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M9 concept sketch

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Here is a sketch I made for a possible M9. Don't look too closely at my PS skills. It's only sketch.

 

I eliminated the step on the top plate and moved the shutter speed dial to the rear (thumb operated). The shutter speed dial would be recessed in to the body and reside under the top plate. It could even be spring loaded as an additional switch (depress for AE lock?).

 

My reason for wanting to eliminate the step was to free up more internal space for electronics. With the advance lever gone, there is no real reason for it.

 

Obviously this is a controversial suggestion, but I'm not married to the idea of eliminating it. There is something nice about that big shutter speed dial on top of the M8 and I would have to handle a mock up to see how it affects the operation of the shutter release...

 

Regardless of the top plate I have a few other ideas that I believe would make the camera more useable.

 

 

- I added an AE-L lock button. This way you can take multiple shots with the same meter reading. I would love to have a button like this on my M7...

 

An alternative idea is that AE-L lock could be triggered by depressing the shutter speed dial, when it is set to A (aperture priority) mode. Choosing that solution would eliminate the need for a separate AE-L button.

 

- Also added easy to operate -/+ buttons for exposure compensation.

 

- On/Off/Continuous lever moved to the rear panel, since with the step eliminated there is no room on the top plate for it.

 

The rear positioned shutter speed dial, AE-L and exposure compensation buttons can all be operate by your thumb, without taking your eye from the viewfinder.

 

OLED on the top plate, like the S2, showing shutter speed etc.

 

Also added a concept for a heavy duty battery pack that attaches to the bottom of the camera. It should be similar in size to a Leicavit. The pack should hold two standard M8 batteries. This could result in a total of up to three batteries powering the camera at once.

 

Flame away.

 

Feli

 

Feli2@earthlink.net

ELAN FOTOS

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Fantastic. However, I would like a control to directly change the ISO without having to resort to a menu. Your OLED on the top plate displays ISO, so all we need is a switch on the body that is always active.

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Fantastic. However, I would like a control to directly change the ISO without having to resort to a menu. Your OLED on the top plate displays ISO, so all we need is a switch on the body that is always active.

 

Could be a combination of holding down 'set' and adjusting the -/+ buttons.

I was trying to keep the amount of buttons to a minimum...

 

I also would like to see an 'auto-asa' exposure mode, that automatically adjusts the asa so the exposure does not fall below a user specified shutter speed. That way you would always be shooting with the lowest asa possible. My D700 has this and it's genius.

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With a dedicated image processing chip (Leica Maestro) you wouldn't need additional space for electronics and the body can be smaller.

 

Probably. Those off the shelf electronics in the M8x do waste a lot of space.

 

Maybe they could use the extra room for a sophisticated metering system... Something similar to Nikons 1005 RGB Matrix meter. The exposure accuracy of my D700 can almost be classified as sorcery. Digital needs something that accurate, since it is so much less forgiving than film negative to exposure errors. I think the metering sensor would have to be integrated in to the RF unit and that may take up some additional room.

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I was all prepared to argue with you, but can't find a good reason once I start looking at the mockup. I'll agree with kschwarz on a dedicated ISO switch, but could be integrated with your exposure compensation setup: perhaps a button for the left thumb that would switch the ex-comp buttons to ISO buttons. Also, consider making the ex-comp buttons vertical instead of horizontal: there's logic there (plus: higher), and easier for the thumb, since that would be oriented with the pivot of the thumb at that point.

 

The only problem with moving the shutter speed to thumb operation is that many of us are relying on that thumb as leverage against the back of the camera. Perhaps if it were moved to the front, instead, where the forefinger could reach it... it might require a little hemispherical cutaway, but I'm worried that the camera would be slipping if I were trying to work it with my thumb.

 

Consider, for those to whom the silhouette is sacred, bevelling the edge that you've raised so that there is at least a nod to the original shape... does that make sense? You'd retain 95% of the space you gained, but it would still reference the original...

