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The Leica digital M's are like Morgans

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With the release of the Sony 850 FF 25megapixel camera for $ 2,000 it is clear that Leica will have a difficult time to compete in the bigboy digital marketplace. It was much easier during the mechanical days when they could manufacture all parts with relatively low cost machines that last forever.

 

Sadly, as made clear in the interesting autopsy by Mr. Norton, the M8 is hodgepodge of subcontracted parts and outsourced electronics. It is a kit camera. This is similar to Morgan, supported by a small group of dedicated enthusiasts. I suspect digital will not be so kind as the analogue world of motor cars.

 

I speculate it costs Leica more for the sensor than this whole camera will be sold for. They just wont have the financial horsepower to go head to head with the large Japanese firms. The need for new products is also inherently against past company culture.

 

I understand the digital rf has unique and valuable characteristics just like the Morgan's do.

 

I fear however the newest digital offerings may go the way of the Edsel. I sure hope this is wrong.

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With -- snip -- wrong.

 

You really do not get it do you?

 

I find this analysis most surprising I must admit.

Edited by SJP

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I speculate it costs Leica more for the sensor than this whole camera will be sold for.

 

And the basis for this speculation is?

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And the basis for this speculation is?

 

As said this is speculative on my part based on the following. I had a client (before they went public) that is a manufacturer of silicon etching machines. These machines are used to hone and refine the silicon wafers in some high tech form of acid bath in preparation for the circuitry etching. Each of these machines were about 1.5M + and this didnt include training or the cost of the clean rooms etc.

 

Their technology reduced breakage by approx 10% if I remember right. Each wafer cost the manufacturer approx $ 100,000 before the etching process. I am sure that costs have declined since then.

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As said this is speculative on my part based on the following...

 

So presumably Sony selling that $2000 SLR are losing even more money than Leica per unit sold.

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So presumably Sony selling that $2000 SLR are losing even more money than Leica per unit sold.

 

Ah yes Steve I understand your question now. I'm a CPA (a CA in your neck of the woods) and perhaps am sometimes to cryptic in explanation.The cost of these machines spread out over more product, reduces the per unit cost. On top of this profit must be made by the manufacturer.

 

Seeing as profit is earned on every unit and Leica doesn't consume that many units, their cost will be exponentially higher than the cost to Sony for example. The machines used for all their manufacturing can be cross programed for many types of cameras in many sizes. Leica doesnt have the breadth of product to amortize this cost or invest in electronics sensor manufacturing facilities.

 

Sony is a formidable and innovative company. I'm sure every manufacturer looks over their shoulder at that technology giant.

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The cost of these machines spread out over more product, reduces the per unit cost.

 

Which presumably what Kodak do. Sorry but I find this notation that Leica will be losing money on every M9 they sell bizarre.

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Steve

 

I didnt say they were going to lose money at all. I said it will become increasingly difficult for Leica to keep up with the pace of change and innovation.

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I didnt say they were going to lose money at all

 

That was my interpretation of...

 

I speculate it costs Leica more for the sensor than this whole camera will be sold for

 

What other interpretation could there be?

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It is a kit camera. This is similar to Morgan, supported by a small group of dedicated enthusiasts.

 

Have to say, I am with SJP on this. The Morgan (which never was a "kit car") is often trotted out by the unthinking as a pejorative example of an anachronistic product. That is because the image uninformed people have in their minds is of this:

 

/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http://www.cartype.com/pics/2840/full/morgan_plus8_82.jpg&key=10797fa0c9e42b62209bde7948b6e2e98398c6a0fc01db038458f22ab8238225">

 

not this...

 

 

 

Oh, and around here CA stands for Chromatic Aberration.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

Edited by bill

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I had this one in mind. It's the M(odel) 9.

 

But I am a rather ancient old bat.

Edited by Nicoleica

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I've now got an M8.2, and I'd love to be the owner of the first Morgan shown here (with 4 wheels). Unfortunately, I never got one when I could have afforded it, and now I suspect it's way out my price range. Still, I'd be happier in that car than in my Land Rover.

 

No, I'd never want the second "Morgan" that looks like it's been all modernized.

 

I find myself wishing for a lot of old things nowadays.....

 

On the other hand, if I were to really get serious, for not much more than twice the probable price of an M9, I could get this:

Hemmings Motor News: Auto Dealers - Hemmings Auto Classifieds feature cars for sale from auto dealers nation wide.

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I understand the comparison but I don't agree. Some rough in the head business math tells me that Leica will probably sell 30,000 M9s over the next 3 years (product life). At $7,500 less dealer discount that comes to $5,250 per M9. Cost of goods (M9) should be somewhere around $2,500 to $3,000. That yields a gross profit of $2,250 to $2,750 per 9. Let's call it $2,500. Times 30,000 gives $75,000,000 or $25,000,000 million per year gross profit. Now that's not bottom line, but its money to keep the doors open.

Toss in some lens sales, some little Leica sales, some S2 sales and I'd write Leica a bright future.

 

No Morgan here.

 

Tom

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But who HERE wants a big, bulky, fat Sony DSLR? Not me. Not gonna happen. Prediction: Leicas next digital M will be crazy successful.

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Hmm, another up lifting inspirational positive post about Leica's pending demise based on zero facts, lot's of uninformed speculation about things the speculator doesn't know anything about, but backed up by ... erm, nothing.

 

Let's try the math again based on more normal manufacturing assumptions, i.e. the cost of R&D, manufacturing, distribution and sales is less than the revenue received. According to my math we end up with a completely different conclusion.

 

Aren't we all a cheerful lot around here lately?

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I've now got an M8.2, and I'd love to be the owner of the first Morgan shown here (with 4 wheels). Unfortunately, I never got one when I could have afforded it, and now I suspect it's way out my price range. Still, I'd be happier in that car than in my Land Rover.

 

No, I'd never want the second "Morgan" that looks like it's been all modernized.

 

I find myself wishing for a lot of old things nowadays.....

 

 

I know what you mean. I do find that the following dead sexy Morgan appealing though.

 

Btw, wrt to Land Rovers - I love my LR3 to bits ... it's known as the "Camera Bag".

 

<gratuitous Leica M9 mention ... >

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