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Survey: Would you buy the new Leica T?

Would you buy the new Leica T?  

649 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you buy the new Leica T?

    • Perfect camera for me, where can I buy?
      114
    • Would like one but too expensive.
      53
    • Let's wait and see how good the quality is.
      159
    • No, I don't like design and touch display.
      55
    • No, other cameras have better specs for less money
      99
    • I am not interested in the Leica T.
      172


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After the Leica T launch is some days ago and a lot of reviews are published, here our question to you:

 

Would you buy the new Leica T?

 

Please vote above and comment in this thread.

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I have not answered the survey because none of the questions fits, even nearly, my feelings around this camera.

 

I doubt I will buy the camera.

Not because I don't like it in any or all aspects. Frankly it looks marvelous.

Not because it is too expensive, I doubt really that it is.

 

The basic reason is that after recently acquiring the M, and my long loved M3, and my lenses, most elderly, I have all the cameras I need for the foreseeable future.

.

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These are my initial thoughts on the T as a system:

 

It's a Leica, so it's expensive and will never be able to compete on terms of a benefits to costs ratio. That said, I do not understand why Leica chose to manufacture the camera in Germany while they do not manufacture the T lenses themselves. Instead, the T lenses are made in Japan by an unnamed third party (not Panasonic). Essentially, the T system offers Leica designed, Japanese made auto-focus lenses at prices that would mandate the lenses are made proper by Leica in Germany. That doesn't make any sense to me.

 

For me, Leica has always been about the lenses, not primarily the cameras. The VALUE has always been in the lenses. Now they make a (beautiful) camera, which is polished for 45 minutes by hand, but carries electronic insides which also are not Leica designed. The sensor is most likely from a Japanese third party as are the image processor and the other electronic components. Leica has NEVER been good with software, so if they got the T firmware right this time, this will be new for them. So the only thing that defines this camera as Leica (not even the design, because that is Audi), is the craftsmanship going into the production of the body - as they actually advertise.

 

But honestly, if I wanted a great digital, compact system, auto-focus Leica experience and image quality, I'd buy a Panasonic Lumic GX7 and the four existing Panasonic Leica lenses (15mm, 25mm, 42.5mm and 45mm macro). Leica said the T lenses are "real Leica" lenses. By those standards, the Panasonic Leica lenses are also "real Leica" lenses - just a lot more reasonably priced.

 

This T system will only work in the long run, if they re-think their lens production strategy or pricing and come up with more than a hand-brushed designer toy that can't compete against something like a Lumix GX7 on pure photographic merits - when both cameras take "real Leica" lenses.

 

I only shoot the Leica M system on film. My digital system is Micro Four Thirds. It's proven technology, has gone through a lot of iterations to be this usable and robust. The auto-focus of modern Micro Four Thirds cameras beats anything on the market, including anything digital from Leica. The image quality, thanks to Sony's sensor technology in Olympus and Panasonic's sensor, is on par with most bigger APS-C cameras, also thanks to sophisticated image processing technology. Olympus' Zuiko lenses, especially the newer high end glass, are on par with anything on the market, including Leica and Zeiss. Thanks to Leica, Panasonic builds excellent and affordable Leica lenses for the system that qualify as "real Leica" lenses (designed by Leica, made in Japan by a third party, Leica branding).

 

Leica needs to try harder with their T system in the future. If they want this to thrive and not just be a niche product for the rich who look for something that goes with their Rollex watch, Armani suit and Louis Vuitton bag, they need to offer a functional camera, a camera that can compete at least in terms of features and usability with other modern mirror-less camera systems. They put the price of the T system below their M system, so they obviously care about expanding the market. They need something like the GX7, offering the same usability and features, auto-focus speed, image stabilization (especially with such lame ass slow zoom lenses). That camera needs an excellent and up to par viewfinder, not the low-res, overpriced viewfinder they offer now that's already been outdated the moment they offer it! Just a reminder: the electronic viewfinder for the new M is 100% identical with the Olympus VF-2 which was introduced with the E-P2 and sells for less than half the price of what Leica wants for the same item. Sorry, that's just ridiculous.

