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Monday, 02 May 2016

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So I know I keep harping about camera names exactly like it was a pet peeve of mine, but...the Leica M-D? Really? For a camera that people have slagged since forever as being for rich doctors? What's next, the Leica Zahnarzt? (That's German for "dentist," at least according to my autotranslate program.)

Why not just go the whole hog and put a film in it?

So what, apart from loss of sales, would stop Leica from adapting the innards of this camera to fit into the casing of one of their film cameras to work in exactly the same way? It could come with a new camera back-flap to incorporate the newly connected ISO dial and perhaps give a little more room for the sensor.

If I wanted to design a digital camera for old-school manual purists who don't want to be reminded that their camera is really just a portable computer with a sensor and a lens, I think I would arrange it so that the software was as simple as possible. The camera would be RAW only, so no bother about JPG options, no in-camera lens corrections, no film emulation modes, etc.; and obviously no autofocus, maybe not even auto-exposure (if we're really taking this "purist" thing seriously). No rear-panel display either, since that's a dead giveaway that you're holding a digital camera. You'd have old-school physical controls on the camera for shutter speed and ISO, plus shutter release; the lens would have aperture and focus rings; and we could argue about whether it was compatible with our purist ethos to have TTL metering, or any built-in metering at all. (Presumably an EVF is out of the question; and obviously it won't shoot video or record audio.) So now all our firmware has to do is respond to the manual controls,, and I suppose for the sake of practicality it ought to have some way of indicating how much space remains on the card. Pretty simple stuff, with little reason to ever do upgrades (though you could load upgrades via the SD card if necessary). The lenses themselves would not be electronic at all (no need for it).

Would this be a practical camera? Not really. I don't think very many people would want it. (I wouldn't, and I'm more old school than most of today's photography enthusiasts.) But technologically speaking, it could be done.

My understanding is RAW does not use a color space - that gets introduced at development stage of RAW processing.

I sometimes think that the new crop of Leica owners use the camera as a fashion statement. I was at the Getty center to see the Robert Mapplethrope show and later that evening Patti Smith. While having a coffee I watched two fellows with Leicas hanging from their neck, like jewelry, and not once did I see them take a photo or even raise the camera to the eye to examine a possible shot. They just walked the main court like two fashion models.

And yes the Mapplethrope show at the Getty and LACMA are absolutely worth the effort. There was only one or two photos that show up at both shows and one is the portrait of Robert. I visited LACMA first and then went to the Getty later in the afternoon. Because it was a Saturday I expected large crowds. They weren't. That meant a slow, casual, walk through the shows.

Believe me Robert Mapplethrope was one, very good, portrait photographer. His portraits alone are worth the visit.

It seems to me that Leica (since it's sale) has struggled in the high end market to RE define itself as the ultimate "35."
It has been kicking up a lot of dust in the past few years but nothing that I am particularly excited about.
Give me my old M2 and I'd be happy.
Sensors and such don't seem to be their forte.
The good ole days?
Mi dos pesos

Follow-up to my previous comment (Mike, feel free to combine them if you like):

So, if I think the total purist manual camera is impractical, what would I want that would be fairly close to it?

For me, I think the perfect camera would be something similar to a full-frame Fuji X-T1 (I prefer a rangefinder style like the X-E series, but the X-T1 has a dedicated ISO knob, which is nice), but with audio/video capabilities removed, in-camera lens corrections and film emulation modes removed, most of the menu options removed, and better manual focus support (Fuji's focus peaking isn't bad but isn't always easy to see), and non-electronic lenses. I like Fuji's EVF, and I think EVFs, despite being totally non-traditional, are an improvement over OVFs for digital shooting. I'd keep the rear panel display, and I'd keep in-camera JPG support mostly to generate small images for the display.

This is the camera I would want, but it probably wouldn't take the world by storm, so I'm not surprised that nobody makes anything like it.

I would think firmware updates, if needed, would be accomplished the old fashioned way; where one puts the new firmware file onto a memory card on a computer, then moves the memory card to the camera.

