Well, there must be some very, very unhappy people at Leica this morning, and possibly one poor soul out of a job. According to Scott K., the brochure was only exposed on the web for a couple of minutes before it got password-protected, but of course by then it was too late.
I'll still be looking forward with relish to the rollouts on Wednesday.
By the way, it's wise to remember that any site you read rumors on is not a site that really knows anything. That is, the sites that have been given real information by Leica, and that might have test cameras in hand, and that are preparing comprehensive, authenticated, edited reports for the official launch dates, are under NDA (non-disclosure agreements) and are not passing along rumors, leaks, and so forth. (I should add that those sites were miffed yesterday too—the leaks steal their thunder, as well as Leica's.) When you read rumors of something like the M9 on the web and yet the news isn't surfacing on the big sites like Imaging-Resource, The Luminous Landscape, and dpreview.com, you should just be aware than the information you're receiving isn't official and thus isn't fully dependable. So hold on to your skeptic's hat.
I admit that a leaked brochure gives the game away with a fairly high degree of certainty. But still, you're well advised not to come to closure, discussing speculations as though they were truths, until you have more solid verification. To get that in this case, we need to wait till Wednesday. (I do, too.)
(I should also add that I have never broken an NDA or an embargo that I have agreed to, even one I agreed to on a handshake, or "virtual handshake," and that's only half the story—I never will. If you read something like the previous post here, it means I am not privy to advance official information in any way, shape, or form.)
In other camera news, Thom Hogan of ByThom.com, the best little Nikon site on the web, returned a couple of days ago from his monthlong mental-health hiatus, a.k.a. summer vacation—we hope well-rested and rejuvenated and a-rarin' to start getting burned out all over again. Check out his site for an astute appraisal of "Sony Envy" and an uncharacteristic off-brand review of the Olympus E-P1 that really gets it right (albeit at rather formidable length). Keep checking ByThom.com in the coming weeks for refreshed news blips in the "Quick Links & Comments" column. And don't forget they're still ramping up towards a site overhaul, too, and that will be fun to watch. Welcome back, Thom.
Featured Comment by John Camp: "Thom's review of the E-P1 made me laugh—not that the review isn't a good one; certainly seems accurate enough to me (I have an E-P1). What made me laugh is that he said that on his Africa trip, he rarely got more than 200 shots from one battery charge on the E-P1, and so rarely got through a day without having to change batteries...although one time, he got just less than 300 shots. Since he had to recharge every night, and also changed batteries during the day, he was taking probably 250–300 shots a day with the E-P1. Then he says he was using the D300 and the D90 more than he was using the E-P1. And he was also shooting a Coolpix 6000 as his other "pocket" camera. If you take one shot a minute every minute for a 12-hour day (720 shots), you're probably shooting less than Thom was. What made me laugh wasn't that I didn't believe him, it was that I did believe him."
Featured Comment by Thom Hogan: "Just a comment on the number of shots I took, and the E-P1 on safari. First, not every day was a complete torrent of shooting, though about half of them were. In the few days I had in the Masai Mara I counted nearly 60 distinctly different cats, most hunting or on kills, three river crossings, and a host of other shoot-until-you-drop events (elephants in the mud puddle, etc.). Sometimes you hit the jackpot, sometimes you don't. This trip, I hit the jackpot both in the Masai Mara and in the Sabi Sands.
"But because I was in testing and play mode during this trip, I was somewhat insane in the amount of shooting I was doing, and most of it was outside my usual stuff, which gets the mind thinking. I startled quite a few people by bringing lighting equipment to lunch and dinner every day and taking pictures of virtually every course of every meal I ate. Heck, at one point I started grabbing the staff out of the kitchen, too. I'll bet you I had 100+ shots at dinner every night (sure does make you eat slower ;~).
"Much of my playfulness was involved at looking at boundaries and testing settings and features I don't always use. For example, with a running animal (and with so many river crossings I had thousands of models) I experimented with different AF settings, different shutter speeds, even different handholding and vehicle mounting techniques. With multiple cameras at hand, I tried each of them against each other doing the same thing sometimes.
"But with such play and shot intensity comes another problem: editing. I've already edited all that shooting down to about 2000 shots, and I'll bet you I get that down to well under 1000 or so soon, though I do have a folder of "failed experiments" and another folder of 'food' that I might use for an article someday. I was also doing a lot of editing in downtime in the vehicle.
"One of the joys of digital is that 'playing' in the field like this is rewarding. Both in terms of knowledge and output. The feedback loop between trying something and seeing the result is near instantaneous, which makes learning easier. The penalty for failing at play is essentially only that you have more images to delete.
"One reason why I do trips like this from time to time is that there's no real pressure on me to produce anything from them, thus I tend to push myself in ways I don't normally do. When I'm on assignment or doing my usual scenic work, I'm working towards something very specific and narrow my focus to just what I know works. Not so when there's nothing on the line."