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plasticman

Pity the M8 wasn't maintained as an entry-level digital M

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I know I'll get shot down for saying this, and I obviously see the practical problems for Leica of maintaining production of more than one line of digital Ms (they seem barely able to keep up production of one, to be honest), but the more I look at the future options for those of us that have M8s, the more downhearted I become.

 

Spending $8,500 (what an M9 costs in Sweden) to replace my camera just doesn't seem realistic at the moment - photography is just one of rather too many expensive hobbies I have - and the option of an ever-dwindling supply of used M8s, with unknown problems and no warranty cover doesn't appeal either.

 

Now I have a collection of expensive lenses, and a great camera to use them on - but I'm beginning to wonder for how long? The debate about the firmware updates - with so many people apparently saying that Leica should not support superseded cameras - has reminded me how quickly cameras can become obsolete in the digital age.

 

If they had been able to maintain production of dual production lines, I wonder how much the M8.3 would've eaten into M9 sales, and how much it would instead have contributed with new Leica customers, and even second bodies to those of us who prefer to buy their digital equipment new and under guarantee?

 

Guess I'll have to go back to film when the M8 dies...

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Not very encouraging at all.

 

Part of spending a lot of money on a camera is to get something trustworthy.

Edited by steinzeug

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Easy there tiger!

 

(a) People are not saying that Leica *should not* support the M8 with firmware updates; they are saying that Leica may well choose not to provide further new features via free firmware updates. Not the same thing at all!

 

(

I simply don't follow your logic. Why should there be an ever-dwindling supply of second-hand M8s? So they go out of warranty - they can still be sent to Leica and be repaired for a fee. People will keep on buying and selling them, just as they have continued to buy and sell film cameras.

 

There seems to be a fair bit of relentless negativity on these boards, I don't know where it's coming from, the future for Leica lovers looks rosy. The format is alive and well, the second-hand market is healthy. If the worst case scenario is that Leica *doesn't* update the M8's firmware, well... you're still left with a great camera that works exactly as it does today and has done for the past few years.

 

When/if your M8 dies... buy a second-hand M9! There will be a glut as soon as the M10 hits the shelves...

Edited by ottocrat

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Afaik Leica still has the policy of extending a full years warranty to camera's that have had an "open body"operation in Solms. Jaust send in your camera for a CLA after the first two years and there you are: an extra year's warranty. It is a good policy to do that with any camera btw. Regular maintenance keeps them on the road.

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Thanks for the tip Jaap - I'll certainly do that.

 

Negativity? I don't know - I definitely didn't mean my post to be knocking the 'trustworthiness' of the M8 in any way - so far no significant problems with mine whatsoever, and as I've said elsewhere, I'm having great fun with it. I actually meant the opposite, in fact - it's such a great camera, I wish more people could get the opportunity to own it.

 

My point was really about maintaining a buoyant new market of customers. Buying a used M9 won't be my preferred option, and I know there are people out there who'd love to get into the M system, but are put-off by the high entry price, or are reluctant (like me) to buy used digital equipment.

 

In my opinion, the number of new people coming to the M system overall is going to gradually dwindle away in the future, when loyal users have bought the M9.

Maintaining a tiered entry system would be a sensible way to maintain the revenue flow long into the future.

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Check with Leica - my information is a few months old.

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Advertisement (gone after registration)

 

 

In my opinion, the number of new people coming to the M system overall is going to gradually dwindle away in the future, when loyal users have bought the M9.

Maintaining a tiered entry system would be a sensible way to maintain the revenue flow long into the future.

I see your point. However it may well be that the production costs of an M8 as an entry camera might still result in a prohibitively high price, and there is of course the danger of it eating into M9 sales if Leica were to accept a significantly lower profit margin to keep the price low artificially.

An entry level camera should be considerably lower specified, like an X1 with an M mount or something like that, for it to be interesting to Leica. I think the used M8 market is fulfilling the function just fine now.

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You can always pop your Leica lenses on a 3/4 system (or whatever new technology is around in 10 years) further down the line when your M8 dies. By then the M9 will be down in price as the M10 will be out. Things will work out OK

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Even though I have an M9, I'm still more than happy with my M8s, two of which have been fully upgraded and feel more "sorted" than the early production M8 (say, 1 month in) ever did. Sapphire glass, quiet shutter, latest alignment, proper chrome, top cover LCD display, still more than fine.

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I think there will be plenty of M8s in circulation for some time to come. As most owners are careful with their cameras, continued use should be a 'given'. In my case I am using the X1 as a compact prime camera in partnership with my M8, an arrangement which adds versatility and compactness. Neither is likely to replace the other; each has its own unique features.

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The sensor has a limited shelf life. Its NOT like a film camera. After 10 years you'll be lucky to have yours still working. In addition you have environmental factors to consider. Corrosion of the PCB/componenets, exposure to moisture/humidity, etc. will all have negative impacts. In the end, the M8 will not survive like its film brethren unless the guts are replaced with new ones. At the end of the day, you will be forced to get a 'newer' one such as a 'used' M9 or whatever version will be available then. The M8 will eventually become a paperweight. Enjoy it while it lasts ;-)

 

T.

