Allen's Blog
November, 2012

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Leica It… or Not

Leica M9-P by Hermes (photo courtesy Leica Camera)

The NY Times last month had a special section, titled Wealth (no subtlety there). Front page of the section teases an article headlined Just the Thing for Those Who Have It All (except, apparently, intelligence or common sense). The front page and the first item shown in the article, is a Leica M9-P covered in leather from Hermès with a price tag listed at $25,000 to $50,000. Just what a hard-working photojournalist needs.

Earlier this year, I posted about someone who can’t live without his vintage Argus C3 wrapped in wood (instead of leatherette), priced at $1850. That was merely madness; this latest from Leica crosses whatever line there is beyond that. I know that Leica had to come up with ways to stave off bankruptcy a few years ago, but is this really the path to follow? Whatever happened to the workhorse Leicas?

Well-worn Leica M6 (from <a href="http://blakeandrews.blogspot.com/2012/11/camera-as-artifact.html" target-"_blank">http://blakeandrews.blogspot.com/2012/11/camera-as-artifact.html</a>)

(photo by Blake Andrews – click here to view more images of this well-worn/well-loved camera.)

My New Walking-Around Camera, the Sony RX100

Sony RX100

In a recent post, I wrote about David Pogue’s rave review of Sony’s RX100, the pocket-size camera with a Zeiss 1.8 lens and a big, big chip. Since then, I’ve read a number of write-ups and reviews, and what was “maybe” my next big purchase has become a reality that goes with me everywhere. Check out the specs and reviews for yourself, but here’s what stands out for me –

  • Instant shutter response
  • Beautiful image quality, even wide-open (due no doubt to the relatively huge chip that Sony has managed to use)
  • Great macro capability (the lack of which kept me from buying Canon’s G1X)
  • The ability to shoot both RAW and JPEG simultaneously (if you’re so inclined)
  • Great performance at high ISOs. Here’s a sample, ISO 6400, shot late at night on a flight back from L.A.

Photo of the plane's cabin on my red-eye flight back from L.A.

Menu navigation took a bit of learning (probably due to my advanced age), but now it’s quick and easy. FYI, Lightroom’s latest update handles RAW from the RX100 and a whole group of new cameras from a bunch of manufacturers.