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Thread: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

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    Workshop Member Woody Campbell's Avatar
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    What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Not meant to be a hostile question. The issue is where does Leica go from here?

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    For M users, the SL is still king due to the Sony sensor glass not accomodating well.

    That said - they really need to expand the lineup in a few different dimensions.
    Right now SL is basically targetting the big/beefy camera/zoom crowd. The ecosystem is too expensive and lens lineup too small to pull many working pros I'd imagine.

    It's an attractive camera for Leica users, but I am put off by total lack of smaller/lighter/moderate speed primes.

    I'd also love to see a lighter altenate body.

    They could also release a Monochrom version since Leica fans like that sort of thing..

    They probably need an SL2 with higher resolution, but I worry they need to update the S first as they don't want to step on their own toes.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Do people buy Leica because they make the most technically sophisticated cameras? I am not sure the a9 impacts the SL. Leica seems to understand their brand and their customer. I am not sure how many "Leica killers" have been released in my lifetime--I have lost count--but Leica seems to be doing well.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Whatever happened to the T? Leica makes Leica killers and not Sony.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    The A9 just reminds me of one thing: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
    It really is Sony's SL, isn't it? Slightly cheaper, probably less solidly built, a bit more complicated interface, but otherwise similar.
    I bet Sony management said "why didn't we make this?" in Q3-2015, and it took until Q2-2017 to have something ready.

    To me, the rationale for the SL is the same as ever. The A9 really isn't much cheaper, and it only improves performance for stuff I don't need (11 fps is plenty, I rarely use more than 1fps).
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Weather sealing!

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Putting aside matters of price, what I most appreciate about Leicas is their user friendliness. If you've ever used a camera, you can use a Leica, without reading a manual or browsing through a multi-page menu of commands.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    The A9 just reminds me of one thing: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
    It really is Sony's SL, isn't it? Slightly cheaper, probably less solidly built, a bit more complicated interface, but otherwise similar.
    I bet Sony management said "why didn't we make this?" in Q3-2015, and it took until Q2-2017 to have something ready.

    Surely, this is a joke, right?
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Surely, this is a joke, right?
    Not a joke. The first thing that occurred to me when I read the A9 specs is "oh, they've built an SL."
    It's a close copy of the SL's specifications and philosophy.

    Such a camera seems obvious now, but lots of commenters were dismissive in 2015 when Leica announced a pro-spec full-frame mirrorless. I think Sony realized the implications and started working on this camera right away. The timeline fits.

    The comparison is even more pertinent outside of the US, where the SL costs thousands less, and the Sony costs a thousand more. That makes them nearly the same cost, depending which accessories you need and what lenses you own.

    Obviously, some will argue that the two cameras have nothing in common, given that one has feature A (bluetooth?), and the other has feature B (60 seconds exposure?).

    For me, the choice is easy. A clearer menu and 11 fps beats a confusing menu and 20 fps. And, I prefer Leica's color rendition.
    Others will point-out an A9 feature that is crucial to their workflow.
    The overall conclusion is that both are targeting the same market, which is the mirrorless version of the D5/1Dx "pro" cameras.

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Oh, brother! You must be a Leica super duper fan!
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Ha! Seriously Bernard? The Sony A series bodies came out 2 years before the SL. Who copied whom?
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2WK View Post
    Ha! Seriously Bernard? The Sony A series bodies came out 2 years before the SL. Who copied whom?
    We are discussing the A9, just announced yesterday.

    It's conceptually different from the 24 MP A7, it is priced much higher, and has "professional" specifications (if you need frame rates rather than megapixels).

    Sony freely admits that this is their first mirrorless camera that is aimed squarely at the D5 and 1Dx2, which they never claimed with the A7 series.

    I pointed-out that the SL is also aimed at this market, and has similar specifications (4K video, 24 MP, up-to ISO 50,000, double-digit fps). If you live outside of the US, both cameras are priced at the same level too, which makes comparisons very pertinent. (Obviously, the actual street price of the A9 won't be known until it starts shipping).

    We both know that Leica and Sony offered other FF cameras prior to these two, aimed at other markets. The A9 isn't an obvious move for Sony, people expected them to release another A7, with 50+ megapixels. Instead they come-up with this camera.

    The A9 and SL are obvious cameras to compare, they have similar prices and specifications. In the same way, the D5 and 1Dx2 are obvious cameras to compare, as they have similar prices and specs.

