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magixaxeman

M10-D, Did Leica go far enough?

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I've found myself asking this question a lot lately, especially since getting an M2 to shoot film in short I've fallen in love with the pure simplicity of it and can't see why that simple yet well engineered approach cant be taken to give us the ultimate film experience in a digital body.

So where to start? well we need to strip the electronics back to the barest minimum so out goes the wifi, out goes all the menu's, we don't need them, this camera will shoot DNG only, single shot only (in other words one shot per press of the shutter) in short the electronics are there just to record images, nothing else, lets also get rid go the preview button on the front of the camera, its no longer needed. The ISO switch would need changing with extra settings taking the place of the M and A settings, Maybe even half stops? With getting rid of the screen and all the other associated electronics the battery life should improve markedly.

Sensor wise I see no need to increase the resolution above 24mp, to do so would require more processing to take care of the issues that arise with larger sensors.

As for the rangefinder? the current M10 one is just fine but on a once in a lifetime camera such as this it would be nice to see the old options of 0.58x and 0.85x added to the standard 0.73x magnification and it would also be nice to see the retro of the louvered optical window to illuminate the frame lines

I'd like to see a way to use a purely mechanical shutter so the wind lever could be used to cock the shutter, if not it could be an option as to wether the lever is fitted or not. It would also make the shutter mechanism more service/CLA friendly.

The electronics could be modular, so that replacement modules could be slide into place if and when needed again making the camera more service/CLA friendly, modules that have failed could then be recycled/refurbished to cut down on waste and save on valuable materials such as copper etc going in the bin.

Of course it should be available as both colour and mono versions.

Styling wise it would be nice to see a return to black paint on brass as well as chrome on brass, both wear so well with black paint having a patina you just cant get from black chrome.

 

I think your getting the idea now to make this camera as pure as possible in both operation & aesthetic and so there can be only one name for it............A camera built upon the heritage of its predecessors.......The Leica M - Purist.

 

What do my fellow members think?

 

PS Dear Leica, if you make this, please send me one, ;) 

 

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Posted (edited)

Some of your points were already on the M-D (typ 262) * that I use for some years now.

No screen of course, 1/3 setting in ISO, DNG only, no wi-fi, Black Paint that shows some brassing, and much less features than the M10-D but some more features than

the former M Edition 60.

 

* reason why I don't buy the M10-D which moved to more features

Edited by a.noctilux

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Posted (edited)

@magixaxeman, i do like the camera which you propose with the Leica M - Purist concept; it deserves some consideration in Wetzlar.  The only hitch that I can see is the possibility that this camera could cannibalize sales from other digital M cameras, which would not be good.

As a guy who loves to make larger size fine prints, I would like to see a sensor larger than 24 mp, though.  Perhaps the sensor in the Q2 would be a good place to start.  With 47 mp and ISO up to 50,000 it would be a huge step in the right direction.  I want to stick with the M camera system and my M lenses; there's simply nothing else that comes close IMHO.  I'd much rather do that than have to move to a bigger, bulkier and more costly medium format digital system.

My take on the Leica M - Purist would be:  47 mp Q2 sensor, no damnable video mode, weather sealing a step above what the Q2 has, pare down the menu choices and computer based wizardry but include the artificial horizon that the M-P 240 has, same battery that the M10 uses, same body dimensions as the M10, silent shutter mode as in the M10 and the same rear screen as the M-10 (sorry, but it is sometimes useful for something other than chimping).

Lastly, I would ask for brass top & bottom plates with the choices of black paint, chrome or the gray hammertone finish that the LHSA MP was finished in:  http://www.madeinwetzlar.com/leica-mp-hammertone-lhsa-set

JMHO, but a gray hammertone Leica M - Purist would be about as close to a dream digital M camera as a person could ask for.

 

 

 

Edited by Herr Barnack

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I like the concept a lot

I sold the 262 MD because I would have loved the same camera with the body and VF of the M10

When the M10D came out I did think they had added too much in so I decided to sit it out even if I had been on the list with my dealer from very early on (believe I was first in the list)

sensorwise I would be equally happy with 24 mp or larger as long as it is good in low light

I love the idea of a camera stripped back not necessarily because of the absence of the screen (you don't have to look at it if you don't want to) but because there are fewer things that can break. I am constantly worrying about the screen on my M10P

I would probably buy it though if they did a monochrome version

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1 hour ago, magixaxeman said:

I'd like to see a way to use a purely mechanical shutter so the wind lever could be used to cock the shutter

That would be sensational!