 

A Leica "GX7" would be able to compete with the GX7 in every technical quality, be better built, have a cleaner design and be accordingly much more expensive. That would be a success and I would get on board immediately, even if it meant investing twice the money I currently have in Micro Four Thirds land.

 

My honest suspicion is that the owners of Leica were looking for a way to increase margin and profitability. Most people know that although the M system items are very expensive, the margin Leica makes on these items is way below what other camera makers make on their line-up. It hardly pays off for Leica from an investment point of view. The T system looks like Leica's try to raise margin to me. That is why those made in Japan T lenses are much more expensive than Panasonic's Leica lenses for Micro Four Thirds. The margin is probably mostly in the accessories and lenses.

 

Sorry, I am not convinced.

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I voted no for the following reasons:

 

1. Not FF.

2. Touch screen display.

3. Non classic design (no analog dials).

4. No incorporated EVF.

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I voted to wait and see. As an owner of wide angle ZM and VM lenses I have seen too many false dawns to get my hopes up too soon.

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Guest Marc G.

It is not attractive for me as a user of the M system. I'm not part of the customers the T aims at.

 

The lack of a built-in viewfinder is the biggest downside. Sensor size, lens quality and build are non-issues.

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I chose the "wait and see" but could have combined it with a version of "Would like one but too expensive" to be: "I really want to wait and see because this is, for me, an expensive investment."

 

I'll be waiting in the wings...and hope to eventually get my hands on one to see if the T's reality equals my version of reality.

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No, because:

 

1. I am a full-frame rangefinder user. the T is no M, nor a substitute for one, nor a backup for one.

2. I don't care if a camera is built out of a single block of aluminium, or if it's polished by hand for 45 minutes. Leica's advertising efforts to this effect are wasted on me, and actually make me feel the photographic capabilities of this camera are less important to Leica. I cringe when I watch Dr Kaufmann on video pretending to be Steve Jobs or Jony Ive.

3. I would like Leica to be transparent about who in Japan makes its T lenses.

4. I see the T as continuing Leica's progression towards a luxury-lifestyle-oriented company, the opposite of Das Wesentliche. I find it all rather pretentious.

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I will not be buying one of these cameras - I want to, but the lack of a built in viewfinder is a deal breaker for me.

 

The add on finder destroys the shape and elegance of the design. and makes it vulnerable to damage.

 

I only have one camera with an add-on finder - a CL with a 12mm Voigtlander more or less permanently on it, as there is no reasonable alternative.

 

What Leica needs to understand is that there is a large market out there for a digital CL [ in addition to the existing Leicas ] but for some reason they ignore it.

 

Leica also have never come up with a proper R digital replacement - I mean how difficult would it be to re-engineer the DMR to FF and with modern sustainable electronics and batteries ?

 

As it is, the only digital Leica I'm remotely interested in is the MM, but as I have an M2 and an MP I won't be buying one.

 

Leica needs to retain the faith of existing, life long Leica users as well as attracting new customers - but it does not seem too interested in doing that.

 

Bruno

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What Leica needs to understand is that there is a large market out there for a digital CL [ in addition to the existing Leicas ] but for some reason they ignore it.

 

From Leica's point of view, the CL was a huge mistake as it destroyed the potential success of the M5. People were flocking to the Minolta made CL and the M5 failed as a product. Also, the CL didn't enable lens sales for the bigger, faster Leica lenses, further hurting Leica. So Leica killed off the CL. Minolta followed up with the CLE which then was sold with a Minolta branding, essentially being the better CL - and Leica M, given how advanced the cameras was at that time.

 

Leica will never again threaten its M line with its own products. I think they learned that lesson the hard way.

