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Would you give Leica a free hand in M9 design?

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Statement from Leica Camera AG - 26/02/08: "It is true that it is the desire of Leica to consider full frame within the M system. However, the final decision regarding the appropriate camera body configuration has yet to be made."

 

So will we give Leica a free hand in designing a future digital M camera body?

 

The obstacles to using non-retrofocus lenses with full-frame sensors are widely discussed. It's a constraint of physics/ geometry. It could be solved by microlenses or in-camera software but no doubt with consequences that we cannot yet judge.

 

However, would consumers give Leica the freedom to totally redesign the camera body to accommodate any technological solutions?

 

What if it was the weight and size of an M but didn't look like one?

 

What if Leica listened to us and gave us a digital rangefinder which did everything people ask for in these threads? Would we give Leica the freedom to come up with a totally new and refreshing design?

 

As to the lenses, what if Leica needs to design new lenses to deliver a high level of performance with a full-frame sensor?

 

What if Leica had to abandon backwards compatibility and design for the future. Would we welcome that brave step into the future or would they be criticized from every Internet pulpit?

 

What if Leica gave priority to the values of rangefinder design – the rangefinder viewing and focusing system, lack of a mirror, quiet shutter, relatively compact size – over and above historical design and abandoned everything that stood in the way of achieving the best possible rangefinder for the 21st century?

 

Regards,

Mark

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I'd rather Leica concentrated on the lenses and gave the job of developing the body to Nikon (or another competent Japanese manufacturer).

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Guest stnami

Didn't Minolta do that job for Leica in the past for their SLRs?

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Are we in any position to make design decisions for Leica (or any other company for that matter) then:confused:

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1. Keep the mount, to allow legacy and third party lens use

2. Therefore keep the flange to sensor distance

3. Keep the direct vision viewfinder. Focus confirmation can be electronic, for all I care, but I want to be able to see the world directly, not on a screen or via a set of mirrors

4. Keep it quiet

5. Keep it small

6. Make it full frame

 

Beyond that, I don't care. Cover it in polycarbonate, give it fancy flash functions, electronic framelines, whatever.

 

The M9 shouldn't even be an M9. It should be a D3. Consider it this way.

 

The LTM line "ended" with the IIIG. It was a significant change from the previous LTMs in a number of ways, but it was clearly an LTM in shape and general design. To do any more required a new, different body. The M3 was a major departure, and the start of a whole new line. The DNA was clear, but it was implemented in a way that Barnack could only dream of.

 

Now is the time for Leica to make that leap again. You cannot climb to the top with both hands clasped to your arse...

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Are we in any position to make design decisions for Leica (or any other company for that matter) then:confused:

 

Jaap - don't worry - you honestly don't need to point-out the fact that Leica makes its own design, management and financial decisions without input from this forum every time anyone initiates a discussion that is not purely photographic in nature.

 

This is a very interesting topic because the poster is not saying "let's design the camera for them" - the OP is asking if we'd still buy the camera if it didn't look and feel like a traditional M. This is a very compelling topic, because even if Leica don't let us design the M9 ourselves, it is nonetheless the users who will ultimately decide the fate of the design anyway (by buying it or not).

 

I for one would be less inclined to buy an M9 if it didn't look and feel like a traditional M. But that is probably a retrogressive attitude.

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Personally, I prefer they DO NOT MAKE a "M9" for at least 5 or 6 years ...

:

 

- If it's fine, I'll feel sad for I have already my M8 and don't want to spend more money...

- If it's bad, I'll feel sad for Leica shall go in trouble...

 

... but this is egoistic... maybe really they'll do better to make it....

... the best they can do: I think they'll take into account customers'expectations (so, generally speaking, also the voices that arise from this forum...), but I think also that they have to count most of all on their engineering and design capabilities

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Are we in any position to make design decisions for Leica (or any other company for that matter) then:confused:

Right on Jaap......you read my mind !!

This forum is becoming one big joke .......... i think it's time to move on

 

Han

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Right on Jaap......you read my mind !!

This forum is becoming one big joke .......... i think it's time to move on

 

Han

 

As I stated above, the OP doesn't in any way suggest that Leica should follow some design blueprint provided for them by casual contributors here. Read the post again to understand the point he is making.

 

I must say I'm getting sorely tired of the people on this forum who constantly want to close down all discussion if it's not of the "I compared my M8 files to 5D files and the M8 is best!"-type.

 

Get used to the fact that people have a broad range of interests in the topic, and they're not all aligned with your personal viewpoint. It's called the internet. Get used to it or move on.

Which I see you're doing - so it's been nice knowing you. Bye!

 

EDIT: Incidentally, I'm also bewildered by all the posters who seem to think it's their personal duty to 'defend' Leica or pose as some sort of Leica policeman or unofficial company spokesman, even though their only connection with the company is that they own a camera.

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After reading this thread, which I thought was a very good topic, I went back to the last page (first posts) of this forum and had a look at what was being discussed, it is exactly the same stuff, people discussing whether buying an M8 in a digital age is worth it etc. etc.

Worries that a FF version would be released and make the M8 redundant before it had even been released etc. etc.

 

This is a Leica forum, and this is where people will come and discuss the brand and certain products, there are 100's of forums discussing technique and displaying results.

 

Why is the forum becoming a joke?? It doesn't seem to be any different from 2 years ago?

