Thursday, April 28, 2016

New Leica camera with no controls (hardly)

Leica has just announced a new $6,000 (body only) camera, Leica M-D, with no screen and barely any controls beyond aperture, shutter, and ISO.

My first thought was What's the Point of no LCD. But then I don't seem to do much chimping anyway.

 My second was surprise that I'm actually attracted to the camera.

 My third was that... well, I actually blogged some years ago that I wished somebody would make a *simple* digital camera of good quality. I'm tired of feeling like an idiot because all the cameras have about 7,000 different settings, and most I'm not interested in and many I don't even really understand. So I like the idea of just having the three basic settings of a basic film camera.

 My Fourth thought was that while many will consider this the ultimate Simple Camera, to me, it being a rangefinder camera is actually a complexity added. It adds parallax errors (the viewfinder sees from another angle than the lens), and it makes you use time on most frames to focus the camera instead of just shooting. So I would prefer such a simple camera to have autofocus.

The fifth one is that I'd also like an screen, a tiltable one. You will notice in Leica's video that whenever the photographers shoot from a viewpoint away from their head, they have to shoot blind, that should not be necessary, it's another added complexity.

Oh, it also has no auto-ISO setting. This to me is also an added complexity, for it forces you to keep your mind on the ISO and change it with the light. And I see auto-ISO as a blessing, not the least with the excellent quality you get these days even with high ISO settings. BUT: it is pretty clear that this camera is made not the least for people who want to shoot digital but still misses the film Leica. And film had no auto-ISO...

 And of course, this being a Leica, it's a bit theoretical so far. Even loving photography, I don't ever see myself ever spending over six grand on the camera body and several thousand per lens. The difference from much cheaper cameras is just too small, from my viewpoint. If Olympus made a Micro Four Thirds camera like this for a thousand bucks, that would be a different story. (It would even have excellent in-body stabilization, which no Leica has. That is far from a trivial point, it's about four stops of light gained in many situations.)


Russ said...

Maybe the simple digital camera you seek is the Nikon Df ? It has few knobs/buttons, is not a rangefinder and has autofocus.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Mmm, yeah, but I think that maybe apart from special occasions (like when I want super-shallow depth of focus I'd use my Canon 6D and the 85mm F:1.2) I think I've gone off DSLRs for good. I much prefer the smaller/lighter M4/3 format.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Portraits I took with the above-mentioned equipment: