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M9 concept sketch

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I think live view is a great idea, but I don't understand the want for an electronic viewfinder or electronic rangefinder.

 

If we remove the mechanical rangefinder from the M series, it's no longer the camera we all know and love. In my eyes the Contax G series never was a rangefinder. It was a super highend point and shoot with exchangeable lenses. Nice camera, but not really a rangefinder...

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All these proposed additions for an M9 make it more like a typical DSLR. I like the simplicity of the M8. External buttons get pressed accidentally, more and more parameters to adjust make life complex. Why does everyone need constant visual reminders of what the camera settings are, cant you remember them?

 

Keep it simple Leica, put your development time, effort and money into a new sensor.

 

Jeff

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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.

 

Well, the external battery pack would be optional. Wedding shooters and other photographers blazing away for hours on end would probably find use for it. Sure beats having to juggle a few more batteries and running out of juice at the wrong moment.

 

I thought about adding a second shutter release button and other controls. But I felt that this would make it too busy and wanted to keep the design minimalist. Just more power for longer shooting. I figure we got through the first 54 years without a vertical release, so why start now?

;-)

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... The EVF in the G-1 seems to get high marks for usefulness. This would give purpose to the R lenses ...

 

R lenses will have their own body well before we'll see an M9.

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All these proposed additions for an M9 make it more like a typical DSLR. I like the simplicity of the M8. External buttons get pressed accidentally, more and more parameters to adjust make life complex. Why does everyone need constant visual reminders of what the camera settings are, cant you remember them?

 

Keep it simple Leica, put your development time, effort and money into a new sensor.

 

Jeff

 

The two buttons that I added do not add features, but simplify the use of features that are already in place. Interestingly these two buttons address complaints that go back to the M7. Leica simply ignored feedback from it's customers and carried over the mistakes from the M7 to the M8

 

In operation the -/+ rocker switch should be simpler and more elegant, than the current method for adjusting exposure compensation.

 

The AE-L lock button should make anyones life a lot easier, who takes more than one picture at a time.

 

The OLED readout gives the same information as the current M8 does, but concentrated in one location.

 

All of the buttons have a guard around them to prevent them from being accidentally pressed.

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Keep it simple Leica, put your development time, effort and money into a new sensor.

 

Jeff

 

I consent to this statement.

 

Steve

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Good industrial design and performance go and in hand.

 

True, and I love your new M9's look.

 

But have you checked if the electronics can do what you want at the place you want?

Dreaming, this is more, design it is less. In other words: design without consultation with

the engineers is futile: a waste of time. But so is dreaming?

 

Keep it simple Leica, put your development time, effort and money into a new sensor.

 

That is what we want: not a new X-mas tree!

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Keep it simple Leica, put your development time, effort and money into a new sensor.

 

Jeff

 

Agree with this statement 100%... Based on the feedback I get from my peers, the M8.2 body is great as it is, just put a sensor with better performance at higher ISOs (something as simple as having ISO 3200 look like the existing ISO 640 as folks really don't care too much about ISO 25,000) and they will sell a lot of them (even at $6k).

 

Cheers,

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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. {snipped}.

 

I gotta say I've never seen an EVF I love. Stick with an improved optical rangefinder, and make the magnification level a little better than the M8.

 

Live view is enough for the extremely rare times I'd want to use it (adjusting focus maybe with the new "lens fine tune" Leica will no doubt put on the M9

)

 

BTW--great work on the mockup! And I'm serious about some kind of simple lens fine-tuning / self-diagnostic. It's a wonderful thing on the new Canons and Nikons.

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For some reason I just can't come to like the idea of the shutter speed dial being operated with the thumb...I hated operating rear wheels on canon and nikons for f-stops and I doubt i'd like it much with this...just my opinion.

 

the other thing has already been said...quick ISO changing without menu access would be key.

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Agree with this statement 100%... Based on the feedback I get from my peers, the M8.2 body is great as it is, just put a sensor with better performance at higher ISOs (something as simple as having ISO 3200 look like the existing ISO 640 as folks really don't care too much about ISO 25,000) and they will sell a lot of them (even at $6k).

 

Cheers,

 

Couldn't agree more about likely improvements (and I don't care about the AE comp button), but to really knock it out of the park, the M9 needs:

 

--better buffers and processors. It's way to slow when you're shooting RAW + JPEG, even if you're not machine-gunning (though a steady 3fps would be nice).

 

--no more artifacts like the green streak. I won't buy another one till I know it's green streak and banding free.

 

-- as in the mockup, a good power switch separate from the shutter area

 

--better information in the vf. Not much more, but shutter speed when on manual would be nice in addition to the arrows.

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And I'm serious about some kind of simple lens fine-tuning / self-diagnostic. It's a wonderful thing on the new Canons and Nikons.

 

Jamie, could you please explain how that would work with no-AV / totally Manual lenses like we now have on the M?

