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M9 Concept sketch - traditional approach

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Bill, I fully respect your opinion, but "the amount of post-processing" leaves me puzzled. I know of no other digital camera -or scanned film for that matter- that needs less postprocessing to get good results.

 

That's a fair comment, Jaap - I base that view on the amount of discussion that appears to go on here about that very subject. The last time I did digital "seriously" I was using an LC-1 and shooting RAW and I don't remember having to do so much titting about as gets discussed here. Maybe I should modify my earlier statement - feel free to convince me otherwise on that point

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Please don't waste thread space trying to convince me otherwise on any of the above - these are simply my opinions and the reasons why I would never buy an M8.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

 

Actually I agree with you. Obviously Leica needs to fix the IR issue and get a better sensor etc in there. I was mainly thinking about ergonomic issues.

 

The loss of the advance lever is a problem, because it certainly makes it a lot more difficult to hold the camera. I could not come up with a good solution, because the space under the top plate is very limited. Thumbs up is a great solution, but may block the AE-L and -/+ EV buttons... So I really don't have an answer, without drastically changing the body shape. All I can thnk of is some sort of grip like Tom A is working on.

 

Feli

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Bill, I fully respect your opinion, but "the amount of post-processing" leaves me puzzled. I know of no other digital camera -or scanned film for that matter- that needs less postprocessing to get good results.

 

Jaap - this is your experience, and other's experience may differ.

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...I don't remember having to do so much titting about as gets discussed here. Maybe I should modify my earlier statement - feel free to convince me otherwise on that point

 

My post processing is limited normally to adjusting colour temperature (very rarely) and a quick adjustment of white/black points, contrast etc. in the RAW conversion. Then Alien Skin if I want the shot in b&w.

 

No sharpening for internet Jpegs, I've found that's not needed unless the image is soft to start with.

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That's a fair comment, Jaap - I base that view on the amount of discussion that appears to go on here about that very subject. The last time I did digital "seriously" I was using an LC-1 and shooting RAW and I don't remember having to do so much titting about as gets discussed here. Maybe I should modify my earlier statement - feel free to convince me otherwise on that point

 

Regards,

 

Bill

 

Two points, Bill.

1. Quite a number of M8 users are new to digital, with all the problems of the attendant learning curve.

2. We seem to be a bunch of nit-picking perfectionists here, myself emphatically included. It may have to do with the choice for Leica

. I believe that most M8 users with experience of different systems will endorse my opinion that, everything else being equal, the amount of post-processing required for M8 files is similar to, or even less than, files from cameras of similar level.

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I believe that most M8 users with experience of different systems will endorse my opinion that, everything else being equal, the amount of post-processing required for M8 files is similar to, or even less than, files from cameras of similar level.

 

Again, Jaap, a fair point, and one that I would be interested in other's (subjective) views on. HOWEVER, I don't want to derail this thread, so perhaps that is a discussion for another place.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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In that case, what's the point of having some of the highest resolution lenses money can buy if, when it comes to it, you cannot bring that resolution to bear on your subject because the focussing aid Leica continue to provide us is not up to it.

 

Are you not getting good results from your Leica glass, when taking an average shot at let's say f4 and 1/125th?

 

Obviously most critical focus problems occur when shooting wide open and close up or with very long lenses. But the way you describe it, it almost sounds as if you were saying that the camera suffers from a serious design flaw and was incapable of properly focusing. People are succesfully making these type of shots on a daily basis. I've been shooting M cameras for over 10 years and even with my Noct or 1.4/75 Lux on a .72 I was able to get properly focused images. Both are challenging to focus, but with practice it's not a problem.

 

Again, I believe some of these problems will go away with the return of a RF unit with a longer baselength (.72 / .85). Leica getting the QC back in order would also help, but some of these problems are going to be unavoidable in a mechanical RF camera.

 

 

As for using the arrow buttons, they are currently unused in shooting mode where they are used in review and menu mode. Your new buttons would only be used in shooting mode, as far as I can see, you have not defined a use for them in menu or review mode.

 

They could be used in review mode etc. Nothing stopping Leica from doing so.

 

There's no rule which says the set button has to stay where it is; it would be possible to provide a button which is accessible to one of your other fingers, say on the front, and then use your right thumb to press the arrow keys, all while keeping the camera to your eye with the newly selected setting being shown in the viewfinder.

 

Well, there are the rules of good design and another Rube Goldberg solution like we currently have for exposure compensation is what I am trying to avoid.

 

 

 

A future M camera has to appeal to a new generation of users if the company is to survive and sticking doggedly to an ageing design, however good, however classic, may not be the best solution. There's nothing to stop Leica developing a parallel camera which shares much of the expensive stuff and which has a different operating model. Making use of the fabulous M glass - and being able to focus it properly - is what matters.

 

Sure, cameras will evolve and we will see entirely new types in the future, but what you are describing is no longer a traditional RF camera. You're talking about a camera like the G-1 or Digilux. They already exist, so why try to turn the M series in to one of them?

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Two points, Bill.