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Jaap - don't worry - you honestly don't need to point-out the fact that Leica makes its own design, management and financial decisions without input from this forum every time anyone initiates a discussion that is not purely photographic in nature.

 

This is a very interesting topic because the poster is not saying "let's design the camera for them" - the OP is asking if we'd still buy the camera if it didn't look and feel like a traditional M. This is a very compelling topic, because even if Leica don't let us design the M9 ourselves, it is nonetheless the users who will ultimately decide the fate of the design anyway (by buying it or not).

 

I for one would be less inclined to buy an M9 if it didn't look and feel like a traditional M. But that is probably a retrogressive attitude.

 

Well, my understanding of English may be faulty, but I read "give Leica the free hand"

certainly differently from "would we buy" .

If that is the question, my personal answer is: no, I would not buy a Leica M if the design changes drasticallÿ and if I had a choice. I refused to buy into the R8/9 series because I did not like the design and only bought an R9 now because it was the only way to get into the DMR. I still don't like its looks, but will admit that the ergonomics are superior.

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I've been trying to figure out if they've done anything wrong, yet.

 

Well ... they changed some things. That's not very German.

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......

So will we give Leica a free hand in designing a future digital M camera body?

...............

would consumers give Leica the freedom to totally redesign the camera body ..........

 

Give me a break: who are we? A forum, not Leica's shareholders!

 

The only choice we have, and as individuals only, is to buy or not to buy.

 

Would that choice be determined by this forum? I doubt it!

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Leica will do what they think best, but I hope they wont abandon the M style. It is what makes Leica different. I very much like the camera as it is, I have no problems holding it, I like the mechanically generated frames and have become more adept in focusing.

 

I hope they don't increase the distance lens to sensor because that would mean a whole new set of lenses. I think that increasing the sensor size to 36x24 from 27x18 could be a bit of a stretch, but a sensor of 30x20 could be achievable by incremental improvement in sensor technology. Couple that with better sensor design, 6x6 micron pixels and you could get 16mp with a 1 stop improvement in noise. 16 mp would be good to give leeway for cropping. Other than that I would like my M9 to be like my M8.

There is self-cleaning sensor technology, but my M8 seems less prone to spotting now it almost a year old than my DSLRs.

 

Jeff

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Give me a break: who are we? A forum, not Leica's shareholders!

 

Please people - let's give this forum a chance to be creative, fun and entertaining again. If you read the question and disapprove of the sentiment or the viewpoint, isn't it better to simply bypass it and start your own thread about what YOU think is a legitimate topic for the forum to discuss?

 

These constant bickerings are really getting me down and are just a deadweight on the forum as a whole imho. Give people some space.

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Totally agree.

 

I took the original question to be more asking whether we would prefer to keep the M range the same as it has always been design wise and mybe miss out on say a FF sensor, or would we as buyers buy into a slightly new design to get some of these new features?

 

I thought it was a very good topic and things like that always keep a forum going.

 

Maybe it is a language barrier, people take things wirtten to be literal something, things like 'Do we give Leica a free hand in design?'

I took that more as 'Would you as a Leica customer stick with the M range if the design changed?' rather than 'Are we going to allow Leica to change their designs in teh future!?'

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I thought it was a very good topic and things like that always keep a forum going.

Maybe it is a language barrier, people take things wirtten to be literal something, things like 'Do we give Leica a free hand in design?'

I took that more as 'Would you as a Leica customer stick with the M range if the design changed?' rather than 'Are we going to allow Leica to change their designs in teh future!?'

 

Yep - I guess we're hijacking the thread now with my rants about forum-freedom!

But I genuinely feel that the forum is really being dragged down to the ground by the constant nagging of people who feel they need to stop any sort of general debate whatsoever.

 

Come on! Let's keep the forum alive! No-one believes that the Leica designers are hanging on every word. But who knows, maybe even the supermen who work on Barnack Strasse have sometime found some inspiration from something they read somewhere...?

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Do they have to get our permission?

I hope Leica will have a better strategy than justfollowing a few people in web based photo-forums.

Coming on this forum I wonder why some of the posters are not working as product managers for Leica or Nikon or whatever company? At least some seem to feel they could do this job better than the people who actually do this job. (I dont think so)

Cheers, Tom

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With the risk of this thread going astray, let me clarify my question which was formed in response to a line in Leica’s press release of 26/02/08, namely “… it is the desire of Leica to consider full frame within the M system. However, the final decision regarding the appropriate camera body configuration has yet to be made.”

 

The M8 is a great achievement. Building it required compromises. Much of what is discussed in this forum concerns those compromises.

 

A key compromise was to keep as close as possible to the M look, size and shape.

 

Looking back to the M5, Leica was trying to meet market demand for features which were not cutting edge but were considered desirable for the time.

 

But it accommodated that demand by changing the look, size and shape of the M body. The market rejected the decision.

 

Would the market (as represented by those who post here) accept a radical departure from the M body in order to provide the features and functionality in a digital M demanded by those who post here?

 

It’s not a decision shareholders would take without researching what the market wants.

 

Finally I’m asking people’s view on backward compatibility of lenses. Leica might find that it could produce a full-frame rangefinder but one which would only perform at its best with a designated set of new lenses.

 

Regards,

Mark

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