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How long before Leica dumps the RF in favour of an EVF?
Old 07-07-2015   #1
Keith
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How long before Leica dumps the RF in favour of an EVF?

Or maybe a hybrid finder like the Fuji X100?

I can't remember the last time I used the optical finder on my 240 and if it had a built in EVF that didn't black out for a few seconds after exposure the way the clip on example does I'd be one happy camper! And surely the manufacturing costs of an EVF would be less than the current rangefinder mechanism.

No doubt some of you out there will think is total heresy!
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Old 07-07-2015   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
No doubt some of you out there will think is total heresy!
Yep. Total heresy, from my POV. The only point, to me, of a digital M is that it has the OVF/RF. But that's just me. Even if Leica never makes another, it's no skin off my nose because I'm sticking with the one I have (if only because I couldn't afford to buy another).

...Mike
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Old 07-07-2015   #3
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Leica will probably keep on making both. The Q has an excellent EVF, the M has a superb OVF. Enough for both groups of customers.
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Old 07-07-2015   #4
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I can't imagine the M is going anywhere... not until it has no fans and no longer sells.
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Old 07-07-2015   #5
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To me, not using the optical rangefinder on an M is like sitting inside a Nissan GT-R and then play a car racing game on a tablet instead of driving the real thing.
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Old 07-07-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox View Post
To me, not using the optical rangefinder on an M is like sitting inside a Nissan GT-R and then play a car racing game on a tablet instead of driving the real thing.


True I guess!

I haven't seen much of you around here of late ..... or maybe I just didn't notice!
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Old 07-07-2015   #7
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I use both, together, a good bit of the time. I'm pretty happy with the M-P just as it is.

I'm pretty sure Leica will continue making an optical viewfinder M for quite a while. I'm fairly certain that they'll also start making an EVF M at some point.

I don't know for sure that a suitable EVF represents much of a reduction in manufacturing cost.

G
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Old 07-07-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox View Post
To me, not using the optical rangefinder on an M is like sitting inside a Nissan GT-R and then play a car racing game on a tablet instead of driving the real thing.
Nicely put. No zoom zoom for me.
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Old 07-07-2015   #9
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rangefinder didn't disappear with previous technical innovations, decades ago, enter the R-system for example.
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Old 07-07-2015   #10
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Never.

Leica still makes new film cameras. So why wouldn't the optical RF will always be available as well? The price to own one will keep increasing (beyond inflationary normalization).

The economics of optical RF is interesting as it is both a value added feature and expensive to manufacture. And the demand is small yet constant. The final cost is not just due to the difference between EVF and RF production economics.

The Fujifilm solution works for me. Other find it completely unacceptable. Viva la difference!
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Old 07-07-2015   #11
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hope they integrate an EVF but definitely keep the RF. Plus, the battery life with just the RF will always be better.
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Old 07-07-2015   #12
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When enough people stop buying them, Leica will stop making them.
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Old 07-07-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
True I guess!

I haven't seen much of you around here of late ..... or maybe I just didn't notice!
Yes, I haven't been here as often as I'd like to be in the past few months. Heck! I just developed my first roll of film in 2015 last Saturday
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Old 07-07-2015   #14
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I'm not sure that they will give up on the optical ever, but I can see the time where they make a EVF with the same basic body (e.g. support M mount glass) as the film based bodies. A lot of the decision I think has to do with quality of the EVF compared to an optical (e.g. sharpness, responsiveness). My guess it will take another couple or three generations for engineering.

I think EVFs are SLRs without the hump (often, but not always). There is something about the window on the front of a camera. Perhaps the hybrid will be the way they go. I'd be OK with that as some times if feel like a nut (use SLRs for long glass) and some times I don't (wide glass on a optical viewfinder).

If I were pressed to put a date on when we might see one from Leica I'd say about 2020.

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Old 07-07-2015   #15
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Hi,

Well, they've experience of them from the Digilux 2, so I guess we shall just have to wait and see. A pity they don't do a full frame (meaning 24 x 36 mm) dSLR so we could snatch up all those cheapo R series lenses and use them for what they do best on a Leica body...

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Old 07-07-2015   #16
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When an M-mount camera with only an EVF appears, it will be in addition to the current RF-based camera style. That's my expectation, though I would be very pleasantly surprised if Leica offers a hybrid solution in the near future.

