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Rumour and Ratio

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Now that all has been revealed on the Net and hysteria has run its course it is time to step back and have a look.

 

First of all, the whole M9 rumour is just that: a rumour, albeit a strong one. But rumours have a tendency to be obliterated by facts in the end.

What do we have?

 

On the plus side:

The dealer network worldwide seems to be convinced we will see an M9 soon, full format, etc..

It is hard to see how they can think this without advance information by Leica, even if it is under embargo.

Dealers are taking preorders for delivery in September.

The rumour must be hurting M8.2 sales. One would expect a far more vehement denial from Leica instead of the ambivalent statement made.

 

On the minus side:

There are sources inside Leica saying that the M9 is not yet ready, the announcement will be "something else".

John pointed out there would be legal consequences by leaving the M9 out of the recent financial statement.

Putting out an M9 and S2 at the same time would be quite a stretch.

It would be extremely fast, most un-Leica fast.

 

So take your pick and wait and see. Is it wise to pre-order? I would say yes, it cannot hurt.

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I was convinced the the minus side points till a few weeks ago and I had a hard-time believing a FF M9 would come this fast .

 

But then, I had a 99% confirmation by someone usually very, very well-informed and highly trustable and in the same week, my favorite Leica dealer announces he takes pre-orders.

 

So I reserved one as it cannot hurt. If this is what I expect, good. If not, I'll simply cancel.

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I'm assuming that Leica has the potential of launching sales of the S2 and the M9 simultaneous, since Leica stated that the next M will benefit from the S2 electronics. Considering marketing aspects, it is obvious that Leica would hide the M9 announcement as long as possible, in order not to cannibalize their M8.2 sales.

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It would indeed mean they are delivering much earlier than anyone expected. When has that ever happened with Leica? Then again, perhaps we just underestimated their determination and perhaps they really realised how important bringing a FF M9 to the market would be for their future.

 

I sure hope the rumours are true. Just don't make it any larger than the M8!

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Hi Jaap and all,

Tactics of marketing I think

So announced too early for M9, no surprised effect and especially sales of M8.2 are going to diminish.

August 2009 : it seems that M8 is exhausted !

Therefore let us wait in September !

If Pascal said , it will be sure !

Henry

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A few months ago, I bet someone that I'd eat a FF M9 if it hits the shelves before Photokina 2010. It would have to be a physics defying feat to install a FF sensor in its current form factor and with the S2 taking up most of Leica's resources to roll out, it seemed impossible to do in the time frame, I was sure.

 

A few weeks ago, the rumors of a FF M9 buzzed up a storm on the forums. I spoke with a few dealers, some of whom are quite 'connected', and they rubbished it. Perhaps an introduction at the next Photokina, I was still quite sure.

 

A few days ago, not one, not two, but three dealers contacted me about a FF M9 being available in a month with pricing, delivery date and limited specs divulged. How could it be that something so ready to roll out in 30 days not have had more concrete information revealed other than mere rumors? Yet, reputable agents were taking pre-orders! I was not so sure anymore.

 

A few hours ago, I spoke with a contact who's been a long-time staff at the main regional Leica distributor. We talked at length about the M9 as if it has already been officially announced but at the end, he finished with "of course, it's still just only rumors". What the hell was that? I am now totally unsure.

 

But just in case I have to eat one, I did place an order for an M9.

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My recollection is Pascal got the first M8, so if he's signed up...

 

On the balance sheet you listed, to me the most compelling argument in favor of the M9's neart-term release is the absence of Leica dousing the rumor. I'm not an accountant, though I've worked in Fortune 50 companies for more than 15 years; I don't believe a company is obligated (though admittedly don't know German law) to announce a new product via its financial releases. But, for a company to be faced with a rumor that its flagship product is about to be replaced, thus freezing potential buyers, and not come out and say, "This is a rumor, keep buying," indicates to me that where there is smoke, there's fire.

 

The preponderence of evidence says: M9, imminently.

 

Where's Seal when we need him?

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It would indeed mean they are delivering much earlier than anyone expected. When has that ever happened with Leica? Then again, perhaps we just underestimated their determination and perhaps they really realised how important bringing a FF M9 to the market would be for their future.

 

I sure hope the rumours are true. Just don't make it any larger than the M8!

Well, the lens department is churning out new lens designs at an incredible rate.

 

I forgot to mention the M9 profile in C4.8.2 btw.

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It might make sense to Leica to launch both S2 and M9 from the standpoint of production (not mass production standpoint but small batch perspective).

 

1. Maintaining small inventories of standard items and long queues for desirable items (21 and 24 sx for example) seems to be part of their operational method.

 

2. Maybe its a matter of keeping the production consistently busy rather off and on. They might be trying to build a large enough catalog of items to build this up. Skilled labour needs constant practice to remain skilled.

 

If the batches of items are very small and productivity has improved a lot then their skilled labour will be sitting around doing nothing.

 

 

 

On the other hand, Leica's lens designs output seems extraordinarily fast to me ( not the production part ).

 

These seem to point to the fact, Leica is planning a D-Day of a sorts. Their optics which is their core competency have to execute a beach-head. What we don't know is how well the supporting units will perform.

 

And Leica's D-Day can never be a mass onslaught

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Took a look at the U.S. Patent & Trademark site this morning.