1. Quite a number of M8 users are new to digital, with all the problems of the attendant learning curve.

2. We seem to be a bunch of nit-picking perfectionists here, myself emphatically included. It may have to do with the choice for Leica

. I believe that most M8 users with experience of different systems will endorse my opinion that, everything else being equal, the amount of post-processing required for M8 files is similar to, or even less than, files from cameras of similar level.

 

Bill - to summarize: number (1) means - other people are not as smart as Jaap. Number (2) means that users of other cameras have such poor equipment and standards that they frankly don't care what their images look like.

That's a fair translation I think.

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That is not very nice, Mani. That was not meant at all - and you know it. In fact I am surprised that you see it fit to give a malicious twist to somebody else's words.

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Gentlemen, please... I took Jaap's comments in good faith and at face value. Let's not fall out over this.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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That is not very nice, Mani. That was not meant at all - and you know it. In fact I am surprised that you see it fit to give a malicious twist to somebody else's words.

 

I was kidding Jaap.

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Accepted, Mani. My tongue-in-cheek radar was temporary out of commission, I suspect.

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I would suggest you reorganise the top deck, after all, this is what you look at when the camera is slung around your neck. You need to be able to see these controls when you contemplate the next frame, and set the camera accordingly.

 

Make all the dials and levers move the same way, with a plus side and a minus side.

 

Get some ISO control via a control wheel on the rewind side of the top deck, make one of the notches an A setting. In this way you can set aperture (for desired dof or style), set speed (for what is required re subject movement), and roll up the ISO wheel to gate correct exposure (as the meter is set to see it incorporating ev +/-), or you can select A (for Auto) and let the machine decide for virtually automatic shooting.

 

Compensation for ev can be just a lever under the shutter release button that is reachable with the right index finger, with the ev range described in white against the black of the camera in 1/3 stops. Likewise frame rate can be a lever for single/3 frame burst/multi fps settings situated under the speed dial and reachable with the right thumb.

 

At night you cant see any of that, so place a single white led in the camera and feed all the controls so that they are illuminated backlit. The apparently white numerals are really translucent white that illuminate from a single source. Have a splash feed over the lens so that the aperture setting is apparent. User selectable luminous on/off switch for lighting provided, and a photocell ensures it is not accidentally engaged in daylight.

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Riley, take a look at the other thread 'M9 concept sketch'. I made that one more along the lines of an S2.

 

Someone also suggested a backlight shutter speed dial. Not such a bad idea...

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I like this one better than the other! Call me a reactionary too...

 

However...

 

I prefer the 4 buttons interface of the Leica S2... much simpler, more intuitive...

 

I don't want buttons inserted on the brass top cover... A simpler wheel inserted on the magnesium body and viewfinder indications for exposure compensation is enough...

 

The simpler, the better...

 

I prefer dynamic range, tonal resolution and low noise over image size. 12MP is enough for a APS-H sensor. 16MP is enough for a 24x36 sensor... Please, true 14 bit images or a more sophiscticated compression scheme for the DNG files (the 8-bit compression of the M8 is too much!).

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Riley, take a look at the other thread 'M9 concept sketch'. I made that one more along the lines of an S2.

 

Someone also suggested a backlight shutter speed dial. Not such a bad idea...

 

ah i didnt realise there were 2 threads, I saw it from the Digital thread side as one of the last posts.

 

Im not all that fond of button boxes, you cant see were settings are when you have it turned off, wheels and levers make turning it on and looking at settings a redundant step. You read them in an analogue fashion, the location of various arms and wheels.

 

This is important were as 'experienced' photographers many of us have some sort of sight failure and cannot see tiny numbers readily. Everything in a different but reachable place becomes intuitive.

 

My principle camera is E3, probably the most button oriented camera there is. I have learned to live with it, but as Im mostly manual shooting much of it can be unnecessary. E3 does share one lesson that might be worthwhile, that buttons have different crowns so that you can feel your way around without looking, but its a freakin nightmare in the dark.

 

You need visual confirmation/access and feel, to what few controls an M is likely to have. the joy of these cameras is the simple control interface, a uniqueness in a digital world. D2 and LC1 came close in this concept, neither required ISO adjustment b/se they were frankly useless above 100ISO anyway.

 

You might also consider locating the hotshoe lens mount and tripod socket on the centreline, and think about how the tripod socket works with the supplement battery pack. A larger LCD would go amiss either.

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But seriously, there are many (and I among them) who feel the M-system form-factor can hardly be bettered.

 

If there is a way that Leica can add ISO and EV to the exposure dial (as Epson did with the RD1), and furthermore remove a couple of buttons from the back (does one really need a dedicated 'PROTECT' button, for instance?), then the M9 will be nigh-on perfect in form imho - especially if electronics miniaturization allows for a return to the thinness of an M6.

 

The top-plate step is extremely important from an aesthetic pov - giving the camera a totally different impression of mass.

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Well - getting rid of the step killed the M5 and Leitz nearly as well in the process. I doubt that anybody in Solms even dares to contemplate changing that part of the design.

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