How long will we use digital M bodies (ie how long will Leica repair them)

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by didier, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. I wanted to report you a discussion I had yesterday with a Leica Dealer in Paris.
    He told me the M8 was already not repairable any more, as some parts were not available any more (for example, don't break your screen, there are not made, nor available any more). The M9 will follow the same path in a few years according to him...
    Where are those days when you bought a Leica for the 30 years (or more) to come ?
    Ok I know, it's technology, programmed obsolescence, and so on.
    But what will differentiate Leica from other manufacturers if their products won't be repairable after 5 years ? I buy Leicas for the results, the Joy of using them, but also for their reliability and possibility to having them repaired.
    Even if Leica has become more of a luxury brand, I don't think it can last if its products are not long-lasting. Luxury is also about durability. Buy a fine watch, you'll have it for a Lifetime.
    If Leica goes from photography to luxury, it must even more so be able to guarantee an outsanding and durable quality.
    What do you think ?
    Didier
     
  2. I guess you have to buy a new Leica today for different reasons than you did 20 or 50 years ago.
    Things change.
     
  3. I agree. But with so many parts sourced from other manufacturers, it is a lottery. My Nikon Coolpix 4500 is still in perfect
    working order and ten years old now. I hope to get the same life out of my M9-P and Monochrom. More than that might be
    a bonus. If three or four even five successive M series digital cameras all become unrepairable within five years of release then I think their reputation will be seriously damaged. I hope they would do a great deal to stop that happening. The ME is recent release and current, as is the Monochrom. Here's hoping.
     
  4. Why I'm not spending a lot of money on ANY digital stuff. I'm all 35 year old Leicas and Nikon's, except for one digital Nikon from 2008.
     
  5. Funny, I still think in terms of film and film cost ... that is, how much do I need to shoot for a digital body to pay for itself in terms of film. On that basis my two RD-1's have paid for themselves many, many times over and I now consider them fully depreciated. I have also assumed that the RD-1's are virtually non-repairable, except for the mechanical aspects (rangefinder calibration and so on). I never had confidence in their warranty service and was lucky I didn't need it. On this comparison-to-film cost basis I should have gotten rid of my M8 a long time ago simply because I consider it a terribly limited, black and white only platform. Now you've got me thinking again.
     
  6. Just thinking about it a bit more ... if one is a pro, serious amateur, or otherwise a very heavy shooter, I think even a very pricy digital M can be economical. However, for a person who wants to buy the "prestige" logo and takes out the machine a couple times a year (christmas and maybe the two-week vacation), he's risking a lot ... that guy is better off shooting with his phone. You've got to take the machine out and work it a lot to make it pay.
     
  7. with so many parts sourced from other manufacturers, it is a lottery​
    The only thing "premium" about digital M camera bodies is the price - certainly not the quality of the components being used.
    I guess you have to buy a new Leica today for different reasons than you did 20 or 50 years ago. Things change.​
    +1
     
  8. ph.

    ph.

    Things get abandoned for different reasons:
    -fashion changes (top hats are no longer that common, fashionistas want smartphones)
    -innovations replace them (the dilligence replaced by cars, buses,trains&planes)
    -they are damaged and costly to repair (shoes & fridges)
    -they are impossible to repair since parts do not exist (ancient integrated circuits, old lenses)
    -they are not designed to be repaired so as to sell more or to sell cheaper.
    In the imaging field manual lenses- such as those still made by Zeiss and Leica, will survive the alphabet soup variety crammed with micromotors and electronics. Since they also are fairly close to what can be achieved given the laws of physics, they will survive and be adapted to new devices until physical damage gets them in the end.
    Fashion, convenience, increasing (or decreasing) global wealth, plus science and technology will push the evolution of the boxes timing the exposure and recording the image. Given past experience with other mass produced things, decennial repairability seems unlikely.
    p
     
  9. Yes, just think of that $4,000-$5,000 Leica as a disposable camera with with an assumed operating life of X years, after which it becomes a paperweight. Harsh, but kinda true ...
     
