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dalippe

M8 ergonomics poll

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...If you ever held a DMR in your hands than you will immediately fall in love with it's design it is truly the best i ever had. I really wish the M8 was just like it only scaled correctly for the M8. I'm hoping the M9 has a better mouse trap here. I'm a grip and hand strap person. I would prefer it to be independent though, this way for everyone they would be given the choice.

 

Guy, I couldn't agree more. The DMR is probably the most ergonomic camera I've ever used as well. I'm not sure that that comfortable grip with hand strap could be adapted to the next M though... The R9 is just so much thicker.

 

I do love the way an M8 feels in the hand for a full day of shooting, though. Incidentally, I don't personally use the grip or ThumbsUp.

 

David

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I'd really like to see a future digital M being closer to the M6 dimensions

 

I agree completely. The M6 is the most comfortable camera I've ever held in my hands.

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I vote for staying traditional.... Keep It Simple!

 

BUT

 

The "digital" aspects of the M8 specifically could use some improvements. My "digital" I mean the menus and controls that were added to accommodate the "digital back". For example, a quicker more convenient way to change ISO/profiles ( and more profiles too).

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David - We've been hear a few times before and I doubt anyone has changed their mind from such discussions - including me. The ergonomics of the M8 remain poor, the camera never feels safe in my hand unlike even the cheapest Nikon DSLR, or the wonderful M7. That's the Mamiya7.

 

Leica aren't listening so don't lose sleep.

 

................ Chris

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Hiyas,

 

I'd agree "they" chose to keep the form over certain functions while making the "8" an "M"...

 

As posted, the M4-M6 "Classic" form has been accepted and endorsed(with M3 & 2 setting that standard), with special consideration to the film advance lever as "thumb-hold". A decade or two with these rigs, it has become /known/ to me, as well others.

 

The M8 loss(sic) of the "thumb-hold" did present a hitch in my giddy-up, yet the focus remained the same: that is, the right hand required some acclimation, but the left was perfectly saddled, lens adjustments where they have been... for many years. In sum, the camera body as medium transport was translated(NB!) very well, with due respect to the manipulation of the lens( aka Glass) kept for those who do not know(haptics) other lenses(nor wish to, perhaps?).

 

Simply because the M8 is digital does not mandate it take on the DSLR guise: as AE/F lenses polluted the SLR, so too their weight, AND lack of (left)hand-eye(framing) coordination... wiither the left hand /under/ the body when (D)SLR lenses required "leaving" the body for the rings 60mm out? The right hand thus bore the (weight)burden with "the grip"(and it's a swell spot to pack the batteries too!)... point is, Leica M kit has fit very well within the extension of fingers from both right and left hand palms supporting the body /together/... and the rounded ends fit the space between thumb and index finger smoothly(OK, so this form also had the film transport included too!).

 

The shutter is not the "trigger"... the eye is: unless using AF, that requires both the left and right hands coordinated, which weights the rig between the two, not in the grip of the "Right" hand. And then there's the "left-eyed, right-eyed" issue... OK, Ms are not perfect

 

The M8 is refreshingly balanced after a spate of button-strewn ergo-economics.

 

rgds,

Dave

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Could not agree more.The M8 had to be made 2mm thicker for all the equipment that had to go inside (see Mark Nortons facinating post) The M6 grew a little higher for ttl flash metering.

Brian

 

If you measure the top plate, it's 3mm thicker. The front-to-back dimension (lens mount to arrow buttons on M8, lens mount to ISO dial on M6) is approx 6mm greater.

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The lens mount protrudes 2mm, which it doesn't on film M's and the buttons 1 mm, which both do not influence the ergonomic function, nor the body depth. 2 or 3mm thicker seems about right. The thing to do is to measure the width of the top or bottom plate.

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The M8 needs at total redesign to make it look more professional. How about adding a mirror and 'lock-up' option while they are at it?

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I like the M8 as it is. The suggestion of moulded hand-grips and ergonomic form factors doesn't meet any of my needs. Leica already has plenty of experience in this area - the R series is designed very closely around the mechanics of the hand, so it's reasonable to assume the design of the M8 isn't down to ignorance.

 

The shape of the M series is to satisfy a different goal -- namely to pare the camera down to the absolute minimum. And it is for exactly that reason that I like it. The moment it comes with moulded grips, polycarbonate housing and side loading card slots is the moment I'll stop using it.

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I love the minimalist spartan shape of the M. However with a very simple elegant design a tiny change can have a big impact. Despite mimicking the form of the film M's the M8 does not come close in terms of ergonomics.

