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bebert

Is it a joke?

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I received this morning the Leica M8 user information letter with the upgrade kit announcement. My first reaction comforted by the latest threads on the forum would be: is it a joke?

 

If I look to the recent discussions on the forum about the potential features of a M9, two recurrent topics are mentioned : a full frame sensor, allowing us to fully profit from the superlative quality of Leica’s optics and get a better quality of high iso pictures (and keep the M digital in the race with respect to the competitors’ full frame offer) and the framing accuracy (which is a real issue compared to the M6). I would also add the problem of back focusing which I was not able to address for some of my older lenses (in particular with a non asph 50mm summilux).

 

And what does now Leica offer to its trusted aficionados? A sapphire glass (who cares? Never had a problem by taking reasonable care of my equipment) and a quieter shutter (with a downgraded 1/4000 speed)! Price : 1.200€ paid in March with an implementation program scheduled next August…

 

I am really surprised. Certainly a very interesting case study for a very original (and risky?) new marketing approach….

 

Bebert

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And what does now Leica offer to its trusted aficionados? A sapphire glass (who cares? Never had a problem by taking reasonable care of my equipment) and a quieter shutter (with a downgraded 1/4000 speed)! Price : 1.200€ paid in March with an implementation program scheduled next August…

 

I am really surprised. Certainly a very interesting case study for a very original (and risky?) new marketing approach….

 

Bebert

 

I totally agree... but unfortunately it's not a joke..

 

EM

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I think it makes sense on several levels. A full-frame sensor and other features are not better, just different. Instead, this ensures that customers can trust the company not to disembowel their investment every year.

 

...and focus their resources on new products such as the R10 instead of constant me-too "improvements".

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Guest stnami
Instead, this ensures that customers can trust the company not to disembowel their investment every year.

 

No it means that customers can be en-trusted to the company and be disembowelled of their finances every year.

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I think it is a decent idea in principle. It fits in well with environmental concerns about wastage, etc. and it may offer a financial saving versus selling your existing camera and buying the newer 'version'. However, I don't personally find the upgrade particularly compelling (the extra two years warranty is the only thing that interests me - but not for €1200) and I'm not sure I care much for paying in full, six months in advance.

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No it means that customers can be en-trusted to the company and be disembowelled of their finances every year.

 

Made me laugh.... but seriously..... this is what Nikon and Canon do every year....

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Only with canon and Nikon you throw away the whole body and pay out 3000$ every year.

I don't see Mr Lee holding a gun to your head to hand over your money. You might consider keeping the camera as it is and make photographs with it instead of dreaming pie in the sky dreams about the full-frame rangefinder myth....

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Let's not exaggerate. The only Nikons and Canons costing anywhere near $3000 are on a much longer schedule, more like 3 years. The 1D2N was an exception there, and more of a stop-gap solution.

 

Also keep in mind that the average Nikon or Canon "upgrade" is much more compelling than a new LCD screen cover and a quieter shutter. Typically, high ISO has been improved, the viewfinder has possibly grown a percent or two in coverage, the resolution has been increased, and so on.

 

I still like what Leica has done. If someone doesn't like the deal, don't buy it.

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sorry but for 1.200€ paid in March with an implementation program to be start on next August ( meaning you probably get your refurbished M8 back one year after you paid), I want at least also a new sensor even not a full frame... but more mega pixels...

 

and how much than will be the price of the new M8 after August with the improuvements ? the actual price + around €1000 or the actual price with just a little augmentation ?

It will be more conveninet to subscribe the program or sell the "old" M8 and buy a new one ??

 

Regards,

EM

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Where does it say that you have to pay in March? In my email from Leica it says "as of". It is optional. You just need to pay before you get.

 

What you want is not relevant. This is what Leica offers. Take it or leave it. Buy just the upgrades you like. FF will surely come, but this is not that time.

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Guest stnami

Yea it's the old Reader's Digest trick employed by all.... try to keep the punters for life, send out titbits, a couple of rewards here and there....done, direct mental access to bank accounts!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

as below

Some of you are so gear-hungry
,,,,, and the reality is that none of us really need all this gear to take shots of the neighbour's moggy so we can send the picture to the local council and demand that it gets put down

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LOL. Some of you are so gear-hungry. Just because there's an upgrade available does not mean you have to go buy it. I don't need any of the upgrades in the current offering, except the new firmware for better WB - and that's free.

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I think it is a decent idea in principle. It fits in well with environmental concerns about wastage, etc. and it may offer a financial saving versus selling your existing camera and buying the newer 'version'. However, I don't personally find the upgrade particularly compelling (the extra two years warranty is the only thing that interests me - but not for €1200) and I'm not sure I care much for paying in full, six months in advance.

 

As Carsten has pointed out, a careful reading of the email shows that you may sign up for the upgrade starting in March, and the result is not promised until after August (after the end of vacation, not just before, thank you). The question of when your credit card will be charged has not been specifically answered yet. For the 30% lens rebate the charge was made only as the lens was shipped. I will be interested in the specifics of the new shutter (such as does it have an opening sufficient for an eventual FF imager). Since I am not particularly enamoured of shallow depth of field, I believe my highest recorded shutter speed to date is 1/3000 sec, and that was probably when I forgot to reset ISO from 800...

