The Leica M9 Hammertone Special Edition?
This has been a week of new cameras leaking out on to the internet and some new camera announcements. So what’s new? How about more Leica M9-P stuff? Well, the image above is a shot of a supposed M9 Hammertone special edition that will come with a 28 2.8 Elmarit in chrome with a hammertone lens hood. This is supposedly going on sale for $15,000 in a strict limited edition of 100 sets, in Japan. It will sell out no problem with that number. As for the M9-P…my guess is that it will look just like this, but in chrome and black paint finishes 🙂 The M9-P of course would not be a limited edition and supposedly will come in $700 more expensive than the standard M9, sapphire glass included. 🙂
The Sony NEX-C3 – It’s official!
It’s small, it’s cute and it does everything the NEX-3 did and more. The only problem is that Sony made it even smaller, and this may make it harder to hold comfortably. I have not seen or held one yet and I do like the silver top and black body combo but it’s starting to look more and more like a point and shoot. I really do not see anything in the C3 that would make me want it over the NEX-3 or 5 because there will be a new firmware update soon that will allow the 3 and 5 to use the same special effect filters as the new C3. Sony has a way of making a statement product like a NEX-5 and then sort of killing it with future releases. They did this in the Audio world years ago with their high end line (anyone remember the SCD-1)?
The NEX-C3 has higher megapixel count (which is not always a good thing) of 16.2 and Sony can once again claim they have the smallest interchangeable APS-C size sensor camera in the world. Maybe that was their goal.
“Building on the success of last year’s α NEX launch, the new NEX-C3 model takes the idea of ‘small camera body, SLR-quality photos’ to a whole new level,” said Kristen Elder, director of the alpha digital imaging business at Sony. “This camera’s brand new, large CMOS sensor and user-friendly interface will allow all photographers, regardless of experience level, to produce unique, custom-styled photographs. The NEX-C3 is a perfect combination of design, performance and creativity that fits a wide range of activities and shooting styles.”
also seems like the NEX line is getting more consumer friendly…
“The intuitive new Photo Creativity interface on the NEX-C3 camera puts sophisticated controls within easy reach, whether users are shooting stills or HD Video. Technical terms like ‘aperture’, ‘exposure value’ and ‘white balance’ are replaced with the friendlier and more intuitive ‘background defocus’, ‘brightness’ and ‘color’, allowing users to easily create custom-styled photographs. A traditional interface with Aperture/Shutter Priority, Manual and custom functions is always available for experienced users, along with highly customizable soft-keys for programming direct access to important controls.”
Again, the new firmware will basically give the same functionality to your 3 or 5, so I wouldn’t run out and sell your 3 or 5 to buy a 3C, unless the photo quality ends up being better, which is possible (but unlikely). Sony is also releasing a 30 3.5 macro lens around the same time as the camera.
A new Ricoh digital hits the Internets!
Ricoh Introduces the PX Series,
Water- and Dust-Resistant Digital Cameras
for Day-to-Day Photography, Outdoor Use, and Everything in Between
June 9, 2011?TOKYO, Japan?Ricoh Co., Ltd. (helmed by president and CEO
Shiro Kondo) today announced the release of the new PX compact digital
camera. The new design offers 5.0×, wide-angle (28 mm) and telephoto (140
mm) optical zoom in a water- and shock-resistant package that can safely be
used for hassle-free photography in a wide variety of locations and
Designed for hassle-free operation, the new RICOH PX lets users take
photographs anytime, anywhere with fast startup and settings that adapt to
subjects for optimal results. Its high-resolution, 16-million?pixel CCD
sensor and Smooth Imaging Engine IV image processing engine combine for
high-resolution, high-quality photographs.
The new, fully flat design give the new RICOH PX, ease-of-use and
portability, results in a camera that is easy to carry, while the optional
protective jacket appeals to users with a choice of color schemes that can
be matched to the camera body.
While it exhibits the traditional dedication to image quality that has been
the foundation of all RI-COH digital camera designs to date, the newly
released RICOH PX is also a compact digital camera that promises fun,
hassle-free photography. It is also dedicated to image quality that has
been the foundation of all RICOH digital camera designs to date.
