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Question: Why do you own a digital M Leica?  (Voting closed: October 30, 2011, 07:03:58 AM)
Because I prefer shooting with a rangefinder. - 9 (45%)
Because I want to use Leica and other M lenses. - 11 (55%)
Total Voters: 20

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Author Topic: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?  (Read 86263 times)
IWC Doppel
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« Reply #160 on: December 08, 2012, 01:08:59 PM »
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The answer for me is both. I LOVE the look of older Leica glass and have no interest in a large DSLR. I moveforgot M8 to M9-P and have managed to accumulate 8 Leica lenses, I seem to settle on between 6 and 10 lenses. I have a few more to try before settling on a target of 6 lenses.

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Shrev94412
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« Reply #161 on: January 21, 2013, 02:19:39 PM »
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Michael,

Like others have said, I appreciate what you do here with this site. I have shot with many cameras including back in film days. The past five years has been a great camera rotation, buying and selling in hopes to find the ultimate image quality. I currently have a Nikon D3X, Nikon D800E, Many Nikon High End Lenses, Hasselblad H4D-40 with three lenses, Fuji GX617 Film Camera with three lenses and print to my Epson 4880 and 9900. In other words I use and try alot of equipment whether its mine or a loaner from a dealer.

I am currently looking at buying a Leica M system and lenses. Why? because the images from the camera and lenses look so dramatically different from anything else I have seen. But the main reason is because I just turned 50 and some of the places I have been hiking in and out of are just wearing me out carrying a Hassy or a DSLR and heavy glass. I can do it now, barely and I am in really great shape, but will I be able to do it in 10 more years.

So two main reasons, Image Quality and Portability. Headed back to Europe this spring and I am thinking that the rangefinder solution would be way more fun to carry around than a Nikon with a couple of heavy lenses. I think there is a future for lightweight, high quality camera gear, rangefinder or not. Sorry I cannot offer a "Technical Reason", I think the look of the images speaks for itself.


PS: Got the chance to meet Jeff Schewe at an Alain Briot seminar last November. What a great guy! Alain as welL. Both fantastic guys!
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dreed
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« Reply #162 on: March 13, 2013, 03:11:04 AM »
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http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Leica-M9-M9-P-and-M-E-Type-220-Ahead-of-the-new-Leica-M-we-round-up-the-DxOMark-Scores-of-its-predecessors/Conclusion

"In fact, with a DxOMark Overall Score of 68, or 69 for the Leica M9, M9-P and ME Type 220, these cameras offer the worst image quality DxOMark have tested on a full frame sensor, with the exception of the 10-year-old Canon EOS 1Ds."
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Petrus
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« Reply #163 on: March 13, 2013, 03:35:03 AM »
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I am thinking that the rangefinder solution would be way more fun to carry around than a Nikon with a couple of heavy lenses.

My Nikon kit (D4 & D800E) weights 12 kg, while Fujifilm X-Pro1 & X-E1 kit is 2.5 kg (both with bag & rechargers). Guess which one I am taking to Nepal for 4 weeks of trekking?

Here are some samples from the Fujis:

https://picasaweb.google.com/109958612223411682295/Jerusalem2012?authuser=0&feat=directlink
http://suomenkuvalehti.fi/kuvat/kuvakertomukset/hyvaa-huomenta-burma

I did not even consider Leicas for both price, weight and image quality reasons. A lot of travel reportage happens in high ISO situations where Fujis excel.
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MartinDahl
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« Reply #164 on: March 15, 2013, 01:02:54 PM »
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Hi all

Since Leica started shipping the much anticipated M240 a couple of weeks ago I would like to hear from real users of this gem.... are you happy now ? :-)
I will get mine in june  Embarrassed

br
Martin
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Rob C
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« Reply #165 on: March 19, 2013, 12:51:31 PM »
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Let's hope for your sake that in the reality it proves a bit more than a gem: Leica has already made plenty of them.

;-)

Rob C
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sinwen
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« Reply #166 on: March 27, 2013, 03:26:14 PM »
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I would answer the question first : lenses.

Long ago I was wondering what could be that little plus Leica could have that a Japanese brand was lacking for the enormous price difference.
Until the Nikon FA hit the shelves, the F…k All we used to call it, because it was really flawed ! I already had a very bad experience with the EL, destroying ten rolls of Kodachrome.