    I know Leica is a touchy subject on the internet, that's why I try to avoid the topic as much as possible. I thought it was safe to compare the A9 and SL on a civilized forum, under a topic that specifically asks for such comparisons. Evidently I am too much of an optimist...

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    "I think Sony realized the implications and started working on this camera right away. The timeline fits."

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?

    (Latin: "after this, therefore because of this") is a logical fallacy that states "Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X."
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Ignoratio elenchi!
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    The only reason in thinking there is no rationale for buying an SL because of the Sony a9 release is a thing called "perceived obsolescence." Companies have done a great job of getting consumers to "upgrade" perfectly amazing machines simply by training them that somehow they will be "missing" something if they don't. Companies used to simply use product design to get people to spend for replacing "old" perfectly working items (fashion is a powerful force). Today, it is features or megapixels or the idea that the next iteration has a quality advantage. I feel sorry for the camera companies because they have been sucked into this. It was not that long ago when a camera company could keep a film camera in production for a decade or more. Today, they have a couple of years at best. This constant demand makes camera production very inefficient and costly. It has gotten so bad that the review of the Fuji X100F I read at DPreview was simply pitched to X100T owners and whether they should "upgrade." There was no thought that someone might be buying their first X100 model--the review never addressed anything about the camera in general, like the hybrid viewfinder, but simply assumed reader would only be those with an earlier model. This is a little insane.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    I'd buy a Leica SL tomorrow.(ok, doh! )

    I'll wait on real world A9 before it can claim to be an SL killer.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    Not meant to be a hostile question. The issue is where does Leica go from here?
    Anyone asking this, has probably never tried an SL

    Being honest, as a sony user(a7r, a6000, a7ii, a7rii), all thoses sony camera feels like electronics plastic toys with a good sensor ...
    I went to my leica dealer last week, and tried the SL, i was very impressed, the Efv is very good and big (there is no comparaison with sony), menu system and customisation are so much better implemented, the camera feel very solid, and has a perfect fit in hands ...

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    I can't afford any of them at the moment, but I don't need 20fps, or at least I haven't needed it the previous 60 years of my life. Also, I would much rather buy my camera from a manufacturer that keeps a low, understated profile rather than claiming "game changer" and "revolution" for every second model they launch. I've seen the sample photos on their website. There's nothing revolutionary about them.

    Look at the illustration below. Apart from the obvious fact that the SL features a top LCD and the A9 not, watch the distance between the grip and the lens (the Sony lens is the 24-70mm f/2.8). At least one reviewer has pointed out that his fingers touch the lens when just moving slightly. While the SL seems to be a very well planned camera, Sony, in this third iteration of the A7/9 series, are introducing features that they omitted the two first rounds, but now fix by popular demand. Some of those features have been standard on high end and semi high end cameras for a long time, like back button focus. Although their users seem to be happy, I keep wondering why they keep serving half baked cameras. There's nothing half baked about the SL.



    What I would prefer even more though is a TL with a viewfinder and a grip that isn't so slippery, while keeping the cool unibody. It's one of the prettiest cameras ever, and I trust the lenses are good.

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    When I read the A9 announcement I immediately thought of the SL and wondered how this will pan out......

    Finally, East meets West, the new Nissan is on the same stretch of road as Aston Martin......Consumer electronics giant up against a peerless camera maker........game console fiddly buttons against analysed ergonomics......should be fascinating!

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    "peerless camera maker".



    Excellent thread!



    Am i in north korea?

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    I am convinced to go now the SL path ....
    Life is an ever changing journey
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    The single biggest unknown is the capability of the A9 AF system to handle continuous focusing .

    As an SL owner it is a terrific camera and very well implemented ..except for AF . The SL is very fast and is always ready to shoot ,is built like a tank ,has a excellent EVF and a well thought out user interface (its not really intuitive but with a little effort it can be customized to near perfection ).

    The SL existing lenses are excellent but all big heavy Pro quailty ...the smaller fit to purpose F2 primes are yet to come .

    The largest draw back on the SL is it just will not adequately maintain focus ..when used in CF mode . I have used it extensively for auto racing ,polo and surfing . Two aspects (1) can it acquire the focus point in mixed lighting and (2) can it maintain that focus point thru a full series of captures . Using the SL ....forget it ..it doesn t . So how does a camera squarely aimed at action photography be so far behind .

    The reference standard for AF continuous tracking is the Nikon D5 ...it is beyond my expectations and better than the D4 and D4s . The D5 will track with a F1.4 lens wide open the width of a tennis court . It will handle a polo pony coming straight at you thru the goal with a 400/2.8AF and never lose focus . No EVF camera has even approached that standard .