 

M8 and M9 are both registered by Leica.

 

  • M8 was filed 24 May 2006, filed for opposition on 27 February 2007, and registered 15 May 2007.

 

  • M9 was filed 3 September 2007, filed for opposition on 26 February 2008, and registered 13 May 2008.

  • S2 was filed 18 December 2008, but is still pending.

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Now that all has been revealed on the Net and hysteria has run its course

 

run it's course?

.

 

Beyond the basics you have mentioned and that French Leica dealer seem to be advertising (18mp, FF, €5500) there doesn't seem to be much speculation on specifications. C'mon Jaap - I'm sure you know more - now is the time to spill the beans

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Having spoken to all the UK dealers (who won't officially confirm anything) I think there are some logical conclusions:

1) there will be a new camera announced in September

2) if it is FF then September will bring an announcement only with the FF camera not delivered until late 2010

3) if it is still a crop sensor 1.3x then it could be delivered by Xmas as it will not be too radically different from the M8.2 just offerring more modern processing, LCD etc.

4) If it is not FF Leica's Market will be more limited to new adopters of a digital M so expect to see more 'idiot proof' features like the 'S' mode and perhaps live view if it's possible. If the suggested price of circa 5000 euro is accurate then it is being marketed at wealthy non professionals. I believe most people who own and love their M8 may pay 5000 euro for a FF body but would think twice about another cropped one. I for one will simply wait for the FF.

 

Of course there are exceptions and I'm sure many in the forum will buy a new cropped body simply to get better ISO etc. but most Leica owners will need a fundamental change to get them to buy one - and this can only be FF.

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Yes, but the R10 is registered as well

 

Gosh. What if both the R10 and M9 got registered in fleeting moment of Teutonic exuberance?

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Well, the lens department is churning out new lens designs at an incredible rate.

 

 

And they are all designed for FF cameras, which means that I pay for more lens than I use on my M8.

 

It makes them compatible with my M6 though, but I would expect Leica to plan a FF digital M somewhere in the futere also. If not, they will sooner or later redesign their lenses.

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And they are all designed for FF cameras, which means that I pay for more lens than I use on my M8.

 

It makes them compatible with my M6 though, but I would expect Leica to plan a FF digital M somewhere in the futere also. If not, they will sooner or later redesign their lenses.

 

Leica has, in the past, stated very clearly that they will not design M-glass for a cropped sensor. The backward compatibility with the analogue Ms are too important to them and shpuld be to us. Sooner or later technology will get to a place where the M's special needs can be handled by a full format sensor.

 

- Carl

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And they are all designed for FF cameras, which means that I pay for more lens than I use on my M8.

 

It makes them compatible with my M6 though, but I would expect Leica to plan a FF digital M somewhere in the futere also. If not, they will sooner or later redesign their lenses.

 

But it does mean that you have the advantage of a bigger 'sweet spot' coverage on the smaller sensor than you would on a larger sensor. So, it's all a case of swings and roundabouts.

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Took a look at the U.S. Patent & Trademark site this morning.

 

M8 and M9 are both registered by Leica.

 

 

[*]M9 was filed 3 September 2007, filed for opposition on 26 February 2008, and registered 13 May 2008.

 

That is indeed a Trademark (word mark) registration. But that says nothing about the day the object that carries the word mark will enter the market.

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Jaap, leaving aside all of the rumours, and of course we all have our favourites, there simply was no indication visible at Solms in mid-June of any production activity that would be necessary for actual distribution of stock to be available for sale from September. That does not disprove any possible imminent announcement of course, (which may or may not be an M9) but unless there were thousands of completed M9's stacked in the lunch room they simply are not being assembled at Solms right now.

Having said all of that, I am flying 4000km in a week to personally interrogate the Australian dealer alleged to be quoting prices here. No question at all that I will end up with one if and when they come to market. Meanwhile my upgraded M8 seems to continue working just fine and I have my best lenses back from a free holiday in Solms. My view is that anyone holding off purchasing the superb M8 in expectation of a new camera to buy in just a few weeks is doing themselves a big dis-service.

Now that all has been revealed on the Net and hysteria has run its course it is time to step back and have a look.

 

First of all, the whole M9 rumour is just that: a rumour, albeit a strong one. But rumours have a tendency to be obliterated by facts in the end.

What do we have?

 

On the plus side:

The dealer network worldwide seems to be convinced we will see an M9 soon, full format, etc..

It is hard to see how they can think this without advance information by Leica, even if it is under embargo.

Dealers are taking preorders for delivery in September.

The rumour must be hurting M8.2 sales. One would expect a far more vehement denial from Leica instead of the ambivalent statement made.

 

On the minus side:

There are sources inside Leica saying that the M9 is not yet ready, the announcement will be "something else".

John pointed out there would be legal consequences by leaving the M9 out of the recent financial statement.

Putting out an M9 and S2 at the same time would be quite a stretch.

It would be extremely fast, most un-Leica fast.

 

So take your pick and wait and see. Is it wise to pre-order? I would say yes, it cannot hurt.

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I know, Geoff, that is why I started this thread, to point out there are contrary indications as well. But I'm sure they did not show you the stacks of S2 bodies either

.

Btw, I'm running on schedule....

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