Personally, This camera confused me, as I didn't think people who wanted a Leica rangefinder were going to be so intent on saving money that they would forego real usability. But I'm not a potential customer, so my thoughts may be way off from the real psychology of potential buyers.

Note: I have no doubt this is a fine camera. Maybe even 'worth' the price asked.

Patrick

What is the funny "screw" on the front. Looks totally un-Leica to me.

To do this right the thing should only shoot 6-mp jpgs with an ISO limit of 3200 onto a 256mb card. And the sensor should be crippled to only capture a five stop range and have certain colors exaggerated as Velvia and Kodachrome did.

Interesting questions.... I have a M240 and like it very much, especially because it has Live View. I know that's not supposed to be the point of using a Leica, but it is handy to check focus and frame a wide angle lens. I guess the M-D takes us back to the pure time before digital (sort of). But you could, for example, use an M9 and just not look at the screen at all. I will be interested to see who buys the M-D and why having less 'features' makes their photography better.

https://flic.kr/p/f43ugH

I too have been wondering about the rationale for the release of the camera... I can see the benefits for the "purist" (whatever definition you want to attribute to that word these days) or perhaps, in reference to a recent Open Mike column, someone a little nuts. Perhaps the Leica customer for this product is an existing Leica film camera user who hasn't been able to get their head around the idea of a digital Leica; or perhaps the newbie Leica buyer who wants the purest Leica experience but wants it to be digital?

I am also wondering how one does a firmware upgrade or makes other changes to the settings (or are there any other "settings" beyond what is available externally?). I can image a connector, or even better WiFi and an app, that lets one change the settings (on their computer at home / office) and even chimp on their smart phone. A solution that would appeal to both my imaginary target customers.

If I got the bug to purchase the M-D, I'd make an appointment to see my MD for a prescription.

Leica is the ONLY company that produces cameras that match my photographic sensibilities. I can't afford those sensibilities!

Seriously - Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Sigma, Olympus, how hard can it be guys?

Monochromatic sensors and simple, get out of my way, digital cameras. Less is more. (YMMV of course).

[I generally agree. I like the way Herr Kaufmann thinks, and I like a lot of the Leica products. I just think they all cost 6X too much, and I really just can't get behind the snob appeal, which matters zero to me. --Mike]

as a continuing m6 user (many still out there) i am not interested in what leica have to offer digitally. however if they offered a camera with these points i would be very interested.
-no auto
-nice screen size not too big but enough clarity to check focus.
-no side thumb wheel
-same meter indicators as m6 classic(quick and easy)
-minimal buttons on back, but keep dedicated iso button
-bare stripped minimum menus (customisable on order) for instance i would not have jpeg as an option just one raw file size
-need i say it no wifi or weird modern idea of what an M needs
-no video

basically an M6 classic with a screen,

most importantly i would suggest they develop a sensor system that can be upgraded once say every five years keeping the same housing just fitting a new sensor. this si the biggest issue for me, and not just s financial concern but the fat that my m6 has been a constant in my photography for the last ten years and many more i hope, the new leeches come out all the time and the fact the m9 is nearly antique is quite frightening. i hope leica read this nd listen as i would really pay attention if they did,

I own both a M2 and a M6. I do not understand would anyone pay that much money to have a manufacturer dumb down a digital camera for them. Get the Monochrome model. Or a Fuji X-Pro 2. And the ultimate "35" to me is the Nikon F6, which I also own. When I noticed that digital images were becoming so unfilm like and perfect that camera software manufacturers were adding "grain" enhancement plugins, I decided it was time to slow down and go back to film. I still shoot digital because it is simply easier, faster and immediate.

A digital camera today without a screen for reviewing or sharing pictures is a silly handicap.
If "no screen" was my affectation du jour i would just put tape over the screen.

When I saw the M60 I thought, aha, we're getting somewhere but why make it a special one off?

I want one too, although I suspect it's not a completed project ...

The quieter shutter cocking mechanism is also a step in the right direction.

Elsewhere on the interweb I see someone commented on the fact that despite not having an LCD (and therewith all the accompanying clutter inside) it was still the same thickness and not more like an M6 - production cost-cutting by using the same shell?

