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Naked Eye: M9 and X-Pro1

Discussion in 'Fuji X Forum' started by Pelao, May 1, 2012.

  1. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    The camera are quite different..... I wish they weren't constantly compared. I don't own a Leica so I'm not defending them out of some weird brand loyalty (and brand loyalty is weird in general), but to me it's a bit like comparing a really beautiful custom-made well balanced hammer to a really good nail gun. They may superficially be accomplishing the same thing, but they do it in such different ways as to make comparisons pointless. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think most people (Leica owners or not) would say that the Fuji creates beautiful images. And no one has ever said the Leica is a lousy image maker. Sure it costs more money, and yes, it has no AF. But owning it AND using it gives the user a different feel that can't be replaced with a great AF camera.

    Having said that, I don't understand why Fuji (or some other company) doesn't just go all in and make a full frame M mount manual focus rangefinder body. It can obviously be built and sold for considerably less than a Leica, but would it be successful?

    I guess it's our nature to want to compare things. I'd love an X Pro-1 because I like to have access to AF. But I also really enjoy manually focusing with great vintage gear......if I had the money, I can just easily picture myself shooting with an M9 as well. They are not mutually exclusive and comparing them is a bit like asking if you prefer the sweet juiciness of the orange or a tart, crisp apple. vive la différence
     
  3. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    I agree about the comparisons being a bit overdone. And not just the Fuji vs the Leica. I don't get much out of comparisons on review sites, but sometimes they are useful when done by 'real' photographers. There have been a few here that I have found interesting . Context is important.

    The 'but' in this case is the story behind the comparison. First, he is a working photographer and teacher who rarely writes about gear - and when he does it's insightful. Second, he is on a Leica journey; he thought long and hard before getting one and wanted it for his own specific reasons. For him the Fuji represents an opportunity to meet those same needs (small size, unobtrusive, and top notch IQ).

    So, unlike most comparisons, it's not a review as such - more of a continuation of a diary as he searches for a camera to meet his needs.
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'm not blaming the messenger for the message. I understand you are in a similar search. I just wonder what would happen if we all had the same camera...like if there was only one.
    .
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    I'm not a pixel peeper, but those images he posted were so similar I'm not sure what the point is. But maybe that IS the point. I just think that where IQ is now, that IQ almost no longer matters. Buy the camera that feels good.....or looks good....or that you can stick in your purse....or that has the buttons in the right place.

    I think ergonomics is the most important thing in a camera right now, and no one in a review can tell me that.

    Having said all that, I'll still keep reading reviews because most stores around here don't carry most of the cameras that interest me. I think tactile reviews are the future.
     
  5. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    Totally agree about the camera feel, controls etc. I much prefer reviews that talk about the experience of using the camera, especially when written by those who shoot similar in ways similar to my needs.
     
  6. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Rule Nr. 1: Never shoot jpegs with a Leica M. After 15 months with an M9, he should have figured this one out.
    Rule Nr 2: Don't buy a soft top convertible if you are considering the lack of a hard roof a "shortcoming". (Lack of AF is mentioned as a shortcoming of the M9).
    That's why his comparison looks pretty pointless to me.
     
  7. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    I've owned my M9P for all of seven days, so I'm not an expert user by any means, but here it goes. The reason why I bought the M9 was that when I had an opportunity to briefly hold one in my hands during a recent trip to NYC, it felt remarkably similar to my M6. I love the M6 because I love the rangefinder shooting experience. I also love its heft, the bright and beautiful OVF and the simplicity of its design.

    I find the exact same qualities in the M9. I love that in manual mode you have the exact same arrow display as the M6 and that on auto you have a simple shutter speed display. I love that the menu is only one page long and simple, and that once set up, you rarely have to look at it. Most of all, I love that it is a true rangefinder. If you do not love true rangefinders and rangefinder focusing, IQ is not enough of a reason to pick up an M9.

    In that sense, I do not see the X-Pro1 as a Leica M substitute. It is to me remarkably similar to the Contax G2, even in size and shape. I used to own a Contax G system and loved it, but it is a night and day different experience from shooting with the M6. Not better or worse, mind you, but different.

    Having said that, it appears that the X-Pro1 is a wonderful shooting machine. It's not a Leica M but it's not supposed to be. To a lot of users, that may be a good thing.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 4
  8. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Wow, congratulations on the new camera, Antonio!

    I checked out your initial images on Flickr - great stuff so far!
     
  9. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    And it probably is pointless to you - but not to him, which is really his point. As per my earlier post, context is important, and his many earlier posts on the M9 provide the context. of course, if you're not familiar with his blog, there is no way for you to know that.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    Nice reasoning. Congratulations on your M9. I'll confess to some envy...
     