I would think it will take at least a few product cycles for EVF to supplant the RF. I would ideally like a hybrid solution built into the camera, rather than as an add-on, to allow faster switching and eliminate the need to carry another accessory. My current technique when using live view is to focus wide angle lenses with the RF and compose with the LCD or EVF display. I'll use the EVF to double check critical focus with the 90, but will often focus it first with the RF, especially if it's a moving subject or I'm stopped down a fair ways and absolute focus is less critical. IMO, in many situations I photograph, RF remains much faster to use for precise focusing and I would be reluctant to lose its versatility.
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Old 07-07-2015   #17
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We can certainly say the Q may be a test to see if people want an EVF-only Leica. If it succeeds, it could turn into a M mount camera. I would agree that it would be in addition to a rangefinder M.
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Old 07-07-2015   #18
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if Leica decides to move to EVF, they'll be just one of the many mirrorless cameras out there.

I shoot Leica because it's a rangefinder, otherwise I would just get a Sony
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Old 07-07-2015   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taemo View Post
if Leica decides to move to EVF, they'll be just one of the many mirrorless cameras out there.

I shoot Leica because it's a rangefinder, otherwise I would just get a Sony
Agreed. I think the M is its main reason for existing as a company.
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Old 07-07-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taemo View Post
if Leica decides to move to EVF, they'll be just one of the many mirrorless cameras out there.

I shoot Leica because it's a rangefinder, otherwise I would just get a Sony
That's not much of an endorsement. I tossed the Sony A7 because I didn't like the clumsy controls, chaotic menus, poor workflow, and mediocre ergonomics. Good sensor, however, and a decent viewfinder ... But working those two against all the other negatives produced nowhere near as nice a camera to work with as the Olympus E-M1 or Leica M-P.

I do expect Leica to make an interchangeable lens EVF camera at some point soon. Whether it's labeled M or not is mostly a matter of branding and product differentiation. But I'm sure they'll be producing M rangefinder cameras for some time to come as well.

G
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Old 07-07-2015   #21
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Q (and T) are probably also a test to see people reactions to a non RF cameras. I only tried the T (Q all agree to be better) and I find the EVF acceptable.
robert
PS: not sure about AF in a non OVF camera...
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Old 07-07-2015   #22
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I shoot with both an EVF camera and a Leica M9/Monochrom. For some photography the EVF is the better choice, while the optical range finder is superior for others. Perhaps at some point advances in technology will allow the EVF to replace the range finder, but that is not the case at present IMO.
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Old 07-07-2015   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I do expect Leica to make an interchangeable lens EVF camera at some point soon. Whether it's labeled M or not is mostly a matter of branding and product differentiation.
G
AS I just said I think the T could be a market test for that...
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Old 07-07-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
That's not much of an endorsement. I tossed the Sony A7 because I didn't like the clumsy controls, chaotic menus, poor workflow, and mediocre ergonomics. Good sensor, however, and a decent viewfinder ... But working those two against all the other negatives produced nowhere near as nice a camera to work with as the Olympus E-M1 or Leica M-P.

I do expect Leica to make an interchangeable lens EVF camera at some point soon. Whether it's labeled M or not is mostly a matter of branding and product differentiation. But I'm sure they'll be producing M rangefinder cameras for some time to come as well.

G
true, which is why I'm also about to sell my A7 and saving for an M9 or M240 again
for now the GR and X100T will have to do for digital for me.

my point is that the M and maybe S are their flagship and that most people that shots a Leica is for the RF experience.
they have released other cameras too that have proved unsuccessful, curious and hoping to see that the Q is a success though so that they may release a 35mm version.
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Old 07-07-2015   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
That's not much of an endorsement. I tossed the Sony A7 because I didn't like the clumsy controls, chaotic menus, poor workflow, and mediocre ergonomics. Good sensor, however, and a decent viewfinder ... But working those two against all the other negatives produced nowhere near as nice a camera to work with as the Olympus E-M1 or Leica M-P.

I do expect Leica to make an interchangeable lens EVF camera at some point soon. Whether it's labeled M or not is mostly a matter of branding and product differentiation. But I'm sure they'll be producing M rangefinder cameras for some time to come as well.

G
It's a cost-benefit thing, isn't it? To me, there's not much, if any, reason to spend on a Leica if it doesn't have the OVF and RF mechanism. There are a lot of EVF cameras out there to choose from, and we can each probably find one to suit our personal style. None of them will be perfect (I'm also shooting an EM-1 and I have major issues with its ergonomics and usability), but that's cameras, right?
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Old 07-07-2015   #26
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Hi,

Their strength, surely, is their lens design and manufacture?

