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M8 Iraq field test - ouch...

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Anyone taken out any statistics on when anything new or interesting was posted in this thread?

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As for the point about the 4gig card - in Kamber's review (which I assume from your post that you haven't read), his problem is not with how often the card needs to be changed, so much as under certain specific circumstances (not shared by the majority of shooters), having to remove a bottomplate to change an SD card might be a problem.

 

We're discussing his review, as far as I can see. Fyi Jeff I would personally not have that particular problem, as I am very rarely asked at gunpoint to hand over the card in my camera.

 

Well I did read the review and I am afraid that being able to change a SD card quickly to avoid confiscation is not something that Leica could have reasonably been expected to have foreseen. Mr Kamber made that comment and we have all read it but it should not be recorded as a 'black mark' against the M8. It is irrelevant for 99.99% of the camera's use. If he was shooting with Leica film cameras they would just have confiscated his film.

 

Jeff

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Plasticman - I thought I addressed the issues Kamber brought up that affected my M8. He complained about having to remove the bottom plate to change the card and about lag time between shots. I addressed those issues. I have only accidentally changed the setting to the self-timer about twice in two years of heavy use on two M8's. Then I quickly turned the camera on and off again and solved that problem. I have much more often accidentally moved my Canon lenses from Autofocus to Manual without realizing it until I had taken quite a few out of focus photos! As far as noise at high ISOs goes, I don't use high ISOs. I use fast Leica lenses wide open. The color shifts don't affect me. I shoot RAW and develop in Lightroom. I have shot in Iraq but with film.

<http://www.pbase.com/tinamanley/faces_of_iraq>

M8s were not out when I was there. If I did take an M8 into conditions like Iraq, I would be sure to have a film back-up, not another digital camera. One of my M8s did have to have the shutter replaced (quickly and under warranty) after almost two years of heavy use. My Canon 5D has been back to Canon more often. Anything else I need to address?

 

Tina Manley

Tina Manley- powered by SmugMug

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Hi Tina - I hope you weren't offended by my post - that definitely wasn't the intention.

 

However, even having read your response above my point remains: I feel that Michael Kamber raises some important issues which are wide-ranging: everything from what he sees as shortcomings in camera design, to his disappointment with the quality of images that are possible with currently existing lenses.

 

He stresses, as I've said before, that his impressions are only his own, and that others may have another experience of the camera entirely - which you obviously have.

 

But to take the example of the bottomplate for instance - the point (as I understand it) that Kamber is making is not the length of time it takes to change an SD card on an M8, but rather, the more generic question of the design, prototyping and testing of a camera which leads to a (nostalgic?) decision to keep the bottomplate rather than a solution that might be more functional (and therefore more strictly in keeping with the functional tradition of M cameras) - and his experience (under combat conditions) is merely an illustration of the problem.

 

I think a lot of the discussion on this thread has been about these details - often picked-off at random and in isolation - when actually Kamber's article appears to me to be a general questioning of the methodology that resulted in the M8 in it's present incarnation, together with a guide to how he hopes this might be improved in the future.

 

Regards //Mani

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Hi Tina - I hope you weren't offended by my post - that definitely wasn't the intention.

 

However, even having read your response above my point remains: I feel that Michael Kamber raises some important issues which are wide-ranging: everything from what he sees as shortcomings in camera design, to his disappointment with the quality of images that are possible with currently existing lenses.

 

He stresses, as I've said before, that his impressions are only his own, and that others may have another experience of the camera entirely - which you obviously have.

 

But to take the example of the bottomplate for instance - the point (as I understand it) that Kamber is making is not the length of time it takes to change an SD card on an M8, but rather, the more generic question of the design, prototyping and testing of a camera which leads to a (nostalgic?) decision to keep the bottomplate rather than a solution that might be more functional (and therefore more strictly in keeping with the functional tradition of M cameras) - and his experience (under combat conditions) is merely an illustration of the problem.

 

I think a lot of the discussion on this thread has been about these details - often picked-off at random and in isolation - when actually Kamber's article appears to me to be a general questioning of the methodology that resulted in the M8 in it's present incarnation, together with a guide to how he hopes this might be improved in the future.

 

Regards //Mani

 

Good thing you finally cleared this up for us, Mani. I don't think we were previously clear on how you felt about the Kamber piece or the M8.

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Mani--

I think you often make a lot of sense, and I may (occasionally

) give you less credence than you're due.

 

In regard to removing the bottom plate to change cards: I doubt that Leica did it that way out of sheer nostalgia.

 

Have you seen Mark Norton's disassembly of the M8? There's very little room in that housing. To be able to use M lenses and to keep M users happy, they had to keep the general form of earlier Ms. Nevertheless, the camera had to grow a bit in every dimension. To keep everything as compact as possible, they may have had to put the card under the baseplate.

 

There's another thread in which someone complains that the USB connection cover gets in his way when shooting. Had Leica put another flap on the camera to cover an end-mounted card receptacle, we'd have had an often-used cover that might be in the way for some, that would have been more fragile, and that would certainly have been less water-tight.

 

I'm only saying that we can't know, looking at the M8, that "Leica didn't think about such-and-such." They quite likely thought about it and came to the best solution given other constraints.