From that point on I knew the trend would be going all electronic. So I stepped into Leica.
Then I discovered deep detailed shadows in my slides, sharpness right into the corners, unctuous greys in the prints…. and as the equipment can last a life or two, I switched to Leica entirely.

Then digital arised and there Leica was lost. They shine in optical and micromechanical, they are specialists, but electronics is a complete different world, far less demanding with programmed obsolescence policy. This is a consumer industry, high turnover and low reliability. Two opposite worlds that tatooed Leica cannot grasp, they still identify Leica with abosolute quality, they throw 7000 $ into a piece of electronic that Leica doesn’t produce, believing they are buying the long famous high quality product.

The lenses remain what they have always been (at least until Leica get into AF) excellent, but the cameras have nothing to see with what they used to be, it is electronics into a Leica box, their value should be around 800, period.

Now if the question was about Leica film M cameras vs lenses, my answer wouldn’t be so straight. Range finder shines for candid shoots, but I manage as well with reflex. Where RF is best suited for is low light situations…..if you have a Leica lens together with. So I would keep my first answer : lenses.

Going a bit further, as I said earlier, the day Leica get into AF, then just forget about the brand altogether. They are thirty years late on this, they will have to switch to plastic components and again electronic and they will ask you 4000 for a lens…. then the answer to the question would be : neither.
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Telecaster
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« Reply #167 on: March 31, 2013, 05:14:31 PM »
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I know the poll is long closed (been offline for nearly four years due to nasty nerve compression issues, now thankfully resolved), but what the hey, I'll chime in anyway.

The camera where photography really clicked (sorry) for me was my dad's M2. Lucky for me, he actually preferred his Kodak Retina IIc 'cuz he could tuck it away in a jacket pocket whenever my mom wanted him to pay attention to more "important" stuff.  Wink Lining up those two images in the viewfinder just made such intuitive sense...I took to it immediately and before long the M2 was effectively mine (and later on became officially mine as part of a birthday present).

So for me the RF camera is the thing. Doesn't matter much who makes it. Leicas, Contaxes, Kievs, Voigtlanders, Epson (the RD-1...actually an Epson/Cosina collaboration, of course), whomever. Now I certainly don't object to a great lens, and I own my share. But give me a Voigt Bessa (the original LTM version) and an uncoated Leitz 50mm Summar, with its weird way of interpreting light, and I'll still have a great time seeing interesting, pleasing compositions and pushing the shutter button. I'll take an M240 too, of course, and imagine I'll end up getting one. Imagine the Summar on *that* camera!

-Dave-
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IWC Doppel
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« Reply #168 on: April 05, 2013, 05:37:06 PM »
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I would answer the question first : lenses.

Long ago I was wondering what could be that little plus Leica could have that a Japanese brand was lacking for the enormous price difference.
Until the Nikon FA hit the shelves, the F…k All we used to call it, because it was really flawed ! I already had a very bad experience with the EL, destroying ten rolls of Kodachrome.

From that point on I knew the trend would be going all electronic. So I stepped into Leica.
Then I discovered deep detailed shadows in my slides, sharpness right into the corners, unctuous greys in the prints…. and as the equipment can last a life or two, I switched to Leica entirely.

Then digital arised and there Leica was lost. They shine in optical and micromechanical, they are specialists, but electronics is a complete different world, far less demanding with programmed obsolescence policy. This is a consumer industry, high turnover and low reliability. Two opposite worlds that tatooed Leica cannot grasp, they still identify Leica with abosolute quality, they throw 7000 $ into a piece of electronic that Leica doesn’t produce, believing they are buying the long famous high quality product.

The lenses remain what they have always been (at least until Leica get into AF) excellent, but the cameras have nothing to see with what they used to be, it is electronics into a Leica box, their value should be around 800, period.

Now if the question was about Leica film M cameras vs lenses, my answer wouldn’t be so straight. Range finder shines for candid shoots, but I manage as well with reflex. Where RF is best suited for is low light situations…..if you have a Leica lens together with. So I would keep my first answer : lenses.

Going a bit further, as I said earlier, the day Leica get into AF, then just forget about the brand altogether. They are thirty years late on this, they will have to switch to plastic components and again electronic and they will ask you 4000 for a lens…. then the answer to the question would be : neither.

