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Thread: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

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    m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    this morning I got my M8.1 back from Solms (took them nearly 5 weeks) where it went to get a few things sorted, like rangefinder and coffee-ring-display. As I have the M9 I didn't bother to break hell for them sleeping over my camera.

    A few things struck me immediately when i took a few test shots:

    - that shutter is a hammer, but I kind of like that, combined with the noticable faster response time of the trigger it feels much more precise. the M9 shutter is a bit wobbly, especially around 1/8 to 1/30. I never thought it was too loud, but rather people where commenting positively about that sound

    - I prefer the finish of black chrome with sandpaper griptack of the M8 to the cheapish paint and faux leather job of the M9

    - the M9's info-button approach is crap, the top LCD is so much better, even if the battery information is a lie most of the time, I'd prefer to have both.

    - I like the view you get fom a 50 with the m8, I guess I will have to get a 75...



    but then my assistant's black t-shirt was suddenly purple and my 35 wasn't 35 anymore.

    so the 8 is going to the Bay, it will be missed though......

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    I feel pretty much the same in every point.

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    No camera is perfect for everyone. I'm happy to have the M9 and actually prefer the black finish to my departed M8, and find the controls more logical and more flexible. I really like having FF. If you were so happy with the M8, why go for the M9. Maybe the positives outweigh the negatives -- even for you?

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    Quote Originally Posted by weinschela View Post
    ... Maybe the positives outweigh the negatives -- even for you?
    I think thats what he meant-at least I meant it: Overall I prefer the M9 for several reasons but there are some (minor) points where the M8 was more to my taste, like the black chrome for example.

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    I've been watching the posts from M9 owners and quietly contemplating one for myself. But to be honest, the online samples weren't convincing me that the difference justified the expense. However, this past weekend I had a chance to handle an M9 (Michael Reichmann's no less) and maybe even more importantly, view dozens of excellent prints made with the camera's files.

    I'm convinced now (and encouraged by Michael's enthusiasm) that this is a magnificent camera. The prints were the thing that sealed the deal. Amazing!

    I was a tiny bit disappointed to learn that the grey finish is so fragile. The marks were obvious and fairly deep on a very new camera. That was a surprise.

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I was a tiny bit disappointed to learn that the grey finish is so fragile. The marks were obvious and fairly deep on a very new camera. That was a surprise.
    Was the camera in a leather half case or something? I am wondering if the marks are "professionals-driven" or truly a manufacturer's defect.

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    I have no way of knowing how the camera was actually treated, but I was told that the surface appeared to be very fragile. There was loss of the light grey color on the top of the camera that appeared as if it might have come from rubbing against something while in a case. Yet the marks did not show scratching, almost as if the top layer of finish just rubbed off. There was also a very prominent swirl mark around the tripod socket on the bottom. My gut reaction was that the grey finish is soft.

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    I don't miss the M8 even a little bit.

    I shoot a fair amount in low light conditions and appreciate the M9 info button which is quick, and the info display is more complete at a glance.

    Interim steps in the ISO selections has made a huge difference in real world conditions compared to the M8. Jumping from a useable 640 to a troublesome 1250 was a PITA.

    I like the black finish which isn't a fussy and smeary as previous BP Ms I've had ... only time will tell how is wears.

    However, I do mourn the loss of a Chrome finish M9 ... which I believe is a misstep on Leica's part. There are a fair amount of M users with Chrome M lenses and those who prefer a Chrome body even with Black lenses. I need 2 Ms for my work, and much preferred one in Black and one in Chrome to tell them apart quickly in hectic shooting conditions. But unless something significantly different is done to the grey paint one, I won't be getting that version.

    I'd be willing to pay a premium for a real Chrome M9.

    -Marc

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I don't miss the M8 even a little bit.

    However, I do mourn the loss of a Chrome finish M9 ... which I believe is a misstep on Leica's part. There are a fair amount of M users with Chrome M lenses and those who prefer a Chrome body even with Black lenses. I need 2 Ms for my work, and much preferred one in Black and one in Chrome to tell them apart quickly in hectic shooting conditions. But unless something significantly different is done to the grey paint one, I won't be getting that version.

    I'd be willing to pay a premium for a real Chrome M9.

    -Marc
    The M8 took nice images, but of all the cameras I've owned it was my least favourite. Went last week and I've no regrets.

    100% agreement on everything you say, except for the extra payment.

    I don't think the cost has anything to do with the decision on silver finish. If there's a dollar difference in the costing I'll be amazed. The same top plate, prep, labour, handling and finishing has to be done - it comes down to the price of the top coat. If that costs more than a couple of dollars, Leica is paying too much.

    What's more, you can have a silver chrome M7 or MP without paying a penny more for the privilege. No doubt, it's a marketing decision. A break with the past. Are we heading towards a camera range without a silver chrome finish for the first time in Leica's history ? They don't seem to understand.

