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Sony a7 a threat to Leica according to German newspaper WELT
Old 10-16-2013   #1
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Sony a7 a threat to Leica according to German newspaper WELT

Interesting to read about a new camera in a daily paper.

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Old 10-17-2013   #2
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Hm.

Not impressed. The reporter still assumes that all the world wants a camera with the best specs and the lowest price, but Leica are selling lots of their expensive camera's to China were buying cheap translates to being perceived as poor and unlucky.

Also thinking Leica will invest more in tailoring image quality to their specific esthetic views while Sony will always use newest technology at best price level and the end users will have to sort image quality esthetics out for themselves.

Once I tried to get information on the option of servicing a Konica Hexar from Sony Netherlands. This was about a year after Sony acquired Konica-Minolta. Five customer support employees were clueless. Leica still answers questions on gear that is 50 years old and can repair most of it.

Back in my days Sony produced walkmans and headphones that were desirable but lost their initial quality very soon and their suggestion was to buy a newer model. I don't feel much has changed in those 25+ years.
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Old 10-17-2013   #3
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I think the truth will lay in the middle somewhere. There will be some who simply want a relatively inexpensive digital body to use their Leica glass on. For some, only a range finder will do.

I must say my experience with Sony products tends to be pretty good, but tech. support is almost non-existent.
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Old 10-17-2013   #4
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Do not trust Axel Springer press, all I can say.

Anyway .. here is me hoping the A7 will get the used prices of M9s down to a area where I might be able to afford one
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Old 10-17-2013   #5
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The author of the above cited article states that due to Sony`s advance in sensor technology the picture quality will be better compared to Leica. It will be really interesting to see how the sensor of the new Sony can hold up against Leica`s M240 or M-Monochrome when lenses like the 50/2.0 APO or 21/1.4 are used.
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Old 10-17-2013   #6
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Don't trust Axel Springer +1 although I would say don't trust any review in a newspaper or photo mag. To me it's amazing how they claim that a Sony Evil attacks Leica's niche RF furthermore they completely forgot that nearly all sensors (APS-C and up) are sufficent these days and the image results are more limited by the lens than the sensor. They also forgot the human factor Leica is a luxury brand and Status symbol, Sony not so much.
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Old 10-17-2013   #7
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worry about it when it happens - or better still - be happy with what you have
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Old 10-17-2013   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Hm.
Also thinking Leica will invest more in tailoring image quality to their specific esthetic views while Sony will always use newest technology at best price level and the end users will have to sort image quality esthetics out for themselves.
i dont understand this at all. from the m8 to m9 to monochrome, all ive seen is how the end user has to 'sort out IQ aesthetics for themselves'. die hard leica users happily claim that owning a $7000 monochrome demands the end user to 'sort it out'.

further, while china is a big market, its not 'the whole world'. a lot of the rest of the planet indeed looks for the most bang for the buck, especially when dealing with inherently transient technology. i'm no sony fan, in fact ive purposely steered clear of sony gear. but sometimes youve just got to give the devil his due.
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Old 10-17-2013   #9
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Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
The author of the above cited article states that due to Sony`s advance in sensor technology the picture quality will be better compared to Leica. It will be really interesting to see how the sensor of the new Sony can hold up against Leica`s M240 or M-Monochrome when lenses like the 50/2.0 APO or 21/1.4 are used.
cant that statement be generally true, but not for the two lenses you cite? why do two examples by themselves, even if true, disprove that statement?
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Old 10-17-2013   #10
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There will be no threat to Leica. I don't think there are many people who by a Leica because it is a particularly useful camera, they buy it because it is a Leica and all that entails.

Lets face it, the Leica's have a history of really being built to last. I'm not sure about the latest crop digital cameras, but we can certainly say this about the older film cameras.

I get great pleasure of taking my 50+ year old Leica M2, for a walk, knowing it still functions perfectly after all these years.

