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Leica M6 vs Nikon FM
Old 07-18-2010   #1
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Cool Leica M6 vs Nikon FM

Other than the M6 costing 10 times the cost of an FM and an FM having Shutter Clap/mirror slap what are really are the differences?
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Old 07-18-2010   #2
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Old 07-18-2010   #3
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none at all.
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Old 07-18-2010   #4
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You can't use M glass on an FM! personally I think FM's feel cheap and nasty, however they've proven themselves to be great cameras. Late FM2n's are the best with the aluminium shutter. I sold mine as i prefer my F's and F2's. M6 is a completely different experience and IMHO by far the best M ever. A true classic that gives you a mechanical M with a great meter and doesn't break the bank.
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Old 07-18-2010   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
Other than the M6 costing 10 times the cost of an FM and an FM having Shutter Clap/mirror slap what are really are the differences?
the way you see in the finder
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Old 07-18-2010   #6
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The mirror slap can be greatly improved by using the F100. It has a very soft, gentle action. And the price is right for a used one.
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Old 07-18-2010   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSU View Post
I'm glad someone said this.

The Nikon is a SLR.

The Leica is a RF.
Ding ding, we have a winner!

If you like SLRs the FM series is very nice. Compact, reliable with a nice viewfinder. I have an FM2N that's been in my bag forever and never let me down.
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Old 07-18-2010   #8
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While we are at it (BTW it is raining outside, so I am chewing time), How about the Nikon FM3a VS Leica M7. About five times the price. Also le vrai rdu says the finder is different. Yes?
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Old 07-18-2010   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
Other than the M6 costing 10 times the cost of an FM and an FM having Shutter Clap/mirror slap what are really are the differences?
why do you do this?

and why do people answer him?
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Old 07-18-2010   #10
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Old 07-18-2010   #11
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weight, portability, quiet, all the lenses for M6 are light weight and excellent...Nikon need to choose which lens to buy...in the 35mm f2.0 range they are as expensive as Ms. F3HP is probably a better camera than the FM for the money. M6 v. FM ... M6...my personal opionion only.
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Old 07-18-2010   #12
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Better still put the Nikon comparison aside and compare the M6 to an OM-1 or OM-2! The M6 will probably cost twenty times the price of the Oly and you can get three or four good Zuikos for the price of a used Summicron.

But as Joe said ... "why do we answer?"
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Old 07-18-2010   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
How about the Nikon FM3a VS Leica M7?
Better construction and design: reliability... M7's require repairs a lot more...

A more fair fight would be FM3a vs. R3A...

It's true: no problems ever with my Nikons and Bessas...

And seeing through the lens is different, yes, and better some of the times...

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Old 07-18-2010   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
why do you do this?

and why do people answer him?
He is chewing time. He says so himself. I'd rather chew escargot.
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Old 07-18-2010   #15
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I thought we were comparing forks.

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Old 07-18-2010   #16
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Akiva: I know the answer to this one.

M6/M7 needs CLA every two years
Nikons are too smooth to ever need any repairing.

*runs*
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Old 07-18-2010   #17
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Mirror blackout. The lenses.
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Old 07-18-2010   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le vrai rdu View Post
the way you see in the finder
The lenses that you can mount. E.g., the FM hasn't got anything remotely approaching the 35 'lux ASPH (the 24 and 28/1.4's don't count because they are designed for AF and comparatively huge).
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Old 07-18-2010   #19
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If SLR's were considerably smaller and lighter than RF's, that would be different... I wouldn't love my RF's this much in that case...

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Old 07-19-2010   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semilog View Post
The lenses that you can mount. E.g., the FM hasn't got anything remotely approaching the 35 'lux ASPH (the 24 and 28/1.4's don't count because they are designed for AF and comparatively huge).
Yes, with the lack of mirror the wides' design -and size- is a lot better...

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Old 07-19-2010   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semilog View Post
The lenses that you can mount. E.g., the FM hasn't got anything remotely approaching the 35 'lux ASPH (the 24 and 28/1.4's don't count because they are designed for AF and comparatively huge).
good point indeed.
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Old 07-19-2010   #22
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I couldn't focus night shots on my 50/1.8. With the M6 .72, it's still difficult but not as bad. There's also no way you could handheld that vertical shutter as compared to the horizontal cloth shutter on those slower shutter speeds.
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Old 07-19-2010   #23
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I have both (M6 and FM2n) and am very fond of each of them.