Regards, David
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Old 07-07-2015   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Or maybe a hybrid finder like the Fuji X100?
If the optical path contains a real mechanical rangefinder as in current Leica-M cameras, I would really love that. Even the X100* without real RF are a joy to use in OVF mode. EVF lack some characteristics for me, although I use them, where needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I can't remember the last time I used the optical finder on my 240 and if it had a built in EVF that didn't black out for a few seconds after exposure the way the clip on example does I'd be one happy camper!
If you can't remember and really think, the EVF is better, then you should also think about, if the only reason for your M240 is to show off the Leica-logo... Because besides the RF, most other decent cameras are technically better and much cheaper at the same time. For the handling, Fujis would be a good alternative, for sensor performance probably Sony and so on. No reason to use a Leica M240 RF without using the RF. It is a clumsy and pretty ugly camera (and still my favourite, because of the combination of a real RF and digital).

Why do you still keep Leica, if the essence of the system doesn't appeal to you anymore? - I mean, nothing wrong with being irrational, but I think, there are cheaper and better methods to be irrational about photography...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
And surely the manufacturing costs of an EVF would be less than the current rangefinder mechanism.
Yes, and they keep getting better and better. Still, there is nothing like a real RF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
No doubt some of you out there will think is total heresy!
No. It's only... weird. Even with a red dot, I wouldn't recognize it as a Leica, I think, or as The Leica. It would be just a digicam like any other. I wouldn't take it, and if my M240 would be no more switch to Fuji and keep the M6 for the RF.
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Old 07-07-2015   #28
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Quote:
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Hi,

Their strength, surely, is their lens design and manufacture?
Yes, they really know how to make lenses. Cameras not so much anymore. If they would produce more lenses for other camera makers - Fuji for example...
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Old 07-07-2015   #29
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It's a cost-benefit thing, isn't it? To me, there's not much, if any, reason to spend on a Leica if it doesn't have the OVF and RF mechanism. There are a lot of EVF cameras out there to choose from, and we can each probably find one to suit our personal style. None of them will be perfect (I'm also shooting an EM-1 and I have major issues with its ergonomics and usability), but that's cameras, right?
I don't apply so rigorous a calculus about "cost-benefit" ratios. To me, the reasons to spend the money on a Leica are a) the lenses, b) excellent ergonomics, c) the lenses, d) simplicity in design, e) the service and support I've received from Leica USA and Leica dealers, and f) the lenses. Did I say I like the lenses? ;-) For all its drawbacks (price, sensitivity, etc), the M-P is the most overall delightful and productive camera I've owned in a while. AND the Leica X is the best fixed lens camera I've ever owned, bar none.

The E-M1 takes more study than any Leica to understand all the options, configure the camera, and take advantage of everything it offers. I went through that and have become completely comfortable with it. It suits me, even if I seriously under-use it because I'm using the Leica so much.

Nothing's perfect, for sure. Or ever will be.

G
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Old 07-07-2015   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Hi,

Their strength, surely, is their lens design and manufacture?

Regards, David
Quote:
Originally Posted by krötenblender View Post
Yes, they really know how to make lenses. Cameras not so much anymore. If they would produce more lenses for other camera makers - Fuji for example...
Far as I'm concerned, Leica always knew much more about making lenses than making camera bodies. But their skill at designing very usable, "simple to learn-easy to remember" bodies is second to none nowadays.

G
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Old 07-07-2015   #31
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My completely uneducated guess, is that in a couple of years there will be two full-frame, interchangeable-lens model lines from Leica:

- The classic 'M' with a mechanical, optical RF and a designed for manual focus M lenses. Priced similarly to current digital M's (say $10k per body).
- The modern M; essentially an interchangeable-lens Q, with EVF and a hybrid M-mount that allows for AF. Priced as a premium product but significantly below the classic M (say $5-6k per body). To be released with a new line of high-quality AF zooms and primes.

I think there will continue to be a significant market for folk who simple want an optical RF, regardless of whether an EVF is 'better', and will happily pay a premium for it.

Likewise, I think there's plenty of room in the market for a system that blends the best of Leica's traditional strengths (optical quality, mechanical user interface, build quality and tacticality, aesthetics etc) with genuinely modern advancements in camera tech (much as the Q has done).