As nice and useful as that little Sony is, I doubt it will be much use in 50 years. It likely won't be much of an heirloom.....but my M2, in another 50 years.....who knows?
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Old 10-17-2013   #11
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There is no doubt that the new Sony cameras will easily outperform the M240 in terms of sensor performance, color fidelity, and responsiveness/speed. Using native Zeiss AF lenses gives also the advantage of the cameras' intelligent AF.

Of course, if you want to use M lenses on the Sony, manual focus with image magnification and focus peaking can be very accurate but frustratingly slow, so definitely the M240 still has a huge advantage there.
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Old 10-17-2013   #12
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Originally Posted by literiter View Post
I don't think there are many people who by a Leica because it is a particularly useful camera, they buy it because it is a Leica and all that entails.
There are many. There are also collectors and luxury item fans.
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Old 10-17-2013   #13
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Old 10-17-2013   #14
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i. . . a lot of the rest of the planet indeed looks for the most bang for the buck . . .
And indeed, those who buy on price alone will generally get exactly what they pay for.

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Old 10-17-2013   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbelyell
i. . . a lot of the rest of the planet indeed looks for the most bang for the buck . . .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
And indeed, those who buy on price alone will generally get exactly what they pay for.

Cheers,

R.
roger your posts and insights are one of the main reasons i so enjoy this forum. but i think you know that my point was not about 'buying on price alone'. bang for the buck combines quality, user experience, IQ AND price in a rationally comparative way.

if they are garbage, these sonys will fail. assuming theyre garbage either because theyre sony or because theyre not leica, or because a couple of lenses may look better on an m240, is irrational. that was my main point. perhaps rationality is not what we're after here?
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http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137308
Old 10-17-2013   #16
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http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137308

Leica would worry if it had a real viewfinder, a rangefinder, Optical, not green band peaking,whatever, a backup service, almost worldwide, a sense of quality, not just "camera of the week", a price tag under $500 and a true status symbol.
Another "wanna-be".
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Old 10-17-2013   #17
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My kid says she "needs" a camera that takes video, and the Canadian photog who reviewed the a7 shot the whole thing using an a7 - looked superb to me, and sound quality was excellent. That may be my excuse to invest in a body that will also take my legacy lenses.

One thing about the M9 through M240 - I understand they will NOT take my Summicron DR, nor play nicely with my SuperAngulon f/4, so that is a bummer to say the least. When I experimented with Ricoh GXR it accommodated both those lenses, and I bet the A7 will as well.

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Old 10-17-2013   #18
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Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
Another "wanna-be".
i want to invite you as my guest to the next series of high stakes horse races in my area. with your ability to predict the future, we will both clean up! ):
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Old 10-17-2013   #19
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Originally Posted by rbelyell View Post
. . . i think you know that my point was not about 'buying on price alone'. bang for the buck combines quality, user experience, IQ AND price in a rationally comparative way.. . .
Quite. And, at that point, enough people find that the Leica delivers enough "bang for the buck" to keep the company in business. "Bang for the buck" then pretty much ceases to be a rational argument, because everyone has a different view of "quality, user experience, IQ AND price"

Of course with the Leica you can add "prestige" to "quality, user experience, IQ AND price" but I don't think I'm deceiving myself when I say that I don't recall ever buying anything on the grounds of prestige. Except perhaps an engagement ring, once.

Cheers,

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Old 10-17-2013   #20
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If Leica's future is so doomed then how come I cannot find a M (240) to buy anywhere?
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Old 10-17-2013   #21
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Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Quite. And, at that point, enough people find that the Leica delivers enough "bang for the buck" to keep the company in business. "Bang for the buck" then pretty much ceases to be a rational argument, because everyone has a different view of "quality, user experience, IQ AND price"

Cheers,

R.

yup, up to this point, youre correct. but that is exactly what this thread is about isnt it? not that 'leica is doomed' or 'it will go out of business'--those are equally not rational, and as i re-read the posts here, no one made such claims. rather the point is that the circumstances that gave leica a particular market share may have changed with these products. i dont have to be near the photographer as many here, nor have near the storehouse of information, to understand that for any product the market is made up of diehards and edge-feeders. what this article is saying, and what rational thought based on economic theory provide, it is those 'edge-feeders' that are most prone to calculating the 'bang for buck' proposition in favor of these new sony products if they are as claimed. and that can most definitely have a noticeable effect on leica market share.