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I think live view is a great idea, but I don't understand the want for an electronic viewfinder or electronic rangefinder.

 

If we remove the mechanical rangefinder from the M series, it's no longer the camera we all know and love. In my eyes the Contax G series never was a rangefinder. It was a super highend point and shoot with exchangeable lenses. Nice camera, but not really a rangefinder...

 

I'm one of those who think the mechanical rangefinder is stretched to the limit or beyond and that a future M must implement some new focussing aid; I don't want to lose the viewfinder but I need a more accurate way of knowing the lens is correctly focussed. I'd like the finder to be variable magnification and offer much better eye-comfort than it does now. The M8 finder was carried over pretty much unchanged from the M7 because Leica didn't have the money at the time to do any different.

 

I like the optional battery pack; I'd like to see an optional Wi-Fi module as well plus the whole thing should be dockable for data transfer and in-camera charging. A missing centre button between the arrows is a wasted opportunity, could be used for the set button, for example, though I think the tiny on-off switch is too small. I agree the M9 should be water resistant but there's no point making it more water proof then the lenses you put on the front.

 

The M8.2 was a decidedly luke-warm makeover two years down the track. In 3 - 4 years time, we need the M9 to break new ground and that requires Leica to think out of the box. A new sensor, FF, say 18-24MP, 16 bit colour depth and class leading DR should be taken as read.

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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.

 

So in the end a M9 and a R10 could be very similar...

 

Harald

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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.

 

Have you used it yet? It's quite good as EVFs go but it is still very much a mixed bag and not at all like the view through an M8 finder.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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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."

 

That's not too far out as it is similar to an idea I proposed in a recent article about a potential "OV1" camera. Whether the system uses mechanical masks or LED outlines the challenge is, apparently, that current contrast detection AF can't tell if a lens is front or back-focused. I believe Mark Norton raised that point recently and I was reminded of it also by another person who works with technology.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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Guest Luis D
R lenses will have their own body well before we'll see an M9.

 

I am afraid you are probably right. Leica's biggest market, already existing, is for the M series, and they seem like will ignore it until after the S2 and R10. I hope Dr. K knows what he is doing.

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Guest bwcolor

A beautiful piece of artwork and some good ideas in the thread. Has anyone any fairly real information about any intentions coming out of the Leica works, on changes in the M or M-based system? PMA is coming in a few weeks, do you think Leica might have an M announcement, maybe M8.3, at that time? I keep hoping for a couple improvements before I put up the bundle of dough for the M8.2.

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Fun concept here, but a few things:

 

I like the on/off switch where it is, it just needs to be rethought. I turn the camera off when switching lenses (good practice for any digital camera), and I think having it on the back wouldn't be as handy as near the shutter release.

 

Yes, it's the inside that needs the most work. Shutter speed readout in the viewfinder in M mode, better buffer, better high iso, and 1.2X-FF sensor. Better monitor. I like the mechanical viewfinder but maybe it needs a revisit from the engineering team to make it more robust and accurate. Might be cool if the magnification could be user adjustable from say .58X to .85X and give us 21- 135 frames. If the frames could be led projected then the user could also choose via FW which frames they want projected when (for example only the 50 if they never use 75 lenses).

 

Live view interests me none at all, and I have yet to use it o my D3. Leave that for the p&s.

 

Keep the shutter speed dial on top, but give us the options of locks (ie the ability to not accidentally set it on A or S, etc). I don't need to see the speed in the OLED, but I've always wanted a little light that shines across the speed dial (with a push of a button of course) kind of like dj's have on their Technics turntables. Either that or an led inside the dial and make the shutter speeds transparent. Too many times I've been in a dark room and have no idea what speed I'm at. I don't like the camera so box like either; keep the classic lines.

 

External iso display/adjust a must. Same with ev though not sure about where it's placed (I like my Thumbs Up!)

 

The FW of course could be more robust. Stupid little things like I want to see the actual file # on the preview image vs just the # on that card (without having to go into info). Choice of preview screens, etc.

 

Battery option is fine though not something I would probably use. But Leica could get really creative with add ons, different grip sizes, etc. More accessories mean more choice mean more revenue.

 

Oh, and last, give us our pc socket back!

 

All that said I'm about to take the plunge on a second M8 body (used). The M9 is a few years off I'm sure (or not!) but the M8 is pretty great for what it is. With my D3 for high iso (and lenses like the 14-24, and 135 f/2) I can pretty much do everything I need to.

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I think this is a great and skillful post - thank you.

 

I wish that Leica could give back to us a wind on/ shutter recock lever.

 

This would be so cool and in my view an absolutely brilliant change.

 

So Leica - how about it PLEASE !

 

Should I start a new thread and see what the general view is ?

 

I do not agree that your PS skills are wanting - fantastic work.

 

Guy

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