The M6 with a 50mm/2 fits into my coat pocket, FM2 with a 50mm/1.8 doesn't. FM2 shutter speed goes to 1/4000, M6 to 1/1000, which is sometimes useful. I don't worry about the safety of FM2, where as the M6 is camouflaged with black tape to hide it's identity. I would shoot the FM2 on a tripod, but haven't considered using a tripod with the M6 (okay, it's not really a difference!). FM2 has self timer, but never felt the need for one on M6. FM2 feels less robust than the M6, but I know which I would be more upset dropping!
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Old 07-19-2010   #24
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There is no difference; the FM may even be better because of macro and tele capabilties. Due to my generous nature, I will send an FM camera to anyone who sends me their M6.

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Old 07-19-2010   #25
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Quote:
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There is no difference; the FM may even be better because of macro and tele capabilties. Due to my generous nature, I will send an FM camera to anyone who sends me their M6.

Ok I admit it, I just love my M6.
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Old 07-19-2010   #26
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You even have to ask??!!?? HERESY!!!
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Old 07-19-2010   #27
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F2 over M3 anytime
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Old 07-19-2010   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doolittle View Post
I have both (M6 and FM2n) and am very fond of each of them.

The M6 with a 50mm/2 fits into my coat pocket, FM2 with a 50mm/1.8 doesn't. FM2 shutter speed goes to 1/4000, M6 to 1/1000, which is sometimes useful. I don't worry about the safety of FM2, where as the M6 is camouflaged with black tape to hide it's identity. I would shoot the FM2 on a tripod, but haven't considered using a tripod with the M6 (okay, it's not really a difference!). FM2 has self timer, but never felt the need for one on M6. FM2 feels less robust than the M6, but I know which I would be more upset dropping!
I have largely the same. I bought a used FM2 and Series E 50mm f/1.8 back in '86. I still use it. I bought a F3HP last year for almost nothing, I like the way it feels and the AE, but in many ways prefer the FM2. I recently added a M6 TTL with a Jupiter-8 50mm f/2, and am looking to get some more lenses for it when I can. I like doing B&W low-light photography. For that, the F3HP is totally unsuited in my opinion, I prefer the LED's of the FM2 and M6. Having said that, the M6 wins out easily due to it being a Rangefinder, and not having the mirror flap. Though having a 50mm f/1.4 I can put on the FM2 is nice, like I said, I need more glass for my Leica!

I don't camouflage either camera, and honestly I would probably be more upset if something happened to the FM2, than the M6. The FM2 and I have a lot of history together, and I saw a lot of the world with it.
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Old 07-19-2010   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semilog View Post
The lenses that you can mount. E.g., the FM hasn't got anything remotely approaching the 35 'lux ASPH (the 24 and 28/1.4's don't count because they are designed for AF and comparatively huge).
Nikon still produce a 35 f/1.4, the 28mm f/2 and the 24 f/2 ais.
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Old 07-21-2010   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naruto View Post
Akiva: I know the answer to this one.

M6/M7 needs CLA every two years
Nikons are too smooth to ever need any repairing.

*runs*
as a working guy always found my Leica gear was in the repair shop much more than the Nikon gear. Usually a range finder correction. Never anything broken.

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Old 07-21-2010   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
none at all.
Yeah, the M6 has a pentaprism, uses Nikon lenses, has mirror slap and doesn't have an inferiority complex.
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Old 07-21-2010   #32
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Old 07-21-2010   #33
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M6/M7 needs CLA every two years
Nikons are too smooth to ever need any repairing.
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Old 07-21-2010   #34
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I have a FE2 that works. Thats all that I can say for it and can`t imagine a Fm would be much better. My F2 and recently aquired Nikkormat FT start to approach a decent camera. These are good sturdy pro cameras and do not leave you with the feeling they will fail.

All my M cameras, 2 thru 6, are a better experience. So is any Leicaflex, R6 thru R9.

We should find a hole somewhere for the R3, R4, R5, R4 and all the cheapo Nikons.
I only have any Nikon film cameras at all because I have Nikon digital 40,200 700, and D3 and I got tired of carrying two sets of lenses, one Nikon , one Leica. Damn shame Leica got so outragiously expensive and never did offer a digital R, only promises. I can get promises from the government too that never materialize.
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a short sum up FM(3a) vs Leica M(6/7)
Old 07-25-2010   #35
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a short sum up FM(3a) vs Leica M(6/7)

I revisited my FM3a with super lightweight-superlightvalue 50 f1.8 AiS (60 EUR, mint) last week and shot a handful color neg film.
It handles subjectively lighter than a comparable M (weight wise).
It is not exactly bigger, but just differently shaped with the prism housing.
The 50 f1.9 is not really bigger than a 50 Cron (it is lighter due to some plastic and less dense glass but veery smooth and well made - doesn't feel "cheap" except the plastic aperture ring).