 

The camera is amazingly good IMHO, given that it's Leica's first venture into home-grown instantaneous digital capture (leaving out the S1), and given that we M users are a particularly picky bunch to please.

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Thanks Howard for at least taking my input the way it's meant to be: constructively looking towards a future digital M that I hope will match the quality of the film Ms in every possible respect.

Given how much effort and enthusiasm I've invested in putting together a modest but nice little collection of lenses that I hope to use on a future M9 (and which get plenty of use now on the Epson and film M's), I'm consistently surprised that people take my input as ill-willed.

 

I guess I'm done with this thread now.

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...In regard to removing the bottom plate to change cards: I doubt that Leica did it that way out of sheer nostalgia...

 

 

So a hinged door on a fixed baseplate would be too tough for them? It seems simpler and more space efficient to me.

 

And as you pointed out previously, a simple leather or plastic device could be glued around the buttons to solve that problem. I think I could make one in a few minutes. So how hard could it be for Leica to do it? (They don't have to change the casting on the camera, just glue a raised piece of plastic over the casting before they cover it.) Form should follow function in this case.

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This is still the case. I had to put tape over the switch on my relatively new 24-70/2.8 Canon lens.

 

Yes, I don't think Canon changed the design on existing lenses, just on newer ones. Too bad.

 

So Tina's recommendation puts the cabosh on the M8 being the "wrong" camera for heavy news coverage such as in Iraq. It is "right" for her and "wrong" for Kamber, I guess.

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Charles--yes, we're talking the same thing; and Jeff's description is accurate.

 

Your description exactly matches the way my camera used to work: I lost several 'one-off' photos by bringing the camera to my eye and pressing the release only to discover that it had been in 'sleep' mode and wasn't ready yet to take a picture. To release the shutter required a second press altogether.

 

The original M8's had major problems, as you're aware, and needed to go back to Solms

 

About the beginning of this year, the so-called M8-2 appeared, with improvements to several aspects. To my knowledge, it was only at that time that Leica could address the problem you speak of.

 

My camera, after adjustment early this year, now behaves as Jeff's does: If the camera is been in 'sleep' mode and I push the shutter release all the way through, the camera doesn't fire. If I push the release far enough to turn on the meter (red LED on back lights up, VF LEDs light up), and then press the release through, the picture gets taken with proper exposure.

 

Okay, I think mine does this but not totally sure how it makes it faster to wake up and take the shot, at least compared to a Nikon/Canon (and I don't use af normally).

 

Anyway, took it out for a walk around yesterday after not using it a while (D3 has been doing th heavy lifting lately) and find the rangefinder is out of whack. I leave on July 2nd for a month holiday in Europe, and Solms is not on the itinerary. Guess I'll pull out the hex key or have a local guy take a look at it. They do film M's so not sure how the M8 would be that different. Or maybe I just swallow and take a film camera.

 

That's the thing about this camera, at least for me - it seems as if it's not one thing it's another, an endless string of frustration. I wish I could afford two M8s but then it would probably turn out I need three.....

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The slow wakeup time was aproblem for me, being used to Canons no-lag.

But after some time (like framing-couple of months, maybe even six) I got used to it.

One has to press to wake up camera before he starts to sharpen and compose.

At best, one will sharpen (and compose) the image in a aprox. second.

The problem, of course, is if you work with lens set at hyperfocal distance, and shoot from the hip...i think it is a matter of routine.

Of course, I wish it was 0,00 sec.

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Given how much effort and enthusiasm I've invested in putting together a modest but nice little collection of lenses that I hope to use on a future M9 (and which get plenty of use now on the Epson and film M's), I'm consistently surprised that people take my input as ill-willed.

 

You're right. I re-read your comments in this thread and would have to say that my initial interpretation of your tone and motivation was probably incorrect. I apologize for my remarks.

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I am afraid I have to disagree on the bottom plate. To my mind keeping the bottom plate with the card inside was exactly the right decision for a manual focus camera that can shoot up to 2fps for about 10 frames when you will get 180 odd dngs out of a 2gig card and 360 out of a 4gig card. 99% of users will be able to shoot away all day without even a thought of changing cards. Surely for the great majority of users it is a non issue.

 

The M9 will probably take 8gig cards and have a longer lasting battery.

 

Also I dont see a problem with Leica maintaining the 'M form' for the M9. Do Canon and Nikon change the basic form of their DSLR's with every new model?

 

Jeff

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Okay, I think mine does this but not totally sure how it makes it faster to wake up and take the shot, at least compared to a Nikon/Canon (and I don't use af normally).

Charles--

It used to be, if I recall correctly, that there was no way to awaken the camera on the way up to your eye: The first press woke it, the second press took the picture.

 

As my camera now works, the slightest pressure on the release is enough to wake it up. That is, if I brush the release as I grab the camera, that generally has it ready to go by the time I get it to my eye.

 

I don't say I won't still mess up. I think my problem is that with an SLR, it's clear that you can't shoot yet, just looking at the out-of-focus image in the finder.

 

Since the finder doesn't change with the M8, we _feel_ that it isn't as responsive as the others because we can get ahead of it. (Unlike you, I usually do use AF , and generally leave my Nikon set at 'don't shoot when out-of-focus.' I don't have that option with the M8.)

 

Just a guess.

 

Sorry you're having another problem. Good luck, and have a good trip to the old country!

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