 

scott

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Guest Olof
I want at least also a new sensor even not a full frame... but more mega pixels...

 

Why ? Is here anybody who wasnt able to make a picture because he only has 10 MP ?

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No it means that customers can be en-trusted to the company and be disembowelled of their finances every year.

 

Well, we don't usually disagree here, but this is just wrong.

 

To everyone: you don't have to upgrade.

 

There's nothing in the upgrade notice that changed your M8 at all, except maybe since it's "current" it'll probably hold more value!

 

I fail to see how Leica has conned or disembowelled anyone of anything!!

 

It's actually a protection of your investment in the camera.

 

The normal scenario is the following:

 

PMA 08: Leica shocks everyone by announcing a M9 available 1Q '09. The M8 becomes cheaper and sales drop because everyone is waiting for the M9.

Resources get put on the brand-new platform, and firmware for the old one becomes low-priority. The price of used M8s has reached all-time lows, even as glass soars.

 

Everyone with an M8 decides whether or not they will buy the new platform...

 

Back to reality, except for the fact that Leica is implicitly saying to everyone with an M8 "thanks for investing in us, when we get some really cool stuff going in the future, you're covered" I don't see why anyone would think this is a ploy!

 

It's childish, really, to say anything else. If this were Canon, you'd all be out 50% of the value of your brand-new pro-level camera because the new model would supercede yours (though to be fair, Canon is very good at sapping the market value of their new stock too: I've seen 5ds for as little, new, as $1300 with rebates; I paid over $4K for mine in November 2006).

 

Carsten: I don't think Canon is not on a 3 year announce cycle! The 1ds2 was out in 2006, here it is 2008 and the 1ds3 is here. Even my accountants will write off digital cameras in 18 months. We'll see how long it takes for Nikon to have a D3x (look at the 80D! Now when was the 40D announced? Last year?)

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Guest guy_mancuso

I agree we really should be very happy that there IS a upgrade path. This one may not be what you want but down the road there maybe a upgrade that makes more sense to you. That part is the key , you can stay level with the technology at hand and not have to buy something else. The nice thing is you can pick and choose what you want in it as more upgrades are announced. That is the part you need to think about not so much this upgrade today but what about tomorrow and let's say electronic frame lines comes along. Hell i would just give them my Credit card for that one. So look at it as a future upgradeable camera that you can have

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I am happy that the principle of an upgrade path has been established. I suppose it is a personal decision whether what is being offered is really an upgrade. To me, neither the sapphire glass LCD cover or the quieter shutter are compelling or worth the price. Neither affects image quality.

 

To me the real value in the upgrade is the CLA and the 2 year extended warranty. For an electronic product having another 2 years is clearly worthwhile. Whether this form of insurance is worth 1200 Euros or $1800 is something I will have to ponder. I suspect that I will do it and rationalize it by saying that I am not shelling out for a new camera.

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Why bring Nikon or Canon into this discussion. If we are going to start down that road as it relates to upgrades things get complicated. This is about Leica AG and the M8.

 

The good news is an additional two year warranty, and a brand new shutter, which happens to be quieter. Shutter/wind noise has been a serious complaint in this very forum, they listened and came-up with a solution (not perfect but close).

 

Another complaint has been broken scratched LCD screens again they addressed the problem had by many of this forums members.

 

A promise with more upgrades to follow - what they could be is anyones guess. I have my own guesses but that is what they are guesses.

 

The new firmware apparently addresses the auto WB issues and has been issued.

 

Leica could have just put these minor tweaks and a few other dodads in a body and called it an M9. They chose to take care of the M8 pioneers at a price. Thank you Mr. Lee.

 

As for paying up front my guess is that they will take your credit card info and charge you when they complete the work. Essentially you will book in advance with your CC and get charged on delivery. Not unlike the 30% lens offer.

 

How well they deliver the upgrade will be important to their future endeavors and I suspect they are taking their time getting the infrastructure set-up to do this well and right, thus August 2008. Keeping in mind it is a Photokina year.

 

Don't you just love being an M8 pioneer. I do.

 

Best to all. Terry

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I am happy that the principle of an upgrade path has been established. I suppose it is a personal decision whether what is being offered is really an upgrade. To me, neither the sapphire glass LCD cover or the quieter shutter are compelling or worth the price. Neither affects image quality.

 

To me the real value in the upgrade is the CLA and the 2 year extended warranty. For an electronic product having another 2 years is clearly worthwhile. Whether this form of insurance is worth 1200 Euros or $1800 is something I will have to ponder. I suspect that I will do it and rationalize it by saying that I am not shelling out for a new camera.

 

You believe that $75/month is a reasonable fee for two years of extended warranty on a 10 megapixel retro-style digital camera?

 

I love New York.

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I was initially pissed about the cost although Leica is now the only camera maker that I know of that defies built-in obsolescence by offering hardware upgrades that keep the M8 from sliding into technological extinction. Sure, these two upgrades may not be considered all that impressive but they have committed to offer more in the future. In this regard, Leica has become very green on the environment, though not so green on the wallet.

Regards,

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