Over a year of tinkering with rangefinder film cameras I finally did it, I dumped all my heavy Nikon DSLR stuff for a Leica M system. Crazy, possibly, but for me it was time for a change, a big change.
I have a thing for birds in flight and am somewhat well known for it, have been published, covers etc. and even ran workshops and seminars. But it was getting kind of boring for me, all that autofocus on $5000 dollar super fast focusing lenses was getting too easy for me and was losing its challenge. I have literally 1000’s of snowy owl inflight photos like the one above and getting more didn’t make sense. Although the one above was taken after I sold my DSLR and fancy lenses, the above shot was taken with a Sony NEX7 and kits lens last winter, believe it, or not.
Not long ago I used to jones for more fps, buffer, focus speed etc.. Blame the camera for missing shots, easy outs like that. But all these options I wished for are camera related and have nothing to do with the photographer or photography, it was all about mechanical features, none would make me a better photographer.
Enter the M9, all me photoing! If I miss focus, its because I suck! But if I hit it, I found it to be 10x more gratifying than the camera doing it all (looking back, I can’t even believe I was ever that happy nailing something with fast AF lenses, thats easy compared to doing it yourself) The simple shots become more interesting/exciting and the resulting images killer (to me)! A whole new world of photoing has opened up for me. Trying to get good at this manual old school focusing is way more fun than pointing and shooting IMO and the end result and composition are all up to the photographer, not the camera’s built in focus points. With the M9 I look a little longer, I check my light, my composition and get right into it a little bit more because there is no real point and shoot mode with this camera.
- Image quality, full frame sensor
- build quality
- killer lenses (the glass, oh the glass!)
- no AA filter
- image size (MP count is fine)
- I take better photos with it and actually into it more
- minimum features, so you are not jonesing for more FPS, etc. its a different beast. its all about photography, not gadgets you don’t use.
- longevity, this thing has been around for almost 4 years, I wish I would have done this when it came out, talk about value! (My DSLR stuff was obsolete after 1.5 years)