    Will be very interested to see what a Professional Sports Photographer says about the new A9 .....

    Yes 20 FPS and no black out are impressive improvements for the A9 ..but the proof will be the AF tracking .
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Much more logical to see the A9 as a continuation of the A7II...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    The A9 just reminds me of one thing: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
    It really is Sony's SL, isn't it? Slightly cheaper, probably less solidly built, a bit more complicated interface, but otherwise similar.
    I bet Sony management said "why didn't we make this?" in Q3-2015, and it took until Q2-2017 to have something ready.

    To me, the rationale for the SL is the same as ever. The A9 really isn't much cheaper, and it only improves performance for stuff I don't need (11 fps is plenty, I rarely use more than 1fps).

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Much more logical to see the A9 as a continuation of the A7II...
    The relationship between the A7II and the A9 reminds me of the relationship between the 1Ds and 5D, before they diverged with the 1Dx. The sensor size and resolution are similar, but everything else is different.
    The A7 and A9 both come from the same company, but the A9 isn't a replacement for the less expensive A7II (which remains available). The A9 is Sony's entry in the pro stills market, which is not something they've attempted before with mirrorless. They've had a few attempts over the years on the SLR side (and as Minolta before that). It will be interesting to see how they fare now that they are not competing directly with Nikon and Canon.

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Hi,

    The body is the same between A7II and A9, they made it a bit more sturdy, added drive/AF selector on the left hand, added a joystick and relabeled two buttons plus put a large battery inside.

    The major news is the sensor that more relates to the A6500, stacked design with a front side LSI.

    If they compete with Canon or Nikon is hard to say. It depends if they can deliver on viewfinder lag and AF functionality. If the A9 will deliver a higher success rate than Nikon or Canon than it will gain market share.

    Best regards
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    The relationship between the A7II and the A9 reminds me of the relationship between the 1Ds and 5D, before they diverged with the 1Dx. The sensor size and resolution are similar, but everything else is different.
    The A7 and A9 both come from the same company, but the A9 isn't a replacement for the less expensive A7II (which remains available). The A9 is Sony's entry in the pro stills market, which is not something they've attempted before with mirrorless. They've had a few attempts over the years on the SLR side (and as Minolta before that). It will be interesting to see how they fare now that they are not competing directly with Nikon and Canon.

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Assuming the A9 delivers WRT AF speed, AF-C and AF tracking as well as having a better than optical viewfinder because with no blackout - the key question will be if Sony can roll out 3 or 4 high speed primes typically required by professional sports shooters. If they manage to do so and also for a adequate price, they are poised to win IMHO.

    If they take to long for these primes then the A9 remains still a remarkable camera and a real milestone in photographic history.

    And for many, including me, they tick already almost all the boxes, especially with the new 100-400. This lens together with the Zeiss 16-35 and the G-master 24-70 plus a few fast primes is all I ever will need. Hard to resist for the moment ....

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Leica M and R lenses can be mounted on an A9 via a Techpro adapter and made to auto focus! There are no other platforms that allow that.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Just my opinion but the rationale for the SL remains a digital mirrorless body to utilize R, M, and SL lenses. I don't really see the SL as a pro line camera to compete with the 1Dx or the D5 for the simple reason that there are only a handful of native lenses and there's only a contrast detect AF system.

    I dont want to dive dive too deep into the A9 in this thread but I agree that it's an expansion on the A7 bodies more than a total different philosophy outside an emphasis on speed for photojournalist/sport photographers. The updates are welcomed butmany of them are nice to have versus needed for me.

    While one could argue about the "pro" ability of Sony FE cameras, the reality is that many pros use them to great success for paying work. Just the same as everyone shooting a Leica isn't a dentist or collector, people should really be mindful and careful of the labels and name calling. The Sony bodies are very capable for 98% of all types of usage and offer pretty much every feature (and then some) that leading cameras in their class offer. I'm a former Leica owner and I liked using my M9/M9-P but I moved onto Sony for the added versatility and flexibility which was a huge advantage for me.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    This a pro camera body:



    Exactly what functionality is required to make something "professional"? And I know a few people that would drool more for this hunk of metal than either an SL or a9.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    I think that for 35mm (and only 35mm), "pro" generally means faster, sturdier, greater autonomy, and manufacturer support. Lots of professionals do not use (nominally-)pro 35mm cameras, and even more amateurs do, so it's an intent rather than a description. Traditionally, the PROfession was photojournalism, which is past its glory days.

