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What future for the Leica Q ?
Old 06-14-2015   #1
CameraQuest
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What future for the Leica Q ?

My initial thought on the Q was simply too much money for a fixed lens camera to generate many sales, especially compared to what $4200 can buy in used M. Nonetheless it is aimed squarely at serious photographers.

The Q is generating a lot of interest. One M9 owner wrote me:
"The Leica Q. It's everything I would want. Is everyone going to be selling their M's now? "

What are the possible Q implications for the Leica nutz?

1) Several years ago Leica introduced the T, an interchangeable lens system aimed more at the bling crowd than at serious photographers. The Leica T failed in the marketplace, probably taking a few promising careers at Leitz Park with it.

2) Will there be more Q's with different fixed lenses?

3) Will there be interchangeable lens Q's ?

4) Will there be any compatibility between Q and M lenses via adapters ?

5) Will Q features morph into an M mount camera?

The answers to all depend upon the Q's reception in the marketplace.

Lots of sales = lots of future Leica Q options.

Leica T Sales for the Q = not so much except a foot note.

Time will tell. All will be decided by Leica's customers.

Stephen

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Imagine a similar question posed in 1953 "What Future for the M3 ?"

In 1953 the M3's future was definitely undecided.
Most Barnack owners strongly disliked the M3's larger size.
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Old 06-14-2015   #2
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I think we will have to wait until October as that's when I believe Leica will announce the newest update to their M line. So far Leica has been following a 3 year pattern on major updates to the M and at the 2 year mark the M-P update. 3 years is this October.

So far no one has said who makes the sensor in the Q but it has been said who didn't make it; CMOSIS or Sony. Will be interesting to see if this new sensor will be in the next M.
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Old 06-14-2015   #3
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I don't understand the constant sense of negativity towards Leica implied in your comments, Stephen. Why the antipathy?

The Leica Q looks to be a fine piece of equipment, just like the Leica X is and the Leica Ms are. They each address different parts of the camera buying audience.

I could see Leica producing a couple of flavors of the Q ... one with a fast 50mm lens would be of particular interest to me, another with a modest speed zoom or Tri-Elmar-like three-focal length lens would also be interesting. (Actually, given that my M lenses are all fast, a Q_Tri-Elmar would likely be the most interesting to me...)

To turn the Q into an M-compatible interchangeable lens camera will/would take a massive re-engineering effort since the Q is designed around a dedicated lens and leaf shutter. More doable would be to update the T with a more Q-styled body, a full-frame sensor, and compatibility to existing and future T system lenses, and leave M lenses to adaptation using the existing M->T adapter.

What Leica actually intends ... I'd just wait to see what they announce in the Fall, personally, rather than speculate endlessly about what I personally would prefer. I kinda like what I have of theirs already, Leica knows their business better than any of us do. Their M/M-P 240 cameras are excellent, the MM246 is excellent, the X, X Vario, and Q are excellent, and the T is similarly an excellent performer if not to everyone's taste. Diehards love the M9 CCD, others love the M8 CCD, and of course there are the generations of dedicated M and R film camera lovers. I think they have a pretty good track record overall, having changed history and invented the 35mm camera ... ;-)

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Old 06-14-2015   #4
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I recognize that this is likely an attempt to expand their offering in the marketplace and I do like the looks of the Q. But won't this camera steal sales from the M digital cameras?
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Old 06-14-2015   #5
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I think, if the reviews are right about its performance, it will be a hit (well, in Leica terms). The T is a really nice feeling camera, but its performance is on the slow side. That puts it into the still life category which doesn't do well these days.

As far as what the future holds... at least Leica isn't resting on the M. They've brought out the X, the T, the S series, etc. In the past it would be many years between film M refreshes and they would be minimal. I think the Q is the right move forward.

As far as stealing M sales, I don't think so. M users like the mechanical RF, optical VF, and manual focus. This is clearly an AF camera first and a MF camera second IMO. The EVF will turn off some M users as well.

I'm getting more interested in the Q every day. I just don;t like grip cameras...and most of the newest mirrorless are grip cameras.
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Old 06-14-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
To turn the Q into an M-compatible interchangeable lens camera will/would take a massive re-engineering effort since the Q is designed around a dedicated lens and leaf shutter. More doable would be to update the T with a more Q-styled body, a full-frame sensor, and compatibility to existing and future T system lenses, and leave M lenses to adaptation using the existing M->T adapter.
Actually what will be done in the future (it's more than obvious now) by Leica will be the contrary of what you describe in your first sentence quoted above. They more than likely will turn the M into a Q-like camera by producing a camera which will be an M but without any optical viewfinder and rangefinder and with an EVF instead.

