« UPS Is Your Friend | Main | Great Cameras of 2013 Part II: Ricoh-Pentax and Nikon »

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sony. I like AF... and think IQ is going to be awesome for both.

Personally, I would take the Leica.

A7R as I can use any of my lenses (even my 40yo screw mount Pentax lenses. Although I'm not planning to buy one. I'm waiting til mid 2014 before getting my next camera.

I have given up on SLR cameras for film shooting, instead relying on a pair of Canon RFs and a screw mount Leica. Having a digital RF is beyond my means, but if someone were to leave one for me under the tree, it would be welcome. So send that Leica M right over please and the holidays will be very happy (although the IQ might be better if Canon decided to enter the full frame digital RF fray).

A7R for sure. Its a far more useful camera: mounts many more lenses using adapters; focuses much closer; uses zoom or prime lenses; sensor better for low light. AND... you can even use your APO-Summicron on it!

I'm going to go for the Leica, even though I know that for the first few months I'd have way more sharp shots with the Sony and its autofocus. I like the idea of a quiet shutter, and from what I have read, the Leica is quiet, the A7r is loud. Once I got the hang of the Leica, I think it would serve me well. But the Sony is very tempting as a lightweight landscape camera used outdoors pointed at trees and mountains where the loud shutter doesn't matter, and where I can also use the well-reviewed 35 2.8.

The Leica combo.

Disclaimer: I'm reviewing the A7r and still not sure if that camera pushes any buttons for me, whereas I'm pining for a simple camera that just focuses on the few things that matter (though one with AF would be nice).

Call me old fashioned and boring but I'd go for the Leica.

No brainer for me, Mike.
A7r with the Zeiss.
For what it's worth...my two pesos.

A7R. In a heartbeat. Sony does know how to make a decent digital camera--y'know, one with proper live view, acceptable sensor readout/buffer flush times, not too many inexcusable shot-ruining bugs, great high ISO performance, et cetera, et cetera. Plus, autofocus.

But I doubt I'd use it much. At least not until I'd bought the 35mm (and/or Sony's 24-70mm f4.0 starts shipping). And that's another thing in Sony's favor: I could actually buy the lenses I want for it, and if the tests of the 35 and 55mm are anything to go by, they'll be just as good or better than anything Leica make. Plus, autofocus. And stabilization (with some lenses, anyway).

Now, if I could resell, I'd take the Leica in a heartbeat. I'd unbox, take some test shots, send it in to Leica to be calibrated/fixed, throw it on ebay when they sent it back three months later, and buy myself some new lights, the Canon 35mm f2.0 IS, some microscope objectives, then put the rest of the money away for whenever Canon finish updating their tilt-shift lenses...and I'd probably still have money left over afterwards--maybe even enough for an A7R and the Sony/Zeiss 35mm.

The Leica, as I have plenty of lenses that can be used with it. :-)

I just love the fact that they're offering $20 off on... Elements 12 (the editor of choice for M users)- with the purchase of a $7,000 camera.

No doubt...Leica with that 50! Hubba, Hubba.

The leica M. I have enough lenses, want rangefinder focussing and a real viewfinder, and don't want to screw around (pun intended) with adapters.

I would take the Sony (reluctantly -- that's a hard choice).

The Sony -- the Electronic Viewfinder seals the deal. I've been using an EVF for about a year and while a traditional DSLR viewfinder has advantages over the EVF, the Leica viewfinder has none. In my opinion.


Without a doubt I'd get a higher "hit rate" with the Sony. It would also be more enjoyable for me to shoot with overall. Though I did work with a Leica M8 for a time, the rangefinder ethic never really stuck with me.

Working most recently with an E-M1, I've really come to appreciate the "autofocus-quick check with magnification-make the shot" routine that only a mirrorless camera affords.

The idea of that big, beautiful sensor plus a fast, dependable shooting workflow sounds just about unbeatable to me.

The Sony, and I think I would prefer the A7 over the A7r for various trivial reasons.

As much as I would love to have the Leica M, and despite knowing that it is likely to give better results with my M lenses, the EV of the Sony suits the way I work right now, even though the magnification button is in a much better spot on the Leica.

Either would be right at the top of my wish list though.