    It's a lot easier to define "pro" for video these days: 10-bit, 4:2:2, an editable codec, low compression and, more and more, an ACES workflow.

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Traditionally, the first "professional" photography was portraiture. Photojournalism was a later profession in term of photography. The vast majority of photography can fall under instagram, wedding, and commercial. I am sure some people will love the a9 just as some love another camera.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Traditionally, the first "professional" photography was portraiture. Photojournalism was a later profession in term of photography. The vast majority of photography can fall under instagram, wedding, and commercial. I am sure some people will love the a9 just as some love another camera.
    Exactly.

    By both definitions the M does and has always fallen under the "pro" umbrella but that doesn't mean it's the best camera to shoot sports nor is it officially weather sealed. Pro simply means that there are people using it to make money (to which many cameras can check this box) and that it fits under a certain umbrella of build quality/service expectation to which one can say that all Full Frame, Medium Format, and a few cropped sensored Phase One, Hasselblad, Olympus, Fuji, Sony, Canon, and Nikon cameras generally fall within that umbrella judging from their pro service programs.

    I dont know that Leica has a service program for anything other than S cameras but some still consider the M and SL as pro cameras even without some of the "pro features."
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Traditionally, the first "professional" photography was portraiture. Photojournalism was a later profession in term of photography. The vast majority of photography can fall under instagram, wedding, and commercial. I am sure some people will love the a9 just as some love another camera.
    True I guess if you consider Brady's 1860s American Civil War documentation images as "Later" First portraits weren't professional ... War journalism is nearly as old as "professional" portraiture.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by iiiNelson View Post
    Exactly.

    By both definitions the M does and has always fallen under the "pro" umbrella but that doesn't mean it's the best camera to shoot sports nor is it officially weather sealed. Pro simply means that there are people using it to make money (to which many cameras can check this box) and that it fits under a certain umbrella of build quality/service expectation to which one can say that all Full Frame, Medium Format, and a few cropped sensored Phase One, Hasselblad, Olympus, Fuji, Sony, Canon, and Nikon cameras generally fall within that umbrella judging from their pro service programs.

    I dont know that Leica has a service program for anything other than S cameras but some still consider the M and SL as pro cameras even without some of the "pro features."
    A vast majority of professional photographers use something other than a Leica. By "vast", I mean almost all of them. In my 45+ years as an art director only one pro I hired used a Leica R film camera (along with a Contax 645 as the primary system). In all the weddings I shot with other pros for 20+ years, or pros shooting other weddings at a multiple wedding venue, I was the only one using a Leica M or R ever (and not exclusively because a Canon, or Nikon, and now Sony was the primary kit).

    The S was positioned as a pro camera but the reliability and service record argues other-wise. Very few Pros can afford the time required to baby the S system and send stuff off for spa vacations in Germany for endless months.

    Which brings me to "where does Leica go from here" ... fix the service issues and validate pros with a program so they can get stuff fixed fast without knowing someone or knowing the secret hand-shake or secret password.

    - Marc
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Traditionally, the first "professional" photography was portraiture. Photojournalism was a later profession in term of photography.
    That's why I limited the scope of my statement to 35 mm. cameras.

    The first photographic profession was travel, but portraiture eclipsed travel as soon as plates became sensitive enough.

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    I am still quite happy with my SL and strongly prefer its handling over the A7II and A/s I once owned.
    The 24-90 alone is a strong reason for the SL.
    Also much better size camera as soon as you want to use pro-lenses.
    I would however appreciate if Leica works on their C-AF speed and on both S-AF and C-AF for the 50/1.4.
    Maybe phase-AF in the SLII?
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Traditionally, the first "professional" photography was portraiture. Photojournalism was a later profession in term of photography. The vast majority of photography can fall under instagram, wedding, and commercial. I am sure some people will love the a9 just as some love another camera.
    "traditon killer", a Barnack box, revolutionized photography. The good old creative days for a certain company.

    The fire/drive has passed on and is with Sony now.

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Two things I'm sure of:

    - The A9 will be gone in nine months for whatever the next gizmo might be that Sony wants to market.
    - My SL will be here five years from now, a top notch camera continuing to make excellent photographs.

    Good luck.