 

The loss of purchase for the thumb and the slick covering force you to maintain an uncomfortably tight grip on the camera. I've switched to Griptac covering and glued a tiny lozenge shaped bumper (the foot from a laptop) to act as a stop for my thumb on the back. Now my M8 can be held with one hand comfortably and securely just like a film M.

 

Now if they had only made the ISO and EVO controls external analogue controls instead of burying them in an LCD menu and they had paid more attention to the shutter feel and sound.

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I've lost count of the number of times that complete strangers have come up to me on seeing the M8 and said something like: "My dad used to have an old camera like that can you still buy them?" I try to explain but it usually gets followed up with something like, “Everyone I know has gone digital!” Sometimes you can’t win.

 

The only reason I think some modifications would be desirable is if they could find a way to improve the precision and accuracy of the rangefinder / viewfinder to better match the much more critical needs of the digital sensor now that it has superseded film.

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Guest tummydoc
Guy, I couldn't agree more. The DMR is probably the most ergonomic camera I've ever used as well. I'm not sure that that comfortable grip with hand strap could be adapted to the next M though... The R9 is just so much thicker.

 

I do love the way an M8 feels in the hand for a full day of shooting, though. Incidentally, I don't personally use the grip or ThumbsUp.

 

David

 

I agree with you 100% David. The DMR and M8 are so entirely different in terms of size, weight and control layout that it is beyond foolish to extrapolate grip ergonomics from one to the other.

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I love the minimalist spartan shape of the M. However with a very simple elegant design a tiny change can have a big impact. Despite mimicking the form of the film M's the M8 does not come close in terms of ergonomics.

 

The loss of purchase for the thumb and the slick covering force you to maintain an uncomfortably tight grip on the camera. I've switched to Griptac covering and glued a tiny lozenge shaped bumper (the foot from a laptop) to act as a stop for my thumb on the back. Now my M8 can be held with one hand comfortably and securely just like a film M.

 

Now if they had only made the ISO and EVO controls external analogue controls instead of burying them in an LCD menu and they had paid more attention to the shutter feel and sound.

 

I can't write it any better. While I loved my M5 and it's not yet duplicated features we know it flopped because of the shape issue.

 

We like the M shape, do not mess with it. Now if you wanted a technologically up-to-date upgrade . . . that would be very interesting. But even then, the basic shape - as it fits the hand - should probably remain.

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All this talk about the slippery grip. Doesn't anybody use a neck strap anymore? If one does, dropping the camera is of no concern.

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It is not about dropping, it is about necessitating to hold the camera too tightly when shooting. It helps to have an optimal grip with long shutter speeds. A leather-covered camera is easier to handle. But my wife complained it smells of leather.

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I love the minimalist spartan shape of the M. ....

 

I agree, Leica Camera sell the minimum "shape" and let the users customize to their hearts' content. There is a nice aftermarket for bolt-ons and stick-ons; let it thrive.

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The more I shoot with it, the more I find I dislike the scroll wheel as an ergonomic choice. It's right where the meat of my thumb wants to be on the camera, and pushes my hand away from the camera. If I move my hand to the outside, away from the screen, my middle finger can sometimes cover the second focusing window. I guess they could have moved the whole assembly over the the left as far as they could've managed it. Or found some ingenious way to replace the scroll wheel... maybe use an ipod-style recessed/flat one–the original mechanical one, I mean.

 

So I'm with everyone who takes issue with the grip. But I've gotten used to it, and love the camera (did from day 1).

 

I do wish they would allow more button customization... that way everyone could get what they want for iso/ev comp.

 

Most of all I do wish they would have added the shutter speed to the viewfinder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that would have improved the shooting experience!

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Please, Leica, keep the ergonomics the way they are.

 

I really do not notice the 2mm difference with the film M's.

 

For me the ergonomics of both the MP and the M8 are just fine.

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I would also like to keep it in the traditional shape/form/design, with few changes:

1) Fast Access for exp-comp

2) direct access to battery and sd-card without opening the bottom plate

3) I also prefered the slightly thinner design of the film Ms

 

Overall the Leica M-line is just fine for me, I really like the simplicity

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I have the Leica grip, which is heavy, but it's okay. Nick Devlin, who wrote the G9 vs M8 article on Luminous Landscape, mentions using a custom (black) grip on the small G9. I looked it up, and found that it sticks on with adhesive, which the maker says can be carefully peeled off. This might be relevant for some M8 users, as it probably would fit, and help with grip problems. Some of the other stuff on the site, like the hot shoe cap and the thumb rest, might also have some interest. It's here:

 

Kleptography - Don Ellis - Richard Franiec's Components

 

 

I have no involvement with these guys, etc. Haven't even bought anything.

 

JC

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