  10. Progress is so fast in semiconductor production technology, that it just isn't long until a particular integrated circuit is no longer available. Especially large-scale chips like in digital cameras.
    Thus, they are all "disposable".
    Lenses with no electronics in them are long-term investments. Anything with electronics in it is an expense, not "capital".
    We've also got the tin-whisker problems dooming circuit boards, since the EU went "over the top" in the RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) regulations, banning the use of lead in solder in consumer electronics. This was a crock, because solder without lead in it grows tin whisker crystals that short out the circuits within 10 years. So any autofocus lens with a motor in it is a time bomb. Same with any digital camera.
    RoHS was stupid to ban lead in solder, because the lead in the waste stream came from color CRTs (which are now obsolete), but the tin whiskers mean that there will be a lot more electronics in the waste stream.
     
  11. 14 months ago Leica declared they want to grant repairability for at least 10 years after end of production and patching customer satisfaction with discounts on upgrades. Learning from previous mistakes they also developed sensor image processor and card writing for the M (240) themselves to hold the IP on those units and replace manufacturers as needed.
    I hope they'll jump on the Sony OX 100 bandwagon soon and simply bungee a random smartphone to a next M's back.
     
  12. " If three or four even five successive M series digital cameras all become unrepairable within five years of release then I think their reputation will be seriously damaged "
    I agree with you Richard. If Leica don't consider themselves as a photography brand, they should remember luxury is about durability.

    " 14 months ago Leica declared they want to grant repairability for at least 10 years after end of production and patching customer satisfaction with discounts on upgrades "
    Jochen, hope they'll stick to that ! (the M8 is older than this declaration)
     
  13. ' " 14 months ago Leica declared they want to grant repairability for at least 10 years after end of production and patching customer satisfaction with discounts on upgrades "
    Jochen, hope they'll stick to that ! (the M8 is older than this declaration)'
    The M8 isn't much older than the declaration ... that the M8 doesn't appear to be covered already does not bode well.
    Even if Leica does live up to that shaky promise, the fact remains that when you go digital you give up the value for a lifetime paradigm. The aftermarket value of a mechanical Leica M body has been pretty reliable, despite inevitable cyclicality. The aftermarket value of a Digital M body is going to go in only one direction over time.
     
  14. So all M series cameras are going to grow tin whiskers and fail after 10 years, and there is nothing that Leica can do about it, or want to do about it, and their key parts are going to fail and become unavailable and the worst is, THEY DON'T CARE. They are just in the game to rip off the punters.
    I bet the Chinese and Japanese camera makers can use all the lead they want in their solder, and thus guarantee a long lasting quality product. If only all Leica production was moved to China, we would get longer lasting, better made and cheaper Leicas.
    Give us a break. Leica digitals are digital cameras like all other digital cameras. Happy New Year
     
  15. I sure hope this isn't true since I have an M8. The physical construction of the M8 seems pretty close to the construction
    of my M2 but of course the weakness tends to be the electronics. I have had cameras that were premium for their time be
    labelled unrepairable (The Contax RTS I for instance). That hardly ever happens with mechanical cameras but even there
    there has to be someone out there making the repairs and how long will there be someone working on Leica IIIs.


    It does give me pause though. I'm still debating buying an M9 (at about $4000) vs. a Sony A7R (at about $2300) and I
    can't help but think if I'm going to suffer obsolescence I might as well do it at 2 grand cheaper with a new camera with a
    warranty.


    I have to agree with the posters. What keeps Leica users loyal to Leica is at least partially the committment to keep them
    running beyond the time a normal (sane) manufacturer would declare them obsolete. Leica has to address this -- possibly
    with good discounts on newer (refurbished) cameras?