    G
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Two things I'm sure of:

    - The A9 will be gone in nine months for whatever the next gizmo might be that Sony wants to market.
    - My SL will be here five years from now, a top notch camera continuing to make excellent photographs.

    Good luck.

    G
    Do you mean like the Leica DMR?

    Just because a company brings out a new model doesn't mean the current one suddenly stops making excellent photographs.

    I'm not a staunch Sony supporter, but I do have to admit that my A7R-II has proven to be a top notch, very reliable camera with an unprecedented array of lenses available for it ... and I do not see some new Sony model changing that.

    Spending heaps of money on digital bodies from anyone seems to be a questionable practice anymore. Frankly, I'm not all that interested in spending $4,500 for this one ...

    - Marc
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Do you mean like the Leica DMR?

    Just because a company brings out a new model doesn't mean the current one suddenly stops making excellent photographs.

    I'm not a staunch Sony supporter, but I do have to admit that my A7R-II has proven to be a top notch, very reliable camera with an unprecedented array of lenses available for it ... and I do not see some new Sony model changing that.

    Spending heaps of money on digital bodies from anyone seems to be a questionable practice anymore. Frankly, I'm not all that interested in spending $4,500 for this one ...

    - Marc
    Yeah and there's not many brands that haven't dropped a line of cameras from existence be it Canon FD, Leica R, Olympus/Leica/Panasonic 4/3, etc.

    It's been 18-24+ months since the generation 2 FE bodies were released so it looks like the Full Frame release schedule is slowing down with a combination of system maturation and force majeure.
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Do you mean like the Leica DMR?

    Just because a company brings out a new model doesn't mean the current one suddenly stops making excellent photographs. ...
    Why yes: the Leica Digital Modul-R for the R8/R9 bodies was released in 2003 and sold until 2009, a period of six years, and there are quite a few still in service (and praised for its quality) today. That's a long run for a digital add-on accessory back for cameras that were introduced in 1998.

    And the Leica SL was specifically designed to continue using the Leica R lens system, with dedicated lens profiles optimizing their rendering qualities per the original design intent, thus preserving the investment of Leica R owners in their lens systems ... the expensive part of buying good equipment.

    Nothing Sony made before 2012 is even talked about anymore. The only thing that survives from any of their older equipment are the photographs that people made.


    Self-Portrait - Tokyo 2002
    Sony Cybershot DSC-F707

    And your point was...?

    I'm perfectly happy to spend good money on a camera system that will last me quite a bit longer than a 9 month model-to-model obsolescence plan. My Leicaflex SL, still using the same lenses as the SL and DMR, is now 50 years old and still working well.

    G

    "Equipment is transient. Photographs endure."
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Why yes: the Leica Digital Modul-R for the R8/R9 bodies was released in 2003 and sold until 2009, a period of six years, and there are quite a few still in service (and praised for its quality) today. That's a long run for a digital add-on accessory back for cameras that were introduced in 1998.

    And the Leica SL was specifically designed to continue using the Leica R lens system, with dedicated lens profiles optimizing their rendering qualities per the original design intent, thus preserving the investment of Leica R owners in their lens systems ... the expensive part of buying good equipment.

    Nothing Sony made before 2012 is even talked about anymore. The only thing that survives from any of their older equipment are the photographs that people made.


    Self-Portrait - Tokyo 2002
    Sony Cybershot DSC-F707

    And your point was...?

    I'm perfectly happy to spend good money on a camera system that will last me quite a bit longer than a 9 month model-to-model obsolescence plan. My Leicaflex SL, still using the same lenses as the SL and DMR, is now 50 years old and still working well.

    G

    "Equipment is transient. Photographs endure."
    Actually, I do not understand your point.

    If I buy a Sony A7R-II and it does what I need, who cares when the next model comes out? You are creating an artificial problem to fit your argument. Personally, I do not consider anything that still works for me to be obsolete. Some think the Leica S is obsolete ... I'm not one of them.

    Likewise, from 2008 I used a Sony A900 and ZA lenses then added an A99 I used them for well over 6 years to shoot a lot of work ... both continued to take some nice minolta lenses from decades ago (some were joint developments with Leica). Those lenses can still be used on the A7R-II and are image stabilized. The guy that bought it is still using that A99, and the A900 is still prized for its out-of-camera rendering.

    The only reason I'm not still using the A mount cameras is because I went mirror-less to save size and weight. If that sort of ground breaking technological leadership is grounds for obsolescence, then .... ?

    I'm sure the SL is a fine camera.