Principal Features of the New RICOH PX Compact Digital Camera
1. Designed for peace of mind and hassle-free use, anywhere, anytime;
fully dust-, water-, and shock-resistant
The RICOH PX has a JIS/IEC protection rating equivalent to IP68. It
can be used underwater for 60 minutes at a depth of 3 meters. Dirt
can be washed off, allowing users to safely take pictures anywhere
without worrying about rain, splashes from the kitchen, or dirt or
soil from the garden. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being
able to use your camera anytime, anywhere, including for shots of
water sports, hiking, and other outdoor scenes.
Thanks to its impact-resistant design, the camera can withstand
being dropped from heights of 1.5 meters.
The camera features a 2.7-inch, 230k-dot high-contrast LCD monitor
with a wide viewing an-gle. It also boasts an anti-fingerprint
protection coating that protects from scratches, and an
anti-reflective coating which ensures that the monitor can still be
viewed under bright outdoor lighting.
2. Never miss another shot?whip out the RICOH PX and snap a photo
Whether it’s a spur-of-the-moment snapshot or a carefully framed
picture, the RICOH PX can automatically optimize settings to suit
the subject, allowing even users who are unfamiliar with the camera
to take photos quickly and easily.
A fast startup time of about 1.4 seconds ensures you’ll never miss
Subject-tracking AF” is standard on all models for shots that are
always in focus even if the subject is in motion.
The fully-flat design eliminates projections to emphasize
portability for a camera that can be slipped into a pocket and used
almost anywhere. By placing the lens in the center of the camera
body, RICOH has ensured that shots won’t be blocked by stray
fingers even when the camera is held in both hands.
The intuitive controls include a lever-style flash dial that allows
user to determine whether the flash is on or off, and a movie
button that starts movie recording directly with a single press.
3. A 16-million?pixel, high-resolution CCD sensor for high-resolution
The 16-million?pixel, high-resolution CCD sensor ensures
high-quality results not only when pictures are enlarged, but also
when they are cropped or resized for digital zoom.
The Smooth Imaging Engine IV image processing engine produces
noise-free images even in shots taken at high sensitivities under
Image-sensor?shift image stabilization reduces blur at high zoom
ratios and in pictures taken at night or indoors under low light.
4. 28?140 mm, 5× optical zoom with super resolution (SR) zoom equivalent
to 10× optical zoom
The RICOH PX offers 5× optical zoom for focal lengths of 28 mm
(wide) to 140 mm (tele-photo).
With super resolution technology, the camera supports SR zoom
equivalent to a focal length of 280 mm with almost no drop in image
quality. Telephoto photography at zoom ratios equivalent to up to
1,344 mm (280 mm × 4.8) are available with digital zoom.
5. Premium shot modes enhance the photographic experience
Settings can be optimized for even the most difficult subjects
simply by choosing the scene with the premium button.
A display with easy-to-understand explanations guides users to the
scene they want.
Premium shot modes and custom modes are available for up to 28
scenes (including custom modes).
A wide selection of premium shot modes is available, including
“Cooking” and “Sweets” for delicious looking shots of food, an
“Auction” mode for shots of objects being sold at auction, “Beach”
and “Snow” modes that utilize the camera’s water resistance,
“Party”, “Hand-held night scene”, and “Miniaturize”, “Toy camera”,
and “Soft focus” filter effects.
Photographers can select up to five of their favorite premium modes
for easy recall.
6. Playback options for easy viewing
By using the camera’s “Favorites” feature users can rate picture
with the camera’s choice of three rating levels.
The “privacy” option can be used to hide selected pictures during
Use “calendar playback” to find pictures by date.
7. A full range of convenient options to enhance the user experience
The RICOH PX comes with a slip-proof protective jacket(available in
five colors to match the camera body ) to protect it from shocks
The “Two-way” straps that function as both hand- or neck-straps are
also available in five colors.
8. Many other features add fun to your photos
The RICOH PX supports X2-series Eye-Fi SD memory cards with a
built-in wireless LAN feature that can be used to automatically
upload photos to a computer or photo-sharing ser-vice.
Users can shoot HD movies with a frame size of 1280 × 720 pixels.
An HDMI cable (avail-able separately) can be used to connect the
camera to an HDTV for high-quality display of movies and photos.
The RICOH PX comes with rechargeable battery that uses a USB
connection. The USB power adapter can be plugged into a household
power outlet or the battery can be recharged when the camera is
connected to a computer via the supplied USB cable.
You can add multiple lines like this.
They’re for sale already?
Here we go again..pure economics it is.
