Leica M9 : Digital Photography Review

Leice M9 (Black)

Leica M9 and hands-on preview: Digital Photography Review.

So that’s what all the fuss was about – a full frame sensor Leica rangefinder. It looks like a beautiful piece of engineering in all ways: optical, electronic, mechanical, design.

It is great to see that the skills required to produce the M9 still exist. That’s despite all the worrying about declining standards of science education. There are still great engineers working for Leica. I wonder if they have trouble hiring?

Interesting that Kodak make the full frame sensor. Their engineering must be first-rate too. It’s a pity they have not been more successful making digital cameras. I don’t think serious amateurs or professionals think of Kodak at all.

Dpreview’s factory tour reads like an informercial for Leica and a justification for their high prices. It’s a triumph for the Leica marketing department. I would have liked to have seen some balance – something to indicate their tour coverage isn’t and extended advertisement. Usually the British are better than the Americans at keeping neutral and a tad skeptical. Possibly they were so blown away by what they saw and they didn’t have much to compare it with.

It is a great endorsement of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom that it is the software of choice for processing the RAW images from the M9. Registered owners can get a copy free. Wow! I have spent US$6,995 for a M9 body (£4,850 inc VAT) and Leica are kind enough to comp me a copy of Lightroom.

I’ve said before that if Leica are confident enough in DNG to standardize on it for their RAW format, why can’t Canon, Nikon et al?

I think access to “scoops” like the factory tour and early access to the camera itself is the reason why Dpreview respects manufacturers’ publicity embargoes. I wonder if they were the only web-based publication to be included in the Leica tour?

I have never handled a Leica. Some day I would like to use an old analogue Leica with one lens and black and white film for the experience and learning it offers. I don’t think I am the type of photographer who would profit from the M8 or M9 but my mind is open – if I win the lottery.


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One Response to “Leica M9 : Digital Photography Review”

  1. BKKPhotographer Says:

    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.6 on a 64-bit system has serious problems handling DNG files from the Leica M9. See http://forums.adobe.com/thread/541199.

    It appears to have affected many users. I expect Leica is not pleased as they trusted Adobe to support their camera properly.

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