    Oh, and one more issue, the M8 still takes great pictures. It's rare that the IR sensitivity causes me issues and when it
    does, I can screw on a filter. Also the IR sensitivity allows me to do IR pictures at handholdable speeds which is a
    capability that even my modern cameras lack.
     
  16. Economies here are difficult to calculate. Had I bought the X-Pro 1 in March of 2012, I would certainly have bought three lenses, and likely continued to buy more. And still I would have ended up with an M9 too. So I just bought the M9-P and have foregone the X-Pro 1 and all those lenses, a considerable saving. Someone on RFF thought the extra money for the M9-P was naive or stupid, but the LCD is sapphire glass and much less likely to be damaged. I have taken 11,000 photos in 18 months, but this includes a lot of shots I would not have taken on film, especially a lot of trial and error shots getting the composition perfect because it was possible, often leaving off an external finder as I knew I could check the result. Five years will certainly see me pay for the M9-P. I won't be buying any of the Sony's I don't think, good though they must be.
     
  17. I'd like to see VC come out with a full frame upgrade to the RD-1s ... call it an RD-2 or whatever, with an M-mount, at under half the cost of a digital M. They're both disposable in the digital paradigm.
    Not too long ago, there was a clamor for a digital M and Leica responded. But in the old Leica style, with the M8, corrective filters, lens coding, special editions, commemorative editions, and so on. Wait for the Monochrom XX Special Commemorative Limited Edition Titanium Box Set with Titanium 50mm f0.95 Noctilux and a verbal grant of repairability for 10 years at a cool price of maybe $50,000.
    Did you see what the Limited Edition M9-P Hermes Titanium went for? Did those go into a sealed safe deposit box as a collector's item? Wonder what the market for that bad boy is going to look like in 10 years. Will you be bidding on the body or the lenses in 2024?
    Leica's had a good time inflating the prices of its digital platforms. The M8, whatever its strong and weak points, has already become something of an orphan, and a number of Leica's newer digital platforms are likely to go the same way ... how many Monochroms is Leica likely to ship? Its business model has a key flaw ... the real long term value is in the glass, and it's lost the patent on the M-Mount.
    I'd worry if Leica's able to change the M-Mount ... provide an adapter to guarantee forward compatibility of old lenses to the new mount, but prevent backwards compatibility to the old M's. If it can be done, I bet it would only be done as a response to something like an M-Mount RD-2 cannibalizing digital M sales.
     
  18. Btw, way cool that Richard's pounded out 11,000 frames in 18 months, because that's the kind of use that makes a digital M platform economical.
     
  19. M8 was introduced in September 2006 and the M8-2 was introduced in September 2008. As I understand Leica cannot replace the LCD screens on these cameras should they become damaged. For M8-2 owners thats not too great some people likely have cameras they bought less than 5 years ago that cannot be repaired it's very good for M8 either.
     
  20. The RD-2 isn't really needed. It already exists with modern mirrorless cameras. If I buy an A7R I get a great full frame
    platform for my M lenses. It wouldn't be an M camera of course but neither is the RD-1. Leica's response to this is the
    Leica M-E at $5400. The cheaper version of this is the Nex 6 (admittedly APS-C).


    Leica isn't going to make a $2500 camera with an M form factor. The only alternative is to make the premium option work.
    The cameras MUST be repairable for a period which would be ludicrous for Sony or Nikon or Canon. I think they have to
    repair them for at least 15 years or provide alternatives like rebuilding your M8 as a M9 or an M or accepting the
    unrepairable cameras for deep discounts on new models or refurbished former models. Otherwise the economics won't
    work even for real Leica fans (that aren't wealthy). It's one thing to pay a premium for a camera that will last for decades
    physically but what is the point when it will be unrepairable in 5 years?


    If Leica sunsets repairs at 5 years, it might as well only make gold plated models because they can't be practical at that system.
     