Digital photography is equal to pharmaceuticals and for Leica to stay in business, they had to join the crowd (or at least try).
Pharmaceutical companies make billions by relying on people being sick enough so there is always a need for medications. It’s called management of symptoms. There are no cures because there is no money in cures. Simple and true, unless you decide to believe in tooth fairies or live under a rock.
Digital photography is the same because there is no end cure, a pinnacle, perfection. Once you achieve that, there is no reason to buy anymore, hence no business. Film cameras was a dead end business because you could buy one and have it, reliably for the rest of your life.
You chase the latest digital gadget not because it can take better pictures but because it’s different, new, and supposedly (not in reality) better…or simply because you want it (that’s probably the vast majority of people).
The problem with Leica is quite unique though. Their flagship system is the M and it has been virtually unchanged since the beginning, with a cult following and people who expect the core to remain the same. They are essentially painted into a corner, since they cannot revolutionize anything about the M system without alienating existing and important customers, and aside from a few trivial parts (sapphire glass), there is not much they can do improve and get people to upgrade every 18-24 months. So, what they do is offer these “special editions” for big bucks, that collectors and fashionistas grab at the first chance they get. Obviously, a photographer who already has an M9, uses it, loves it, is unlikely to drop another $7K for a camera that’s essentially the same, aside from a few cosmetic differences.
One thing is for sure: Leica will have to be very creative to keep all the addicts happy to plunk down another $7-8K every 18-24 months for yet another M camera that does essentially the same thing as one they created in the 1950s.
Please Leica: faster, lighter, quieter, longer battery life, and weather sealing, VGA screen — NOT fancier
Weather sealing, yes. And to go with it couple dust and waterproof lenses. (16-21, 28-35-50). Adventure, adventure!
Steve – I am also hopeful about the peaking, and I agree with you.
SONY – Where is the NEX EVF????
Where is the Zeiss glass?????
The next camera is AWESOME, but it needs a little help.. CMON Sony, do the right thing!
+1 on “where is the Zeiss glass?” at this rate, it looks like we might not see that 24mm until 2012…
Hi, Steve. You’ve missed the main, awesome thing coming in the NEX-C3 and NEX-3/5 firmware update: FOCUS PEAKING! It essentially highlights whatever is in focus with a bit of color, and works with any lens for both video and still shots. This is a dream for manual lens users, and it suddenly catapults the NEX cameras into being able to focus very fast with manual lenses…maybe even rangefinder fast???
I saw that but wont believe its usefulness until I see it and use it. If it is good, then this is GREAT news though I still miss a viewfinder when using the NEX. If Sony had a NEX with built in VF like the X100 AND had this focus peaking that worked well…man!
But am excited to get the new firmware and try it out.
Right on, Vuitton clad Leica comes soon, remember they already made Hermes edition, you know them guys with scarfs and barfs. And what about a Swarowski M9, this time covered all over with real ice from Kongo, you know, a place where human life`s less then 1/100 of carat.
I’m sorry but my fascination with Leica is fading quickly. Rather than dressing up the same 2 year old M9 technology in different skins, so they charge gullible consumers ridiculous amounts of money for them – why not improve the technology? Just build a better camera and try and get your product in the hands of more photographers by getting your prices down.
You’d think Leica was selling shoes or handbags. Continuing to market their products like a Luis Vuitton handbag, I think, will ultimately hurt them.
Then again, as long as the fashionista’s see the likes of Seal and Scarlett Johansson flaunt their M9’s – maybe Leica is on to something.
I think you are mistaken if you think Leica wants to be a consumer camera company that caters to the masses. Yes, I too wish they were cheaper, but even as they sell more then they make… the prices will never come down.
I don’t think that the term “masses” is appropriate here, people with less money or people who are not snobs is much more accurate. It is obvious that their target market is people who buy cameras as fashion statement, as an external sign that they are passionate about the photography. Offcourse, M9 is a very good camera and there are people who buy them for the image quality and rangefinder style of shooting but they are obviously not the Leica’s target market, otherwise they would improve camera’s characteristics instead of cosmetics or appoint someone like William Albert Allard rather than a pop-star to be their ambassador. I’ve read many times here that Canon, Nikon or Sony make cameras for “masses” and not for people who are passionate about the photography, why then those companies have amazing photographers like James Nachtwey, Steve McCurry, David Duchemin or Michael Freeman to promote their brand and not Lady Gaga for example.