It's easy - the Sony. Even in the 20th century, I never liked Leicas, not because they were Leicas but because they have always been rangefinder cameras. I always want to be able to see through the lens - whether by mirror or electronically. And, in modern times, it is even an easier choice because I believe that the Leica mystique is all in the mind of those who buy them. The cameras themselves are arguably not as good as other modern digital cameras. And, although the lenses may have been the best for film cameras, it is hard to argue that they work the best on modern digital cameras in terms of image quality or function. They are manual lenses, after all. To me, this is a no brainer.

While the Sony would be nice, I think I'd rather have the Leica M. Only because it's such a unique camera it would be something new and refreshing. Something that can potentially change the way I shoot and thus give me a fresh perspective. The A7r, while lovely, is in the end a color full frame digital. I have that already in my Canon 5DMIII. Sure it's smaller but that's about it and in the end I have my X100s for size. But a B&W only digital rangefinder is just new and different enough to give my vision some new energy.

Probably the Leica, but I would tape over the logos with white gaffer tape and write "Sony" on it.


No surprise here, I'm sure, but I take the Leica M and the SuperCron.

Because I just love shooting with a Leica. And I've got a perfectly good E-M5 for an EVIL camera.

Easy, and I don't care what the DXOMark folks say (as correct as the may be.) For me, it is the Leica M with the Summicron. I got started with rangefinder cameras in the mid '70s and do miss seeing the subject without interruption as the camera exposes. Alas the ambivalence I feel towards my own photography won't allow me the indulgence of that kit. Anyway, thanks for at least allowing me the indulgence of dreaming of a girlfriend who could not only afford an extravagant gift, but would indulge me my fantasies.

For me it would be the Leica, since I don't think I will ever buy it myself (can't get myself to spending that much on a camera).
From a photographic perspective I also like the 50mm since it is closer to the 40mm I seem to prefer, but that's minor.
And by the way, for me it would be Sinterklaas or Saint Nicolas that would drop it down the chimney on Dec 5th or so, rather than Santa putting it under the tree at Christmas.

Sony A7r. I am not a rangefinder user, and the A7r would give me autofocus when I need it, tiltable screen, better manual focus aids in extremely low light, it's lighter, slightly smaller, and the lens while probably not as good as the APO-Summicron, it seems to be a superb performer from what we have seen so far. Also, the batteries and cards are easier to change, and it provides wifi/nfc for easy upload of quick shots to social networks (which seems stupid, but my smartphone completely replaced my compact cameras precisely because of this feature). And it seems the dynamic range is slightly better, according to dxomark. For me, having zero investment in a Leica system, is a easy question to answer.

Of course, if you vary your parameters slightly, the answer could very well be a different one.

And for what is worth, my A7r is scheduled for delivery tomorrow :) I will use it with manual legacy lenses (oh, the horror! adapters! loss of resolution! alignment issues!) until Sony/Zeiss releases a ~20mm f/4ish prime and/or bright short tele (85~100mm f/1.8ish). Please let them be small and light!

The Sony. Not even a question. Both will give me more resolution and acuity than I know what to do with (literally; I've been remarkably content with my 12 MP Olys), but the Sony has autofocus and better low-light performance. The Leica marque means nothing to me and I actively dislike rangefinder focusing. Plus, I could theoretically afford to buy another lens for the Sony some day...

Since I don't have experience with either camera, I'd probably go with the Leica combo. Just because it's probably something I won't ever pay for out of my own pocket, and I want to experience what others seem to be willing to pay so much money for.

The Leica, because I imagine that the optical viewfinder and rangefinder focusing would be better for the kinds of people pictures that I take.

Sony A7r with a Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm ƒ/1.8 ZA lens

Totally the Leica. I'll take that Summicron lens and shoot with an adapter on my Fuji X-Pro 1 and put the M on the shelf next to the M6 as a fetish object.

Ooooh ... that would be a cruel decision in real life.

The Leica tugs at the heart. More so since finding a box of LFI magazines.
The Sony tugs at the brain. If I want a second lens, it's more affordable. If I end up loving it and want to upgrade in 5 years, it's more affordable. The sensor is better. It has AF, and I can probably focus manually more easily with it. Then again, it's louder. And if I had $10k worth of camera gear in hand, I could probably justify adding one or two more lenses over time.
Probably the Sony. Can I try them both and get back to you ? I don't mind if you send it after Christmas.

I would rather take pictures with the Leica. I'm simply curious how this feels like. Especially because it forces me to limit myself to fewer possibilities.

However, I think the A7r would give better pictures. Especially because the Leica forces me to limit myself to fewer possibilities.

The Sony get's my vote. A much more flexible camera. The IQ is as good as or better than the Leica and I wouldn't have to feed it a diet of super expensive Leica glass.

