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View Poll Results: Would you buy a new M9 at this point??
Yes, especially with the new discounts 43 27.22%
No, still to expensive 79 50.00%
No, I would rather wait for the M10 36 22.78%
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Is it a mistake to buy an M9 in 2012?
Old 08-13-2012   #1
Harry S.
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Is it a mistake to buy an M9 in 2012?

Hello,

I really want an M9. Well, more specifically a digital M camera with a full frame sensor. I'm aware of some of the hang-ups that some people have highlighted about this camera (high ISO, battery woes etc.) but have decided I'm willing to live with the short comings.

Im sick of using a DSLR. I like my X100 but would love to use my M lenses, (with their native FOV) and am no longer interested in using film. M9 is the only option at this point.

The crux of my question is this: Is it foolish to buy an M9 or M9-P now, 3 years into its product cycle? Will a new M camera be released that will make it obsolete within 6 months?

M-9 owners; are you happy with your cameras?

Regards,
Harry.

Last edited by Harry S. : 08-13-2012 at 03:31. Reason: grammar
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Old 08-13-2012   #2
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Personally I'd suggest you wait until after September to buy a M-9, or wait into the M-10 product cycle depending on if they release the release dates in September.

You will see the market flood to an extent with M-9 users looking to upgrade to M-10s when the camera is eventually released as well, I'd suggest this would be the best time to buy.
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Old 08-13-2012   #3
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I agree with this recommendation. I am trying out the M8 first.
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Old 08-13-2012   #4
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I am extremely happy with my M9 (2 years old) and do not see myself upgrading in the near future (even if I would have the money for it). Quality of the files is excellent. Why don't you wait till Photokina and see whether they announce the M10 and then pray for second hand M9 prices to drop a bit or decide to buy a M10 and maybe start saving (or not).

Had not picked up my camera for a while (long hours at work) and took it with me to my father in laws 85th birthday this weekend. Took 28 pictures, 4 absolute keepers en 2 that are close to being keepers. The fact that I was not pushing a bazooka in the guests' faces and that I was able to see what was happening outside the frame and be ready to press the shutter when somebody walked into the frame etc. was key to the relatively high amount of keepers.
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Old 08-13-2012   #5
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I would only buy one used for $5000 or less. You'd be crazy to buy one new for $8000 with the M10 on the horizon. Honestly, I would try a M8 first. The crop factor is a lot better than most cameras being 1.33x.
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Old 08-13-2012   #6
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The consensus is that the M10 will be announced @ Photokina next month, but given Leica's track record, that means the actual cameras will not be available for another 6 months.

Since you already know what you're getting into, I offer no opinion as to whether it's "foolish" to get an M9 or M9-P. Whether it's a working tool or a toy, it's your money & photography. Like Boherk, I would recommend just waiting a couple months to see how much the M10 announcement affects used M9 prices & then picking up a good used M9 (unless you know a dealer who can get you a deal on a new one).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry S. View Post
Hello,

I really want an M9. Well, more specifically a digital M camera with a full frame sensor. I'm aware of some of the hang-ups that some people have highlighted about this camera (high ISO, battery woes etc.) but have decided I'm willing to live with the short comings.

Im sick of using a DSLR. I like my X100 but would love to use my M lenses, (with their native FOV) and am no longer interested in using film. M9 is the only option at this point.

The crux of my question is this: Is it foolish to buy an M9 or M9-P now, 3 years into its product cycle? Will a new M camera be released that will make it obsolete within 6 months?

M-9 owners; are you happy with your cameras?

Regards,
Harry.
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Old 08-13-2012   #7
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Wait for Photokina, if an M10 is announced, lots of people will want to offload their M9s. Sometimes you *need* a camera for a job, vacation or whatever, but if you can wait, wait.
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Old 08-13-2012   #8
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The questions really seems rhetorical...are you looking for someone to talk you out of it to save the boatload of money it would cost? There are myriad reasons, but you know them all.

Or are you searching for confirmation of a decision that seems to have been made already?

You know the pros and cons. You know your own budget. For me, I'd take the $5000 (if you can get it that cheap) and do other stuff with it. If I needed a new camera, there are tons of options. I think most of us who use M lenses have been seduced by the M9 at some point, but quite frankly the price is so outrageous that you have to be in a far higher income bracket than myself or just have a higher tolerance for pain. You can get the X-Pro 1 with all the lenses, bells, and whistles and still have a good $2-3k left over (if you're looking at used M9s) to go on a trip, save for your kids' college, pay down your mortgage, etc etc.