I find the other points that you have made attractive too.  It's a shame that Leica seem to have moved away from black paint bodies - I don't think that black chrome looks half as charming when it has started to show some wear.

And I never really got the attraction of the app related features that were added to the M10D.  Saying that you can ignore it after initial setup is like arguing that the M10D or M-D typ262 are pointless because you can shoot the M10 or 240 with the screen turned off or covered over.

If I want the pared back Leica experience that this kind of camera offers, the last thing I want is my phone to be any part of it!

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Did Leica go far enough with the M10-D? No....Well not really.

I do prefer the M10-D body size and shape over the other choice, ( type-262 ), and at times I have found the EVF option to be useful addition to the camera but I find it totally incongruous that a camera designed to be close to the film style usage of M's, ( i.e.: no LCD screen etc etc), but has to rely on an external device such as a smart 'phone or iPad to make setting changes. That for me defeats the whole idea of creating such a camera in the first place. I wish that was something that could be done away with.

I really do dislike the rear on/off switch and the ASA/EV compensation dial, I'd have much preferred that the on/off was where for me it should have been, around the shutter release, and exposure compensation choice set via the thumb-wheel with a +/- indication in the VF or EVF. The ASA knob is ok where it is as per the regular M10 and should stay, so all of these changes would remove everything from the rear of the camera which for me would be perfect and would most likely make me change up, ( or being less is it down?)........I find the rangefinder on the M10 series to be the best I've used so far after nearly five decades of Leica M usage, BUT as I never use lenses longer than 50mm on an M and 28mm being my "normal" I would really like to have the option of a .58 VF so that the 28mm frame lines could be seen clearly and a 24mm more easily guessed at. My film M's are all .58mm VF's and I miss that facility with the digitals.

And, isn't it about time that the removable baseplate was done away with and we had on the M's a battery/SDHC card door instead like other Leicas? 

24 megapixels for me is ok. The M10 series sensor isn't the best one out there but for me it's good enough, fine. I personally do not wish to have larger image files to deal with. Shutter speeds are ok, I rarely find myself needing anything faster, and the high ASA values offered are fine too.

Mechanical wind instead of the electronic shutter re-setting? Well although I confess there's a Luddite part of me that would get a kick out of that, I think not. That horse has wandered off long ago. If there was a mechanical wind M**D and I bought one, which I probably would want to, I know sooner or later I'd be wanting a motor drive option to fit to the camera, or a Leica VIT, so that add bulk and would be stupid.

Paint finish as opposed to chrome black? I couldn't care less, as long as it's black. Black chrome is just fine, I don't need to pretend to be a photojournalist anymore with a brassed battle-worn Leica around my neck. Did that a couple of times way back and one time in that game is more than enough for me.....and anyway my cameras of choice for that then were Nikon Ftn's with an M3 for occasional close "grab-it" shots....Why? Reliability of the Nikons and far easier tele' lens use.

Modular electronics, sure...Completely sensible and sound in regards to recycling and servicing by third party service facilities down the road......But there's no chance of that happening. Let's face it, even at the high purchase price of digital cameras like Leicas the probable life of such pieces of gear is maybe a decade maybe two if we're very very lucky and Leica Camera division is still around, ( no reason why I shouldn't be, fingers crossed ), after ten years I'm guessing that the electronic parts/spares will be as rare as hen's teeth. I know this full well as I have a 10 year old digital HD cinema camera that I really love, but any service or repair now is pretty much out of the question, no spare parts now available. Modular electronics is a really good thing to wish for, but I doubt if it makes any financial sense for a camera manufacturer to design that in, hopefully I'm wrong.

Monochrom version? Sure why not......BUT I have to say that with my M10-D and the M10 set up to shoot DNG plus JPG B&W files I find myself completely happy with the B&W images this set-up produces, so again for me a Mono' M10/M10-D wouldn't be of much interest. Anyway I have the M9M and so far I've not seen any CMOS B&W sensor come near to character of that camera's monochrome images.

 

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Posted (edited)

By far enough, you mean retro enough i guess ;). I have plenty of legacy bodies already but i could be interested if Leica does what Epson did 15 years ago with its R-D1 that i still use when i miss my M3, i mean a 1:1 viewfinder, a reversible display and a cocking lever allowing to lighten the body thanks to smaller batteries. I don't hold my breath though.

Edited by lct

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