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dalippe

M8 ergonomics poll

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Guest guy_mancuso

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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.

 

Wrong there is a way to do it and make it very ergonomic. I explained it to leica last year at PMA but just never put it on paper in a design form. But if done correctly it would work very nicely, even with the top shutter. Take a closer look at the DMR setup. The trick is to get the handstrap lugs just above the body and redesign the grip as a all in one piece . Bottom plate the bracket that come up the right side , gets attached through the existing camera lug than slightly above and than a curved hand strap going slightly backwards towards your wrist. it's all one piece with two connection points the bottom plate like today but also the camera lug on the right side with a inside bolt latch type setup into the camera lug. The other thing is the grip part itself needs to be flush with the body also.

 

Hard to explain in words but it could be done and still feel comfortable. The problem today with a setup i have is you have to twist your wrist backwards, so in a new design you have to slant the setup backwards some so your wrist will not twist. If the release was in the front instead of the top like it is , it would be a easier straight up design but with the top shutter you have to have that slant so the wrist can stay neutral.

 

The other part is if there is a catch to the camera lug it would have to be designed in such a way for a quick dismount to get to SD cards and battery.

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and I often find my hand blocking the optical pathway for the second image used to focus). I also think Leica should get rid of the baseplate, which serves only to slow down battery and card changes in the name of nostalgia.

 

Did you notice that great form/function design retained the same form factor, even with milleniums : look at the wheel.

So down with these horrible DSLR grips — as horrible as most current SUV bodies or family cars.

To me, the R9 ergonomy is far better thought than DSLR's : the so-called "grip"

is flushed with the body, fully part of it. Again, this is form/function at its highest

— and it's handled like a charm.

 

I could concur for the baseplate though : a base trap door (or two) could be easier and faster.

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The most important aspect of the M camera's ergonomic design for me is it's size. You desire a hand grip, the next guy will want something else, and then something else. Next thing you know you've got a camera that would be better substituted with a monster SLR.

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Guest guy_mancuso

I was thinking more as a add-on accessory like the grip today , just another option. I agree you have to be careful with permanent fixtures like this but as a add-on a big benefit for some folks if not a lot.

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I agree that a more molded grip for the M8/M9(?) would be nice, but I disagree that it should be in the body. I really like the shape of the older film M grip, although I would want it with a full baseplate, like the M8 grip:

 

Leica Handgrip M for MP & M7

 

I find the body itself almost perfect, and like the fact that it has nothing to catch on anything anywhere. A bit more customisability would be a bonus, like some kind of thumbrest, or a film-camera-like winding lever, but the basic body I would want to keep as is, with one exception: I find my M6 more comfortable, and would like the M9 to return to M6 (not M6TTL) size.

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I wouldn't change too much. Personally I prefer having a grip on the camera – which is why I bought the Leica grip at the same time as the camera body. I also found that I didn't much like the feel of the shutter release button; I had to "dig" for it with my fingertip and that felt strange. So I got one of Luigi's soft-release buttons and that's just super. I was a bit concerned about scrapes and knocks (and also the noise of the shutter) and so bough a Luigi half-case, fitted for the Leica grip, and that deals with those – while also improving handling.

 

What I like about all of this is that while I may have departed some way from the minimalist, most-classic Leica outline, I've ended up with a camera that I really like to hold and which works for me. The customisability is key here. By contrast, I can't take the grip off my D200, or change its shutter release button, or whatever. I'd say keep the form factor as compact and minimal as it can be, but allow the user the option of expanding the model to suit their own preferences... which is pretty much where we are now.

 

That said, I couldn't agree more that ISO on a dial is something I'd use constantly. That really is something I can do on the D200 in a heartbeat (though admittedly it's a button-push-and-dial-twist on that camera). ISO is our third exposure control after aperture and shutter speed; it deserves to have a home outside a menu. I'd also have some kind of press-stud failsafe to prevent the user accidentally switching the camera to self-timer. And I'd have a big glowing red LED right smack in the middle of the viewfinder, triggered by the exposure meter, that says "YOU'VE LEFT THE LENS CAP ON AGAIN, DUMB-ASS!"

 

Those things aside, though, it's astonishing how few of the myriad controls of the D200 I miss on the M8.

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...I think the M9 should incorporate a molded hand grip in the style of modern SLRs and have an option for a small, attachable vertical grip... I also think Leica should get rid of the baseplate, which serves only to slow down battery and card changes in the name of nostalgia...

Agree for the baseplate but have you ever tried the R-D1? Has a nearly perfect ergonomy to me. Give me the same with a longer based RF, better microlenses and a bigger RAW buffer and i'll sign the cheque right now.

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Agree for the baseplate but have you ever tried the R-D1? Has a nearly perfect ergonomy to me. Give me the same with a longer based RF, better microlenses and a bigger RAW buffer and i'll sign the cheque right now.

 

I second this wholeheartedly!

 

I must admit I was rather dubious about what superficially appeared to be a 'nostalgic' look to the analog dials and counters - but together with the fold-away LCD and easy one-touch access to all the menu items I need while shooting, the ergonomy is definitely the best I've ever experienced from any digital camera. I think a lot more M-film users would have felt right at home with the R-D1, if they'd given it a chance.

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But I've had my M8 for a year now, and still don't like the way it sits in my hand. I use the Leica grip which is some help, but still not up to par, IMHO, with modern, molded DSLR grips. I also have a thumbs up on the way which may help.