It's wind lever feels rougher than the M and can't be cocked double stroke (don't think, the "rough" is a big issue - you just can clearly feel and hear (!) the gears, when cocking).
I mostly cock my M6 and M7 with two short strokes, as I feel more comfortable, not to move the camera to much, while in my face.

It's film loading with the "fiddle leader into plastic slit" is much slower, than loading a late M with the tulip take up spool. Really, the M is loaded and ready in half the time, while I still fiddle with the FM (I guess, that comes down to practicing).

The rewind action on the FM3a is much lighter, smoother and faster as on my M6 and M7 (they require more strength, I slip from time to time and they feel more rough or even "broken" by comparison).

Metering the FM3a in low light is bad, as the viewfinder has no lighted indicators - there is nothing better than the M6 classic two arrow diode meter with glowing diodes, as the meter reading changes - hate the M7 meter. The FM2 should be fine with it's metering diodes.

Apart from comparing a SLR with a RF, the viewfinder of the FM3a is more dim, much smaller and a really good example of the "tunnel effect" (all in a bad way I am afraid).

The placement of the RF viewfinder on the left side of the camera back really is ideal for left and right eye shooters with both eyes open or one eye closed - I do all of this depending on mood, lens, light and subject.
Looking through the M is just easier and more comfortable.
Also, poking the wind lever in the eye is less bad on the M than on the SLR.

The all around fit, finish and feel of the M vs FM stands no comparison and is directly connected to their respective price.
The SLR feels indeed cheaper, but does the job veeery reliably. The materials of the FM3a's body are top notch as with the Leica - only brass, aluminum, nice leatherette. The ISO selector film window (yes a film window - love it!) and wind lever tip are plastic.
The ISO selector feels cheap, but is not worse in function as the Leica ISO selector on the back door (especially the M7 one).
The FM3a has both ISO speed AND EV comp interlocked in comparison to the M7.

The FM3a focusses up close even with the rather limiting 0.6m or the cheapo 50 f1.8.
The MD12 is absolutely gorgeous (if being loud is not an issue) - it is fast, precise, has a great grip, motor rewind and is good for many rolls on 8 standard AAs.
Shooting the FM3a on "A" with the MD12 is really quick.

If you're into flash - the FM3a has TTL (as does the M6TTL and M7) but is fully compatible to the much more affordable Nikon TTL flashes (Nikons top of the line SB-900 form today is almost half the price of the Leica/Metz counterpart).

The FM3a has a −1ev fill flash button, once pressed, giving an −1ev TTL flash underexposure, to just fill - nice touch!
The FM3a AElock button is a bit hard to use for left eye shooters (you've got the wind lever and your thumb on the AElock button in your right eye).
The Leica AElock on the M7 is easier to use, but worse, when shooting with several frames locked and motor (simply doesn't work with the M7 ;-) but with the FM3a).

I started, to have tiny FM3a with the superlight 50 f1.8 now in the bag together with my most used M8.2 and either a M7 for low light and tele or a M6 for a 15 or 28mm.
Thats a 3 camera - 3 lenses - 3 different film bag with reasonable weight and small footprint.

Every RF shooter ought to have a FM/ FM2/ FM2n/ FM3a with a wide/normal/tele/macro these days, as they are so affordable compared to anything from Leica.
It is a very nice camera indeed - RF shruffs should try one before complaining of sacrilegious naming of these items over here ;-)
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Old 07-25-2010   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menos View Post
I revisited my FM3a with super lightweight-superlightvalue 50 f1.8 AiS (60 EUR, mint) last week and shot a handful color neg film.
It handles subjectively lighter than a comparable M (weight wise).
It is not exactly bigger, but just differently shaped with the prism housing.
The 50 f1.9 is not really bigger than a 50 Cron (it is lighter due to some plastic and less dense glass but veery smooth and well made - doesn't feel "cheap" except the plastic aperture ring).

It's wind lever feels rougher than the M and can't be cocked double stroke (don't think, the "rough" is a big issue - you just can clearly feel and hear (!) the gears, when cocking).
I mostly cock my M6 and M7 with two short strokes, as I feel more comfortable, not to move the camera to much, while in my face.

It's film loading with the "fiddle leader into plastic slit" is much slower, than loading a late M with the tulip take up spool. Really, the M is loaded and ready in half the time, while I still fiddle with the FM (I guess, that comes down to practicing).

The rewind action on the FM3a is much lighter, smoother and faster as on my M6 and M7 (they require more strength, I slip from time to time and they feel more rough or even "broken" by comparison).