Have you ever shot with an M9 and compared it to a Canon 5D ? Even with Leica R or Zeuss glass ill take the 9 every time (apart from high ISO. But being able to hand home at a 1/15 th the gap can be smaller than you imagine.

For me Leicas challenge is the CMOS sensor with the M, which loses some of the qualities of CCD
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WarrenRoos
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« Reply #169 on: May 02, 2013, 06:41:05 PM »
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A99 or A900 for me. Zeiss Glass.

Want to love and use the Leica again but the RF focus (that I grew up with) slows composition and shooting speed.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #170 on: May 03, 2013, 01:09:08 AM »
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Which qualities, exactly?

Best regards
Erik


For me Leicas challenge is the CMOS sensor with the M, which loses some of the qualities of CCD
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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #171 on: May 05, 2013, 02:05:53 PM »
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After purchasing the 9 and before unloading the 5D II I did a couple of test shots. The 5D II had the 16-36 L II on it, at 35, and the 9 had a '69 35 Lux. Just went out and grabbed some images of a white car in front of the house on a bright sunny CA day. Lots of dynamic range and color, with tree branches at the corners. Both cameras were at f8 and native ISO, saving to RAW.

While I had been quite happy with the 5D, the images from the 9 had better detail in the shadows, as well as better detail overall and dynamic range. And absolutely no CA at the corners. And yes, Leica glass does have a signature 'look', which is important to some and not others. Just as charts are important to some and not others.

Insofar as auto focus vs manual is concerned, just got back from a couple weeks in Italy. All those people with their DSLRs and P&Ss were still at it long after I had gotten my shot and was moving on. Once you know how to use a rangefinder it becomes second nature, and then there's hyperfocal...
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Rob C
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« Reply #172 on: May 05, 2013, 02:45:08 PM »
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Insofar as auto focus vs manual is concerned, just got back from a couple weeks in Italy. All those people with their DSLRs and P&Ss were still at it long after I had gotten my shot and was moving on. Once you know how to use a rangefinder it becomes second nature, and then there's hyperfocal...


By chance, I walked into a local bar where some musos I know had just been offered a gig three hours earlier. I'd been walking about with my D700 and 2/35mm down by the boats, playing with a polarizer and shooting up at the sky from below on the hard. Nothing much. Then I found the musos setting up.

You know, playing at f2 and seeing what you get, is beyond price.

Hyperfocal is open to all systems - as long as you have the wit to buy old lenses with a scale(!)

I'm afraid that in the end, once a dedicated slr user, it's almost impossible to go back to guesstimates...

;-)

Rob C
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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #173 on: May 05, 2013, 11:06:14 PM »
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By chance, I walked into a local bar where some musos I know had just been offered a gig three hours earlier. I'd been walking about with my D700 and 2/35mm down by the boats, playing with a polarizer and shooting up at the sky from below on the hard. Nothing much. Then I found the musos setting up.

You know, playing at f2 and seeing what you get, is beyond price.

Hyperfocal is open to all systems - as long as you have the wit to buy old lenses with a scale(!)

I'm afraid that in the end, once a dedicated slr user, it's almost impossible to go back to guesstimates...

Guess I was lucky in that I never became 'dedicated'. The 5D was always a love/hate relationship.

The first night in Rome was Good Thursday where all the Basilicas are open 24/7, but dimmed, and the whole town turns out to see how many they can hit in an evening. Handheld, wide open(ish), and 1/6 to 1/15 second with a 28mm. Actually got some decent images that printed well at 13X19.
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TMARK
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« Reply #174 on: May 10, 2013, 11:24:08 AM »
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I'll tell you, the M digitals are brilliant cameras but, at least for M8 and M9, are a complete pain in the ass.  They require so much special care and feeding because the electronics are a few generations behind their contemporaries.  The 240 may have rectified this, but here are a few things that are just stupid:

1. Low battery (and by low I mean 75% charge) = banding in shadows at all ISOs on both the M9s I've owned.  Firmware helped fix the problem.