I would take the Leica I am old and like manual focusing of a rangefinder also I have a Leica M and would like a back up and also the 50 cron aspherical would be nice. A lens I cannot afford but boy would l love to get the noctilux. Of coarse I can later down the line get a 7 r on my own much cheaper and no would not even be tempted to sell the M to see what I ahve been doing with Leica m9 and now the m here you go yes self promoting http://davidseelig.photoshelter.com/gallery/New-Orleans/G0000SaKVJOICOmU/C0000cbePIuJTfZw

I'd take the Leica M, because I'm primarily a "decisive moment" people photographer and prefer an optical viewfinder and rangefinder focusing. If I was more of a landscape/static objects photographer I'd choose the Sony, because it's more suited to that task.

Honestly, though, I wouldn't turn my nose up at either.

The Leica. Mainly because I have some seldom used glass that I could put on it and enjoy using again.

The simpler one for a simple man. I suspect that's the Leica. As much as I enjoy the images from my (oil free) D600, under pressure, I'm always pressing a button by accident, or pressing the wrong button while spinning the right dial (or is it the right button and wrong dial?).

Dusting off my old Minolta 9xi the other day, I was staggered by the cleanliness of the design when compared with even a contemporary F4, let alone a modern DSLR. Yet the design was slated at the time for hiding auxiliary buttons under a flap. Know which I prefer.

I would prefer the Sony A7r!

The Leica, please. Not because I think it's a better camera exactly. But my hand-me-down M2 died and I loved using it (however rarely I used it). I'd love to try a digital version.

As much as I've always lusted after a Leica, I'd have to go with the Sony. The sad truth is I'd never be able to afford another lens for the Leica whereas the Sony gives me the opportunity to use the Nikon glass I already own via adapters. And I really like those lenses anyway. I feel like that answer is much more rational than you intended.
Now, if my secret Santa were going to get me a 35mm next year and a 90mm the year after that I'd take the Leica. I could live with just a 50mm for a year but probably not indefinitely.


Obviously the A7r because you then don't have to buy the leica lenses, you can use (practically) any lens ever made. Its never good to buy a present for someone that is going to force them to spend a lot more money if they want accessories.

Wait, the rule was: if it costs nothing - its worth nothing, right?

Personally, I'd go for the Leica M (even discounting price differences). I have a film Bessa R that I really enjoy using and I think it'd be a lot of fun to use a digital rangefinder. I don't think I'd get better pictures with the Leica, but I'm certain I would have a lot more fun getting them.

I doubt I'll be able to justify the purchase price of a digital Leica to myself any time in the near future, but I would be forever grateful to anyone who wants to place one under my tree :).

Leica M + 'cron. Didn't even bother to read what the second camera was.

Sadly, preposterously, and horribly, the Leica.

The Leica, of course. What else?

Sony has yet to build a camera that interests me, and shoehorning a full frame sensor into an A7 body does not alleviate the situation.

Leica M for me please - should I send you my address via email or do you already have it?

I picked the Leica in part because I already have an M2 and I pine for the digital model so I can use my Zeiss 35 f/2, and also because I would like to have more opportunity to shoot with a 50mm lens. For some reason it's a struggle for me and I am afraid the 55 would be even tougher.

Back to your question, the tree is small so it's fine to leave the package next to it if it won't fit under.

Sony A7r with a Zeiss Sonnar T* FE 55mm ƒ/1.8 ZA lens.
Without hesitation.

Super easy to answer this one. If... To impress strangers, the Leica. If... To take pictures, the Sony. Nothing has increased my ability to enjoy taking good pictures more than a good quality EVF. Fuji X-E1 in my case.

The Sony, no contest.

I am not sure. Both are beyond my ability to tax, so either one would do. I have only a little experience with rangefinders, so perhaps in that respect, the Leica would be a good choice for me.


Easy. The Sony. Although, in my scenario, it would have the 35 mm Zeiss attached. Not coincidentally, I have an A7 and that lens on the way from Lens Rentals to try out over the week between the holidays. I'll let you know how that works out.

Leica m. Not even sure what the sony is or looks like. Who could resist?

Please may I have the Sony A7R option.

Which would you like?

Thank you very much in advance.

The Leica M, if for no other reason that I believe it will last a lot longer.

I'd take the Sony, only because it's more likely that I could afford to add lenses to the Sony kit, but not to a kit based on the Leica. ( Not that I'd need to in either case, just sayin' ).