    - Marc
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    It wouldn't surprise me if 90%++ of Leica SL and Sony A9 buyers were not professional users who had need of specific features, but rather, well-to-do amateurs who want some sense that their purchase will bring them lasting enjoyment. In other words, these are not strictly logical decisions

    Think most of you realize at some level that happiness-forever is a myth unless one stops competing with random strangers on the internet! Stop relying on a constant stream of packages at your doorstep for an emotional pick-me-up? (I'm still learning how to do that myself)

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Marc,

    Let's review the essence of this train of messages


    GDG, responding to "What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?":

    Two things I'm sure of:

    - The A9 will be gone in nine months for whatever the next gizmo might be that Sony wants to market.
    - My SL will be here five years from now, a top notch camera continuing to make excellent photographs.
    Marc:
    Do you mean like the Leica DMR?
    ...
    GDG:
    Why yes: the Leica Digital Modul-R for the R8/R9 bodies was released in 2003 and sold until 2009, a period of six years, and there are quite a few still in service (and praised for its quality) today.
    ...
    And your point was...?
    ...
    I'm perfectly happy to spend good money on a camera system that will last me quite a bit longer than a 9 month model-to-model obsolescence plan.
    Marc:
    Actually, I do not understand your point.

    If I buy a Sony A7R-II and it does what I need, who cares when the next model comes out? You are creating an artificial problem to fit your argument. Personally, I do not consider anything that still works for me to be obsolete. Some think the Leica S is obsolete ... I'm not one of them.

    Likewise, from 2008 I used a Sony A900 and ZA lenses then added an A99 I used them for well over 6 years to shoot a lot of work ... both continued to take some nice minolta lenses from decades ago (some were joint developments with Leica). Those lenses can still be used on the A7R-II and are image stabilized. The guy that bought it is still using that A99, and the A900 is still prized for its out-of-camera rendering.

    The only reason I'm not still using the A mount cameras is because I went mirror-less to save size and weight. If that sort of ground breaking technological leadership is grounds for obsolescence, then .... ?

    I'm sure the SL is a fine camera.
    So what don't you understand? And ...
    • What was the point of your initial comment about the DMR?
    • What was the point of the question in the first place? You know, "What's the rationale for SL after the Sony A9 announcement"? Why does the A9 announcement require a response from Leica regards the SL, from owners and users of the SL ... Why are they even related at all? Who gives a darn what Sony announces if you have an SL and are happy with it?
    • Why should Leica care what Sony announces when they already have a camera that is still state of the art?


    I honestly, truly don't care one wit what Sony announces. I haven't even looked up what the A9 announcement was. That's why I said:

    Two things I'm sure of:

    - The A9 will be gone in nine months for whatever the next gizmo might be that Sony wants to market.
    - My SL will be here five years from now, a top notch camera continuing to make excellent photographs.
    In essence, what that means is: "Sony hasn't made a single camera product that lasted in production more than two years yet. If you miss the A9, the next new Sony will be here soon enough."
    And: "I'm happy with my gear and intend to keep using it for at least another five years (or more)."

    Is that so difficult to understand? I thought it was pretty simple.

    G

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    It would be interesting see/hear if someone records a video with sound of the 10fps of SL and the 20fps of the A9.

    Would there be the dreaded "ker ching" shutter noise attributed to the A7r and elicited a thread of its own "why i am not keeping the A7r..".
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Marc,

    Let's review the essence of this train of messages


    GDG, responding to "What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?":



    Marc:


    GDG:


    Marc:


    So what don't you understand? And ...
    • What was the point of your initial comment about the DMR?
    • What was the point of the question in the first place? You know, "What's the rationale for SL after the Sony A9 announcement"? Why does the A9 announcement require a response from Leica regards the SL, from owners and users of the SL ... Why are they even related at all? Who gives a darn what Sony announces if you have an SL and are happy with it?
    • Why should Leica care what Sony announces when they already have a camera that is still state of the art?


    I honestly, truly don't care one wit what Sony announces. I haven't even looked up what the A9 announcement was. That's why I said:



    In essence, what that means is: "Sony hasn't made a single camera product that lasted in production more than two years yet. If you miss the A9, the next new Sony will be here soon enough."
    And: "I'm happy with my gear and intend to keep using it for at least another five years (or more)."

    Is that so difficult to understand? I thought it was pretty simple.

    G
    I'd agree that I initially thought the original question was a little odd. I think most of us are experienced enough to make gear decisions based on personalized need ... or at least need balanced against how much we want to invest in any given system ... especially when we already have a complete system.