  21. Meanwhile, my Rolleis, M3's and Nikon F's just keep on chuggin'.
     
  22. "The only alternative is to make the premium option work."
    Something about the premium option doesn't compute. Seriously, what's the rationalle for buying a $20,000 - $50,000 Limited Edition M9-P set? Apparently they sold. But while I can see a collector putting away a mechanical M that will last a lifetime, why pay up for something that's going to be non-repairable in 10 years and obsolete even sooner?
    That's another question: is there a collector's market for digital M's?
     
  23. It's the way it is. Leica is at the mercy of their electronic component suppliers. Some components such
    as LCD screens, custom integrated circuits (even some commodity integrate circuits), sensors, etc will
    have a finite lifetime. In the case of custom ICs it can be due to older processes becoming obsolete. When they're gone, they're gone. As an example, it would be much too costly for Leica
    to take on redesigning even five year old custom ICs in newer processes just to handle spares.
     
  24. Is this pessimists corner?
    Leica still supports my old Digilux 2. It's part of what you are paying for when you buy a Leica. Yes electronics are different but repair
    centers are about repair not just replacement.
    Reminds me a little of the old Routemaster bus. After 30 years no new engines left, " Hey Alan, what sort of engines do we have left on
    the shelf?" " Big ones? They'll do, bring one over we'll try It in this bus."
    Have faith, Leica is not a throw away obsolence company.
    Robert.
    P.S. The new Routemaster is also not bad.
     
  25. >>> Yes electronics are different but repair centers are about repair not just replacement.

    But if an electronic component such as a custom IC fails, and has been discontinued by the manufacturer with no supply,
    how is the repair going to be made?
     
  26. I presume that Leica endeavors to stock enough spare parts to meet their 10-year commitment. But they probably have under-estimated the failure/damage rate for some of the parts, like the M8 LCD. Hopefully they will learn from their mistakes in this area.
    One good thing about semiconductor manufacturers. They have a very formal "last call" process, when they will be shutting down the ability to manufacture a particular IC. You make a "last buy", and hope that you've stocked up enough of them.
    Now, maybe there was too much subcontracting in the M8 project to have Leica be the customer able to do that "last buy". Plus, since Leica no longer has an ongoing business relationship with the M8 subcontractor, that could be part of the problem.
     
  27. Let me think...Jaguars are made in India, Rolls Royces are made by Volkswagen, a Japanese-made camera actually made in Japan is a collector's item, one short-run Leica is actually made in Germany (probably by Turks), Apple is making some of its flashy gizmos in the US of A.
    Hummm...it is truly a new world and I think it stinks. Anybody know where I can buy a good film Nicca cheap? I had an M2R but foolishly got rid of it.
     
  28. >>> One good thing about semiconductor manufacturers. They have a very formal "last call" process,
    when they will be shutting down the ability to manufacture a particular IC. You make a "last buy", and hope
    that you've stocked up enough of them.

    Yep. As one who worked for a small fabless semiconductor manufacturer producing specialized full-custom CMOS ASICs, and who has had to advise
    customers about a process going obsolete and offering a last buy (not a pleasant call), it is amazing how some companies
    eventually got caught with not enough inventory having underestimated their needs, or the seriousness of
    the situation. The cost to redesign and produce chips in a newer process can run into the millions.
     
  29. Yes they are at the mercy of electronics quality and MTBF. They have to either stock a LOT of parts (in a way they
    wouldn't if the cameras were 2-3 thousand instead of 5-7 thousand) or they need to have an upgrade path. I know that is
    potentially HARD, but if they can't keep the M8 and M9 working for literally decades, they need to offer the customer with
    a non-working machine a viable upgrade path.
     
  30. I'm curious what a truly viable upgrade path would look like ... would it come in the form of a robust, upgradable M10 platform, modular construction with upgradable firmware, or a trade-in and upgrade plan with discounts? The components of such an upgrade path would seem to be inter-linked and have an impact on product pricing ...
     
