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The New Leica Digital M8.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Leica has now announced the M8, a digital version of their iconic M-series rangefinder: http://www.leica-camera.us/photography/m_system/m8/ http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/3003...8-digital.html It has a 10.2 resolution, and is apparently compatible with various M bayonet lenses, and estimated body price is $4,800. There will be two complementary lenses: an Elmarit 28mm at $1800, and Tri-Elmar 16-18-21mm at $4500. The nice thing is that the lenses are still manual-focus. I wonder how this item will turn out. Leica may have a huge name cachet but the company is surprisingly small with only about 400 workers, and in the very recent past, it has had serious financial problems. However, it didn't go the way of the quirky, and very expensive Alpa firm.
post #2 of 18
i dont doubt its quality, but cant help the feeling they may really struggle to find a big enough market for that camera at that price point.
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
Leica has now announced the M8, a digital version of their iconic M-series rangefinder:


http://www.leica-camera.us/photography/m_system/m8/

http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/3003...8-digital.html

It has a 10.2 resolution, and is apparently compatible with various M bayonet lenses, and estimated body price is $4,800. There will be two complementary lenses: an Elmarit 28mm at $1800, and Tri-Elmar 16-18-21mm at $4500. The nice thing is that the lenses are still manual-focus.

I wonder how this item will turn out. Leica may have a huge name cachet but the company is surprisingly small with only about 400 workers, and in the very recent past, it has had serious financial problems. However, it didn't go the way of the quirky, and very expensive Alpa firm.

Actually, ALPA's System 12 is a lot more versatile than Leica's M or R cameras. The 12 is designed to be used as a: multi-medium format, digital and Polaroid camera all in one. You simply remove the back and snap in what you wish to use. As well, lenses for the 12 are made my several different optics companies, so you always have something to choose from. As well, the 12 has a version which allows for shift, something no Leica has the ability to do.

The being said: I still want an R9.

Jon.
post #4 of 18
Hermes just sold its share in leica.

!luc
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
Actually, ALPA’s System 12 is a lot more versatile than Leica’s M or R cameras. The 12 is designed to be used as a: multi-medium format, digital and Polaroid camera all in one. You simply remove the back and snap in what you wish to use. As well, lenses for the 12 are made my several different optics companies, so you always have something to choose from. As well, the 12 has a version which allows for shift, something no Leica has the ability to do. The being said: I still want an R9. Jon.
Yes, the 120 format Alpa 12 is more versatile in that sense, however it may not be a "true" Alpa, as made by the Pignons factory. They used to make an eccentric, and rather expensive 35mm camera with a rangefinder/SLR and a reversed film rewind. "... ALPAs were - and are - defiantly unconventional machines that simply ooze character (...) ALPAs are a joy to hold and behold. Not surprisingly, they have always appealed to engineers, doctors, scientists, lovers of fine machinery ..."
post #6 of 18
Who is the market for this type of camera. Looking at their lens selections, the focal range is quite narrow with no zoom capability. Primes are fine and all for portrait or studio work but not for outdoors. I can't see how they can compete against a mainstream camera like a Canon DSLR with it's extensive L series line of lenses or Nikon with their Nikor line. Since it's only 10.1MP it can't be targeted at the super high end professional requiring much more. Seems odd to me. I think they need to increase their lens range to make a bigger impact in the DSLR market, it is becoming crowded with Sony and Kodak trying to get in the market as well.
post #7 of 18
Rangefinders - and Leica in particular - are possibly at their best where mobile human subjects are involved. This is a completely different market from SLRs (digital or otherwise). You seem to imply that Leicas are limited to studio or portraiture; I would suggest you also look into the genres of street photography and photojournalism.

With a rangefinder, you have very good response time, and the advantage that you're seeing your subject in the frame while you're taking the photograph. Therefore it excels in capturing "the decisive moment".

A rangefinder is inherently limited when it deals with long lenses because of its viewfinder, so its not meant for wildlife - that's for the SLRs, nor landscapes - that's best left to large format. So no zooms, thank you.