So, Meine Damen und Herren at Leica, the next step would be to bring back the cocking lever à la Epson RD, use a slimmer body shell and couple it with the next generation sensors. I say this in plural because naturally there would have to be a Monochrom version to put the icing on the cake, n'est ce pas?

I can really see the appeal of a camera like this, I think I'd even enjoy using it, BUT - for $6,000 ??? How can you remove all the expensive bits and still charge $6,000 for it?
Plus, why does it need such a big sensor? If you're focusing manually, can't do focus peaking on an EVF, then are you ever going to be sufficiently in focus to need 24Mp of resolution? Presumably it's got no shake reduction either. Why not a much cheaper sensor? So I like the idea, but I want it to cost about $200.
Anthony

[I see this not as a prospective customer's second or even third camera, but fifth or sixth or seventh...or twentieth.... --Mike]

Color space setting does NOT matter when shooting Raw. Only matters for the in-camera generated JPG.

There is a whole "other" world out there that we 98% mortals never see. Indeed we can window shop but that's about as close as we will get. The current iteration of Leica only caters to the 2%. To those fortunate few that this cameras is targeted to, it's all about having the right "accessories", not using the camera as a real day in and day out photographic tool. When this camera starts hitting the used market in about 5 or 6 years I will pick through the trash left behind by the rich and maybe pick one up. At least I will know it will not be well used.

[This is actually a bit of a prejudice. Last I heard, something like half of Leica buyers are people who might qualify as "rich"--the rest are just people who really want to shoot with Leicas. I'm far from rich, for example, and I've been borderline impoverished at times, but in any given decade I probably waste more money on cameras than what one new Leica body and one new Leica lens costs. When you consider that "ordinarily prosperous" people can own summer cottages, or three cars, or an RV, or a 5k-sq.-ft. house, or a swimming pool, or a speedboat, or a fancy Harley, or what have you, ten grand or twelve for a camera isn't out of reach for ordinary mortals. It just depends how much they want it. And you can't generalize about people not using cameras. Most cameras don't get very much use. Some get lots of use. Leicas are not necessarily more or less likely to be used seriously than any other kind of cameras. --Mike]

My understanding is RAW does not use a color space - that gets introduced at development stage of RAW processing.

Not really. The filters on the pixels determine the extreme reproducible colours. And the mixtures of those define a colour space ... what processing does is to map (most of) that colour space to a standard colour space.

As someone who has photographed manually for some 40 yrs. (agreed, no great feat), I don't see this as any great "manual purist" achievement, more like another, highly polished Leica appeal to yet another subset of pure moneyed elitism. And giving credit where credit is due, they are expert at creating them.

[See my response to Eric.... --Mike]

With the exception of the M typ 262 (which is tempting, I gotta admit), I find that with every new camera Leica introduces, I love my M9-P more and more and more.

It'll eventually get a new sensor and a cleanup and adjustment and I reckon it'll be good for a long while.

Leica have been pretty good lately at marketing niche products like this. When it was originally introduced as a one-off (the M60), I thought it would have pretty limited appeal, but it seems they found a bigger market than anticipated. Sort of like the original Monochrom, which sold several multiples of what was originally forecast.

Thank you to all those who noted that RAW files do not require a color space choice. I do blush to admit that sometimes I choose a Raw+JPG option on my M9. Of course, this is one less thing for you all to worry about when you belly up to the bar for your MD. Glad we got that sorted. Back to our regularly scheduled program.

This camera makes no sense for the very reason that the standard metering system in the digital M series is incredibly unreliable in anything but flat lighting (yes, I own a M240). Without a histogram to check exposure the owners of this camera are going to experience an enormous amount of blown out skies etc. Digital does not fail gracefully like film does, especially in the highlights and the meter in the M is as dumb as a bag of hammers.

Instead of concocting another special edition Leica should spend some money figuring out how to integrate a modern matrix metering system into the M series that takes readings off a prism block in the rangefinder.


Some other poster used the word "silly," and I think that's right. This Leica isn't pure, it's handicapped. The original "pure" Leicas weren't handicapped, they were built as they were for very good and advanced engineering reasons. If Barnack and the boys were building the ultimate fast-action street shooter today, it'd have an electronic viewfinder and a screen on the back. In fact, it'd look a good deal like a top-of-the-line m4/3.

