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The M11-D : A Proposal To Leica


Datsch
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Now the M11 is on shelves, it must be time for the Leica Product Development Team to take a breather and think about the inevitable variants to come.

Dear Product Team,

I'm an advocate of the -D concept.  I think the M60 and the M-D are the true legends of M -- bold, crazy, supremely usable, nothing but the essentials.

Not a throwback to film cameras, but an evolution of digital photography: distraction-free, screen-free, menu-free and skills-focused.

I'm sure you feel you got your fingers burnt with the M10-D, but it was simply too expensive to build to be profitable -- custom exp comp dial, custom on/off/wifi ring, custom fotos programming, custom tooling for the thumb lever -- all  of this is way beyond a normal variant or limited edition which are let's face it is normally just cheap things to alter like leather colour, paint type and so on ...

So if we are to give the M11-D a chance, let's do it on the cheap:

1. Delete the screen and rear buttons. Keep the status LED peeking out of the leatherette if that's easier, but it wouldn't be missed if it was gone. Yes, it's a totally bare back now. There's no reason to have an iconic round thing on the back as you have an iso dial and on-off switch and exp comp already in the basic M11. Embrace the simplicity.  Acres of thumb room! In my mockup image I also deleted the brightness sensor but that requires altering the top plate which might be costly to do so  keep it as a vestigial little hole if that's easier.

2. Adapt the firmware with the following permanent settings:

        DNG
        60MP
        Multifield metering
        Write to SD card and backup to internal memory IN=SD
        AWB
        AutoISO parameters are fixed at something sensible like 6400 max, 1/15th min
        Hybrid shutter when in Aperture Priority Mode
        Noise reduction on
        Auto lens detection on
        USB charging on and have it show up as a simple drive
        Standby 2mins

3. Include the same basic functionality as the M-D as there is now a top plate button again:

        Top Plate Function Button toggles bat life and images remaining info in OVF display

        Exp Comp: hold down top plate button and rotate thumbwheel

        Change Date and Time: 12s press of top button and then etc

        Open shutter for sensor cleaning as per M-D

        Don't display images remaining after each shot

        No Wifi or bluetooth

4. I don't think many -Ders use continuous mode. That just leaves us with finding a way to have a self timer. Start the self timer by pressing the thumbwheel and the shutter release at the same time. 12s. Or you could just include a release cable with the camera.

5. That's it. People will moan about the loss of the faux film lever, but if the extra expense of tooling that means there is no M11-D at all they will just have to cope. 99.99% of digital M users do just fine without it.


In conclusion, a simplified M11-D is both attractive and viable and represents a wonderful opportunity for Leica to continue to show leadership, vision and a profound understanding of the true essentials of photography and photographers.

I hope this message finds you well and I wish you all the best with the M11 lifecycle.

Yours -Dishly,

Datsch

 

Edited by Datsch
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It really doesn't need the thumbwheel.

But the dial on the back is useful and gives it some balance optically. I really like the thumb rest as well. I just forget it is there but I use it all the time and it also works a fidget spinner. Im sure they can include it considering this body seems to have $1000 premium attached. $10,000 for an M is going to be painful

 

Edited by sebben
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Id suggest to make the iso selector similar to the M6 rewind crank that is at an angle for ease of use. Make it a push style pop up then ones thumb can easily twist to an iso setting whilst holding the camera in the hand.

Currently one has to akwardly pull it up with ones fingernails, which is stupid. I don't know why people put up with that🙄. And for what aesthetics???

The thumb wheel should stay for exp comp.  Include highlight centred metering

Make it a couple grand cheaper and refer it as the true essentials base model and I'd assure you I'd fly off the shelves!😁 Perhaps make a M11-Ds 24Mp model. All I want is BSI 

Edited by cboy
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First of all, I hope there will be an M11-D at all! Rumors have it that there may not be more D models.

And I really, really love the look of the M10-D, I think it's the most beautiful M ever. So I hope an M11-D will inherit the fold-out thumb rest and the engraving on top. I like the round exposure compensation wheel too, even though I photograph completely manually and never use it. But it's not an absolute necessity.

Apart from that, they can carry on as much as they want from the standard M11 model.

Edited by evikne
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The advance knob a la film Leica was perfect, but it would be even better if it actually worked as one (doubt this will ever happen but..). Regardless, that advance knob made it so much easier to hold the camera without needing a thumbs up accessory and it really felt like I was holding a film camera. 

To me the M240 based M-D had the best design, with the ISO dial in the back and nothing else. If they did this design again that would be awesome, but again doubt it since they’d be using the chassis from the M11 to build a M11-D.

A M11-D Monochrom could be quite interesting actually…I think an M and Tri-X is the ultimate street photography kit, so doing an homage to this part of Leica’s history could be an interesting bold take for the new M11-D, if it every happens (just for those who don’t know, the M-A comes with a roll of Tri-X film when you buy it).

