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Author Topic: M8 review  (Read 253924 times)
Jay Kaplan
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« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2006, 10:09:44 PM »
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Personally I liked the review. Most of the reviews you find on line are so full of technical mumbo jumbo that my eyes glaze over. While I have not had the chance to spend any time with a digital camera, I still use my Spotmatic, I found the review of the M8 very comfortable.

The age of auto focus and exposure has past me by, and yet here is a high tech camera, that should I own one, would require me to do what I still have to do with my Spotmatic, set the shutter speed, aperture and actually focus the lense by hand. What a refreshing concept.

Thank you Michael, I may never have the opportunity to own a Leica, but your review makes me wish I could.
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Rob C
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« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2006, 05:44:45 AM »
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This is really interesting. While the FM, RFF and other sites have garnered the Leica fans, here, there is a heavy skeptic, really dismissive group (come on, a Leica 10 MP being compared to a P&S?)
I guess every forum has their 'self definition of the IN group" and here, except for Michael, I do not sense a heavy Leica following.

It is amazing how our backgrounds flavour our preferences, and that is not bad. But I came to this thread wondering why after two days (I checked yesterday) there were only 5 posts on Michael's M8 review.

Now I come and find 11 (about 5% of what you would find on FM) and more than half are negative.
How many here are actually familiar with, say Leica vs Canon glass, or even Zeiss?

By the same token , MF discussions on FM are pretty scarce compared with the old RG and now here.

I guess each forum has its 'scope'. We should all remember that as we try to learn for the poster's comments, the backgrounds can be vastly different.

"Caveat Lector!"
regards
Victor
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83152\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Victor

You have a sort of point when you talk about different affinity groupings but I don't accept that it really stacks up to a hill of beans.

For my part, I am and always have been a Nikon fan, from F up to F4s (which I replaced by going backwards to one of the last remaining new F3 cameras) but that in no way means that I do not have a soft spot for Leica. I have never personally owned Leica, but at one stage of my early photographic career I worked for a studio where an M3 existed. That was, as I will never forget, used with a wide angle which was wider than what was to hand in the alternative Nikon armoury; the results were quite unlike anything else that the studio was producing on 35mm, so I have to agree that Leica glass is something else.

Why, then, didn't I buy into the Leica system? Simple: too expensive a family for me to adopt. Nikon allowed me to cover many more bases for the same capital outlay and the results, when the final production was going to be something via offset litho, didn't warrant the difference. Getting printers to match your transparencies was difficult enough (if not impossible) and the conceit in striving for lens maker identities was a step into the absurd.

Now, were I then in the photographic print sales market, I would have spent the money.

At the same time I was also running Hasselblads. The work that they did was not the work that suited the Nikons and vica versa, and so it is in professional photography - you pick a tool that fits your idea of the job.

Ciao - Rob C
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dturina
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« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2006, 06:56:23 AM »
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This is really interesting. While the FM, RFF and other sites have garnered the Leica fans, here, there is a heavy skeptic, really dismissive group (come on, a Leica 10 MP being compared to a P&S?)
I guess every forum has their 'self definition of the IN group" and here, except for Michael, I do not sense a heavy Leica following.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83152\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't think anyone was really dismissive, but personally, I'm an SLR guy. I used a rangefinder once as a little kid (Zorki1, a Leica clone) and hated it because I had to meter by sunny16 and it was very difficult to use. Then I started using a Minolta X-300 SLR and loved it for 20 years, so I understand why some older guys are so enthusiastic about the cameras from their youth; if Sony/Minolta released a digital MD with manual everything, I'd be enthusiastic too.
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Danijel
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« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2006, 09:41:05 AM »
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The age of auto focus and exposure has past me by, and yet here is a high tech camera, that should I own one, would require me to do what I still have to do with my Spotmatic, set the shutter speed, aperture and actually focus the lense by hand. What a refreshing concept.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83160\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Jake:

If, like me, you are unwilling or unable to pay up for a mega dollar camera, use your old Pentax lenses on a Pentax D camera.  Focus, set the aperture, meter by pushing a button and set the shutter speed by turning a dial - just like using a Spotmatic.

I'm not a Leicaphile, but I too enjoyed the Mr. Reichmann's review. It is a refreshing departure from the typical detached technical evaluation and ultimately more relevant if the intent is to produce photographs.  He loves the camera and that is nice to know if you plan on buying and entertaining to read even if you don't.

Did you notice the K1000 in the "Punk Photographer" shot?  That camera will outlast all of us.
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image66
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« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2006, 02:04:57 PM »
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I think it's so exciting to see a digital camera finally emerge of sufficient quality to warrent instant "cult status".

