I got a call from the Post Office saying they had an express package for me. I raced over there to pick up my camera. Whew! I checked everything out and it all seems very nice. I have the Leica M8.2 body and the 35mm Summicron 2.0 ASPH lens. I tried a few shots on my dog Ozzy. I didn't set the camera correctly to capture the files as DNG +Fine, so they are just Jpegs. After I figured out what I did, I set the camera correctly.
And so it goes. The Leica system is clunkier than the Nikon system. It's simpler though. Not many file menus. I figured out the camera in 10 minutes. LOL! (I'm so used to Nikon!) I tried focusing, and found it to be pretty easy, but not as fast as AF on my Nikon. As it should be. This is a different type of camera. I was dead on where I focused on all but one shot.
I used the camera indoors, which meant available light. I shot at 1250 and 640 ISO. Again, the Nikon has more variety in choices of ISO, and I'm sure they have less noise in the file too. The one thing Leica has going for it is the file seems to be of a better quality. Knowing nothing about such things, I just know that as I blow up the picture, it still holds its sharpness and doesn't pixelate. The Nikon files do.
Everyone in the forums were saying to wait on the M9, and I'm still on the list, but having never used a Leica system, I wanted to use this camera to see if this type of shooting would suit me. Right now, honestly, I don't know. It's much different than a D-SLR. The rangefinder system makes me think all over again. Boy, did I get lazy! It's amazing how it all comes back though. The only thing missing is the film. LOL!
Anyway, looking at the pictures of Ozzy above, you'll notice I cropped several of them. You'll also notice that when you click on them, they still hold their sharpness but there is no a bit more noise in the cropped photos. These are just JPEGS that I worked on. (Ozzy was bored to death of me taking pictures of him AGAIN! I have a "365 Days of Ozzy" project which you can see on my Flickr site, or at the 365 Project pages. Click on the highlighted links.
What I like about the M8.2:
1. The quality and build of the body. It's built like a tank.
2. The improvements from the M8
3. It's cheaper than a M9.
4. The quality of files.
5. The small size. (Although, I have a Nikon D80 which isn't much bigger until you add lenses.)
6. The black Leica Dot. It helps me out by not having to put black tape on it. LOL!
7. The camera is simple in that you focus using the rangefinder focus. It has less bells and whistles.
8. Sexy beast!
What I don't like:
1. I would like to shoot at higher ISO without getting noise. I'm used to the D-SLR world, so I know what you can get out of a D700. I would also like more choices. My Nikon goes up in smaller increments. I wish Leica did the same.
2. The shutter seems just as loud, if not louder than my Nikon D80. Maybe I'm nuts?
3. The bottom plate is kind of a pain. I have to remove the SD card to access the files as the USB connection isn't recognized by my Macintosh. Yes, I have the latest operating system on my Mac! I have to load it into a mini card reader that came with the card. Taking the bottom plate on and off is kind of a pain. D-SLR rules in this area.
4. The body is heavier than I thought. A pet peeve perhaps, but I was expecting it to be lighter. Again, I was spoiled by those point & shoots in that regard. Too bad those point & shoots don't have the same quality in the files!
5. Having never used a Leica, the learning curve of focusing, and doing everything myself. Then again, that is a plus too. So, let's be fair.
6. The previous owner jerk who scraped out the white powder paint from the M8 letters. What were you thinking? (Stealth? C'mon! The dot is black! Wasn't that stealth enough?)
Right now, I am on the fence about the system. I will have to immerse myself in the whole process of living the life as a minimalist photographer. The Nikon system spoiled the crap out of me. I admit it. I chose to buy into the Leica brand. Hopefully the quality is above most brands.