and just because folks differ on the subjective nature of the bang for your bucks elements, that doesnt mean discussion 'ceases to be rational'. that only happens when one or more parties decide not to discuss subjective matters rationally--people decide that, its not preordained. a good rule of thumb for rational discussion is for folks to not present opinions in such a way as to paint any contrary opinion as foolish. thats typically when things devolve.
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Old 10-17-2013   #22
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Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Also thinking Leica will invest more in tailoring image quality to their specific esthetic views while Sony will always use newest technology at best price level and the end users will have to sort image quality esthetics out for themselves.
This is intended as parody, I assume?
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Old 10-17-2013   #23
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Well you are more optimistic about our longevity than I am, but if we both live to be 118 years old, I hope you are still enjoying that M2!
M2, or even M6, yes. M240, almost certainly not.
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Old 10-17-2013   #24
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If Leica's future is so doomed then how come I cannot find a M (240) to buy anywhere?
Because Leica hasn't made enough.
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Old 10-17-2013   #25
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M2, or even M6, yes. M240, almost certainly not.
exactly! I think analog Leicas will never be replaced...I own 2 and will never sell them. They are pure mechanical beauties and I will always find someone to repair them. But I could never convince myself to put 5000 or 7000 in a new digital leica, that will be 2600 worth 4 years later . Will you be able to repair your cracked M9 sensors in 5 years? Regarding costs, will it be worth the repair? Let's face it: digital cameras are no long term investments...just my opinion of course....
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Old 10-17-2013   #26
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Well you are more optimistic about our longevity than I am, but if we both live to be 118 years old, I hope you are still enjoying that M2!
I doubt I'll be here in 50 years, but my M2 and M4-P could be, so someone could be enjoying them.
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Old 10-17-2013   #27
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This is better, that is better. Seems to me that if your photography is motivated by a better picture from one day to the next, you will never be happy with your photographs. As surely as the sun rises tomorrow, the cameras of tomorrow will be better than the cameras of today. What is the purpose of your photography? Posterity, memories, art, megapixels? Theads like this lead me to despair...
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Old 10-17-2013   #28
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If Leica's future is so doomed then how come I cannot find a M (240) to buy anywhere?
A7r is actually a big help for Leica, unable to deliver digital bodies at reasonable prices to shoot their great glass.
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Old 10-17-2013   #29
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the a7 with that ridiculous hump on top of it cannot even rival the nex series....
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Old 10-17-2013   #30
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Let's face it: digital cameras are no long term investments...just my opinion of course....
Yep, they aren't making heirlooms anymore.
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Old 10-17-2013   #31
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Die Welt seems to overlook one important thing: The Leica M - Any Leica since 1954 is a true rangefindercamera. Sony has never been close to build such a camera.
Ccompared to a Leica M the new Sony a7 is very simply build: A smallformat sensor and two LCDs wrapped in a body and your done. A Leica M houses the complete mechanics for the rangefinder including prisms and the laser-engraved framelines for the viewfinder. After the manufacturing every camera has to be testet and adjusted. If the rangefinder is working properly you get a very precise focussinghelp. Since I own a Mamiya 7 II I realy enjoy using a rangefindercamera.

Another thing is that Leica also builds high-quality lenses. Sony just outsourced this to ZEISS. ZEISS of course makes fantastic lensens, but they aren't made in germany. So Leica offers a complete system.

Die Welt is only right, if you just look at the price of the cameras. Germans tend to only see the price, but the same time they spent a lot of money for their cars and smartphones. Its not surprising that someone who buys a Leica has the reputation of an artist or somoeone with too much money. People don't think about that the price could be worth for someone.

