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M9 Concept sketch - traditional approach

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Looks very nice.

But I bought my M8 for its simplicity - if you want all these buttons-dials- and gizmos- go buy an SLR Nikon - Canon or similar.

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Looks very nice.

But I bought my M8 for its simplicity - if you want all these buttons-dials- and gizmos- go buy an SLR Nikon - Canon or similar.

 

 

Here's what I don't understand.

 

You saying that adding two small buttons makes the camera more complicated.

 

But at the same time you are willing to dig through several submenus to adjust the asa or fiddle with the very clumsy jerry rigged exposure compensation method we now have. You also are willing to live with the poorly designed AE lock, which is useless for anything more than taking a single picture.

 

If you were really after simplicity and making the camera transparent in the process of taking a picture, then wouldn't these changes make your life a lot...simpler?

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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.

 

And thank goodness for that! The M5 has some fans, I know - for me it lacks any grace.

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Here's what I don't understand.

 

You saying that adding two small buttons makes the camera more complicated.

 

But at the same time you are willing to dig through several submenus to adjust the asa or fiddle with the very clumsy jerry rigged exposure compensation method we now have. You also are willing to live with the poorly designed AE lock, which is useless for anything more than taking a single picture.

 

If you were really after simplicity and making the camera transparent in the process of taking a picture, then wouldn't these changes make your life a lot...simpler?

 

For instance EV compensation. The simplicity lies in going to manual and just using it like an M6. That is truly back to basics

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For instance EV compensation. The simplicity lies in going to manual and just using it like an M6. That is truly back to basics

 

Now here we are in total accord!

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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.

 

Getting rid of the step was the least of the M5's problems....

 

;-)

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For instance EV compensation. The simplicity lies in going to manual and just using it like an M6. That is truly back to basics

 

How about a pinhole lens for the M8? Can't get any more to basics than that!

;-)

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Too much like a film camera huh?

 

Yeah. Once film cameras got motor drives, they were much easier to track and hold steady. As an extreme example, I used to use a 640 Novoflex and a 400 Leitz Telyt with manual winding cameras. (Leicaflex SL and Nikon F.) It was very difficult, especially because I am left eyed.

 

I think of all cameras, analog and digital, essentially as computers. They all have different ways to input information - f stop, shutter speed, focus and more. For instance, I like using Prontor Professional shutters on my view camera because they have aperture and shutter speed "stalks" that allow me to set them from behind the camera.

 

Digital cameras have added a lot of new features that need to be controlled. I feel that the more directly one can adjust those features the better, regardless of how many buttons or dials are on the camera. It is the number of steps that it takes to make changes that should be minimized not the number of controls.

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How about a pinhole lens for the M8? Can't get any more to basics than that!

 

Leicagoodies has one in the assortment.

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Not that I personally need ISO control since the auto-iso feature came into play but for me there seems to be an obvious esthetically correct place for the ISO dial. Compare a M2 and M8 front view and the glaring difference is the absence of the self-timer lever on the M8, would that not be an acceptable location for the ISO changing gizmo?

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Getting rid of the step was the least of the M5's problems....

 

;-)

Well, it was the perception of the public that it was "not an M Leica"and "too bulky" that did it in. A major factor in that perception was the flat top plate. The M6TTL proved that those few extra mms height were not the problem.

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Here's what I don't understand.

 

You saying that adding two small buttons makes the camera more complicated.

 

But at the same time you are willing to dig through several submenus to adjust the asa or fiddle with the very clumsy jerry rigged exposure compensation method we now have. You also are willing to live with the poorly designed AE lock, which is useless for anything more than taking a single picture.

 

If you were really after simplicity and making the camera transparent in the process of taking a picture, then wouldn't these changes make your life a lot...simpler?

 

Changing ISO and EV comp not often necessary. AE lock can be very annoying. I have inadvertently pressed such buttons (on other cameras) and then taken up to 5 shots without knowing.

 

I find on-off switches on the back awkward to use and have not had a problem with the one on the top plate right around the shutter button, just where it should be.

 

The essence of the M8 is its design and classic simplicity, I seriously do not want it moving towards the complex DSLRs already out there.

 

A better sensor would raise this camera to the heights in the market place, especially if we can do away with IR filters on lenses and have more pixels, higher iso performance and bigger. Pure user control, pure photography.

 

Just my thoughts,

 

Jeff

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Digital cameras have added a lot of new features that need to be controlled. I feel that the more directly one can adjust those features the better, regardless of how many buttons or dials are on the camera. It is the number of steps that it takes to make changes that should be minimized not the number of controls.

 

Taken to its logical (admittedly absurd) conclusion, this would mean that every menu item should have its own button. As this would obviously not be optimal, the decision then is to decide which functions should always be 'one click away'.

In my opinion, many of the "new features" in digital cameras are not necessary at all - and if Leica have shown good judgement in anything, it's in attempting to keep the process of capturing an image as simple as possible.

 

As I said above, apart from easier access to ISO, I'd rather that some buttons were dispensed with, rather than the reverse. I'm sure I'm not the only M-user who feels that way.

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Under the first heading I would put sensor size, the need for UV/IR filters and the amount of post-processing that appears to be needed to get the best out of the files produced by the M8.

 

 

Bill

 

Hmmm, and I take it your film just somehow magically goes from canister to fine art print on the wall with no processing at all (or maybe I should say manipulation)? Post processing is part of the process of being an artist. The M8 files I find are great for that as they allow a lot leeway depending on your style. I prefer a more slide like look so I give it strong contrast. The AWB is now very good and in some cases I venture to say much better than my Nikon D3.