2. Modern Fast SD cards gives banding.

3. Review of images while it is writing to the card from the buffer gives banding, randomly, in shadows.

4. Non-Leica batteries cause problems.

5. PCB Boards go bad, resulting in a kind of blooming that destroys an image if an area is over exposed.

6.  In that past, poor service.  This seems to have been remedied, at least with Leica USA in NJ.

All of these issues are easily solved (Leica Battery, Sand Disc Ultra cards, keeping the battery charged.  Not shooting sequences in "Discreet" mode, leaving teh camera be while it writes to a card, etc.  BUT, a Nikon just works.  If a bad lens or body slips past QC, its fixed and on you go with your life.

All that being said, shooting an M9 and maybe soon an MM or M240, is worth the hassel.  No other camera allows me to shoot like I can with a Leica RF, and god knows I've tried with other digital compacts and dslrs.  I won't give up my Nikon, but I'd like to.
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« Reply #175 on: May 14, 2013, 08:53:58 PM »
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I won't give up my Nikon, but I'd like to.

I know how you feel: I just got a used junk Canon 1Ds3, after a bunch of Nikons and suddenly I'm shooting random street images again.

Edmund
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
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« Reply #176 on: May 17, 2013, 01:29:24 PM »
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I know how you feel: I just got a used junk Canon 1Ds3, after a bunch of Nikons and suddenly I'm shooting random street images again.

Edmund

I have had 70% of the issues T mentions with my M-8.     I thought about buying an M9 or what's it called now M? 

I even thought about the M240 (is that really it's name?) but I'm not that wild about the cmos samples I've seen from this camera and the M digital is so strange.

Actually the battery issue is the one that just breaks your brain.  A new battery at 75'% and the camera shuts down.  Put another battery in and it runs again, then same thing.

Unlike T I don't think an M is worth the hassel.  Not with some of the newer cameras that are out there.

So I've passed on another Leica for now.

The last few months I have been buried in production and post production and yesterday, had to clear my head and went out for 2 hours to a camera store I personally like, not too far from our Dallas studio in Arlington.   

A kind of throwback in time where people that love photography are actually behind the counters and will let you try a camera . . . any camera.   Really fun.

Anyway I'm looking at a 4/3's camera for an upcoming project, mostly for video capabilities as I need a small form factor, autofocus and the ability to shoot video level stills in the same format as the motion, so I compared the Pana gh3 and the Olympus OMD.

Across the board the GH3 is a much better video camera, the touch screen autofocus for video is really amazing and the build quality is tank like.   It feels like a  smaller 1dx and acts like one, though maybe even more sturdy and has autofocus for video.. 

It is very well thought out for video and shoots a nice still file.

It even wi-fi's solidly to an Ipad which is pretty amazing for the cost. 

The Panasonic will do exactly what I want, especially with the two new 2.8 constant zooms, the problem is it's just a camera that works, not a camera that you get attached to.

The Olympus on the other hand is the opposite of the Pana.   It reminds me of a leica  because it's so jewel like.  .  It doesn't do the professional things I need like the Pana, but it's such a tremendously compelling camera and
the only camera I've held in a long time that is exciting, especially with the series of fast little primes they offer.

I'll buy the Pana on Monday, but want the OMD, actually really want the OMD and then I messed with the Fuji X1 Pro.   

The Fuji is not as jewel like as the Olympus and it feels larger though lighter than a Leica M, but operationally it's what a modern Leica should be. 

Autofocus, high iso with a different looking file through Fuji's sensor, a crazy hybrid viewfinder and three nice primes, (though only three). 

It doesn't wow me like the Olympus, actually nothing has moved me like the Olympus, but the X1 is really nice.

I like these 4/3's cameras. (the Fuji is a 2:3 crop APS)  though   I wish the sensorof 4:3  was larger in size (not really pixels, just dimensionally larger), though love the 4-3 format for verticals and the articulating screens.  They're really well thought out,
have new lenses that are sharp, articulating screens that are not a gimmick but really usable.

Actually the 4/3's and the X1 somewhat illustrate to me where digital could really go.    Different form factors, articulating screens, wi-fi to Ipads, phones, interesting lenses, in all speeds,
hybrid viewfinders and in the case of the olympus and Fuji cameras that don't look like the lump of plastic dslrs.

It's a shame that Panasonic doesn't have a camera history to fall back on.  The Fuji is interesting, the OMD is interesting, the GH3 boring, but does so much. 