  31. Well, a Leica for me is very much about the" for ever thing"; why else would you part with the big bucks? Okay, some folks with pockets of gold....but they are still into the forever thing. That is the deal.
    Yes, there are other factors, but really.....being honest, you want your Leica to be a... for ever camera.....be honest.
    My son will inherit my Leica not some piece of clapped out electronics.
    The real world Leica.
    Your market don't piss it of.... or, it will be "good night Vienna".
    The last tune played.
     
  32. A friend.
     
  33. Oh boy, here we go again.
    Don't you folks see the obvious solution here?
    Digital back for all M cameras! When the electronics go belly up and are unrepairable just get the current replacement digital back for your film M. If it is within 10 years and Leica cannot repair your digital back then they give you a 50% discount on the current back. If it is less than 5 years and they have run out of parts they have to give you 75% discount on the new back.
    And, while you are waiting for an answer from Leica on a faulty back, you can always clip the hinged pressure plate and bottom back on and shoot some film.
    After all, from the M3 foward Leica's all have removeable hinged backs and bottom plates. (that is a guess, don't know that for sure) So why not design a replacement digital back and bottom plate/grip (to house the battery) that makes a film M into a digital M. Completly reverseable if you get sick of digital and want to return to film.
    Simple, no?
     
  34. "Don't you folks see the obvious solution here?
    Digital back for all M cameras!"
    John, agreed. Talk of digital backs died when the M8 was released. Time to revive the concept.
     
  35. Gary Leonard , Dec 31, 2013; 04:40 p.m.
    Let me think...Jaguars are made in India, Rolls Royces are made by Volkswagen, a Japanese-made camera actually made in Japan is a collector's item, one short-run Leica is actually made in Germany (probably by Turks), Apple is making some of its flashy gizmos in the US of A.
    Hummm...it is truly a new world and I think it stinks.​
    Correct me if I am wrong, Gary, but it just stinks some racism above.
    Koray
     
  36. If Leica was charging half the price for its entry level digital M cameras, there wouldn't be much fuss about this issue. If the electronics are not up to it, why still use all these premium shell and knob materials? I am pretty sure that there are many corners in Leica M-E where cost cutting measures can further be applied. For instance, why not a die-cast magnesium body shell and top plate, instead of milled brass? While you are there why not get rid of bottom cover, altogether? Good riddance with the frame-line actuator, by the way.
    But of course, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be premium versions, all I am suggesting is a real entry level digital M, with rangefinder and all...
    Koray
     
  37. " all I am suggesting is a real entry level digital M, with rangefinder and all..."
    Yep, it's called an RD-2, or XPRO-2, and it would still be a disposable camera.
    Whoever produces the RD-2, XPRO-2 analogue "with rangefinder an' all" will eat Leica's lunch and force them to consider a change to the M-Mount. We're not far from that by the way, it's only a matter of time because the technology is there.
    Whoever produces a digital back for mechanical M's will do the same.
     
  38. Roger,
    "Meanwhile, my Rolleis, M3's and Nikon F's just keep on chuggin'."
    so do all our film Ms !
    The digital back would be a wonderful solution indeed !!!
    Or, as said above, a replacement / upgrade programm of the M in order to keep it working and up to date. This would sure be a great differentiation for Leica, in order to keep their high end / high quality status.
    It would also be a very logical step towards the end of "programmed obsolescence".
    Leica could become an innovator again...

    and happy new year to all off you !
    Didier
     
  39. (1st post lost in the cloud)
    I like the concept of the upgradable digital back with the ~perpetual shell.
    However I would worry about an ~innovation winter for the shell.
    We could end up with something equivalent to a Ford type T car with a Tesla-like electric engine..
     
  40. Leica has a history of upgrading old Leicas to the standard of the then modern Leica. This may or may not be possible in
    the current era, but that is the standard that Leica has set. The digital back idea is attractive, but would the result be too
    bulky or heavy and is it feasible with the Leica's registration distance? I don't know.