  11. defektive

    defektive SC Veteran

    375
    May 4, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Sam
    I can see why people do comparisons between lenses, cameras etc and I am one of those guilty of analyzing photography gear to death prior to making a purchase. It has become a lot less important to me now as I have realised that test results do not always tell the full story, some things that other people see as drawbacks I see as beneficial.

    I have been using the Leica M digital system for the past year using both the M8 and now M9 and am the first to admit that it is not a perfect system. There are design issues such as poor high ISO performance and slow buffering speeds then there are impediments to shooting such as minimum focus distances and the inability to use long lenses. Then there are the "flaws" that I embrace - prime lenses only, manual focus, manual exposure settings and basic user interface. Then there are the things that enticed me into the system originally - access to glass that is peerless and using it with the system it was designed for, rangefinder focussing, quality workmanship and heritage.

    To me it is hard to put a value on some of those things and the Leica is always going to get "the next big thing" compared to it because it is bloody expensive. But justifiably so to me.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. flash

    flash SC Veteran

    372
    May 6, 2011
    Gordon
    Fuji built a camera nearly identical in size and shape to the M9. They directly referenced it in their early discussions on the camera. It's only natural for other to make that comparison. Especially when the XP1 has those functions (macro, long lens capability, AF, high ISO performance) that the M9 lacks. There are exactly three reasons to buy an M9. The handling, the rangefinder and the lenses. Using a M is about the experience as much as the results. It's understandable that people are going to see if they can get a similar experience from a camera that seems to fill the M9's holes at a lower cost. The author concludes that they're to be used side by side and not exclusively. Since I agree with him I think that he's done a great job. :smile:

    The Fuji is like the digital love child of an Xpan and a Contax G2. Since both of those don't get made any more the only logical comparison is the M9.

    Gordon
     
  13. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    I've not read all this stuff - I've stopped reading such stuff and i wish people would stop trying to compare Leica M with anything else

    All I know is that I used my M8 today, (in the pouring rain) - it is so so easy to use - M glass is magnificent - and it is a joy to hold and shoot with......... every time I go back to it - it IS just so much better than all your M43 and SCs and whatever

    Look, I'm just a OAP, (old average photographer), but for me - at 28mm/35mm and 50mm nothing competes with a Leica M .............. period

    at longer focals it's got to be a Nikon DSLR

    I have a used M9 in sight and I don't mind spending the money on one
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I would think if you can hold off until the M10 is announced shortly that there will be a flood of used M9s on the market, but maybe that won't affect the price.
     
  15. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    I'm sensitive about what mega mega pixel will do to my present computing capacity - iMac and MBP

    I reckon that if I bought a D800, for example, I would have to upgrade both, plus additional storage, plus big expensive CF cards, plus maybe a better screen - I think that once these cams are producing 34mp+ RAW files this is going to hit a lot of people
     
  16. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf SC Top Veteran

    868
    Apr 25, 2011
    Western NC
    I'm there now!

    I'm there now Bill and I'm just using this measly 12mp GXR. My laptop screen is not big enough, my hard drive is full, and my machine croaks now when I try to run a couple apps along with Aperture. (My MacBook Pro is 5 years old).

    So I'm there already Bill! Plus I've developed a hankering for a used M9 too. My Leica 40 on my GXR has told me enough. Plus on my GXR, I don't give a rip about all of that other stuff that gets in the way. All I want is easy access to Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO and Exposure Compensation.

    I've been holding off on a new laptop for I'm hoping Apple will hurry and announce an updated one. But I keep looking at their refurbished models. I also have a NEC 22" display in my wish list folder at B&H to finally really look at what I'm doing.

    So I'm hoping this month of May will see some ground breaking news, i.e.; Leica M10 and new Apple MacBook Pro.
     
  17. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    I considered that before purchasing mine, but unless the folks at Leica are extremely good at keeping secrets and spreading false rumors, the rumor mill strongly indicates that what will be announced is a B&W only M body and that the M9 successor will be announced in September. If that is indeed the case, I do not think M9 prices will be significantly impacted by the announcement.

    Still, I was able to get $1,000 off the price of mine (reason why I bought an M9P instead of an M9 - discount was not available on the M9) even though the dealer swore that it had nothing to do with the upcoming announcement.

    In any event, there is no reason now not to wait (it's only one more week) unless it's a really good deal and you risk losing it.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    It seems like your doing it right, Duane... spending the money on lenses, that you can always use on a new GXR body down the road, or maybe even a M10. In the meantime, you are getting great shots out of that pitiful, outdated GXR! :smile:
     
  19. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf SC Top Veteran

    868
    Apr 25, 2011
    Western NC
    Thanks krugorg!
     
  20. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    you guys with storage issues have heard of external drives right? Jan 1 every year I dump all my photos off onto an external and then back it up to another external. I have 2 drives with the same library of pics (What are the odds of them both failing at the same time). Keeps the laptop running lean and mean. I rarely go through old photos anyways and if I do, I just plug in one of the externals.