I ask myself how I would respond to anyone who caught me taking pictures with the Leica. I'd probably feel some guilt and quite pretentious, not having published prolifically. Whereas with the Sony I doubt anyone would even notice. For my style of work I doubt I could appreciate the difference in the results with either. So, for my own comfort - Sony A7r

Leica, duh.

How cruel - we really have to make a choice??

I have zero Leica experience but reckon I would carry it with me always. I would see the Sony as just another step along the mega-corporation's development path.

Against my geek insinct, the Leica it is.

Definitely the Sony. While I enjoyed using film Leicas for years, I've since moved on to more versatile cameras. Besides, my 63 year old eyes love autofocus more and more. The M sure is purdy, but I could do a lot more with the Sony.

The M, hoping that it will allow me to take as satisfying pictures as I do with my M3 :-)

The Leica M. No doubt.

The Sony/Zeiss combination. I still use film Leicas but bought a Nex-7 two years ago with the 24mm Zeiss. I actually like autofocus now and with 50/55mm lenses taking 'street photographs' it should be good. That said, I use the hyperfocal technique with the Leicas. Real world resolution, not on a tripod, probably nothing in it plus the Sony shutter is reportedly loud and may be an issue. But the Sony looks ordinary: the red dot not, and in today's world, that may be a good thing.

The M, I need some new jewellery.

I already have a quite wonderful D800, so I shall wish for a Leica M. I'm sure I'll take some very nice pictures of it with my Nikon.

The Sony I think, I had Leica film and glass but never felt the magic and preferred Zeiss glass back to my old Exakta VX days.

I did get the M8, had all the glass so... but I was sorely disappointed with fewer keepers than ever. Then the glass was worth $$$ after a steep decline so I sold it all and happily moved on and never looked back.

Have been in Sony since the A900 a77 NEX7 and have been quite pleased. Thus Sony for me. I also think the Leica glass, always too $$$ for me has gotten even more so. I'd add the long view and be happy with Sony / Zeiss and the more available accoutrements.


For me? Oh Mike, thank you so much! This is completely unexpected, and really you shouldn't have…but it is very thoughtful and generous of you.

The Leica and the 50mm Summicron are absolutely perfect, but I need to explain why: I think presents should be luxuries — something special that one wouldn't get any other way. Nothing "sensible". (Socks and new mittens begone!) And it is not beyond the realms of possibility that I will buy myself a Sony A7r — I'm waiting to see how the lenses sort out and what the successor to the Sony NEX-7 will be like (if indeed it comes into being in the near future).

But the only way I can imagine owning a camera as impractical and potentially magical as a Leica M is through your generosity, Mike.

And if you haven't won the lottery or if you change your mind when your elation subsides, don't worry — I still appreciate the thought, and I'll still be there daily to appreciate the many gifts that come from reading TOP.

Although having owned a number of Leicas and not being particularly enamoured of them, I would hope for the Leica because I have no yearning whatsoever for colour.


If I received the Leica with a lens as a gift it would be much easier for me to talk my wife into letting me buy additional lenses for it.

When my beloved Ricoh GXR-M finally gives up the ghost I'll be looking for a replacement that does well with my 15mm Voigtlaender and 25mm ZM Biogon. I suppose I could learn to live with the Leica.
At a push.

I'd be writing a strongly worded letter addressed to the North Pole stating that I specifically requested the M Monochrom with that lens...

I'd take the Leica and put it on a shelf so when a certain type of person comes over they'd say 'Wow! A Leica!"

But otherwise I'd just keep using my Olympus.

if I could negotiate with our good genius I would say: Sony + Zeiss Otus. I deal with the adapter!

The M and 'cron, although a 35 would be even better. Of course, a Leica S would be the bestest...:)

But I have an M6, with the 28/50/90 triumvirate, so the M makes more sense. For someone without a horse in either camp, you're in a lens quandary - on one hand, you have a huge range of glass, just stupidly expensive. On the other, you have...a few lenses. A very few, from a manufacturer that has yet to show that lens selection is a thing they care about. So I'd argue the Sony is a risk in a different direction.

The Sony-moving toward the future, not hanging on to the past.

Manual focusing doesn't work so good for me these days. Rangefinder focusing never did. Sony!

The Sony - for the simple reason that my time budget allows for digital photography and printing, but for the foreseeable future there's enough family life to be attentive to so that film developing and enlarging is not an option.

