accept at times that I might have to make a complete turnaround online and here in the face of many people who know how I disliked the M9. Maybe I was too harsh, maybe my expectations were too high, maybe I was an early adapter, I can't really say. I bought the M-E intending to, at the very least, shoot a lot of black & white and not worry so much over my feelings about both the body not being as solid feeling as my M7 or M6 or the color issues that many of us have experienced. Or high ISO issues. I really wasn't prepared to LOVE the camera and to love it for the reasons that I state in the review. Just like you, they seemed like trivial largely cosmetic differences based on what I'd read online. I am SO happy that I took a chance on this camera because I really REALLY love it.

The only difference is a missing USB port, frameline switch and a different colour. The USB port has nothing to do with the shooting experience, neither does the colour. You say you like the ME so obviously the lack of a frameline switch doesn't bother you either (nor does it bother me). So what's left...a slightly different texture to the grip service...that 'dramatically' changes your shooting experience?? You know that the M8/M9 came with a host of different colour options and grip services over the years right?? Would you suggest a new camera review everytime Leica changed the colour?

You have to think about something, Clint. It's 2013. Leica no longer makes the M9. The M-E is now. It's the only CCD-based M that Leica will be mass producing for the foreseeable future and, as of right now, it's the only digital Leica M they currently are selling new, save for any lagging stock of M9s. As a standalone product it should be the subject of user reviews and even more formal reviews. Maybe not on DPReview. But somewhere. You can't just refer people who want to know about the experience of shooting the camera to old M9 reviews. The camera deserves and will have its own story told over the years. I certainly felt I had something to say about it so I put my thoughts and experiences out there.

And I got something very wrong in my piece. There actually have been numerous M-E reviews and I see that now that I've gone looking for mine in search engines (it's too early for that, I know).

In one of the reviews , by the Guardian's Sarah Lee, she says this.

"The Leica feels different in the hand from the other cameras in ways that are not easy to define (I find myself caressing the damn thing)."

She's talking about the M-E now. And her comment perfectly expresses my own feelings. But these were not my feelings about the M9. I know that camera, I tripped my shutter 24K times in many different situations. The 'slightly different texture to the grip service' as you put does not, in my opinion, reflect the experience of someone who has extensively shot both the M9 and the M-E. What might seem subtle and slight on paper is not in your hand. That's the experience of someone who has shucked out the money and used both cameras. I TOO find myself caressing the M-E. It is a refined masterpiece of craftsmanship just as Leica claims it is on their product page.

Maybe I'm in the minority but I actually like the colours of the M9 files SOC....it's part of the 'look' that I enjoy. To me the ME is a pretty good deal (in Leica terms) but as a prospective buyer I would still probably buy a slightly used M9 for $4k rather than a new ME for $5500.

Well, first I understand the difference between $4K and $5500. I certainly do. But I would rather have a new camera with a new camera warranty, if it's all the same. But my point is that it's not all the same and that the differences in the experience of holding and shooting the M-E represent a vast improvement.

You know the hands (like the feet) are very sensitive. If you have a tiny tiny pebble in your shoe it is a miserable experience until you get it out. And then your foot never felt better. The USB port on the M9 and the frame line view switch are both right where your left hand and fingers go. You are aware of them and if you're not it's only because over time you get used to them. But when they're gone, and the rough (and honestly, cheap feeling) grip covering is replaced by soft luxurious leather... I don't know... call me crazy but these things make a huge difference in how the camera feels and that in turn dramatically effected how I feel about the camera.

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