I still think the M-D is the best iteration of Leica digital bodies, and the M-D users seem to agree because you hardly see them being sold in the used market, even to this day.

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“Do something on the cheap”, with all due respect, is the most ridiculous suggestion to Leica one can imagine.  It’s already a $9K camera.  We expect it to have all the things.  A better request would be to make a great and iconic D camera worth to be Edition 60 successor.

Leica, please don’t do anything on the cheap, especially a D.

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20 hours ago, setuporg said:

“Do something on the cheap”, with all due respect, is the most ridiculous suggestion to Leica one can imagine.  It’s already a $9K camera.  We expect it to have all the things.  A better request would be to make a great and iconic D camera worth to be Edition 60 successor.

Leica, please don’t do anything on the cheap, especially a D.

By cheap I mean effective and profitable. I think they over-thought the M10-D and did indeed give it 'all the things'. I don't think all the things is what the -D concept is about though. More 'hardly any of the things' 🙂

But of course the underpinnings, the basics, should be wonderful ie the sensor, speed , handling, fit and finish etc.

I am however totally with you on the make it great and iconic.

In fact I suppose what I really want is for the -D to be accepted as a staple, a regular model, a significant niche and a philosophy to boot. That's the simplified M11-D I outlined above.

I do like the idea though, for Leica to also surprise us with something as new and amazing as the M60 when it came out.

Perhaps something like the Leica One (one button concept):

Today I would spec the Leica One with the no iso or speed dials, jus the M11 thumbwheel and shutter release. Pressing the wheel toggles between ISO and shutter speed. The OVF would need a display that could show speed and expposure arrows at the same time.

 

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My M10D is for me is perfect the way it is.

I get that in today's market a camera like the M10D is ridiculous.

I imagine the development team discussion was like a Bob Newhart (Look him up) comedy sketch. Where he's talking to Sir Walter Raleigh who is describing tobacco.

"OK, that's great there Walt. but you say this digital camera hasn't got a screen..." 
"But there's a film advance lever too!" 

It has everything I need and nothing I don't.
But like everyone I waited with baited breathe to discover what the M11 would bring, would I be tempted by addition of an integer?

I read, I watched, I pondered. I was impressed.

But my heart just wants Leica to do what you always do surprise and confound us!

Make me an M11 DR complete with on/off/WiFi dial, manual exposure compensation dial and the essential (in my opinion) vestigial thumb grip.
Oh and black paint.

I'll place my order today.     

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9 minutes ago, evikne said:

Poor Leica! How are they supposed to make everyone happy? 🤪

Easy...let users decide : p 

I still think the best buying experience would be an updated A la carte experience (such as): 

  1. Leica launches the M11 model (baseline).
  2. Users pick: Finish (Silver / Black / Safari) Viewfinder (0.58 / 0.72 / 0.85 ; paired frame lines / individual frame lines ; perhaps in future, EVF / Hybrid / OVF) Design (Regular / M-D) Sensor (MM / Regular) 
  3. Pay based on your choices and get your Leica
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1 hour ago, shirubadanieru said:

Easy...let users decide : p 

I still think the best buying experience would be an updated A la carte experience (such as): 

  1. Leica launches the M11 model (baseline).
  2. Users pick: Finish (Silver / Black / Safari) Viewfinder (0.58 / 0.72 / 0.85 ; paired frame lines / individual frame lines ; perhaps in future, EVF / Hybrid / OVF) Design (Regular / M-D) Sensor (MM / Regular) 
  3. Pay based on your choices and get your Leica

I have been calling this for years. Crazy to think that a Luxury camera brand doesn’t offer a buying experience like this. 

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26 minutes ago, sebben said:

I have been calling this for years. Crazy to think that a Luxury camera brand doesn’t offer a buying experience like this. 

Yeah, exactly..this is nothing new, a lot of luxury brands offer this; they should’ve focused on improving their A la carte program rather than getting away from it. Since they stopped A La Carte, Leica keeps increasing their lenses and bodies price with every release, but the actual buying experience is unchanged (including waiting months to get certain releases). Even worse, Leica releases a baseline model just to make it ‘obsolete’ in a year with the P model or R model, or whatever model they come up with next. 

Edited by shirubadanieru
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2 hours ago, shirubadanieru said:
  • Leica launches the M11 model (baseline).
  • Users pick: Finish (Silver / Black / Safari) Viewfinder (0.58 / 0.72 / 0.85 ; paired frame lines / individual frame lines ; perhaps in future, EVF / Hybrid / OVF) Design (Regular / M-D) Sensor (MM / Regular) 
  • Pay based on your choices and get your Leica

Great idea. Add to the list of customizability: metering method, and base plate ;)

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