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noah_addis

M8 discontinued?

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It may well be that the next camera will have a higher image quality -in fact, ISO performance and DR certainly will be, but to suggest that the M8 will be "out of step" is a bit too rhetorical for me. It is still a matter of debate whether the newest high-end digicams are as good- slightly better or slightly worse than the M8. That situation will not change in a hurry.

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Come one guys. Do not take this personal. The M8 was an important milestone in Leica's history, but it was a bridge product, a stopgap measure to bring the company in to the digital age at a time when they were literally days away from going bye-bye.

 

If the M9 is announced, the M8.x is with almost total certainty dead and will be around for as long as there is inventory.

 

It's three years old. The IQ is no longer viable for the price they are asking or in comparison to the competition or hopefully compared to the new cameras. It's quirky. Nobody but die hard Leica fans is going to put up with IR filters in front of every lens. It's going to be more expensive to produce than the new cameras. It's over. Let's all wave it goodbye, as it rides off in to the sunset and remember the good times we had together.

Edited by thrid

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I don't take it personal. But my guess is that the M8 will be good enough to be used for many years by those who don't want to jump in at full price of an M9 and as a superior backup camera for the M9. There is no rweason to think that the M9 can be *vastly* superior. Progress in sensorland has slowed down from leaps and bounds to incremental over the last five years or so.

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I agree that the 8.2 is a viable tool and will continue to produce good images for several more years.

 

As a reasonably price used camera it could be an attractive alternative to the M9.

I would even look in to buying one myself, if the M9 is priced out of reach and I needed a digital M.

 

I just think that it's days as a new product are numbered.

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I don't take it personal. But my guess is that the M8 will be good enough to be used for many years by those who don't want to jump in at full price of an M9 and as a superior backup camera for the M9. There is no rweason to think that the M9 can be *vastly* superior. Progress in sensorland has slowed down from leaps and bounds to incremental over the last five years or so.

 

I agree with you. In my view the main issue they may have is manufacturing costs of the M8 which could be more than M9 or at same level.

 

Looking at all those photos that Mark posted showing the inside of a Leica M8 it seems to be more like a high precision watch than a camera with shims of incredible tolerance for the sensor.

 

I guess the challenge is how to make the thing cheapily and in volume without the need for all that and have it still worthy of the badge Leica. I guess a plastic stamped case etc would not be what most of us want for a M camera. However a M camera with a retail price of say £1500 ...now that is desirable

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I agree with you. In my view the main issue they may have is manufacturing costs of the M8 which could be more than M9 or at same level.

 

Looking at all those photos that Mark posted showing the inside of a Leica M8 it seems to be more like a high precision watch than a camera with shims of incredible tolerance for the sensor.

 

I guess the challenge is how to make the thing cheapily and in volume without the need for all that and have it still worthy of the badge Leica. I guess a plastic stamped case etc would not be what most of us want for a M camera. However a M camera with a retail price of say £1500 ...now that is desirable

 

The electronics of the M9 will porbably be cheaper per unit than the M8. The body and the mechanics will have to be the same. Not much room for an entry model if Leica's going to earn some money.

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The electronics of the M9 will porbably be cheaper per unit than the M8. The body and the mechanics will have to be the same. Not much room for an entry model if Leica's going to earn some money.

 

I agree with you about the likelihood of cheaper electronics due to higher integration, and hopefuly less printed circuit boards.

 

On the mechanics I believe that Copal make the shutter and either the Japanese or Swiss company the shutter motor...so Leica can really only negotiate on:

> Price and that is likely to be volume related.

> Potentially some custom tweaks on the shutter / motor to ease assembly time.....I guess the sensor (and its need for .01mm shims to calibrate it) sounds like another opportunity to save cost.

 

As for the rest of the mechanics you are undoubtably correct.

 

That said if an M8 cost say £800 to produce and a M9 say £700 ....figures I have invented to suggest a point! .......Would it be reasonable to price as follows:

> the M9 at say £5000 going towards £3000 over time

> the M8 at say £2000 going to £1500 over time?

 

This would provide an entry model (M8) that would hook NEW RANGEFINDER clients once they had bought some lenses and provide an upgrade path (M9) going forward. The counter argument seems to be that anyone who buys a Leica M will want the M9 and when available they will not bother to even look at a M8 with the crop issue....they will simply shun DSLR's and shell out £5000 plus lenses.

 

I guess we shall all learn on 9/9/09

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...

That said if an M8 cost say £800 to produce and a M9 say £700 ....figures I have invented to suggest a point! .......Would it be reasonable to price as follows:

> the M9 at say £5000 going towards £3000 over time

> the M8 at say £2000 going to £1500 over time?