Ultimately, the financial aspect kills the M9 for me, and many others. But only you know your finances and pain threshold.
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Old 08-13-2012   #9
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This is a common misconception to ask whether one should buy an M9 now. Is it going to take outdated photos? No. Is it going to be significantly cheaper? Depends on the anticipated much higher price of the M10 and what your wallet thinks is significantly cheaper.

The reason the question is misconstrued is the overall viewpoint of what one wants in a camera...if it is to buy, sell, buy something else, sell ...continually throwing money away while replacing an M9 with the latest and greatest...then the money lost on all the gear over time is a function of the mentality of getting something new every year or two.

If the mentality is of getting a camera and keeping it indefinitely (much like I do), then the cost is fixed. The M9, if I could afford it, would be a fine camera for me for the rest of my life. There is no reason for me to replace an excellent camera.

And there is the mentality of everybody in-between. At the end of the day, does the OP want to keep the camera and spend a lifetime learning how to master it, or is it just a temporary fix for gear lust?

I will soldier on with my 1951 IIIF, my 1961 M3 and the used X1 that I finally finished paying for... wish I could afford an M9 but, two tears in a bucket for me. Happiness dwells here, regardless.
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Old 08-13-2012   #10
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Is it a mistake to wait forever?

As others say, even if there is an M10, what will availability be like?

Yes, I'm very happy with my M9.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-13-2012   #11
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I am going to go against the tide and recommend that you buy a new one, your sensor will be covered for 3 years, which is a plus. I bought mine new in May and have enjoyed the summer with it. The m10 will not be widely available until next summer. I am glad that I bought mine. Try a european dealer, you might save some money through a low euro and vat refund, which is what i did while in Paris


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Old 08-13-2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
The reason the question is misconstrued is the overall viewpoint of what one wants in a camera...if it is to buy, sell, buy something else, sell ...continually throwing money away while replacing an M9 with the latest and greatest...then the money lost on all the gear over time is a function of the mentality of getting something new every year or two.
Dave, please remember that many of us digital users view the money lost on digital camera depreciation as similar to film and processing costs. Also, sometimes we buy low and sell high.

In the 1 year that I had my M9, I took over 10,000 images. That's 277 rolls without porcessing (at $4.00 a color roll). With decent processing, we are looking at about half that. I lost $2000 on my sale after using it for a year. $2000 for say, cheap film and processing ($10), would be about 200 rolls.

Also, what does it matter if we buy and sell. Most of us that do have our main cameras and trying other things is always fun. There is no one right way to do things.
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Old 08-13-2012   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Dave, please remember that many of us digital users view the money lost on digital camera depreciation as similar to film and processing costs. Also, sometimes we buy low and sell high.

In the 1 year that I had my M9, I took over 10,000 images. That's 277 rolls without porcessing (at $4.00 a color roll). With decent processing, we are looking at about half that. I lost $2000 on my sale after using it for a year. $2000 for say, cheap film and processing ($10), would be about 200 rolls.

Also, what does it matter if we buy and sell. Most of us that do have our main cameras and trying other things is always fun. There is no one right way to do things.

Ah, John, you misread or I mis-communicated (probably the right answer)... the OP asked for opinions. My opinion is that there are three positions within the "bell curve" of buyers. Buy and sell often, Keep a long time, or somewhere in between. No need for anyone to take a position of "right or wrong" on this. Just a fact of life. The old distribution curve.

Everybody is different and that is fine. I just hate it when people go into a buying decision with eyes wide shut.

Asking for opinions is exactly that. We are all different but the facts are what they are... I have no judgment on any of that.

Except to say what works for me:

Life is shorter than you think... be happy. I don't plan on being here next year, but that's just me.
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Old 08-13-2012   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Ah, John, you misread or I mis-communicated (probably the right answer)... the OP asked for opinions. My opinion is that there are three positions within the "bell curve" of buyers. Buy and sell often, Keep a long time, or somewhere in between. No need for anyone to take a position of "right or wrong" on this. Just a fact of life. The old distribution curve.

Everybody is different and that is fine. I just hate it when people go into a buying decision with eyes wide shut.

Asking for opinions is exactly that. We are all different but the facts are what they are... I have no judgment on any of that.

Except to say what works for me:

Life is shorter than you think... be happy. I don't plan on being here next year, but that's just me.
Hey no offense Dave. Sorry if I sounded upset, I wasn't. Just giving the other side of the coin ... I think you know by now that I'm not very good at tact. I'm trying to learn it.
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Old 08-13-2012   #15
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Bought my silver M9-P in March. Couldn't be happier. My M2 has been superseded by 7 subsequent models, only one of which I might still want to add. The M10 won't put me out at all. Happy shooting.