Metering the FM3a in low light is bad, as the viewfinder has no lighted indicators - there is nothing better than the M6 classic two arrow diode meter with glowing diodes, as the meter reading changes - hate the M7 meter. The FM2 should be fine with it's metering diodes.

Apart from comparing a SLR with a RF, the viewfinder of the FM3a is more dim, much smaller and a really good example of the "tunnel effect" (all in a bad way I am afraid).

The placement of the RF viewfinder on the left side of the camera back really is ideal for left and right eye shooters with both eyes open or one eye closed - I do all of this depending on mood, lens, light and subject.
Looking through the M is just easier and more comfortable.
Also, poking the wind lever in the eye is less bad on the M than on the SLR.

The all around fit, finish and feel of the M vs FM stands no comparison and is directly connected to their respective price.
The SLR feels indeed cheaper, but does the job veeery reliably. The materials of the FM3a's body are top notch as with the Leica - only brass, aluminum, nice leatherette. The ISO selector film window (yes a film window - love it!) and wind lever tip are plastic.
The ISO selector feels cheap, but is not worse in function as the Leica ISO selector on the back door (especially the M7 one).
The FM3a has both ISO speed AND EV comp interlocked in comparison to the M7.

The FM3a focusses up close even with the rather limiting 0.6m or the cheapo 50 f1.8.
The MD12 is absolutely gorgeous (if being loud is not an issue) - it is fast, precise, has a great grip, motor rewind and is good for many rolls on 8 standard AAs.
Shooting the FM3a on "A" with the MD12 is really quick.

If you're into flash - the FM3a has TTL (as does the M6TTL and M7) but is fully compatible to the much more affordable Nikon TTL flashes (Nikons top of the line SB-900 form today is almost half the price of the Leica/Metz counterpart).

The FM3a has a −1ev fill flash button, once pressed, giving an −1ev TTL flash underexposure, to just fill - nice touch!
The FM3a AElock button is a bit hard to use for left eye shooters (you've got the wind lever and your thumb on the AElock button in your right eye).
The Leica AElock on the M7 is easier to use, but worse, when shooting with several frames locked and motor (simply doesn't work with the M7 ;-) but with the FM3a).

I started, to have tiny FM3a with the superlight 50 f1.8 now in the bag together with my most used M8.2 and either a M7 for low light and tele or a M6 for a 15 or 28mm.
Thats a 3 camera - 3 lenses - 3 different film bag with reasonable weight and small footprint.

Every RF shooter ought to have a FM/ FM2/ FM2n/ FM3a with a wide/normal/tele/macro these days, as they are so affordable compared to anything from Leica.
It is a very nice camera indeed - RF shruffs should try one before complaining of sacrilegious naming of these items over here ;-)
Seems to me you left a lot out. Can you elaborate a bit more?
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Old 07-25-2010   #37
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Seems to me you left a lot out. Can you elaborate a bit more?
menos left out a key difference:

With the FM3a, you can shoot all the speeds WITHOUT having a battery. With the M7, you need a battery in order to shoot all the speeds (without a battery, you're limited to 1/60 and 1/125).

This key feature is what would have made the M7 a killer camera. In this regard, it's equivalent to an FE instead of to an FM3a.
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Old 07-25-2010   #38
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Originally Posted by naruto View Post
Akiva: I know the answer to this one.

M6/M7 needs CLA every two years
Nikons are too smooth to ever need any repairing.

*runs*
If you've gotta run, I have a couple of worked-to-death FE2s that you could take with you. My 12 year old M6 has never had a CLA, though -- so it must not work at all.
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Old 07-25-2010   #39
menos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic View Post
menos left out a key difference:

With the FM3a, you can shoot all the speeds WITHOUT having a battery. With the M7, you need a battery in order to shoot all the speeds (without a battery, you're limited to 1/60 and 1/125).

This key feature is what would have made the M7 a killer camera. In this regard, it's equivalent to an FE instead of to an FM3a.
This is very true, but not indeed an important feature to ME, as I have 4 new cells for the M7 always sitting in my bag.
I only compared the FM3a / M6/ M7, as these are the 3 cameras, I actually use - the M7 the most of them, while I do now most with the M8.2.

Many of the "works without batteries people" indeed must reside in very remote areas most of the year compared to the coffee shop next corner
Even without carrying a spare, I'd get one anywhere, I am on my feet.
The good thing about them is, they fit my M6, my M7 and even my 20 year old HP 32SII RPN calculator, I use at work (it runs about 5 years on a charge of 3 cells though) ;-)
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Old 07-25-2010   #40
Juan Valdenebro
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Seeing the real DOF with a wide open fast lens can be useful. And a visual pleasure...

I forgive RF's because they're small...

Cheers,

Juan
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