IMO

BC


Shot with gh1, around 1,000 iso, Broncolor HMI.
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eronald
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« Reply #177 on: May 17, 2013, 10:11:27 PM »
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I have had 70% of the issues T mentions with my M-8.    

The Olympus on the other hand is the opposite of the Pana.   It reminds me of a leica  because it's so jewel like.  .  It doesn't do the professional things I need like the Pana, but it's such a tremendously compelling camera and
the only camera I've held in a long time that is exciting, especially with the series of fast little primes they offer.


I had a bunch of issues on my M8 too; beautiful images, completely unreliable.

BTW, James, have you thought of using the Olympus lenses on a different 4/3? I think 4/3 is supposed to be interoperable between manufacturers, like the old 42mm Pentax screw mount.

I found an interesting set of comments on this topic on the preview forum Smiley
Edmund
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« Reply #178 on: May 20, 2013, 05:03:13 AM »
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I had a bunch of issues on my M8 too; beautiful images, completely unreliable.

BTW, James, have you thought of using the Olympus lenses on a different 4/3? I think 4/3 is supposed to be interoperable between manufacturers, like the old 42mm Pentax screw mount.

I found an interesting set of comments on this topic on the preview forum Smiley
Edmund

Edmund,

I'm still testing both the OMD and the Panasonic.

The Pansonic does everything right, great video, two new 2.8 constant zooms, 3.5 jack for sound in, sound out to headphones, better tracking autofocus and more accurate autofocus  both for video and stills.

The articulated lcd screen for touch screen focus for video is simply amazling.

The OMD shoots slightly better stills with their mft fast primes qnd Olympus has some large 4'3's lenses (not micro 4/3's) that are large pro level primes.  Expensive lenses but a huge range.

You can switch lenses form both or add Leica M's (manual focus obviously) and even the larger Olympus 4/3's which are amazing are professional but focus slower.

The thing is the Panasonic is the camera I need, the OMD is the camera I want.  The OMD is really special, it's a little small, but it's rolex like in it's build quality.

The Panasonic is a tank and not much smaller than a 5d2, but it really is well thought out.

Personally, I think I could shoot 90% of my work with both these cameras.

I may buy the Pansonic for video, the OMD for stills.

Even though I have a lot of cameras which produce a more detailed image, these 4'/3's cameras are amazing to me.  The Pansonic even wirelessly tethers to an Ipad.

The thing that keeps them from being cross pollinated is the stabilization.   The olympus stabilizes from the body, the Pana from the lenses.  The Olympus has better and smoother stabilization for video, though the video options are more limited, i.e. codec, frames rate, kbs, sound.

The Upside to both is you can actually use Leica M lenses and see the exact framing, even the 90, which is impossible on an M.

The OMD is really out of the box thinking with a traditional feel and with both cameras I love the 4:3 framing for verticals.  

They aren't as detailed as my Canon 1dx's, the focus isn't as good, but the Olympus really feels like a camera, the Panasonic more of a tool.  

If I was shooting mostly for pleasure and did walk around photography like you, the OMD would be my first choice.

IMO

BC



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TMARK
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« Reply #179 on: May 20, 2013, 11:56:19 AM »
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I have had 70% of the issues T mentions with my M-8.     I thought about buying an M9 or what's it called now M?  

I even thought about the M240 (is that really it's name?) but I'm not that wild about the cmos samples I've seen from this camera and the M digital is so strange.

Actually the battery issue is the one that just breaks your brain.  A new battery at 75'% and the camera shuts down.  Put another battery in and it runs again, then same thing.

Unlike T I don't think an M is worth the hassel.  Not with some of the newer cameras that are out there.


Its funny because every M8/M9 has different versions of the same issues.

I went back to the M9 because, despite its flaws, I can operate it faster and more intuitively than any other camera, save the RZ.  I make better photos with an M.  Its impractical but I've accepted that.  Since I don't really shoot for commerce, aside from the odd editorial, I can live with the M's issues.

I do dig the OMD and I really like the Fuji x100.  I sold the x100 because I couldn't get it to do what I wanted it to do if I was working quickly.  Lovely casual camera.  It looks like the x100s addressed many of the issues I had with it.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2013, 02:56:31 PM by TMARK » Logged
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