But right now I too might have waited.
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Old 08-13-2012   #16
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I asked myself the same question and my answer was no. The M10 will only be available in 2013 and will cost an arm and a leg. If you wait, you might see a slight drop in used M9 prices but probably not very much. As of now, only 20% of M9 users are planning an upgrade (see poll) but probably more are waiting to pounce on used M9s. In any case, even if it falls in value by $500, you'll have had almost a year's usage out of it. If you keep waiting you'll never get one. Being 3 years into the production run, all the quirks have been worked out and lemons have been fixed. Can't say that for the. The M9 is an awesome camera and you'll not regret it. That being said, the M8 is also a great camera if you don't mind a little more noise (ISO and Shutter) and the crop factor.
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Old 08-13-2012   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Hey no offense Dave. Sorry if I sounded upset, I wasn't. Just giving the other side of the coin ... I think you know by now that I'm not very good at tact. I'm trying to learn it.
You did not sound upset...it sounded like I screwed up what I wrote and I did. We are both on the same page...

Still waitin' on your travels bringing you to Atlanta! Doesn't look feasible for me to travel north even though I would love it!
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Old 08-13-2012   #18
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Still waitin' on your travels bringing you to Atlanta! Doesn't look feasible for me to travel north even though I would love it!
Dave, I'd love to get down there and see some of those lovely places you photograph. It might be awhile though. I'm going to Japan in two months and that's going to cost some coin. However, Japan is a dream trip for me. That said, I would love to take a nice road trip down the east cost one of these years.
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Old 08-13-2012   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Dave, I'd love to get down there and see some of those lovely places you photograph. It might be awhile though. I'm going to Japan in two months and that's going to cost some coin. However, Japan is a dream trip for me. That said, I would love to take a nice road trip down the east cost one of these years.
My best recommendation to the OP is, seriously,

Life is shorter than you think, enjoy yourself!

And, John, if ya need help with the luggage, I don't eat much and I don't speak Japanese but, I'm just sayin'....

Speaking of Photokina, what other products are expected to be announced on that glorious September day? Given that they will be a long time before purchase is actually feasible, I would get the new M9 myself! It should become a classic in itself.
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Old 08-13-2012   #20
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At Arles, Stefan Daniel said it would be one of their most important photokinas in a very long time. But that was all: no detail.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-13-2012   #21
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I bought mine in January. Quite happy with it, no need to upgrade.

If the next model appeals to me, I'll consider it in a year or three. Why rush?
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Old 08-13-2012   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
At Arles, Stefan Daniel said it would be one of their most important photokinas in a very long time. But that was all: no detail.

Cheers,

R.


Ahhh ... the new rumoured full fram DSLR!
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Old 08-13-2012   #23
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I want an m9 and would buy one if I could afford it... It's IQ will be good enough for the next 50 years for anything that you're likely to use it for.
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Old 08-13-2012   #24
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I'd wait. Gives you more time to save up those Banjo Patersons for a camera I expect to cost a bit more than the M9.
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Old 08-13-2012   #25
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Quote:
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Ahhh ... the new rumoured full fram DSLR!
Maybe. Could be almost anything. R10? M10? S3? EVIL? All of the above?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-13-2012   #26
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Had my M9 since Jan 2010, and am very happy with it. Either wait until Photokina or buy a used M9.
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Old 08-13-2012   #27
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I bought mine early last year, and mostly happy with it. If I hadn't, and were thinking of buying one now, I would wait until I saw what was announced in Photokina. There may be improvements I'd like a lot, such as a better buffer and better high ISO. There may be features that would interest me, like live view. There may be none of the above. There may be the above, but at such a premium, that I'd go with the M9. But I would wait to read the announcements.
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Old 08-13-2012   #28
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Quick question:

Why does anyone think the images from an M9, if properly done, will ever be obsolete? What makes an image obsolete?

I reckon HCB and countless others are rolling in their graves having spent their lives shooting obsolete cameras and producing obsolete photographs.

Just a thought...
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Old 08-13-2012   #29
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50 years in the future is a long time. I would say your pronouncement is a bit naive.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinlg View Post
I want an m9 and would buy one if I could afford it... It's IQ will be good enough for the next 50 years for anything that you're likely to use it for.
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Old 08-13-2012   #30
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If you want to use your M/LTM lenses with a 24x36 mm sensor, then just go buy a M9 and enjoy it.