    I'm waiting for my first black one to arrive and all being well, I'll want a silver chrome one before next Spring and preferably with a x0.85 viewfinder. I'll not be buying a grey one. According to my dealer, it seems that not many others do either, but Leica has them coming and if you want one soon, the grey is on hand.
    Last edited by Rolo; 26th November 2009 at 04:15.

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    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I have no way of knowing how the camera was actually treated, but I was told that the surface appeared to be very fragile. There was loss of the light grey color on the top of the camera that appeared as if it might have come from rubbing against something while in a case. Yet the marks did not show scratching, almost as if the top layer of finish just rubbed off. There was also a very prominent swirl mark around the tripod socket on the bottom. My gut reaction was that the grey finish is soft.
    Maybe the gray is designed to quickly and completely wear off, exposing a nice classic chrome finish underneath .
    -Amin Sabet

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    and what happens if the finish underneath is pink?

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    Quote Originally Posted by geesbert View Post
    and what happens if the finish underneath is pink?
    you could give it to your wife?

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    Since it resembles the stuff used on Instant Scratch-Off Lottery tickets, maybe there's a winning number underneath, Grand Prize an S2 with 4 lenses!

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    Loving every minute of it! Full frame says it all....

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    I miss the little LCD on the top of the M8. I think Leica should bring it back, but this time use e-ink (like the Amazon Kindle) so that it is displayed even when the camera is turned off. It can update whenever the camera is turned on, but this way we can tell the battery and shots condition without even picking up the camera or turning it on.

    Also, the rear LCD quality is acceptable, but in today's market having a 900K pixel LCD is standard for a high end camera.

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I've been watching the posts from M9 owners and quietly contemplating one for myself. But to be honest, the online samples weren't convincing me that the difference justified the expense. However, this past weekend I had a chance to handle an M9 (Michael Reichmann's no less) and maybe even more importantly, view dozens of excellent prints made with the camera's files.

    I'm convinced now (and encouraged by Michael's enthusiasm) that this is a magnificent camera. The prints were the thing that sealed the deal. Amazing!

    I was a tiny bit disappointed to learn that the grey finish is so fragile. The marks were obvious and fairly deep on a very new camera. That was a surprise.
    Well, I decided against the M9 and I doubt I'll regret it.
    After my initial excitement, more and more things started to bug me about it, yet I was still undecided. I got so torn about the issue that I decided to make an honest pro and con list.
    To my own big surprise, I realized there are only 2 points on the pro side for me. Yes, 18MP and 14 bit uncompressed DNG files are nice but points like 3 year old sensor technology in an $8500+ (CDN) camera is simply unacceptable. (Don't tell me the micro-lens technology on top of the sensor is new. Phase and Hasselblad are doing this already for years.)

    Bottomline is simple, if i wouldn't have an M8 I'd go for the M9 in a heartbeat. But otherwise it's not worth it. I'll hold on to the money I had at the ready and wait a little. Maybe at next years Photokina Leica is coming out with a .2 version ... or whatever they may call it. My gut-feeling tells me it will sport a smaller Maestro sensor.
    (Somehow I can't shake the feeling Leica decided against the new maestro technology at hand simply out of fear of cannibalizing their own S2 sales. That fear won't matter in a year from now anymore.)

    PS: If one knows what to do, the print quality of M8 files is outstanding. Don't belief MR is ridding his gallery of his countless M8 prints simply because they don't live up to M9 print standards.
    Last edited by 2x2; 1st December 2009 at 22:38.

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    2x2, thank you for your thoughts. Makes me feel reassured as an M8 owner with no budget for a M9! I've never had any issues with the pictures from my M8s, and don't think I'm losing out on anything; but then again, I'm not a pro, just a family snapper.

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    The M8 is wonderful, and the M9 really doesn't impact that.
    but, like Marc, I don't really mourn my M8's (gone to good homes). The M9 may not take better pictures at A2 size, but it does have advantages.

    The black chrome of the M8 goes grey . . . the black paint of the M9 goes brassy. The silver chrome of the M8 goes shiny . . the grey, it would seem, goes brassy. I've long since realised that if you really use an M camera it looks . . . really used. Take your pick of old cameras.

    One thing is sure is that the M9 doesn't make the M8 a bad camera.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: m9 vs. m8: after a few weeks of use

    Quote Originally Posted by Mango View Post
    2x2, thank you for your thoughts. Makes me feel reassured as an M8 owner with no budget for a M9! I've never had any issues with the pictures from my M8s, and don't think I'm losing out on anything; but then again, I'm not a pro, just a family snapper.
    I can't make the jump to an M9 now, but sure am considering an M8 kit to compliment my D700.

    Good thread!

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