There's an easier and cheaper way to get rid of that pesky screen and remove the temptation and/or usefulness of it, gaffer tape! People who do not want their expensive toys to be tempting to potential thieves put it over the Nikon or Canon logos all the time. I have a friend who covers up his Fujifilm logo with it. Then you can use a "real" digital Leica just like this new "purist" one and not have to buy an additional camera body for beaucoup bucks.

From the Leica M-D press release ...

The camera package also includes a real-leather carrying strap in full-grain cowhide.

Well that does it. I want one.

Snark alert: problematic leica lens, backfocus, how is that even possible?

Three silly things. There is supposed to be exposure compensation toggle at the back. How to use it with no screen? Does the viewfinder show exposure compensation? Usual +/- dial would be much clearer. Histogram or the blinking over/under exposure warnings are the most useful feature of rear screen review. So why give that up? Why not a small lcd screen just for histogram, like Hasselblad H1? After all, the exposure meter in a M Leica is not exactly state of the art. If the rear screen is removed, surely the camera could be made a bit slimmer. Like M3 slim, not the bloated M9 thick that is far from Leica 100 year tradition.
This is fake simplification, just to make use of existing parts and claim that it is better when it actually is not.

Hmmm. We could keep this idea going: Perhaps included Leica software would bring up converted digital raw negative image on the monitor. "Print" button makes positive print only when workspace is totally dark. Just need that hypo aroma floating around the room and the natal-like sound of the print washer...

I do not get this camera, at last from the perspective a person who mostly uses cameras to make photographs... ;-)

I don't alway need or want to look at stuff on a rear screen but sometimes being able to do so is the difference between getting a photograph and not getting it. Why would I want a camera that has no rear display? It can't be because having it forces me to look - it doesn't.

And, seriously, wouldn't any number of other current mirrorless cameras be just as good and more flexible and less expensive?

Why is it that nobody even mentions what to me is the outstanding feature of this camera, namely, that it has top and bottom brass plates! Surely, that alone makes it worth its exalted price.

While this isn't the camera for me, this is the Leica I really like, rather than the one that rebadges Panasonics. Like the Monochrom, Leica have identified a tiny customer group that no one else caters for and made them a camera. Certainly it's a small group and the cost of entry is high, compared to some others. And a camera like the M-D won't make sense to many. But lots of people said Leica were crazy to make a camera that shoots only in black and white and yet, here we are on the second version because the first was so successful.

What Leica are becoming, once again (finally) is the camera company not afraid to take a risk. They're the camera company not afraid to ignore the Canon/Nikon juggernaut and play in the niches of the camera world. Rangefinders. M-D's and monochrome cameras are niches with in niches and Leica have found a way to make that a successful strategy. Using a Monochrom and an M-D to expand their product line while utilising much of the same materials from the standard M is smart. And it's why Leica are one of the most profitable camera companies in the world right now.

I find it bizarre that some people feel the need to rubbish a camera like the M-D because they don't want one or to write it off as a rich dentists toy (my dentist shoots Nikon. I asked). I know a few Leica owners and mostly they're normal people who love photography. Some can afford one today. Some save for months and years. There's a thousand page image thread on Fred Miranda from Leica owners who use their cameras every day. For those people, including myself, there's nothing like shooting a Leica because no one offers a camera that has a shooting experience that's even close. No one else makes a rangefinder digital. No one else make a black and white camera. No one else makes a camera that has no LCD. No one else makes a digital camera specifically designed for high quality manual focus lenses.

Some of use don't want to shoot a computer that has 15 pages of AF settings all the time. Some of us like to be challenged and pushed by choosing camera with less. Certainly it's not for everyone. If it was Canon would make one that wasn't quite right. So if it's not for you, awesome. But i urge you not to group everyone who owns a Leica into a clique of rich collectors. We're not.

Most of the Leica owners I know, take their camera with them every day.

The M-D is not for me. But I'm happy it exists for those who will own one.

