So, I have been feeling kind of bummed because I just sold my R-D1 and don't have anything to shoot with, at the moment, until I get my M8. I paid another visit to my Tamarkin dealer in New York today to pick up a nice Fogg bag for the camera and to needle him some more about the M8 shipments.
After picking up the bag, I met my wife at the Union Square Green Market in order to help her carry the vegetables home. As I was showing her my new Fogg bag and talking about the M8 (again), she said, "There are a lot of photogs here today!". Just as she said that, I saw someone sling a camera over their shoulder. I immediately recognized the camera as a Leica but I couldn't tell which model. Thinking it was an M7 or something, I took a few steps to get a better look and spying the LCD screen, I said, "D*mn, it's an M8!!". I could hardly believe it!
So, I took off after the guy, and managed to talk to him about the camera. The photographer's name is Steve Anchell and he is working on a review of the M8 for RangeFinder Magazine. Steve is in New York running a class on street shooting. I think it is a three day course that culminates with some shooting of the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village. (See www.steveanchell.com
for more information)
Steve was nice enough to let me walk around the market with the M8 in order to take a few shots. My wife was left behind as collateral, in case I didn't come back with the camera.
Thanks for letting me shoot the camera, Steve, you made my day!!
Here are my observations, based on the few minutes I spent with the camera:
* The shutter sound was unexpected and just plain different than the Epson R-D1. I think I would characterize it as kind of a low pitched thunk, mainly because there was the shutter sound combined with the sound of the motor. I didn't find it unpleasant or too distracting but I was outside....
* The camera felt good in my hands, just the right size, and was wonderfully solid, as you would expect from a Leica. The M8 felt somewhat smaller and more compact than the R-D1.
* Reviewing the images on the LCD was very fast, I was impressed by the speed of scrolling through the images.
* I doubt if any of my shots were any good, I was far too nervous because of actually being able to hold the camera to be able to concentrate too much on shooting it. Plus, Steve had the SF20 flash mounted on the camera so the balance was different than it would be without the flash.
* The viewfinder was bright and clear. I didn't feel any disappointment at not having the R-D1's 1:1 viewfinder.
* My thumb tended to rest on the control wheel on the back, which was a little annoying, but I think that will change once I use the M8 with a grip and a wrist strap. I think the grip is just about mandatory, I found the camera to be quite slippery and I would not recommend carrying it around without a strap of some kind!!! Alternatively, you could epoxy the camera to your right hand! Steve has the silver model but I assume the vulcanite is the same on both
All in all, I am very excited to be getting this camera. What is life without a few luxuries?