Edit: OK, I totally misunderstood this poll. I thought it was about the Mamiya M7, not the Leica M7. Nevertheless, I will leave the original post intact for your information and amusement...
It's funny you should ask that question...
I just started selling off my Mamiya 7 equipment (50 and 80mm lens and Mamiya 7II).
As a replacement I bought the Konica Hexar RF with the Konica M-Hexanon 50mm lens.
These are the reasons why I let the M7 go:
- My particular camera had a couple of problems; first the rangefinder was off, then the shutter button acted funny (sometimes worked, sometimes not). This was devastating during my last trip, and the M7 lost lots of love.
- The images of the M7 had in my opinion too much contrast. They were extremely sharp and detailed, but with slide film (comparing to the Plaubel Makina 670), the images were just way too contrasty in my opinion.
- The lightmeter turned out to be too much of a spot meter. I never had such drastic exposure problems with my other cameras (Xpan, Electro GSN, Plaubel Makina etc.). It's basically a spotmeter with the 50mm lens.
- The M7 is not large, but compared to the Plaubel Makina definitely less comfortable to carry during hikes etc. The lens sticks out and bounces around, while the Plaubel's just retracts and can be "hidden" under your arm.
Reasons for buying the Konica Hexar RF:
- Fast lenses available (mine with the M-Hexanon 50mm f/2.0). You will have more opportunities to shoot with the Hexar than with the M7 due to the faster lenses.
- Fast shutter speed of 4000/s. Great for bokeh stuff in bright light.
- The convenience of auto film loading and winding.
- Tons of lenses available in m-mount (although usually not cheap)
- Fast flash-sync rate (compared to Leica M6)
- Smaller and more portable than M7
- Easier to get slides mounted and projected than with the M7
I also like the finer aperture control of the Hexar lens; the M7 lenses only have full stops.
So far I have only shot a couple of rolls with the Hexar, but I have to say the results were really stunning--better than any of my other 35mm rangefinders.
I think the spot-like lightmeter of the M7 was my biggest turn-off. And last but not least, holding the Hexar just feels so much better than the plasticy M7 (well, at least the outer shell is all plastic). Titanium just feels great.
Now, also think about your final presentation. If you like to project slides, it will cost you quite a bit to get a 6x7 projector, while a good Leica projector for 35mm can be had for $200 or less. If scan your images, you will get something around 8800x7100 with a good film scanner in 6x7, and 6700x4500 with 35mm film (based on my scanner, a Minolta Dimage Multi Pro). But since you will probably not have a monitor with more than HD resolution (1920x1080), the difference on screen will probably not be noticeable in terms of detail.
If you print images, the M7 will definitely beat the Hexar, but how many large prints will you really make...
Just my 2 cents.