I don't see any antipathy towards Leica in what Stephen wrote, just questions about their marketing policy and common sense.
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Old 06-14-2015   #7
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Definitely not. There always will be a M with a rangefinder/optical viewfinder. As long as there is a demand for this expensive piece, they will produce it. They may add another camera-line or special M-series with an EVF instead of the rangefinder.
I haven't written that I was thinking that the M as it is for now would be discontinued. My opinion is that there will be another line of "M" but with an EVF and no OVF/RF any longer.

Yet - the day they produce an "M" sporting an outstanding EVF only (and with all the refinements of what the best EVF of that time will have in terms of critical manual focus etc), the demand for the M as it is for now with its OVF/RF system may very well go down the path and PDQ.

If they didn't believe the least bit in the EVF technology they would definitely not have accomodated the Olympus EVF for their M240 and M246 bodies.
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Old 06-14-2015   #8
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If they didn't believe the least bit in the EVF technology they would definitely not have accomodated the Olympus EVF for their M240 and M246 bodies.
One could argue that they implemented an EVF for adapter R lenses and for video (since the optical VF wouldn't work).
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Old 06-14-2015   #9
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One could argue that they implemented an EVF for R lenses and for video.
Yes... possible.

But, I don't think so re. R lenses. For them, the R system is dead and belongs to the past already.

Like... tears in rain.

BTW what's a "grip camera" ?
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Old 06-14-2015   #10
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I hope they sell out!

It has some features I like such as wifi and, from what I read, parts from the S series.
The ISO range would allow creative photography with moody light. It should be a possible PJ photogs camera as it looks like more time could be spent on what's happening in front of the camera.

I hope they stay in business far into the future.
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Old 06-14-2015   #11
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I had an interesting conversation with a Leica salesperson at the Leica store in San Francisco. I have one on order from another Leica Store but I wanted to hold it and feel it. (by the way it is very well balanced, light and quick to focus).

He was in his late 20's I'm guessing. I told him I don't shoot 28mm very often so it will take a bit to get used to. He agreed but then went into the reasoning Leica made it a 28mm. "In my generation we only use our phones to snap photo's. The average focal length of a smartphone camera is 29-32mm. Therefore his generation may be more likely to get into a real camera and quit using the smartphone since its a perspective they are very comfortable with"

I have no idea if this thought is sponsored by Leica or him alone but if the facts are correct he may be right. i then though of the cost for these young people until he told me he has a M-246 on order for himself.

I'm looking forward to owning a Q and I'm fortunate I can afford to add one to my collection.

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Old 06-14-2015   #12
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Oh I also have a "T" and love it. The convenience of using M lenses and the quality of the sensor makes the camera. i don't intend to buy T lenses for it. With lenses the T can be expensive but if you have a few Leica and CV lenses at you disposal just buy the body, adapter and the EVF and you're good to go.

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Old 06-14-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
BTW what's a "grip camera" ?
I like my cameras shaped like a M... not like a DSLR with a right hand grip.
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Old 06-14-2015   #14
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I'm looking forward to owning a Q and I'm fortunate I can afford to add one to my collection.
Let us know how you like it...
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Old 06-14-2015   #15
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Originally Posted by jcrutcher View Post
"In my generation we only use our phones to snap photo's. The average focal length of a smartphone camera is 29-32mm. Therefore his generation may be more likely to get into a real camera and quit using the smartphone since its a perspective they are very comfortable with"
I'm pretty sure there are tons of selfie sticks dedicated to the Leica Q on their way to the western world already...
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Old 06-14-2015   #16
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I recognize that this is likely an attempt to expand their offering in the marketplace and I do like the looks of the Q. But won't this camera steal sales from the M digital cameras?
Not if you are interested in a rangefinder. Frankly I cant see any M shooter being much interested in a Q.
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Old 06-14-2015   #17
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Originally Posted by tom.w.bn View Post
Definitely not. There always will be a M with a rangefinder/optical viewfinder. As long as there is a demand for this expensive piece, they will produce it. They may add another camera-line or special M-series with an EVF instead of the rangefinder.
Spot on. The vast majority of M users desire an optical viewfinder. Looking at an EVF is no different than watching life on a tiny television set.
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Old 06-14-2015   #18
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Not if you are interested in a rangefinder. Frankly I cant see any M shooter being much interested in a Q.
Check out the thread below this one in the Q forum. Apparently many folks would rather the EVF / AF than a RF .
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Old 06-14-2015   #19
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Quote:
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Looking at an EVF is no different than watching life on a tiny television set.
It's a framing device... it works fine as such. I use it for a couple of seconds... not minutes.
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Old 06-14-2015   #20
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It's a framing device... it works fine as such. I use it for a couple of seconds... not minutes.
I guess an EVF is OK for snapshots, but I do spend minutes looking through the viewfinder, making compositional decisions. Spending minutes looking at those tiny TV's is very frustrating and headache inducing.
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Old 06-14-2015   #21
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Originally Posted by Corran View Post
Check out the thread below this one in the Q forum. Apparently many folks would rather the EVF / AF than a RF .
You lose all of the characteristics of a RF when you switch to a tiny TV set. Not very Leica-ish.
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Old 06-14-2015   #22
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All will be decided by Leica's customers.
If this were true the CL might have had a longer life LOL

I'm very happy the Q has had a mostly positive reception, because there are lots of nice things about it.