Gordon

Alright, a Leica for the purest.
1. I already have a Leica, a M4-2
2. When I remove the bottom I can swing out and unclip the back.
3. Now I replace the film back with a back and digital sensor. (It doesn't even have to be 24X36mm. I'd be fine with 18X24.)
4. The power supply and electronics are contained in the replacement bottom plate, I figure it would have to be about an inch tall.
By the way, I could use a back like that for my OM4Ti too.

With all the M cameras, both past and present already out there this thing should sell very well.

No clue why you're so hung up on he firmware issue. 1) I never updated the firmware on my M9 when I had one and I haven't ever done so on my M240 either because the updates haven't been compelling enough. 2) I've certainly updated the firmware on other devices I own that don't have LCD displays.

Considering that many of us who may be interested are getting up in years this is interesting - but having the option of AutoFocus to help aging eyes is something that can help a lot at times.
Hope Leica does well with this in a culture of 'new gear every 18 months' mentality.

If I had six large hanging around, I'd get this. Why not just put film in? Um, because. We live in a digital world. Love film; been into photography since 1970. But I want flexible current, mixed with this bit of gorgeous old school. Love the combination of denial and promise.

Just curious, Ben Marks wrote this and originally posted it on Rimfire Central, the .22 rifle community?

Are you sure it wasn't the RFF Rangefinder Forum?

Not that shooting an expensive, German-made Anschutz rifle with the petite 22lr round isn't the projectile-driving equivalent of photographing with a small format Leica camera....

Given your aversion to firearms I'm shocked! But come a few pesky coyotes and coons and maybe we can convert you ;-p

Having just returned from a vacation with my LX-5, I can only say that I'd love a camera with only 3 exposure inputs and focus. All functions beyond A mode and raw leave me scratching my head as to what the camera is really doing after press the shutter.

When did automation make things so complicated?

In the decade that I used my film M6, I used to get a very high proportion of keepers, and nearly every single shot properly exposed and focused in a roll of 36. No digital camera I've used since has come close.

The price is unaffordable to many of us, but the concept may be sound. The old M6 used to depend on a round fat spot meter which gave you consistent results once you understood what it was doing. I wonder what exposure metering pattern/system the M-D uses.

But for the price, I'd buy one to check it out in the hopes of returning to that technical nirvana.

Hi Mike,
In my post about the Leica M-D, I threw it away right at the end by calling it the Leica MD 262 ........ Which are two different cameras!

So much for 'staying concentrated'. Getting older, amidst increasingly complex technology are not the best of companions.

Chris

I'd like to believe the idea that it will cost less because of the simplified engineering... but I can't. All that interface code should be in modules sitting already integrated into the OS of their other camers... they will have spent money paying an engineer to go through and lock various settings.
I also like the idea of simplification. I built my own stereo... really, laid out the PCB's, etched them, soldered the components on. There was an interest in simplifying and stream-lining, leaving out everything that was inessential. I leave my camera on manual exposure, I use press-button center spot AF and I print more than 90% in BW... but I do change ISO, I do like to be able to post-filter on colour to create contrast or hide or emphasize, I do want to know if I screwed up a shot so I can redo. Living without that... isn't simplification, it's putting on a hair-shirt. And letting everyone know.

I don't see the harm in such a camera.

It certainly has a nostalgic appeal.

They don't expect to sell very high volumes, which probably accounts for the slightly higher price. Or Veblen.

It's not that I don't like Leicas, but simply that I can't easily afford one. I'm not sure though why it riles people so much that Leica has decided to make a camera that they don't want.


I truly love my M6 because of the shooting experience it provides. Yes, it has the limitations inherent in a rangefinder, but what it does it does wonderfully, and is a joy to use. I enjoy *using* it much more than any of my digital cameras, despite its limitations.

The M-D is the camera is been hoping they'd make since the ridiculous M60 limited edition. Basically an M6 with a sensor instead of film. Beautiful. I do, however, find it insulting that they've chosen to charge a premium for removing the LCD. They should have at least offered it at the same price as the M262.