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://i379.photobucket.com/albums/oo236/icqcq/M9.jpg&key=3340a0ba3e67060566f3ab17d84578892ac20cb15d1efd25ae434311c5199532">

 

I much prefer the Canon-style on-off; I've gaffer taped under my switch to give it just the little bit more resistance it needed, (and built a gaffer-tape dam to keep it from getting around to self-timer: what was they thinking!?) and if I could/can, I'll move the actual lever around to the back of the release pod so that it rotates on with my thumb as I put my hand on the camera, and can pull it to the off position as I remove my hand. Yours is a better solution. And I like the heavy battery backup; if that were also insulated, it would enhance the cold-weather operation of the camera.

 

Kudos on a well thought-out design idea.

[While I was hacking away at the bevelled edge, several responses came through that addressed some of my points here, so forgive the 'lateness'/redundancy]

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I was all prepared to argue with you, but can't find a good reason once I start looking at the mockup.

 

Thanks.

 

The only problem with moving the shutter speed to thumb operation is that many of us are relying on that thumb as leverage against the back of the camera. Perhaps if it were moved to the front, instead, where the forefinger could reach it... it might require a little hemispherical cutaway, but I'm worried that the camera would be slipping if I were trying to work it with my thumb.

 

Consider, for those to whom the silhouette is sacred, bevelling the edge that you've raised so that there is at least a nod to the original shape... does that make sense? You'd retain 95% of the space you gained, but it would still 'nod' to the original...

 

Interesting point and oddly enough at first I had the shutter speed dial on the front. Then I put the dial on the back, so that you would never have to take your index finger off the shutter release. But I do see what you mean about the balance. I think a physical mock up would be needed to really nail that down.

 

As for the bevel, I like the idea of it on the back. It makes it easier to access the shutter speed dial, especially if you were wearing gloves. I would maybe eliminate the bevel on the front, because I think the square corner looks nicer. I'm also not sure that I see the need for it in the front. A square edge on the front may increase grip. Of course if the shutter speed dial was on the front, you would need the bevel on the front. But I think the bevel is a really good idea.

 

Kudos on a well thought-out design idea.

 

Thank you. Glad you like it.

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Hi Feli,

 

You have put a lot of thought into this and I must say that I like the design ideas you have presented here. The only thing that I would change or recommend is that the shutter speed dial should be open like the current one. When you work from above the camera it is easier to see. Otherwise fantastic work.

 

Andreas

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I would see the led on top as a circle, not a rectangle. Design oriented and integrated with the outside form.

 

A circle isn't really the ideal shape to hold that much information. I think Leica got away with it on the M8, because all it showed was a shot counter and battery icon. You would need a much bigger circle to display more information than that in a clear manner.

 

In terms of design, I prefer the fore and against of curves and straight lines.

Straight lines actually outnumber curves on the M body itself...

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Hi Feli,

 

You have put a lot of thought into this and I must say that I like the design ideas you have presented here. The only thing that I would change or recommend is that the shutter speed dial should be open like the current one. When you work from above the camera it is easier to see. Otherwise fantastic work.

 

Andreas

 

I'm still torn about the recessed shutter speed dial. Initially I had it counter sunk like on the R8/R9. Then I realized that a countersunk dial is a magnet for dirt and water (I have an R8). It acts like a drain. I even considered machining channels in to the space surrounding the dial to clear out dirt. The AK-47 has these sort of groves in several places, so it doesn't jam from dirt, but I figured that would complicate production and drive up costs etc

 

Then I made the dial recessed under the top plate with a small clear window above it, so you could see the current set shutter speed and the one above and below it. But it looked really ugly.

 

In the end I decided to follow the path set by the S2. One benefit of this choice is that you would have continuity across the product line. If you can run an M9 you should feel at home with an S2 and vice versa.

 

Feli

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It is like the M5. I don't like that shape. Too bulky, too brick-like. There's need for more internal space? I don't like to deal with many buttoms. I like the current on/off ring. It's simple and unobstrusive.

 

I would suggest a four-buttom design similar to that of the Leica S2 for digital control, adding a simple and discrete control wheel in the back of the camera for analog handling, and that's all.

 

The simpler and smaller, the better...

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It is like the M5. I don't like that shape. Too bulky, too brick-like.

 

It's the exact same shape and size of an M8. The only change is that the step has been filled in. The external battery pack is optional and would be the size of a Leicavit.

 

There's need for more internal space?

 

It depends on what Leica wants to add. As I mentioned earlier, if they want to integrate matrix metering the sensor will probably have to be integrated in to the RF unit and that would probably require more space under the top plate.