 

I think this is a silly reason, no offense meant. Of course there are cameras out there that do better jpegs, but the real reason to shoot the M8 is for the "negs (RAW) and need a simple tweak like every photo should, film or digital.

 

Best,

 

 

Charles

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Taken to its logical (admittedly absurd) conclusion, this would mean that every menu item should have its own button. As this would obviously not be optimal, the decision then is to decide which functions should always be 'one click away'.

In my opinion, many of the "new features" in digital cameras are not necessary at all - and if Leica have shown good judgement in anything, it's in attempting to keep the process of capturing an image as simple as possible.

 

As I said above, apart from easier access to ISO, I'd rather that some buttons were dispensed with, rather than the reverse. I'm sure I'm not the only M-user who feels that way.

 

No you are not. It is the essence of the camera, indeed Leica themselves are of this way of thinking, see the S2 design. I think the M8 has about the max number of buttons it needs or wants. We can discuss about the way they are assigned. Mark is right that the unused arrow buttons could be used for ISO and EV control for those that desire it, but that is, to me, about the limit. The only thing I would like is some way to read the shooting parameters (ISO,shutterspeed, aperture I can count in clicks) in the dark.

In a way the statement by Leica about the M8 would have been more clear if they had designed it without AE, EV compensation and Jpg, but it is doubtful if the market would have accepted that.

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"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."

 

It will be interesting if Leica do that. There will be a lot of 24 lenses on the used market I'll bet you! I shoot with a .58X M7 so the .68X of the M8 never bothered me. I've never had problems focusing an M (other than a misaligned rf) and find the viewfinder much easier on my eye as far as strain than slrs (you are looking through to the world vs focusing on a mirror very very close to your eye). After a few hours with an slr my eye always feels like it's about to fall out of it's socket - not so with an M.

 

I think a choice of baselengths would be ideal

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Hmmm, and I take it your film just somehow magically goes from canister to fine art print on the wall with no processing at all (or maybe I should say manipulation)? Post processing is part of the process of being an artist. The M8 files I find are great for that as they allow a lot leeway depending on your style. I prefer a more slide like look so I give it strong contrast. The AWB is now very good and in some cases I venture to say much better than my Nikon D3.

 

I think this is a silly reason, no offense meant. Of course there are cameras out there that do better jpegs, but the real reason to shoot the M8 is for the "negs (RAW) and need a simple tweak like every photo should, film or digital.

 

Best,

 

 

Charles

 

Charles, your and my mileage clearly varies.

 

As I said above, I have "done" the digital workflow from RAW, without all the electronic angst and sturm und drang that seems to be the order of the day for some people around here. I still do, with the RAW outputs from my Olympus DSLR, Canon G7 and now the D-Lux 4. Jpgs are, after all, for eBay advert illustrations only.

 

Now, I don't know about you but I get no pleasure whatsoever from tweaking sliders while sat at a desk. As to film, I can (still) outsource the process and that is my preference. I would rather someone else sat in a stinking darkroom turning their fingers yellow while I am out in the fresh air capturing images. Feel free to disagree, but please respect my right to hold a different opinion to you without calling it "silly".

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Taken to its logical (admittedly absurd) conclusion, this would mean that every menu item should have its own button. As this would obviously not be optimal, the decision then is to decide which functions should always be 'one click away'.

In my opinion, many of the "new features" in digital cameras are not necessary at all - and if Leica have shown good judgement in anything, it's in attempting to keep the process of capturing an image as simple as possible.

 

As I said above, apart from easier access to ISO, I'd rather that some buttons were dispensed with, rather than the reverse. I'm sure I'm not the only M-user who feels that way.

 

No, you don't need a separate button for every item. Just logical grouping of functions on controls that are easy to set quickly. The best camera I have used for this is the Konica Minolta A2. It has a huge number of features that are easy to control directly without using the menu. And it is smaller than an M8. Although this camera certainly does not produce state of the art pictures, I think it is a triumph of ergonomic design that clearly incorporates a huge number of functions that can be set quickly.

 

For instance, there is a single control dial that lets you select ISO, metering pattern, camera drive, white balance, custom user functions and memory settings

 

I suggest you look over the control functions on this review:

 

Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 Review: 5. Operation & Controls: Digital Photography Review

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It would take another hand to hold that list of functions whilst shooting. My ageing mind could not possibly retain all that. I'm very sorry, it is probably a great camera, but it does not appeal at all.

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It would take another hand to hold that list of functions whilst shooting. My ageing mind could not possibly retain all that. I'm very sorry, it is probably a great camera, but it does not appeal at all.

 

You have many of those same functions in the M8. (Of course the M8 doesn't have AF, live view or an EVF so it doesn't need controls for them.) You probably just don't change them very often. But a single dial gives you the ability to directly change the ISO, color balance, self timer, exposure bracketing, metering pattern and more.

 

I don't know how old you are but I am 56 and have no problem remembering this kind of stuff. My TV is more complicated. It is very logical once you look at it and practice a few times. There is always a learning curve as you add functions. What Leica has done is buried a lot of those functions in the menu, or not provided them at all. There is nothing forcing you to fine tune the white balance on the A2 just because it gives you an easy way to do so. Oh, and it has a PC socket too.

 

A full size piano keyboard has 88 keys. Plus three pedals. That is a lot of buttons especially when you consider that you may have to press a bunch of them simultaneously.. Yet synthesizers have added lots more dials and controls and musicians seem to figure out how to use them.

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