Our DSLRs are a lot like minivans.  The one with the most interior space, the most seats, the most cupholders and power doors.  However, it can drive like a cow and needs a white soccerball sticker in the window to be complete.

The M8 is more like a sports-car.  It doesn't seat as many people, interior space is a bit cramped, but it feels right and you want to take it down the back-country roads--the ones with the hills and curves.

You drive the minivan because it's "practical". You drive the sports-car because you want to.  In the end, does it make any real difference in the images captured?  Maybe, maybe not. But what it does do is give you a joy in your photography and the pleasure of using a tool that doesn't fight you.

Those who "get" Leica, understand this. Those who don't, will tend to lean towards cameras that offer more/faster/bigger.  Nothing wrong with that, but we are constantly seeking the "Holy Grail" of cameras/image qualtiy. This is why we are buying new cameras every 12-18 months.  The Leica M8 offers a chance to slow down the treadmill and get out and enjoy taking the pictures.

Control. Some of us enjoy tactile control of our cameras.  The M8 is essentially a camera you could operate blindfolded.
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2006, 03:18:10 PM »
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Those who "get" Leica, understand this. Those who don't, will tend to lean towards cameras that offer more/faster/bigger.  Nothing wrong with that, but we are constantly seeking the "Holy Grail" of cameras/image qualtiy. This is why we are buying new cameras every 12-18 months.  The Leica M8 offers a chance to slow down the treadmill and get out and enjoy taking the pictures.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83274\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm not sure that owning an M8 takes you out of the digicam rat race. Image quality from handhelds is starting to plateau but Leica is best placed to take advantage of any advances that may come in sensor design (due to superior optics and no mirror slap). I'd predict a M8 Mk2 appearing in the next 18-24 months.

Not that I'm in Leica's demographic today, but there's also some refinements that can be made to the design that will increase the camera's utility, like an exposure compensation dial under the thumb and AE-L accessible by the index finger, similar to the Contax G1/G2. This is a brilliant design. Sometimes I wonder whether there's too much inertia in the Leica M legacy.

Contrary to impressions above, the M8 is a most welcome addition to the digital market. I'm sure there's not a few potential M8 owners quite relieved that it isn't too badly disgraced by the 5D.
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situgrrl
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2006, 05:04:03 PM »
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Having been brought up on SLRs, when I had my EOS 1 stolen with no insurance, I couldn't afford much and was sick of my camera doing everything for me - at the price of it's huge bulk, weight and most importantly, conspicuousness.

For reasons of poverty and boredom I bought a Canonet 17 G3 - a 40mm rangefinder - I fell totally in love.  The meter drove me mad so I learnt to go with out but the speed of focussing and the fact I could hold 1/4 second and sometimes slower had me immediately sold.  I still have the camera and still use it - sadly not as much as I would like because film is a pain.  It took me until 18 months ago to move to digital because I couldn't get a camera that suited me as well.  I considered the Epson but it was too expensive and now have a 30D and 5 lenses.  I might have from 10-135 mm (16-200 for you 35 mm people) and unlimited shots but I can't make it work for me like I could my rangefinder with it's fixed lens, Tri X and human brain meter.

With a smaller crop factor, the M8 makes rangefinder digital viable and for that reason alone I would truly love to own one.  I hope that Zeiss and Voigtlander follow suit shortly so that I might be able to afford one.  For me, it could happily replace my DSLR, all of it's bulk and fripperies.  TTL viewfinders are very over rated - especially given today's excuses for focussing screens.

Charly
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soslund
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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2006, 09:40:04 PM »
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I'm sure there's not a few potential M8 owners quite relieved that it isn't too badly disgraced by the 5D.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83279\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I hope you're joking!!  Having just read Part 3 of Sean Reid's review of the M8--he compares the image quality of both headon--I can tell you that the M8 exceeds the quality of the 5D.  Take a look for yourself.
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Stephen Best
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« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2006, 10:50:47 PM »
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I hope you're joking!! Having just read Part 3 of Sean Reid's review of the M8--he compares the image quality of both headon--I can tell you that the M8 exceeds the quality of the 5D. Take a look for yourself.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83324\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

These are pay-for-view reviews? No, I haven't read them. I have however read some discussion on how the M8's aliasing contributes somewhat to "sharpness". The point I was trying to make is that, for want of anything better, the 5D is a bit of a benchmark and most potential M8 users would be happy for output quality in this ballpark. Nobody is going to buy an M8 over a 5D based solely (or even mainly) on image quality.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2006, 02:18:11 AM by Stephen Best » Logged
macgyver
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« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2006, 11:00:52 PM »
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I find it interesting that there is this constant distinction being made between people "getting it" and not.  I've never used a Leica, so I suppose I don't get it.  But, I have used a rangefinder (albiet a cheap one) and think the camera would be quite nice to use.  However, the price is going to be prohibitive for many.  As it was said earlier in the thread (I think by ROB C) sometimes it simply pays to invest in an alternative that is more affordable and more variable in cabaility.  I would love an M8 for some things, but not for others.

