Getting the new M will be an important event affecting my photography . I shoot primarily street and travel in color and work with two M bodies and 3-4 lenses . For my work, there is much to like in the specifications of the new M and yet an awareness that this is not going to be easy .
I ve handled the new M at ProPhotoPLus in NYC ..tried out the EVF and got a feel for the new body . I know Leica well having used pretty much every Leica camera since the M2 and the first SL . Suffered thru the launches of the M8,M9 and the S2 ..even used a DMR for a few years .
My expectations are that Leica will have solved many of the limitations of the M9 ( a product they rushed to market using old technology ) . The limitations of a weak in camera processor , in adequate buffer and a small capacity battery will be addressed. Weather sealing will slow my heart rate in a downpour ( I ve been lucky).
I know that the handling and feel of the camera ,the CRF viewing and discrete size and shape ..have been retained . The camera has evolved in form not changed .
The major improvements (that are different ) will all come from the move to CMOS .
1. Better high ISO performance .....the ability to render high IQ at ISO s above 640 . My expectation is that the new sensor will perform as an excellent CMOS sensor that has been optimized for low ISO performance . The goal will be to produce the very best IQ at base ISO and then work toward improvements at higher ISO s . This means that ISO 1600 would be a target for excellent high ISO IQ and that ISO 3200 and 6400 would be usable with diminished DR and color saturation.
2. EVF to open up the use of longer lenses ,macro etc . The EVF add on bodies are out there now in the micro4/3rd offerings . No need to debate the capabilities ,the Leica offering will be a Olympus EVF that exists today . My expectation is that it will open up the use of lenses such as the 135APO. My POV is that its not in any way an R solution (another topic) but that it can extend the capabilities of the kit by allowing the use of R lenses . (adding a 180 to my kit is much less bulk that carrying a DSLR to achieve a moderate telephoto).
I feel good that I understand the benefits and they are note worthy . The biggest question is the change from a CCD to CMOS sensor . How will it affect the aesthetic ? I am sure the new M will produce excellent IQ by any standard but I am not certain that I will like the new look .
(FYI I have spent the last 4 months working with Leica R lenses on the D800E bodies . The files will not be confused with a typical N/C/S CMOS rendering but they are different from the CCD files of the M9/S2).