Forget about a post September price drop that may or may not happen. Get the tool you need and work. You won't waste any more time or energy think about what may or may not happen or when you should act.
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Old 08-13-2012   #31
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I bought it, loved the FF capability, checked it off my bucket list, the shutter noise drove me crazy, I lost my job, then sold it. C'est la vie.
Now I have decided I will never buy another digi M with that gut-wrenching shutter sound.
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Old 08-13-2012   #32
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The shutter sound itself is fine; it's the obnoxious shutter re-cock motor sound that's annoying. I hope for a quieter motor, or manual re-cock option, on a future digital M, but I won't hold my breath. Weather sealing (with some sealed lenses) rates higher on my wish list.

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Old 08-13-2012   #33
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I'd buy an M9 five years from now as long as official Leica-branded batteries are still being manufactured at that time.
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Old 08-13-2012   #34
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Quote:
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50 years in the future is a long time. I would say your pronouncement is a bit naive.
Ordinarily, I agree with assessments like that... but in this case, I'm not so sure.

If photography is about still 2D images in 50 years, then I think it's not too far off. In that case, it's all still about composition and capture and whether or not you can print a reasonably-sized print. The M9 years from now (assuming they don't all fall apart) will be able to do those things as well as it does today. Today, it competes with all previous photographic technology, and produces stunning results.

Given that there are 50+ year old photos that are as incredible today as they were 50 years ago, I see no reason why the M9 would atrophy significantly in ability to produce excellent images.
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Old 08-13-2012   #35
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Ordinarily, I agree with assessments like that... but in this case, I'm not so sure.

If photography is about still 2D images in 50 years, then I think it's not too far off. In that case, it's all still about composition and capture and whether or not you can print a reasonably-sized print. The M9 years from now (assuming they don't all fall apart) will be able to do those things as well as it does today. Today, it competes with all previous photographic technology, and produces stunning results.

Given that there are 50+ year old photos that are as incredible today as they were 50 years ago, I see no reason why the M9 would atrophy significantly in ability to produce excellent images.
50 years is nothing! There are images from the Civil War that were posted on RFF a few months ago that are stunning. World War II images on slide film? Stunning!

I agree that 2D images will never become obsolete. Holograms or something else? No interest here but it may be in the future yet I doubt that anything can render a great photo of any time period obsolete. Photography has hardly ever killed oil painting or other forms of art.
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Old 08-13-2012   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry S. View Post
Hello,

I really want an M9. Well, more specifically a digital M camera with a full frame sensor. I'm aware of some of the hang-ups that some people have highlighted about this camera (high ISO, battery woes etc.) but have decided I'm willing to live with the short comings.

Im sick of using a DSLR. I like my X100 but would love to use my M lenses, (with their native FOV) and am no longer interested in using film. M9 is the only option at this point.

The crux of my question is this: Is it foolish to buy an M9 or M9-P now, 3 years into its product cycle? Will a new M camera be released that will make it obsolete within 6 months?

M-9 owners; are you happy with your cameras?

Regards,
Harry.
Obsolescence is in the mind of the beholder.
Frankly never understood why Device Mk X which gave excellent performance, (and in fact was at the time of its introduction considered to be the greatest thing since sliced bread), should, upon the introduction of Device Mk 2X suddenly become obsolete/primitive/unusable/beneath contempt/ and require replacement at the earliest possible opportunity.
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Old 08-13-2012   #37
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im always against expensive cameras, but if you can afford it then get one. if I have money on my pocket for the price of M9 I rather spend it on a trip and photograph. ill get an olympus om1 or om2, a 35mm, lots of film and start shooting, is all about experience, photographs, stories... cameras comes and goes, only the photos will the evidence you one mans journey.
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Old 08-13-2012   #38
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Obsolescence is in the mind of the beholder.
Frankly never understood why Device Mk X which gave excellent performance, (and in fact was at the time of its introduction considered to be the greatest thing since sliced bread), should, upon the introduction of Device Mk 2X suddenly become obsolete/primitive/unusable/beneath contempt/ and require replacement at the earliest possible opportunity.
To reinforce your argument, I can't remember the last time I bought sliced bread...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-13-2012   #39
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Dear Roger, why would you need pain de mie when you can buy an excellent baguette?
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Old 08-13-2012   #40
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having an R-D1, an 8 year old digital, I've come to the conclusion that being obsolete technologically not necessarly is that bad. The R-D1 for instance works perfectly as it did when I bought it in 2009. It's been working flawlessly for almost a decade. I assume the M9 should have, at least, ten years of heavy use before it might start giving signs of age. And the files it produces now will most certainly be as good in ten years or more.

I'm waiting to see if the M10 will be launched and how M9 prices drop. If the price tag of an M10 is completely out of reach (who know, Leica could surprise everyone by having the same price as the M9, as most camera manufacturers do) I'll probably get a 2nd hand M9 which will be good for the next 10 years.
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