I have read the article in german and there are no sources ment. Actually the author assumes, that Sony enters Leica's part of the market.
I think now Sony enters the market of Canon and Nikon. The a7 just fits between the EOS 6D and EOS 5D Mark III with the advantage to be smaller and lighter. Plus the missing AA-Filter of the a7r is a killer-feature. Besides Sonys lens roadmap the a7 can be used with nearly any lens - imagine of using all the nice ZEISS ZI lenses or with such a camera.
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Old 10-17-2013   #32
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Let's face it: digital cameras are no long term investments...just my opinion of course....
+1

(Some stupid text to get 10 characters)
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Old 10-17-2013   #33
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I think for film cameras, I would pay high price to them. As to digital equivalent, as long as lenses will work perfectly on evil, a7r is really attractive alternative for me. of course, I am still lusting after a monochrome.
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Old 10-17-2013   #34
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Sony is after canon and Nikon, fuji already beat Leica and once it releases its FF X series cameras, that would be the symbolic end of Leica. Leica will survive as long as people think leica is a status symbol.
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Old 10-17-2013   #35
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exactly! I think analog Leicas will never be replaced...I own 2 and will never sell them. They are pure mechanical beauties and I will always find someone to repair them. But I could never convince myself to put 5000 or 7000 in a new digital leica, that will be 2600 worth 4 years later . Will you be able to repair your cracked M9 sensors in 5 years? Regarding costs, will it be worth the repair? Let's face it: digital cameras are no long term investments...just my opinion of course....
I get what you are saying... and if you are the family heirloom type, it makes sense. But I find that digital's depreciation is offset by not having to buy film. However, it only makes sense if you are prolific, but not so much if you aren't.
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Old 10-17-2013   #36
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Thank you - made my day!

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I always kind of romantically imagine that they do not want to put Leica out of business.

This If Japanese aesthetic sense drives business decisions this is probably true, helped of course by the fact that the market is disappearingly small in their context.
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Old 10-17-2013   #37
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Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Hm.

Sony will always use newest technology at best price level and the end users will have to sort image quality esthetics out for themselves.

.....

Back in my days Sony produced walkmans and headphones that were desirable but lost their initial quality very soon and their suggestion was to buy a newer model. I don't feel much has changed in those 25+ years.
Actually one of the reasons I decided to wait and c about the Sony really is that they tend to push new body out faster then any other camera maker I can think of.. The other is that I am more interested in seeing how Fuji reacts. For my type of photography, ff is really not needed.

I current have an old nex3 that is on semi permanent loan to a friend of mine and currently don't miss it at all.

Gary
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Old 10-17-2013   #38
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Lol. I am sure this will be at Leica prices

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Old 10-17-2013   #39
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the a7 with that ridiculous hump on top of it cannot even rival the nex series....
Nicely put. Nex seems to be a different concept and one closer to the 'heart' whatever that may be.

Put one side by side with a Leica II and just ponder awhile.
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Old 10-17-2013   #40
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Ah but Minolta (now part of Sony) certainly did.

Minolta built the "Sky" in 1957, but like Nikon, shelved it in favor of their SLR cameras. Minolta also built the CLE in 1981, which was certainly a true rangefinder. They of course built many beautiful fixed lens rangefinder cameras, which are still popular today among RFF members.

It is interesting that no Japanese cameras have appeared with a totally optical rangefinder other than the Nikon rangefinder reissues, since clearly it is trivial for them to build (there is a lot of history there). They must truly feel there is simply no mass market for them -- other than the niche already addressed by Leica.

I always kind of romantically imagine that they do not want to put Leica out of business.
In terms of re-issues from Nikon, there are other Japanese cameras that were RF designed that were in the not to distant past.*

Before Konica went under, there was the Konica RF and if I remember correct for fixed lens, the contax T was actually made by a Japanese company that right now I cannot remember how to spell the name. The Epson rd1 also comes to mind. The Fuji medium format RF cameras and the xpan.

Btw Minolta also made the CL for Leica.

I really doubt we will c an RF based digital camera from a Japanese camera maker in the near future. I personally think that Fuji would have done it given their past history when they released the xp1.

Gary
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Last edited by GaryLH : 10-17-2013 at 09:42. Reason: Added more comment
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