    However, I don't think the question was aimed at those already invested in either system. If a photographer were about to buy into a new system (like those thinking of switching from a DSLR to Mirror-less), then weighing these two cameras could been seen as more logical. In that regard, the A9 announcement as it relates to the SL could pique some interest from anyone less familiar with either system.

    So, you are right, the A9 announcement probably means nothing to SL owners and doesn't require a response or rationale. The only reasonable response should be to align a photographers needs against the abilities, specifications and related costs of FF mirror-less options. The best SL owners can speak to is how their choice meets their needs.

    BTW, your history timeline is off. The FF Sony A mount cameras have all had lifespans much longer than 2 years ... more like 4 years+. The Sony mirror-less models appear to have come faster, but in reality the different FE mount models are what make that seem faster. Sony markets more variations (like Canon and Nikon do) to cover a broader market share than Leica does. Their intent is to become a major player ... which they have accomplished in less than 10 years!

    The exception to that may be the short span between the A7R to A7R-II ... but the A7R was the first of it's type ... I consider it similar to Leica's first digital rangefinder the M8 ... far from optimal, but better than nothing ... followed by a better iteration of the same concept.

    My DMR remark is based on experience. I had a ton invested in R gear, with film quickly becoming a non-option for the clients I served. Hanging onto a discontinued 10 meg, crop frame, low ISO camera and discontinued lens system with batteries that became rarer and rarer, forced a decision. I could not wait indefinitely for an R digital replacement with R lenses sitting fallow on a shelf. I'm not a lens collector, I'm a lens user. To me, that is the very definition of "obsolete" for a working photographer. It felt similar to the debacle I experienced with Contax: the Contax 645 with ProBack and Contax N to ND system being discontinued and Kyocera exiting the camera business. No path forward at a time when digital was just getting going and lots of advancements on the horizon.

    I'm no Sonyphile. Yet, I have to admit that after living with the A7R-II system it has proved to be extraordinarily versatile and adaptable to a wide variety of job and personal applications ... with no service issues or lack of any lens I may need ... including AF for the Leica M lenses that work well on this camera.

    - Marc
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4season View Post
    It wouldn't surprise me if 90%++ of Leica SL and Sony A9 buyers were not professional users who had need of specific features, but rather, well-to-do amateurs who want some sense that their purchase will bring them lasting enjoyment.
    Reminds me of the old saying, which I first heard in the 1980s: "90% of professionals use Hasselblads. 90% of Hasselblads are sold to amateurs."
    The second part of that statement is probably still true of all professional cameras. Maybe PhaseOne has a higher percentage of professional users, but they cost as much as luxury cars.

    I'm sure it's true of most hobbies/professions. There aren't enough professional bicycle racers around to justify the hundreds of carbon fiber bikes I see every summer weekend.

    Professional photographers should thank the well-to-do amateurs who subsidize their gear, and then curse those same amateurs for getting in the way of their shot...
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Sorry to take so long to respond, Marc. I was busying doing tabletop work and readying my Nikon equipment for sale most of yesterday.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... So, you are right, the A9 announcement probably means nothing to SL owners and doesn't require a response or rationale. ...
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... BTW, your history timeline is off. The FF Sony A mount cameras have all had lifespans much longer than 2 years ... more like 4 years+. The Sony mirror-less models appear to have come faster, but in reality the different FE mount models are what make that seem faster. ...
    I stand corrected. Frankly, my experience with Sony was well-tainted with disgust by the time the FF A mount cameras came out due to owning and being frustrated with their other products before that. Never bought or used any of them as a result.

    I bought the A7 hopeful that it would work well with my R lenses, but after a year and a half using it, and seeing the results with the same lenses that came out of the M-P, I just couldn't deal with the A7 system anymore and opted out.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... My DMR remark is based on experience. I had a ton invested in R gear, with film quickly becoming a non-option for the clients I served. Hanging onto a discontinued 10 meg, crop frame, low ISO camera and discontinued lens system with batteries that became rarer and rarer, forced a decision. I could not wait indefinitely for an R digital replacement with R lenses sitting fallow on a shelf. I'm not a lens collector, I'm a lens user. To me, that is the very definition of "obsolete" for a working photographer. It felt similar to the debacle I experienced with Contax: the Contax 645 with ProBack and Contax N to ND system being discontinued and Kyocera exiting the camera business. No path forward at a time when digital was just getting going and lots of advancements on the horizon.
    ...
    So you were frustrated by your R8/R9/DMR experience. However, relative to my statement, the DMR was available for six years (longer than anything Sony has made) and brought those bodies forward into the digital era pretty competently ... to the point where people still remember them fondly despite the five years from when they were gone to when the SL happened along. And there seem to be a number of folks still using them despite being well obsolete now.

