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Thread: M8 II wish list

  1. #1
    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    M8 II wish list

    Although it's highly unlikely Leica will revisit the M8 (it's on to the R10 and M9, new products are what keeps the sales humming) I thought I'd list some of the things that could have been done better. Maybe they will make it into an M9.

    I'm not talking about stuff that requires new technology (like a full frame, no IR filters or LCD frames in the finder) but stuff that could have been implemented in the M8 with it's current technology. In no particular order:

    1. Smoother shutter release.
    2. Some sound insulation to quiet the shutter release sound
    3. Better gripping surface maybe have 2 options: Griptac or Vulcanite
    4. At least a purchase for the thumb to make up for the loss of the winder as a stop for the thumb.
    5. External controls for ISO and EV
    6. More accurate framing at the most used RF distance say 3 meters?

    Attachment 479

    The EV control works like an auto-shifter in modern cars each click towards + or - moves the EV 1/3. Pushing down (or it could be forward) resets to whatever the base setting you set in the back LCD menu. Thumb controls EV and ISO. Forefinger shutter speed and shutter release.

    There are probably lot's of ways this could be implemented but the idea is to have direct control without taking your hands or eye out of position.

  2. #2
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    I just love this design idea Hank , thanks for posting it here also. It truly makes perfect shooting sense the way it is setup . keeps it extremely simple still but puts you thumb in control of ISO and EV comp. To me this is the best idea i have seen on a new shell of the M8 or M9 . Love the sprit level too, although a cross type setup would be interesting too. The second LCD on top board is perfect showing the ISO also and EV control setting . Although we need EV inside also like the shutter so this setup you would not have to take your eye off the finder and maybe in the firmware if you did switch the ISO a brief flash shows the new setting in the finder than goes away. Now just add the electronic framelines and you have a fully functional camera.

    of course 16bit bigger LCD and other improvemnts would be nice but this as the starting point I really like. BTW i already sent Hanks illustration to Solms. never know

    Nice job Hank
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  3. #3
    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    I was just taking some photographs and looked at were my thumb rests. It would wind up unintentionally moving the ISO wheel if it were where I put it ion the image. So I moved it where it is easily accessible but protected from accidental changes.

    Attachment 480

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    personally I would like to add:
    7) build in grip
    8) diopter
    - ought to be basic features I think

  5. #5
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    Hank, what about moving the ISO wheel up front under the shutter speed wheel, or between it and the release riser? I think with it up front, we would be less likely to inadvertantly change ISO since we keep our index finger away from the RF window already
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: M8 II wish list

    Weather seal it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member irakly's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    i'd rather have the exposure compensation dial linked to a back wheel. say, when the shutter button is half-depressed, the back dial changes its function to EV control. this solution requires no additional parts and can be implemented purely via firmware.
    andi REALLY want the old-fashioned cock-up shutter.

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    Re: M8 II wish list

    Agree with better weather sealing, agree they need to make shutter release a bit smoother ( does teh softie help?) agree VERY much with more accurate 3 meter framing and a nice place to put thumb and balance easier would be great - don't like the add on grip by Leica.

    Will soon have M for normal to wide shooting and the DMR for normal to tele shooting combo - couldn't be more pleased. Even thinking of dusting off my MP and getting back into shooting B&W film I just love Leica stuff. Bring on the full frame versions of both !-

  9. #9
    divory
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    I love the idea of a spirit level, but putting it on top of the camera means that it is only useful if you are using the camera on a tripod - the antithesis of what Leica has always stood for. The GRD II (I have one on order) evidently has an electronic leveler that uses sound. Assuming that it does work in the field then that would have my vote.

    David

  10. #10
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    I'm not so sure about putting a level embedded in the camera. This seems to me not very Leica-like. If you'd like a bubble/spirit level, the $30 Manfrotto Hotshoe Bubble Level does the trick. Works in horizontal and vertical orientation and can be removed from the shoe when not needed.

    Keep in mind that the M is a work of elegant simplicity. I can't see how Leica would clutter this with extra dials and displays, even if it was easier or more full featured. For me the Set menu adjustments are a non-issue.

    I'm curious what Stefan thought of the rendering.

    David

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    Re: M8 II wish list

    1. Auto sensor cleaning 2.Make the click stops firmer( or tighter) on the shutter release dial. When I shoot in the continuous mode, the dial frequently slips over to the timer setting. Very annoying. DR

  12. #12
    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    Quote Originally Posted by dfarkas View Post
    I'm not so sure about putting a level embedded in the camera. This seems to me not very Leica-like.