Finally, I think splitting the line would allow the classic M to stay classic - ie. get rid of video and the EVF port and whatnot, and allow it to be the purest implementation of the digital M concept.
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Old 07-07-2015   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I don't apply so rigorous a calculus about "cost-benefit" ratios. To me, the reasons to spend the money on a Leica are a) the lenses, b) excellent ergonomics, c) the lenses, d) simplicity in design, e) the service and support I've received from Leica USA and Leica dealers, and f) the lenses. Did I say I like the lenses? ;-) For all its drawbacks (price, sensitivity, etc), the M-P is the most overall delightful and productive camera I've owned in a while. AND the Leica X is the best fixed lens camera I've ever owned, bar none.

The E-M1 takes more study than any Leica to understand all the options, configure the camera, and take advantage of everything it offers. I went through that and have become completely comfortable with it. It suits me, even if I seriously under-use it because I'm using the Leica so much.

Nothing's perfect, for sure. Or ever will be.

G
I don't mean a rigorous "cost-benefit analysis"... more than the principal reason I'm using a Leica is the optical viewfinder and rangefinder. If they took that away... I'd be hard pressed to find a reason to buy the Leica over a similar EVF camera. Ergonomics are ok to me... Software is also only ok. There are some great things, and some awful things, like most cameras I've used!

Sure, the lenses are great, but there are a lot of great lenses out there...

About the EM-1, it is really the most maddening camera I've yet to own. Button placement is just terrible, as in all the function buttons are exactly where they don't need to be, and not where they're easy to reach, the manual focus controls are an abject and utter failure (how many buttons do I have to press to get in and out of focus magnification?), and the configurability is just, well, so... limited! Yet the size is good, the AF is fast, and the f/2.8 normal zoom is good and, again, very well sized. So it gets used.
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Old 07-07-2015   #33
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I'm adding my two cents, never I hope, that's the magic of the Leica M.
The EVF at this point is crap I had a fuji X-E1 and it was a nightmare to
use the EVF, and that turned me back to Leica's

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Old 07-07-2015   #34
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..... I enjoy the optical view finder, I have yet to use the LV feature on my M-P 240.

I know I did not like the experience of using the electronic view finder when handling the Sony A7.
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Old 07-07-2015   #35
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I'm adding my two cents, never I hope, that's the magic of the Leica M. The EVF at this point is crap I had a fuji X-E1 and it was a nightmare to use the EVF, and that turned me back to Leica's Range
Range
Evf's have come a long way since 2012.
The xe1 is usable but not great. Later models are excellent.
The Leica Q is supposedly top of the top!
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Old 07-07-2015   #36
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The EVF at this point is crap
Agreed. I tried out the much lauded Q the other day and thought the view through the EVF was only marginally less awful to use than the one on the T. A dreadful way to compose a photograph.
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Old 07-07-2015   #37
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Or maybe a hybrid finder like the Fuji X100?

I can't remember the last time I used the optical finder on my 240 and if it had a built in EVF that didn't black out for a few seconds after exposure the way the clip on example does I'd be one happy camper! And surely the manufacturing costs of an EVF would be less than the current rangefinder mechanism.

No doubt some of you out there will think is total heresy!
Not going to happen.
Leica has succesfully positioned as the antidote to the uber automated camera.
Why mess with that success?
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Old 07-07-2015   #38
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I'm thinking just one more generation M with the classic RF assembly, then the full digital M with dual purpose mount and AF lenses, as others speculate.
The classic RF camera is relegated to second place in a couple/few years as the transition to the full digital M progresses.
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Old 07-07-2015   #39
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Lenses - well, historically Leica and Zeiss vied for the top place, with Zeiss out ahead more often than not. And still, even if I have a cupboard full of Leica lenses, on my Monochrom I prefer Zeiss...
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Old 07-07-2015   #40
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Hi,

Well, they've experience of them from the Digilux 2, so I guess we shall just have to wait and see. A pity they don't do a full frame (meaning 24 x 36 mm) dSLR so we could snatch up all those cheapo R series lenses and use them for what they do best on a Leica body...

Regards, David
Yes, but as soon as they did an dslr, those cheapo lenses would not be cheapo.

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Harry Lockwood

Leica M7/0.85, Hexar RF, M9-P and a bunch of lenses.
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