 

This would provide an entry model (M8) that would hook NEW RANGEFINDER clients once they had bought some lenses and provide an upgrade path (M9) going forward. The counter argument seems to be that anyone who buys a Leica M will want the M9 and when available they will not bother to even look at a M8 with the crop issue....they will simply shun DSLR's and shell out £5000 plus lenses.

 

I guess we shall all learn on 9/9/09

 

Your figures - theoretical as they may be - show that Leica would pay a lot for the "digital rangefinder entry version", On these costs per single item you would have to add all costs caused by a second production line.

 

They would think about this twice and try to establish the entry model on the same production line as the "big model" for perhaps 650,-€ per item. They always did so in the past with all their cameras starting from the IA and every other producer, be it of cameras, of audio equipment or of motor cars does the same.

 

Barnack/Leitz did not only invent the consumer cvamera for 35-mm film but were also pioneers of modular production. Economic rules will not allow Leica AG to fall back behind the production standards established by Barnack/Leitz.

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One needs also to consider that the margins between production cost and street price needs to be diveded between manufacturer, distributer and retail seller.

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If I can get past the cliches (M8 is "dead") I'd like to address the idea that every new product is automatically "better".

 

Many consumers believe, as a religion, that goods must not only be better - but also cheaper! So the primary concern for manufacturers is price.

 

As fellow posters suggest, Leica has probably used the 3 years since the launch of the M8 to find a third party manufacturer who can consolidate and, hopefully, shrink the electronics.

 

Unlike the M8, which was hand-built, the M9 electronics are likely to be a unit which can be replicated (churned out) in larger numbers and at a lower price per unit.

 

Leica is more honest than most manufacturers in this respect because its cameras cost what they always did. You can prove it using an inflation calculator. But you only need to read the threads on this site to see that many consumers want more camera for less money.

 

Let's look at cost cutting. There's a good article on this by Andy Trigg, called: Why don’t most modern washing machines last very long?

Washing machine manufacturers have cut the price you have to pay from £600 to £200. "My personal opinion is that the public gets exactly what the public wants. I believe the public in general (with many notable exceptions of course) do not want more reliable washing machines – they just want cheaper washing machines," writes Trigg.

 

So should we expect a full frame camera, if that's what the M9 is, for the same price as the M8.2? How will Leica offset the cost of the larger sensor? Unless something has changed very recently, the cost of sensors rises exponentially with area.

 

I hope Leica continues to move at an evolutionary, not revolutionary, pace because I don’t believe in something for nothing.

 

I would expect the M9 to cost more and if it doesn’t, I will look suspiciously for where Leica has saved costs.

 

I fully expect compromises, either in sensor size or camera size, as I raised, controversially, 18 months ago in order to test fellow posters openness or resistance to the concept. The idea was to find out how much room for manoeuvre Leica has with the M9 design.

 

I didn't consider software at the time but we've had the D-Lux4/LX3 with its built in distortion correction and troublesome file size. Vignetting correction should be simpler.

 

We’ll find out after the 9th.

 

Mark

Edited by markgay

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Your figures - theoretical as they may be - show that Leica would pay a lot for the "digital rangefinder entry version", On these costs per single item you would have to add all costs caused by a second production line.

 

They would think about this twice and try to establish the entry model on the same production line as the "big model" for perhaps 650,-€ per item. They always did so in the past with all their cameras starting from the IA and every other producer, be it of cameras, of audio equipment or of motor cars does the same.

 

Barnack/Leitz did not only invent the consumer cvamera for 35-mm film but were also pioneers of modular production. Economic rules will not allow Leica AG to fall back behind the production standards established by Barnack/Leitz.

 

I believe that this would be true if the volumes were very high and not at a level of say 20000 to 40000 units per year (I believe currently M8 is running at 10000)...also my assumption here is that although different specification the inner guts of the bodies could hopefully be somewhat similar.

 

I am surprsied that modular manuf. will incur a 650€uro cost per item ....seems very high.

 

As an example of what I am getting at is similar to the Bosch "jetronic" electronic fuel injection system. This used to go down a single production line with 25 variants ( modules) that embraced hardware and software changes...incredibly they "cost effectively" had different spec items coming off the line in batches. I would suppose Leica could do something very similar.

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So should we expect a full frame camera, if that's what the M9 is, for the same price as the M8.2? How will Leica offset the cost of the larger sensor? Unless something has changed very recently, the cost of sensors rises exponentially with area.

 

 

I agree with most of what you wite, but when it comes to sensors, you forget that because of technological development, one can produce larger/better sensors today at the same cost of yesterdays sensors

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