A few years ago when I owned a lowly Leica X1 I lurked around the Leica forum quite a bit....I can remember that quite a few posters mentioned that they would like a M without a rear lcd....never imagined that Leica would accommodate them, but well here we are! But I think it's also a clever move to get the collectors out there to buy another M model

Lets face it. Its a camera for those exalted whose picture taking ability is perfect. They never miss a picture because of incorrect focus or exposure and if they did, the picture wasn't worth taking anyway. Part of that Leica "Mystique" that is rampant on the Leica Forum (there goes it, I will be excommunicated). I love my M9. I am totally dependent on the ability to review my pictures immediately after taking them. I take a lot of photos traveling to places I will likely never return to, so the ability for instant review is a major reason for why I went digital. If I stayed with film I never would have given up my Mamiya 7, the quality of which my M9 usually meets, in a more compact and amenable package.

I don't agree with Ken Tanaka's comments.

While the M-D doesn't really appeal to me, and I think it takes the simplification down perhaps a step too far, it is clear that the digital photography world desperately needs more cameras that are designed by photographers for photographers, that have haptics as they should, and that eliminate the truly unnecessary features of most of today's digicams. As much as I loved the Olympus E-1, for example, I've never been able to click (no pun intended) with the E-M1 due to the overwhelming menus and options. I tried the camera and DID miss photographs.

Here's hoping Nikon makes a more true-to-the-concept DF, that Canon rolls something out similar, and that the upcoming Hasselbld prosumer medium format is an elegant and simple mix of the traditional and the digital.

ACG

Still have my trusty old Canon AE-1, if I want simplistic. Or Yashica TLR, with the "sunny 16" guide taped to the back. Both LX7 or LX100 for external controls in digital (which for me is almost always)

And when you stick the memory card into a reader, it exudes an odour of metol-hydroquinone.

Simplicity?
What about the "A" on the shutter dial?

I agree with Aaron Greenman, in that we're witnessing extremes. Most digital cameras have mind-boggling sets of options, beyond the point of distraction, but this Leica M-D is too far in the other direction.

I can live without the menus, and I don't even need a screen (I don't like touch screens and I'm not one to "chimp") but an electronic device needs to be able to give a bit of feedback, even if it's just a tiny LCD panel that reports battery life and number of exposures on the card.

Okay, seriously? This throws out the baby with the bathwater.

Remember people who spent $600 for a Polaroid back for 35mm that produced contact size prints? And how much 4x5 Polaroid was shot in studios checking things? Being able to check your work is highly desirable! We get that for free now on every digital camera with a screen.

I'm sure people get into bad habits with their photography; I've caught several in myself over the years (and mostly extinguished them without having to spend thousands of dollars on gear, thank you very much). Probably some people, with different habits and different psychologies, really do need to do "something drastic" to overcome some of theirs (and sure, perhaps I'm overlooking some of my own).

But mostly, I see a new variant of Gear Acquisition Syndrome -- "I don't have the discipline to not review photos when I should be shooting photos, so my only option is to spend money to give up that capability."

I quite like it. However, since they removed features, it should simply cost less.

. . . yes. Rangefinderforum.com. Typo in my original, not the editor's error.

To paraphrase Monty Python, "there's just too much silliness going on here"...and this is most decidedly a silly camera.

Ken Tanaka nailed it on this one. From a marketing perspective, this is just another example of what Geoff Moore describes in Dealing with Darwin as "market fractalization". That is, in search of ever more revenue for a give product or platform, companies "fractalize" their market segments into increasingly smaller and smaller pieces. The problem is that there is an increasingly smaller and smaller base of customers for the increasingly fractalized segments, so it doesn't actually result in any meaningful growth for the company.

Interestingly, it reminds me of of Omega Watch Company, putting out seemingly limitless "Limited Editions" of the Omega Speedmaster "moon watch". Watch out! In three years there will be the 60th Anniversary Limited Edition "Man in the Moon" Speedie! Pre-order yours now!

Said companies like Omega or Leica mistakenly view this as "innovation", but it's not really, not in the sense that true innovation is the creation of a revenue stream that did not exist before.

There are probably 6 people in the world that might want this.

Or maybe 8.