    Obviously the Leica DMR was not the solution for your needs. A Nikon or Canon ... or Sony of course ... suits your needs better. Nothing wrong with that. When I was in the business, I followed my needs and bought/sold whatever gear got me where I needed to be to get jobs and a paycheck. That was Nikon for the longest time, with dalliances into Contax and Canon. And then when things turned digital, it was Pentax, then FourThirds with both Panasonic and Olympus, and Micro-FourThirds at the end when I closed the business in 2010. Since then, I do photography without considering jobs and assignments other than the ones I assign myself, and use whatever equipment gets me where I want in that.

    But this business about the DMR is neither here nor there in the context of my response to the question of this thread, just as how good or bad one might consider the Leica SL to be. I'm happy with the gear I have now, it does what I want and produces the photos I want to make very nicely, and I'm in the process of getting rid of all the excess that I've gone through along the way to figure that out. The Sony A9, for good or bad, is completely out of my radar and I have zero interest in it. The only reason I responded on this thread at all was because it seemed to be posed as a challenge to Leica and SL owners: What I wrote should be read as a dismissal, not a disparagement, because I don't see the point of such a discussion.

    Now if the OP had written "Leica SL or Sony A9 ... Which should I choose?" that's a subject worth of some discussion since the A9 is, for all intents and purposes, Sony's response to the Leica SL. It's not automatically a better or more desirable piece of equipment, but the two cameras are similar in specification and could stand to be compared objectively and with a thought to what each offers as advantage and disadvantage.

    But that never seems to happen any more. The discussion always seems to become this absurd religious recitation about how snooty Leica owners are, how expensive and behind the curve Leica equipment is, and how state of the art Sony equipment is. I'm kinda sick of it.

    G
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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    Godfrey, we are probably hogging this thread to much, but a competitive comparison was probably inevitable sooner than later ... in this case sooner ... so soon that no one can evaluate the A9 verses similar choices other than on paper.

    Perhaps all this "brand angst" can be attributed to simple human responses based on personal preferences?

    Sony chose to position themselves as a technological innovator for the crowd that demands relentless change ... ever forward, never look back. Not surprising in a digital age with photographers that enjoy mastering such gear. Also not surprising given the entrenched market dominated by Canon/Nikon that Minolta or Contax could not dislodge. So, Sony paved its way forward by changing the marketplace with innovative sensors and mirrorless cameras.

    However, that doesn't mean that everyone has to participate in every step they take. One can reach into that rushing river of change, snatch out what fits their needs and stick with it ... which is what I've done ... so, I do not care what's next until my needs change. I contend that constantly swapping out your equipment like a change of underwear makes it difficult to really get to the point that it is second nature ... especially with complex cameras like Sony makes. Yet, I will acknowledge that there are those who are more tech savvy and faster on the uptake than I am.

    You certainly do not have to explain the Leica backlash to me. I've been a M shooter forever and collected screw mounts (which I also shot with). Used Leica SLR cameras for a zillion years (including all Leicaflex and Rs up to the R9). I always loved the feel in hand and sense mechanical perfection ... and of course the lenses ... all at a hefty-hefty-hefty premium ... which every Leica basher loves to point out and attribute as photographic gear for the indolent rich ... which in some cases they are, and that pisses off the real photographers who do use Leica for real reasons to do serious photography.

    This conflict between the more traditional approach using technology in measured doses verses technological upticks in heaping helpings became very apparent to me as Leica struggled to find its way in the digital age ... as evidenced by the progression of the M camera. The influx of people wanting all sorts of add-ons to the M became a loud voice in conflict with the simple rangefinder lovers like myself. The result was an ever bloated camera with all sorts of abilities most of which were technologically still-born compared to competitive cameras including Sony. Thankfully, the M10 signals a return to sanity on the part of Leica ... which of course others who liked all the tech stuff would dispute. Then there have been all the struggles with technology that Leica has experienced that impacts value perceptions. This has even put off many die-hard Leica users, which is too bad.

    - Marc

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    Re: What's the rationale for the SL after the Sony A9 announcement?

    This is why I shoot film.
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