But I think what alot of Leica customers might appreciate is something in this footprint which is more versatile and field ready. A digital CL, that's all we want.

They may make one, they may not. The Sony A7 project was cancelled several times in one year. Who knows what causes something to clear all the hurdles and make it to production?

I liked your point in another thread that the Q must have been developed under the ousted CEO, though I have no idea what that really means

Maybe he named it the "Q" for quit?
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Old 06-14-2015   #23
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LEica avoids getting directly into the NEW CL...they know itīs very important but they they go around the idea. Cats donīt hesitate like Leica does.
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Old 06-14-2015   #24
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Regarding the Q's sensor, Ming Thein in his review suggested it's a CMOSIS but different from those in digital M's, as told to him by Leica rep in Kuala Lumpur. As for the body and lens, the design suggests to me Panasonic manufacture, but I could very well be wrong. I'm hoping it's Panasonic because: 1) That suggests there could be a full-frame Lumix version in the near future, at a significantly lower price; and 2) It would suggest that someone can effectively compete with Sony on camera sensor design.

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Old 06-14-2015   #25
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Regarding the Q's sensor, Ming Thein in his review suggested it's a CMOSIS but different from those in digital M's, as told to him by Leica rep in Kuala Lumpur. As for the body and lens, the design suggests to me Panasonic manufacture, but I could very well be wrong. I'm hoping it's Panasonic because: 1) That suggests there could be a full-frame Lumix version in the near future, at a significantly lower price; and 2) It would suggest that someone can effectively compete with Sony on camera sensor design.

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Old 06-14-2015   #26
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I'm hoping it's Panasonic because: 1) That suggests there could be a full-frame Lumix version in the near future, at a significantly lower price; and 2) It would suggest that someone can effectively compete with Sony on camera sensor design.
Every sensor manufacturer sells to whoever ponies up the cash.

There is nothing stopping Panasonic from from creating a full-frame Lumix other than the cold, hard reality of return-on-investment, or lack there of.
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Old 06-15-2015   #27
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Check out the thread below this one in the Q forum. Apparently many folks would rather the EVF / AF than a RF .
Or apparently some of us are more interested in the destination than the car and road used to get us there. I see the Q as fitting in perfectly with the philosophy of Leica photography. Who cares if it's fixed lens and EVF only?
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Old 06-15-2015   #28
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Not if you are interested in a rangefinder. Frankly I cant see any M shooter being much interested in a Q.
I'm an M shooter and I'm interested in the Q. Just because one shoots M cameras doesn't mean that's the only camera they shoot. Nor does it mean it's their favorite. Sure the older shooters might not like the Q, but they'll be dead soon, Leica needs to garner favor with a younger generation.
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Old 06-15-2015   #29
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I'm an M shooter and I'm interested in the Q. Just because one shoots M cameras doesn't mean that's the only camera they shoot. Nor does it mean it's their favorite. Sure the older shooters might not like the Q, but they'll be dead soon, Leica needs to garner favor with a younger generation.
That is rather unnecessary.
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Old 06-15-2015   #30
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That is rather unnecessary.
But he has a point. The Q is designed for today's photographers, not the old guard.
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Old 06-15-2015   #31
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I'm an M shooter and I'm interested in the Q. Just because one shoots M cameras doesn't mean that's the only camera they shoot. Nor does it mean it's their favorite. Sure the older shooters might not like the Q, but they'll be dead soon, Leica needs to garner favor with a younger generation.
I'm an M shooter, I'm the younger generation and I have no interest in the Q. I can, however, see where it would be useful for other people than myself. I hope they sell a boat load, only so they can STILL make a true mechanical rangefinder because that's what I, personally, enjoy shooting with. If the Q works for you, that's great. More importantly, I can see the value in the "older shooters" as they by far and away know way more than I do about Leica, rangefinders, and photography in general.
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Old 06-15-2015   #32
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But he has a point. The Q is designed for today's photographers, not the old guard.
Old guard!

Mind your lip sonny. LOL
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Old 06-15-2015   #33
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I think Godfrey and John above have it right. Somehow I own 7 Leica bodies, my M-bodies are not going anywhere, I most recently ventured into Leica-R, I own and shoot screwmount, I own a MM9,and pretty much am interested in Leica's new offerings like the M-246 and the "Q."