 

I strongly dislike the feel of DSLR-style "molded to your hand" ergonomic shapes. They just feel wrong to me. (I don't like the way those cameras feel when you pick them up and use them.) Additionally, the weight of the M8, especially with Chrome lenses is a *bonus* not a downside. Of course, simple, exposed controls (that feel good), lacking clutter, is a win, also.

Let me make a jump here: Does the M8's form factor and feel make me a better photographer? Yes. The M8's design puts me on notice to "pay attention" when shooting. And it demands that I pay attention to factors that directly affect the shooting. Nothing more, nothing less. This is a good thing and my photos are better for it. It's like cutting with a sharp knife--you pay damned close attention to what you're doing and the cuts are just what you intended.

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I've continued paying attention to my experience of the M8 ergonomics since originally starting this thread. At the time I started it, I was spending lots of time shooting with my 75 'lux in portrait position. That is my heaviest lens, and portrait position is still more awkward for me than landscape.

 

I still think the M8 needs a better add-on grip (and an add-on vertical grip!). But I have noticed that the lack of better grips only bothers me with my two heaviest lenses-- Noctilux and 75 'lux. I find handling the camera with these two lenses very awkward, especially in portrait orientation. But for my wide angles, and to some extent even for my 50 Summilux, the M8 is easy enough to hold, if still not as comfortable as I think it should be.

 

On another note, I have received and like the Thumbs Up. Unfortunately, it is either the Thumbs Up or the Leica Grip-- the combination is very uncomfortable to me. So far I think I prefer the Thumbs Up to the grip, and am using it on both of my M8s. So they have become more comfortable for me, if still not as comfortable as I think they could/should be.

 

I'll also re-emphasize what I said about the base plate. Just last night I had to format three cards--- it was ridiculous to sit there putting the plate off and on, off and on, off and on, off and on. The astute reader will note one more "off and on" than should be required to format three cards. That is because I didn't plan well and my last card formatted wasn't the card I wanted in the camera. So there was one additional off and on to get the right card into the camera

 

David

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I miss the flash sync cover as a tactile reference.

Also I am hoping for a return to vulcanite.

Forget the moulded handgrip stuff.

-bob

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The most difficult thing is to hold the M8 steady while shooting vertical at slow shutter speeds.

Everybody has his technique, I think I figured out the best one for me.

The idea is to hold the camera with the left hand, with the thumb on the other side of the LCD, that gives a good grip thanks to its thickness. The camera lays in the palm and the elbow is close to the chest.

The neck strap can help a lot if it's enough tight.

Then, the right hand can press the shutter with the thumb or the first finger, that is less determinant.

This way, I can get acceptable and even good results with a 50mm and 1/2 second.

I join two pictures that will explain better than my words.

Focusing can be done with second and third fingers of the left hand, or the usual way with the right hand before shooting.

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Disagree with the original post - leave it more or less as it is.

 

Despite taking up photography only 5 years ago, with a dSLR (my first camera), my Leica M8 feels perfectly comfortable, albeit with two changes: replacement of the covering with grippier leather, and use of a Thumbs Up grip.

 

With the original slippery covering and no thumb grip, I found the Leica M8 worryingly insecure to hold. OK, I do use a neckstrap, but you really don't need niggling doubts in the back of your mind about the camera slipping from your grasp when you're meant to be concentrating on photography. Poor attention to detail, Leica...

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Ergonomics, like good writing, is about keeping things simple and not changing things for effect.

 

Elegant variation is good. Featuritis is the equivalent of purple prose. The engineer and the designer-stylist are not the same person.

 

Thus Leica works, not because it has some “timeless style”. Rather it is a pure expression of what the engineer intended, without the interference of the designer-stylist.

 

At Leica, the designer-stylist is thankfully restricted to choosing colours and leather patterns. That is ok. That is where s/he belongs.

 

If engineering changes allowed the production of full frame or other worthy advance, that should be considered. It has nothing to do with style.

 

The Leica shape works because it is smallish and has few controls. A Nikon EL felt as comfortable in my hands. A Voightlaender Vito CLR did not, because the shutter release is positioned on the front of the camera.

 

Regards.

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Ergonomics, like good writing, is about keeping things simple and not changing things for effect.

 

Elegant variation is good. Featuritis is the equivalent of purple prose. The engineer and the designer-stylist are not the same person.

 

Thus Leica works, not because it has some “timeless style”. Rather it is a pure expression of what the engineer intended, without the interference of the designer-stylist.

 

At Leica, the designer-stylist is thankfully restricted to choosing colours and leather patterns. That is ok. That is where s/he belongs.

 

If engineering changes allowed the production of full frame or other worthy advance, that should be considered. It has nothing to do with style.

 

The Leica shape works because it is smallish and has few controls. A Nikon EL felt as comfortable in my hands. A Voightlaender Vito CLR did not, because the shutter release is positioned on the front of the camera.

 

Regards.

 

That's what I think as well. Designers are ok on object that have to be sold to the mass, IMO, not on niche object whose principal purposes are semplicity and smooth working. Well, sort of...

Edited by epand56

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I'd only wish that the M8 (or M9) is the same dimensions as the traditional M. all the way from the M3 to the MP

 

Also a lever self-timer for old-times sake and a batter pack the same size and dimensions as the Leicavit

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Apparently the styling is of the 'Babe-Magnet' school of design......Why change that?

 

Please note - this works both ways! Perfect form:

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