Mika has a good point.
It would be nice to see Leitz create a special edition of the M9 that would be of genuine value to photographers or a specific branch of photography. I am not an expert on camera history, but I know they (Leitz) have done this in the past, with the M1: a special version of the M2 designed for scientific and technical photography. In the 70’s, Haselblad made a special editions of their cameras for photography on the moon and space shuttle missions and so did Nikon (the Nikon F3 NASA 250) How about a special edition of the M9 with a very tough rubber water resistant outer skin for rock climbers, adventurers and other dare-devils? How about a special edition water-proofed body? How about a special edition ultra low light sensor for M9? I rather suspect that the engineers at Leitz must cringe every time the ‘Bling-Bling’ department comes up with yet another glitzy dress for the M9.
I think these comments about Leica catering to mostly the rich and celebrated rich is a bit of a stretch. Actually more like a mile long one. Yes they make collectors editions that sit on store shelves and yes rich/famous people buy them but in the end their real ingenuity is in the lenses they create. I’m pretty sure they didn’t hand craft the .95 Noctilux so Ryan Reynolds could look cool sitting at an L.A. coffee shop.
Leica, I think, cares very much about their customer shooters. They provide LFI online as a place for thousands of people to display their photography no matter what the subject, from famaily photos to artful nudes and I shouldn’t need to mention all the trailblazing photographers that have used this system throughout the years.
If you want perfectly machined optics and finley tuned camera mechanics it’s going to cost just like everything else in the world that is created with that kind of care. Sure I think there is a place for entry level within Leica, I for one think it’s the second hand market as that’s where I’m at. I scraped together the money for a used M8 and saved and saved to get some Leitz glass to go with it after first using more affordable but very nice CV lens first.
I know the company isnt perfect, I’m sure they make mistakes both in production and marketing but for the most part they have stayed true to their legacy and I do not think there is anything wrong with that.
Leica is a company that makes cameras and offcourse ultimate goal is to make profits, the same as with Sony, Pentax, Canon or Nikon or medium format manufacturers such as Leaf et al. Canon and Nikon and powerful and established players in the digital camera world and you can find your place in the market and make money if you can match them in terms of technology and be inventive and this is the path that Sony has taken (and Pentax to some extent) of if you are not a giant like Sony is and can not offer competitive technology then you need to think carefully and make a small niche for you. This is what Leica did, they are cashing on their heritage and trying to convince people that less is more and that not having some genuinly useful option is actually liberating and will make you better photographer with a soul and I guess if you give £4500 for just a camera and a few thousand more for a lens you’ll, in the end convince yourself that actually, you don’t need a rear lcd because it restricts your creative geniurs from blossoming.
Bottom line is that all this is basic marketing psychology that is implemented in different areas and people from Leica is using it quite wisely, it obviously works and that is OK, but I always find it hilarious when someone says that he is restricted by the fact that he can check exposure on rear lcd or with the ability to use 5fps, I mean no one is forcing you to use it. If you buy new BMW do you really always drive 200km all the time with all the airconditioning, mp3 player, dvd and seat massagers turned on, well no, but it is nice to know that you can if you need to. Why don’t you try to edit photos on your typewriter or Comodore 64 instead on your latest imac, don’t you feel restrained with all that processing power?
sorry johnloumiles, my comment was not addressed to your post, it just got placed here
No worries Mika, I actually agree with you about their marketing strategy as per my post above. It’s quite normal. Im not taking the lack of rear LCD seriously but there is something to be said for less is more in some cases. Originally I shot with Mamiya’s on the tail end of film processing being affordable. Then I figured it was time to move into the DSLR world. I gave it my best shot but I never really gelled with it. Then I found rangefinders and the traquility of my original medium format experience returned but with more mobility. I’m not a person of extremes so it’s not all or nothing for me, just a simple compromise.
700$ more for something that should have been here till the first day ….
man i hope that fuji has a X200 compatible with M lenses up their sleeve.
talking of rangefinder the market is a real desert … the entry price is 10000$
come on canikon !!!! make a low cost interchangeable lens RF !!!!
I think you are mistaken if you think Leica wants to be a consumer camera company that caters to the masses. Yes, I too wish they were cheaper, but even as they sell more then they make… the prices will never come down.
I replied to the wrong one… sorry.