Understand that I don't intend on selling any old gear to buy new gear, but if an interesting product comes along there will be additions. I own other makes/brands of gear, but somehow I am loyally a bit Leica-centric.

The "Q" is an elegant camera for me. I can see me shooting my MM9 and a M-246 together with my 28 Cron and 50 Lux ASPH. I can see me owning a "Q-28" and a "Q-50" as a compact long-short color pair instead of buying a M-240. I like carrying two rigged cameras and don't like lens changing.

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Old 06-15-2015   #34
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I'm an M shooter and I'm interested in the Q. Just because one shoots M cameras doesn't mean that's the only camera they shoot. Nor does it mean it's their favorite. Sure the older shooters might not like the Q, but they'll be dead soon, Leica needs to garner favor with a younger generation.
I'm 57 and I like the "Q" very much. Also I am a M-shooter.

Leica just needs to sell cool cameras to cool people. Telling me that I'll be dead soon is not cool.

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Old 06-15-2015   #35
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But he has a point. The Q is designed for today's photographers, not the old guard.
Really? I would love a Q! And I consider myself a today's photographer!

Leica makes great products and I hope they sell a million of them.
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Old 06-15-2015   #36
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...
What are the possible Q implications for the Leica nutz?

1) Several years ago Leica introduced the T, an interchangeable lens system aimed more at the bling crowd than at serious photographers. The Leica T failed in the marketplace, probably taking a few promising careers at Leitz Park with it.

2) Will there be more Q's with different fixed lenses?
I hope so. My money is patiently waiting for a 40 or 50 mm lens equipped Q. If this never happens, I'm content to continue and possibly upgrading my X-Pro 1 while enjoying the Fujinon primes' excellent results . I

3) Will there be interchangeable lens Q's ?
That depends on the new CEO's view regarding cannibalzation of existing product lines. Apple (and others) fearlessly release new products that kill of very successful existing products (iPhone killed the iPod). Nikon's behavior is the exact opposite. Of course, the iPod was completely devoid of heritage compared to the Leica M. At the same time I read the Q's sensor/lens were designed to be a match pair. This implies a heterogeneous sensor micro-lenes assembly. At least that's the technology Fujifilm used to minimize the size of the X100.

4) Will there be any compatibility between Q and M lenses via adapters ?
?

5) Will Q features morph into an M mount camera?
The differentiation will be an EVF finder versus an optical RF. And, of course AF. If the Q sells well, the M becomes even more of a niche product. I can't imagine Leica abandoning the optical RF. At the same time there are a large number of M/LTM lenses just waiting to be repurposed. Without understanding anything about the engineering challenges, I speculate M/LTM lenses are incompatible with the Q. A significantly thicker EVF body with an M mount would not be a Q. It would not be a M either.
Please ignore these characters required for the post to appear.
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Old 06-15-2015   #37
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Originally Posted by jkjod View Post
I'm an M shooter, I'm the younger generation and I have no interest in the Q. I can, however, see where it would be useful for other people than myself. I hope they sell a boat load, only so they can STILL make a true mechanical rangefinder because that's what I, personally, enjoy shooting with. If the Q works for you, that's great. More importantly, I can see the value in the "older shooters" as they by far and away know way more than I do about Leica, rangefinders, and photography in general.
I'm with you. I absolutely love the M6 and M2. Two of my all time favorite cameras. And products like Q will ensure that Leica continues to produce RF for people to enjoy and also allow Leica to potentially bring new customers into the fold by embracing some of the more recent technological advances in the industry.

I for one think the Q would be the perfect travel companion for a film M + 50mm.
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Old 06-15-2015   #38
jsrockit
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Originally Posted by Hunter S Thompson View Post
I guess an EVF is OK for snapshots, but I do spend minutes looking through the viewfinder, making compositional decisions. Spending minutes looking at those tiny TV's is very frustrating and headache inducing.
Well, not everyone photographs the same way. I don't need minutes for composition. Snapshots... cute,
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Old 06-15-2015   #39
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Telling me that I'll be dead soon is not cool.
Haha, classic Cal...
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Old 06-15-2015   #40
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Haha, classic Cal...
John,

It's OK for younger generations not to like Baby Boomers because those young people will resent having to work like dogs to pay for my Social Security without much of a hope for a retirement or collecting Social Security. My generation, meaning Baby Boomers, really screwed up the world for those young-ins. LOL.

Now I plan to live a very extra long life because I'm stuborn just to make that poster pay for his mean comment. The Chinese say, "Time is the best weapon." Ha-Ha...

Now who is being mean. Ha-Ha...

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