We always wonder what new gadgets can make us feel good, supreme over others. At first, I dreamed, then I read, it was so silly to think why they lied. Our product has a history, it’s a shame the digital world has come, we are fools to think Lieca could survive…

lieca


A rangefinder named Lieca  photographed by remote control, Canon Pro 1

Photoppoo’s Leica M8 reports….

Daddy’s $5,000 toy is a piece of shit. He and the other shills get their fellow Leicaphiles excited about this camera before it’s released. Now that everyone has blown $5,000, Jorge is using the RFF forum to shame the executives at Leica. Who should really be ashamed of their behavior? The GAS bags at RFF, of course! This “open” letter was posted all over the Internet

iphonerulez :Considering how netbook PC users must feel about overpriced goods, Leica must be going out of business or on the verge of bankruptcy. After all, nobody buys expensive products in this economy.

Overstock.com is selling some Kodak Easyshare camera for $85 that takes pictures almost as well as this Leica priced at $9000. Surely the Leica can’t take pictures that much better to cost almost $8900 more. Oh, that’s right, Leica is just cheating it’s customers into thinking it’s a better camera than a Kodak Easyshare. And Leica users are just arrogant dicks for owning something that most users can’t afford. I know most of you PC netbook users are happy with your Kodaks, so walk around proudly with your chests puffed out.

tekd: Well, Leica really has been on the verge of bankruptcy for years now. Almost filed 4 years ago.

Dummy00001:  Can any photographer explain me why the rangefinder costs that much?

I can understand why some monster Canon or Nikon costs arm and a leg. But M8 is compact – but say 4/3 Panay or Oly are compact too, cost magnitude less, have more lenses and have comparable specs. The camera isn’t that high-end – outside it’s sentimental value. Where the hell from comes the $8000-9000 price tag?

timbob67

Leica should start making fake “uber brassing” models and market them as former cameras used by real photographers(ha!). I’ve used Leicas a bit years ago, and they are really great tools. The brand and the legacy deserve more than the moronic collector bait they have been foisting. Maybe if Leica concentrated on making cameras instead of fashion crap they could still hold their head high.

leica-manual

A memorable photograph taken with a Leica from the book Leica Manual 1944

The Online Photographe;

Mind you, I’m not knocking Leica’s choices. It made the M8 as much like an M as possible because that’s what its faithful wanted, and giving your customers what they want can hardly be construed as a bad thing. The M8 is trying to be an M that just happens to be digital; but in terms of my thought experiment, if it were a film camera, it would feel not so much like a Leica but like a clunky, cheaper copy of a Leica. The feeling of build quality is almost there but not quite; the shutter delay doesn’t have the razor-sharp responsiveness of the film M’s (the Canon XTi to which I compared the M8 has a markedly better, quicker, and more responsive shutter feel); the controls, although nicely conceived, are somewhat slow and unsure; and the always-ready, always-on, tough-as-nails feel of the film cameras just doesn’t translate to what is, after all, mainly a piece of electronics. Nice try—A for effort—but a miss. If it weren’t a digital camera, the M8 wouldn’t quite make it as a Leica.

From L.Camera Hassiman

You are not alone. You are correct, the changes are minimal… total crap. I bought a used (original) Leica and I love it. Leave the upgrades for the Leica fetishist. Buy glass. That will add something to your photography. Please, do not give Leica the satisfaction of a “financial bail-out” for a camera that was not originally up to German engineering standards. Make them bring something to market that is up to Leica standards or perish. Make them build a Mercedes. Don’t let them get away with a Ford.

Over the past several years, Leica has used KODAK CCD Image Sensors in their most advanced digital products – most recently, the LEICA M8.

I have been a Leica M/R owner since 1970. I have long loved their cameras and lenses but I have come to the realization that in today’s digital world the time of the Leica camera as we know it may just about be at an end.

In the days of film it was a good rational that even if you were not well-heeled a Leica camera was worth saving for, and that goal once attained would give one the most finely-built pieces of photographic equipment on the planet, one that would probably outlast its owner even after decades of heavy use. When a newer, faster, better ISO color or B&W film came out we just loaded it into the camera and it worked. No other adjustment necessary.

We now live in a world where newer better detectors (senors) are always just around the corner. The product life on a particular camera body as state-of-the-art is now measured in months. Canon has been able to sell not so finely made DSLR bodies for $5,000 – $8,000 only because they had a lock on the full-frame sensor market. Given recent developments this is no longer true and because Canon has competition prices on high end DSLR bodies will soon be falling.

The day of the hand-made finely machined German camera body selling for thousands of dollars is Kaput.
Photographers will no longer be willing to pay that kind of money for a camera… no matter what its brand, that will be obsolete with a year of purchase. This is the harsh reality that Leitz now faces. Yes, Leitz will always be able to market limited edition pieces to the wealthy collectors, but that market is not big enough to sustain a large corporation.

The REAL value that Leitz needs to concentrate on are the pieces that DON’T become outmoded every 6 months… Leitz lenses… not the designs they have branded for panasonic… but the Brass and steel hand-fitted wonders that are as good today as they were 40 years ago ( My 40 tear old 50mm F2 Summicron will still hold its own against anything built today) If they can find a way to mass produce the rangefinder and build an M body that sells for $1,500 that will accept the M mount lenses they will have a chance. If they don’t…. Leica will go the way of Agfa… and I will mourn their passing.

Camerablues Richard Bolai copyright ©2009 All Rights Reserved

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