 

I don't like to deal with many buttoms. I like the current on/off ring. It's simple and unobstrusive.

 

I would suggest a four-buttom design similar to that of the Leica S2 for digital control, adding a simple and discrete control wheel in the back of the camera for analog handling, and that's all.

 

The simpler and smaller, the better...

 

I'm all for simple. So, I added only 2 buttons, because I hate having to dig through several menus to access a simple feature.

 

The small dial on the back of the S2, which I assume controls exposure compensation, is replaced with a -/+ rocking lever. It's less intrusive than adding another dial. The current method of the M8x to adjust for exposure compensation is very clumsy and difficult to use in moving situations.

 

I feel that the lack of a dedicated AE-L button on the S2 is a big mistake. Locking exposure via the shutter release and letting it reset after you take the shot is really only acceptable if you intend on taking only one picture. But if you intend to reuse that reading you have to recompose, meter again, recompose, shoot. Repeat the process if you want to take another picture. The M7 operates in this manner and it's a real pain. It gets even more complicated when you consider that the shutter release on the S2 appears to control exposure lock, autofocus and releasing the shutter.

 

Therefore I believe the M9 and S2 would be better served by a dedicated AE-L button. For that matter the S2 probably should have two buttons. One for focus and one for exposure lock. This is pretty much standard across the industry these days.

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Guest Luis D
I'm wondering where the electronic viewfinder will clip on?

 

It should have Live View in the LCD monitor just like many DSLRs are currently featured. This will allow 100% accurate framing at all distances for types of shooting where that is critical. I will also like to see finished the removable bottom plate, and so a tripod base that is strong to the body and will not crack apart some thin casting.

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Very cool. Where is the rocket launcher, smoke screen and, submarine mode. Seriously though that is very cool. That bottom battery pack is actually amazing. lets hope Leica comes here often and hears you loud and clear.

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Very cool. Where is the rocket launcher, smoke screen and, submarine mode. Seriously though that is very cool. That bottom battery pack is actually amazing. lets hope Leica comes here often and hears you loud and clear.

 

Guys, do not want to spoil the fun, but I think Leica's worries are more about what's inside, and how to market the thing, than about knobs and what-not's on the outside!

 

This vaguely reminds me about Breughel's Tower of Babel: it never got to be built!

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Feli, thanks for dreaming! I like the design. Looks M-like but also has some futuristic angles. Nice work.

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It should have Live View in the LCD monitor just like many DSLRs are currently featured. This will allow 100% accurate framing at all distances for types of shooting where that is critical. I will also like to see finished the removable bottom plate, and so a tripod base that is strong to the body and will not crack apart some thin casting.

 

Yes of course. But once you have live view, an electronic viewfinder is a natural progression to give one the option of working as if the M9 were an SLR. The EVF in the G-1 seems to get high marks for usefulness. This would give purpose to the R lenses and would also allow many other lenses to be used. And if they added some electronic contacts to the lens mount, it could accommodate AF lenses too.

 

This is a far out idea, but I bet that a system that used sensor based AF could be connected to a small motor or servo that controls the superimposition rangefinder system. Thus eliminate the need for cams and mechanical linkage. You then could have more accurate "rangefinder" focusing with any lens and still have the same visual feedback of a traditional M. And if you say it won't feel the same, remember that many airplanes are "fly by wire."

 

I don't see the purpose of adding extra bulk and weight to the bottom just for extra batteries. Updated electronics should be much more efficient and allow for more shots per charge. If you just make it quick and easy to change batteries, you can keep the spares in a pocket of a bag and not have to be hefting the extra weight and bulk of the extended pack. It isn't as if there is a vertical grip in it to at least provide some additional functionality.

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Guys, do not want to spoil the fun, but I think Leica's worries are more about what's inside, and how to market the thing, than about knobs and what-not's on the outside!

 

This vaguely reminds me about Breughel's Tower of Babel: it never got to be built!

 

Good industrial design and performance go and in hand. If you get those two points right and then market it correctly you have a winner.

 

I sold all of my Canon gear (5D, 1-V, L-glass) and switched to Nikon, because the EOS ergonomics are a train wreck. Until Canon improves them I won't be sending any more money their way. So, design does affect the bottom line.

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