Basically, I'm trying to say that its sort of off to immediatly catagorize people by if the "get it" or not.  People usually have reasons for their decisions.  If I had the choice between a 5D and decent lens and M8 and decent lens I would go for the 5D automatically simply because it would be more variable.  But, that doesn't mean I "don't get it", it simply means that I know my resource limitations and whatnot.  (I must say, an M8 and a noctiflux would be amazing to me...)

Any of that lucid?  It's been a long day.  If not, sorry.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2006, 11:02:03 PM by macgyver » Logged
dlashier
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« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2006, 11:43:24 PM »
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I shot with rangefinder (mostly Leica) for over 15 years before switching to SLR and never really was happy with the switch. SLR's are bigger, heavier, noisier, harder to focus, harder to handhold, and it may be nostalgia but I don't feel that the IQ I got from SLR's matched the Leica, and it wasn't just Leitz glass because I primarily shot with Canon glass.

But at this point I'm reluctant give up all my Canon gear to go back to Leica RF which I'd have to do because I can't justify the cost of both systems. I do much more tele and action shots than I used to and this would be tough. I'm torn - one day I'm adding up what my Canon kit would bring on ebay and the next I'm dismissing the idea as sentimentalism. Michael's review just made this even tougher.

- DL
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alainbriot
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« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2006, 12:44:59 AM »
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I shot with rangefinder (mostly Leica) for over 15 years before switching to SLR and never really was happy with the switch. SLR's are bigger, heavier, noisier, harder to focus, harder to handhold, and it may be nostalgia but I don't feel that the IQ I got from SLR's matched the Leica, and it wasn't just Leitz glass because I primarily shot with Canon glass.

But at this point I'm reluctant give up all my Canon gear to go back to Leica RF which I'd have to do because I can't justify the cost of both systems. I do much more tele and action shots than I used to and this would be tough. I'm torn - one day I'm adding up what my Canon kit would bring on ebay and the next I'm dismissing the idea as sentimentalism. Michael's review just made this even tougher.

- DL
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Hi Don,

I have never approached Leica as a "system" but more like a camera with one to three lenses, usually just one in my case because of my personal preference for the 35mm lens on a Leica M.  I pre-ordered the M8 and plan to use it with the 35mm lens I currently have on my M7 with the addition of a 28mm, the equivalent of the 35mm with the reduction factor, later on.

I had a 90mm Leica at one time but the very small viewfinder made it hard to use.  

One cannot live by DSLR alone ;-)

Alain
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Alain Briot
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dlashier
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« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2006, 01:10:59 AM »
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Hi Don,

I have never approached Leica as a "system" but more like a camera with one to three lenses, usually just one in my case because of my personal preference for the 35mm lens on a Leica M.  I pre-ordered the M8 and plan to use it with the 35mm lens I currently have on my M7 with the addition of a 28mm, the equivalent of the 35mm with the reduction factor, later on.

I had a 90mm Leica at one time but the very small viewfinder made it hard to use. 

One cannot live by DSLR alone ;-)

Alain
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Hi Alain,

I wish I could afford that but unfortunately it's currently not in the cards for me. But all this talk has got me thinking about picking up an M3 or a Bessa. Naw - my trigger finger has gotten too itchy with digital - maybe next year.

- DL
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Ray
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« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2006, 01:36:05 AM »
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An interesting review with the bonus of interesting street photos, but definitely also an exercise in nostalgia, which I think Michael admits to and has no need to apologize for.

However, not having experienced the so-called joys of shooting with a Leica, I'm struggling to find any practical benefits that such a camera as the M8 could offer, compared with cheaper models of similar resolution but greater flexibility.

The ineffable subtleties of the Leica appearance, loosley described as 'non-digital', or like the differences between a medium quality and fine quality wine, don't seem convincing to me. The chain in the processing from capture to print can be long and convoluted. One should be able to get any 'look' one likes. Merely using a RAW converter such as Raw Shooter instead of ACR can change the 'look' of an image enormously.