    I made the drawing for my own amusement and as I sometimes use an old waist level finder in the hot shoe so I put the level in. It's not something I would recommend to Leica as it would have such a narrow appeal and made that comment in forwarding the image. I have never found a hot shoe level I've liked they are all huge even the smallest stick on bullseye levels are huge.

    A front grip even a very small one which I had in some versions I posted on the L-camera-forum would fall into the same category - most wouldn't want it.

    Jack the ISO thumb wheel could go in between the shutter release and the shutter speed dial up front but that would put it close to the on off switch but not under the shutter speed dial as it would interfere with changing the shutter speed. You could also use the current back wheel and arrows a la Canon but if your thumb is anchored on the little thumb grip stabilizing the camera it would take it out of position. If you have the shutter semi-compressed and your thumb is anchoring the right hand having to release the thumb away from the rest releases your grip on the camera. I tried to keep it so both hands remained in position for focusing and firing.

    There are probably lots of ways to do this and sometimes what looks good in photoshop is not so great in use. But you get the general idea. Put the controls so you can set them without taking your eye from the finder and your hands out of position. To get something refined you have to work with physical mockups.
    Last edited by Hank Graber; 3rd December 2007 at 20:59.

  13. #13
    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    Spirit levels would be most useful in wind angle finders.

  14. #14
    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    You could put the ISO thumbwheel in front of the shutter release if the on off switch was just on the rear of the shutter release. You really don't have to have the on off front and back. As the forefinger is 'floating' it's the most available to flick a control while the thumb and other three fingers grip the camera.
    Last edited by Hank Graber; 3rd December 2007 at 21:12.

  15. #15
    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    I'd add that I like the Canon arrangement with the rear wheel but it works on the Canon because of the handstrap and front grip. You can release the thumb and the camera is still stable. Wouldn't be quite so stable on the M and suggesting a big front grip and handstrap would have the villagers out with pitchforks

    I think Leica has to find ways to make ergonomic and functional changes while respecting the iconic form of the M. If for none other then marketing reasons -Leica has quite a few users that care more about form then function. Your experience with a camera is very different when you shoot a couple of shots occaisionally and you are using it intensively. Things that are not even noticed by the casual user become major annoyances for someone who is making 100's of frames under pressure and doesn't get any do overs if they blow it.

    Maybe one day Leica can come out with an M successor starting from a blank sheet of paper but it will likely at first be in addition to the M rather then a replacement and the company would have to have a few successful years under its belt before it would feel confident enough to take those sorts of risks. In the mean time the M is the core of Leica's business and what attracted most of us to Leica. Transitioning it to digital requires a bit more finessing to get it up to the ergonomic and simplicity level of the film M's.

  16. #16
    PaulMayeux
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    I really wish they would give us asa 50 or 64 as the lowest sensitivity instead of 160.

  17. #17
    Member Hank Graber's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMayeux View Post
    I really wish they would give us asa 50 or 64 as the lowest sensitivity instead of 160.
    The lower the base sensitivity the lower the usable max sensitivity. Since the shutter now goes to 1/8000 you can shoot wide open even at 160 and because they set the base ISO at a relatively fast 160, 640 is quite good. Unlike medium format backs the M8 is first and foremost an available light reportage camera and making it more adept at available light should take precedence over slight gains in image quality at very low ISO's. So I think most users would rather sacrifice ISO 40 or 80 then give up ISO 320 or 640.

    As it is the image quality is more then good enough for a 35mm camera, approaching medium format color negative film quality. They should focus in the future more on dynamic range and high ISO usability, more responsive handling, more reliability, the things that would make it a better documentary, reportage camera -make it more of a Leica in the best sense.

  18. #18
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMayeux View Post
    I really wish they would give us asa 50 or 64 as the lowest sensitivity instead of 160.
    Do what I do, use a 3-stop ND filter when you need to knock the ISO down
    Jack
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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    Do any of you know if it would be doable by a firmware update to obtain the choice of 12, 14 or even 16 bits per pixel DNG files ?

  20. #20
    Super Duper
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    It seems that Leica removed the 16-bit DNG beta format that way, so I presume it would be possible.

    Hank, I have an idea for retaining the iconic M form, while still adding some controls. I have to think about it a bit, but will hopefully have something to post soon.
    Carsten - Website

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    Senior Member irakly's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Do what I do, use a 3-stop ND filter when you need to knock the ISO down
    it would be nice to have one built-in, like in some cheap canon p&s cameras.

  22. #22
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: M8 II wish list

    Forget the built-in ND.
    I'd rather have a "take a shot and then take another with n stops less time" feature then display the second with histogram and clipping. This is for hdr scenes really. Seems I am doing this most of the time lately I set up on a tripod for landscape work. Even better give me three more stops of low noise dynamic range.
    -bob

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