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The little top LCD debate !


Julian Thompson

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I have read many posts bemoaning the lack of the little LCD window on the top of the M8.

 

I am not posting this to be controversial, but rather because I am genuinely stunned by that response to this development of the M9.

 

I am interested to learn why it is something one might miss?

 

In summary -

 

1) The battery indicator is three steps only. You can shoot several hundred photographs between swapping batteries. Even if you hammer the camera continuously it's not something like focus or shutter speed, iso or EV compensation that needs to be checked shot by shot.

 

2) You can can get many hundreds of shots on even a reasonably large SD card - in fact it's pretty rare that my display actually begins to drop below '999' shots available !

 

Do people really shoot so much and so hard that they must glance quickly at the battery indicator and card residue to such an extent that there is no time to raise the camera to the horizon and hit the info button on the M9? - Especially since swapping the card and battery requires removal of the bottom plate so in itself is always going to take 'a few seconds.' Again I know this removable plate causes some argument so maybe the LCD screen thing falls into the same category of 'M' disagreement!

 

I'm personally pleased they got rid of the window because it looks cleaner - all info in one place - but I understand that others are entitled to their own view - I just can't see a way at present that I can justify that view so hence I thought I'd invite a rationale!

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I2) You can can get many hundreds of shots on even a reasonably large SD card - in fact it's pretty rare that my display actually begins to drop below '999' shots available !

 

Uncompressed DNG shots on the M9 are about 30 to a gigabyte, so with an 8 gig card you'll get about 240 frames. Many people like to know when they are getting close to filling a card so that they can chose a convenient moment to change cards. The counter on the top plate provided that information at a glance.

 

Also I'd guess that some people would change batteries when they got down to one bar on the indicator so tht they could be confident they were in a position to take a lot of shots.

 

Everyone is different, just because you happen to be happy with its removal doesn't mean that others aren't unhappy about it.

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just because you happen to be happy with its removal doesn't mean that others aren't unhappy about it.

 

Forgive me if I sound terse here but that's blindingly obvious and the reason i wrote:

 

I understand that others are entitled to their own view - I just can't see a way at present that I can justify that view so hence I thought I'd invite a rationale!
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I for one am in the camp that really don't care if there's the top little LCD and think it looks much cleaner without it. I don't review every shot by any means, but often quickly review images after a series to roughly check exposure and framing, so checking frames remaining at that time is hardly an inconvenience. That said, of all the things to get worked up about in the world of photography that little LCD isn't high on my list.

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What I'll miss is not the information the LLCD (little LCD) gave you while you were shooting, but how easy it was to check card and battery info when you're running out the door or need to grab the camera after having not used it for a while when you are less likely to remember what amount of battery is left or whats on the card. Turn it on and the info was there, no buttons to push or in my case, no Luigi case to undo. I leave my camera set to 'no preview' thats how infrequently I like to look at the LCD. The LLCD was brilliant in my mind and I will miss it. Why does the new display tell you what shutter you are set to and what lens you have on? Is this not obvious? Perhaps it should remind you of your name too. Seems they were trying to fill the screen with more 'useful' information.

Happily looking forward to my M9 anyway, although I wish it looked like the M8.2 (black dot, black shoe).

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I'm in the third camp -- the one that says that the idea of a top LCD was fine, but it should have been larger, rectangular, and had different information in it -- like shutter speed, current ISO, white balance setting, compensation, remaining battery and remaining frames. And the last two, IMHO, were the least important.

 

JC

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One less opening to weatherproof.

 

Seriously, though - I'm neutral at this point until I've spent more time working with the Mine. On my excursions with a demo Mine I was not hampered by the missing LCD, but I see the slight speed benefit.

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From a design perspective I prefer the new solution. To me it more closely emulates the original M outlines and gives the illusion of reduced size.

 

The original M outlines (M3) had the little window with glass on top, where you could see the numbers of exposures on your film. Leica called it "Bildzähluhr" -

 

Well, it was on the left side. The tiny size of the M8 LCD would have allowed to put it on the narrow new right side of the M9, or on the left - original - side next to the "off" mark.

 

I don't think it was design; neither do I believe that it was changed because you couldn't see it in the dark. It was just spared. They left out the "Bildzähluhr" for the M2 as well, out of the same reasons. Not the worst thing to spare, if you have to. But the quick information: is the camera on, is it working, is there enough power in the battery - all matters of a fragment of a second - will be missing.

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I'm much happier with the new INFO screen - the battery meter on the top window was never accurate, and I have the impression that it had a hit on the camera's wakeup time to. For me that fact that I have immediate information on battery condition, number of shots remaining,the shutter speed in manual + lens all in one space is great. The only thing they messed up on is that the screen doesn't also show current ISO - this feels like a mistake which I hope they can easily rectify in firmware.

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What I'll miss is not the information the LLCD (little LCD) gave you while you were shooting, but how easy it was to check card and battery info when you're running out the door or need to grab the camera after having not used it for a while when you are less likely to remember what amount of battery is left or whats on the card. Turn it on and the info was there, no buttons to push or in my case, no Luigi case to undo. I leave my camera set to 'no preview' thats how infrequently I like to look at the LCD. The LLCD was brilliant in my mind and I will miss it. Why does the new display tell you what shutter you are set to and what lens you have on? Is this not obvious? Perhaps it should remind you of your name too. Seems they were trying to fill the screen with more 'useful' information.

Happily looking forward to my M9 anyway, although I wish it looked like the M8.2 (black dot, black shoe).

I found it was a royal pain in the behind, as it had no illumination, so it was impossible to check battery and shots in anything but fairly bright light.

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I'm much happier with the new INFO screen - the battery meter on the top window was never accurate, and I have the impression that it had a hit on the camera's wakeup time to. For me that fact that I have immediate information on battery condition, number of shots remaining,the shutter speed in manual + lens all in one space is great. The only thing they messed up on is that the screen doesn't also show current ISO - this feels like a mistake which I hope they can easily rectify in firmware.

 

At the moment I have to go to ISO INFO and SET menus to see the information I need. I would like to see ISO as set and current frames remaining as just 2 numbers in the SET menu.

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