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Have Leica Abandoned The M8?

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Well the new model is on the showroom floor with some impressive specifications and high desirability but the new sales brochure is missing a model-the M8 line is no longer shown. A couple of years back (or maybe less) we M8 owners were assured that the M8, a camera many of us bought in to despite what many considered glaring deficiencies (some of us capitalized on those deficiencies and produced some pretty good images), poor and or lengthy service, long periods between firmware upgrades and a host of other issues, because we were told by Leica that the M8 was an upgradeable not a replaceable camera. This idea of a camera that was progressively improved over time, instead of ending up on the scrapheap of electronic gadgetry, was something I greatly admired about Leica as it flew in the face of the ever resource intense wasteland we photographers live in with other brands But has this quietly ended? The Leica rep I know is suddenly mute on the subject. Leica is building up the release of the M9 as the new era of Leica photography and in my opinion they should also assure those of us who choose to stay with the M8 that we will not suddenly find we have an obsolete, unrepairable un-upgradeable, abandoned camera. What are your thoughts?

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My thoughts? It was highly foolish to to say that the M8 could be upgraded forever. That would be locking the engineers and designers into a model that may no longer be suitable;e at a future date.

 

Who knows, Leica may offer to upgrade M8s to M9s, but I doubt that it would be much cheaper than buying a new M9 as most of the camera would need to be changed.

 

I don't think the M8 is obsolete. It's been replaced, but that's not the same thing.

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I do think there's a need for an entry level M camera though. The M9 is fully 67% more expensive (assuming my information is correct) than the M8 was at launch whch moved Digital M photography to an ever more rarified existence.

 

As for the X1, they've missed a trick IMHO by not producing a version which takes M lenses.

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Good point, and this is surely something we all have talked about when having coffee with other M8 shooters.

 

Wild guess, we will know for sure in about 1-2 months, Leica is probably not going to say a lot about this while introducing the M9.

 

Personally, I have never sold a camera and don't plan to start now, the M8 will continue to be used and then eventually be a backup for the backup.

 

When i first stopped using film, my yearly film budget was enough to outright purchase a new digital body once a year.. so I was not terribly concerned with the continuing upgrade of the cameras back then. (2megpix to 5 megpix to 8 to 10 etc)

 

What Im trying to say is that regardless if we use film or digital, there is always going to be a consumption of budget.

I don't think getting 3 years out of the M8 is that bad. it is not outdated and will continue serving perfectly well for years even with no upgrades.

 

I would love to see a upgrade to the M8 and will upgrade it if the option become available, after I get a M9. but I will not be terribly disappointed if that option is not offered.

 

Mark. agree. the X1 "should" have been able to accept a adapter for M and maybe even R lenses. this could have been a totally proprietary lens adapter, not a system lens but simply a way to remove the X1 lens and pop a M adapter in place for a cropped use of M lenses.

.

Edited by Bo_Lorentzen

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As for the X1, they've missed a trick IMHO by not producing a version which takes M lenses.

 

But wouldn't they then have the original dilemma of the M series, include an IR filter on the sensor and degrade performance, or don't have the filter and have IR contamination?

 

It's a CMOS sensor, I wonder who's making it? Panasonic?

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I don't think the M8 is obsolete. It's been replaced, but that's not the same thing.

Provided it keeps working...and can be cost-effectively serviced when it stops. Neither of those things can necessarily be relied on very far into the digital future.

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Provided it keeps working...and can be cost-effectively serviced when it stops. Neither of those things can necessarily be relied on very far into the digital future.

 

Isn't there a legal requirement in the EU for Leica to be able to service the camera for a certain period after its withdrawal?

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Afaik there is an undertaking from Leica to support the M8 for at least ten years after discontinuation.

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Did the M6 lived for long in Leica's catalog when M7 came out? maybe someone who remembers can tell us.

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Isn't there a legal requirement in the EU for Leica to be able to service the camera for a certain period after its withdrawal?

Yes, but at what price? Few owners may think it worth doing a full replacement of, say, the sensor and circuit board once out of warranty - not when set against the cost of a better model.

Edited by Steve Pope

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Come on, guys! Be realistic. Leica still replaces the sensors of the Digilux2 - for free!

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Come on, guys! Be realistic. Leica still replaces the sensors of the Digilux2 - for free!

I thought it was Sony that is paying the bill for replacement of the D2 sensors. However, a great service from Leica still offering sensor replacements for the D2.

My M8 is only 8 months old, so I have more than a year warranty. Think I may buy a new lens instead of switching to an M9.

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As for the X1, they've missed a trick IMHO by not producing a version which takes M lenses.

 

Perhaps the X2 will do?

 

10 seems to be a cursed number for some Leica aficionados (the R users at least), I definitely hope the M9 won't be the last of its kind.

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...and at least Leica do the sensor replacement with good grace, which is more than you can say for Panasonic UK...

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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It's a CMOS sensor, I wonder who's making it? Panasonic?

 

Anybody guessed Samsung?

 

Their 12mp APS-C sized model NX will come pretty soon.

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I do think there's a need for an entry level M camera though. The M9 is fully 67% more expensive (assuming my information is correct) than the M8 was at launch whch moved Digital M photography to an ever more rarified existence.

 

As for the X1, they've missed a trick IMHO by not producing a version which takes M lenses.

 

While I think that digital Leica Ms are seriously overpriced, I can't follow your math (at least based on German prices): the M8 was 4195€ at its introduction date and the M9 will be 5495€ which makes 31% plus. By the way: less % increase than NIKON when it went from D300 to D700 (almost +40%)

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I expect the M8/8.2 is not longer in production - everyone in the factory working on M9s and S2s (and maybe M7/MP, although I suspect even those are on hiatus until the launch rush is over, unless there are shortages).

 

I expect Leica will sit back, and see how used M8s fare as "entry-level" M digital cameras. And how much resistance there is to the M9 price (whatever it may be). If they see a rational, profit-making demand for a "new from the factory" lower-priced model, they have several options they could pursue - an X1-based M-mount camera, or a dumbed-down M9, or a PanaLeica G body.

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While I think that digital Leica Ms are seriously overpriced, I can't follow your math (at least based on German prices): the M8 was 4195€ at its introduction date and the M9 will be 5495€ which makes 31% plus. By the way: less % increase than NIKON when it went from D300 to D700 (almost +40%)

 

Nikon D700 is not a replacement of the D300

 

If Leica drops the M8 then the M9 is a replacement and it means a 31% increase...

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Nikon DID replace the D2x with a D3x (bigger sensor, more pixels) - cost differential, close to 60% increase. That's a better analogy to the M8/M9 situation.

 

And the M8 started at a pretty low premium over the film cameras. There are darned few camera companies where the top-of-the-line, full-frame digital body is less than twice as much as the film equivalent.

 

Nikon F6 - $2,500, Nikon D3x = $8,000

 

By that standard, the M9 should cost about $11,200 compared to the M7/MP.

 

If Leica sees a need (as a company and business) for an entry-level body - they'll make one.

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