I'd also be rather concerned with the less than stellar noise performance at high ISOs. A comparison in the review shows a Canon 5D shot at ISO 3200 with significantly less noise than the M8 at ISO 2500. Do we know how accurate the Leica ISO ratings are? One might think because it's Leica the ratings would be spot on. If that's the case, then the actual comparison is between the 5D at ISO 4000-4400 (not sure exactly) and the M8 at ISO 2500.

The extra large viewfinder which allows one to see outside the picture format is clearly an advantage, but not more advantageous than any zoom on a DSLR which offers, probably most of the time, an even greater field of view, except when using the shortest focal length.

Rangefinder focussing might well offer greater accuracy, but at the cost of less speed. Not much point in great accuracy of focussing if you miss the shot.

My feeling is, the M8 is still a rich man's toy.
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alainbriot
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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2006, 01:51:15 AM »
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My feeling is, the M8 is still a rich man's toy.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83345\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't know about the toy part but it is certainly not the least expensive camera out there.  But then, if you have top of the line equipment, it makes sense to have the M8 as your "small" camera rather than, say, a digicam or other fixed-lens camera.  

However there is something to be said in favor of a camera --the M8 and all Leica Ms-- that foregoes electronic bells and whistles and lets the photographer focus on making the image. That's what has always attracted me with Leica Ms and that's what continues to attract me with the M8.

I see the M8 as a digital camera that has the least amount of "technology" of any digital camera while delivering the highest level of image quality in its sensor-size group.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2006, 01:51:47 AM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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Ray
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« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2006, 03:07:51 AM »
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However there is something to be said in favor of a camera --the M8 and all Leica Ms-- that foregoes electronic bells and whistles and lets the photographer focus on making the image. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83346\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Alain,
There's much more to be said in favour of a camera that gives you the option of either forgoing the 'bells and whistles' or using them if you find them helpful. If you are a 5D owner with an aversion to bells & whistles, you can always use the camera in full manual mode and turn off auto-focus. I'm still struggling to understand how a camera so devoid of automatic functions can enable one to take better photos.
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alainbriot
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« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2006, 05:03:35 AM »
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I'm still struggling to understand how a camera so devoid of automatic functions can enable one to take better photos.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83349\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Automatic functions is not what enables you to take better photos... they just makes things well, automatic...
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Alain Briot
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madmanchan
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« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2006, 06:03:26 AM »
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However, not having experienced the so-called joys of shooting with a Leica, I'm struggling to find any practical benefits that such a camera as the M8 could offer, compared with cheaper models of similar resolution but greater flexibility.

I think Erwin Putts describes it best ...

Quote
... The main argument for investing in the M8 (buying an M8 would be a too simple action), is the continued use of the Leica M lenses and anyone who owns a suite of Leica lenses would be happy to put them on an M8 and enjoy the fine optical characteristics.

The design of the M8 is focussed on this enabling aspect: the use of the M lenses ...

See http://www.imx.nl/photosite/leica/m8report/t006.html.

Eric
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Scott_H
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« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2006, 06:11:48 AM »
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If you are a 5D owner with an aversion to bells & whistles, you can always use the camera in full manual mode and turn off auto-focus.

I can't see myself purchasing a Leica.  It is a lot of money to spend on something that isn't very well suited to the type of photography that I like to pursue.

I can appreciate why some people would like to use a Leica though.  For a lot of artists, art is as much about the process as it is the product.  It might be possible to use a 5D and get the same results, but a 5D might get in the way and make it more difficult too.
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« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2006, 07:56:05 AM »
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Those who "get" Leica, understand this. Those who don't, will tend to lean towards cameras that offer more/faster/bigger.  Nothing wrong with that, but we are constantly seeking the "Holy Grail" of cameras/image qualtiy. This is why we are buying new cameras every 12-18 months.  The Leica M8 offers a chance to slow down the treadmill and get out and enjoy taking the pictures.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=83274\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Those who talk of cost forget the longer term cost of ownership. At 63 it is easier to say paying extra for a top quality Nikon almost 40 years ago was no where near the 'value' of my second camera, a Leica R4s (used!) 25 years ago. The former collects dust, the second is used, and the 35mm lens is one of thesharpest I use on my brand new (3rd camera) R9/DMR that is one year old.I expect to hand them all down. Which ones do you think will be most appreciated?

The new M8, even at 10 MP will satisfy up to 11x17 for many years to come.

My wife has a digilux 5MP for snaps and up to 5x7 even 8x10, and the images are great!

The total cost of ownership is WAY lower than if I had invested i the more popular and stayed with Nikon - and the image quality Iwould have lost?

Nikon is good, no doubt,

value.... about $150, what I paid for it

but Leica and devices like it, make life a little more special

value...priceless!
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