Copied from this morning's LUF post, q.v.
There seems to be an impression on this forum that Carl and I disagree on the roadmap for the M series. We do not.
I would like to add we are both fluent in German, so there is no doubt about translations and such.
We both heard Stefan Daniel say:
1: There will be a future M
2. There are indications there is a solution for the IR filters, but that is still being worked on by the Leica engineers.
3. The future M will be full format
4. The future M will be announced after the production and delivery of the S2 has been implemented. Currently the S2 is taking up resources that cannot be diverted to other projects
5. The S2 is running on time and the delivery will be as announced before, i.e September
6. The R-solution will be announced after the M camera is implemented, probably (interpretation!) not in 2010
The impression Stefan Daniel gave is that the work on the M9 is progressing well.
Our interpretations on dates differ. Carl thinks we may have to wait until the Fotokina for the M news, I think it might well be before that time.
One thing Carl did not pick up and I did is that Stefan said at one point:
"be it an M9 or M8.3"
In a later conversation I tackled Stefan on the view/rangefinder.
Leica has looked into the accuracy of the optical rangefinder as it is now, as they are obviously aware that the M8 is at the performance limit of the system, as Mark has often pointed out.
Stefan told me that tests by Leica engineers have proved that, with the different magnification factor, the classic optical finder is better on full format than on the M8.
To me that implies that the M9 will have an M7 style optical rangefinder and effectively kills all speculation on the introduction of electronic gadgetry into the system. It may even be a hint as to the form factor of the camera
My thinking: I'm not surprised to hear that all real work in Solms right at the moment is directed at getting the S2 out the door and hitting their target of 10000 properly supported Pro customers. Everything else, including the M9 plans, still sounds exploratory, with major decisions still to be made.