    I'm not sure if the shell of the M and the M9 and the M8 are sufficiently similar so that you could change out the internal
    electronics, but if so, and if the upgrade price was reasonable -- say $4000 to upgrade an M8 to an M or $3000 to
    upgrade an M9 to an M then it could work. Then that fancy casework and chrome means something again.


    About the RD-1, remember it was APS, right? So how is the Nex-7 not equivalent to a RD-2? Or the M8 for that matter?
    Is it the optical rangefinder you are looking for?
     
  41. Maybe the lack of number on the new M means that Leica may be considering future upgrades of sensors or other parts? Perhaps not, but the new M can at least be thought of as a digital back for those with R optics who had been left out in the cold in recent years.
    Expensive, but if it is upgradable in future years at a lower than new Leica camera cost that may turn out to be a gain for photographers needing the latest in digital camera specifications.
     
  42. "About the RD-1, remember it was APS, right? So how is the Nex-7 not equivalent to a RD-2? Or the M8 for that matter? Is it the optical rangefinder you are looking for?" - David
    Yes, RD-2 equivalent should be a low cost entry-level digital M type platform. Doesn't really matter who builds it. Specs:
    1. M-Mount
    2. Full Frame
    3. optical rangefinder, manual focus, effective base length 24.5 mm or higher
    4. construction no lighter than RD-1 or Bessa R2
    5. High ISO performance at least as good as RD-1 (that's not asking much)
    I don't think that's too much to ask for at a price half the cost of an M9 especially if built by a third party.
    I'd do without live view and all the other doohickys. As far as innovation goes, to me Leica M is a retro platform anyway. I don't need a digital movie camera in an M. I don't need the thing linked to my iPhone. I don't need to book movie tickets on a touch screen and I don't need to auto-post my proofs to Facebook and whatever else the phone marketers dream up. Back in 2005, all most of us wanted was a digital M2 that produced quality images. Now they're building features I don't need or want into a package of dubious repairability and inflating prices.
     
  43. "Now they're building features I don't need or want into a package of dubious repairability and inflating prices."

    Yep. I'd love a back to the basics M (240), without motor, without liveview. I could even go without screen.. a part that Leica would not have to worry about being able to replace 5 years after the camera launch... ;-)
     
  44. ph.

    ph.

    Those who made do with primitive film technology had to wait ages to see the results,
    - so a primitive digital with no screen would be suitable punishment for criticizing flip ups, wifi etc. It would also force you to only use raw files, since in-camera conversion for viewing would be unnecessary and left out.
    In film times , one also had to make do with hand delivery of pictures,
    - so a deeply unfashionable lack of battery-draining & internet-interfering transmitters would be just the thing for retrophiliacs getting what they deserve for carping about featuritis.
    These days, however, stuffing a camera with new abilities may paradoxically be cheaper than making a purists instrument. The integrated circuits may include all the junk already, and sales to the feature hungry may be much larger than to the few who can manage without. Larger production runs might then lower manufacturer costs.
    The digital Leica that would really unmask those backward-looking oldtimers and their deluded young followers, and at the same time really offend some of them, would be
    -a M3 size body (not the more recent fatter versions),
    -no rangefinder, but Olympus\Fuji\Sony style electronic viewfinder inside, without the ugly hump.
    -one-button on\off 10xmagnified central window, no chance of moving it, so focus point is definite.
    -Kodak DCS\M8 type colours, but Sony resolution and low-noise high ISO without NR.
    -simple M6 style switch for setting ISO, no faffing around with menus.
    -no screen to get broken even if the lens survives when you drop the camera
    -no in-camera treatment of the files except fast storage of raw file on the SD card.
    -no cine ability, leave that to Red etc.
    -speed-dial features from Contax RTS (high speeds + auto+ exposure comp )=full control
    The product should ideally be launched as "the poor mans Leica" with a suitably low price, lack of advertising and perhaps a black "Ernst Leitz" badge to identify those ingnorant, unfashionable cheapskates who buy this useless, outdated instrument.
    Given todays commercial environment, however, it might just as well be launched as the ultimate, doubly expensive camera for ignorami who only take pictures and visit slow-food restaurants. If so, it might perhaps be launched with radar-reflecting-glow-in-the-dark Leica badges front,top and bottom, so that sales to fashionistas could also be suitably high.
    p.
     