[The "Leica M" is a digital camera. It's what Leica is calling the most recent one. --Mike]

Leica. No love for EVFs here.

The Leica. I love making photographs in equal measure: the photo made, and the making of it. Like two children, it's not possible to favour one over the other in my heart. OK, I lied. The making wins. That's where the essential joy of photography lies for me. The eye to the viewfinder, the click of the shutter. From this process point of view it has to be the Leica. Optical viewfinder, manual focus, traditional controls... that's for me.

Tough choice, but the Sony for me. It would better suit the kind of photography I actually do — as opposed to the kind I like to imagine myself doing — and (as others have pointed out) I might afford to build a system around it. Also, I just don't identify with the luxury brand Leica has become.

Interestingly perhaps, had you asked about a long term loan instead of a gift, I'd pick the Leica. I'd love the chance to really use a Leica, and I'd be much more comfortable doing so without the burdens and attachments of ownership.

Well, you're certainly taking the pulse of the Commentariat!

Have you ever had this many responses this quickly?

Is it the fun of fantasy, do you think, or the very notion of Free Stuff in the mind of a gearhead?

A7r then I would trade it for A7 (faster autofocus and no file bloat) and use the difference towards 35mm.

Neither. I am don't believe that I would like a mirrorless camera. Having something like this as a gift is worse than having nothing. Whomever gave it to you expects you to use it. I got a watch from my girlfriend for my birthday this year. It is an OK watch and not cheap, but I certainly don't like it nearly as much as I like my Seiko divers watch. Now since she wants to see me wear it I am wearing it and leaving my old friend on the dresser and not exactly enjoying every minute of it.

Now having typed all this make that box choice between a D800 and whatever Cannon camera is comparable and I can give you a better answer. Since I get to wish I would opt for a Nikkor 35mm 1.4...


Actually I'd prefer an EOS 1-Dx with the 24-70 L but that's not on offer so Leica it is even though I hardly ever use the screw mount film rangefinders I have.

I'll take the Sony

The A7/Zeiss. Never been interested in a Leica. I confess an aversion to Veblen goods.

I'd choose the Leica so that I could use the lens on my M2.

Leica M-
As I get older, I find myself enjoying the process of looking through the viewfinder almost as much as looking at the actual picture.

Whichever one I can get an affordable 35 or 40mm lens for - 50 & 55mm would be no use to me.

Leica. Then I could try that 50mm on my M3..... ;)

I'd prefer an Olympus OM-D E-M1 with a Leica DG Summilux 25mm f1.4 lens for Christmas, but the Leica M/Summicron combo would be a great consolation prize.

Of course the Leica, if not for the APO-Summicron alone. And when the gift bearer wasn't lookin, I'd trade that M 240 for a Monochrom!

I'd just be happy with the box. I'm easily pleased..

I never got comfortable using a manual focus lens on a digital camera except with the Epson RD-1 and M8, so I would wish for the Leica... Anybody wanna trade a brand new 50mm Summicron for a 40mm Summicron or Rokkor-M though?

any of them
just... surprise me!

Ditto the earlier question, Which would you want to find? and unfortunately I checked and neither you or I won the lottery, unless Cstein bought the ticket to share with you!

The Japanese caught up to Leica in the 1970's (or earlier) and haven't let us down since. The Sony takes nice pictures and you can adapt any lens you want to it. Gimme the Sony any day - I'd rather take great pictures than impress people with how much money I have. Not that I actually have any to begin with...

The hedonists answer: Leica.
The working pro's answer: Sony.
The Leica collector's answer: Sony (he already has a Leica M9 and all the lenses he can eat; he wants to use his Leica glass on a new platform).
The Tyro's Answer: what's a Leica?
The "break the rules" answer: In the real world, you could take the M, sell the lens for "new" Leica prices and buy six used Leica lenses from the 1980s or 1990s to cover your favorite focal lengths.

My answer: Sony. It is fun to try new things, and I already have had/am having the rangefinder experience. Also: I think the best reason to buy new gear is that it enables you to do something, or see something, that you can't with your current kit. Sony is all that and a bag of chips.

Darn, Mike. Now you've got me all worked up. Better go shake some of the boxes under the tree.

I was going to say Leica, because I have always wanted to try one... But I would want a 35mm (or 28mm) lens to go with the normal and the "entry-level" Leica 35mm f2.5 is $2000...

So.. Sony A7r it is. $800 for the 35mm, even if it is only f2.8.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007