That’s common company practice and it’s how they keep a sustainable revenue stream. Just like the first iPad with no camera when the technology was obviously readily available. Companies know it’s not in their best interest to throw all the available eggs in one basket or else they will be stuck with one great product that people will quickly take for granted, meanwhile its about a 18-24 month cycle creating new innovations for a product line. The consumer Is fickle and this is merely businesses keeping up their bottom line.
come on the ipad is 400$ and this shit is 10000$
What is the normal cycle for a new M to come out? Since the beginning?…Every 4-5 years? The M9 has only been out a couple years, why would you expect that a new camera be released now? Hey I’m with you I would not pay 10k for a dressed up M9. I would love to have an M9 ( which is still a top of the line camera) period, but that still doesn’t change the fact that there is nothing new or special about Leica offering this update to the people that want/can afford it. I’m sure the M10 will have all the new things you want when it does come out in year or two.
Our culture is so obsessed with now now now and that’s part of the reason I really felt at home when I got my well worn in M8. Even though it has faults I can still feel the craftsmanship of the tool I’m using 7 years afters it’s release. Not to mention it renders images beautifully. You get what you pay for in life, that much I’m sure of.
But the point is that companies introduce some “new” technical/mechanical (weather sealing or whatever) addition instead of changing the make-up and the company in question has some mythical photographic soul and just photographers in mind when designing its products but then goes on and have spring/summer 2011 Leica collection.
Looks nice. Still like NOT having an LCD on my M6TTL. Could someone make digital that doesn’t depend on an LCD display with menus? I wish!
Right On Steve! An M9 for real photographers would do away with the LCD all together, and also the motor for shutter cocking (go back to thumb lever). Both would save battery, and no LCD keeps you looking for the next shot rather than wasting time looking at the last.
I wish they’d put back the advance lever, even if it doesn’t do anything, so you’d have a place to anchor your thumb!
At least 2 companies that I know of are doing a reasonable business selling add-ons that just take the place of the advance lever, as an aid to gripping the camera.
Where is the E-P3? Common’ Olympus.
Hmmm, hammertone edition, At least looks better than the white edition M8.
My brain really wanted to read that headline as Leica M9-P Hammertime Edition!
Good spot! Can’t touch this!
Is this why they never release the M9 steel gray with black vulcanite unless requested? It’s not very attractive.
well said stephen b.!
am on edge of getting a digital m….looking forward to it….but still keeping the m6
I’d put money on the M9 Hammertone special edition being 100% fake
there was a hammertone MP edition, man.
Loving the look of this. Agree a higher res screen would be an obvious (and easy) addition which I hope they bring out in the P. Other than that, the camera rocks. I shoot with an M7 and my digital option is my D700 which is now pretty old in camera years and guess what, it still delivers in spades. My personal view has always been that film photographs are all the resolution we ever need and for years, digital never got there and over the last 5-10 years we have seen digital get to a point where even the purists concede is darn close if not better (in a megapixel kind of way) so I figure… that is it, we don’t need more from digital anymore, we just need quality hardware and longetivity. My D700 takes amazing pictures, as does my M7. The M7 pictures will be amazing in 30 years time and so will the D700’s (assuming no breakdown and assuming it can be serviced etc).
So where I am going with this? A M9-P with a super decent display and sapphire glass – probably the only digital camera you will ever need for the rest of your life. If it is not enough, you have a GAS problem and not a image quality problem. There, I said it 🙂
leica is a business. it hand-builds, individually tests most of its products and has decided on its place in the market-place…plain and simple. it needs to make money to survive and charge the people it knows it the can the money it can. prices are going up everywhere…we all have to live with.
If Leica doesn`t include, beside a saphire glass in it`s M9P, a higher resolution display screen, then price hike of 700-1000 bucks is a rip off, plainly speaking.
Eehh, take it or leave it.. The Holy-Grail M9 is the titanium edition. This one looks like just a change of clothes.
wow who knew a slight change in design could make the m9 look so different 🙂 it looks more film like now from the first glance, agreed, no doubt it will sell out fast! thx for the sneak peek!
Do you think Leica will offer an upgrade for M9 owners similar to how they upgraded M8’s to the M8.2 (sapphire glass, software, etc.)?
I believe you can do this already, just by asking and of course paying.
Uh oh, I think I heard my wallet sigh. Thanks!
Woot Nex new firm ware. Do you know if the Peeking function work with any manual lenses or just the ones that use the alpha adaptor?