IMHO Leica should be concentrating on bringing out fast, medium-wide lenses suited to the APS sized sensor, and that will probably be their biggest chance of success.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarghh
You seem to imply that Leicas are limited to studio or portraiture; I would suggest you also look into the genres of street photography and photojournalism.

Especially the work of Cartier-Bresson.

Jon.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
Leica has now announced the M8, a digital version of their iconic M-series rangefinder:


http://www.leica-camera.us/photography/m_system/m8/

http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/3003...8-digital.html

It has a 10.2 resolution, and is apparently compatible with various M bayonet lenses, and estimated body price is $4,800. There will be two complementary lenses: an Elmarit 28mm at $1800, and Tri-Elmar 16-18-21mm at $4500. The nice thing is that the lenses are still manual-focus.

I wonder how this item will turn out. Leica may have a huge name cachet but the company is surprisingly small with only about 400 workers, and in the very recent past, it has had serious financial problems. However, it didn't go the way of the quirky, and very expensive Alpa firm.

This is good news, I love my older M series, but don't find much use for 35 mm now that digital is starting to fill that gap more and more.

Now if only Hasselblad would have a digital back that wasn't exhorbitantly priced...
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionology
Who is the market for this type of camera. Looking at their lens selections, the focal range is quite narrow with no zoom capability. Primes are fine and all for portrait or studio work but not for outdoors. I can't see how they can compete against a mainstream camera like a Canon DSLR with it's extensive L series line of lenses or Nikon with their Nikor line. Since it's only 10.1MP it can't be targeted at the super high end professional requiring much more.

Seems odd to me. I think they need to increase their lens range to make a bigger impact in the DSLR market, it is becoming crowded with Sony and Kodak trying to get in the market as well.

You can get a Leica DSLR, you have to get an R9 with the Leica Digital-Modul-R 10 MP digital back. Of course without lenses, you are looking at $9000 retail. The only good thing is that you can always upgrade the digital back as technology changes, whereas a Nikon or Canon DSLR has to be thrown away and you have to purchase a new system (granted, it's still cheaper this way).

Jon.
post #11 of 18
Does this take the regular leica lenses? If so, I can see how this serves leica's existing customer base who likes to use rangefinders and has an existing set of leica lenses. If regular leica lenses do not fit this (and there's no reason why they should not since this camera is not autofocus), then its not a very good product, it is way too overpriced and I don't think it will succeed at all.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionology
Who is the market for this type of camera. Looking at their lens selections, the focal range is quite narrow with no zoom capability. Primes are fine and all for portrait or studio work but not for outdoors. I can't see how they can compete against a mainstream camera like a Canon DSLR with it's extensive L series line of lenses or Nikon with their Nikor line. Since it's only 10.1MP it can't be targeted at the super high end professional requiring much more. Seems odd to me. I think they need to increase their lens range to make a bigger impact in the DSLR market, it is becoming crowded with Sony and Kodak trying to get in the market as well.
Leica has a rather limited niche market similar to high-grade mechanical watches, and things of that nature. The technology is conservative, expensive to manufacture, and requires full maintenance. However, their lenses are legendary for their quality and most of them use lens calculations from the '30s up until the '50s and '60s. Canon, Nikon, et al. all have adapters to use Leica glass. Longer focal lengths require a seperate viewfinder to be installed on the top.
post #13 of 18
This is less expensive than i would've expected, but I think it's a couple years too late to attract the professional photographers who have moved on. I don't think the fondler market has been large enough to keep them out of the red and probably won't be in the future, unfortunately. Good news, though.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sometimes, I wonder if it would be better if Leica Camera closed down completely or simple retreated into itself, and market a low-production single model camera like Alpa with limited edition lenses.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
Sometimes, I wonder if it would be better if Leica Camera closed down completely or simple retreated into itself, and market a low-production single model camera like Alpa with limited edition lenses.

Which would effectively kill the M range and leave them only leave them with the R range. For the R, as with any SLR is more versatile, and the ability to remove the back and turn the camera into a 35mm or a digital camera at a whim is the best bet to keep the company afloat.

Jon.
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