"I just never imagined how quickly film would go poof as the medium of choice."- Benjamin Marks

Yep, neither did Kodak or Hasselblad. Both victims of disruptive innovation as described by Clayton Christensen in "The Innovator's Dilemma".

I am a ex-Leicaphile. I calculated the cost of the Leica outfit I would like: 28/f2, 50/1.4, 90/f2 Apo + M240 = north of $16,000. Even with the "2nd rate" Summarits or Elmarits the price is >$11,000. Makes me wish I had held onto my old kit.

i could go on and on conserning how i feel about this camera . . . but i'm gonna keep it short ( and hopefully not offend ) . . . imo this camera is largely made for those who fantasize about themselves as photographers far more than for those who are actually "praciticing" photographers truly working at their craft in a way that deserves to be taken seriously . . . .

The old Leica MD looks like this
https://p2.liveauctioneers.com/427/12747/3634062_1_l.jpg
So I would have thought the new MD would be a live view only affair.

I "see" (observe?) differently when I am shooting film (now rare) when compared to digital because my technique is far slower and more measured with film. The MD has me wondering how much the instant gratification of digital is responsible for that difference. That is particularly since I have always thought that I would be perfectly happy with no screen on a digital OVF camera but with a wired or wireless tether to an external screen such as iPhone or iPad, or similar (i.e. ALPA style with older MF digital back with no screen). Perhaps a wireless SD card in the MD would work to similar effect?

Unintended consequences.

When I heard about the M-D, I was very interested - the concept has great appeal to me. It reminded me of my first Leica, an M4-P. I don't have a digital rangefinder yet, and had been considering a used M9-P or an X-Pro2.

Then I thought about it a little more.

One of the most liberating things for me about digital has been the ability to chimping and check tricky light. I generally don't review every exposure, just a quick check to be sure I'm happy. I don't shoot near as much as I did back in my M4-P days so this is a safety net for me.

So, I started the day considering the M-D, and ended it... by ordering an M-P. But the M-D still appeals as a second body if I ever win the lottery.

My wallet hurts.

[Please tell me you used my links.... --Mike]

I remember when I brought my m 240, it's was a fantastic upgrade to my m 8 which I upgraded from the m 6, but I clearly remember sitting on my bed going through the menu of the m 240, quick live view frame of my feet, a couple of minutes video footage of my bedroom and I am afraid to say I have never used these functions again, as for having a screen, I just use it to change ISO, also settings for a couple of third party lenses, firmware update etc and that's about it. Not claiming to be purist but how much else do I need? Just tape over your screen if you are so affronted by all this new fangled technology, job done!!!!!!!

Interesting that the price of this really stripped down camera is $800 more than the previous stripped down Leica M Typ 262 (stripped down to have no live view or video capabilities, but with a monitor on the back).

Reading the instruction manual for the M-D, it is a pain in the ass to set up the camera or change the minimal settings that can be modified.

"What is the funny "screw" on the front. Looks totally un-Leica to me."

It covers another screw inside that is used to adjust the rangefinder. Essential for accurate focusing over long time use. It is usually covered by the red leica dot. I assume leica expects more regular adjustments since they have made it easily accessible.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

‎April 32, 2016

Wetzlar‎, Germany -- Following the successful release of the Leica M-D the first Leica digital camera without an LCD Leica have decided to make the logical step and remove the LCD from the Leica X2 in a special edition, Leica X-DM.

Hannes Entfernungsmesser, Chief Camera Designer at Leica, says "We are noticing how Daido Moriyama is photographing without using a viewfinder. He often just points the camera in the correct direction and -- click -- he takes a photograph. We realized that omitting the distracting LCD display from the Leica X2 would leave us with a unverfälscht kamera. So today we are introducing the new Leica X-DM - a Leica X2 without an LCD so you too can shoot like Daido all the time".

CEO Stefan Arbeiten said "We expect all Leica users to welcome our gesamtkunstwerk. We expect to further simplify our cameras in the future. The on off switch is the bane of cameras always in the wrong position. The Leica III had no on off switch. Future Leica cameras will also have no on off switch. Reinheit uber alles."

He was overheard later saying "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will buy it.".

((Yes, I admit it. I've been reading Look Who's Back...))

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