  45. P H aren't you describing the Sony A7 and A7R? About the size of the M3, EVF but no optical viewfinder. One button
    magnification, easy ISO set (button and dial I think if my Nex7 is an indicator)? Doesn't have everything you want but no
    moire filter and 36MP and with one adapter it's got a Leica M mount.


    I'm still trying to talk myself into a M9 (used) but the A7R is a bit seductive. I'd like to see your camera though, but at
    about $4000 max.
     
  46. What did You expect?
    The first time I heard about digital Leica and it's price I was thinking the same; "It's just fancy electronic device, quite fragile... it will last 5, maybe 8 years"... ...and was surprised that people don't get it and pay top $$ for it...
    It's amazing...

    Frederick nailed it perfectly...
    Frederick Muller , Dec 29, 2013; 02:15 p.m.
    "Yes, just think of that $4,000-$5,000 Leica as a disposable camera with with an assumed operating life of X years, after which it becomes a paperweight. Harsh, but kinda true ..."
     
  47. ph.

    ph.

    DWG:
    Sony is making progress, but with too many frills to eat battery power and go wrong . The Sony is not yet entirely pocket friendly with its extra hump, but the company is a past master of miniturization, so if they decide that an SLR appearance is unneccesary, it may disappear. It also has a picture quality problem. The 7R made cornermush when used with 15mm, so their sensors still need development.
    It also has a back screen and offers in- camera processing rather than just raw only storage. In-camera- processing is brilliant in saving post-processing, but superflous if the image is going to be 16bit edited anyway.
    In-camera processing also tempts producers to use electronic tricks to mask what used to be regarded as optical faults in their lenses.
    That users are not being allowed freedom to choose between vignetting and more corner noise, between distortion or interpolated pixels and loss of detail, may not be seen as problematical. The consequence, however, is that new, future-proof lens constructions that do not depend on immediate correction, (but if one wishes can be tweaked in post processing) may become few and far between.
    In the longer term, integrated electronics is essential for making better total systems with lenses less well corrected for some faults. This is fine for obtaining the best integrated system at a lower immediate cost, but a problem when cameras die, makers merge or go out of business and their optical and software wizardry follow them into obscurity. Seen any new Kodak DCSprofiles recently?
    p.
     
  48. Unfortunately Frederick and others (myself included)...we're OLD.
    I sell Leica's (one of the largest photo retailers in Canada).
    Of the Leica M's and Monochrom's I've sold, the majority have gone to younger photographers (say under 30), quite a few of whom have never used film.
    This is the demographic that is buying the majority of Leica product these days...younger, brought up on digital and lots of disposable income (the amateurs who purhase Nikon D4's and Canon 1Dx's far outnumber the pros).
    This demographic, like it or not wants video, instant playback and all the other bells and whistles.
    I don't like it either...but it's the way it is.
     
  49. Electronic gadgets get old and outdated and eventually they break and they get tossed out or recycled.
     
  50. I wanted to report you a discussion I had yesterday with a Leica Dealer in Paris.​
    Unless the dealer representative was willing to back up his statements with more information from the company, I would not have taken them at face value. It wouldn't be the first time a store representative fed some misinformation, intentional or otherwise, to expedite the sale of a new product by having the customer believe his current model will be obsolete in short order.
    Until there's some definitive policy announcement from Leica, or at least the same information from multiple sources, I'd take such proclamations with a grain of salt.
     

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