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The sensor has a limited shelf life. Its NOT like a film camera. After 10 years you'll be lucky to have yours still working. In addition you have environmental factors to consider. Corrosion of the PCB/componenets, exposure to moisture/humidity, etc. will all have negative impacts. In the end, the M8 will not survive like its film brethren unless the guts are replaced with new ones. At the end of the day, you will be forced to get a 'newer' one such as a 'used' M9 or whatever version will be available then. The M8 will eventually become a paperweight. Enjoy it while it lasts ;-)

 

T.

 

I think people have slightly missed my point - never mind, that's what internet fora are all about.

 

But my point in a sense was exactly that I know digital cameras won't last like film cameras. Don't worry - I AM enjoying it while it lasts - but when it no longer lasts, the price structure of the M-system won't leave me a whole lot of options.

 

Interesting that people see it as a problem for Leica that selling new cameras directly to their customers may eat into their M9 sales, but a thriving used market has no such effect. Is the presumption that all those used sales are funding new M9s? I'd say they're just as likely paying for a new 5D2.

 

Anyways, we'll see - I'm not preaching here, no intention to tell Leica how to run their business, but in my view keeping the M8 as a solid introduction to the M system for another year or two (until the M10 makes the M9 the new 'starter' model), might well have brought a lot more new and potentially enthusiastic users into the fold, especially when Leica is seen as being on such a roll. Next time around they might've bought an M10, and a couple of Summarits to go with it.

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It seems a bit pessimistic to give a sensor ten years- most electronic gear will still work just fine over decades.

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It seems a bit pessimistic to give a sensor ten years- most electronic gear will still work just fine over decades.

 

And if it's not perfect the RAW converters 10 years from now will make up for it

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The sensor has a limited shelf life. Its NOT like a film camera. After 10 years you'll be lucky to have yours still working. In addition you have environmental factors to consider. Corrosion of the PCB/componenets, exposure to moisture/humidity, etc. will all have negative impacts. In the end, the M8 will not survive like its film brethren unless the guts are replaced with new ones. At the end of the day, you will be forced to get a 'newer' one such as a 'used' M9 or whatever version will be available then. The M8 will eventually become a paperweight. Enjoy it while it lasts ;-)

 

T.

 

Two of my Digital SLR's are over 10 years old and work perfectly. Kodak still makes the sensor used in my 1993 DCS200, the KAF-1600 series. So, if my M8 lasts as long, I will be quite happy. There is no "drop-dead" date on a sensor.

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Thanks for the tip Jaap - I'll certainly do that.

 

Negativity? I don't know - I definitely didn't mean my post to be knocking the 'trustworthiness' of the M8 in any way - so far no significant problems with mine whatsoever, and as I've said elsewhere, I'm having great fun with it. I actually meant the opposite, in fact - it's such a great camera, I wish more people could get the opportunity to own it.

 

My point was really about maintaining a buoyant new market of customers. Buying a used M9 won't be my preferred option, and I know there are people out there who'd love to get into the M system, but are put-off by the high entry price, or are reluctant (like me) to buy used digital equipment.

 

In my opinion, the number of new people coming to the M system overall is going to gradually dwindle away in the future, when loyal users have bought the M9.

Maintaining a tiered entry system would be a sensible way to maintain the revenue flow long into the future.

 

This makes perfect sense to me, and perhaps Leica could have reached a fair profit margin in volume sales of the M8 vs. the M9? I guess we will never know? Even at the U.S. price of $7000.00, an M9 for me remains prohibitive.

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Even though I have an M9, I'm still more than happy with my M8s, two of which have been fully upgraded and feel more "sorted" than the early production M8 (say, 1 month in) ever did. Sapphire glass, quiet shutter, latest alignment, proper chrome, top cover LCD display, still more than fine.

 

Isn't one of your M8s still in 1k little plastic bags

:D ?

Time passes, star status stays on.

 

So you have an M9 now...?

 

Cheers,

Simon

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And if it's not perfect the RAW converters 10 years from now will make up for it
Hmm . When I walked out today I was carrying an IIIf and a Gossen Sixtomat selenium exposure meter - and some rolls of film, of course.... I can out-Ludd many a Luddite if I put my mind to it Edited by jaapv

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Afaik Leica still has the policy of extending a full years warranty to camera's that have had an "open body"operation in Solms.

 

By the time your kit goes back and forth and gets screwed up by solms several times, the year isnt worth the paper its written on. You dont have to be an early adopter to be a beta tester for the chimp they employ as apprentice in service.

 

 

Ps ... Thinking of buying second hand entry level? Check this. The round wont always float to the bottom when you play russian roulette.

Edited by rob_x2004

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I suspect the main reasons they didn't continue to produce the M8 are:

 

1. The market for new ones would be hampered by the second hand market once people started trading them on M9's

 

2. They couldn't make them at enough of a discount to make it viable that people would choose the crop sensor over just buying the M9

 

I had thought that they would keep the crop-sensor as an entry level model, but on reflection - the second hand market has always been the best source of entry level M's.

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