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I voted "Perfect for me.....", though that's not my actual view. I am likely to buy one, but I am not in a rush and I am happy for the initial buying spree to die down. I already have an M and although I could probably afford the T, it is expensive enough for me to hold fire till I have sold a couple of (non-Leica) lenses.

 

"Perfect for me...." Is the wrong description. For 99% of people no camera is perfect: it requires perfection in physical comfort and ease in use, features and performance relevant to your particular type of photography, system back up and inter-compatibility, and, of course, price. [it is the fact that many people believe that their own preferences and practices must, blindingly obviously, be what everyone else wants that keeps Internet forums going, though somewhat tediously at times].

 

For me, this camera is attractive because (in no particular order):

- it's a Leica, compatible, more or less, with my Leica ecosystem.

- I'm assuming that IQ will be competitive (not necessarily the best, but good enough) with similar camera systems.

- I'm intrigued by the interface, both the touch screen, and the potential of the wifi and app.

- It is a pocketable, quiet, autofocus auto exposure camera. I use a Ricoh GRD4 for this purpose, and though it is obviously smaller than the T, the T is still pocketable and can be carried on a belt, and should have noticeably better IQ.

- I also like the practicality of a zoom, which the Ricoh does not have.

 

I guess like everyone else who buys the T, I would use it for family and travel snaps. Like many, I see other uses for it as well: for example, it is very practical for music performance events and similar, where a light, unobtrusive, quiet camera is vital.

 

YMMV

Edited by LocalHero1953

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It'll be interesting to have a similar survey after Photokina – after the hype surrounding the T has waned and the latest thing from Leica will presumably be a different version of the M (no red dot, etc.) and a new M lens or two. Attention spans are short nowadays and fashion is cyclical. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the T touchscreen interface is eventually seen as a bit too gimmicky and "facebook" for the "grown-up" photographer.

 

Incidentally, for all the talk of how "Apple-like" the new camera is, the touchscreen interface reminds me more of a Nokia/Windows phone than it does the iPhone.

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Just not interested.

 

If I was looking for an APS-C style camera I would purchase the Fuji XT1.

 

I will continue to use my M9 and be happy for the foreseeable future.

 

Life is Grand!

 

Dan

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The M8 was my last crop sensor Leica, and the M240 will be the last M I buy with an external clip on EVF. This T camera does nothing for me, and I will not be buying one. Of course it wasn't designed for me, was it? It's for all those "new" customers who are going to give Leica 1% market share. So, what does Leica make to attract all those new customers? A camera whose specifications are inferior in nearly every area as compared to the competition. Sensor size, mp, IBIS, sensor cleaning, focus peaking, contrast detection AF, clip on EVF...all missing or substandard when compared to Japan's latest offerings. The T would have been a sensation...in 2010 or 2011. EVIL cameras have an ultra short product lifespan by Leica standards, and you can forget the T surviving on these specs for years to come. Actually 6 months may be too long.

 

I have a feeling the T optics are probably superb, albeit with slow zoom lenses just like the X Vario.

 

It does have a machined case and lots of color options for straps and covers. Wow. It also has a touch screen. Thanks Leica, but I don't want to play Angry Birds on my camera.

 

So, it seems that Leica's plan to reach 1% is to trade on the brand name and offer fashion cameras. Well, good luck with that.

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No. Because:

1. Design like 1st. generation Sony NEX.

2. No EVF.

3. No manual dials (like Fuji X-T1).

4. No fast lenses (again: Fuji X).

5. I can't imagine a camera body to be grippy with the (wet or greasy) fingers holding the cam on bare anodized aluminium and the thumb on a slippy touch screen.

6. I don't see anything at this cam justifying the price point (of course one can expect the IQ of sensor and lenses to be competitive, but not ahead of the best competition like Sony / Zeiss, Fuji / Fuji, Zeiss, Olympus, Panasonic / Leica).

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I think the T is a great concept and would make a great backup for my M9-P.

 

While there are some great reviews, I would like to hear from actual users of the production version as to their views.

 

I am in no tearing hurry to be the first though.

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